The 2020 New Japan Cup – Day 4


Tonight, we finish the first round. On tap we’ve got:

Yoshi-Hashi vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Satoshi Kojima vs EVIL
Hirooki Goto vs Yujiro Takahashi

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Day One:
Day Two:
Day Three:


Let’s do this!

YOH vs BUSHI – Round 1

They exchange palm strikes and forearms, with BUSHI tossing YOH to the floor, YOH runs right back in and ‘ranas BUSHI out, then follows with a plancha. Back in and it’s a suplex getting two for YOH. Back to the floor and BUSHI runs YOH into the barricade, then hits a neckbreaker over the barricade. YOH manages to roll back in at 18, and BUSHI continues the beatdown. 

Another neckbreaker gets two for BUSHI. Cross-corner whip by BUSHI, but YOH comes out with a handstand elbow to drop BUSHI and start the comeback. 3 straight Superman punches by YOH and he goes up, missile dropkick gets two. Dragon-screw legwhip into a figure-four from YOH and we’re just all over the place here. BUSHI makes the ropes, YOH gets a driver for two. BUSHI catches YOH coming off the ropes with a dropkick, then hits a crazy middle-rope DDT on the apron. Swinging neckbreaker gets two, as BUSHI keep targeting the neck.

BUSHI goes up, but YOH avoids the MX and gets two rolling Germans for two. Dragon suplex attempt from YOH is countered into a backslide, which YOH rolls through into a superkick. They exchange strikes, then go-behinds and BUSHI hits a lungblower for two. YOH gets a calf crusher on BUSHI, BUSHI makes the ropes and drops YOH with a Codebreaker. MX from BUSHI finishes it. (BUSHI over YOH, pinfall, 15:41)

THOUGHTS: ***. Good second half to this one after the first half was a typical paint by the numbers Junior match. I think they needed to lose about 5 minutes here, because it felt like a bloated version of a really good 10 minute match, instead of a slightly above-average 15 minute one. 

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs YOSHI-HASHI – Round 1

Oh man, recapping this one is my best proof that I’m willing to suffer for y’all to bring you these reports. YOSHI decides to be the aggressive one here, with a chop against the ropes, then another after Tenzan challenges him. Tenzan drops him with a shoulder for his insolence. Mongolian chops from Tenzan, but YOSHI drags him out and tosses him to the barricade. YOSHI ambles after him with all the urgency of Orange Cassidy. To say he’s moving with deliberate speed would be an insult to juries. 

They barely beat the count back in and YOSHI continues his offense with a chop and standing cravat. Snapmare into a chinlock. If Randy Orton was watching this, he’d be urging them to pick up the pace. YOSHI hangs him on the top rope and dropkicks him for two. To the corner where YOSHI tries a headbutt, but Tenzan has the power of having a hard head, I guess. YOSHI comes off the ropes right into a spinkick from Tenzan. Mongolian chops into chops and headbutts from Tenzan now. Clothesline in the corner into a suplex gets two for Tenzan.

YOSHI fires elbows to escape a uranage and comes off with a neckbreaker, as this thing is just dragging on. YOSHI with chops now, then a superkick and Meteora for two. YOSHI slams him and goes up, but Tenzan cuts him off and goes for a superplex. YOSHI goes over the top and powerbombs him for two. Tenzan comes back with a headbutt and a spear, Kokeshi gets two for Tenzan. STF from Tenzan, but he just kind of lets it go. Tenzan goes up and tries a MOONSAULT, but that misses, so YOSHI goes up for swanton, but that misses. They slug it out and YOSHI gets a lariat for one. Neckbreaker off the top gets two for YOSHI, who then puts on the Butterfly Lock. Tenzan makes the ropes to break and gets the Anaconda Vice, then a slam from that for two. Back to the Vice, but YOSHI rolls him over, then puts the Butterfly Lock back on. This time, Tenzan mercifully gives it up. (YOSHI-HASHI over Hiroyoshi Tenzan, submission, 17:36)


*Ahem* That is all. Let’s move on.

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, SHO, Tomohiro Ishii) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi, Shingo Takagi)

Hiromu doesn’t want to come out because he’s scared of Yano. And the reason for that is that back in 2011, Hiromu as a Young Lion faced off against Yano when he was a bit more….evil, and Yano went all Brutus Beefcake on him and shaved off part of his hair. Tomorrow’s gonna be a fun match, I have a feeling. But the champ is here! Well, champs, as everyone except SANADA on the LIJ side is carrying gold with them.

Hiromu psychs himself up and resolves to start off with Yano. Hiromu tells the ref to check that suspicious bulge in Yano’s tights. It’s at his knees, you perverts. The ref does indeed discover a squirt bottle of hand sanitizer, so point to Takahashi. The ref takes that away, so Yano reaches into his tights… know, this description is probably doing more harm than good. He pulls out an electric razor and Hiromu runs away in terror. 

Finally after all that silliness, SANADA and SHO start. They do a slick little wrestling sequence that makes me think that they’re going to put on a show in the second round….or a SHO, if you will. 

High-five! Anyone?

SHO does a nifty little fake-out like he’s going for a Penalty Kick, but when SANADA covers up he stomps on the knee instead. SANADA tries to come off the top with a springboard, but the knee goes out and he misses – a kick to the back of SHO from Shingo allows him to turn the tide regardless. Tag to Takagi, and he comes in to get some vengeance on SHO for their last match. SHO gets some space with a suplex and tags in Ishii, so we’ve got Ishii/Shingo now. Fine and dandy on my end. Shingo wins a striking battle, but comes off the ropes and Ishii powerslams him. They battle it out in the corner with Ishii firing away, but Shingo reverses and annihilates Ishii, dropping him finally with a big right. 

Back to the middle as Ishii starts to strike back, so Shingo drops him with a lariat to put both guys down. Tags on both sides, and here comes Okada and Naito. Naito controls as Yano tries to save, but Hiromu mans up and tosses Yano. Okada goes for a Tombstone but Naito escapes, they exchange elbows and Naito hits a spinebuster. Tag to Hiromu and talk about a match I want to watch right here. Unfortunately, Okada gets a quick flapjack and tags in Yano. 

Yano does his usual and Hiromu ends up running into the exposed turnbuckle, but forces Yano to give chase and tries for the sunset bomb to floor, with Shingo hilariously cheering him on. Yano blocks it by pulling ANOTHER electric razor out of his pants, causing Hiromu to run for the stands. Not content with that, Yano chases him to the entrance and slams him on the concrete, then reaches into his pants AGAIN, this time coming out with a roll of tape as the ref has started the count. Yano tapes Hiromu’s legs together and goes for the head shavin’, but now Okada is out begging Yano to get back to the ring (Okada’s facial expressions absolutely cracked me up here), allowing Hiromu to hop away as the bell rings for the double countout. (Double countout, 12:29)

THOUGHTS: **3/4. Stupid finish but it did have a point to set up a bit of the history between Yano and Hiromu ahead of their second round match. These teams have great chemistry with each other and I would have gladly watched quite a bit more of this, frankly. The SHO/SANADA stuff was a standout in particular. But an 8-man with that finish that only goes 12 minutes has a limited ceiling. 

Intermission. Grandmaster video.

Hirooki Goto vs Yujiro Takahashi (w/JADO) – Round 1

I’m not going to pretend that I’m the biggest Goto fan in the world, but he’s fine and his entrance music is kickass. Yujiro sucks. Sorry, but he does. Yujiro yanks on the hair of Goto, who responds with a suplex. Takahashi slides out and the stall is on. Goto finally has had enough and goes to the floor to get him, and Yujiro gets a Scorpion Deathdrop on the floor. 

Goto beats the count back in and Takahashi goes to work. Legdrop, elbow, headbutt gets two. He tosses Goto out to JADO, then takes the ref so JADO can run him into the barricade. Back in and Yujiro gets two. Stroke gets two for Takahashi. Goto fires up and they trade shots, then Goto drops him with a clothesline. Leg lariat and Saito suplex gets two for Goto. Goto goes up, but Yujiro cuts him off and hits a Fisherman’s Buster off the top! 1, 2, no!

They run the ropes and clothesline each other, Goto catches him and hoists him up, ushigoroshi! They slug it out and Goto wins that, Suplex is blocked by Takahashi biting Goto’s hand. Fisherman’s Buster attempt is blocked by Goto, who drapes Yujiro on the top rope and hits a reverse GTR from there, and that probably should have been the finish. It gets two. Takahashi grabs the ref to prevent another attempt, and JADO hits Goto with the kendo stick while the ref’s back is turned. Fireman’s carry slam by Yujiro gets two. Pimp Juice is blocked, so Yujiro gets a superkick instead. 

Goto catches another superkick, but Takahashi goes to the eyes to escape. JADO takes the ref and Yujiro gets his cane, cane shot misses. Goto runs him into JADO on the apron, then hits the GTW on Yujiro for two. GTR finishes. (Hirooki Goto over Yujiro Takahashi, pinfall, 16:41)

THOUGHTS: **3/4. A bit too much Bullet Club nonsense along with Yujiro frankly not being very good dragged this one down for me. Goto is fine, but he really had nothing to work with here, and the match was too long for what it needed to be, which has been a problem all night tonight frankly.

Satoshi Kojima vs EVIL

I still love EVIL’s ridiculous outfit, what can I say? I do miss the finger lasers. Of all the ‘old guard’, I guess, I like Kojima probably the most. So this should hopefully be fun. 

EVIL grabs a headlock for early control, then runs Kojima over with a shoulder. Kojima follows suit and EVIL rolls out. He sidesteps a Kojima plancha and hammers on him on the floor. A chair comes into play, and that ends with it wrapped around Kojima’s arm before EVIL sends it to the post. Back in and EVIL continues to work the arm to take away the lariat. 

Kojima finally fights back from the apron, but misses a legdrop coming back in, and EVIL hits a senton for two. Back to the arm, standing surfboard. Kojima fights it hard, but EVIL keeps it on. EVIL goes for a German, allowing Kojima to free himself with a DDT. Blind charge from EVIL misses and Kojima starts chopping away. Good ones, too. EVIL catches Kojima going up and goes for a Death Valley Driver on the apron, but Satoshi blocks and DDTs him to the apron and both guys fall to the floor. 

Back in and Kojima goes to the top, elbow hits! That gets two. EVIL goes to the eyes and hits a kick to the midsection. Armbar from EVIL now, but Kojima makes the ropes. Kojima hits a cutter and both guys are down. I don’t know if it’s the mediocre match quality tonight or something, but this is already easily the best match. Kojima puts EVIL on the top, Koji Cutter off the top! 1, 2, no! They fight over a suplex that EVIL turns into a Fisherman’s Buster. 

Lariat from EVIL, but Kojima stands. 2nd one, same result. EVIL unloads more lariats to drop Kojima to one knee, but comes off the ropes and they both hit lariats, and only EVIL goes down now! Kojima off the ropes, lariat by EVIL puts him down! 1, 2, NO! Darkness Falls from EVIL gets two. EVIL signals for Everything is EVIL, but Kojima rallies with a lariat for two. The timing on these nearfalls and comebacks are really, really good. Brainbuster from Kojima gets two. 

Red Shoes ends up in the way of them running the ropes, and EVIL takes advantage, using Red Shoes for the other half of a Magic Killer on Kojima. EVIL puts Kojima on top…..superplex! 1, 2, no! EVIL takes off the elbowpad of Kojima and comes off the ropes, Kojima DROPS him with a big lariat! 1, 2, NO!! Kojima goes for another lariat, but EVIL avoids it, then turns another attempt into Everything is EVIL for the pin. (EVIL over Satoshi Kojima, pinfall, 20:07)

THOUGHTS: ***1/4. MOTN on a mediocre night. I enjoyed this one. It kept moving and didn’t overstay its welcome, with Kojima selling decently, although the arm stuff only barely came into play. EVIL is a fine worker and Kojima did his job. 

With that win, EVIL, BUSHI, SANDA, and Hiromu all have won their first round matches, meaning that of LIJ, only Shingo lost in the first round. I kind of wonder if that will come into play at all. 

EVIL cuts a promo and we’re done for the night.

FINAL THOUGHTS: This was the worst night of the 1st round, as the matches were uniformly too long across the board (Seriously, I want to know HOW in the fuck they gave that Yoshi/Tenzan match 17 goddamned minutes), but we were due for a rough one. On the flip side, everyone who should have gone over tonight went over, setting us up for the second round.

Up next, the round of 16 begins! 

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter