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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup Night Two Review

March 10, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW New Japan Cup Night 2
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Kevin’s NJPW New Japan Cup Night Two Review  

NJPW New Japan Cup Night Two
March 9th, 2019 | Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in Nagoya, Aichi | Attendance: 4,122

The New Japan Cup continues. Like night one, there’s one match that stands out and some others that are much less interesting. Either way, this show doesn’t have anything that is on the level of Ishii/Nagata. I’m not expecting much here but we’ll see how it goes.

I’m pressed for time so this will be a shorter review than usual.

New Japan Cup First Round: Lance Archer vs. Toa Henare
Archer surprised me with a strong run during the G1 24. Toa Henare is almost always a safe bet to put in effort. That was the case for Henare here. He brought fire and threw whatever he could at Archer. The big man wasn’t completely in the mood to sell a ton, so he didn’t make Henare look all that great. Still, I appreciated the effort from Henare. He lost to the Blackout in 11:11. One guy tried and the other guy didn’t. It made for an average match at best. [**]

New Japan Cup First Round: HIKULEO vs. Mikey Nicholls
Wy do they keep booking HIKULEO? He’s not good and his brothers aren’t either. Mikey Nicholls is the former Nick Miller of The Mighty Don’t Kneel or TM61 fame. This was probably the least interesting matchup on paper. I will admit that HIKULEO seems to have improved at least a little bit. Nicholls played the babyface because HIKULEO had Jado helping him and the clear size advantage. Jado didn’t help things as his outside interference dragged this down. Nicholls impressed with some power offense on his larger opponent before winning with the poorly named Mikey Bomb in 8:55. A rough match due to the inexperience of HIKULEO and the Jado nonsense. [*½]

New Japan Cup First Round: Bad Luck Fale vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay
Fale is at his best working great wrestlers. Ospreay is at his best against guys better than him. Those things didn’t add up for a good match on paper. Fale has seemingly gotten lazier over time and Ospreay wasn’t up to the task of carrying him. They played up the big man vs. little man dynamic, which they always do. It also featured Jado interference because this Bullet Club BS apparently wasn’t overdone back in 2015 and especially during the G1 last year. Anyway, Ospreay overcame it all and won with a rana in 11:30. It had some good ideas but got bogged down by one guy being lazy, the other kind of just being there, and interference. [*¾]

New Japan Cup First Round: Kazuchika Okada vs. Michael Elgin
People fawned over their G1 Climax 27 match and I never got it. It was good, but just basic Okada formula. Their single camera G1 25 match worked better. Unfortunately, this was more of the that Okada formula. Let me get this out of the way. It’s not a bad one, just one that I’ve grown tired of. You never felt like Okada was in danger of losing, so it took out a lot of the drama from this one. Elgin did his power moves for some near falls. Meanwhile, this seemed like Okada just going through the motions and possibly saving his best stuff for later in what I’m sure will be a lengthy tourney run. He won with the Rainmaker in 24:06. A fine match, but nothing worth checking out. [***]

The final score: review Bad
The 411
Yea, you can skip this one. The first match is okay at best, the next two are bad, and the main event is okay but not something you need to see.

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NJPW New Japan Cup, Kevin Pantoja