By: Mike Murray
Mike’s Match Ratings
-Taiji Ishimori vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru 3.25*
-Togi Makable vs. Tomohiro Ishii 4.25
-DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr & TAICHI vs. Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Ryusuke Taguchi 3.5*
-Hiromu Takahashi vs. Toru Yano 3.25*
-Yuji Nagata vs. Kazuchika Okada 4*
TAIJI ISHIMORI VS YOSHINOBU KANEMARU
Kanemaru attacks Ishimori on the stage from behind the curtain. They brawl outside and the bell rings as they are outside of the ring. Kanemura hits a dropkick to Ishimori’s knee. Kanemaru then stomps the knee and slams it into the canvas. Another dropkick and Kanemaruputs on a Figure Four. Outside the ring, Kanemaru wraps Ishimori’s knee around the barricade and kicks the barricade.
Back inside the ring, Kanemaru pushes the ref, delivers a low blow, and tries for the Satori Surprise but that is block by Ishimori. Kanemaru chokes on the whiskey. Ishimori hits a jumping knee strike, then a Tombstone – double knee face breaker and then Bloody Cross for the win.
WINNER Taiji Ishimori in 9:20
Super quick match. Even though both guys are heels the flowed well with Kanemura working on Ishimori’s knee through the match. Good start to the show.
TOGI MAKABE VS TOMOHRO ISHII
Both guys take turns running at each other as each wrestler tries to take the other’s best shot. After an exchange of strikes, Ishii power slams Makabe. Makabe delivers 3 forearms that do not faze Ishii, Ishii drops makable with one chop. Makabe delivers a power slam and there is a striking exchange with makable delivering forearms and Ishii deals out some slaps.
Ishii German suplexes Makabe into the turnbuckle padding in the corner and follows it up with forearms to Makabe’s back and neck. Ishii grabs a front face lock and cranks on Makabe’s neck and follows that up with a side suplex, further weakening Makabe’s neck. Both guys end up un the ropes and Makabe hits a Spider overhead belly to belly suplex. Shortly after, Ishii hits a delayed vertical suplex off of the second rope but Makabe pops right up. Makabe starts overhead popping at Ishii’s neck and goes back up to the top rope for a King Kong Knee Drop but Ishii rolls out of the way. Ishii starts in on some headbutts and there are more strikes and stiff clotheslines between the two. Ishii hits an enzuigiri, grabs Makabe and hits a Brainbuster or the win.
WINNER: Tomohiro Ishii in 13:48
Full disclosure, I love both of these guys and I especially love their matches together. If this match was in front of an audience the crowd would have been going crazy. If you like super stiff clotheslines and HARD chops, this match is for you. Worth going out of your way to check out.
KOTA IBUSHI, HIROSHI TANAHASHI & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI VS DOUKI, ZACK SABRE JR & TAICHI
Taguchi pins DOUKI.
WINNER: Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Ryusuke Taguchi
HIROMU TAKAHASHI VS TORU YANO
Hiromu comes out wearing a helmet to protect his hair which Yano threatened to shave off in yesterday’s multi-tag match. Yano comes out with a bottle of hand sanitizer spray. As the bell rings, Yano pulls out hair clippers from his trunks. Hiromu gets out of the ring and climbs under it to the other side. Yano drops the clippers and Hiromu grabs them, Yano has a second pair of clippers in his pants and the referee takes them away. Hiromu hits a huracanrana and both guys are outside the ring. Hiromu runs Yano into the barricade and Yano Irish whips Hiromu into the barricade as well. Yano tries to grab the clippers from the timekeeper’s table but is stopped. As both guys head toward the closed bleachers, Yano grabs a pair of scissors that were hidden in the seats. Hiromu grabs the scissors from him and kicks them away.
Both guys end up back in the ring, Yano, of course, removes a pad from a corner. Hiromu attempts a sunset bomb, but Yano teases going into his trunks to grab another illegal object and Hiromu releases it. The two head over to the stage area where the New Japan Cup trophy is on display and Yano grabs another pair of scissors hidden inside the trophy. Yano then grabs some athletic tape from under the stage and tapes Hiromu’s and Yota Tsuji’s (who has been at ringside) legs together. Yano then cuts a chunk out of Hiromu’s hair! Hiromu drags Tsuji with him and all three end up out in the hallway. Hiromu tapes Yano’s hands together and blindfolds him with the athletic tape. Hiromu puts Yano in the elevator hits some buttons and the elevator door closes on a blindfolded Yano. Hiram and Tsuji then have a three-legged race to get back into the ring before the twenty-count. Hiromu gets in the ring at 18 and Yano is counted out.
WINNER: Hiromu Takahashi in 8:55
This was a goofy, entertaining match. Hiromu is a good foil for Yano in this kind of match. The Timebomb character meshes well with Yano’s foolishness and pranks. By no means was this a classic match, but it was a lot of fun and the finish was very creative! Worth checking out.
YUJI NAGATA VS KAZUCHIKA OKADA
This is Nagata and Okada’s first singles match in almost five years and only the second time they have faced each other one on one. Okada won the last matchup which was during the 2015 G1. Both Nagata and Okada are 2x New Japan Cup winners – Nagata in 2007and 2011, Okada won in 2013 and last year.
Satoshi Kojima is out for commentary. The match starts with Nagata gaining control with a side headlock. After the two get into the ropes, Okada does his patented cocky rope break where he teases hitting his opponent, Nagata answers with a kick to Okada’s midsection. Nagata kicks at Okada’s thighs. Okada rolls out of the ring for a breather and Nagata sits on the ropes to open them and invites Okada to get back in. When Okada gets back in, Nagata starts to work on his left arm. Okada hits a snapmare into a low dropkick. The Rainmaker throws the veteran out of the ring and shoves him back first into the barricade a few times, followed by an Irish whip into the barricade. Okada hits two European uppercuts and goes back in the ring while Red Shoes starts the count. Just as Red Shoes counts to 19, Nagata rolls back in.
After a neck breaker by Okada, he hits Nagata with forearms. Nagata knees Okada’s midsection and takes the advantage. Big kicks by Nagata and after a second attempt, he hits an Exploder suplex to Okada for a two count. Okada then hits a DDT for a two count. Okada tries for a tombstone but Nagata blocks it. Nagata hits an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Another forearm exchange and Okada hits Air Raid Crash for a two count.
Both wrestlers end up in the corner on the second rope. Nagata has his back to the ring and Okada lays in some forearms and Nagata keeps roaring back. Nagata delivers an Exploder suplex from the second rope! Only gets a two count. More kicks to Okada’s chest and the third kick drops Okada. A suplex attempt is blocked by Okada who dropkicks Nagata in the back and then another dropkick to Nagata in the front. Okada hits a tombstone and locks on a Cobra Clutch but Nagata fights out. and counters into a Nagatalock (maybe version 4?). Okada grabs the rope for a break from the Nagatalock. Okada applies another Cobra Clutch but Nagata fights it off again. Exploder suplex from Nagata. Forearms by Nagata, a missed dropkick by Okada. Forearms by Okada that Nagata dares him to bring more. Nagata slaps Okada! Side suplex by Nagata for a two count. Okada puts on another Cobra Clutch and even though Nagata struggled, the veteran eventually tapped out.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada in 20:05
Very good match. Nagata showed tons of fire daring Okada to bring his best at him. In front of a crowd, this match would have been electric as I am sure the audience would be behind Nagata’s comebacks and drive for a third New japan Cup win. Check this one out!
Today’s show was very strong and I would recommend checking out four of the five matches. You can skip the opener. Hopefully, Round 2 on the right side of the bracket is just as strong.
After today’s show, Round 3 of the left bracket will be:
Tomohiro Ishii vs Hiromu Takahashi
Taiji Ishimori vs Kazuchika Okada
New Japan Cup 2020 returns on Wednesday, July 1st (Canada Day) with Round 2 of the right side of the bracket:
Kota Ibushi vs TAICHI
SHO vs SANADA
YOSHI-HASHI vs BUSHI
EVIL vs Hirooki Goto
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.
Thanks for reading.