Day 2 of the New Japan Cup! We get a grandpa fight and Okada hopefully gets to inflict some vengeance on Gedo!
Let’s all be fair here, most of us know the Nagata and Suzuki match is the main one to watch for wrestling quality and not knowing who’s going to win. I will be interested to see if Uemura gets the upset, but we don’t start getting to real 50/50 match ups until next week’s round 1 matches.
With all that said, let’s get to the show!
- Gabriel Kidd vs Taiji Ishimori: Taiji wins via Hammerlock Crossface @8:50 – ** ¼
- Yuya Uemura vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Kanemaru wins via Deep Impact @9:30 – ***
- EVIL, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto, SHO, YOH & YOSHI-HASHI: Goto wins via GTR @12:15 – *** ¼
- Minoru Suzuki vs Yuji Nagata: Nagata wins via Backdrop Hold @20:35 – **** ¼
- Gedo vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Cobra Clutch @15:30 – ***
Gabriel Kidd vs Taiji Ishimori
Now, last year certain Young Lions like Ren Narita and Shota Umino proved that upsets could happen, but Gabriel isn’t anywhere near that caliber. This was a match where Taiji dominated, made a few El Phantasmo references to keep his name relevant to fans, with a small hope spot from the Young Lion. Too bad for him that anything he could’ve done to raise the quality of the match, was dashed when he nearly botched catching Taiji mid Dropkick to transition into a Boston Crab.
A decent enough match, just very one sided and showing a lot of points Gabriel needs to improve on.
Yuya Uemura vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Now this was a little more believable. Yuya brought the fight to Kanemaru immediately and had early control before Kanemaru whips him into the barricade and slows the match down a little. Kanemaru eats a lot of offense and insulting kicks, so he fires back up.
Big knockdown, gorgeous Springboard Swan Dive, but only for a 2 count. Yuya then pulls off a great locomotion cradle pinning attempt that nearly looks to be the icing on the cake, but Kanemaru kicks out. After getting his attempt to cheat stifled by the referee, Kanemaru has to win like a normal person, so a nice Reverse DDT and then Deep Impact puts down the Young Lion.
Yuya has a lot of potential, and could be something special in the future.
EVIL, BUSHI, SANADA & Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto, SHO, YOH & YOSHI-HASHI
Much like the 8 man from the last show, this highlights a few coming matches on top of reminding us about story before quarantine. Goto and EVIL were trading wins and blows before the time off, YOH and BUSHI have a tournament match, SHO and Shingo have an upcoming match and history dating back to last year’s Best of Super Junior tournament.
The problem here, unlike Suzuki-Gun versus Tanahashi’s squad, is the personalities are too cool for school. You get the most fire out of Shingo and SHO, but Shingo is more amused at goading a younger version of himself. Everyone else is just stoic or laid back, so there’s not a lot to sink your teeth into, unless you like the characters. Great great stuff.
Goto needed to get the win for his team here to help build momentum, and SHO beating Shingo in the tournament would be a good way to establish a stop gap NEVER opponent for him. A fun match, nothing overly notable, just a few threads to play with.
Minoru Suzuki vs Yuji Nagata
We start off hot with the first few minutes just trading forearm shivers. Suzuki goes for a Knee Bar at some point, but then return to a few strikes. When the match rolls to the outside, Marty Asami tries to stop Suzuki from using a chair, but he just chucks the ref and waylays Nagata. Then he locks in a Wristlock through the metal barricade. Nagata beats the count, but is worse for wear.
Suzuki doesn’t stop dissecting there, as he wraps the legs around the post and locks in a Cloverleaf before Asami counts him off. At this point, Nagata is getting annoyed, and we see Nagata bow up and the strike again. Nagata gets the best of the exchange, punctuating it with his Running Corner Boot.
This match was really just special. Two veteran wrestlers in more of a King’s Road style match of hard strikes and a lot of story. The forearms turn to slaps as the match continues to rage, Nagata’s lip is busted open at this point. Suzuki thinks he’s got the match won, but Nagata fights off the Gotch. Suzuki runs the ropes, tries to go for his quick turnaround Sleeper, but Nagata catches him with a Backdrop Hold for the pinfall!
Gedo vs Kazuchika Okada
So let’s be serious here, no one thought Gedo had a shot unless there was shenanigans…AND BOY WERE THERE. Gedo comes out in a sling, but neither Okada nor Red Shoes are buying it. They force him to take it off, to reveal a can of cold spray, then Okada knocks him down and finds brass knuckles in his jacket. But as Red Shoes is dispatching the knuckles, Gedo had a wrench tapped to his ribs.
Gedo and Okada are proving a lot of familiarity, as well as, Gedo didn’t teach Okada all of his tricks. After the socket wrench attacks, Gedo gets a table and uses that a few times. Every time Okada goes for the Million Dollar Dropkick, Gedo holds the ropes or side steps. After a ref bump and low blow, Gedo reveals more brass knuckles tapped to the ring behind the ring skirt. He pops Okada with the knuckles, stirs Red Shoes and does the Gedo Clutch, but only for 2!
Jado shows up to give Gedo more knuckles and distract the referee, but finally Okada gets ahead of the cheating. Dodge, Dropkick to the back of the bead, normal Dropkick, wipe out Jado, Tombstone and Cobra Clutch for the finish. First time Okada has broken out that Cobra Clutch in a while.
This match told a fun story, and it was entertaining for how old southern American style heel Gedo was playing.
Overall Score: 7.5/10
This show was better than Day 1, purely because there was no Jado/Yano match. We also got the first really great match of the tournament, between Nagata and Suzuki. Okada getting a measure of revenge on Gedo and Jado was a nice touch to end the show.
All in all, no real complaints. With the next show not being until the 22nd, we’ve got some time to let this all sink in. Here’s how round 2 for this quadrant will shake out:
- Kazuchika Okada vs Yuji Nagata (old Mr. NJPW vs the new Ace, should be great)
- Taiji Ishimori vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Pro Wrestling NOAH showdown! Kanemaru is the most decorated Junior in NOAH history and Ishimori was no slouch himself. History should lend to a solid match)
Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does that hurt the show?
Kazuchika Okada finally gets his hands on EVIL, Jay White gets his “get right match” against Ishii after the last month of issues, and just generally a lot of feud building. The obvious thread is all of the CHAOS versus Bullet Club going on, but I don’t think any of us are excited for Tanga Loa and YOSHI-HASHI.
We also have The United Empire kicking things off to help give Great O-Khan more momentum going into his match against Hiroshi Tanahashi.
Even if the card seems a little flat, maybe we get surprised?
- The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi: Ospreay wins via Oscutter @10:22 – * ½
- Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI: Loa wins via Ape Shit @12:58 – (-*)
- Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto: Goto wins via GTR @6:39 – ** ¼
- KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens: Yano retains @12:50 – ** ½
- Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii: White wins via Blade Runner @25:42 – ****
- Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo: Okada wins via Rainmaker @28:11 – *** ¼
The United Empire (Will Ospreay, Jeff Cobb & Great O-Khan) vs TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
So we saw a lot of dynamics that we’ve grown to expect. Tenzan struggles to not use the Mongolian Chops, O-Khan continues to prove himself a credible enough threat to Tanahashi, but this was a sloppy match. Between an early awkward exchange that made it seem like O-Khan didn’t know how to sell Kojima’s flurry, Ospreay slipped on the rope when he was coming in toward the end; even though he kinda saved it, it was obviously screwed up.
Interactions were clumsy, the match never got exciting and really just did what these kind of matches usually do, but not even as well as most Young Lions.
Tanga Loa w/Jado vs YOSHI-HASHI
Welp, this match was straight garbage. The sad thing about this match was that Loa did a pretty solid job at trying to vocally antagonize HASHI and keep things interesting, but HASHI was in slow motion. HASHI would visibly confirm things too much, his moves were bad, kept trying to rally the crowd but they didn’t respond; so there were a ton of times he waited a beat to see if the crowd would ever come alive, and they never really did.
Tanga Loa was his usual self with better verbal interactions. He kept trying to get HASHI to fight and prove what he had instead of cursing, but HASHI just fell into the waste of space mannerisms he was known for 99% of his career. He should go back to Loose Explosion on his tights, because he is the drizzling shits.
So Tama comes out to distract Hashi allowing for Loa to turn the situation and hit Ape Shit. Bullet Club beatdown ensues, Goto runs out, clears out Loa…and the referee decides to just start the match since Goto and Tama were supposed to wrestle anyway!
Tama Tonga vs Hirooki Goto
A quick start is stifled by the malaise that is known as Castle Attack so far. Tama dumps out Goto, Goto starts reviewing his life choices and why he’s here today, and then spends enough time on the outside to build a bird house before Jado eventually limps over and hits him with a kendo stick shot. Like…why? Goto saw it coming. Stevie Wonder saw it coming. The terrible decisions of YOSHI-HASHI have polluted Goto’s mind as well!
When things get back into the ring, at least Tama and Goto are good wrestlers. Tama hits the Tongan Twist and Veleno, but a missed Stinger Splash and countered Gun Stun gave Goto some space. Tama tried for Gun Stun again, but he got caught, Goto throws him on his shoulders Ushigoroshi style, but drops him into the GTR and lands it! So a surprising GTR gives Goto a victory from the jaws of defeat, and at least the in-ring action was serviceable enough to get the highest rating of the show so far.
I really hope the back half blows my socks off, because this is sad so far.
KOPW 2021 Trophy: YTR Strap Match: Toru Yano (c) vs Chase Owens
Now the gimmick here is instead of touch the 4 corner pads, you have to remove the 4 corner pads. So it seems like the person to remove the last pad, will be the winner.
We get a mostly expected Yano gimmick match. He made small references to his earlier gimmick of being a cheating, violent, always disqualified heel; when he started whipping Chase early and being more aggressive than we usually see. But Chase was clever using the outside to a great advantage. Yano was forced to go after Chase because Chase was going to take the pads off from outside, and then used Yano’s momentum against him by ramming him into posts and barricades.
The last pad was solid comedy where both took turns knocking the other out, too far from the last pad. So we had some goofy “drag the dead body” spots. Chase nearly had things won until Yano came to, pulled him close for Oni Koroshi! Yano makes it to the corner, takes it off and the God of all KOPW continues!
Jay White vs Tomohiro Ishii
Ishii has had White’s number lately, and just added to the broken status of his mental health after the Wrestle Kingdom loss. Within the first minute or so, Jay looked to have tweaked his hamstring, and that added an interesting layer to his early attack. But much like the strategic genius that he is, he lays Ishii over the barricade, and Ishii starts selling a rib injury.
Everything in this match mattered, the leg and ribs came back to play into aspects of the finishing sequence. Ishii was slow transitioning between some of his power moves since he was hampered with the rib injury, and Jay got caught a bit more than usual because his quickness was taken away.
A huge Avalanche Brainbuster after a Jumping Headbutt nearly gave Ishii the win, but a slow cover as he wanted the high stack, kept Jay alive. They fight back and forth, then we get a great counter wrestling sequence to finish the match. Ishii slips suplexes and Blade Runners, Jay slips the Brainbuster and eats a strike. It was up, down, back and forth, just hard to call until Jay finally slips a hold and catches Ishii with Blade Runner for the win!
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) February 27, 2021
THANK GOD we got a match worth watching! Great pacing, solid story, this is something to watch.
Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL w/Dick Togo
Ugh, okay so we know what we get with EVIL any more right? Okada tried to eliminate Dick Togo early when he hit Double DDTs on the ramp, but then the trek back to the ring was awkward. Okada bringing EVIL back to the ring, was a microcosm of the match, where it was just very slowly paced, inactive and not a good idea.
Part of the point in this match was for Okada to finally get closure on EVIL beating him during last year’s New Japan Cup; but he wanted to drag out the old aggressive EVIL. EVIL fired up late, and the crowd responded excitedly expecting something good, but it was short lived. Plus, we have Okada being a complete moron. He was shoved into Red Shoes, fights off Dick and lays EVIL out and goes for the stupid Money Clip. He goes for a submission after he was driven into the referee. This is a gap in logic so embarrassing, just so Dick could interfere again with the garrote.
All the garrote did was possibly foreshadow when Okada Tombstoned Dick, and then had a moment where he considered using the weapon. This is either a throw away for Okada to continue to be the Golden Boy, or it’s a hint that darker things are on the horizon for Okada.
Either way, Fire/Thunder Driver lead to the Rainmaker again, and we’re finally at a point where Okada is beating people with the move that started it all! No more Money Clip! It looks bad and it’s just sad.
Overall Score: 4.25/10
At least we got one match really worth watching out of this show. Jay White versus Tomohiro Ishii is truly the only thing to watch from this whole show.
I don’t know how some people didn’t find the YOSHI-HASHI embarrassing, but it completely was. The opener was sloppy to the point of uselessness. Tama and Goto was just flat given how the story was being told. Then we’ve got the gimmicky goofball match being a highlight before the semi-main and main events. I’ve seen more salient card structure and match booking from Dragon Gate during the waning days of ANTIAS.
Tomorrow has to be better because if it’s worse, then I think 2015 TNA would be happy to know they aren’t the bottom of the barrel anymore. This show was so embarrassing I think I’m just gonna end the article with the hockey coach from Letterkenny:
Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (2/26/21)
It’s a Retro Premier grudge match!
Is 205 Live still Tony Nese’s show?
Tony Nese helped Ariya Daivari beat August Grey last 205 Live, but now has to put up or shut up! Will the Premier Athlete make RetroAG get with the times?
- Ever-Rise VS Curt Stallion & Mansoor; Stallion & Mansoor win.
- Tony Nese w/ Ariya Daivari VS August Grey w/ Jake Atlas; Grey wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Ever-Rise VS Curt Stallion & Mansoor!
Don’t misunderstand, the truce and friendship of #BollyRise is still strong! But for taking on the Lonestar and still undefeated Star of Saudi Arabia, it’s time to go with what’s been proven to work! Will the classic combo of Matt Marthel & Chase Parker end Mansoor’s growing undefeated streak?
The teams sort out and Stallion starts with Marthel. Fans rally for Stallion but there is an Ever-Rise Rules section. Stallion and Marthel tie up, break up, and Marthel shouts at “Cowboy Curt” to bring it! They tie up again, Marthel puts Stallion on ropes, and “Clean break, no problem!” Stallion smirks as he and Marthel circle. Stallion gets a headlock, Marthel powers out and the two ram shoulders! Marthel shoves Stallion but Stallion ROCKS Marthel! Stallion hits a headlock takedown, grinds Marthel down, and gives the trash talk back as Marthel tries to kip out. Marthel powers up, powers out, but Stallion ducks and doges to CLOBBER Marthel! Cover, ONE, but Stallion has a facelock!
Mansoor tags in, takes the hand-off and wrenches Marthel to an armlock. Marthel powers up, whips Mansoor away, then drop toeholds Mansoor to a chinlock. Tag to Parker but Mansoor gets away. Mansoor and Parker reset, circle, and tie up. Parker snapmares but Mansoor rolls right to his feet. Fans rally, they tie up again, and go around. Parker gets a headlock, Mansoor powers up but Parker keeps hold of the hold. Mansoor keeps trying but Praker grinds the hold harder. Mansoor powers up a third time to atomic drop! Mansoor hits the headlock takeover now and he grinds Parker down! Marthel shouts, Parker headscissors but Mansoor kips out to headlock takeover again!
Parker endures the grind, pushes with forearms, then gets up. Stallion tags in, he mugs Parker and headlocks to hit a takeover of his own. Parker pushes Stallion’s face with forearms, fights his way up, and powers out, only for Stallion to duck and CLOBBER Parker with a back elbow! Cover, TWO! Stallion clamps onto Parker’s arm, wrenches, tags Mansoor in and Mansoor gets a facelock. Mansoor snap suplexes, covers, TWO! Mansoor clamps onto Parker with a chinbar and armlock. Fans rally, Parker fights up, pulls hair and stomps Mansoor’s foot! Tag to Marthel, Ever-Rise tries a double keylock but Mansoor stays up! Mansoor flips through to DOUBLE ARM-DRAG!
Mansoor atomic drops Marthel! Parker flies in but into an atomic drop! Stallion tags in, double dropkicks send Ever-Rise out! Fans fire up with Mansoor and Stallion, and the Bollywood Boyz run out to cool things off! They say they can still do this as Bolly-Rise! Parker goes back in, Samir & Suni keep Marthel calm, but Stallion gets Parker with a waistlock slam! Stallion facelocks, Mansoor tags in, and they mug Parker. Mansoor headlocks, grinds Parker, but Parker throws hands to get a headlock of his own. Mansoor powers out, drops, Parker hurdles but Mansoor hurdles! Marthel tags in, Parker fakes Mansoor out, and Marthel POWERBOMBS Mansoor down!
Mansoor is dazed, Marthel stomps away on him at the ropes. Marthel drags Mansoor up to bump off buckles and stomp away! The ref counts, Marthel gets mad as he lets off, and Marthel throws hands on Mansoor. Tag to Parker, they wrench Mansoor’s arms for a double shoulder tackle, and double fist drops! Parker covers, TWO! Parker drags Mansoor up while the Singhs coach them through. Parker throws hands to keep Mansoor down, but Mansoor avoids the elbow drop! And the second one! Mansoor ROCKS Parker with an uppercut, slingshots up and over but Marthel tags in! Mansoor completes the sunset flip but Marthel stomps him down! Cover, TWO!
Marthel drags Mansoor up, bumps him off buckles and throws forearms. Mansoor hits back on Ever-Rise! Mansoor hurries for his corner but Marthel trips him up BOOYAH ELBOW FLOPS as Mansoor moves! Hot tag to Stallion! Stallion shoves Marthel out, fires off on Parker and CHOPS him! Stallion sends Parker into Marthel, rolls Parker up, TWO! BASEMENT DROPKCIK! Stallion DIVES onto the Bollywood Boyz! Then he goes up, FALLING SPALSH onto Parker’s knees! Marthel tags in, but runs into a cradle! TWO!! Tag to Mansoor and he goes up to leap! Marthel gets under, comes back but Mansoor elbows him! Mansoor tries the Bulldog but Parker saves Marthel from it!
Marthel tags Parker, Ever-Rise brings Mansoor up and they give him a SWEET TASTE! But Stallion RUNNING HEADBUTTS Marthel! But Parker BOOTS Stallion! The Bollywood Boyz want Parker to use the clapboard but the ref sees it! Mansoor rolls Parker up, O’Conner roll AND BRIDGE! Mansoor and Stallion win!
Winners: Mansoor & Curt Stallion, by pinfall
The Saudi Arabian Star’s streak continues! Ever-Rise blames Bollywood for that one but the Singhs defend they were just trying to help! Is Bolly-Rise doomed to fail?
Tony Nese VS August Grey!
August Grey helps Jake Atlas get one over on Daivari Dinero, so the Premier Athlete helps Daivari get the gold chains back. Then Nese helps again so Daivari could clobber Grey into next week. Of course, last week is now this week, and Nese looks to send August into the Fall! Will the purple ‘n’ orange still belong to the OG? Or will it soon be Retro AG’s?
But surprise! If Nese has Daivari, Grey can have Atlas ringside! Will the muscle of El Monte keep the Persian Lion from stacking the deck in Nese’s favor? The bell rings, Nese and Grey circle, and they tie up. Grey wrenches an arm, clamps onto the shoulder, but Nese rolls and trips Grey up. Nese gets a leg, ties it up with the other, and has a seated figure four deathlock. Nese adds a chinlock but Grey fights free of that. Grey pops free of the leg lock and clamps onto Nese’s arm again. Nese fights up, puts Grey in a corner, but the ref counts. Nese lets off but RAMS into Grey! The ref reprimands but Nese ROCKS Grey with a right!
Nese CHOPS Grey to another corner, then throws a forearm! “I’m the Premier Athlete!” Fans boo, but Grey puts Nese in the corner to stomp away! Grey ROCKS Nese, fans cheer, but Nese reverses the whip, only for Grey to RANA and CLOBBER Nese! Nese gets around, but Grey counter punches him already! Grey throws more haymakers, keeps Nese up and whips him to the corner hard! Grey then scoops Nese to SIDEWALK SLAM Nese! Cover, TWO! Daivari swipes at Grey but Atlas storms over. The ref tells them both to cool off, Grey goes out to have Atlas back down. Grey tells Daivari he’ll get his. Nese runs over but Grey dodges the baseball slide to ROCK him!
Grey grabs Nese and glares at Daivari. “You having a good time?!” Grey puts Nese in, tells Daivari to watch him beat Nese with a smile on his face. But Daivari keeps distracting Grey, and Nese hits a BULLDOG HOTSHOT! Nese then goes up and PREMIER TRIANGLES! Cover, TWO! Nese clamps onto Grey with a neck wrench and Daivari talks trash. Fans boo while Nese clubs and toys with Grey. Nese drags Grey up, CHOPS him, and Daivari is the only one cheering as Nese brings Grey out to CHOP him off his feet! Nese flexes, fans boo, and Atlas coaches Grey. Nese pulls Grey against ropes to then KICK him in the chest!
Grey sputters, swipes at Daivari, but Nese drags him up. Grey blocks a buckle bump to give a buckle bump! Grey counter punches Nese, goes up and walks the tightrope for a CROSSBODY! Fans fire up as Grey runs in to CHOP Nese in the corner! Grey whips corner to corner, Nese reverses to slide and pump handle scoop, for a POWERSLAM! Cover, TWO!! Nese grows frustrated but he puts on the body scissors! Nese squeezes, Grey fights and pries at the hold, and Grey is free! Nese hurries after Grey to get a rear bearhug! Grey elbows Nese over and over, is free again, and ROCK Nese with haymakers and CHOPS! Nese back kicks, knee lifts and whips, but Grey returns to LARIAT!
Grey starts to rally, and he whips Nese to ropes. Nese kicks, but runs into a JAWBRAEKER, to a NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as Grey hits the back suplex with a little extra! Cover, TWO! Atlas and Grey are both a bit surprised, but Grey drags Nese to a drop zone. Grey climbs up top and Atlas fires up, but Daivari RAMS Atlas into steel steps! The ref reprimands Daivari but Nese SHORYUKENS Grey! Nese throws Grey off the top, goes up top himself, and leaps for a 450 only to flop! Grey gets Nese in, Daivari distracts again! Nese throws Grey out hard, but Atlas trips and DECKS Daivari! Nese FLIES to take out Atlas! But Grey DIVES to do the same to Nese!
Grey puts Nese in, fans fire up, and Grey chicken wings Nese! He turns Nese, runs up the corner, and hits the SO MUCH PRETTIER!! Cover, Grey wins!!
Winner: August Grey, by pinfall
Retro takes us back, and he takes down a former Cruiserweight Champion!! But things aren’t over between the OG and AG, will there be more in this series to come?
A very fun episode, but certainly more exciting in the main event. That is how it should be, but it was a bit easy to see that Ever-Rise was losing. For one, that’s the story going on with them and Bollywood Boyz, though I did like that it was the Bollywood Boyz overdoing the help that cost Ever-Rise. The other reason was Mansoor is still building an undefeated streak, and he might not lose until it’s finally his turn to challenge for a Cruiserweight Championship. And I say “a” because obviously there’s still the issue of Escobar VS Devlin for one true Cruiserweight Champion, which may not happen for a long time. Grey VS Nese was very good, even with Daivari still getting involved, because at least Atlas was around to counter him in the end. I’m still seeing a tag team blow-off before they all move on to something else.
My Score: 8.1/10
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