The Persian Lion is back on 205 Live!
Ariya Daivari warned us but no one expected him to be back so soon! He pounced on Oney Lorcan, will the Persian Lion tear into Jake Atlas, too?
- Ever-Rise VS El Legado del Fantasma; El Legado del Fantasma wins.
- Ariya Daivari VS Jake Atlas; Daivari wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
Ever-Rise VS El Legado del Fantasma!
Chase Parker and Matt Martel want to prove they’re the new top tag team in the Cruiserweight Division, but they’ll have to deal with a faction that says they DEFINE the Cruiserweight Division. Will Parker and Martel change that definition here tonight?
The teams sort out and Raul Mendoza starts against Martel. The crowd cheers for Ever-Rise as Martel gets in Mendoza’s face. Mendoza pushes him away but Escobar seems amused by Martel’s fire. Martel and Mendoza circle, tie up, and Mendoza wrenches to a wristlock. Martel wrenches back, yanks on the arm and wrenches again. Mendoza rolls, breaks free and kicks low to headlock back. Martel powers out, Mendoza goes up and over in the corner to CHOP Martel back. Mendoza whips Martel to ropes but Martel reverses to drop down and elbow Mendoza down! Tag to Parker, Parker drags Mendoza up and wrenches to a shoulder breaker. Mendoza fights up but Parker has the double wristlock to a hammerlock.
Mendoza elbows out, throws haymakers, but Parker ducks the next one to get around. Parker lifts, Mendoza tags Wilde, and while Mendoza takes the atomic drop, Wilde turns Parker around. Parker kicks but Wilde blocks to a DDT! Wilde pushes Parker around and says Ever-Rise isn’t the best tag team, certainly not in 205 Live. Wilde stomps and stands on Parker’s hand then throws him to a corner. Wilde brings Parker up to stomp and club away on in the corner, then lets up at 4. Wilde drags Parker up, snapmares and knees Parker in the back, then clamps on a chinlock. Parker endures and Martel coaches him up with “Defense! Defense!” The crowd joins in on the chant and Parker powers Wilde into buckles! Parker is free but Wilde whips him away!
Wilde ELBOWS Parker down hard, then tags in Mendoza. Mendoza helps out, hip toss rebound splash! Mendoza stands on Parker for a cocky cover, ONE! Mendoza stomps Parker to the corner then brings him up. Parker throws body shots but Mendoza knees low. Mendoza clubs Parker, snapmares him and wraps on a cobra clutch. Parker flails and claws at the hold but he starts to fade. The crowd rallies and Martel coaches Parker up, and Parker fights his way back up! But Mendoza wrangles Parker down hard and Escobar smiles. Parker keeps fighting up, throws body shots to get free, but Mendoza knees low. Mendoza suplexes, Parker slips out and shoves Mendoza away! Wilde tags in but so does Martel! Martel rallies on El Legado with CHOPS!
Martel whips Wilde and dropkicks him down! Mendoza runs into a BIG back drop! Martel clotheslines Mendoza out and tags Parker back in. Parker whips Martel for Martel to whip Parker for the corner forearm on Wilde! Parker feeds Wilde to the drop toehold, Martel is the step stool for the BOOYA elbow drop! Cover, Mendoza breaks it! Parker throws Mendoza out and tags in Martel. Ever-Rise has Wilde up, wheelbarrow and boost, but Mendoza dumps Parker out! Wilde pushes Martel to ropes, Mendoza tags in as Martel bucks Wilde off! Mendoza hotshots Martel and Wilde sets him up, ENZIGURI RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP!! Cover, El Legado wins!
Winners: El Legado del Fantasma, by pinfall
Ever-Rise came so close but were still not able to stop Escobar’s handpicked henchmen. Will Isaiah “Swerve” Scott and Breezango have a better shot next week on NXT?
Ariya Daivari VS Jake Atlas!
The Persian Lion took advantage of his archenemy, Oney Lorcan, being distracted to viciously attack! The 205 Live OG has returned and looks to continue where he left off, but will the new kid on the block make sure it ends before it begins?
The bell rings and Atlas circles with Daivari. Daivari tells the crowd to shut up with the cheering but they only rally harder. Daivari and Atlas tie up, Atlas headlocks and they end up on the ropes. The ref counts, Daivari shoves, but then Daivari uses the ropes as defense. Daivari and Atlas circle and tie up again, Atlas headlocks to the takeover. Daivari avoids the cover, fights his way up, but Atlas hits another takeover! Atlas makes it a cover this time, ONE! Atlas and Daivari stand up, Daivari powers out but Atlas runs him over! Cover, ONE, but Atlas is back on Daivari with another headlock. Daivari fights up, pulls hair and has Atlas in a corner. The ref counts, Daivari rams a shoulder in!
Daivari whips Atlas corner to corner, Atlas goes up and over and hits another headlock takeover! It’s a cover, ONE, but Atlas grinds on the hold. Daivari pulls hair, Atlas thrashes Daivari around and the crowd rallies up. Daivari fights up, fish hooks the mouth then knees low. Daivari puts Atlas in a headlock now, but Atlas powers out and handsprings to evade! Atlas gets the headlock takeover again! The crowd cheers Atlas on as he gets another cover, ONE! Daivari throws body shots, Atlas grinds the headlock, but Daivari powers out to club Atlas in the back! Daivari throws Atlas to the apron, Atlas lands on his feet and counter punches Daivari away. Atlas throws in a shoulder but gets a KNEE for it! Daivari runs and dropkicks Atlas off the apron!
The ring count starts but Daivari goes out to TOSS Atlas into boards! Daivari brings Atlas up, Atlas fights back but Daivari clubs him for it. Daivari bounces Atlas off the announce desk! The count hits 7 and Daivari puts Atlas in. Daivari drags Atlas through the ropes for the hotshot neckbreaker! The ref reprimands but Daivari returns to the ring. Atlas gets to a corner and Daivari tells Vic Joseph to shut up on commentary. Daivari stomps a mudhole into Atlas in the corner but lets off at the ref’s count. Daivari throws haymakers, wrenches Atlas and yanks on the arm. The crowd rallies up but Daivari rams shoulders with Atlas. Daivari drops a leg on the arm, covers, ONE! Atlas sits up but Daivari is on him with a high keylock.
Atlas moves around, the crowd rallies up, Atlas gets up and fights back with body shots. Daivari lets go, Atlas runs, dodges and ducks but Daivari forearms him down hard! Daivari glares at Atlas as he stalks him to the ropes. Daivari drags Atlas up, toys with him, and tells the “new guy” that this is Daivari’s show. But Atlas ROCKS Daivari, CHOPS him and throws more hands! Atlas kicks and whips Daivari to run him over with forearms of his own! Atlas rallies, throws uppercuts and has Daivari in a corner! Atlas RAMS into Daivari, goes to the apron and slingshots in to GERMAN SUPLEX! BASEMENT ENZIGURI! Cover, TWO!! Daivari survives but Atlas keeps his focus. Atlas runs back in but Daivari boots him away.
Atlas fires up but runs into a hammerlock! Atlas ducks the lariat, BOOTS and hits the HEADLOCK DRIVER! Cover, TWO!! Daivari survives again and Atlas grits his teeth. Atlas heads to the corner, climbs up top, but Daivari shoves him down! Atlas is on the apron, he shoulders in and springboards, for the BLOCKBUSTER! But Daivari flops out of the ring and to safety! Atlas can’t believe how close he was there, but he doesn’t give up. Atlas builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit takes Daivari down at the ramp! Atlas fires up as he drags Daivari back up and into the ring. Daivari hurries to a corner, Atlas runs corner to corner, but into a hip toss that sends Atlas into buckles!
Both men are down as the ref checks on Atlas. Atlas is okay to continue, and Daivari undoes a buckle pad?! The ref reprimands and Daivari argues, Atlas rolls Daivari up! TWO, and Daivari swings, into a back suplex! Daivari pokes Atlas in the eyes!! Hammerlock, LION’S LARIAT!! Cover, Daivari wins!!
Winner: Ariya Daivari, by pinfall
The more things change, the more things stay the same! Daivari Dinero wins with some classically dirty tactics, will keeping true to himself bring him the Cruiserweight Championship?
A really good episode here, though the Heels won both matches. Ever-Rise have made an interesting shift to Faces but I like that. Martel being the mouth with a lot of charisma definitely helps them be Faces, and they had a really good match with El Legado, even in losing. I don’t know if the NXT Tag Team Championships will come into play, but I feel like that has to be part of the goal for El Legado. El Legado, Imperium, Breezango and some other Face team, probably Ever-Rise at this point, with a Fatal 4 Tag that happens for the TakeOver that coincides with Survivor Series, that would work. Daivari and Atlas have a pretty good match, too, but of course Daivari wins for his return. I was hoping Oney would show up but maybe he’ll come back for revenge next time. More Oney VS Daivari is going to be great, and I hope at some point, 205 Live can get back over 30 minutes thanks to one of their matches.
My Score: 8.2/10
Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/5/21)
The New Japan Cup returns!
Once again, it’s NJPW’s tournament to the top!
Though this tournament technically kicked off with NJPW’s 49th Anniversary Event, things properly begin tonight! Who takes the first step towards THE IWGP World Championship?
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.
- Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima; The United Empire wins.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Toru Yano VS Bad Luck Fale; Yano wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi; Goto wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: The United Empire VS Master Wato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima!
Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan are already into the next round of the tournament, and Will Ospreay is hoping to do the same! Will the United Empire be victorious again? Or will the Way of the Grandmaster help Ikari no Mogyu and the King of Cozy Style in the resistance?
The trios talk trash to each other and the ref tries to keep the peace as Ospreay eggs Tenzan on. But then the Empire rushes in and attacks anyway! The bell rings to get this on record, and Ospreay throws Tenzan out while Khan throws Wato and Cobb throws Kojima. The Empire goes out and attacks the resistance. Ospreay throws hands on Tenzan, Cobb throws Kojima into railing then goes after Cobb. Khan puts Kojima in to stomp him down while Ospreay clubs Tenzan down. Fans rally for the resistance as Khan clamps onto Kojima with a chinlock. Khan lets off and brings Kojima up for Mongolian Chops! Khan taunts Tenzan then Mongolian Chops Kojima again!
Fans fire up for Kojima as he blocks the chops to go for Mongolian Chops! Khan blocks those, fires off forearms, spins but Kojima ROCKS him first! Kojima fires off forearms and spins, but Khan Mongolian Chops him down! Khan stomps Kojima, Ospreay knocks Tenzan and Wato off the corner and Cobb stomps Kojima, too. The Empire all stomp Kojima together, then drag him up. Khan puts Kojima in a corner, he and Cobb whip Kojima corner to corner, then they send Ospreay in, only for Kojima to toss Ospreay out! Cobb kicks Kojima and holds him as Khan runs, but Kojima fights back! Kick for Khan, DDT for Cobb!
Kojima swats Khan’s clothesline away, then kicks and SPIKES him with a DDT! Fans fire up for Kojima and he fires off machine gun CHOPS in the corner! Kojima tops it off with one more CHOP, then whips Khan corner to corner. Kojima runs in to forearm smash and he throws Khan down. Fans fire up more and Kojima climbs up. Ospreay is there to throw Kojima down! Ospreay and Cobb attack Tenzan and Wato again! Khan gest Kojima’s arm and wants the Kimura! Kojima endures, fans rally up, but Khan drags Kojima over to a Fujiwara! Kojima still endures so Khan stomps the arm! Khan drags Kojima up, drags him over to the corner and Cobb tags in.
The Empire mugs Kojima, and Cobb throws forearms. Kojima reaches but Cobb brings him away from his corner. Cobb scoops Kojima, pops him up and RAMS him into the corner! Tag to Ospreay and he stomps Kojima, then CHOPS him! Ospreay scoops and SLAMS Kojima to then drop a knee! Cover, TWO! Ospreay keeps his cool and Khan joins him. The fans rally but the Empire double whips Kojima. Kojima kicks Ospreay, swats Khan, and then kicks Ospreay for a COZY CUTTER! Both men are down but fans fire up! Kojima crawls, and hot tags Tenzan! Tenzan runs Ospreay over, DECKS Cobb, and fires up!
Tenzan clubs and wants to Mongolian Chop but Khan clubs him from behind! Khan goes to Mongolian Chop but Tenzan headbutts low! And then Tenzan “steals” the Mongolian Chops! Ospreay kicks Tenzan, runs, but into the WINDMILL KICK! Fans fire up with Tenzan as he corner splashes Ospreay, then hits a BIG suplex! Cover, TWO! Fans rally, Tenzan brings Ospreay up and gives him more Mongolian Chops! Ospreay mule kicks, but Tenzan blocks the fireman’s carry. Ospreay powers through but Tenzan slips off and shoves him to a corner. Ospreay boots back, springboards, PIP PIP CHEERIO! Cover, TWO!
Ospreay fires up, fans rally, and Ospreay reels Tenzan in for double underhooks. Tenzan resists the lift so Ospreay gives him Kowata Kicks. Ospreay runs, gets around the clothesline and HOOK KICKS! But he runs into MOUNTAIN BOMB! Tenzan fires up after hitting the modified back drop, he and Ospreay hot tag Cobb and Wato! Wato springboards for the flying uppercut, but is caught! Wato elbows free, gives kicks and kicks and a mule kick. Cobb blocks the whip, Wato ROUNDHOUSES him! Wato whips, Cobb reverses but Wato dodges to leg lariat! Cover, TWO! Kojima and Tenzan hit the Empire then go after Cobb!
Bea Priestley protests but Wato whips Cobb corner to corner to elbow! Kojima elbows, then feeds Cobb to Tenzan’s headbutt! Wato springboards for the flying uppercut! Cover, TWO! Fans rally up and the resistance regroups. Wato spins but Cobb blocks the kick to a FALL AWAY SLAM! Bridging cover, but Kojima breaks it! Khan attacks and whips Kojima to BOOT him down! Tenzan Mongolian Chops Khan down! Ospreay ROLLING ELBOWS Tenzan! Ospreay whips and pops Wato up but Wato RANAS! Cobb grabs Wato but Wato bell claps free! SCREW HIGH KICK! Tilt-o-whirl, but Cobb pops that and blocks the rana for a TOUR OF THE ISLANDS!! Cover, the Empire wins!!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
And the resistance has been crushed! At least, for now! Ospreay and Tenzan still have a tournament battle, will the Empire be united in the second round?
But then EVIL strikes! He wants after Cobb, who will be his first opponent in the tournament! Evil rakes Cobb’s eyes and Dick Togo uses the SPOILER CHOKER on him! The rest of the Empire rushes back and runs Evil off, but the damage has been done! Will the Hawaiian Hulk make the King of Darkness defy the Empire?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Toru Yano VS Bad Luck Fale!
It seems like the Producer and the Rogue General are fated to fight! But will Fale take care of two birds with one Grenade, and be both a second-round entrant and KOPW 2021 contender?
After Yano’s very long introduction that might be getting even longer, Yano points the KOPW trophy at Fale, and Fale SWATS it away! The bell rings, Fale rolls Yano up, TWO!! Fale looms over Yano in the corner and stomps him, and the KOPW trophy is broken AGAIN! Fale throws hands, whips Yano corner to corner, then runs in. Yano dodges, and goes to untie a buckle pad! Fale runs in again, Yano dodges, Fale stops himself from hitting bare buckles, but Yano SLAPS Fale on the back of the head! Fale glares at Yano and Yano apologizes. Yano dodges Fale, SLAPS him again, then runs. Fale runs Yano over! Yano bails out and fans rally up.
Yano clings to the railing and says he’s afraid of Fale! Fale runs out and catches Yano before he can go into the ring, and he RAMS Yano into railing! Then he whips Yano into more railing! Fale CLUBS Yano, brings him around and whips him into more railing! The ref reprimands but Fale tells him to shut up. Fale throws body shots on Yano, brings him around and whips him into even more railing! Fale stomps Yano, goes back to the ring, and lets the count handle this. Fans rally up for Yano as the count climbs, and Yano stirs at around 5 of 20. Yano slowly sits up, stands up at 15 of 20, and goes around railing. Yano hurries in at 19.9! Fale stomps Yano down but fans still rally.
Fale stands on Yano’s body at the ropes! The ref counts and Fale lets off at 3. Fale brings Yano up, Yano fires off forearms and hammering fists! Yano fires up and tries to scoop Fale! Fale is annoyed and he scoops to SLAM Yano! Fale stands on Yano for the cover, TWO!! Yano still lives and Fale is even more annoyed. Fans rally up as Fale drags Yano up to a choke grip! Yano clubs free, fires off forearms, but Fale ROCKS Yano back! Yano ends up in the corner, and Fale runs in. Yano dodges and Fale gets bare buckles to the chest! Yano tries to scoop, Fale scoops him and SLAMS him back! Fale drags Yano up, scoops and SLAMS Yano again! And then drops the elbow, only to miss!
Yano bails out, Fale rolls out after him and fans rally up again. Fale drags Yano up and whips but Yano blocks with help from railing! Fale blocks the reversal, to send Yano into railing after all! Fale runs in but Yano dodges and Fale runs into the railing! Yano comes back with TAPE! Yano goes after Fale but Fale shoves him into a post! Fale CLUBS Yano, and then has Yano’s tape! Fale is tying Yano’s hands around the corner! The ring count is climbing but Fale finishes up his work at 10 of 20! Fale CLUBS Yano, Yano kicks back, and then Yano baits Fale into running into the POST! LOW BLOW?! The ref didn’t see because he’s busy counting! Fale is down, Yano gets in at 19!! YANO WINS!!
Winner: Toru Yano, by count-out (advances to the next round)
Another win that’s outside the box and by the skin of Yano’s teeth! Yano keeps Fale from being a contender in both the Cup and for the KOPW 2021! But will Yano be able to get a new, less fragile trophy so that he can defend it at all?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi!
The Fierce Warrior and the Sliest Wrestler in the World have both had battles with the Guerrillas of Destiny and lost. But now they can fight their way to the top of NJPW! Will Goto be ready for whatever tricks Taichi has up his proverbial sleeve?
Taichi takes off his cloak and shows off the dancing pecs, which fans cheer. Goto still doesn’t trust Taichi’s pouch, so Taichi puts that aside. The bell rings and fans rally already! Goto and Taichi stare down, stretch a bit, then slowly circle. They approach, tie up, and Goto powers Taichi to ropes. Taichi just relaxes and Goto lets off cleanly. They circle again and fans rally up. Goto and Taichi tie up, Goto puts Taichi back on ropes, and then lets off clean again. Taichi applauds and so do fans, and the two circle again. Goto and Taichi approach, tie up, and Goto headlocks, but Taichi tries the saido already! Goto fights that off, but Taichi puts him on ropes now.
Taichi lets off, but then chokes Goto! Red Shoes counts, Taichi lets go at 4. Taichi kicks Goto out of the ring, follows him out, and then whips Goto into railing! Taichi brings Goto around, scoops him, and gives him SNAKE EYES to railing! Taichi uses camera cord to CHOKE Goto! Red Shoes reprimands, counts, and Taichi lets go with one hand at 4. Red Shoes says that’s not enough, but Taichi keeps choking Goto, and even pulls hair. Red Shoes starts the ring count so Taichi lets go of Goto at 4 of 20. Taichi drags Goto up and around at 12 of 20 and chokes Goto on the railing! Taichi leaves Goto behind at 15, but Goto gets in at 19! Fans cheer but Taichi stands on Goto at the ropes.
Red Shoes reprimands, counts, but Taichi lets go of the ropes. Again, not the problem! Taichi finally steps off Goto’s neck and fans rally up. Taichi drags Goto from the apron, brings him up, and snapmares him to CHOKE him! Red Shoes reprimands, Taichi stops, but then does it again! Red Shoes reprimands, that’s a choke, not a cover! Taichi lets off, and says if he wants to see a choke, here’s a CHOKE! Red Shoes counts, Taichi lets off and smirks while fixing his hair. Taichi drags Goto up, and hides a choke inside a shoulder clamp! Red Shoes checks and sees the trick so Taichi lets go. Fans rally for Goto but Taichi drags him up to snapmare again. Taichi KICKS Goto in the back, covers, TWO!
Taichi toys with Goto now as he scuffs his head. Goto grits his teeth and gets up but Taichi boots him! Taichi kicks Goto around, but Goto CHOPS and CHOPS back! Taichi chokes Goto to throw him down! Red Shoes reprimands but Taichi just drags Goto back up. Taichi gives Goto Kowata Kicks, then KICKS Goto down. Goto slowly sits up but Taichi stomps him back down. Taichi gives more Kowata Kicks, but Goto just gets mad! Goto glares at Taichi and CHOPS, CHOPS, CHOPS! Goto ROCKS Taichi, runs, but Taichi choke grips! Goto choke grips back! Goto chokes Taichi to a corner! Fans cheer but Red Shoes reprimands.
Goto lets go, Taichi kicks low, but Goto follows Taichi as he runs to LARIAT Taichi down! Fans fire up as both men are down! Goto catches his breath and gets up first. Goto drags Taichi up, fires forearms, whips Taichi to a corner, then runs in to MURAMASA! And BULLDOG! Cover, TWO! Goto drags Taichi up, fireman’s carries, but Taichi fights off, only for Goto to block the saido! Goto throws elbows, Taichi staggers to a corner, and Goto runs in, but Taichi dodges to GAMANGIRI! Both men are down but fans rally up! Taichi drags himself to a corner and gets up. Taichi powers up his arm, runs at Goto and AX BOMBERS! But Goto stays up?!
Goto fires up and runs, to LARIAT! But Taichi stays up!! Taichi runs, AX BOMBER, but Goto still stays up! Goto runs and LARIATS, Taichi still stays up! Both men run, DOUBLE LARIATS hit but neither falls! And then DOUBLE LARIATS again! Goto runs, and again DOUBLE LARIATS hit! This time, both men drop to their knees! Fans rally up, Goto runs but again LARIATS collide! Taichi GAMANGIRIS! Both men are down again and fans are thunderous! Taichi sits up first and Goto stirs, but off come the pants! Taichi powers up from the corner, but Goto CLOBBERS him first! Goto goes to back suplex but Taichi elbows free!
Taichi runs, Goto follows but Taichi dodges and reels Goto in! Goto resists Seiteijyujiryou, reels Taichi in to a fireman’s carry, and hits USHIGOROSHI! Fans fire up again as Goto drags Taichi back up. Taichi grabs a leg but Goto clubs him over and over! Goto drags Taichi up, clubs him, knees him and hits URA GTR! Cover, TWO!! Taichi survives but fans fire up again! Goto stands first, drags Taichi up, reels him into the dragon sleeper, but Taichi choke grips from below! Taichi gets free of the dragon sleeper but Goto swats Taichi’s grip away! Goto spins but into a choke grip! CHOKE SLAM!! Fans are thunderous as both men are down again!
Taichi sits up and slaps some sense into himself. Taichi drags Goto back up with the choke grip, but Goto gets free and swings, but into the DANGEROUS SAIDO!! Cover, TWO!?! Taichi can’t believe it but the fans are thunderous again! Taichi fires up, gives a thumbs down, then reels Goto in. Goto resists the bomb lift, but Taichi powers through to LAST RIDE! High stack cover, TWO?!? Goto survives and Taichi can’t believe it! Taichi drags Goto up and Alabama lifts, but Goto fights out of that! Goto clubs away on Taichi’s back, blocks the Alabama lift again, and fans fire up as Goto hammers away over and over. Taichi breaks free to DECK Goto!
Taichi paces, drags Goto but Goto is dead weight. Fans rally up and Taichi drags Goto by his hair. Taichi stands Goto up but Goto blocks the forearm into a spin and suplex, SHOUTEN KAI!! Both men are down again and fans fire back up! Goto grits his teeth and rises again! Goto gets himself to ropes while Taichi sitrs. Goto drags himself to his feet, Taichi is in a daze but Goto powers up now. Taichi sits up into the BUZZSAW! But he pops right up to BOOT?! Goto forearms, Taichi mule kicks, Goto HEADBUTTS! Taichi is down but Goto shakes his head. Fans are thunderous again as Goto fires up and drags Taichi into the dragon sleeper!
Taichi slips out, Alabama lifts, but Goto escapes to dragon sleeper! Taichi gets out to ROUNDHOUSE! Taichi hooks the arms, TAICHI STYLE GEDO CLUTCH! TWO!!! Goto narrowly escapes and the fans are thunderous yet again! Taichi and Goto slowly rise, and Taichi goes to a corner. Taichi fires himself up, builds power and takes aim, but Goto blocks the kick! Goto fireman’s carries to G T W!!! Cover, TWO!?!?! Taichi survives and the fans are now electric! Goto isn’t done, he dragon sleepers to TRUE G T R!!! Cover, GOTO WINS!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall (advances to the next round)
The Sliest Wrestler took the fight to the Fierce Warrior, but he couldn’t overcome him! Goto gets a mic and speaks! The New Japan Cup is back, and he’s advancing on! Goto vows that he will be going all the way to the end! Goto is a man of few words and is always direct! Will he be heading directly to the top of the tournament?
A very good event, but again I cut out matches that just didn’t feel as important. Suzuki-Gun continues to battle and brutalize Young Lions, but I did catch the part where Suzuki and Honma were arguing and slapping each other while ZSJ was trying to twist Gabriel Kidd apart. I skipped the Bullet Club match but again, Evil took the win there because he needs to go strong into his first NJCUP match this year. Evil won last year, he gets an unofficial bye this year, and his first opponent is Jeff Cobb, so he needs as much momentum as he can get for that.
Cobb helps the United Empire get the win tonight in a really fun Six Man, Evil jumps Cobb, that match is going to be good and there’s a good chance Evil cheats to win to head for a possible back-to-back win. That won’t happen, though, I think he’s running into Kazuchika Okada first since they’re on the same side of the bracket. Okada will win that, go to the finals, and we’ll see how that goes with a lot of great choices on the other side.
Yano VS Fale is becoming a great rivalry, and that was another creative and entertaining way to win. Yano’s KOPW trophy 3.0 needs to be a little heftier so it doesn’t break, and so it can look even more like Yano than this previous one. Goto VS Taichi was an incredible match for just the first round, and I’m a touch surprised Goto won. Taichi did keep things fair and square, so that’s part of it. Okada VS Takagi is tomorrow, and the winner of that faces Goto. Goto VS Okada would be an incredible match because of it being Chaos VS Chaos on top of everything.
My Score: 9/10
Andrew’s New Japan Cup Results & Match Ratings: 3.5.2021
The New Japan Cup tour officially starts today, even though we already got one upset! Who moves on to round 2!?
Even though the first two matches happened on the Anniversary show, this is the first official show dedicated to the Cup.
With one huge upset already, do we get any more shocks to the system? And no, if Yano wins (which he probably will) that’s not an upset. He has a surprisingly good record in tournament first rounds.
So let’s all revel in the goofy way Yano invents to move to round 2!
- Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, DOUKI) vs Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @10:46 – ***
- Bullet Club (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori) w/ Dick Togo vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask IV, YOSHI-HASHI, David Finlay: EVIL wins via Scorpion Deathlock @11:40 – ***
- TenCozy & Master Wato vs The United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay) w/Bea Priestley: Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @9:14 – ** ½
- New Japan Cup: Toru Yano vs Bad Luck Fale: Yano wins via Countout @5:50 – **
- New Japan Cup: Hirooki Goto vs Taichi: Goto wins via GTR @22:43 – **** ½
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr, DOUKI) vs Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Tomoaki Honma
This was fun and definitely had better energy than a lot of the preliminary matches New Japan has done before bigger singles. Honma and Suzuki took shots at each other often, with Honma getting the best of Suzuki often. But Honma never backed down, we’re slowly getting back to the underdog Vampire Chicken that people were initially introduced to.
ZSJ did a great job putting Gabe over in this match as well. They started with a lot of World of Sport fast paced counters, ringers, spins and what not, but surprisingly, Gabe and the face trio got the best of ZSJ at different times. Zack was actually on the receiving end for a bit, but after Yuya is tagged in legal, and the tandem locomotion corner spot, we knew it was a matter of time.
After ducking a lariat, ZSJ quick tags Suzuki and then heads out, which allows Suzuki to make quick work of Yuya, continuing to add on that story they had going earlier in the year.
Just very fun with good energy, and this is how prelim tags should work.
Bullet Club (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori) w/ Dick Togo vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask IV, YOSHI-HASHI, David Finlay
Tanahashi starting the match against Ishimori was great. This could lay the ground work for a future Openweight challenge, especially since Ishimori got the best of the Ace. The moves were basic, but as soon as Tanahashi start flexes and doing body builder poses, Ishimori returns after he hits a few moves and also highlights his washboard abs; causing Tanahashi to grab his stomach and get flustered since he’s not 6% body fat like Ishimori.
So with the little taste of comedy, we then see YOSHI-HASHI come in and get beat on by everyone at some point. Bullet Club even pulls off an amusing human chain during an Abdominal Stretch. After HASHI eventually tags out, then we see Finlay and Tiger Mask gets some shine. Finlay actually looks really good, hitting a cool Spinning Backdrop to bring in Tiger, but Tiger isn’t quite back up to snuff.
Even with him still recovering, he pushes things to needing EVIL to tag in, and Dick Togo has to cheat to help BC win, but generally speaking, it was a fun match where Tiger taking the fall proves he’s still on the way back.
TenCozy & Master Wato vs The United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay) w/Bea Priestley
This feud has gone on a bit long, and I’m not a big fan of Tenzan using the Mongolian Chops even though he lost a match saying he can’t. It’s better to ask for forgiveness than permission I suppose, but I’m still not a fan.
This was a solid trios match with a fantastic finish, but it didn’t really excite me like the first two multi-tags. Cobb catching Wato mid Satellite DDT, to throw him into Powerbomb position, to block a Frankensteiner, toss him like pizza dough and catch him in the Tour of the Islands position, to hit his finisher. It was just a thing of beauty.
When Cobb tries, he’s a great wrestler, and he’s been much more consistent this year. I also liked that Cobb was talking smack to EVIL on the camera, but EVIL and Dick Togo jumped him to try and get a small advantage in their upcoming New Japan Cup match. It’s a good spot before intermission.
New Japan Cup: Toru Yano vs Bad Luck Fale
Now this was pretty amusing. Fale attacks Yano in the middle of his announcement, but not with a strike, with a Roll-up. Sadly for Yano, this causes the KOPW trophy to break, but he doesn’t notice right away.
Yano spends a good bit of the match running from Fale saying he’s scared. But we get to the typical Yano stuff and he tries to tape Fale to the guardrail, but Fale is keen. So he shoves Yano back, and uses the tape to tie Yano’s hands around the ring post.
As the countout starts, Fale tries to pepper in a few free shots, but Yano is kicking him away. Fale gets mad and charges, Yano shields himself with the post and then it seems like one of his defensive kicks…goes a little low. Marty Asami allows it since it look unintentional just trying to keep someone back. So Yano manages to swing his legs onto the apron and scoot halfway into the ring while tied to the ring post. Marty decides that’s good enough and counts out Fale.
The Sublime Master Thief pulls out some TOTAL BS, but it’s still funny. Afterward, he gets the broken trophy and starts crying like its Hardball and G-baby just got shot.
New Japan Cup: Hirooki Goto vs Taichi
This match had stage, Taichi was up to his old tricks of slow moving, malicious outside tactics with cables and general cheating, but that makes sense with all of the things Taichi went through to get Iizuka’s fingers back.
Red Shoes is ever lenient, and Taichi was doing it just to be a brat, every choke count he would smile bigger; hell even the crowd seemed to find it devilishly charming. But when Goto fired up, it seemed like it woke something up in Taichi. Taichi and Goto traded strikes and it was fantastic especially when they both just slumped down. Both men pulled out classics, I love when Goto does the Shouten Kai, even Taichi pulled out the Dynamic T Chokeslam! Kawada classics like the Step Kicks and the Jumping High Kick, Goto threw everything at Taichi, but they both did a good job avoiding the finishers most of the match.
It was a great back and forth where both men knew the other’s offense and it showed. Serious Taichi is more and more like Kawada, it’s fantastic, but Goto when Goto countered the counters and finally hit GTR, it was all over for the Holy Emperor!
The wrong man won, but it was a great match.
Overall Score: 7/10
Well the Yano match was enjoyable, but if you dislike his style; that was going to do nothing to change your opinion. Taichi and Goto definitely deserved to be the main event, which was beautiful. Even the undercard tags were done well and the participants seemed to have a little more fun and remember the point of those.
Even if my personal taste is that the TenCozy/Empire feud is starting to wear out its welcome, it wasn’t offensive of anything, I’m just over it. I’m also looking forward to see if Cobb can continue this streak of evolution or if the new EVIL will just make me hate that match.
So there we go, another solid show…so now I’m gonna try my best to forget Castle Attack.
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