It’s time for the final night of first round action in the 2021 New Japan Cup. Before we get to the final three tournament matches, we have some opening tag team action with some previews of stars who made it through to the second round.
Yuya Uemura, Juice Robinson, Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. BULLET CLUB (Dick Togo, KENTA, Bad Luck Fale & EVIL)
Tanahashi & EVIL have had it easy with their first round byes, but the first round comes to an end here tonight. Tanahashi needs to prepare to face the winner of tonight’s main event, while EVIL prepares for Jeff Cobb. This match is a chance to limber up for these coming matches, having three others to fall back on.
Fale & Yano would start, and his team wouldn’t take a tag, instead hyping him up. Yano nailed some forearms on Fale and then asked for a tag, before just tagging Juice Robinson in against his will. Robinson hit some jabs before going for a scoop slam and having Fale land on top of him.
Fale nailed some heavy strikes on Robinson before tagging in Dick Togo. Togo hit a fist drop and got a two count, got shocked that didn’t get the pin, before tagging EVIL in. EVIL applied an abdominal stretch, and everyone on his team added leverage. KENTA tried to isolate Robinson using submission holds, but Robinson managed a tag to Tanahashi.
Tanahashi came in and hit Dragon Screw’s on everyone, before a springboard crossbody on KENTA. KENTA came back with a DDT, before tagging EVIL who was dropped with Twist & Shot. Tanahashi tagged in Uemura, who tried to stand tall against EVIL, only to end up in the Scorpion Deathlock and tapping out.
This one was more heavy on the comedy, with everyone taking this night easy. Yano & Fale are always good for a laugh, Tanahashi has been on fire lately, and EVIL tapping out Uemura was a very obvious outcome.
Match Rating: 2/5 (**)
Tomoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima vs. The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, & Jeff Cobb)
Yuji Nagata did the Third Generation proud by being the only member to move to the second round. Now he joins Honma & Kojima in trying to teach The United Empire some respect. Cobb, O-Khan & Ospreay have been damn near unstoppable, but if anyones up to the challenge, it’s Nagata.
The United Empire struck first, attacking before the bell. Ospreay kept Kojima in the ring, only to be ambushed by Honma. Kojima stacked The United Empire in the corner, before nailing them all with machine gun chops. He’d eventually get cornered by UE, but countered some Monglion Chops from O-Khan before tagging in Nagata.
Nagata went to work on his former student with kicks and forearms, before hitting a double underhook suplex. O-Khan found back with a throat chop, before taking a dropkick to the knee. He’d tag in Cobb, who was met with Honma who hit him with a DDT, and caught Ospreay with a flatliner at the same time. O-Khan attacked from behind, but Nagata saved Honma. They’d rush Cobb in the corner, Nagata hitting an exploder suplex, and Honma hitting a Kokeshi for a near fall. Honma would be hit with the spincycle, but Nagata broke the pinfall up. No one would be able to make the save after the Tour of The Islands however.
Hard hitting action from start to finish. Bringing Nagata into this feud has upped the intensity and quality of work. If only the United Empire had a fourth member then Tenzan could have gotten in one this fun match as well.
Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** 1/2)
CHAOS (SHO, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI, SANADA, Tetsuya Naito, & Shingo Takagi)
SANADA and Ishii came through on their promise of an instant classic last night, and tonight match up again in this eight man tag. L.I.J has all hands on deck, and Shingo has his eyes firmly set on his next tournament opponent in Goto, who he meets again tonight.
After some pre-match antics to annoy the referee, Naito would start with Okada. They’d show their chemistry, hit some deep arm drags, and tag out to Ishii & SANADA. Ishii would miss a lariat on SANADA before taking a dropkick, BUSHI hit him from behind and had SHO take BUSHI off the apron.
CHAOS attacked SANADA like he was a drum, before he’d have to fight off a double wrist lock attempt from SHO. Goto tagged in, but SANADA got the tag to Shingo. Shingo peppered him with shots in the corner, before hitting a vertical suplex. They’d rush each other with lariats, before tagging in BUSHI & SHO. SHO went for a deadlift German Suplex but took a DDT instead.
This one broke down into a brawl, with CHAOS winning out and SHO hitting the German Suplex. He’d go for the Crossarmed Piledriver, but BUSHI countered. SHO would be rolled into a low dropkick and BUSHI nabbed the pin with a cradle pin.
Another solid outing from CHAOS & L.I.J. BUSHI getting the pinfall was a pleasant surprise, and any interactions between Goto & Shingo are must see right now.
Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** 1/2)
Will Hirooki Goto be able to stop Shingo Takagi? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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