A big 205 Live just got a little bit bigger!
After mouthing off, Ariya Daivari now has to face Jake Atlas AND August Grey in a Triple Threat! Has the 205 Live OG bitten off more than he can chew?
- Triple Threat: Ariya Daivari VS August Grey VS Jake Atlas; Daivari wins.
- Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon VS Marina Shafir & Zoey Stark; Blackheart & Moon win and advance.
PLAY BY PLAY
Triple Threat: Ariya Daivari VS August Grey VS Jake Atlas!
The Persian Lion might learn the hard way that you have to be more careful what you say on social media. He stuck his nose into the business of #RetroAG and the muscle of El Monte, California, and now he has to take them both on! But it’ll still be every man for himself, so can Daivari Dinero put his money where his mouth is? Or will the new wave continue to leave the 205 Live OG adrift at sea?
The bell rings and the three circle. They all feel things out, and then Daivari clobbers Grey! Atlas kicks and whips Daivari but Daivari reverses. Things speed up but Daivari gives Atlas a kitchen sink knee! Daivari mule kicks Grey then dropkicks him down! Daivari gloats, “Who’s the man, huh?!” Fans boo but Daivari whips Grey to ropes. Grey reverses and sends Daivari out, then Grey dodges Atlas to DIVE! Direct hit takes Daivari down at the ramp! Grey goes back to the ring and he finally has that 1v1 he wanted with Atlas in the first place. They circle, tie up, and Atlas wrenches to get a wristlock. Grey slips through, wrenches back but Atlas rolls to wrench and arm-drag!
Atlas clamps onto the arm, Grey endures, and Grey powers up to whip free. Atlas runs Grey over, covers, ONE and Grey runs to dodge again. Grey huricanranas but Atlas handsprings through! Grey kips up, Daivari is up top, but both men get out of the way and Daivari FLOPS! Grey and Atlas loom over Daivari, bring him up, but Grey sunset flips Atlas! TWO, Atlas back kicks Grey and throws EuroUppers! Atlas CHOPS, throws elbows, then whips Grey corner to corner. Atlas body checks then whips Grey the other way but Grey boots him! Grey hops up but Atlas ENZIGURIS first! Atlas climbs, Daivari drags him down and SUPERKICKS him!
Daivari goes after Grey now, crossing the arms, ICONOCLASM onto Atlas! Cover on Atlas, TWO! Cover on Grey, ONE!! Daivari grows frustrated but he storms up to Atlas and throws him out. Daivari throws hands on Grey, whips him corner to corner, but Grey BOOTS him back! Grey runs, but into a BIG elbow! Cover, TWO! Daivari sees Atlas returning and goes over, but Atlas shoulders in! Atlas whips but Daivari reverses to put Atlas in a corner. Daivari whips corner to corner hard and Atlas bounces off buckles! Fans boo Daivari but Grey hits back! Grey throws haymakers, Daivari kicks low and snapmares for a chinlock.
Grey endures, fans rally up, and Grey fights up to throw body shots. Grey back suplexes high and hard! Both men are down but Atlas gets in to cover Daivari, TWO! Atlas covers Grey, ONE! Atlas drags Grey up but Grey ROCKS him with a right! Grey storms over to Daivari but gets a JAWBREAKER! Daivari goes after Atlas but Atlas throws heavy hands! Daivari throat chops Atlas in return! Daivari stomps Grey, stomps Atlas, then more for Grey and more for Atlas. Daivari stands Grey up to CHOP him, then he goes over to Atlas to whip him to ropes. Atlas holds ropes to kick Daivari then dropkick him down! Fans fire up as all three men are down!
Atlas runs at Grey but Grey puts him on the apron, only for Atlas to enziguri back! Daivari runs over, Grey dodges but Daivari DECKS Atlas! Grey dodges Daivari to JAWBREAKER and NECKBREAKER! Fans fire up as Daivari goes to a corner, and Grey runs in but Daivari puts him on the apron! Grey goes up, BIG crossbody hits! Grey sees Atlas coming, and gets him for a BACK SUPLEX! Cover, Daivari breaks it! All three men are down again but Daivari grabs Grey first. Daivari throws Grey out, heads after Atlas, but Atlas ROCKS Daivari with a right! Daivari gives the right back, they brawl and Atlas back elbows! Atlas runs into a SUPERKICK! But he BOOTS back! Atlas spins Daivari around for a LARIAT! Cover, TWO!!
Atlas whips Daivari to a corner, runs in but misses! Daivari ROUNDHOUSES then sees Grey, and HIP TOSSES him onto Atlas! Daivari climbs up, leaps, LION SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Grey survives and Daivari is beside himself! Daivari drags Grey up, Atlas slides back in, and Atlas spins Daivari, only for Daivari to spin him! Daivari hammerlocks, Atlas avoids the lariat to throw Daivari out! Grey swings into Atlas’ grasp, Atlas kicks Daivari down while hitting a tornado BRAIN BUSTER! Atlas DIVES to keep Daivari down! Atlas gets in, Grey ROCKS and SUPERKICKS Atlas!
Grey hurries up top, but Daivari grabs at him! Grey kicks Daivari away, adjusts, and walks the tightrope to FLY out onto Daivari! Daivari is down again but Atlas shoulders into Grey! Atlas drags Grey into the ring, suplexes, but Grey counters with a cradle! TWO!! Atlas goes Matrix to dodge and STUNNER! Atlas hurries to a corner, goes up, and as Grey comes closer, CARTWHEEL DDT!! Cover, but Daivari drags Atlas off! Daivari uses his GOLD CHAIN FIST to DECK Atlas!! No disqualifications but that’s still pretty cheap. Daivari hammerlocks Grey and LION LARIATS!! Cover, Daivari wins!
Winner: Ariya Daivari, by pinfall
The Persian Lion fought more like a snake, but that doesn’t change the fact he still capitalized on these younger Cruiserweights clashing against each other! Will this be what helps Daivari rise back up and go after the gold?
Women’s Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon VS Marina Shafir & Zoey Stark!
The wild child and the evolved Shenom didn’t win their WarGames match, but that doesn’t mean they’re giving up the fight! Will they #TCB, Take Care o’ Business against the returning MMA Horsewoman and the spicy new recruit?
The teams sort out, Stark starts against Shotzi and the two circle. They approach and tie up, and Stark uses power to shove Shotzi all the way to her corner! Stark dares Ember to bring it, so Ember tags in. But then Ember and Sotzi double dropkick! Ember swings around to roll Stark up, TWO! Ember swings around to sunset flip but Stark drags her up and double hand TOSSES her into the corner! Stark stomps Ember, tags Shafir and Shafir digs her knee in! Shafir drags Ember up, brings her around and tries to trip her up but Ember sprawls then hammers away! Shafir adjust to wrench and throw knees over and over! Shafir then hits a judo throw, covers, ONE!!
Shafir drags Ember back up, facelocks, brings her over and tags in Stark. Shafir scoop slams Ember onto Stark’s knees! Cover, TWO! Tag to Shafir, they mug Ember, then Shafir brings Ember around with another facelock. Shafir shifts to a waistlock, Ember fights the lift but Shafir come sin from below to drag Ember down! Ember kicks Shafir away, Shafir cartwheels and pie faces Ember! Ember gets up, “You think you bad?” Free shot! NOT! Ember boots, forearms and knees away on Shafir! Shafir shoves Ember, Ember slips under to Complete Shot Shafir onto ropes! Stark runs in, Ember drop toeholds her onto ropes right next to Shafir!
Shotzi tags in, runs, and welcomes Shafir & Stark to the ball pit, CANNONBALL ENZIGURI COMBO! Stark flops out, Shotzi covers Shafir, TWO! Shotzi brings Shafir up, whips but Shafir reverses. Shafir runs in, Shotzi goes up and over and comes back to corner splash! Shotzhi shoves to SLING DOG Shafir down! KNEE and ROLLING ELBOW! Stark gets in, Ember does, too, but the ref only sees Ember! Shafir shoves Shotzi into Stark’s cheap shot! Shafir drags Shotzi up, POSTS her, then tags in Stark in. Stark drags Shotzi around to snapmare and KICK her in the back! Stark drags Shotzi by an arm and drops a knee on the arm! Starks drops more knees, drags Shotzi up, and tags in Shafir.
Shafir takes the hand-off and pulls on Shotzi’s arm to get a keylock. Shotzi endures but drops to a knee. Shotzi fights up, throws body shots, but Shafir sweeps the legs! Shafir drags Shotzi up, ducks Shotzi’s kick, and fisherman’s into a pump handle for an EXPLODER! Tag to Stark, Shafir DECKS Ember, and Stark brings Shotzi up, BACK SUPLEX GTS!! Cover, but Ember breaks it!! Ember saves Shotzi and their chances in the Dusty Cup! Stark covers again, TWO! Stark drags Shotzi over, tags Shafir in, and they mug Shotzi in the corner. Shafir and Shotzi scrap, Shotzi hits back with elbows but Shafir ROCKS her! Shotzi hits Shafir again but Shafir stomps her!
Shafir grabs the legs, Shotzi kicks at Shafir, but Shafir still gets an ankle. Shotzi gets up and ENZIGURIS Shafir down! Fans fire up as both women crawl, hot tags to Stark and Ember! Ember dropkicks and CLOBBERS Stark, then spins her to a mule kick! Ember runs and BOOTS Stark into a neckbreaker, and BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! Ember kips up and fires up, and the CWC is right there with her! Ember runs to back body block Stark, snapmare her out, and climb up top! Stark staggers up into a FLYING CODE BREAKER! Cover, but Shafir breaks it! Shotzi gets Shafir but Shafir drags Shotzi down! They fall out of the ring, Shotzi pursues Shafir to the ramp and fires off forearms!
Shotzi and Shafir brawl while Starks dropkicks, but into a counter! QUEEN ANGELITO!! Stark taps, Shotzi and Ember win!
Winners: Shotzi Blackheart & Ember Moon, by submission (advance to the next round)
That was a fast and furious finish, and now the only team in the way is The Way! Will Shotzi and Ember be howling to moon and heading for the Dusty Cup itself?
A good episode here, getting just over 30 minutes. The Triple Threat was really good, and I’m a little surprised it was Daivari that won. I almost thought Grey was winning, but I suppose this keeps Grey and Atlas even for their own 1v1 match at some point. There might even be a tag match, Daivari & Nese VS Grey & Atlas because 205 Live does that a lot.
The Women’s Dusty Cup match was a lot of fun, because Stark was allowed to be very strong. She actually hit her finisher, “Go To Stark,” or whatever it would’ve been called in the indies when she was Lacey “Serrano” Ryan, but hey, she was in a match with former NXT Women’s Champion, Ember Moon, and a woman NXT is putting a lot of stock in with Shotzi Blackheart. Stark will have plenty of chances to be great so this was just some “paying your dues” stuff. Plus, Shotzi & Ember VS The Way’s LeRae & Indi is big story. That semifinal match is going to be great stuff, but Raquel & Dakota VS KC Squared is up first, and that will be very telling to how the other goes.
My Score: 8/10
Mitchell’s New Japan Cup Results & Report! (3/6/21)
New Japan Cup, day 2!
Will the Rainmaker redeem himself in the New Japan Cup?
Kazuchika Okada vows that it is time he returns to the top of NJPW! But this is only round ONE of the 2021 New Japan Cup! Can he make it to the end?
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: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire; The United Empire wins.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki; wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA; wins and advances.
- 2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi; wins and advances.
PLAY BY PLAY
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS The United Empire!
Tetsuya Naito lost in the first round of the NJCUP, Bushi couldn’t win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but Sanada is still in the running! Will LIJ be a powerful obstacle in the way of Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay?
But as soon as LIJ gets in the ring, the Empire attacks! Cobb throws Bushi out while Ospreay goes after Sanada, and Khan keeps Naito in the ring to revisit their recent NJCUP match. The bell rings, Khan drags Naito around but fans rally up. Khan clamps onto Naito with a chinlock but also adds his claw into it! Sanada sends Ospreay into railing while Naito and Khan brawl with forearms! Khan ROCKS Naito then Mongolian Chops him at the ropes. Naito reverses the whip to atomic drop, Bushi dropkicks the legs out and Naito basement dropkicks! Fans cheer and Naito grabs Khan’s ponytail! Naito drags Khan around by it, fans rally up and Khan grabs the ropes.
The ref counts, Naito lets off but tags Sanada in. Sanada climbs up and drops ax handles on the ponytail! That still tweaks Khan’s head and fans fire up again. Sanada drags Khan up while Ospreay protests, and Sanada headlocks to punch Khan down. Sanada throws haymakers, brings Khan up for clubbing elbows, then tags in Bushi. Bushi clubs Khan, drags him up by the ponytail, and bumps him off buckles. Bushi CHOPS Khan, puts Khan’s leg on ropes and dropkicks the leg out! Cover, TWO! ans rally, Bushi drags Khan around and tags in Naito. Naito clubs Khan, drags him up and cravats for a standing neck wrench. Khan endures, reaches for the Empire, but Naito keeps him away.
Khan throws body shots but Naito throws an elbow, into a standing katagatami! Khan kicks a leg out and drags Naito down! Cobb and Ospreay attack Sanada and Bushi! They brawl on the outside, Naito gets a ropebreak but Khan holds on! Khan cranks on the hold, the ref reprimands and counts, and Khan lets go at 3. Brawling continues outside but Khan drags Naito around to stomp away on the leg! Naito clutches his knee and fans rally up, but Khan drags him up first. Khan tags Cobb in, the Empire mugs Naito, and Cobb gives Naito a headbutt! Naito ends up in a corner, Cobb whips him out to whip him back in hard! The Empire likes that and Cobb scoops Naito to carry him around.
Cobb taunts LIJ by holding Naito out to them, but then throws in knees! Cobb puts Naito in the Empire corner, tags in Ospreay, and then sets Naito up for Ospreay’s DRAPING DOUBLE STOMPS! Ospreay BOOTS Sanada, Cobb RAMS Naito back into the corner, and Ospreay digs his boot in. The ref reprimands and counts, Ospreay lets off to throw haymakers and more stomps! Ospreay digs his knee in, the ref reprimands and counts, but Ospreay lets off again. Ospreay snapmares and wraps Naito up in a chinlock. Ospreay grinds Naito down, fans rally up, and Naito endures. Khan keeps ropes away from Naito but the ref reprimands.
Ospreay drags Naito away, cranks on the chinlock then shifts to a facelock. Khan tags in, and Mongolian Chops Naito on the back! Khan drags Naito up for more Mongolian Chops! Khan mockingly asks what’s wrong and he eggs Naito on. Fans rally, Naito throws haymakers and forearms! Khan knees low, whips, but Naito reverses to tornado, only for Khan to block the DDT! Naito fights out of Khan’s grip, elbows him, then spins him for a neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans fire up! Naito sits up but Khan follows. They both go to their corners, hot tags to Sanada and Ospreay! Sanada rallies, whips but Ospreay reverses, only for Sanada to reverse back and RANA!
Sanada dropkicks Cobb away, then blocks Ospreay’s boot to trip him! Sanada ties Ospreay up in Paradise! Fans fire up as Sanada encourages them to get loud. Sanada runs in and dropkicks Ospreay out of Paradise! Cover, ONE!! Fans rally for “SA-NA-DA!” as he drags Ospreay up. Sanada fireman’s carries, Ospreay elbows free and waistlocks, but Sanada resists the lift. Sanada elbows free, runs in but Ospreay puts him up top! Ospreay tucks him in, for CHEEKY NANDOS! Ospreay hurries and tags in Cobb! Cobb runs corner to corner to LEAPING back elbow! Cobb scoops Sanada, pops him up into the suplex, holds him up, but Sanada reverses to snap suplex!
Fans fire up again as Cobb goes to a corner. Sanada crawls and hot tags Bushi! Bushi runs corner to corner but Cobb dodges. Cobb runs in, Bushi slips out and swing kick shim away! Bushi goes up, missile dropkick! Bushirooni! Cobb runs back at Bushi but into a basement dropkick to the legs! Bushi basement DDT’s and covers, TWO! Fans rally and Bushi brings Cobb up. Cobb throws forearms, whips Bushi to a corner, then runs in, but Bushi dodges! Naito rocket kicks and leg sweeps, COMBINACION CABRON! LIJ whips Cobb, Sanada elbows and snapmares, for a TRIPLE BASEMENT DROPKICK! Cover, TWO!
Naito dropkicks Khan down but Ospreay drags Sanada out. Bushi has Cobb, but no Fisherman Screw! Ospreay hits PIP PIP CHEERIO on Bushi! Sanada dropkicks Ospreay, but Khan BOOTS Sanada! Naito dropkicks Khan’s legs out, then dodges Cobb, only for Cobb to LARIAT him! Cobb goes back to Bushi as fans rally up. Bushi kicks, Cobb blocks then ducks the enziguri but not the mule kick! Bushi runs in, but the Code Break is blocked and popped to a GERMAN SUPLEX! Cobb drags Bushi up, reels him in and hits a TOUR OF THE ISLAND! Cover, the Empire wins!
Winners: The United Empire, by pinfall
The Hawaiian Hulk is building up power and momentum towards his NJCUP battle with Evil! The Dominator is also already in, and the newly deemed “Global Kingpin” Ospreay has his battle tomorrow, March 7th! Will the entire United Empire advance towards the finals?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Tomoaki Honma VS Minoru Suzuki!
These two have been warming up in tag matches and finally get to throw down 1v1! Will Everyone’s Kokeshi be able to knock the Meanest Man in the World out of the tournament? Or will Suzuki brutalize and leave him behind while going for the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Juice Robinson VS KENTA!
The Flamboyant One and Fang Revived are back in Japan in time for the Cup! But who moves on towards the next round and faces [winner of last match]?
2021 New Japan Cup Opening Round: Kazuchika Okada VS Shingo Takagi!
The Rainmaker said at Castle Attack that it’s about time he returns to the top of NJPW! But in his way is the Dragon! Will Takagi end Okada’s road back to redemption already? Or will Okada slay the dragon and head back for the gold?
Andrew’s New Japan Cup Results & Match Ratings: 3.6.2021
Another day of New Japan Cup, and this time with 3 Cup matches! Less undercard means a bigger focus on the tournament, so I’m always a fan of that.
Another day of New Japan Cup, and this time with 3 Cup matches! Less undercard means a bigger focus on the tournament, so I’m always a fan of that.
Tomoaki Honma is on the way back and it’s great to see. Before quarantine he was very aware that his injury made him slower and he felt like he was dead weight. Between all of his interactions teaming with Golden Ace, facing different Los Ingobernables members, and this current build with Minoru Suzuki; it really feels like Honma is returning to form. Let’s hope it continues!
The main event has most people abuzz because of the quality of both first round competitors. Kazuchika Okada versus Shingo Takagi is a big match, most years it’s a shame to get it over with in the First Round, but very recent news may have explained why. Assuming it’s not slightly kayfabed, Okada has a back injury, so this could be a good way to eliminate him early to allow him time to recuperate while giving a win to someone very much deserving of the push.
Let’s see if the dirt sheet news was true!
- Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & Jay White) vs David Finlay, Toa Henare & Yuya Uemura: Ishimori wins via Bloody Cross @9:38 – ** ½
- The United Empire (Great O-Khan, Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb) w/Bea Priestley vs LIJ (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA): Cobb wins via Tour of the Islands @10:55 – ** ¼
- New Japan Cup: Tomoaki Honma vs Minoru Suzuki: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @14:54 – *** ¼
- New Japan Cup: Juice Robinson vs KENTA: KENTA wins via Game Over @17:16 – *** ½
- New Japan Cup: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi: Takagi wins via Last of the Dragon @23:58 – **** ½
Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori & Jay White) vs David Finlay, Toa Henare & Yuya Uemura
Nothing inherently wrong with this match, and driven mostly on the Henare versus Jay first round match up, but it didn’t add nearly as much as yesterday’s undercard matches. Jay called Henare out to start, and actually locked up, but he did his best Yano impression by sitting between ropes and calling for breaks, until the referee was out of position and Bullet Club could start some tactics.
One funny part was when Jay tagged out to Ishimori, Henare shrugged off Ishimori and kept going at Jay. So later in the match, Ishimori took cheap shots on the outside and you could hear Jay telling the referee “Hey remember when I wasn’t legal and you didn’t stop that”. Which oddly enough seemed to appeal to the referee and he waited for Ishimori to have his fun and dump Yuya back in.
The Young Lion eats the pin here since he’s one of two no in the tournament, so it was written in the stars. Not a bad match, just a very basic opener with Jay White driving most of the entertainment.
The United Empire (Great O-Khan, Will Ospreay & Jeff Cobb) w/Bea Priestley vs LIJ (BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA)
Well this was different since Naito is already eliminated, and the Empire made sure to rub it in during entrances and then attacked Naito as soon as he got into the ring. Naito went back to going after O-Khan’s hair, walked him around like a dog in the ring to get control and then LIJ went into some organized attacks.
Generally speaking, this was more basic than the first match. Bea tried to pull ropes away, Ospreay sideswiped BUSHI with a Pip Pip Cheerio, Cobb then caught BUSHI in midair, flipped him around for a Suplex and then hit the Tour of the Islands. Cobb has done a good job in 2021 so far, but this was a generally uninspiring match.
New Japan Cup: Tomoaki Honma vs Minoru Suzuki
We start off right where these two left off, exchanging chops and strikes, trying to out tough guy the other one. Early on Suzuki seemed to be toying with Honma a bit trying to get something out of him that we haven’t seen in a while. An early GSP attempt resulted in Honma blocking and starting to put together some offense. Short range lariats, Kokeshis from different angles, and we had the lovable underdog that people appreciated from a few years ago.
This match was the best Honma’s looked in a long time, hell he attempted the STF when a middle rope Kokeshi didn’t finish Suzuki and even pulled out the old Turmeric Clutch, which I haven’t seen him do since his All Japan days.
Everyone probably penciled in Suzuki as the winner immediately, but this is the Honma we all remembered and loved from the stacked NEVER years with Makabe and Ishii at the top. Very nice effort, and Suzuki helped to make Honma look good as well.
New Japan Cup: Juice Robinson vs KENTA
We saw a lot of elements of KENTA’s personality in this match. Early on he rolled out, grabbed the ring bell, and hit Juice when Juice grabbed through the ropes to try and retrieve him. However, I’m pretty sure Juice got clipped by a corner there since he was really holding the side of his face and it left a noticeable welt as the match went on.
It took a little time to pick up, but both men had great flurries with signatures. Juice’s Cannonball Spot, Punch Combination, hell he even countered the Kobashi style Spinning Back Chop into the Juice Box. KENTA hit the Green Killer, pulled off the hesitation Dropkick, but every time he went for Go 2 Sleep, Juice had a way around it. So as both were jockeying for position, juice kept going for Pulp Friction, but KENTA spun out, after enough stand up attempts, KENTA spun out, but twisted the arm and drove Juice down. KENTA locks in Game Over in the middle of the ring, and after a little bit of a struggle, Juice finally submits.
New Japan Cup: Kazuchika Okada vs Shingo Takagi
Well it looks like Takagi was paying attention to the preliminary matches and saw the news report that came out a little before the match that Okada had two herniated discs in his back. Everything Shingo did either focused damage on the back, or forced Okada to have to contort in a way to strain the injured area.
Shingo added his arrogant flair to a lot of things in this match, including the Rainmaker pose that Japanese Commentary called the “Pumping Steel Maker”, which also worked well when Shingo countered the Rainmaker with his own Pumping Steel Maker. Even injured this was a great slugfest between the two. Okada still hit a good number of his classics, but he was visibly hampered as the match wore on. Shingo managed to escape the Money Clip twice, which was an important element since Shingo passed out to the Money Clip in the G1.
Superplex, Noshigami, Made in Japan and an Uranage Backbreaker were some of the bigger moves towards the end that swayed the momentum for Shingo. Shingo went for Last of the Dragon a few times, but Okada usually had an answer. At the end, Okada slips behind the Last of the Dragon, winds up the Rainmaker, but Shingo ducks it and continues the momentum to lift Okada to his shoulders and finally hit his finish to win the match!
Overall Score: 8/10
You may be asking yourself; “How did this score higher than yesterday with overall lower match score” – I will explain. This show flowed better, felt like a real tournament show where the undercard didn’t last very long and the main event was the big thing to build towards. Also should be noted, that we didn’t have to sit through a typical Yano tournament match as well.
Honma did a great job proving that he’s at least back to where he was a few years ago when GBH was a solid tag team and he had a few notable matches in the NEVER division. KENTA getting past Juice is good since that sets up a single match nearly 16 years in the making. Last time KENTA fought Suzuki one on one, was 2005 in NOAH. Suzuki was the murderous free agent, KENTA was still young and full of fire, yet to find his stride, so Suzuki took advantage of the young wrestler in a rather lackluster match. I doubt KENTA has forgotten that match, and expect him to try to exact a measure of revenge.
Shingo getting past Okada is beautiful for multiple reasons. Okada can get his injury tended to, it evens up their singles record; so Okada has a tangible thing to fight for in their next meeting and we get a Hirooki Goto vs Shingo Takagi rematch next round! Shingo having to work through another member of CHAOS adds to the weight in that match, but the potential of Shingo vs Suzuki again or Shingo vs KENTA is just one of those magical match ups assuming no shenanigans go on.
The show ended great, the build was fun and everyone in the Cup over performed given the stagnant vibe that New Japan has fallen into lately. Good stuff.
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