It’s already time to say goodbye to the quarter finals of the New Japan Cup, as we have the only two matches left in them tonight. We know that Shingo Takagi vs. EVIL will be one of the semi-final matches, but the other will see the winners of Jay White vs. David Finlay & SANADA vs. Will Ospreay clash. Let’s waste no time, and get right into the action!
BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, EVIL & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)
Speaking of that coming semi-finals clash, EVIL & Shingo Takagi get a chance to find weaknesses in each other in this six man tag team match. This is just the final step in EVIL having to face his former L.I.J teammates, as we’re unlikely to see EVIL vs. BUSHI anytime soon. Expect L.I.J to focus on EVIL here.
Shingo would want to start with EVIL, and EVIL accepted this challenge. Before Shingo, he was the heavy hitter of L.I.J… but tagged Ishimori before they made contact. Shingo went after EVIL on the apron, and Ishimori attacked from behind to little effect. Naito would be tagged in, and tied him up into a submission, trapping the arms and working over the neck with his legs.
Ishimori wiggled to the ropes to get free, but BUSHI got a tag. BUSHI would hit the pendulum kick, but get yanked off the apron by Owens. EVIL rammed Shingo into the barricade and took the ring announcer out on the other side. Back in the ring, BUSHI would be isolated by Chase Owens, before EVIL tagged in to try and do some heavy damage.
BUSHI was able to fight back with a DDT, and made way for Shingo. Shingo would nail heavy strikes on EVIL before dropping both him and Ishimori with a double lariat. Togo held Shingo in place which allowed EVIL to get a cheap shot, and Owens was tagged in.
Naito would meet Owens with Combinación de Cabrón, before taking a pump kick and having Bullet Club swarm him. L.I.J came in to help and Naito nearly pinned Owens in the chaos, before getting him alone and hitting Destino for the win.
This one built the extra needed tension for EVIL vs. Shingo, but accomplished little else. Solid action as expected, but nothing of note. Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** 1/2)
New Japan Cup 2021 Quarter Final Match: David Finlay vs. Jay White
This show started with Yuya Uemura & Gabriel Kidd in a Young Lions clash, a spot that Jay White & David Finlay frequently filled in 2016. White has gone on to become IWGP Heavyweight & United States Champion, but Finlay is yet to claim a singles title. Tonight, we see just how far both men have come, and if Finlay can finally break past White.
Finlay would have to deal with White stalling early on before they’d finally lock up. White grabbed a handful of hair to get an advantage, before throwing some elbow strikes. Finlay dropped White with a dropkick, which sent him to the outside.
Gedo would give White a chance to get his bearings as he distracted Finlay. This worked, and White would drive Finlay into the barricades, ring and steel posts. Back in the ring, White hit some shoulder tackles in the corner before a big backbreaker. A tight waist lock would be applied, but Finlay broke free and hit a jumping neckbreaker. White slipped back to the outside, but Finlay vaulted over the top rope to keep the pressure on.
Finlay still ended up thrown into the barricade, but managed to give White a taste of his own medicine before bringing this one back to the ring. Gedo tripped Finlay up, and Juice Robinson carried him away like a cranky toddler in need of a nap. White would be fine on his own, and hit a DDT on Finlay.
A running back elbow would be followed by Bladebuster, which got a near fall. White would apply the Boston Crab, a nice call back to their Young Lion days, before moving into the Liontamer. Finlay made it to the ropes, and was able to drop White with a spinning back drop.
White caught a charging Finlay with a flatliner before quickly hitting a German Suplex, before setting up a Uranage with some knee strikes to the midsection. Finlay kept fighting, but was dumped over the top rope with an exploder suplex, taken back in and planted with the Uranage. White heard Gedo’s voice in his head calling for the Kiwi Crusher, and promptly nailed it for a near fall.
Finlay was driven into the turnbuckle, but was able to fight off the sleeper suplex attempt and hit a Blue Thunder Bomb. He’d look for Acid Drop, but get thrown into the corner once again. Back to his feet, Finlay would outstrike White and nail a backbreaker for a near fall. White blocked a stunner attempt, but took a lariat and Trash Panda for another near fall.
Finlay was close to victory, and a counter of Blade Runner into a pinfall got a close one, but the Stunner was countered, and he was spiked on his head by a sleeper suplex. He’d fight off the Blade Runner attempt and hit a Stunner followed by an acid drop, and move to the semi-finals by beating an old rival!
These two showed their years of chemistry in this match, and it was great. White plays a perfect heel, but this also played into the story that he really needs Gedo to win big matches. Finlay was the perfect underdog, and his fight from underneath created a surprising win. Match Rating: 4/5 (****)
New Japan Cup 2021 Quarter Final Match: SANADA vs. Will Ospreay
After overcoming Zack Sabre Jr. in a match of the year contender, Will Ospreay has all the momentum he needs to get to the semi-finals. However, SANADA is not someone to look past. They’ve previously met in the 2019 G1, in a highly rated clash, putting expectations high for this match tonight.
Ospreay dashed right in and missed a dropkick, prompting SANADA to look for a standing moonsault. This saw Ospreay flee to the outside, where SANADA faked him out with a dive. Back in the ring, SANADA teased punching the broken nose of Ospreay, before opting for a kick to the mid-section.
Ospreay took SANADA to the outside and drove him into the barricade, and waited in the ring to strike. A scoop slam followed, before Ospreay threw a fast kick to the back and hit a backbreaker. Ospreay would stretch SANADA out, but too close to the ropes for any sustained damage.
SANADA was pulled onto the apron and hit with a knee drop, and again Ospreay would wait in the ring to attack. Ospreay was able to set up the springboard forearm, getting a near fall. SANADA grabbed at the nose of Ospreay, which served to anger Ospreay and take him off his game.
A big dropkick sent Ospreay to the outside, but he had the dive scouted. SANADA was able to land on the apron, and make his way safely back into the ring for a Frankensteiner. The TKO would be fought off, and Ospreay came back with a handspring enziguri.
He’d corner SANADA and attack the nose with his boot, and end up getting punched in his. SANADA applied the Paradise Lock, and propped Ospreay against the corner pad and crushed his face into it. A backdrop followed for a near fall.
Ospreay fought back with a rolling elbow, which sent SANADA to the apron. He’d come back in with a springboard attempt, but missed. Ospreay set up Stormbreaker using a Spanish Fly type move, but that was countered into the TKO. SANADA missed a moonsault, and Ospreay hit a Spanish Fly in the middle of the ring.
Ospreay hit a Hidden Blade off the top rope, before nailing SANADA with a powerbomb in the middle of the ring. Stormbreaker was countered again, and SANADA hit a Tiger Suplex for a two count. Ospreay met SANADA on the top rope as he set up a moonsault, and set up the cheeky nandos kick and facebuster, getting a two count.
The elbow was exposed, but SANADA still had fight in him. He’d apply a dragon sleeper and while Ospreay slipped free and went for the OsCutter, SANADA was determined. Ospreay used the corner pad to get free, but took a rolling solebutt kick before finally applying the Skull End.
SANADA had Ospreay out cold, but instead of accepting the submission he went for the moonsault, and hit the knees of Ospreay on the way down. Ospreay went for Stormbreaker, but needed to wear SANADA down even more.
The hook kick would be the set up for OsCutter, but SANADA countered into the European Clutch for a near fall. Ospreay fired back with a rolling elbow and poisonrana, hit the Oscutter, Hidden Blade and Stormbreaker for the win.
The most intense game of ‘Got Your Nose’ you’ll ever see, with a damn good wrestling match in between all of that. Ospreay & SANADA have amazing chemistry, and are now two for two in having great singles matches. They brought the best out of each other, but in the end, SANADA got cocky and went up high when he should have kept the submission. That one mistake was all that gave Ospreay the win, that’s how close this one was. Match Rating: 4.75/5 (**** 3/4)
Who will win in the coming David Finlay vs. Will Ospreay match? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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