New Japan Cup 2021: Takagi vs. Goto, KENTA vs. Suzuki

The New Japan Cup ventured to Aichi on Saturday with second-round action that saw Shingo Takagi and KENTA move forward.

Photo Courtesy: NJPW

The New Japan Cup ventured to Aichi on Saturday with second-round action that saw Shingo Takagi and KENTA move forward.

In the main event, Shingo Takagi continued his strong 2021 campaign beating Hirooki Goto in a very solid main event.

They started at a frenetic pace with an amazing near-fall when Goto utilized the Goto-shiki that the audience bit on. They continued with a match-long struggle full of heavy striking, counters and different set-ups for their key moves. Takagi was selling his neck throughout the latter stages while managing the Noshigami and Made in Japan for a two-count.

Goto connected with the GTW and an Inverted GTR with Takagi kicking out.

Near the end, Takagi hit his own version of the GTR with Goto’s feet draped on the top rope. Takagi destroyed him with a Pumping Bomber before the Last of the Dragon finished the match after nearly twenty-four minutes.

Takagi cut a promo afterward expressing his intentions to come for Kota Ibushi.

The match was on the higher end of the tournament matches. Takagi is having an outstanding run in the early stages of 2021 and this continued. Goto is always there for his big matches and he is one of those talents that will be looked back upon as a truly great performer that was part of an era and company so deep in that department that he’s often not credited enough with his timing, psychology, and big match performances.

KENTA defeated Minoru Suzuki in the other second-round contest.

They last wrestled in a singles match in August 2005 while competing in Pro Wrestling NOAH.

KENTA brought out a newspaper to read during Suzuki’s entrance and continued as a stalling tactic before Suzuki grabbed the paper and set it down in the center of the ring.

KENTA assumed control working the neck until Suzuki popped up and blasted KENTA while expressing a maniacal look on his face.

The highlight of the match was all the counters they explored to the GTS and the Gotch style piledriver. There was a lot of creativity including a counter to the Gotch with KENTA applying Game Over until Suzuki reached the rope before it was fully applied.

Suzuki delivered thunderous slaps and they went back-and-forth while standing and trading. It ended with Suzuki transitioning from the rear-naked choke to the Gotch, but as he spun KENTA was left open and hit with the Go to Sleep as KENTA won.

It was not at the level of the main event but it was a quality match and I enjoyed it a lot with the numerous counters and extra thought that went into the closing sequence that the match had been predicated on, and KENTA finally outsmarting Suzuki.

Suzuki staggered to the back on his own while KENTA sold the effects of the strikes.

This sets up Goto and KENTA for the next round with that match taking place later this week.

The second round continues Sunday in Hyogo with a strong show featuring Will Ospreay vs. Zack Sabre Jr., and SANADA vs. Yuji Nagata.

Here are the full results from Saturday’s show in Aichi:
*YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano over David Finlay, Yota Tsuji & Gabriel Kidd in 11:17
*Will Ospreay, The Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb over Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & DOUKI in 7:51
*Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & BUSHI over Kazuchika Okada, Yuji Nagata & SHO in 11:43
*Jay White, EVIL & Bad Luck Fale over Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & Toa Henare in 11:41
*New Japan Cup Second Round: KENTA over Minoru Suzuki in 16:50
*New Japan Cup Second Round: Shingo Takagi over Hirooki Goto in 23:51

About John Pollock 5661 Articles
Born on a Friday, John Pollock is a reporter, editor & podcaster at POST Wrestling. He runs and owns POST Wrestling alongside Wai Ting.