We’re back again with more New Japan Cup action! Tonight’s undercard previews coming tournament matches such as David Finlay vs. YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Yuji Nataga vs. SANADA. We will also see how Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan handle their losses, and much more in the following tag team matches.
David Finlay, Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji vs. CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI)
Kicking this show off is an interesting one, simply due to a budding feud between Tomohiro Ishii & Yota Tsuji. Tsuji is determined to prove himself against someone like Ishii, no matter the cost, and Kidd is in the same boat.. Add in more preview time for Finlay vs. YOSHI-HASHI, and you have a solid start to a show.
Kidd would insist on starting with Ishii, mirroring Tsuji last time. He’d go right to work on Ishii with shoulder tackles before being bludgeoned with strikes and headbutts. Yano & Tsuji got tags, and Yano exposed one of the neutral corners, before taking a shoulder tackle and body splash. Tsuji was thrown into the steel in the ring, as Ishii & Kidd brawled on the outside.
Yano got a near fall before tagging in YOSHI-HASHI to do some damage. After some chops, he gave way to Ishii who started up where he left off yesterday, with some chops right to the throat before applying a single leg crab. Kidd would kick his partner free, but this just pissed Ishii off. He’d tag in YOSHI-HASHI, who got scoop slammed in the middle of the ring.
Finlay got a tag into the match, and hit a diving uppercut on YOSHI-HASHI, before being hit with a rope-hung front dropkick. Kidd got a tag from Finlay, nailed some heavy chops on YOSHI-HASHI. Tsuji & Finlay got involved and helped set up a brainbuster and boston crab, but YOSHI-HASHI would hold on until he made the ropes.
YOSHI-HASHI fought off the Double Underhook Suplex, but Kidd countered a suplex into a Small Package for a near fall. Kidd would find himself trapped in the Butterfly Lock, with no choice but to tap out when YOSHI-HASHI grabbed the double wrist lock as well.
We are getting to see CHAOS in rare heel form lately, with tonight showing a meaner and more aggressive side of all three men, including YOSHI-HASHI. The Young Lions were excellent here, arguably the stars of this match.
Match Rating: 3.25/5 (*** 1/4)
Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. The United Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay)
The United Empire started this tournament off beautifully, with all three members making it to the second round, but that’s when things went off the rails. O-Khan was taken out by Toru Yano, and Cobb by EVIL. Ospreay is the last one standing, and tonight he starts to prepare for another war with fellow brit, Zack Sabre Jr.
ZSJ & Ospreay started this one with a brawl on the outside, ZSJ being whipped into the barricade and having his jacket slapped across in this face. In the ring, Cobb went to work on Taichi, who decided to choke Cobb and then Great O-Khan, before being double teamed. Taichi would suffer the Iron Claw from O-Khan, but DOUKI evened the odds. Cobb would gain control of this match when he threw Taichi across the ring. Taichi managed a kick to the face, but was batted aside with a lariat. ZSJ & Ospreay got tags and showed their chemistry and speed when ZSJ countered a springboard kick into an ankle lock. Ospreay would end up in a sleeper hold next, but was able to counter out and hit a rolling elbow.
ZSJ quickly grabbed another submission, and Ospreay powered out with a suplex before tagging O-Khan. O-Khan looked as wild as ever after losing his braid, and would maul ZSJ with chops, before ZSJ grabbed his arm and kicked it. DOUKI got a tag, and he’d be outmatched by O-Khan in strikes, so hit a quick DDT.
Taichi helped cut O-Khan down, and DOUKI got the ‘DOUKI CHOKEY’ in, but O-Khan countered with the Iron Claw. DOUKI hit the enzuguri, but was popped up into a slam from Cobb by O-Khan. Taichi & ZSJ made the save, but DOUKI failed to hit Daybreak and fell to the Iron Claw Slam.
Another fantastic undercard tag team match for tonight. This was straight energy from start to finish, all built around the insane chemistry of ZSJ & Ospreay. Save room on your MOTY list for their coming match. O-Khan keeps getting better and better, and looked great tonight.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** 1/2)
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & SHO) & Yuji Nagata vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)
Yuji Nagata is set up to have another great tournament, but he needs to get through SANADA in his next singles match. He’s united with CHAOS to take the fight to L.I.J on the build to this match, which is also seeming to build singles encounters for SHO & BUSHI, as
well as Naito & Okada.
SANADA & Nagata got started up with some chain wrestling, Nagata winning out due to his experience edge. Nagata dodged a low dropkick but missed the PK, before BUSHI & SHO got tags. SHO dropped BUSHI with a shoulder tackle, but BUSHI dropped him with a rewind kick.
A sunset flip attempt from BUSHI saw SHO grab an armbar, and start to isolate that left arm. He’d go for a double wrist lock, before tagging Okada. Okada would go to work on BUSHI with an armbreaker, before taking a running hurricanrana and having to face Naito. Naito hit a back elbow and dropkick to the back of the neck, before picking Okada up for a neckbreaker.
Okada dodged the Combinación de Cabrón and set up a quick DDT, planting Naito on his head. A big boot followed, but Naito hit some clubbing elbows to soften Okada up for Destino, only to be countered into a Money Clip. Naito slipped free and took a dropkick before Okada tagged Nagata. Nagata was met with SANADA and they’d trade forearms in the middle of the ring.
SANADA flipped off the middle turnbuckle and hit a dropkick, only to end up getting dropped and put in a crossface, and having to crawl to the ropes. Nagata blocked a TKO attempt and hit the Exploder Suplex before tagging in SHO.
SHO would cut Nagata down with kicks, before hitting a spear and looking for the Deadlift German Suplex. BUSHI & Naito evened the odds and we got an L.I.J triple dropkick, before SANADA looked for Skull End, but SHO countered into a roll up.
SHO would hit a knee strike into a German Suplex, but couldn’t get SANADA up for the Piledriver. SANADA set up another Skull End, but SHO countered into a pinfall before sending SANADA across the ring. SANADA finally locked in Skull End, spun SHO around and fully locked the hold in the middle of the ring for a submission.
Everyone here brought their A-Game tonight, and once again provided another thrilling undercard tag team match. SANADA & SHO showed great chemistry in the final stretch, Nagata did fantastic when he was in, and Naito & Okada found some of their old magic despite Okada’s injuries.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** 1/2)
Will Yuji Nagata be able to beat SANADA in their coming match? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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