New Japan Cup Night 1 Review (3/3/16) by Izzac



Thanks to our good friend and writer Izzac Mackenroth for  the New Japan Pro Wrestling Results:


All the singles matches on this show are a part of the New Japan Cup which is a single elimination tournament that will crown the #1 contender for Kazuchika Okada’s IWGP title. Before the show started New Japan President Kidani and Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced that Michael Elgin signed for 2 years. Katsuyouri Shibata signed a New Japan contract. The Tiger Mask anime will make a return featuring NJPW stars and the Super J cup will return in 2016!


Toru Yano vs. Yujiro Takahashi:

No women with Yujiro but Cody Hall is there! Yano wins in just over a minute via count-out. Yano advances to the second round.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Michael Elgin:

This was easily Tenzan’s best match since his G1 bout with AJ Styles. Elgin was much more over than Tenzan but the crowd shows respect to the legend Tenzan. Strong strikes for Mr. Elgin. All of Mike’s signature offence is over huge. Tenzan is hurting real bad. Elgin made Tenzan’s wheel kick look great which is rare, especially in 2016! Tenzan teased a moonsault but Elgin powerbombed him in the corner and then hit a spinning Liger bomb for the win. ***3/4

Tama Tonga vs. Togi Makabe:

Good match, nothing great and sloppy at points, but it was good. Tonga was in control mostly with Togi Makabe fighting from underneath. Lots of lariats from Makabe. Togi Makabe busted out a very rare German suplex. Tama Tonga shocks the world and pins Makabe with the headshrinker DDT!!! That is something! Tonga has had less than 10 singles matches in New Japan and has never won so this was a nice change. ***

Satoshi Kojima vs. Tomoaki Honma:

Excellent hoss battle! These guys are so so good. Honma’s popularity has cooled down significantly ever since the supposed news on him beating his girlfriend. Just very very stiff solid action. Both men are getting to show off and shine. Honma did a very impressive deadlift suplex. Kojima used a DDT on the apron which he only uses in big occasions. Many different variations of the Kokeshi headbutt from Honma. Honma dropped Kojima on his brain with a brainbuster but Kojima kicked out and hit the Western lariat to win the bout! ***3/4

Kushida & Katsuyouri Shibata vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Kazuchika Okada:  

Super tag match, Okada proved once again he is above just about everyone on this planet at wrestling. He worked amazingly with both of his opponents. Saku did some nice grappling with Kushida and was a good punching bag for Shibata, but he really didn’t do too much in this. Shibata was crazy over since he just signed his contract and is OFFICIALY a New Japan wrestler. Okada hit the rainmaker on Kushida after an incredible closing sequence. ***3/4       Post match Okada announced the newest member of CHAOS is none other than Will Ospreay! He will challenge Kushida for the IWGP Jr. title at Invasion Attack on 4/10

Hirooki Goto vs. Yuji Nagata:

I am not happy one bit with the result and how this match was laid out.  Goto won when the story is meant to be he is depressed and can’t win and for the first half of this match he was a heel but the latter half he was a fired up baby face? Nagata’s performance was incredible in this match.  It made me really want Nagata main eventing shows again which he should be doing. Nagata played the grumpy old man role to perfection. Watch this match for Nagata’s all time great performance but not the result of Goto winning with a Lucha submission. ***1/2

YOSHI-HASHI vs. Tetsuya Naito:

What a great match that I thought would stink. Easily Yoshi-Hashi’s best match of his career and one of Naito’s best matches since turning INGOBERNABLE. BUSHI was getting involved a lot early on but luckily that stopped. Felt like a CMLL match early on but it transitioned into a strong style bout which is weird to say about a YOSHI-HASHI match. He even lariated Naito while Naito was on the top rope. Naito kicked out of the fold powerbomb which the crowd bought as a finish. YOSHI-HASHI busted out a new submission,  it’s sort of like the WAR special or a butterfly lock. Very heated slap exchange,  but soon after,  Naito hit the Destino for the win. Best match on the card so far. ****

EVIL vs. Tomohiro Ishii:

Let’s just all appreciate Ishii’s hot new theme song! It’s so so good. Just like this match, goddamn unbelievable! This was EVIL’s best performance ever in a match. Ishii convinced me that he is the best wrestler in the world with his effort in this bout. This match was slow and boring to begin with but it certainly picked up after 10 or so minutes and everything after EVIL’s heat segment was perfect. Felt like I was watching Sekimoto vs. Okabayashi. EVIL was booked very very strong in this match even though the result wouldn’t say he is meant to be a strong contender. Ishii did his great stalling superplex. Ishii was dropped very awkwardly with a fisherman’s buster. Both of these men beat the tar out of one another and it was great. Ishii was dropped very nasty once again with a half nelson suplex. Ishii is basically this generations Tenryu which is fitting because Tenryu trained Ishii. Ishii Lariated EVIL’s poor face. Ishii finally secured the win with a brainbuster. ****1/4

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale:

These guys have had excellent matches in the past and this was very good but nowhere near the calibre of their previous matches. They are doing the same gimmick in their previous matches of where Tana can’t pick up Fale. Fale is continuously squashing the ace. Tanahashi is now doing the Moose taunt but the crowd obviously chants ‘ace’ instead of moose. Tanahashi did his high fly flow to the outside which is never not impressive. Tanahashi countered just about everyone of Fale’s big moves which is good story telling. He has learnt from his previous matches what is coming for the big New Zealander. Tanahashi finally took Fale off his feet with a release German suplex. Talking about Moose, Fale did a big time spear for a near fall. Tana countered the Bad Luck Fall with a variation of the sling blade. Fale wins with the Bad Luck Fall which is very protected and no one ever kicks out of it. ***3/4


Excellent New Japan show if you skip the opening match. I wish all their big PPV shows would be singles matches because we get an amazing show like this! I would tell you to go out and watch the entire card because it was excellent. Match of the night goes to EVIL and Ishii but shortly behind that was YOSHI-HASHI and Naito who shocked me and just about stole the show. I am all in on New Japan once again after being disappointed with some of their booking woes. This was awesome.