wrestling / TV Reports

Pantoja’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2023 Review 3.8.23

March 11, 2023 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW New Japan Cup 3-8-23 Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW New Japan Cup 2023 Review 3.8.23  

NJPW New Japan Cup

March 8th, 2023 | Big Palette Fukushima in Minami, Fukushima | Attendance: 720

Look, if I’m gonna watch this tournament, doing shows where I only have to watch two at a time is the best way to go.

New Japan Cup First Round: Mark Davis vs. Toru Yano

The winner here faces Will Ospreay in the next round. Either we get United Empire vs. United Empire or Yano steals one in classic Yano fashion. I saw a lot of stuff online about how Yano shouldn’t be in these tournaments anymore. I disagree because he brings something different that the company desperately needs. That said, Yano is best in short bursts. 3-7 minutes. This went 12:33 and suffered because of it. We got the turnbuckle pad removal, tying to the guardrail, a hood over Yano’s head, and similar shenanigans. Less is more and this was too much. It dragged on and Davis eventually put us out of our misery. Yano needs to work short matches or, at the very least, add something new to his act. [*]

New Japan Cup First Round: EVIL vs. Ren Narita

Theoretically, there would be potential here if this was 2016 EVIL. Alas, it’s 2023. I liked Narita attacking before the bell to turn the tables but as soon as Kevin Kelly started droning on about EVIL and the House of Torture having a losing streak, I knew the result. In a lot of ways this was similar to the Yano match because it was filled with tired antics that made things drag on. Brawling at ringside, choking with a t-shirt, using a chair, Dick Togo interference, etc. Narita blocked Everything is EVIL and fired up but then we got a ref bump. That meant more interference for the House of Torture. The crowd did pop for Narita kicking out of the Magic Killer though, so at least there’s that. EVIL took Togo out by mistake and Everything is EVIL was blocked again but then EVIL hit a low blow and secured the victory in 18:44. What are we even doing in this company? A hot mess. [*½]

The final score: review Very Bad
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Gedo really thought to book these two tournament matches on the same night. At least spread them out and pair them with something good. I know it’s only two matches but that was like the worst of New Japan in both. The only thing missing was something going 25+ minutes for no reason.

article topics :

New Japan Cup, Kevin Pantoja