New Japan Cup finals feedback
Sunday, 23 March 2014 19:33
Thumbs slightly up for the 3/22 New Japan Cup 2nd Round 2014.
Worst Match: Tiger Mask, Jushin Liger & Yuji Nagata vs. Takashi Iizuka, Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi. It's a shame announcer Shimpei Nogami was not there, because it would have been funny to see Iizuka put the Tiger mask on him and bully him around.
Best Match: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shelton Benjamin. This match just barely beat Sho Tanaka vs. Yohei Komatsu in the opener. Besides Mercer beating Duke in the NCAA Tournament, this was the upset of the weekend and the maybe the year in New Japan.
All around not a really good show, I thought the first round matches were a hell of a lot better.
Thumbs up for the 3/23 New Japan Cup Final Round 2014.
I thought this show was fairly solid throughout, even with Bad Luck Fale making the finals. I would easily recommend this show over the 3/22 show.
Worst Match: Kazushi Sakuraba, Yuji Nagata, & Manabu Nakanishi vs. Takashi Iizuka, Toru Yano & Jado. I wonder what that sign said that the announcer had in his hand that was making Iizuka upset. Maybe the sign said that Great Khali was a better wrestler than him. If that was Nogami holding that sign, I bet Iizuka would have roughed him up.
Best Match: Kota Ibushi, Tetsuya Naito & El Desperado vs. Kazuchika Okada, Gedo & Tomohiro Iishi. I thought for sure Gedo was taking the fall, but we got more build to rematch between Iishi and Naito which I look forward too.
Even though the tournament itself was not very good, I still had a good time watching both shows.
3/23 NJPW New Japan Final at Amagasaki Memorial Park Gymnasium
Best Match: El Desperado, Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito vs. Gedo, Tomohiro Ishi and Kazuchika Okada (****)
Worst Match: Toru Yano, Takashi Iizuka and Jado vs. Kazushi Sakuraba, Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata (*1/4)
It was tough decision that I choose El Desperado, Ibushi & Naito vs. Gedo, Ishi & Okada over New Japan Final: Fale vs. Nakamura (***3/4) for best match.
New Japan Cup 3/23
Best match: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bad Luck Fale
Worst match: Kazushi Sakuraba, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata vs. Jado, Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano
The show was quite average by New Japan standards. Nevertheless, the way they booked the tournament with numerous upsets made it very unpredictable, which can only be good. Because most of the time if you know what's going to happen, it takes the fun out of it. By the end, I wasn't a hundred percent sure Shinsuke was going to win, as I'd been wrong so many times before. They effectively planted seeds of doubt that certainly grew into my consciousness. Sure, we were denied some classic matches, but they were never going to be given the time to shine over the short format, so it's better to save them for when they really matter.
Sho Tanaka & Captain New Japan vs. BUSHI & KUSHIDA: This was an all action opener that got the ball rolling nicely. The Captain seemed like an equal with these guys and not the perennial underdog he usually plays; Tanaka had a good showing; and the always remarkable BUSHI and KUSHIDA made me think they should tag together full time.
Tiger Mask, Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Taichi, TAKA michinoku, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer: And the action continued. I got a kick out of TAKA and Taichi's mockery of TenKoji, and I also liked the finish. But I didn't like Archer flailing his arms like the robot from Lost in Space when receiving the chops from Kojima. It just looks silly. Why doesn't he just block them?
Kazushi Sakuraba, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata vs. Jado, Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano: Not even Nagata could save this one. Extremely dull and way too long.
Shelton Benjamin vs. Bad Luck Fale: A pretty basic short match, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. The highlight was the grenade being countered into a DDT.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Minoru Suzuki: This was a fine match that got better as it progressed. Although, it wasn't as good as their G-1 encounter or anywhere near the best matches of this year. I'm happy that Suzuki didn't look injured and I got into his rolling Kimura more than the fans did. The result surprised me; I thought after Fale winning it would be a Suzuki-gun versus Bullet Club match in the final.
Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto vs. YOSHI-HASHI & Yujiro Takahashi: Another solid bout, made even better by the hot crowd. However, unlike them, I never believed YOSHI could win. Other than that, the best work belonged to Yujiro and Shibata. They were superb.
Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomoaki Honma, Tougi Makabe & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Toma Tonga, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson & Prince Devitt: With the people involved, this was never going to be bad. It was highly entertaining and fought at a brisk pace. My only negative is that maybe it was too brisk. I could of easily watched it for a few more minutes.
El Desperado, Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito vs. Gedo, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada: The crowd went to sleep for most of this match. Fortunately they woke up in time to catch the electric finale. I may be sick of seeing Ishii and Naito squaring off, but they tear down the house every time, which is something I'll never get tired of seeing.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bad Luck Fale: I didn't have high hopes going into this. But, thanks to a badly bloodied nose and an excellent finish, this was a very good end to a fairly ho-hum tournament. It may not of been on par with the Ishii-Naito match from the first round, but it was a damn good effort.