Simply the best of New Japan Cup’s first week back!
NJPW is back and brings us the tournament we were all hoping for! The New Japan Cup 2020 begins with simply the best!
NOTE: NJPW no longer wants to feed AXS TV now that it is with Anthem and Impact Wrestling. But never fear, I will cover NJPW in the spirit of AXS in providing the most important matches of the show.
- 6/16/2020 – Hiromu Takahashi VS Tomoaki Honma; Hiromu wins and advances to the next round.
- 6/16/2020 – Tomohiro Ishii VS El Desperado; Ishii wins and advances to the next round.
- 6/17/2020 – Yuji Nagata VS Minoru Suzuki; Nagata wins and advances to the next round.
- 6/17/2020 – Kazuchika Okada VS Gedo; Okada wins and advances to the next round.
PLAY BY PLAY
Hiromu Takahashi VS Tomoaki Honma!
The Ticking Time Bomb sadly could not have his match against Tetsuya Naito at the Anniversary Show this year, but no matter! He will do everything he can to make it to the finals and win an opportunity at his leader in Los Ingobernables de Japon! But will The Innovator of Lighttube Deathmatches have something to say about that?
The bell rings and Hiromu circles with Honma. They approach, feel out the grapple, but break before coming back. Hiromu headlocks, Honma powers out, and the two collide. Neither falls so Hiromu tires again and again. Homna tries and Hiromu staggers. Honma hits Hiromu again, Hiromu comes back but gets run over! Honma stomps Hiromu then clubs him around. Honma cravats and cranks on Hiromu’s neck. Hiromu endures but Honma snapmares him down then sits him up for a neck crank. Hiromu endures and gets the ropebreak. Honma lets off fast to stomp Hiromu down. Honma brings Hiromu up to throw big forearms and then scoop slam Hiromu down. Honma fires up, runs, but the falling headbutt flops as Hiromu moves!
Hiromu drags Honma up and whips him to a corner. Honma reverse but Hiromu comes back to ram him! Honma stays up but Hiromu runs again to run him over! Hiromu fires up but sadly, there are no fans to join him. Hiromu circles Honma as he sits up. Hiromu brings Honma up to CHOP and CHOP and CHOP! Hiromu whips corner to corner, and hits Honma with a corner clothesline! He snapmares then runs to basement dropkick Honma down! Honma rolls to ropes and out of the ring. Hiromu watches Honma, goes to the apron, and comes around to flying knee Honma down! Hiromu claps but there’s no one to respond live. Honma crawls after Hiromu but Hiromu does a full lap! Hiromu comes back to JOHN WOO Honma into the railing! The speed of the Ticking Time Bomb amazes commentary!
Hiromu leaves Honma behind tot he mercy of the ring count. The count passes 5 of 20 but Honma stands. Hiromu climbs up top but Honma gets in the ring. Hiromu digs a knee into Honma’s chest and the ref counts, but he lets up at 3. Honma gasps for air but Hiromu stomps him. Hiromu drives his knee in again. He stops at 3 and kicks Honma while he’s down. Hiromu brings Honma up to snapmare back down to a headscissor hold! Honma endures but Hiromu pulls on the arms to bring him in deeper! Honma kicks around and reaches, and he kicks his way to the ropebreak! Hiromu has the ref help him get free, and then Hiromu taunts Honma. Honma hits Hiromu but Hiromu doesn’t back down. Hiromu throws forearms on Honma but Honma eggs him on. Hiromu throws harder and harder forearm shots, but Honma turns one into a DDT! Both men are down but stirring.
Honma rises and brings Hiromu up. Hiromu knees low then runs, but into Honma’s elbow! Honma drags Hiromu back up to CHOP! Hiromu staggers to a corner but Honma CHOPS him again! And again! Honma whips Hiromu corner to corner, runs in and forearm smashes! Then hits a bulldog! Honma fires up, runs and drops the headbutt, to flop again! Hiromu mocks Honma, but he fails the falling headbutt, too! Honma rises and brings Hiromu up again. Honma suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hiromu barely escapes but Honma drags him back up again. Honma CHOPS and Hiromu wobbles. Honma CHOPS and CHOPS again, and Hiromu falls to the mat! Honma doesn’t give Hiromu time to rest. Honma goes to scoop, but Hiromu resists! Hiromu throws forearms but Honma gives them back. They brawl back and forth, and are picking up speed!
Hiromu wobbles and Honma eggs him on. Hiromu hits again and again but Honma gives it all back. Honma runs, but Hiromu elbows! Hiromu runs but Honma elbows! Honma runs, and they both collide with clotheslines! They don’t fall so they try again! Honma ducks to GERMAN SUPLEX!! Hiromu flounders to his feet, but catches Honma to a waistlock! Honma fights off the lift, runs, but into a LARIAT! Both men are down again and the commentary is very excited. Honma crawls towards ropes drags himself out to the apron. Hiromu stands and builds speed, to SUNSET FLIP! But Honma holds onto the ropes for dear life! Hiromu keeps trying to pull Honma away but Honma stomps on him! Honma gets back in the ring, Hiromu climbs the apron, but Honma HEADBUTTS him off! Hiromu hits railing on the way down, and Honma goes up top!?
Hiromu stops Honma with clubbing forearms! They brawl, Hiromu CHOPS and fireman’s carries, for an APRON DEATH VALLEY!! Honma falls to the floor and the referee checks on him. The ring count begins and passes 10 of 20. Honma flounders, falls again, hears the count hit 15, rises again, and gets in at 19! Hiromu isn’t frustrated, he just scuffs Honma with his boot. Hiromu toys with Honma then brings him up. Honma is dead weight so Hiromu lets him be. Honma gets up on his own and eggs Hiromu on. Hiromu throws big forearms while Honma’s response is weak. Hiromu stands on Honma’s head, then eggs him on more. Honma rises and throws forearms but Hiromu gives them back. They brawl, picking up speed again. Hiromu slows for just a moment but the brawling starts up again.
Hiromu and Honma change to CHOPS! CHOP, CHOP, CHOP! They don’t look to be stopping! Honma fires up for a string of CHOPS! Hiromu goes down, Honma runs, but the falling headbutt flops again! Hiromu brings Honma up, fireman’s carries, but Honma elbows against the move. Hiromu powers through, but Honma slips off. Hiromu SUPERKICKS! Hiromu builds up a lot of speed, but Hiromu runs into the HEADBUTT! Honma runs, the falling headbutt HITS! Honma keeps moving, BASEMENT HEADBUTT! Cover, TWO!! Honma keeps moving, he scoop slams Hiromu to a drop zone and heads up top. SUPER FALLING HEADBUTT FLOPS!! Cradle counter, TWO!! Hiromu isn’t done, he watches Honma rise. They brawl again, Honma shoves, RABBIT HEADBUTT! He hits Hiromu in the back, builds speed, but runs into a LARIAT! Cover, ONE?!?
Hiromu can’t believe it and he grows frustrated. But he fireman’s carries again, only for Honma to slip out. Honma ducks the superkick to UPPERCUT HEADBUTT! Honma scoops Hiromu, Hiromu slips out, SUPERKICK! Hiromu fireman’s carries, to CORNER Death Valley! Hiromu drags Honma back up, fireman’s carries again, TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall
The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion conquers a headstrong heavyweight! But with as much as it took out of him, will Hiromu be ready to have more, more, MORE fun next round?
Tomohiro Ishii VS El Desperado!
The Stone Pitbull wants to finally sink his teeth back into someone, and Suzuki-Gun’s masked wrestler! Who shakes off the dust and ring rust and makes it to the next round?
The bell rings and Desperado stares Ishii down. They circle, approach, and tie up. They’re in a deadlock but Ishii gets Desperado backing down. They end up on ropes, go around, and Red Shoes calls for the break. Desperado lets off to pat Ishii on the shoulders. Desperado then mocks Ishii’s height, and pats “little Ishii” on his head. Ishii grabs Desperado by his mask and backs him down. Desperado gets away before Ishii can hit him, and then tells Ishii to calm down about the short jokes. Ishii dares Desperado to hit him first then. Desperado does but Ishii doesn’t budge. Ishii eggs Desperado on, Desperado hits Ishii more, and now we have a brawl! They throw forearm after forearm, Desperado wobbles and Ishii fires off! Desperado stomps on Ishii’s foot! Desperado runs but gets run over!
Ishii kicks Desperado while he’s down, and again! And again! Ishii stands on Desperado’s head but Desperado pushes him away. Desperado throws more forearms, runs and rams his shoulder, but Ishii stands solid! Desperado tries again but Ishii still tanks the shoulder. Ishii whips, Desperado reverses but Ishii holds ropes. ishii stomps Desperado and stands on his face this time. Red Shoes reprimands but Ishii keeps toying with Desperado. Desperado gets up to CHOP, and that finally affects Ishii. Desperado runs, bumps Ishii then runs him over on the return! Now Desperado gives Ishii back the taunting and toying. The two talk smack, and Desperado KICKS Ishii in the leg! Desperado keeps on that leg with a takedown and leg tweak!
Desperado splashes down on the knee and then paces as Ishii clutches the knee. Desperado yanks on the leg then brings Ishii up for headbutts. Ishii forearms back but Desperado kicks the bad leg. Desperado digs his fingers into Ishii’s face in the corner, but stops when Red Shoes counts. Ishii goes down, Desperado is on his leg at the corner! Desperado SWINGS the bad leg into the post! And again! Desperado drags Ishii out to whip him into railing! Ishii staggers while Desperado goes back to the ring. The ring count passes 10 of 20 before Ishii gets back in. Desperado is on Ishii’s bad leg with stomps! Desperado drops knees on the knee! Ishii writhes as he clutches his leg, but Desperado brings him back up. Desperado wraps the bad leg on the ropes and pulls!
Red Shoes counts, Desperado stops for just a moment, but then he pulls the leg again. Desperado pushes Red Shoes away to then stand on the bad leg in the ropes! Red Shoes gets Desperado to stop, but while Red Shoes is helping Ishii, Desperado goes to untie a buckle pad! Desperado brings off the white pad and tosses it before Red Shoes is aware. Desperado drags Ishii up but brings up Ishii has bad knee. Then he stomps it! Desperado brings Ishii up to whip into the exposed buckles! Red Shoes disapproves but Desperado just shrugs. Desperado brings Ishii up and whips him back into the exposed buckles! Ishii writhes in pain and Red Shoes reprimands again, but Desperado doesn’t care. Desperado stands on Ishii and flexes, but he still needs to finish Ishii off.
Desperado whips Ishii back in again, but Ishii uses his pain and anger to propel himself and RAM Desperado! Ishii drags Desperado up now and CHOPS and forearms over and over in the corner! Desperado starts to fall but Ishii just stands him back up for more! Ishii keeps going, even as Desperado is sitting down in the corner! Red Shoes tries to reason with Ishii and Ishii backs off. Red Shoes checks on Desperado, and Desperado asks for mercy from Ishii. Ishii drags Desperado up to a waistlock but Desperado grabs ropes to deny the suplex. Desperado elbows Ishii away, then runs, but Ishii just catches him! And powerbomb lifts! But Desperado digs at Ishii’s eyes! Ishii wristlocks and runs, but Desperado goes the other way for a SPEAR!
Desperado grabs a leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! But Ishii powers out to get a KNEEBAR! Desperado kicks away at Ishii but can’t get him to let go! Desperado crawls for the ropebreak! Ishii lets go but the damage is done. Desperado clutches at jhis bad leg, Ishii drags him up, but Desperado fights the shin breaker off. Desperado kicks but Ishii catches it! Ishii STOMPS the bad leg! Desperado screams in pain, but Ishii whips him to ropes. Desperado reverses, and manages a SPINE BUSTER! And he’s back to the STRETCH MUFFLER! Desperado tortures the bad leg, but Ishii reaches, and gets the ROPEBREAK! Desperado holds on until Red Shoes counts 3. Both men have a bad leg now, but Desperado rises first. Desperado stomps Ishii around but Ishii still gets up. Ishii eggs Desperado on and Desperado kicks the leg.
Desperado runs, BOOTS, but Ishii stays up! Ishii roars, swings, but Desperado kicks and whips. Ishii reverses and Desperado gets bare buckles!! Desperado writhes, Ishii builds speed, but Desperado uses Red Shoes as a shield! Ishii gets Red Shoes away, but Desperado dropkicks the legs out! Desperado gets the leg again for another STRETCH MUFFLER! Ishii endures as Desperado moves around and even adds the arms into the hold, NUMERO DOS! Ishii resists it becoming a cover, and flings Desperado off! Both men are down and exhausted, but Desperado gets himself up first. Desperado drags Ishii up and around to a standing cobra twist. Ishii fights it off, ducks the clohtesline and backhand but Desperado mule kicks. Cobra Twist SCOOP, but Ishii slips out!
Ishii shoves Desperado to a corner, Desperado comes back, but swings into a big suplex! Desperado gets up from the pain, but he runs into a spinning powerslam! Both men are down and the commentary is all fired up! Ishii and Desperado stir, but Ishii is up first. Ishii hobbles over to Desperado, brings him back up, and reels him in. Desperado resists the powerbomb so Ishii kicks Desperado in the face. Desperado dares Ishii to give him more! So Ishii does! Desperado shakes his head, shoves Ishii, and gives him the kicks back! They brawl with forearms but Ishii hits the elbows from all sides! Desperado fires up but Ishii DECKS him! Ishii fires himself up and brings Desperado up and around. Powerbomb lift but the leg gives out! Desperado hits the mat from Ishii letting him go, but Ishii brings him back up.
Ishii tries again, powers through the pain to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO!! Desperado survives but Ishii keeps his focus. Ishii waits for Desperado to stand, then runs, but Desperado blocks and waistlocks. Ishii switches, Desperado grabs at Red Shoes, but Ishii blocks the low blow mule kick! Ishii HEADBUTTS Desperado, but Desperado tilt-o-whirls to a crucifix! Ishii stays up and turns the takedown into a SLAM! Ishii sits Desperado up for the SLIDING D!! Cover, TWO!! Desperado survives but Ishii won’t let up! Ishii drags Desperado up, suplexes, but Desperado slips out to shove him at Red Shoes! Ishii stops himself, but Desperado quickly LOW BLOW UPPERCUTS! Desperado cradles Ishii, TWO!! Ishii survives Desperado’s dirty tricks but it sure hurt!
Desperado grows frustrated while Ishii rolls to the bare buckles corner. Desperado runs in at Ishii, but only gets buckles! Ishii runs in, BUCKLE SHOT! Cover, TWO!!! Desperado hurries, GUITARRA DE ANGEL! Cover, TWO!?! Ishii survives but Desperado is too tired to be frustrated. Desperado rises and drags Ishii up. He double underhooks but Ishii resists the lift. Ishii slips out, swings, but back into double underhooks! Desperado lifts, Ishii back drops out, SUPERKICK! BIG FOREARM! Ishii goes down and Desperado fires up. Desperado drags Ishii up, but Ishii HEADBUTTS! Ishii fires himself up, runs, and LARIATS! Cover, TWO!?! Desperado still lives and Ishii can’t believe it! Ishii drags Desperado back up, suplexes, but Desperado fights out, hooks a leg, EL ES CULERO! TWO, Desperado SLAPS Ishii but Ishii LARIATS Desperado! Ishii suplexes for the BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, Ishii wins!!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii, by pinfall
Desperado goes down and the Pitbull advances! But what does Ishii have left in the tank to make it further on?
Yuji Nagata VS Minoru Suzuki!
Blue Justice still has a lot of fight left in him, and he’s still hungry for gold! But the same goes for the Meanest Man in the World! Who proves they’ve got the grit and determination to make it to round two?
The bell rings and Suzuki fires off on Nagata, but Nagata gives it right back! It is a fast and furious brawl right away, and Suzuki laughs! Suzuki throws another big forearm, but Nagata gives it back. They brawl again, and Suzuki just keeps laughing. Nagata eggs him on, so Suzuki ROCKS him! Nagata stays up and throws another big forearm. They go back and forth again, Suzuki throws a string, but Nagata still stays up. Nagata gives forearms back and Suzuki wobbles! But Suzuki laughs again as he paces. Suzuki pats Nagata on the shoulder before he ROCKS him with forearm after forearm! Nagata gets back up, and throws forearms back! Suzuki staggers, but he’s still smiling! Suzuki ROCKS Nagata, and again, but Nagata eggs him on. Suzuki hits Nagata again and dares him to come back. So Nagata does!
Nagata throws forearm after forearm but Suzuki gives plenty back. These old warriors won’t let up on each other! Nagata wobbles Suzuki and Suzuki just keeps smiling. They keep brawling, and Suzuki ROCKS Nagata again. Nagata shakes it off to throw more forearms again. And again! And again! Suzuki even puts his hands back as he dares Nagata to hit him harder. Nagata does, but Suzuki stays on his feet. They each egg each other on, and Suzuki SLAPS Nagata. Nagata SLAPS back, and now it’s a palm strike battle! Suzuki staggers but comes back, and the brawling continues. Nagata roars and Suzuki grits his teeth. Suzuki eggs Nagata on and they just keep hitting each other with slapping palm strikes! Nagata’s turning red on that left side, but he refuses to fall! Nagata ROCKS Suzuki, and again, and again! Suzuki manages to stay on his feet, so Nagata BOOTS! And SLAPS!
Suzuki slaps back, and just keeps egging Nagata on. Nagata hits, Suzuki hits, repeat! BOth men wobble, Suzuki blocks the boot to get the KNEEBAR! Nagata fights, reaches, but Suzuki shifts around for another angle on the leg! Nagata gets the ropebreak but Suzuki won’t let go! The ref counts, Suzuki lets go at 3, and Nagata gets to the apron. Suzuki pursues as Nagata goes to the floor. Suzuki kicks Nagata and whips him into railing! Suzuki goes looking and finds a chair under the ring! The ref stops Suzuki from using it so Suzuki pushes the ref down. Suzuki runs and BOOTS Nagata, then grabs a bucket from under the ring. Suzuki SMACKS Nagata with the bucket! Suzuki then grabs a bottle of water and opens it up, to SMASH off Nagata’s head! Water goes all over and the ref reprimands Suzuki.
Suzuki leaves Nagata behind and fetches that chair from before. Suzuki grins as he brings the chair around the way. The ref spots him and tells him not to use the chair, but Suzuki argues with him again. Suzuki throws the ref down, grabs a second chair, and SMACKS Nagata’s arm with it!! Nagata clutches that shoulder but Suzuki drags him up. They brawl again, Suzuki puts Nagata’s arm through the railing and pulls! The ref starts a ring count but Suzuki holds on to the arm until 10 of 20. Suzuki chokes and stomps Nagata down before leaving him behind. The count passes 15 but Nagata flounders in at 19! Suzuki toys with Nagata at the ropes but the ref pulls him away. Nagata sits up but Suzuki knees him back down! Suzuki taunts Nagata as Nagata gets to his feet. Suzuki throws forearm after forearm but Nagata eggs him on.
Nagata hits back, but Suzuki throws body shots and ROCKS Nagata with that right! Nagata is still conscious, so Suzuki grabs his leg and brings him to the post! Suzuki locks the legs up and pulls! The ref tells Suzuki to stop and counts, but Suzuki stops at 4. Nagata sits up in the corner and glares as Suzuki returns. Suzuki KICKS Nagata down then stomps the bad arm. But Nagata gets up in anger, so Suzuki throws more knees! Suzuki CHOPS Nagata, and again, but Nagata just glares at him. So Suzuki CHOPS and KNEES again. Suzuki goes corner to corner, to BOOT! He snapmares Nagata and Penalty Kicks, but Nagata blocks it! Nagata elbows the knee! Nagata KICKS Suzuki down, then Penalty Kicks! Suzuki sits back up and glares at Nagata, but Nagata KICKS again! Suzuki sits back up so Nagata just keeps kicking!
Suzuki powers up just to stay sitting up, so Nagata hits him again! Suzuki eggs Nagata on, and Nagata powers up to kick even harder. And again! And again! Nagata boots Suzuki to a corner then BOOTS again! Suzuki denies the slam to get a guillotine facelock! Suzuki cranks on Nagata’s head but Nagata pries free. Nagata wrenches to an arm wringer! Suzuki scrambles to ropes but Nagata KICKS the bad arm! Nagata has Suzuki on the run as he kicks again! Nagata wrenches the arm again, to another wringer! Suzuki clutches the arm and falls to the mat. Nagata dares Suzuki to get back up, but when Suzuki doesn’t, Nagata stomps him. Nagata brings Suzuki up for forearms, then wrenches the bad arm yet again. Suzuki catches Nagata to a sleeper hold! Nagata fades fast as Suzuki squeezes tight! The ref checks on Nagata, but Suzuki shifts to a cover, TWO!!
Suzuki drags Nagata back up and puts the sleeper on again! Blue Justice is turning purple! But Suzuki spins him around, reels him in, Gotch hold, but Nagata resists the lift! Nagata powers up, but Suzuki KNEES him down! Suzuki drags Nagata back up and in, tries the Gotch again, but Nagata kicks the piledriver away! Nagata powers up to back drop Suzuki! Both men are down, but refuse to stay down. Suzuki stands first, brings Nagata up and throws more forearms. Suzuki ROCKS Nagata and sweat goes flying! But Nagata comes back to throw forearms in return. Suzuki ROCKS Nagata again and Nagata tastes blood in his mouth. Nagata fires off forearms and the brawl is on again! Neither man backs down, but Nagata makes Suzuki stagger! Suzuki gets back up and SLAPS Nagata! Nagata SLAPS back, and Suzuki wobbles! But Suzuki smiles again!!
Suzuki throws more palm strikes but so does Nagata! They’re just picking up more speed! Suzuki fires off a flurry but so does Nagata! Suzuki fires off half a dozen, but Nagata comes back with his own trio. Suzuki HEADBUTTS! Nagata falls to a knee, but Suzuki headbutts him again! Nagata staggers about, Suzuki headbutts him again, and both men fall!! Suzuki sits up and smiles again! He’s truly evil! Nagata sits up and grits his teeth as he and Suzuki head for each other. They throw more forearms, and Suzuki eggs Nagata on. Nagata ROCKS Suzuki, then eggs him on. Suzuki ROCKS Nagata, Nagata wobbles, but still hits Suzuki again. Suzuki laughs as he wobbles, then comes back to ROCK Nagata again. And again! Suzuki swings another forearm, but into Nagata’s EXPLODER! But Suzuki’s right back up!?
Suzuki rushes Nagata, Nagata side steps and swings on Suzuki, but Suzuki gets around him to headlock! Nagata hits a SAIDO SUPLEX! Cover, NAGATA WINS!!
Winner: Yuji Nagata, by pinfall
Incredible! Blue Justice triumphs over the King of Pancrase! But after such a battle, can he recover in time for round two?
Kazuchika Okada VS Gedo!
The Rainmaker gets back in the title hunt, but he also finally gets his hands on the man that betrayed him! Will Gedo finally face the consequences of choosing The Switchblade over his friend?
Wait, Gedo claims his arm is in bad shape? He says he can’t wrestle Okada because of it, as much as he really, really wanted to. Okada makes his entrance and sees the “bad arm.” Gedo tries to reason with his former friend, but Okada isn’t falling for it. Red Shoes isn’t, either. Gedo takes the sling off, and has a can of pepper spray! But Okada swats it right out of his hand! Gedo tries to explain, but for one, his arm isn’t in bad shape. Red Shoes confiscates the spray and Gedo gives himself up? He’ll let Okada just cover him? The bell finally rings, but Okada sees the cradle trap coming! Okada stomps Gedo over and over, then frisks him just in case. Wait, there’s something in the jacket! Gedo resists so Okada stomps him more, and brings out the brass knuckles!
Okada tries them on for size, but Gedo begs for mercy while Red Shoes reprimands. Okada hands the knuckle dusters over to Red Shoes, but Gedo has something taped to his side?! Gedo brings it out and JAMS Okada in the ribs with it! The item is a wrench! Gedo stalks Okada on the outside and JAMS him with it again! And again! Red Shoes hurries after Gedo to figure out what’s going on, but Gedo hides the wrench in a pocket. Gedo gives Red Shoes his jacket but still has the wrench, and he CLUBS Okada down! Red Shoes finally spots the wrench and takes it from Gedo. Gedo drags Okada up to shove into railing! The ribs just keep taking damage as Gedo brings Okada around to RAM into more railing! Okada falls, Gedo kicks him while he’s down, but the ring count begins.
Gedo kicks and kicks then refreshes the count at 13. Gedo goes around to take the timekeeper’s table from him! Okada hurries over and kicks Gedo back. Gedo knees Okada down and brings the table up and over the railing. Gedo folds the table up to use it as a battering ram! Okada falls while clutching his stomach, but Gedo digs the table’s edge in! Red Shoes reprimands and counts, and Gedo stops at 3. Gedo tosses the table aside and kicks Okada while he’s down. Gedo leaves Okada to the mercy of the count as it passes 10 of 20. Okada gets up and flounders into the ring at 15, but Gedo is right on him. Gedo tosses Okada out the other side, then RAMS him into railings again! Gedo goes looking under the ring and he finds a chair! Red Shoes disapproves but Gedo grins as he stalks behind Okada. Okada gets up, Gedo JAMS the chair in! And again!
Red Shoes takes the chair from Gedo but Gedo taunts Okada. Gedo drags Okada up and puts him in, to double stomp him down! Gedo keeps kicking Okada, but Okada gets angry. Gedo stomps Okada but Okada gets up. Gedo throws punches but Okada just gets angrier! Okada throws forearm after forearm, but Gedo body shots. Gedo runs, kicks, but Okada catches it to spin Gedo around for a BOOT! Okada can’t capitalize as he clutches his ribs, but he brings Gedo up for more forearms. Okada whips, Gedo reverses, but Okada still comes back with the elbow! Okada fires up as Gedo gets to a corner. Okada whips corner to corner, runs in and hits a back elbow! Then kicks to DDT! Cover, TWO! Gedo survives and Okada clutches his ribs again, but Okada won’t let up. Okada scoops Gedo for a slam, and standard formula brings Okada to the corner. Okada climbs but Gedo knows that formula and bails out.
Gedo looks to run away but Okada pursues. Okada catches up to Gedo on stage but Gedo has something in his hand again! Gedo JAMS Okada with a hammer?! Gedo hammers away on Okada but Red Shoes takes the hammer from him. Gedo “apologizes” but he grins as he brings Okada up and into the ring. Gedo kicks Okada over and over again at the ropes, then stomps away. Gedo brings Okada up, whips, but Okada reverses, only for Gedo to deny him his dropkick! Gedo kicks Okada in the ribs then covers, TWO!! Okada toughs it out but Gedo is on him with a modified Bow ‘n’ Arrow! Gedo goes after those ribs but Okada endures. Okada gets his arm free and reaches for ropes, but Gedo grabs the arm again to bend Okada back. Okada still reaches, even as Gedo pulls as far back as he can! Okada gets the ROPEBREAK! Gedo holds on until 3 and grins as he watches Okada slowly rise.
Okada turns around into Gedo’s mule kick! Gedo mule kicks again, but Okada gets under it for the Alabama lift! Gedo kicks free and pokes Okada in the eyes! Gedo runs in, Okada pops him up, Alabama swing to the REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Both men are down from all the damage done, but Okada sits up first. Okada brings Gedo up and scoops, but Gedo grabs at Red Shoes! Okada clubs Gedo and throws European Uppercuts, then gets the gut wrench. Gedo knows this, too, and slips out to shove Okada into Red Shoes! LOW BLOW!! Gedo must’ve been watching Ishii VS Desperado! But Gedo can’t capitalize with a cover while Red Shoes is down! So instead, Gedo undoes part of the ring apron, and finds a hidden pair of brass knuckles?! Did Gedo go that far to prepare his cheats?
Okada stands up and gets DECKED!! Gedo hides the knuckles and revives Red Shoes. Gedo puts on the GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!?!? Okada survives and no one can believe it! Gedo drags Okada up, slashes the throat a la The Switchblade, but Okada denies Blade Runner! But Gedo dodges the dropkick! Okada crashes down on the mat, and now Jado has appeared! The Master Heater is helping out his brother, and Gedo has another pair of knuckles! Jado grabs Red Shoes while Gedo aims, but Okada ducks to dropkick! The knuckles go flying, Okada whips Gedo and hits the dropkick! Okada clobbers Jado and stalks Gedo. Gedo tries to run away but Gedo stands on him at the ropes. Okada drags Gedo back inside, scoops him for the TOMBSTONE! Then Okada clamps on a keylock cobra clutch! Gedo’s #DeepInDebt! Gedo taps, Okada wins!
Winner: Kazuchika Okada, by submission
To think the Rainmaker could win without using his Rainmaker! Gedo gives up, and Okada finally has his vengeance! Will Okada rise back to the top and take the New Japan Cup?
It’s so great to have NJPW back in action! If you want to read the full review of Day 1, 6/16/20, check out Andrew Balaz’s article covering it and even giving his own star ratings. And I’m sure he’ll have Day 2 at some point, too. But as stated at the beginning, I’m just focused on the top tier matches for these events. Which means next week’s stacked cards for 6/22 and 6/23 are going to be hard to pick from. Hiromu VS Honma and Ishii VS Desperado were great matches, far better than I expected. Though maybe I should’ve expected something amazing for the first serious event for NJPW in months. They definitely wanted to give it their all for the fans watching at home.
Suzuki and Nagata couldn’t possibly have given more, that was as true of a slug fest as it could be. And I am incredibly surprised Nagata won, that is pretty great for him. Obviously Okada was going to beat Gedo, but there were a lot of great gags involving Gedo’s cheating being foiled. It’s also quite surprising Okada won using a submission hold, but it shows Okada is adapting and changing his style, especially for opponents that know him so well. Okada is almost always a top choice for a tournament, so he’s at least becoming a semifinalist in a final four of a very competitive New Japan Cup.
My Score: 6/16 – 9/10; 6/17 – 9.1/10
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