It’s time to get into the quarter finals of the 2021 New Japan Cup! We have the left side of the bracket here tonight, which will see Toru Yano take on last year’s winner in EVIL, as well as a hard hitting clash between Shingo Takagi & KENTA. Let’s get right into this action!
New Japan Cup 2021 Quarter Final Match: Toru Yano vs. EVIL
Toru Yano is a known bracket buster in NJPW, and few could have expected him to make it past both Bad Luck Fale & Great-O-Khan. Meanwhile, EVIL had a first round bye, and then got the upset win in the eyes of fans when he cheated to break past Jeff Cobb. Yano rarely makes it this far, but we can assume he’s got some special tricks in mind for EVIL.
Yano would start by getting the crowd excited, before slipping out of the ring. He’d try to lure Togo out to deal with him, but nearly be counted out. Back in the ring, he’d be attacked while trying to take off a turnbuckle pad. EVIL would send him outside, where Togo got some damage in.
Back in the ring, EVIL would stomp Yano down, before taking him back outside and driving him hard into the barricade. EVIL was just picking Yano apart, and an abdominal stretch would help this process, Togo offering extra leverage before the referee noticed. Yano got a bit of damage after a hair pull on EVIL, and would expose some corners.
Togo would be thrown a corner pad, before Yano grabbed a suplex on EVIL, bumping Togo away before tossing him. EVIL would take an atomic drop and be tossed into exposed steel, before kicking out of a roll up at two.
They’d go outside, and Yano used the steel cord of Togo to choke out EVIL, before throwing him under the ring and waiting for the count out. At 18, the lights went off and EVIl appeared in the ring behind Yano, hitting an STO and winning the match.
This wasn’t a good match, but it was an incredibly fun match. It was better than if Yano & EVIL tried to have an epic match, and added a new trick to the arsenal of EVIL. Match Rating: 2/5 (**)
EVIL will now face the winner of KENTA vs. Shingo Takagi on March 20th.
New Japan Cup 2021 Quarter Final Match: KENTA vs. Shingo Takagi
Shingo Takagi has been on an absolute roll in the New Japan Cup, but that is obvious seeing as he beat Kazuchika Okada in the first round of the tournament. KENTA has been doing great as well, beating both Juice Robinson & Minoru Suzuki on the way to this match.
Shingo would be ready to go as soon as the bell rang, unlike KENTA. He’d move outside and start the mind games. Once he finally got in the ring, Shingo quickly grabbed a headlock, but KENTA yanked some hair to break free and grab one of his old. When Shingo tried to shove him off, KENTA once again used the hair.
Shingo started to throw forearms, before being taken to the mat for some kicks. He’d counter a kick into a scoop slam, before raining down jabs and headbutts in the corner onto KENTA. KENTA fled to the outside, but Shingo just followed and kept the beatdown coming. Shingo got back in the ring, but KENTA grabbed the ringbell and smacked Shingo with it.
Now in control, he’d pull Shingo out of the ring and start driving him into the barricades. He’d only take him into the ring to prevent a count from starting, before taking Shingo outside and hitting a DDT on the floor. Shingo broke the 20 count, but was quickly put right into a headlock.
KENTA would let Shingo go just to kick him in the back and the head, these strikes more or less just pissing him off, but did manage to drop him eventually. Shingo would be faked out as KENTA went for the knee drop, before taking a dismissive kick to the face.
KENTA would apply a rear chinlock, and Shingo fought free only to take a quick powerslam and end up back on the mat. Shingo would fire up and finally drop KENTA with a lariat, before following up with a running shoulder tackle. Some knee drops on the mat would hurt KENTA, who came back with a DDT, that Shingo countered into a suplex.
KENTA fought back with a tornado stun gun and diving lariat, before setting up Game Over. Shingo broke free, and would take some forearm strikes from KENTA. Shingo would hit a lariat, only for KENTA to quickly come back with a running big boot and hesitation dropkick.
KENTA went up top for a diving foot stomp, but Shingo dodged and hit a DDT. Shingo missed the sliding lariat, before KENTA set up and nailed Green Killer. KENTA went up top, and got the diving foot stomp this time, getting a two count. Shingo slipped out of the Go To Sleep attempt, and would set up Made In Japan, but end up in Game Over again.
KENTA wouldn’t be able to keep Shingo away from the ropes, and was able to hit a Tiger Suplex once Shingo got vertical again. Shingo rolled to his feet and nailed the Pumping Bomber. Made In Japan landed, but only got a near fall. KENTA threw some open palm strikes, before hitting two rolling chops and a GTS style knee strike.
The running knee nailed it’s mark, but Shingo kicked out. KENTA went for Go To Sleep, but Shingo countered, hit a headbutt and a snap Death Valley Driver. He’d nail the Pumping Bomber at full speed, but KENTA managed to kick out at two. All that was left is Last Of The Dragon, and that would end this match.
Once this match got moving, it was excellent. The slow start of a KENTA match is fine, provided he hits his full pace by the end which was the case here. Add in that Shingo is perhaps the best in the company right now when going at full pace, and you had a truly special back half of the match, and a great match overall. Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** 1/4)
Will Shingo be able to vanquish his old L.I.J partner? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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