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Pantoja’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2022 Night Eight Review

March 15, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW New Japan Cup Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2022 Night Eight Review  

NJPW New Japan Cup 2022 Night Eight

March 14th, 2022 | Takamatsu City Gymnasium in Takamatsu, Kagawa

Only two matches in the tournament on these shows so it should be a quick review.

New Japan Cup Third Round: CIMA vs. Hirooki Goto

I don’t get excited or interested in anything Goto does these days but at least CIMA is different. So far, CIMA has grounded junior heavyweights but that didn’t quite work here. Within just a few minutes they were outside brawling like heavyweights. Goto held the advantage with strikes but CIMA did his best to keep up. CIMA still worked the neck with some submissions and wear down stuff, slowing the pace. It was an interesting strategy since he had his best success with picking up the pace here. Goto had to change his game plan, hitting an elbow off the top and a plancha to the outside. As they passed 15 minutes, you could tell that this was evenly matched. Goto nearly won with a backslider before CIMA busted out an Air Raid Crash for two. CIMA delivered Meteora and added a second to secure a quarterfinals spot after 17:20. That was the Goto special. A very good match that I didn’t care much about. I like CIMA going on though I wouldn’t call it the upset that Kevin Kelly did. [***¼]

New Japan Cup Third Round: Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi

Remember when NJPW had the balls to run this match for 31 minutes in a PPV main event that wasn’t even for a title? Miho Abe was with Taichi, so there’s that. Ah, this felt a bit more like the Okada formula I know. They began tentatively with reversals and exchanges that didn’t exactly wow me but weren’t bad either. Things didn’t really pick up until they went outside and we got a pretty vicious sounding DDT. From that point on, they threw bigger offense at one another but interestingly, it never felt like Taichi took control. You typically see the babyface have to fight from beneath but Okada didn’t really get in trouble until he took three straight kicks to the head. Taichi delivered some vicious bits of offense here from a DDT to the Last Ride but Okada kicked out of both. Meanwhile, Taichi survived a Money Clip but eventually fell to the Rainmaker after a strong closing stretch. It went 24:17. That was a good but not great match though I’m interested in Okada/CIMA. [***¼]

The final score: review Average
The 411
A fine little night of wrestling. Two good matches and I can’t ask for much more.

article topics :

New Japan Cup, Kevin Pantoja