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New Japan Cup 2018 Night 5 – Recap & Review

New Japan Cup 2018
Event Date: March 14, 2018 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Fuji, Shizuoka, Japan
Venue: Fujisan Messe
Attendance: 1,290
Series: New Japan Cup 2018

Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Haruo Murata, Ryusuke Taguchi (matches 5-8)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki, Makoto Abe

Click here for theΒ WHS mini wrap-up episodeΒ for this show!

 

Video
The same package video from the previous nights of the New Japan Cup is shown. It highlights the history of the New Japan Cup as well as this year’s participants.

 

Match 1
Tetsuhiro Yagi & Ryusuke Taguchi vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemanru (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs)
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: El Desperado forces Tetsuhiro Yagi to submit to Numero Dos (stretch muffler)
Time: 9:00

Match Thoughts
Good match. Yagi brought a lot to this match. He did very well against both El Desperado and Kanemaru, and he nearly got a three count on Desperado near the end of the match. Ultimatletly though, this was another young lion match where the young lion started and finished the match with his veteran partner getting a burst of offense in the middle. Not surprising, but good, and a nice opener.

 

Match 2
Ren Narita & Toa Henare & David Finlay vs Shota Umino & Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toa Henare pins Shota Umino after a Samoan Drop
Time: 7:24

Match Thoughts
Pretty good match. I think everyone did a fine job, though I’m still not a huge fan of Henare’s. This one felt pretty even as far as mixing it up between the veterans and the young lions. There was lion vs lion, lion vs veteran, and veteran vs veteran. A solid match overall, though I thought the finish was a little weak.

 

Match 3
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs Tanga Loa (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ) & Yujiro Takahashi
(referee: Kenta Sato; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Lance Archer pins Yujiro Takahashi after a Killer Bomb
Time: 8:44

Match Thoughts
I liked this match. It was a nearly completely dominant performance by Smith and Archer, but that’s not really an issue with me. Archer and Smith attacked right at the opening bell and didn’t stop. There was some brawling, but most of the match featured Tanga Loa getting isolated in the ring while Takahashi was kept away. Bullet Club started to mount a comeback, but it was very short. This was nice to see after both Smith and Archer were knocked out of the New Japan Cup tournament in the first round.

 

Match 4
TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr. vs Chase Owens & Kota Ibushi
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Chase Owens pins TAKA Michinoku after a package piledriver
Time: 10:49

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Ibushi versus sabre was great, and both teams worked well together. Ibushi and Owens have some nice teamwork now, and Sabre knows when to tag TAKA in so he can pick his spots. I think this match built up very nicely to a somewhat chaotic finish.

 

Match 5
BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito & SANADA (IWGP Tag Champ) vs Chuckie T & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii
(referee: Marty Asami; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toru Yano pins BUSHI after a low blow
Time: 8:43

Match Thoughts
Good match. The finish was super cheap, but I actually liked it a lot. Up to that point Los Ingobernables de Japon were dominating the match. They took advantage of their superior teamwork (and cheating) early in the match and never really let go of control until late in the match. There were some good one on one match-ups as well as some fun stuff from LIJ as a unit.

 

Match 6
Taichi & Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (IWGP IC Champ) w/ El Desperado vs YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Champ) & Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heayweight Champ) w/ Gedo
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada forces Takashi Iizuka to submit to a Cobra Clutch
Time: 14:02

Match Thoughts
Good match. The Chaos members each entered the match legally for one segment, but Suzuki Gun was all about teamwork the entire time. There was, of course, a fair amount of brawling from Suzuki Gun, and both YOSHI-HASHI and Okada got isolated in the ring for extended periods of time. There was a big breakdown towards the end of the match that allowed Chaos to even the odds in the ring, and that led to a pretty good finish.

 

Match 7
New Japan Cup Quarter-Final Match
Juice Robinson vs Michael Elgin
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Juice Robinson wins via pinfall with a small package
Time: 17:04

Match Thoughts
Good match. The pace in this one was pretty methodical which you would think would benefit Elgin. It did go Elgin’s way a lot of the time, but Robinson was able to show a lot of his strength in this match as well. Elgin was hitting more and more power moves as the match went along, and while Robinson wasn’t quite keeping up in the power department, he was able to keep Elgin from getting on too much of a roll and was hitting Elgin with some nice power moves of his own. As a counter, Elgin was also hitting some very agile moves early on. The finish in this match was a bit of a surprise, and it was well done.

 

Match 8
New Japan Cup Quarter-Final Match
Bad Luck Fale (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ) vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; ring announcer: Makoto Abe)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi wins via count out
Time: 14:36

Match Thoughts
Good match, though I think the ending could have been better. Not that the finish was poorly done, it just wasn’t as definitive as I was expecting (or hoping). The match was essentially about Fale using his size (and the ring, and the barricades) to keep Tanahashi down, and Tanahashi trying to figure out ways to cut Fale down to the mat. There were some nice moments, but ultimately I think I liked the Elgin/Robinson match more.

 

Show Impressions
This was an entertaining show, but I feel like the second half of the quarter-finals has a good chance of being better. There were some surprises tonight, some of which I enjoyed and others I maybe didn’t enjoy as much. But either way, It was a decent start to the second round of the New Japan Cup.

Match of the Night
Juice Robinson vs Michael Elgin
I like that this match was quite different than either one of their previous tournament matches.

 

 

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