NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 Day 4: EVIL-Kojima, Goto-Yujiro
By: Mike Murray
Day 4 brings us to the end of Round 1 in the New Japan Cup. NJPW’s return to action has been pretty good and the first three days have delivered four very good to great matches. The first three shows have been a pretty quick watch with each easily clocking under two hours once you take out the intermission. As we wrap up the first round, I thought I might change up the format of the reviews and place my ratings at the beginning and save the results to further down in case some readers wanted to see if a match was worth checking out but did not want spoilers.
-YOH vs Bushi 2.5 *
Looking at this card, this match should be a good opener – fast-paced, lots of action. Instead, these two never seemed to gel and get going. Bushi hit a Hangman’s neck breaker over the barricade in front of the trophy, which was pretty cool. The finish came when Bushi hit a Codebreaker and then MX for the win.
After Sho’s amazing match and star-making performance on Day 3 against Shingo Takagi, his Roppongi 3K partner’s match today was a dud. I like both of these guys but this was underwhelming, maybe my expectations were too high.
WINNER: Bushi in 15:45
YOSHI-HASHI VS HIROYOSHI TENZAN
I did not have high hopes with this match, but it was fine. Tenzan’s chest was a mess from chops. Yoshi-Hashi tried a headbutt to Tenzan but was stunned. Tenzan missed a moonsault!?! In the end, Yoshi-Hashi won with the Butterfly Lock. Decent match but not worth going out of your way to catch.
WINNER: Yoshi-Hashi in 17:24
Yujiro hits a Fisherman Superplex midway through the match. Goto gets a Ushigoroshi. Yujiro bites Goto’s thumb at one point. Goto gets an Ura GTR with Yujiro draping off of the top rope, that looked pretty cool. Yujiro grabs the ref and shoves him into the corner which leads to Jado hitting Goto with a kendo stick. Yujiro hits Miami Shine and Goto kicks out. Finally, Goto hits the GTR for the win.
WINNER: Hirooki Goto in 16:49
Although the match was fine, both guys looked too evenly matched. I think that Jado should have been used more to give Yujiro an advantage because Goto is seen as so much higher in the pecking order of NJPW. Instead, we got a pretty 50/50 match with a little interference from Jado. If anything this match lowered Goto standing by it taking him so long to dispatch Yujiro.
EVIL VS SATOSHI KOJIMA
Match starts with a quick feeling out until Evil kicks Kojima in the gut and grabs a headlock. Kojima missed a plancha to the outside of the ring. Evil hits a double ax handle and whips Kojima into the barricade. Evil pushes Red Shoes aside and wraps Kojima’s right arm in a chair and slams it against the ring post in hopes of negating Kojima’s lariat. Once they are back in the ring, Evil slams the arm into the mat and does an arm breaker across the top rope. Kojima hits a DDT and gets Evil in the corner for a flurry of chops. Kojima hits another DDT this one off the second rope. Evil gets a Fisherman suplex on Kojima and hits him with five clotheslines. Evil runs at Kojima for a running lariat but Kojima hits him with a clothesline of his own. It looks like Kojima’s arm still works. Kojima sets up for a big running lariat but Evil grabs Red Shoes who gets in the way. Evil uses Red Shoes to set up a Magic Killer on Kojima. Evil hits a top rope Superplex for a two count.
I really liked the story of Evil trying to weaken Kojima’s arm to eliminate the lariat. This was a very solid main event and best match of the show and worth checking out. The CHAOS vs LIJ tag match was a lot of fun and did a good job setting up Yano vs Takahashi for tomorrow and Sho vs Sanada next week. I would also recommend that match.
Hirooki Goto vs Evil
On Wednesday, Round 2 starts with all of the second round matches from the left side of the bracket:
Taiji Ishimori vs Yoshinobu Kanemura
Toru Yano vs Hiromu Takahashi
Togi Makabe vs Tomohiro Ishii
Kazuchika Okada vs Yuji Nagata
I am really looking forward to Makabe vs Ishii, their matches are always great.
Let me know what you thought of today’s New Japan Cup show and if you like the ratings ahead of the match breakdowns in the comments below or on twitter @ScarboroughDad and thanks for reading.