NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 Day 7: Quarter-finals highlighted by Ishii vs. Hiromu

Mike Murray reviews the quarter-finals of the New Japan Cup featuring an outstanding match between Tomohiro Ishii and Hiromu Takahashi.


By: Mike Murray

Mike’s Match Ratings:

Hiromu Takahashi vs Tomohiro Ishii 4.5*
EVIL vs Yoshi-Hashi 2.75
Yuya Uemura, SHO & Hirooki Goto vs BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito 3.5*
Kazuchika Okada vs Taiji Ishimori 3

The match starts with Takahashi trying to drop Ishii by running at him, but it has little effect. One charge by Ishii and Takahashi goes down. Both guys exchange strikes with Ishii chopping and Takahashi slapping. After Ishii gets the advantage he shouts “Champion- Do something!”. Any exchange of strikes, Ishii seems to take the advantage and Takahashi uses his speed as a weapon.

Takahashi hits a Falcon Arrow. After Takahashi hits a shotgun dropkick, Ishii roars back and charges at the Junior Heavyweight champion. Hiromu flies backward into the corner. A powerbomb attempt by Ishii is turned into a hurricanrana by Hiromu and then transitioned into a triangle. Ishii powers out and slams Takahashi into the corner. Ishii has a delayed vertical suplex from the second rope. A beatdown Takahashi gathers himself and drags himself to Ishii in the middle of the ring. Hiromu delivers weak forearms with no effect. Ishii answers with one forearm shot that drops Hiromu. Ishii hits a sliding lariat. After a Brainbuster attempt from Ishii, Hiromu charges at Ishii who clotheslines him and Hiromu lands on his head

Hiromu hits a Dynamite Plunger for a two count. Two lariats and a super-kick to drop Ishii. Hiromu hits a Death Valley Driver into the corner padding. A headbutt, clothesline, and a Timebomb by Hiromu only got a two count. Hiromu hits a Brainbuster on Ishii and then a Timebomb 2 for the win.


This was a fantastic match. Hiromu slowed down his style and wrestled more of an Ishii strong style match. I liked how Ishii kept challenging Hiromu and the champ responding. Yes, Hiromu is slightly taller than Ishii, but the Junior Heavyweight champion mixing it up with one of the more respected members of the Heavyweight division paid off, and Hiromu did not look out of place or over his head against one of the heavier hitters on the NJPW roster.


YOSHI-HASHI limps to the ring after the damage done to his leg yesterday in his match against BUSHI. As YOSHI-HASHI stands on the second rope and surveys the empty seats in Korakuen Hall, he drops down…. his leg hurts. EVIL hits YOSHI-HASHI’s knee with a chair. He then wraps another chair around YOSHI-HASHI’s knee and smashes it three times.  The bell rings. Weak forearms by YOSHI-HASHI, EVIL kicks him in the knee and YOSHI-HASHI drops. Forum strikes and a chop by YOSHI-HASHI, EVIL kicks him in the knee. EVIL applies an awesome looking sharpshooter and after a struggle by YOSHI-HASHI, the pressure is too much to the damaged knee and EVIL wins by ref stoppage.

WINNER: EVIL in 2:01

Shortest match of the tournament obviously. EVIL continues the attack on YOSHI-HASHI’s knee after the match. The match was what it was but it continued to show EVIL’s mean streak which was on full display before, during, and after the match.


BUSHI pinned Uemura with a codebreaker. This match was just another step to get us to SHO vs Takagi at Dominion for the NEVER Openweight Championship.



The size difference is very evident as the match begins. Ishimori rakes Okada’s eyes to start. As Okada gains an advantage, Gedo sneaks out from the curtain and distracts his former protégé. Outside the ring, Ishimori whips Okada into the barricade and Gedo hits Okada with maybe a 3/4 inch wrench

Back in the ring, Ishimori hits shotgun knees and Okada is driven into the corner. Ishimori puts on a crossfire hold but Okada reaches the rope for a break. Okada hits Air Raid Crash. As he goes to the top rope, Okada is distracted by Gedo on the apron. Okada gets down to get Gedo and Ishimori hits a handspring at Okada who falls to the floor. Ishimori hits Okada with Superstar Quebrada. Both guys get back in the ring and Ishimori dropkicks Okada, and double knees to the Rainmaker in the corner. A crossface by Ishimori is broken up as Okada reaches the ropes with his long legs.  A big dropkick by Okada leads to a tombstone attempt that Ishimori reverses into a tombstone double knee face breaker. This looked awesome as the much smaller Ishimori got Okada up for a big power move.

Okada hits a spinning tombstone and applies a Cobra Clutch. Gedo hops up on the apron and distracts Okada again, who releases the hold. Okada reapplies the Cobra Clutch, the ref is hurt and Gedo comes in the ring to break up the submission attempt. Gedo has brass knuckles, but Okada dropkicks him. Ishimori gets dropkicked by Okada who reapplies the Cobra Clutch and Ishimori taps out.


This was an entertaining Heavyweight vs Junior Heavyweight match up. Okada’s size advantage against Ishimori’s speed. Gedo needs to get a much larger wrench if he is going to use one as an illegal object. The constant interference by Gedo helps the story of the smaller Ishimori getting the advantage over Okada, but by Okada constantly being distracted by Gedo, Okada is starting to look like an idiot. Eyes on the prize Kazuchika! This tournament is for a double title shot… Also, Ishimori is talented enough and his athletic ability is so great that he and Okada could have a believable match even with their size difference. This match didn’t need all this interference.


TAICHI checks his hair a few times as both guys circle each other looking to grab a hold. Yoshinobu Kanemaru is out at commentary desks. SANADA gets a wrist hold a couple of times but both times TAICHI gets a quick rope break. TAICHI unties the tag rope from the corner and wraps it around SANADA’s throat. He blocks Red Shoes’ view as he chokes SANADA. Outside the ring, SANADA is thrown into the barricade. TAICHI drags him over to the bleachers and slams SANADA off of them. TAICHI drapes SANADA over a barricade by his throat and then takes the barricade and rams the base of it into SANADA’s throat as he is lying on the floor. TAICHI runs SANADA into the ring post and rolls him back into the ring. Red Shoes refuses to count TAICHI’s cocky cover.

SANADA gets rolling and hits a low dropkick to TAICHI’s knee who rolls out of the ring. SANADA hits a plancha as TAICHI is out on the floor. Back in the ring, SANADA wraps TAICHI around the bottom rope with a modified paradise lock and then a baseball slide dropkick into TAICHI to release him. SANADA hits a second rope moonsault over TAICHI and applies Skull End. Kanemaru gets up on the apron and as he distracts Red Shoes, TAICHI taps out. Red Shoes is unaware of the tap-out and after SANADA releases him, TAICHI hits a Saito suplex on SANADA. TAICHI applies what looks like some sort of a chicken wing dragon sleeper hold and just as SANADA looks like he is passed out, he slides out of the hold and gets a rope break. This submission attempt looked terrible.

The finish of the match comes when after SANADA hits a TKO, he drags TAICHI into the corner to go for a moonsault. SANADA is distracted by Kanemaru, who is up on the apron again and TAICHI grabs Red Shoes. Kanemaru rakes SANADA’s eyes, Red Shoes is hurt and being checked on by a Young Lion that is at ringside. TAICHI delivers a low blow kick to SANADA. Before TAICHI can take advantage, SANADA grabs him in a waist lock, runs TAICHI into Kanemaru-who is still up on the apron, rolls up TAICHI into a bridge for a pin and the three count.


This match had a ton of interference but strangely no sign of TAICHI’s partner Zack Sabre Jr. I felt it took quite a while for these guys to get going and the placement on the card did not help.


The opening match between Ishii and Takahashi was amazing. If that match was the main event and SANADA vs TAICHI opened the show, this card would have flowed a lot better. Definitely go out of your way to watch Ishii vs Takahashi.

Tomorrow brings us to Round 4 and the semi-finals of the New Japan Cup 2020 with

Kazuchika Okada vs Hiromu Takahashi

LIJ is well represented in the semi-finals and it looks like the match between Naito and Takahashi that was scheduled for the NJPW Anniversary show but had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic – might still happen.

Let me know what you thought of today’s New Japan Cup show in the comments below or on twitter @ScarboroughDad Thanks for reading.

About Mike Murray 25 Articles
Dad, husband, part-time POST Wrestling guest host and review contributor. Drinker of coffee. 2019 C Block Winner.