home NJPW, Show Results New Japan Cup Night 1 – Recap & Review

New Japan Cup Night 1 – Recap & Review

New Japan Cup 2018
Event Date: March 9, 2018 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bunko, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,719
Series: New Japan Cup 2018

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Chuckie T (matches 3- 7)
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Hirooki Goto (matches 3-7)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki, Makoto Abe


A brief video package highlighting the history of the New Japan Cup, showing some of the notable winners and title matches that those winners received. This year’s participants are also shown.


Match 1
Tetsuhiro Yagi & Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka vs Chuckie T & Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Champ)
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Chuckie T pins Shota Umino after an Awful Waffle
Time: 6:14

Match Thoughts
This was a nice opener. The match was short and the action was quick. Yagi got a beating, Oka looked determined, and Umino looked pretty good. Ultimately though, the team of Goto, Yano, and Chuckie T handled this one easily.


Match 2
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs Tanga Loa & Bad Luck Fale (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champs)
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Davey Boy Smith Jr. pins Tanga Loa after a Killer Bomb
Time: 9:11

Match Thoughts
Good match. Smith and Archer took control of this one from the beginning and were never far away from being in complete control. They showed some good teamwork in isolating both Loa and Fale at different times. They also showed intelligence by focusing on the smaller Tanga Loa for most of the match. Loa starting mounting a comeback at one point, but the Killer Elite Squad, as a team, was just too much for him.


Match 3
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs) & Zack Sabre Jr. w/ TAKA Michinoku vs BUSHI & SANADA (IWGP Tag Champ) & Tetsuya Naito
(referee: Marty Asami; guest commentary: Chuckie T; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Zack Sabre Jr. forces BUSHI to submit to a modified STF
Time: 9:32

Match Thoughts
Good match. Both teams fought pretty evenly throughout this match. Suzuki Gun took the fight to the floor and gained some control, but back in the ring it became even again. Zack Sabre Jr. got tagged in for Suzuki Gun, and he finished the match after an exciting and extended sequence with Naito followed by a shorter sequence with BUSHI. Sabre seemed to be the star of this match after everything was over, and I think that was a good idea. Naito doesn’t need to be built up, so this building up Sabre for their first round match adds a lot of intrigue to the match.


Match 4
Toa Henare & David Finlay & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Taichi & Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (IWGP IC Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami; guest commentary: Chuckie T; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taichi pins Toa Henare after a superkick
Time: 13:12

Match Thoughts
Good match. This was Hiroshi Tanahashi’s first match back since losing the IC Title to Suzuki back in January, and those two men were a large focus of this bout. Tanahashi looked like he was still concerned with his knee, so of course Suzuki went after it. After the opening sequence, Suzuki Gun took the fight to the floor (naturally) and cheated as much as possible. Once the fight got back in the ring, Suzuki Gun dominated and Taichi began to emerge as he took advantage of the damage caused by Minoru Suzuki. Overall, this was a fun match with some interesting teases for future matches.


Match 5
Chase Owens & Kota Ibushi vs YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champ) w/ Gedo
(referee: Marty Asami; guest commentary: Chuckie T; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada forces Chase Owens to submit to a Cobra Clutch
Time: 11:42

Match Thoughts
Good match. After two matches with a bunch of brawling, this was a nice change of pace. This bout was fought in the ring and mostly one-on-one. Everyone fought each other, and there didn’t seem to be a specific match-up that dominated any other. Of course, Ibushi and Okada were the most popular for their teams, but everything was spread out fairly evenly. This was a solid tag match, and even though there wasn’t a lot of superb teamwork, both teams had solid individual efforts.


Match 6
New Japan Cup First Round Match
Yujiro Takahashi w/ Nana vs Juice Robinson
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; guest commentary: Chuckie T; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Juice Robinson wins via pinfall after Pulp Friction
Time: 16:08

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Surprisingly good actually. It started off pretty ordinary, but early in the match the fight went to the floor. It could have been some generic brawling at ringside, but Takahashi dropped Robinson on some chairs that left a large red welt and a couple of cuts on Robinson’s back. It looked like it hurt like crazy, and that move set up the rest of the match. The cuts on Robinson’s back kept bleeding throughout the match, and the pain he appeared to be going through helped make his battle more tense and impressive. Robinson got beat up a lot, but he showed a lot of resilience and determination as he kept kicking out of pin attempts. It might have bordered on a bit of ridiculousness when Robinson kept surviving, but I think it mostly worked. It certainly made me want to pull for Robinson when I didn’t really care who won before the match had started.


Match 7
New Japan Cup First Round Match
Tomohiro Ishii vs Michael Elgin
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; guest commentary: Chuckie T; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Michael Elgin wins via pinfall after a burning hammer
Time: 29:02

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This one was a slow build, but by the end both Elgin and Ishii were doing some crazy powerful moves. To start, both men were mostly just trading strikes and shoulder blocks. Kevin Kelly talked about them being mirror images of each other, and that played out in the ring. One of them would do something, then the other would do the same thing, then they would both repeat the same thing until someone fell down. Eventually they both starting hitting some power moves, but Elgin started to get the better of Ishii. Elgin certainly had the biggest moves, including a deadlift second rope falcon arrow and an avalanche splash mountain powerbomb that had Ishii scarily landing mostly on his head. The end of the match was mostly about Ishii refusing to go down and Elgin hitting him with a succession of strikes and throws.


Ring Area
Michael Elgin gets on the mic after the match. He says that he became a professional wrestler because he wants competition, and Ishii is the best competition in the world. But the New Japan Cup is all about winning. Elgin plans to win it all.


Show Impressions
This was a nice opener for the New Japan Cup. The tournament matches both surprised me a little, and the tag matches had some decent teases for many of the first round matches.

Match of the Night
Michael Elgin vs Tomohiro Ishii
The other tournament match was very good too, and I think the decision for best match of the night could easily just come down to taste. But for me, I think the slow build and huge moments towards the end of the main event push it over the top.



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