With every passing day, the field of the 2021 New Japan Cup shrinks some more. Last time, Minoru Suzuki & Hirooki Goto were taken out of the field, and tonight we have two more tournament matches. But first, we have some undercard tag team action, with potential storylines and feuds with the likes of Tomohiro Ishii brewing. Let’s get into this first half of the action!
David Finlay, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI)
The last two nights of the New Japan Cup saw a similar match, David Finlay & some Young Lions vs. CHAOS. Yota Tsuji started a trend of Young Lions trying to break Tomohiro Ishii, and tonight Yuya Uemura might be the latest to try and fail.
Finlay & YOSHI-HASHI would start this one up with some chain wrestling, with Finlay slipping in a few pinfall attempts. He’d block a kick from YOSHI-HASHI and go for a stunner, but have to opt for a dropkick. Uemura got a tag alongside Yano, but took a cheap shot at Ishii who looked at him like he was bitten by a fly. Yano exposed a corner and threw Uemura into it, and Tsuji as well
Ishii got a tag, and Uemura fired up at this challenge, beating Ishii into a corner with chops, only to be dropped with a single forearm. He was taken to the CHAOS corner, beat down and YOSHI-HASHI got the tag. Uemura was drained after throwing strikes with Ishii, so YOSHI-HASHI was able to dominate the Young Lion with strikes of his own.
The chest of Uemura was red but he made it to the corner for a tag. Finlay took YOSHI-HASHI down with a running uppercut, before hitting one off the middle rope. YOSHI-HASHI came back with Headhunter, before trading blows in the middle of the ring. Finlay nailed a backbreaker, and tagged out to Tsuji who was met by Ishii.
Tsuji dropped Ishii with a shoulder tackle and a suplex, but only got a two count. Uemura helped out when Yano came in and hit a backdrop on Ishii, working together with Tsuji to get a two count. Tsuji hit a powerslam for a very near fall, before falling to a lariat for the match.
This little sprint of aggression in CHAOS as Yano & YOSHI-HASHI take the lead of Ishii has been great. Once again, Ishii vs. Tsuji was a hard hitting highlight, and hopefully we can get a full singles match from them soon. This one did little to build tomorrows Finlay vs. YOSHI-HASHI match sadly. Match Rating: 2.75/5 (** 3/4)
Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi) vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & KENTA)
The mind games and toughness of KENTA have led to Minoru Suzuki being taken out of the tournament, but tonight he gets his hands on BULLET CLUB once again. Add in DOUKI & Taichi, and this one will be a fight.
As expected, this one didn’t get full ring introductions. It broke down into a quick brawl, Suzuki going after KENTA to pick up right where they left off yesterday. Fale & Taichi got into the ring, and Taichi tried to choke Fale to no success. DOUKI ran in to help, but was closely followed by Owens. Taichi somehow briefly won out, before having Fale crush him in the corner. Fale took a gamiguri, and Suzuki got a tag alongside KENTA. They’d trade blows in the middle of the ring, before Suzuki took KENTA down for the PK. A running boot in the corner was followed by KENTA doing the same. KENTA would weaken Suzuki with forearms, but failed to set up Go To Sleep.
They’d trade more forearm blows until KENTA hit a DDT and tagged in Chase Owens. Owens claimed to be a real shooter, but his gun taunting saw Suzuki try to break his fingers. DOUKI tagged in and hit a big running lariat, before making way for Taichi who helped set up Daybreak, which DOUKI moved into the DOUKI-CHOKEY. Fale broke this hold up, Owens hit a V-Trigger and Package Piledriver for the win.
This one was basically just a repeat of the best parts of Suzuki vs. KENTA, with some extra bodies involved. A solid change of pace for the undercard, as heel vs. heel matches will tend to be. Match Rating: 2.75/5 (** 3/4)
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada & SHO) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)
We’ve seen this match quite a few times over the last few days, but now we know who is truly tougher between Goto & Takagi. Despite this, they meet again tonight in six man tag action with the usual partners.
Shingo & Goto started this one up by just crashing into each other with shoulder tackles before trading forearm shots. Goto won out and CHAOS took the other two members of L.I.J down before beating Shingo like a drum. When Shingo finally got back up, he tagged in Naito who went to work on the neck of Goto with back elbow strikes, before tagging in BUSHI.
BUSHI maintained control long enough to tag in Shingo, who hit a big right hand to the jaw of Goto. Naito choked Goto in the corner, before Goto fought free and dropped Shingo with a lariat. Okada & Naito got in, and Okada hit a running back elbow before setting up the DDT. He couldn’t get the neckbreaker, but Naito could. Combinación de Cabrón nailed it’s mark, before Naito hit another neckbreaker.
BUSHI tagged in and dove onto Okada with a dropkick, only to be hit with a flapjack soon after. SHO tagged in, cut BUSHI down with some kicks, before also hitting some armbreakers. L.I.J swarmed SHO to even the odds, BUSHI getting a two count after a backstabber. SHO countered a cradle pin to get a two count, before hitting the deadlift German Suplex. Shock Arrow was on the mind of SHO, and he’d nail it for the win.
We’ve been getting the same match between these six men for days now, but it’s still fun to watch. Just solid but predictable action from bell to bell. Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** 1/2)
Could SHO be first in line to face El Desperado for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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