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New Japan Cup night five results: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Bad Luck Fale

The New Japan Cup tour continued Wednesday in Shizuoka, with both Juice Robinson and Hiroshi Tanahashi earning spots in the tournament's final four. 

Juice pinned Michael Elgin in a solid, but not spectacular outing, and Tanahashi did his best to have a good match with Bad Luck Fale, which is no easy feat. Working with Fale is like trying to wrestle a refrigerator, or a large recliner. 

On the undercard, Kazuchika Okada's quest to get his Cobra Clutch over as a finisher continued. After nailing Takashi Iizuka with two dropkicks, both of which got big reactions, Okada applied the hold to a muted reaction, at best. 

Thursday's show in Korakuen Hall will feature SANADA vs. Toru Yano in a quarterfinal bout in the semi-main, and Zack Sabre, Jr. will main event with the man who has to be considered the favorite to win the tournament, Kota Ibushi, in the last quarterfinal match. 

Prelim bouts:

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi & Ryusuke Taguchi
Toa Henare, David Finlay, & Ren NNarita defeated Shota Umino, Yuji Nagata, & Tomoyuki Oka
Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith, Jr. defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Tanga Loa
Chase Owens & Kota Ibushi defeated TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre, Jr.
Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, & Chuckie T defeated BUSHI, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito
Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Takashi Iizuka, Minoru Suzuki, & Taichi

New Japan Cup quarterfinal results:

Juice Robinson defeated Michael Elgin

The opening sequence featured some mat wrestling, which ended in a stalemate. Juice attempted to match Elgin's power moves with shoulder blocks, to no avail, but did take Elgin off his feet with a suplex. Elgin sold that well, but quickly asserted control of the bout with slams and suplexes. 

Juice tossed Elgin to the floor and hit a plancha, then a flapjack for a nearfall. Elgin tried to land forearm strikes, but Juice countered them, and hit a gutbuster. Elgin came back with forearm strikes, and followed with a double underhook powerbomb, scoring a nearfall of his own. 

Elgin went to the top for a moonsault, but missed. They traded lariats before Juice hit a powerbomb for a nearfall. They were selling exhaustion as they neared the fifteen minute mark, which felt a bit forced. Juice went for Pulp Friction, but Elgin turned it into a backslide, and a tilt-a-whirl slam for a nearfall. Elgin turned another Pulp Friction attempt into a german suplex. 

Elgin hit two lariats, then a buckle bomb. He picked Juice up for the Elgin Bomb, but Juice small packaged him for the pinfall victory. 

There are few New Japan matches that I feel should have gone longer, but for the story they were trying to tell, this could have used five more minutes. This was good, but not a blow away match. 

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Bad Luck Fale

Tanahashi tried to take Fale down with a drop toehold, but failed. HE finally got the big man off his feet, and sent him outside, before hitting a baseball slide. They brawled on the outside, and Fale tried to whip Tanahashi into the barricade, but Tanahashi jumped the railing, and ran back into the ring. 

Tanahashi went back outside, and this time Fale succeeded in throwing him into the crowd. Fale dropped a stack of barricades on Tanahashi, who beat the twenty count back in. Fale hit a splash on the apron, and they teased another countout.

Fale used a nerve hold, and a host of forearm strikes, but missed a charge into the corner, giving Tanahashi his opportunity to land some blows. Tanahashi hit three dropkicks then caught Fale on the rebound for a slam. Fale caught him coming in and hit a Samoan drop and a splash for two nearfalls. 

Tanahashi turned a Razor's Edge attempt into a roll-up, and Fale mildly botched the kickout. Tanahashi hit a suplex, which really got the crowd into the match, and hit a sling blade. He followed up with a clothesline, sending Fale to the floor, and hit a High Fly Flow off the top to the outside. 

Fale rebounded with a clothesline on the apron, and teased powerbombing Tanahashi into the crowd, but Tanahashi pushed off the post, freeing himself, and sending Fale over the barricade. Tanahashi beat the twenty count back inside, scoring the countout win. This is worth checking out, if only for that spot. 

Fale tried to attack after the match, but Tanahashi hit a dragon screw before going into his post-match promo and air guitar routine to send the fans home happy.