It’s time to start the second round of the 2021 New Japan Cup! The field of 30 has shrunk, and not everyone was able to make it to the second round. Undercard matches will be now both previewing upcoming matches like Hirooki Goto vs. Shingo Takagi, and also see first round losers try to keep their places on the card for coming tours.
David Finlay & Yota Tsuji vs. CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii)
Both Finlay & YOSHI-HASHI were able to push through to the next round of New Japan Cup action. They will meet each other later in the second round, meaning some refreshing face vs. face action in the opening tags for a while.
Finlay & YOSHI-HASHI would start this match, and Finlay was able to apply an early headlock. He’d be countered and put into the headscissors, before fighting back to his feet. Finlay looked for the Stunner, but was denied by YOSHI-HASHI, but was able to hit a dropkick. Tsuji got a tag and demanded a chance to fight Ishii.
He’d get his wish, and trade blows with the hardest hitter in the company, falling to a shoulder tackle but not staying down. Tsuji would beat Ishii down into the corner, but this only served to annoy the veteran, who dropped him with a single blow. CHAOS would corner and abuse the young lion, who was fixated on fighting Ishii.
YOSHI-HASHI would be caught with a bodyslam, allowing Tsuji to get Finlay back into the match. He’d nail a running uppercut on YOSHI-HASHI, before hitting a backbreaker. YOSHI-HASHI was able to fire back with Bunker Buster, and tagged Ishii.
Tsuji once again wanted in, and would again test his toughness against Ishii . He’d drop him with a running dropkick, before YOSHI-HASHI took a cheap shot. Finlay helped out, and Tsuji would be able to hit a bodyslam.
Ishii hit a backdrop driver, but Tsuji almost caught him with a roll up. A spear got another near fall, but Ishii would hit a German Suplex and apply the Boston Crab. Ishii wouldn’t even let go when Finlay hit him with forearms. Tsuji fought free only to be dropped with a lariat, ending the match.
Seeing young lions test themselves like Tsuji did here is always great. He pushed himself against Ishii, and proved that he’s getting ever closer to graduation. YOSHI-HASHI & David Finlay had minimal action, but some post-match trash talking would show fans to not sleep on their coming clash. Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
Satoshi Kojima, Tomoaki Honma & Yuya Uemura vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Jado)
The field of 30 was cut down considerably in the first round, and not everyone was able to slip by with a win. Kojima, Honma, Fale, and Takahashi are all in this category, and will all meet in his six man tag match to take out some lingering frustrations.
As is tradition, BULLET CLUB attacked before the bell and started a brawl. Jado & Honma remained in the ring, and quickly got aid from Takahashi. Despite this, Jado hit a DDT & Flatliner combo, seemingly an even match for these two low ranked Bullet Club members. Uemura got a tag, and nailed some heavy chops on Jado. Jado would take a scoop slam, but Takahashi tripped him up and threw him into the barricade. Fale took the fight to Honma & Kojima, while Jado just ran his mouth.
Once Uemura was back in the ring, Jado would hit some punches and prompt tag out to Takahashi. Takahasi kept Uemura cornered, before tagging Fale in who just stood on Uemura. Jado got a tag, hit some very lazy kicks, before taking some forearm shots. Fale tagged in, plodded around the ring and hit some heavy blows in the corner.
Kojima got a tag and took the fight to Fale, ending up in the corner for some machine gun chops. Jado joined in and was rolled into place for a Kokeshi. Fale hit a lariat, Kojima tagged out to Uemura and he met Takahashi. He tried to bring some fire to the match with a backdrop, but was hit with some knee strikes and failed to hit a dropkick.
Takahashi would set up the DDT, but Uemura countered into a backslide. Uemura hit a dropkick, but Takahashi came back with a lariat for a near fall. The DDT would land, and this one ended.
This was a dreadful match, as is the standard with Jado. There was no one on the Bullet Club team to help him carry this match either. The interactions between Kojima & Fale were the only bearable parts. Match Rating: 1/5 (*)
Hirooki Goto, Yuji Nagata, Kazuchika Okada & SHO vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI)
Perhaps the biggest second round match in the New Japan Cup happens tomorrow. Hirooki Goto & Shingo Takagi will finally collide in a singles match after numerous short clashes in tag team action. Yuji Nagata vs. SANADA will also be previewed here, as Blue Justice buddies up with CHAOS tonight!
As expected Shingo & Goto got this one started, and traded those heavy forearms early in the middle of the ring, with fans and partners alike cheering them on. Shingo looked for Death Valley Driver, but Goto countered into a GTR attempt. Goto couldn’t complete the GTR, and Shingo missed the sliding lariat.
Okada & Naito got into the match, with Okada hitting a snapmare into a basement dropkick to drop his rival. Naito would get aid from all of L.I.J to drop Okada, and send them to beat down their opponents on the outside. Okada got his foot on the rope to break a crossface attempt, before BUSHI was tagged in.
He’d choke Okada with his t-shirt, before tagging in Shingo. Shingo would be laser focused on Goto, ignoring Okada who was in position for the sliding lariat. SANADA got a tag, and Okada dropped him with a big boot before tagging Nagata. Nagata would throw kicks at SANADA and hit the Butterfly Suplex.
They’d trade blows, before SANADA looked for Skull End and Nagata countered into a neckbreaker.SHO & BUSHI got tags, with BUSHI hitting a swan dive dropkick and a low angle DDT, but SHO ran him down with a shoulder tackle.
BUSHI was peppered with some midkicks, before missing a lariat and having L.I.J swarmed him. CHAOS made the save, Goto nailing Ushigoroshi on Shingo before setting up BUSHI for SHO. SHO nailed Shock Arrow for the win!
Everyone had their clear rivals in this match, making it super predictable from start to finish, but still fun all the same. Goto & Shingo were the clear highlight, but Nagata & SANADA also shined bright. Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** 1/2)
Who will win these previewed second round matches? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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