Welcome back to Sports Obsessive’s ongoing coverage of NJPW’s famous ‘New Japan Cup’! We’ve arrived at the second half of the Quarter Finals, of which the results here will have a big impact on the upcoming Semi-Finals. Tonight, we have excellent wrestling to look forward to from Hiromu Takahashi and Big Tom Ishii, plus Kazuchika Okada is in action. On that note, let’s get to the ring!
Previous New Japan Cup 2020 Coverage:
Hiromu Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii
What a match to start a show with! This was an awesome contest that told a real story in the ring. Hiromu tried to match Ishii in strength – big mistake! Every time Hiromu managed to get some offence in, Ishii would clobber him into near-oblivion (one lariat in particular looked like it near killed Hiromu).
Eventually, Hiromu was able to use his speed to outpace Ishii, giving him the opportunity to blast Ishii with some power moves of his own. A Death Valley Driver-type move into the corner seemed to knock the sense out of Ishii, but it still took two Time Bomb’s to put him away. Not that you could tell Hiromu was the winner – both men lay exhausted on the mat, the battle having destroyed them.
An excellent battle.
Winner – Hiromu Takahashi
EVIL vs. YOSHI-HASHI
EVIL started the match by living up to his name – he attacked YOSHI-HASHI with a chair as soon as YOSHI-HASHI entered the ring, striking him in the leg, before wrapping the chair around said limb and smashing it repeatedly with another chair. A quick Darkness Scorpion and it was all over in two minutes! EVIL gave YOSHI-HASHI some extra stomps to the leg after, just for fun.
Supposedly, YOSHI-HASHI had tweaked his leg in his match against BUSHI, so I assume it must still be really bad for the match to go down like this.
Not a great contest but certainly a moment of great drama.
Winner – EVIL
Kazuchika Okada vs. Taiji Ishimori
Despite the best efforts of Gedo, who hit Okada with a wrench and attempted to hit him with a knuckle duster, this was a fairly even match, with both men getting turns to dominate throughout. A good match that never seemed to hit the next gear that you’d expect from these two, nevertheless, I was never bored. Okada displayed his usual cocky charisma, while Ishimori looked crisp in his execution.
After seeing Gedo off, Okada sealed the win with his Cobra Clutch finisher.
Winner – Kazuchika Okada
SANADA vs. Taichi
This was my least favourite match of the night, going too long for what they were doing. It was also a lot slower paced than the other matches on the night – not a bad thing if you’re still doing something interesting, but unfortunately they weren’t. Yoshinobu Kanemaru tried to interfere on Taicihi’s behalf but it made little difference. SANADA finished things with an O’Connor roll to take the win in an anti-climactic manner.
Winner – SANADA
Save the main event, this was an entertaining night of wrestling, with Hiromu and Ishii stealing the show right from the off, EVIL living up to his name and Okada and Ishimori proving they can put on a solid match together, given the opportunity.
We now head into an intriguing semi-final, with LIJ pitched in battle against each other, as EVIL takes on SANADA, whilst Okada faces Hiromu, the result of which will say a lot for how New Japan will look to book itself in the near-future. New Japan would be daft not to push Hiromu for the win here, as his star is firmly on the rise. Okada can take the loss, and a Hiromu win over Okada would do much to elevate him to the next level. I also want to see the Naito-Hiromu match we were promised all those months ago. Whether New Japan goes with this, though, is another matter.
Check back here for coverage of the semi-finals with Conrad. We always have you covered – right here at Sports Obsessive!