New Japan Cup Day 7 Headline And Marquee Matches
The New Japan Cup Semi-Finals Are Set
Former 5-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada and former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori faced off in the New Japan Cup quarter-finals in the headline match on day seven of the tournament.
This was the first match between the two former Ultimo Dragon trainees, both receiving their initial professional wrestling training at Dragon’s Toryumon Dojo in Mexico. Despite Okada having the overwhelming height advantage, Ishimori was able to use his speed to keep the former champion off-balance during portions of the match.
Ishimori received help from Gedo several times as Okada attempted to lock on his version of the Cobra Clutch. However, Okada was eventually to lock it on Ishimori and gained the submission at the sixteen minute and fifty-two-second mark.
With the victory, Okada moves on to his third New Japan Cup semi-finals appearance (2013, 2019), he would go on to win the tournament in his previous trips to the semi-finals. He will face IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi later today.
The marquee match of the night saw another first-time singles match as Suzuki-Gun member Taichi took on Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) member Sanada in the New Japan Cup quarter-final round.
Taichi had successive impressive victories against former 8-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and former IWGP Intercontinental Champion Kota Ibushi, who are currently the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions as Golden Ace.
Taichi was able to control most of the match with his striking techniques adopted from his mentor Toshiaki Kawada. However, Sanada continued to show resolve as he survived Taichi’s onslaught, including the outside interference from Suzuki-Gun member Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Sanada was able to use a Taichi/Kanemaru collision and an O’Connor Bridge to gain the victory over Taichi and advanced to his second consecutive New Japan Cup semi-finals appearance.
Sanada will face LIJ teammate Evil later on this morning, in his second overall appearance in the final four that contains three LIJ members (Hiromu being the other).