New Japan Cup Quarter Finals Night 1 3/20

The New Japan Cup begins its quarterfinals, which will take up two nights. It’s a nearly all CHAOS Block, as five out of the final eight combatants are members of CHAOS. Kevin Kelly was joined by Excalibur for commentary this time around.

Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, & Yuya Uemera b. Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Yota Tsuji when Nagata submitted Tsuji with a Nagata Lock II – Uemera erupted out of the gate and took the fight not only to Tsuji, but Tenzan and Kojima as well. Tsuji retaliated and returned the favor. Umera wound up getting worked over, complete with getting the Machine Gun Chops from Kojima. Nagata prevented Kojima from landing the elbow, which allowed Nakanishi to get the tag. Both teams went back and forth from there. Tsuji managed to put Nagata in a Boston Crab, which Uemera broke up. Nagata responded with an Exploder and a Nagata Lock II for the submission.

IWGP US Champion Juice Robinson, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Mikey Nicholls b. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Hikuleo, & Chase Owens w/Jado) when Nicholls pinned Hikuleo with a Mikey Bomb – Taguchi started out against Fale, which was a mismatch of comical proportions. The babyfaces took control by knocking everybody except Fale to the floor and triple teamed Fale. Jado managed to hit Taguchi with his shinai, which turned the tide of the match. The heels worked over Taguchi until Juice got the tag. and went at it with Owens. A double tag out saw Nicholls take on Hikuleo, which ended with Nicholls landing a Mikey Bomb for the win.

Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer, & Taichi) b. Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, Michael Elgin, & Tomoaki Honma when Taichi pinned Honma with a Gedo Clutch – Of course, the heels attacked before the bell. Elgin wound up getting the brunt of the teamwork. Makabe got the tag, but was cut off by Suzuki. After getting the worst of the striking contest, Makabe tagged in Honma. The heroes made a comeback, with Honma hitting a Kokeshi. Taichi low-blowed Honma, and rolled him in a Gedo Clutch for the pin.

Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & Shingo Takagi) b. Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto, & Ren Narita when Takagi pinned Narita with a Pumping Bomber – Goto began opposite Bushi, and things went well until Bushi dodged a hip toss drop by Narita. The heels cut off Goto and worked him over. Ibushi got the tag and went back and forth with Naito. Narita tagged in an took down Takagi. Naito ran interference and took out Ibushi. Takagi hit a Pumping Bomber on Narita to claim the victory.

EVIL & SANADA of Los Ingobernables De Japon b. Colt Cabana & Toa Henare when EVIL pinned Henare after a Magic Killer – Sanada offered a handshake, which Cabana accepted. Both men grabbed each other’s leg, and were in a standoff. Sanada tried for the Paradise Lock. Colt managed to escape, and tried a Paradise Lock of his own… which went poorly. Henare coached Cabana through a haka dance, and when they went for a double team move, Evil tripped them from behind. Sanada put Henare in the Paradise Lock. Henare made a comeback, but got caught in Darkness Falls. Sanada disposed of Cabana, and helped hit The Magic Killer to get the win.

Zack Sabre Jr. & Taka Michinoku of Suzuki-Gun b. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Shota Umino when Sabre submitted Umino – Umino got the shine out of the gate against Taka. Sabre fared much better, and decked Umino with uppercuts. Tanahashi tried to break Sabre’s submissions, only to get locked up in one. After a double down, Umino got the hot tag. Taka struck Umino from behind, and Sabre followed up with a PK for a near fall. Taka kept Tanahashi at bay while Sabre applied a submission to Umino and got the win.

Tomohiro Ishii p. YOSHI-HASHI with a brainbuster – The battle between CHAOS members started with Headlocks and takedowns, and quickly escalated into shoulderblocks. Hashi got the upper hand, but then began taunting ishii with slaps. This angered Ishii and lead to a battle of dueling strikes. This time, Ishii came out on top. He pummeled Hashi in the corner. Now it was Ishii’s turn to taunt, which again lead to an exchange of dueling strikes. Hashi went to the Butterfly Lock, and kept repositioning Ishii before there could be a rope break. Eventually, Ishii was able to get the rope break. Hashi missed with a swanton, which Ishii used as an opportunity to mount his comeback. A lariat by Hashi for a double down. Hashi got several near falls, but couldn’t get the pin. Ishii reversed a Karma attempt into a DDT. Hashi kicked out of a lariat at the 20 minute mark. Ishii followed up with a brainbuster for the pin, and his spot in the Semi-finals.

Kazuchika Okada p. NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay with a Rainmaker – As expected, the match began with the feeling out moved and takedowns. Ospreay knocked Okada to the floor. When he tried to follow, Okada whipped him into the guardrail. Ospray jumped over the barricade and tried a forearm. Instead, he got hit by an Okada strike. Back in the ring, Okada took control. Okada dropkicked Ospreay to the floor, but did not follow him out. Ospreay briefly rallied, but Okada manged to cut him off. Oakada hit his top rope elbow and signaled for the Rainmaker. Ospreay managed to counter and hit a flying forearm. A Stormbreaker got reversed, and Okada followed up with a Shotgun dropkick. Ospreay countered a Rainmaker and tried one of his own. Okada ducked and hit another dropkick. Both men went back and forth with flurries of offense. Somehow, Ospreay managed to mount Okada on his shoulders and hit a one Winged Angel type move off the second rope. VERY scary looking, but Okada still kicked out. Okada caught Ospreay when he tried for an Oscutter, and tried a Rainmaker. Ospreay reversed into a Spanish Fly, but only got a two count. Osprey hit a pair of Shooting Stars, but again Okada kicked out. Okada blocked another Oscutter with a dropkick, and hit a Tombstone. Another Rainmaker attempt got reversed into another Spanish Fly attempt. This time, Okada caught Ospreay and delivered a spinning Tombstone. At last, Okada was able to hit the Rainmaker and get the pin. Another excellent match between the two.

After the match, Okada patted Ospreay on the back and cut a promo, presumably saying he will win the tournament.