New Japan Cup Ratings For Night Five
The first round of the 2020 New Japan Cup is now history, and that means it’s time for the field to get very interesting. We’re down from 32 to 16, and by the end of Night Six, we’ll be down to 8 men. Things usually get more exciting in the second round, which is what we will see with matches like Nagata vs. Okada and Makabe vs. Ishii. Lets see how Night Five panned out.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taiji Ishimori
Two of the most iconic junior heavyweights in Pro Wrestling NOAH history, now meeting in the New Japan Cup. Ishimori has never been able to defeat Kanemaru in the past the record is 13 losses and 1 draw. Kanemaru started things early with an attack from behind, setting the match up with Ishimori as the face.
Fast paced juniors action would define this match, with Kanemaru also focusing on the leg of Ishimori. It was a simple match, but the story of Ishimori finally trying to get his first win over this old rival boosted it greatly. In the end, Ishimori would finally get the win, and go on to face the winner of Nagata vs. Okada in the ‘Great Eight’. Taiji Ishimori won in 9 minutes and 18 seconds with the Bloody Cross. 3/5 (***)
Tomohiro Ishii vs. Togi Makabe
When these two meet in a match, it will be as stiff as can be. Two of the hardest bruisers in company history, they always deliver when placed in singles action. Ishii came into this one having won the last three matches they’ve had, but Makabe has a better overall record, having one their first six matches.
It’s the type of match where you know exactly what you’re getting, as they just run into each other and hit as hard as they could, before going for signature spots to try and finish it when possible. Just five minutes in, and Makabe already was near knocked out, showing the tone of this match. Both men delivered like usual, but after a hard fought war, Ishii would advance to the ‘Great Eight’. Tomohiro Ishii won in 13 minutes and 28 seconds with the vertical drop brainbuster. 3.5/5 (*** 1/2)
Toru Yano vs. Hiromu Takahashi
When Takahashi was a young lion, Toru Yano was one of his trainers, and was someone who hazed Takahashi, even being the one to shave his head. Yano would beat him stiffly as a Young Lion, this all leading up to Takahashi being scared of Yano. In recent tag matches, Yano would bring the clippers back to strike fear into Takahashi. Takahashi would wear a helmet to protect from clippers even.
This match was more comedy than wrestling, with Yano trying to shave Takahashis hair, before being driven off and losing by countout. A hilarious NJPW comedy classic, but not a great wrestling match. It was never meant to be that, and we’ll see a wrestling classic when Takahashi meets Tomohiro Ishii in the ‘Great Eight’. After 9 minutes and 17 seconds of comedy action, Yano would be counted out. 2/5 (**) in terms of match quality (all due to story reasons), but 5 stars in terms of comedy.
Yuji Nagata vs. Kazuchika Okada
After Yano vs. Takahahsi, fans would get a wrestling classic from two of the best in NJPW. Even as he gets older, Yuji Nagata remains one of the best in the company when he turns it on. Okada is of course commonly praised as one of the best in the world. They’ve only met once, in the 2015 G1 Climax, with Okada getting the win.
After the more story focused match that was Gedo vs. Okada, it was nice to see Okada get a chance to shine in his usual manner. It was on the lower end of Okada matches, but still an incredible back and forth match, as the veteran Nagata tried his best to get another shot to become champion, only to fall to Okada. The Cobra Clutch would end this match after 20 minutes and 14 seconds of action. 4/5 (****)
The Average Rating For Night Five Of New Japan Cup Is 3.125
This show offered something for everyone who watches NJPW. You got some junior heavyweight action in Ishimori vs. Kanemaru, hard hitting action from Ishii vs. Makabe, comedy from Yano & Takahashi, and a fantastic main event with Nagata vs. Okada. This night sets up Okada vs. Ishimori & Ishii vs. Takahashi in the next round, two matches many never would have expected we would see.
What was your favorite match from Night Five of the 2020 New Japan Cup? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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