We are one the last night of Round One in the New Japan Cup tournament. At least two highly anticipated matches in Satoshi Kojima vs. Minoru Suzuki, and SANADA vs. Hirooki Goto. As per the usual rules, the first half of the show will be tag matches involving opponents in upcoming tournament matches.
Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Hikuleo, Chase Owens, & IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori) b. IWGP United States Champion Juice Robinson, YOSHI-HASHI, Michael Elgon, & Yuya Uemera when Ishimori submitted Uemera with a LeBell Lock – It’s no surprise to see the Young Lion take the fall in these opening matches, but the whole point is to see these guys get experience and get better. Anyway,Bullet Club did their usual attacking before the bell. The brawl quickly went to the floor with the babyfaces getting tossed around. When the match got back into the ring, Hashi was the one getting beat on. Elgin got the tag and he and Juice did some nice double team moves. Uemera did a very impressive suplex on Ishimori in the ring while the fight raged on the outside. But Ishimori responded with a LeBell Lock for the submission.
Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, BUSHI, & Shingo Takagi) b. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, & Ren Narita when BUSHI submitted Narita with a Boston Crab – Once again, the match got jumpstarted with the heels attacking before the bell. By the time everything got back in the ring, Tenzan was the one cut off. Nagata got the hot tag and ran wild on Takagi. Narita got in the ring with Bushi and applied a Boston Crab. LIJ cleaned house leaving Narita alone with BUSHI, who apllied his own Boston Crab to get the submission.
Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma b. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku of Suzuki-Gun when Ibushi pinned Michinoku with a Kamigoye – Taka did his usual intro. Strangely enough, the heels did not attack before the bell this time around. However, they did cut off Honma and work him over until Ibushi got the hot tag. Honma rallied to save Ibushi from some double teaming, which allowed Ibushi to hit the Kamigoye on Taka and got the pin.
Tomohiro Ishii & NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay of CHAOS b. Lance Archer & Taichi of Suzuki-Gun when Ospreay pinned Archer with a Crucifix – Ospreay and Archer started out with Archer and used his speed to hit and run. Archer eventually caught him and slammed him to the mat. The heels worked over Ospreay until Ishii got the tag. He and Taichi got into a striking contest. Right ash Ishii was about top get the upper hand, Ishii cheapshotted. Archer and Ospreay tagged back in, with Archer hitting a giant chokeslam. Ishii broke the pin. When Archer lifted Ospreay for a Blackout, Ishii hit a clothesline. Ospreay rolled up Archer into a crucifix pin.
Ryusuke Taguchi, Mikey Nicholls, & Toa Henare b. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, & Shota Umino when Nicholls pinned Umino witha Mike Bomb – This match is a little unique in that stablemates were opposite each other in teh form of Nicholls and Okada. Taguchi did comedy early by running the ropes for a comically long time and getting tired. Umino took a beating before tagging in Okada. Nicholls ducked a Rainmaker for a double down. Umino tagged back in and landed a missile dropkick, but the pin was broken. With everybody else fighting on the outside, Nicholls hit a Mike Bomb on Umino to win the match.
The rest of the night is all tournament matches
Toru Yano p. Davey Boy Smith Jr. with a small package – Before the bell, Smith chased Yano around the ring. Eventually, he caught him and smacked him around on the floor. Eventually, he threw Yano back in the ring, but Yano was able to roll him up for another surprise win.
Colt Cabana p. Togi Makabe with a roll-up – This was definitely everything you would expect with this pairing. Makabe was the badass, and Cabana was Bugs Bunny. As long as Makabe was on the offense, Cabana could stay ahead. Then Cabana missed a moonsault. Makabe tried a King Kong Knee Drop and missed. Cabana retaliated with a roll-up and got the upset pin. As luck would have it, Cabana and Yano will meet in the next round, which is the matchup that probably works the best for both.
And now from two comedy matches to the pro wrestling equivalent of Bloodsport
Minoru Suzuki p. Satoshi Kojima with a Gotch Piledriver – Suzuki predictably took the match to the floor and battered Kojima around ringside. One it got back in the ring, Kojima caught Suzuki’s Penalty Kick and began his comeback. He and Suzuki traded rapid fire blows in the corner. For the first time in forever though, Kojima managed to land his top rope elbow. Suzuki caught Kojima in the Rear Naked Choke, which Kojima coutnered with a Koji Cutter. Suzuki kicked out of a lariat. When Kojima tried another lariat, Suzuki countered with the Goth Piledriver and got the pin.
SANADA p. Hirooki Goto with a Moonsault – The two took turns working the crowd. Sanada gained control and kept Goto from getting any sustained momentum. Sanada tried a springboard, but Goto caught him in a Fireman’s Carry, Sanada dodged a Ushigaroshi, and hit Goto with one. He followed up with a Skull End but missed the moonsault. Goto made his comeback and finally hit the Ushigoroshi. Sanada kicked out of a reverse GTR. The two tried severl holds and reversals. but in the end Sanada used the Skull End and pinned him with a moonsault.