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New Japan Cup 2020 (Night 7) Recap & Review

NJPW New Japan Cup 2020
Night 7 – Quarter Finals
Event Date: July 2, 2020 (19:00 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: empty arena
Series: New Japan Cup 2020

Commentary (English, recorded remotely): Kevin Kelly
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Katsuhiko Kanazawa, Koki Yamazaki (1, 3), Shunpei Terakawa (2, 4), Yoshinobu Kanemaru (4, 5), Yohei Onishi (5)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 3), Makoto Abe (4 – 5)


A brief look at this year’s New Japan Cup featuring heavyweights, juniors, and young lions.

Ring Area
Kimihiko Ozaki is in the ring, and he announces tonight’s matches.


Match 1
New Japan Cup Quarter Final Match
Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ) vs Tomohiro Ishii
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiromu Takahashi wins via pinfall after Time Bomb II
Time: 19:29

Match Thoughts
Great match! I was looking forward to this match-up the most tonight, and I feel like I just watched the main event. The rest of tonight’s matches have a high bar to overcome after this battle. Takahashi is a wrestler who seemingly has little regard for his own well-being sometimes, so going into this match I thought that could help him a lot (because he would not be afraid to fight Ishii in Ishii’s own style) or it could hurt him a lot (because he might be willing to take TOO much damage). I think the match ended up showing a little of both of those scenarios.

Takahashi attacked first, and he pummeled Ishii with strikes. It took a while for Ishii to start fighting back, but once he did Takahashi went down quickly. Takahashi still insisted on fighting Ishii face-to-face though. It was an uphill battle for the Jr. Heavyweight Champ, but after a certain point both men were trading strikes on an almost equal level. They also each started pulling off some big slams, and that proved to be a huge difference maker. This match just shot up towards the top of my favorites list in this year’s New Japan Cup.


Match 2
New Japan Cup Quarter Final Match
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: EVIL wins via referee stoppage (while EVIL has YOSHI-HASHI in a sharpshooter)
Time: 2:00

Match Thoughts
Well, it turns out YOSHI-HASHI’s injury he sustained in his previous match was probably pretty bad. YOSHI-HASHI was noticeably limping as he walked to the ring, and EVIL took advantage of that right away. EVIL attacked YOSHI-HASHI’s knee with a chair before the match, but YOSHI-HASHI still wanted to compete. The match itself was short and unsurprising. The bigger takeaway is that EVIL had an incredibly easy night tonight which sets him up very well for the next round. The match also showed YOSHI-HASHI’s “never give up” attitude, though it didn’t do him any favors tonight.


Match 3
Yuya Uemura & SHO (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Hirooki Goto vs BUSHI (NEVER 6-Man Champ) & Shingo Takagi (NEVER 6-Man & Openweight Champ) & Tetsuya Naito (IWGP IC & Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: BUSHI pins Yuya Uemura after a Code Breaker
Time: 9:34

Match Thoughts
Good match. For me, the biggest highlight in this tg match was seeing Shingo and SHO come together in the ring again. It feels like their rivalry is far from over, and I’d love to see SHO challenge for the NEVER Openweight Title (and maybe Roppongi 3K & Rocky Romero challenge for the 6-Man Titles). This was a fun match with some nice sequences. It didn’t really mean anything in regards to the New Japan Cup, but it was fun nonetheless.


Coming soon, The Way to the Grand Master.

Ring Area
The commentators talk as the ring is sanitized during a brief intermission.


Match 4
New Japan Cup Quarter Final Match
Taiji Ishimori vs Kazuchika Okada
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada wins via submission with the Cobra Clutch
Time: 16:52

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Ishimori came out to the ring by himself, but it wasn’t long before Gedo came out to join him at ringside. Gedo made his presence felt almost immediately, so Okada had to deal with two guys from very early in the match. Ishimori made the most of the situation and gave Okada a good fight, but Okada was definitely the favorite here tonight. Okada had to absorb a decent amount of punishment, but he looked strong throughout most of this match. This was a nice match.


Match 5
New Japan Cup Quarter Final Match
Taichi vs SANADA
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: SANADA wins via pinfall with a bridging O’Connor Roll
Time: 22:50

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Both men were pretty evenly matched, and this was a good fight. The battle went back and forth for a while with very little in the way of cheating or dirty tactics, but Taichi increasingly started to try some shortcuts as the match went on. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (who had been a guest at the commentary table for this match and the previous one) attempted to help his Suzuki Gun stablemate in the later stages of the match. That forced SANADA to get creative, because having to fight a battle on two fronts meant it was hard for him to go for his Skull End submission with any regularity. That increased the tension considerably towards the end of the match. I think this was a very strong main event, and it was a good way to launch into the semi finals on the next show.


Show Impressions
This was a good show. I think the first and last matches were by far the best of the night, and that set up a good bookend situation that made the whole show feel stronger than it might have otherwise. I also like how a lot of the stories within the New Japan Cup are starting to come together. The paths of all four men heading into the semifinals have been interesting, and I think they will all play roles in how those matches play out.

Something I didn’t even think about right away is that three out of the four semifinalists are members of LIJ. So that means the likelihood of Naito facing one of his stablemates for the double-crown is very high, though, it’s never smart to bet against Kazuchika Okada. I would love to see Takahashi go on to face Naito since they didn’t get to have that match once the pandemic set in and shows got cancelled, but I’d also love to see SANADA face Naito since he’s currently the only member of LIJ who doesn’t hold a title. Really, I’d be fine with any of the semifinalists winning the CUP, but I’m pulling for Takahashi and SANADA (in that order). I think either one of them winning would be a great story.

Takahashi wants the match badly, and as I said, it would make up for not getting the match that he and Naito agreed upon prior to NJPW’s hiatus. Plus, having the Jr. Heavyweight Champ challenge for the IC & Heavyweight Titles would be a huge deal. As for SANADA, he’s been perched on the edge of the top tier for a while, but everyone around him in LIJ has seemed to move past him to varying degrees. Also, with EVIL basically getting a bye in the quarter finals, it would be a great story for SANADA to overcome an already daunting situation. PLUS, SANADA versus EVIL has a lot of history behind it.

Match of the Night
Hiromu Takahashi vs Tomohiro Ishii
I loved it. I haven’t decided on my favorite match so far in the tournament, but this one will definitely be in the conversation.


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/248168?showResult=1



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