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New Japan Cup night seven results: Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

The 2019 New Japan Cup tournament continued Saturday in front of a sold out crowd at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall. 

A lackluster undercard was saved by the top three matches on the show, all of which delivered. 

The main event saw a rematch of a second round match from last year's tournament, with 2018 New Japan Cup winner Zack Sabre Jr. taking on the winner of the 2015 Cup, Kota Ibushi. 

Full results and match recaps are below:

YUJI NAGATA, MANABU NAKANISHI, SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN DEFEATED TOMOAKI HONMA, REN NARITA, YOTA TSUJI & SHOTA UMINO 

A decent opener, but not must-see. This was a showcase for the veterans on one team, while Umino was really the only young lion who scored any meaningful offense for his side. 

Umino went after Nagata before the bell, then again after the match, so they look to be working towards something with those two. 

Nagata sent Umino and Tsuji into the barricade on the outside, while the veterans worked over Narita inside. Narita hit a dropkick and made a tag. Umino ran wild with back elbows and missile dropkicks. 

Honma got a tag and things came to a screeching halt. Kojima and Tenzan beat Honma down. The young lions hit a triple dropkick on Tenzan, but Tenzan made a comeback and tapped out Tsuji with the Anaconda Vice.  

JUICE ROBINSON, MICHAEL ELGIN & MIKEY NICHOLLS DEFEATED CHASE OWENS, BAD LUCK FALE & HIKULEO 

There was some good work done here by Chase and Juice, but they didn't get a lot of time and the match was nothing special. 

Chase and Juice engaged in some verbal sparring before the bell. The English commentary team pushed the idea that Chase will be challenging Juice for the U.S. title in the near future. 

Chase taunted Juice during the match, hitting a series of jabs on Elgin. Later, Juice and Chase went back and forth, with neither gaining a clear edge on the other. 

The finish saw Nicholls avoid a tree slam, hit a DDT, then hit HIKULEO with the Mikey Bomb for the pin. 

Chase laid out Juice with a superkick after the match. 

LANCE ARCHER & DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. DEFEATED TOA HENARE & TOGI MAKABE 

This was a quick showcase match for Archer and Smith. Makabe was only in briefly, and the bulk of the match was Smith and Archer beating on Henare. The finish saw them hit the Killer Bomb on Henare for the pin. 

TETSUYA NAITO & SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED YOH & HIROOKI GOTO

A good action match. It's hard to say how much was just selling, but Naito was moving gingerly early on, favoring his right knee. 

Naito and Shingo attacked before the bell. Goto and YOH made a brief comeback. Naito and YOH ended up being the legal men, and Naito worked over YOH. Goto got a tag, and he looked good. He hit an ushigoroshi on Shingo, which Shingo sold huge. 

They heavily pushed on commentary that Shingo has yet to be pinned or submitted in NJPW. The crowd was well aware of that, as they reacted huge when YOH got a near fall with a backslide. Shingo won with the Last of the Dragon. 

EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI, TAICHI & TAKA MICHINOKU 

Suzuki-gun attacked before the bell and used that quick start to dominate the first several minutes of the match. They brawled all over the building. Suzuki-gun tripled up on EVIL, cutting the ring in half. 

EVIL was finally able to tag SANADA, who used the paradise lock on TAKA. Business really picked up when Suzuki and SANADA were in together. They did some cool misdirection spots, along with counters and reversals of some of their trademark spots. 

The finish saw BUSHI flip out of TAKA's Just Facelock, into a BUSHI roll for the pin. 

Suzuki and SANADA had a pull-apart after the match ahead of their tournament bout tomorrow. 

WILL OSPREAY, TOMOHIRO ISHII & TORU YANO DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, YOSHI-HASHI & COLT CABANA 

Okada and Ospreay started off -- and it was absolutely electric. Cabana tagged in and had an excellent sequence with Ospreay as well. Ishii and YH tagged in, and they maintained the intensity level. 

There was a brief lull when Yano tagged in, but Ishii and YH had another nice back and forth, and then it was back to Okada and Ospreay for another awesome stretch. 

Cabana and Yano tagged in and did some comedy involving the turnbuckle pads, which I really enjoyed. Ishii hit Cabana with a lariat, and Yano used a schoolboy on Cabana for the pin. 

NEW JAPAN CUP SECOND ROUND MATCH: HIROSHI TANAHASHI DEFEATED RYUSUKE TAGUCHI (17:17)

For the first fifteen minutes, the crowd just wasn't buying that Taguchi had a chance. They were behind him, and Tana even played the subtle heel, but the intensity of a great match was lacking. But they kept going, and because of Tana's selling, the crowd started to buy the near falls, and the last couple of minutes were super heated. 

Taguchi offered a fist bump, but Tana declined to engage. They started off with some basics. Tana used a headlock takeover. Taguchi ran the ropes, Tana dropped down, and Taguchi applied the ankle lock. Tana quickly kicked out of the hold. 

Taguchi offered another fist bump, Tana acted as though he was going to accept it, but Taguchi threw a kick. Tana caught it, and went to work on Taguchi's legs. He posted Taguchi's legs, then used a kneebar, but Taguchi reached the ropes. 

Grounded, Taguchi went after Tana's knees with punches. Tana fired back with hip attacks, mocking Taguchi. Taguchi followed up by hitting a series of hip attacks of his own. Taguchi hit a pair of springboard dropkicks, sending Tana to the floor. He hit a plancha, and on the way back inside, he used the ankle lock on Tana on the apron. 

Tana recovered, then hit a dragon screw, a dropkick, and another dragon screw in the ropes. Tana fought for the cloverleaf, but Taguchi reached the ropes. Tana teased the somersault senton, but Taguchi cut him off and applied the ankle lock. Tana reached the ropes. 

Tana hit Twist and Shout. He went for another, but Taguchi hit a suplex. They repeated the spot, then went to a double down. Taguchi kipped up, and called for the Bomaye. He connected with the knee and made a cover, but Tana kicked out at two. 

Taguchi hit a tiger suplex for a two count. He went for the Dodon, but sat down into a cradle instead, and scored a near fall. Taguchi applied the ankle lock, dropped an elbow on Tana's leg, then went back to the hold. Tana used a small package, then a cradle for a pair of near falls. 

Taguchi countered a slingblade attempt with an enzuigiri. Tana recovered and hit slingblade twice. Taguchi kicked out at two. Tana used a dragon suplex for the pin. 

NEW JAPAN CUP SECOND ROUND MATCH: ZACK SABRE JR. DEFEATED KOTA IBUSHI (16:07)

Very good match. I liked their match in last year's tournament better, but they also had several more minutes to tell a story in that one. This almost felt rushed, but the last few minutes in particular were excellent. They worked more of a Sabre match than an Ibushi match, if that makes sense. 

They exchanged kicks in the early going, until Sabre caught an Ibushi strike, and used it to tie him up with a heel hook. Sabre continued applying heel hooks and kneebars, then used his legs to torque on Ibushi's neck. Sabre continued attacking the neck with a chinlock, but Ibushi forced a rope break. 

Ibushi hit a snap rana and landed a kick. Sabre sold the kick, while Ibushi sold the damage the kick did to his leg. Ibushi went for a standing moonsault, but Sabre caught him and went back to the heel hook. Sabre stomped on Ibushi's right leg. Ibushi connected with a backflip kick. Sabre used a deathlock, then stood on Ibushi's right leg for extra leverage. 

Sabre hit a hard slap to the face. Ibushi fired up, then hit a moonsault for a near fall. Ibushi hit a double stomp. Sabre went back to the kneebar. Ibushi hit a suplex into a bridge for a near fall. Ibushi flipped out of a suplex attempt, but Sabre applied a guillotine. He went for a Zack Driver, but Ibushi ducked it and hit a lariat. 

Ibushi went for a Last Ride, but Sabre escaped and used a European Clutch for a near fall. Ibushi went for wrist control to set up the Kamigoye, but Sabre applied a triangle choke. Ibushi powerbombed out of the hold for a near fall. 

Ibushi lowered his right kneepad, teasing the Kamigoye again. Sabre kicked the knee. Ibushi hit a straightjacket suplex for a two count. Sabre dodged the knee strike, and he tied up Ibushi's legs. 

Sabre applied Orienteering With Napalm Death -- and Ibushi tapped out.