The New Japan Cup wraps up the second round!
NJPW almost has its Best Eight, but there’s still four more matches to go! Will Kota Ibushi avenge Hiroshi Tanahashi against Taichi? Will Sho pull off another shocker? Will LIJ have a huge advantage in the third round?
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.
- BUSHI VS YOSHI-HASHI; Hashi wins and advances to the quarterfinals.
- SANADA VS SHO; Sanada wins and advances to the quarterfinals.
- Kota Ibushi w/ Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taichi w/ Zack Sabre Jr; Taichi wins and advances to the quarterfinals.
- EVIL VS Hirooki Goto; Evil wins and advances to the quarterfinals.
PLAY BY PLAY
BUSHI VS YOSHI-HASHI!
Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Black Mask toppled Yoh last round, and now he’s being hunted by the Head Hunter! Will Bushi keep LIJ going strong in the Cup? Or will he join Shingo on the sidelines?
The moment Hashi stands on a corner for his entrance, Bushi strikes! Bushi knocks Hashi down and stomps away on him. The ref rings the bell to get this match officially underway! Bushi keeps stomping Hashi but lets up to bring him up. Bushi clubs Hashi back down then takes off his shirt. He uses the shirt to choke Hashi! The ref counts, Bushi lets up at 4, and the ref confiscates the shirt. Bushi whips Hashi but Hashi runs Bushi over! Hashi finally takes off his jacket and drags Bushi up. Hashi bumps Bushi off buckles and throws forearm after forearm! The ref reprimands, Hashi won’t stop so the ref pulls him off. Hashi stands Bushi up to CHOP! Hashi whips Bushi but then brings him back around to CHOP! And CHOP!
Bushi turns things around to CHOP, but Hashi eggs him on. Bushi CHOPS and CHOPS but Hashi CHOPS back! Hashi brings pushes Bushi down then stomps him. Hashi drags Bushi back up, to CHOP again. Bushi CHOPS back, but Hashi fires up to CHOP again. Hashi brings Bushi back around and suplexes him high and hard! Cover, TWO! Hashi keeps his cool as he puts Bushi in a chinlock against the knee. Bushi endures as Hashi cranks back, but Bushi reaches with a leg. Bushi gets the ropebreak and Hashi lets go right away. Hashi stomps Bushi and brings him back up. Hashi CHOPS Bushi into the corner, then whips him corner to corner. Hashi runs in but Bushi boots him down! Hashi’s right up but Bushi huricanranas! Both men are down, having used a lot of energy already.
Bushi gets up, brings Hashi around and CHOPS back! Bushi whips corner to corner, then runs in, but Hashi dodges! Hashi comes back, Bushi slips out to the apron and kicks Hashi away. Bushi climbs up top and leaps for a missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Hashi bails out, Bushi builds speed, DIVE! The tope suicida sends Hashi into barriers but Bushi is still slow to getting up. Bushi drags Hashi up and into the ring. Bushi drags Hashi up, Hashi breaks free, but Bushi roundhouses and enziguris! Bushi dropkicks a knee, then hits a DDT! Cover, TWO! Hashi toughs it out but Bushi keeps his cool. Bushi drags Hashi up again, fisherman but Hashi slips out of the neckbreaker! Hashi CHOPS and Bushi staggers. Bushi runs back but into an elbow. Hashi dodges and spinning mule kicks!
Bushi staggers to the ropes again, Hashi brings him up to suplex and hang him up top. Hashi runs, but Bushi avoids the dropkick! And gives a slingshot basement dropkick in return! Bushi drags Hashi up and through ropes, for the swinging apron DDT!! Hashi is down but Bushi still has to catch his breath. Bushi gets back in the ring, brings Hashi back up, and hits the swinging fisherman neckbreaker! Cover, TWO!! Hashi still lives! Bushi says he’s going to end this, and he climbs the corner again. Bushi waits for Hashi to stand, MX gets the LARIAT! Both men are down but Hashi fires himself up. Hashi drags Bushi to his feet, reels him in, but Bushi slips out of the powerbomb to SLAP Hashi! Bushi runs, into another LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Hashi keeps his cool as he drags Bushi into the modified butterfly stretch! Bushi powers his way up, reaches for ropes, but Hashi wrangles him away! Bushi is stuck but he won’t give up just yet! Bushi makes his way over with his legs, but Hashi cranks harder! Hashi gives as much as he can but Bushi still makes his way to a ropebreak! Hashi lets go but stomps Bushi down. Hashi drags Bushi up and reels him in, fisherman but Bushi escapes! Backslide with bridge! TWO!! Hashi escapes the Bushi Roll, blocks a kick and ducks the enziguri, but not the rebound heel kick! Bushi brings Hashi into the fireman’s carry but Hashi fights out. Hashi has the full nelson, then the pump handle, KARMA DRIVER!! Cover, Hashi wins!!
Winner: YOSHI-HASHI, by pinfall
The Head Hunter gets another big win! Will Hashi continue to #GetBackUp and head for the Double Champion?
SANADA VS SHO!
The Cold Skull just saw the fate of a fellow LIJ member. The powerhouse Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion already put the Sho in shocker when he defeated Mr. Openweight, Shingo Takagi! Will Sho add another LIJ member to his list of victories? Or will this be the end of Sho’s hot streak and the continuation of Sanada’s?
The bell rings and the two circle. Sho and Sanada approach, feel out the grapple, and Sho gets around to a waistlock. Sanada switches but Sho switches back. Sanada goes for the wrist and wrenches. Sho slips through to reverse the wrench, but Sanada pushes through to waistlock. Sanada spins Sho for a headlock and takeover, but Sho headscissors. Sanada pops out and the two stand off. Sho and Sanada reset and go again. They tie up with knuckle locks and a test of strength! They go shoulder to shoulder but the heavyweight already has advantage. Sanada powers Sho back but Sho bridges to avoid a cover. Sanada hops to put his full weight on Sho, but Sho blocks with boots and puts on an armbar! Sanada gets the ropebreak and Sho lets go.
Sho gets right after Sanada with a wrench, but Sanada shoves the shoulder breaker away. Sanada baits Sho and dumps him out! Sanada builds speed but Sho slides in, so Sanada tumbles to the apron. Sho comes back, Sanada blocks the ax handles, but Sho gets the arm to hotshot! Sho sweeps the legs and runs to wreck Sanada with a dropkick! Sanada stays up though he clutches the arm, so Sho goes to the apron. Sho runs in to Penalty Kick the arm! Sanada clutches the elbow as Sho hops down. Sho wrenches the bad arm and brings Sanada around the corner. Sho wraps the arm around the crossbar! The ref counts, Sho lets up at 4, then gets on the apron. But Sanada dropkicks Sho’s legs out! Sanada drags Sho out and wraps the leg around railing! The ref counts, Sanada lets up, but Sanada BOOTS the bad leg!
Sho topples over, Sanada drags him up and puts him in the ring. Sanada stalks Sho, grabs the leg and stomps away. Sanada drops an elbow into a drop toehold and pulls. Sho fights back with a chinbar but Sanada ignores that. Sho tries to break the hold but Sanada cranks back harder! Sho crawls and gets the ropebreak! Sanada lets go right away and watches Sho crawl around. Sanada brings Sho up but Sho throws a forearm. Sanada just shrugs it off so Sho keeps throwing forearms. Sanada kicks the bad leg but Sho stays up. Sho throws more forearms, Sanada stays up, then blocks the kick to elbow the knee! Sanada runs, Sho dodges and SPEARS! Both men are down as Sho clutches the bad leg, but they go to opposite corners. Sho runs in to hit a BIG corner clothesline!
Sho runs corner to corner, but Sanada follows to give the clothesline back! Sho stays up and throws forearms again. Sanada gives them back and we have a brawl! They go back and forth, hitting harder and harder! Sanada European Uppercuts, runs, but Sho clotheslines him at the ropes. Sho runs, Sanada follows, but Sho knew he would! Sho spins and LARIATS Sanada down! Sho keeps going as he brings Sanada up and suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Sho keeps his cool as he stalks Sanada. Sho grabs the bad arm, wrenches and then kicks away on the legs! Sho spins through, shoulder breaker and a rolling takedown, to the ARMBAR! Sanada fights, reaches and gets the ropebreak! Sho lets go but the damage is done.
Sanada gets up slowly, Sho waistlocks, but Sanada grabs ropes again. Sho kicks the bad arm! Sho runs, but into a basement dropkick to the legs! Sanada gets Sho back by taking out that bad leg. Sho bails out, Sanada comes over, and Sanada slingshots for the PLANCHA! Sanada knocks Sho down but brings him back up into the ring. Sanada aims, springboards, but Sho gets under the clothesline. Sho boots Sanada from a corner, then runs, but Sanada hurdles, only to leap into the GERMAN SUPLEX! Sho holds on for a second German Suplex! Then the third is used for the ARMBAR! Sanada flails, reaches, but Sho cranks hard on the arm! Sanada moves around, gets caught in a triangle hold, but endures to dead lift and POWERBOMB! Both men are down, feeling the wear and tear of this match.
Sanada stands first and eggs Sho on. Sho throws a forearm, but Sanada gives it back. The back and forth begins again, neither man backing down. They speed up, Sho gets the advantage with elbows from all sides! But Sanada gives forearms back, spins, but into Sho’s jump KNEE! Sho runs, but into Sanada’s huricanrana, and blocks it?! Sho brings Sanada back up, POWERBOMB BACKBREAKER! Sho fires up, stalks behind Sanada, then runs, LARIAT!! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada survives but Sho doesn’t lose focus. Sho drags Sanada back up, reels him in, and double pump handles. Sanada manages to resist the lift, and back drops Sho down! But Sho comes back to waistlock again! Sanada holds ropes, so Sho kicks the bad arm again. Snap German, but Sanada lands on his feet!
Sanada gets Sho in the fireman’s carry, and dumps him into the dragon sleeper! Sho fights off Skull End, but Sanada just switches sides! Sanada brings Sho up, but Sho powers out to gut wrench and scoop Sanada! Sanada fights out to get the dragon sleeper back! Sho cradle counters, TWO!! Sho gets the KIMURA! Sanada endures, powers his way up, reaches for ropes, but Sho rolls him away! Sanada rolls with him, dragon sleeper! Sanada drops back, but Sho rolls through to roll Sanada! Dead lift GERMAN! Cover, TWO!?! Sanada escapes by seconds and Sho can’t believe it! Sho fires up again to drag Sanada back into position. Double pump handles, but Sanada resists again.
Sanada spins out, spins Sho, sleeper, but Sho powers out again. Sho has an inverted straitjacket, but Sanada powers out of that to put the dragon sleeper back on! Sanada cranks on the neck, Sho endures, so Skull SWING! Sho still powers out to arm-drag Sanada away! Sho runs into the corner but gets a back elbow. Sanada QUEBRADA into the sleeper! Drop for the body scissors, SKULL END!! Sho endures, reaches, flails, but he’s caught! Sho taps, Sanada wins!
Winner: SANADA, by submission
Shingo has been avenged! Skull End ends Sho’s run and extends Sanada’s. Will Sanada continue this to keep LIJ strong in the quarterfinals?
Kota Ibushi w/ Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Taichi w/ Zack Sabre Jr!
When it comes to the #GoldenAces and the #DangerousTekkers, the New Japan Cup has split the difference. Suzuki-Gun has been doing what it wants to whoever it wants, and that goes double for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions. Before finally having it out for the tag titles, who scores the big tiebreaker and takes a step towards Tetsuya Naito?
Taichi complains that Tanahashi is on the apron and tells him to step down. Taichi forgets ZSJ is on the apron for his corner, so the ref wants ZSJ to hop down, too. The Tekkers argue with the ref and that brings Tanahashi into the ring alongside Ibushi. The ref manages to keep the peace and both ZSJ and Tanahashi exit the ring. The bell rings and Ibushi stares Taichi down. Taichi steps forward and offers a handshake, but obviously Ibushi is skeptical. Taichi shakes hands with the ref to show he means well. Ibushi still doesn’t believe it, so he and Taichi circle. ZSJ hops up on the apron again, and Taichi sucker punches Ibushi! Taichi stomps Ibushi at the ropes, brings him up then throws him out. ZSJ gets his shots in with a sleeper hold!
Tanahashi storms over to stomp ZSJ! Tanahashi throws forearms on ZSJ but Taichi goes after Ibushi. Taichi whips Ibushi into railing, then helps ZSJ against Tanahashi. Taichi whips Tanahashi into railing now, but the ref reprimands him. Taichi focuses on Ibushi as he brings him through the gate and whips him into the folded bleachers! Ibushi hits the wood hard then falls down. Taichi brings Ibushi back up, and throws him into the metal barriers in front of the chairs! The ring count begins but Taichi uses camera cables to choke Ibushi! Taichi talks trash as he chokes, but the ring count passes 10 of 20! Taichi lets go at 13, goes back to the ring at 16, but Ibushi hurries! Ibushi gets up and in at 19!
Taichi stands on Ibushi’s chest and throat at the ropes, but the ref reprimands him. Taichi stops and paces about. Taichi drags Ibushi up and secretly chokes him into the corner. The ref knows better than that but Taichi still “hides” it. Taichi stops at the count of 4, but comes back to grab Ibushi’s legs. Taichi drags Ibushi and stomps him in the stomach. Ibushi bails out but ZSJ is right there to throw European Uppercuts! Tanahashi is after ZSJ again with elbows! These two brawl, but the ref reprimands as ZSJ ROCKS Tanahashi with the EuroUpper. Taichi puts Ibushi back in, covers with a choke, so the ref refuses to count. Taichi lets up but he comes back to choke Ibushi more! The ref keeps reprimanding Taichi, and Ibushi hits back! Taichi stomps and chokes Ibushi for that, but lets up at the ref’s count.
Taichi drags Ibushi up but Ibushi throws forearms! Taichi just goes back to the choke! The ref reprimands yet again but Taichi stops. Ibushi slowly stands, Taichi runs, but into the dropkick! Ibushi grits his teeth as he fires up. Ibushi crawls to a corner, gets to his feet, but Taichi runs in. Ibushi goes up and over and ROUNDHOUSES Taichi down! Ibushi hits the standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Taichi survives and Ibushi can’t believe it. Ibushi watches Taichi go to the corner then runs in, but Taichi boots back! Ibushi tries again but is sent into the buckle, Taichi enzugiris! The ref checks on Ibushi but he’s still in this. Taichi waits for Ibushi to sit up, before he kicks! But Ibushi blocks! Taichi rakes Ibushi’s eyes! The ref reprimands but Taichi kicks Ibushi’s leg.
Ibushi shrugs that off and kicks Taichi’s leg in return! Taichi can’t quite contain the pain there. Taichi kicks again, but Ibushi manages to shrug it off again. Ibushi KICKS, and Taichi has to take a second. Taichi kicks, Ibushi kicks, and they pick up speed! They kick and kick and kick! Ibushi and Taichi are at a stalemate there, and Ibushi eggs Taichi on. Taichi kicks with the other leg and gets Ibushi in the chest! Ibushi comes back to give a chest kick and Taichi almost falls over! Taichi kicks again but Ibushi KICKS again. Taichi kicks, but Ibushi KICKS. They go forehead to forehead now, and Taichi gives another chest kick. Ibushi gives another and Taichi has to crouch to contain the pain! Taichi manages to stand, but not for long!
Ibushi toys with Taichi as he kicks him while he’s down. The Golden Ace’s mean streak is pretty strong, y’know. Taichi gets back up and kicks with the right leg high! Ibushi falls over and now Taichi toys with him. Taichi’s mean streak is just how he is, y’know. Kowata kicks over and over, but Ibushi PELES! But Taichi GAMANGIRI! Both men are down, stinging from the damage done. Taichi sits up first as Tanahashi coaches Ibushi up. Taichi drags Ibushi up, but Ibushi swings a kick! Taichi gets under, SAIDO SUPLEX! Cover, TWO!! Taichi fires himself up, and off come the pants! Ibushi stands, Taichi thrusts, but no Superkick! Ibushi runs, into a boot and a clothesline, but he LARIATS back! Ibushi fires himself up as Tanahashi rallies.
Ibushi drags Taichi up, reels him in, and lifts but Taichi fights the bomb off! Taichi back kicks, reels Ibushi in, and lifts! Ibushi pops out of the bomb, to ROUNDHOUSE! Down goes Taichi! Ibushi drags Taichi up, LAST RIDE! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives the powerbomb, but Ibushi has more to give. Ibushi drags Taichi up so ZSJ starts making a fuss. The ref is busy with ZSJ, Taichi LOW BLOWS! And GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!?! Ibushi survives and no one can believe it! Tanahashi checks on Ibushi at the corner while ZSJ checks on Taichi. Taichi and Ibushi slowly rise, Ibushi runs in but only gets buckles! Blindside ax bomber, and another SAIDO! Taichi ROCKS Ibushi with the forearm, Ibushi V-TRIGGERS! Ibushi drags Taichi around while ZSJ freaks out. But Taichi avoids the Kami-Goye to ROUNDHOUSE back!
Both men are down again and their partners are going nuts! Taichi slowly rolls to a corner while Ibushi stirs. Taichi drags himself up while Ibushi stands. Taichi fires up, aims, but still no Superkick! Ibushi reels him in for a cradle, then pops him up to the gut wrench, tucks him in, BASTARD DRIVER!! Cover, TWO!?!? Taichi survives?!? Ibushi won’t let that throw him off, he drags Taichi up by his wrists! But Taichi whips him into the ref! The ref is down and ZSJ rushes in. ZSJ hits Tanahashi then goes after Ibushi! ZSJ has a guillotine on Ibushi and Taichi hurries to get his favorite weapon. ZSJ scoops but Tanahashi saves Ibushi! TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! SLINGBLADE! Tanahashi stomps ZSJ out of the ring then keeps on him at the barriers.
Tanahashi shouts to Ibushi to be ready, and Ibushi goes after Taichi. But Taichi uses the IRON FINGERS!! The Sliest Wrestler wants to finish this, and the ref gets back in. Alabama lift, BLACK MEPHISTO!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall
Suzuki-Gun always wins by any means necessary! Taichi has swept the Golden Aces, and now more than ever, he and ZSJ are poised to take those IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships! But will Taichi last much longer in the New Japan Cup if this is what it takes to win?
EVIL VS Hirooki Goto!
The second round’s finale is here! Shingo and Bushi are out, but Hiromu and Sanada are in! The King of Darkness wants to a positive tiebreaker, but the Fierce Warrior won’t let it be at his expense! Will LIJ still have a member in three of the four bracket branches?
As Goto makes his entrance, Evil stands in his way of the ring. Goto tells Evil to go to a corner or something, but Evil silently refuses. So Goto takes off his jacket, and the two start ramming shoulders at ringside! Then they throw forearms fast and furious! The ref rings the bell because they have no choice. Evil knees low then bumps Goto off the apron. Evil CHOPS Goto further along, bumps him off the apron again, then knees low again. Goto hits back but Evil CHOPS! Evil CHOPS Goto against the railing as Red Shoes tries to get them to bring this back into the ring. Evil wrenches Goto to whip him, but Goto reverses to whip Evil into railing!
Goto gets back in the ring and the ring count starts on Evil. Evil takes a moment to catch his breath, then gets in at 11 of 20. Evil slips away before Goto can get him, and Evil lets Goto talk trash. Evil takes his time again, waiting until 13 of 20. Goto rushes in and gets Evil with kicks and clubbing forearms! Goto elbows and whips Evil, but Evil reverses to hip toss. Goto reverse to hip toss back! And then he Penalty Kicks Evil in the back! Cover, TWO! Goto digs a knee in as part of the chinlock but Evil endures. So Goto drives an elbow into Evil’s forehead! And then stomps him while he’s down! Goto brings Evil up to wrench the arm and yank on it. Goto wrenches again to elbow the elbow! Goto clubs Evil on the back, then runs, but Evil runs him over with a shoulder!
Goto goes to ropes, Evil runs in but Goto boots him back. Evil still clotheslines Goto out! Evil catches his breath before going out to fetch Goto. Evil whips Goto into railing! And then brings him up to whip into more railing! Goto slumps down while Evil goes looking for something under the ring. Evil brings out a chair! Red Shoes tells him not to but Evil pushes Red Shoes away. Evil puts the chair around Goto’s head, and RAMS Goto into the post! Goto goes down in a heap, but Evil stands on Goto’s head. Red Shoes reprimands so Evil lets up and enters the ring. The ring count starts and Goto stirs at 3. Goto sits up at 11, stands at 16, and gets in the ring at 18. Evil drags Goto around to dig his elbow into Goto’s face! The ref reprimands but Evil does it again.
Evil lets up to bring Goto into a chinlock of his own. Now Goto endures the knee in his back and the grinding of forearms in his face. Goto fights up and fights back, but Evil mule kicks! Evil reels Goto in for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool as he looms over Goto. Evil toys with Goto but Goto gets up and CHOPS! Evil eggs him on but Goto CHOPS and CHOPS and forearms! Goto runs, but gets run over again! Evil paces about before he brings Goto back up. Evil reels Goto in, suplexes, but Goto slips out to waistlock. Evil elbows out, runs, but Goto follows to LARIAT! Both men are down, sore from what they’ve already put each other through. Goto sits up first and he brings Evil up. Goto throws forearm after forearm and backs Evil into a corner.
Goto whips corner to corner, runs in and hits a BIG clothesline! Evil goes down but Goto brings him back up. Goto back suplexes high and hard! Cover, TWO! Goto grows frustrated but he fireman’s carries. Evil fights out and pulls Goto down by his hair! Goto goes to a corner, Evil runs corner to corner, and Evil blocks Goto’s boots. Evil turns Goto sideways, and springboard STOMPS Goto out of the Tree of Woe! Evil hears voices in his head as he waits for Goto to stand. Goto sits in the corner, Evil goes corner to corner, BRONCO BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Evil keeps his cool, and still toys with Goto. Goto grits his teeth as Evil brings him up. Evil fireman’s carries but Goto resists! Evil still gets Goto up, Goto fights out and waistlocks.
Evil elbows free, runs, but Goto follows. Evil dodges, Goto follows again, but Evil changes directions, only to run into Goto’s fireman’s carry! USHIGOROSHI!! Both men are down again as commentary is amazed by what they’re seeing. Goto and Evil slowly stir, and Goto sits up first. Evil follows but Goto throws a forearm from the mat. Evil hits back, but Goto hits again. They slowly stand and throw more forearms. Evil checks his chin then throws another forearm, but Goto fires up to throw more forearms. They pick up speed for a fast and furious brawl! Goto gets the edge, Evil wobbles, and Goto brings him up. Evil ROCKS Goto back! Evil brings Goto up, fisherman, but Goto resists the lift! They fight for suplex control, and Goto powers Evil up! But Evil slips out, only for Goto to DECK him!
Goto fires up, reels Evil in, INVERTED GTR! Cover, TWO! Evil lives but Goto keeps his focus. Goto fires up again, watches Evil sit up, and KICKS! Goto dares Evil to sit back up, and Evil does. For Goto to KICK! Goto drags Evil back up, and KICKS again! Goto dusts off his hands, but Evil blocks this kick! To spin Goto for a GERMAN! But GOto is back on his feet! Clotheslines collide, neither falls! They collide again and again! Goto and Evil wobble to opposite corners! And then run at each other, Goto’s LARIAT hits! Cover, TWO!! Goto won’t let off, he brings Evil up and around, dragon sleeper but Evil fights back! Goto grabs the arm, reels Evil in, but Evil DECKS Goto with the elbow!
Evil catches his breath, drags Goto back up, fisherman suplex! Cover, TWO!! Goto survives but Evil stays focused. Evil watches Goto crawl and brings him up. Evil spins Goto, fireman’s carries, DARKNESS FALLS!! Cover, TWO!?! Goto survives again and Evil can’t believe it! Evil slashes the throat and brings Goto back up. Evil spins him, but Goto slips out of the STO! Goto catches Evil’s clothesline to spin him to a dragon sleeper! But Evil spins to put the dragon sleeper on Goto! Evil pushes Goto to spin him back around, but still no STO! Goto HEADBUTTS and Evil goes down! Goto stays up, fires up, and Evil stands up to get the BUZZSAW!
Goto drags Evil up, fireman’s carry, G T W!! Cover, TWO!!! Evil lives but Goto wants to finish it! Dragon sleeper, but Evil slips out to shove Goto into Red Shoes! Goto turns around, into Evil’s LARIAT! All three are down between Evil, Goto and Red Shoes. Evil is up first and he drags Goto around by his legs. Evil LOW BLOW STOMPS!! He’s living up to his name with that one. Red Shoes revives as Evil covers, TWO!?! Goto survives that vicious move but Evil hits EVERYTHING IS EVIL!! Cover, Evil wins!!
Winner: Evil, by pinfall
Goto couldn’t withstand the merciless tactics of LIJ’s dark one! Evil joins Sanada and Hiromu in the quarterfinals, and he takes the mic to speak. He told you all he’d keep winning by any means necessary! He is already the number one in this tournament. “This! Is! Evil! Everything! Is! Evil!” Will LIJ take over the Cup and then Dominion?
Another really good card for NJPW, though the results were half predictable, half mildly surprising. Hashi and Bushi have a good opener, and I’m moderately surprised Hashi won. At the same time, the bracket ended up in such a way that there wasn’t going to be LIJ VS LIJ in just the quarterfinals. That’s a semifinals to finals level thing so Bushi had to drop. Sanada and Sho also have a really good match, but with Sho having beat Shingo and setting up a NEVER Openweight Championship showdown, Sho didn’t need to keep going in the Cup. Sanada’s also been owed a great run so here it is. I’m a little surprised Taichi VS Ibushi didn’t finish the night, and it definitely surprised me that Taichi won. Obviously he did it dirty, but it sets up a lot of heat for him and ZSJ going into a Heavyweight Tag Title match. That match will definitely happen at Dominion so as not to detract from the Cup.
Evil and Goto were a great main event with how hard both guys hit each other, and how they brawled from the moment the two met at the ramp. This match was something that felt it could go either way, but it’s been pretty clear that, except for the winner of the bottom left branch, it’s going to be an LIJ semifinals. Sanada VS Evil, and I’m very confident Hiromu meets Okada. Okada’s been on a great run, Ishimori isn’t getting through him, Rainmaker and Timebomb is incredible just thinking about it. And thinking about it, I bet we get a rematch of Okada VS Sanada, that rivalry has been epic and fighting for a shot at Naito’s double championship will only add to that.
My Score: 8.8/10