We’re deep into the 2021 New Japan Cup, and the field is down to just eight men. Tonight’s undercard tag matches will preview both upcoming matches, including SANADA vs. Will Ospreay. We also have Young Lions vs. Third Gen veterans and FinJuice teaming up with Henare to take on BULLET CLUB!
Gabriel Kidd, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yuji Nagata
We’re back to a level of normality with this opener. It’s your classic “Young Lions vs. Third Gen Veterans” match. We’ve seen it hundreds if not thousands of times, and every time there’s always a 1% chance that a Young Lion gets the upset win. Tsuji & Kidd proved without a doubt they are ready, and could make this their night.
The Young Lions would swarm before the match, and isolate Tenzan within the ring. A double suplex from Tsuji & Uemura got an early two count. Uemura applied a Boston Crab, but Tenzan was able to get the ropes and finally gain some control of his match.
A series of headbutts was followed by a tag to Nagata, who went for an armbreaker. Kojima got the next tag, and he’d just stomp Uemura down into the corner. Tenzan tagged back in and nailed a headbutt followed by a brainbuster.
Tsuji saved the match, and Uemura would fight free to get a tag with a dropkick. Tsuji came in and would miss a jumping elbow in the corner, before being battered with the machine gun chops of Kojima. Kojima would be hit with a scoop slam and a running dropkick for a two count.
Tsuji went for a spear, only for Kojima to counter and hit a Koji-Cutter. Nagata got a tag, but was cut down with a spear which allowed Kidd to tag in. He’d hit a big dropkick, before calling for his allies to rush Kojima in the corner and set up a bodyslam.
They’d follow up with strikes on the mat, but Tenzan broke the pinfall up. Kidd went for the Double Underhook Suplex, but it was fought off. Nagata & Kidd traded blows, until Nagata ended this with Nagata Lock II.
Young Lions & Veterans is a common opener for a reason. It’s a great way for the veterans to pass down some knowledge, and it gets the young lions fired up which leads to great matches. This was no exception, as despite an obvious finish, it was entertaining until the very end. Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) & Toa Henare vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Jay White)
FinJuice took a chunk of global Bullet Club glory, when they won the Impact Wrestling Tag Team Championships off of Gallows & Anderson, and now David Finlay is building to a quarter finals match with Jay White. He’s got Robinson as always, and Henare too as he looks to start picking away at Jay White.
White would start with Finlay, but take time to flex and show off his body. Jado on commentary gave him a 100. White would finally get into the match and counter a running Finlay with some heavy forearm shots. Finlay looked for the stunner, but was shoved off.
White would have to deal with Robinson after the tag was made, and the Impact Tag Champions took out everyone except Fale, who they couldn’t suplex or hit with a bulldog before being run down with a shoulder tackle. Owens hit some elbows to the back of Robinson, before tagging in Fale to do some real damage.
At this point, Robinson was well isolated in the BULLET CLUB corner, and in desperate need of a tag. Owens would hit the signature jabs of Robinson, before looking for a Figure Four Leg Lock.
Robinson kicked him off, but as he went through the ropes he tagged White. Finlay got a tag and took out White a neckbreaker, before hitting the diving european uppercut. White fought back with a DDT, before nailing Bladebuster.
Finlay dodged a backdrop and hit a backbreaker, before tagging in Henare. Fale would get the tag from White, and would find himself alongside Owens to help. Owens hit the knee strike and Fale the Grenade Launcher for the win.
The sections with White & Finlay were as good as you’d expect between two former Young Lions who were in the same class. They are set up for their best match yet in two days, as both men have never looked better on the build to a match. The rest of the match was okay as well. Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** 1/2)
Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI & SANADA) vs. The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay)
While undercard tag team matches are often six or eight man tags, that’s not the case with this one. It’s just a straight up tag team match. SANADA will meet Ospreay in the quarter finals, and they brought BUSHI & Jeff Cobb along for this tag team clash! This one has potential to be fantastic, even if Ospreay came into this one with a broken nose.
Speaking of his broken nose, he’d plead with SANADA & BUSHI to please not hit him in the nose. This seemed a reasonable request, and they’d nod in agreement. He’d start up with SANADA, who immediately teased punching him in the nose after applying a headlock.
Ospreay grabbed the arm of SANADA and started to work the arm of SANADA over, before looking for a simple pinfall. SANADA kicked out with a neck bridge, before Ospreay would nearly punch him in the face. Cobb came in, and SANADA would hit a low dropkick on Ospreay before hitting a hurricanrana on Cobb.
BUSHI got a tag, and was able to hit the kick in the corner, before being crotched on the top rope and hit with a big boot. On the outside, Ospreay stomped on the nose of SANADA, but claimed it’s okay because it’s not broken. Cobb got a tag in, and BUSHI was in big trouble as he was ragdolled around the ring.
He’d manage to hit a dropkick to stagger Cobb, before failing to make the tag to SANADA. BUSHI would take on both Ospreay & Cobb with a dropkick & bulldog combo, before diving onto Ospreay outside. Cobb was isolated and the chemistry of L.I.J gave them a chance, and SANADA slapped Ospreay in the nose. BUSHI had a small package countered into a suplex, before Cobb hit a big lariat and Tour Of The Islands.
This one was a very fun little tag match. By no means a classic, but had some fun comedy moments and solid action. Just Ospreay saying ‘Don’t touch my nose you little shit’ after the match made this one worth a watch. Match Rating: 2.75/5 (** 3/4)
Who will win the upcoming Quarter Finals matches? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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