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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 Night Two Review

June 19, 2020 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
New Japan Cup Kazuchika Okada Gedo
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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2020 Night Two Review  

NJPW New Japan Cup Night Two

June 17th, 2020

It’s a few days late but I figured I had time since the third day isn’t for a bit.

New Japan Cup First Round: Gabriel Kidd vs. Taiji Ishimori

I like the idea of the Young Lions and junior heavyweights in the tournament this year. It’s a smart way to keep the tournament field big but not bog it down like it was last year. Kidd worked the wrist early and went for a few quick pins. I like that as he should be trying to win in any possible way being a Young Lion underdog. Ishimori took him lightly to start but got serious and took control. Kidd found a bit of resiliency and even applied the Young Lion Crab at one point. Ishimori eventually made Kidd tap to a Yes Lock in 8:53. Quality little match that did what it had to. [**¾]

New Japan Cup First Round: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Yuya Uemura

Uemura is a guy who always brings energy. Kanemaru? Not so much. However, he seemed at least a little motivated here. Maybe he’s just happy to be in action again. It helped that Uemura brought the fire. Counters and stiff strikes helped bolster this. Uemura got in a bunch of flash pins late that near caused an upset. It’s impressive how a guy like him can take his limited moveset and do interesting things with it while there are guys able to do anything who bore me to tears. Alas, Kanemaru had to use the Deep Impact DDT off the top to win in 9:32. It’s interesting that he had to dig so deep. Kanemaru was better than usual and I dig Uemura. [**¾]

BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA and Shingo Takagi vs. Hirooki Goto, Roppongi 3K and YOSHI-HASHI

SANADA remains the only sad LIJ boy without gold. I only just looked at the bracket and was reminded that we’re getting SHO/Shingo. Their BOSJ match last year got ****½ from me and was EASILY the most excited I was for anything NJPW did in 2019. Anyway, I’m always up for an LIJ multi-man tag. It’s something the group has mastered. This was more of the same, with quality interactions and exchanges. The highlight was SHO against Shingo and I could watch those two go to war every day. YOH against BUSHI was also pretty damn good. In the end, Goto hit the GTR on BUSHI to win in 12:16. If Goto wins a match, does it ever really matter? That man has been booked into oblivion. The match was as good as I expected. [***¼]

New Japan Cup First Round: Minoru Suzuki vs. Yuji Nagata

When these two face off, you just know it’s going to be two men beating the tar out of each other. That’s just what they delivered and it’s all I ever ask for from them. Coming into this, their record against each other in singles action was apparently 5-5. You got the sense that it played a part as their pride wasn’t about to let either of them come up short. There were some absurd forearm exchanges and some vicious strikes delivered by both men. Meanwhile, Suzuki going nuts in an empty arena came off really well. They ultimately progressed into their bigger offense and it remained as snug and violent as ever. Suzuki made a crucial mistake near the end. He had the sleeper in but instead of getting the submission, he let got and went for a pin. Nagata kicked out and got his second wind, hitting the Backdrop Hold to secure an upset in 20:35. Hell yeah. Two warriors doing what they do best and putting on something must-see. [****¼]

New Japan Cup First Round: Gedo vs. Kazuchika Okada

Look, no matter how hard you try, you’re not going to get me to believe Gedo has a chance in this one. Gedo resorted to every trick in the book from faking an injury at the start to brass knuckles to Jado appearing. While it’s Gedo’s character and I understand that, it doesn’t make for a good match. They mostly worked it wisely but it’s just not interesting. Okada took way too long to finally nut up and put down his former mentor. It goes an excruciatingly long 15:30 that felt closer to 45. Okada won with the Cobra Clutch. I like that he didn’t need the Rainmaker. Thankfully, Okada’s next match is with Nagata and that should be great because I loved their last meeting which was in the G1 25. [*]

The final score: review Average
The 411
A fine show that again gets love because it clocks in at just under two hours with the intermission. To be honest, only Suzuki/Nagata is something to go out of your way to see. The first two matches are solid and the multi-man tag is fun. If you turn this off before the main event, it scores better.

article topics :

New Japan Cup, NJPW, Kevin Pantoja