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New Japan Cup night two results: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi

New Japan returned to Aichi today for the second of four consecutive days of New Japan Cup action. Here’s a rundown of what happened:

Prelim bouts:

  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado defeated Ryusuke Taguchi and Ren Narita when Desperado submitted Narita with a stretch muffler.
  • David Finlay and Tetsuhiro Yagi defeated Yuji Nagata and Shota Umino when Finlay pinned Umino with a stunner.
  • Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano defeated Michael Elgin and Tomoyuki Oka when Yano pinned Oka following a low blow and a roll up.
  • Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Takashi Iizuka defeated Juice Robinson and Toa Henare when Smith pinned Henare with the bulldog bomb.
  • Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and BUSHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. and Taka Michinoku when SANADA submitted Michinoku with the skull end.
  • Kazuchika Okada, Chuckie T, YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto defeated Kota Ibushi, Chase Owens, Tanga Loa and Yujiro Takahashi when Okada submitted Owens with the cobra clutch.

New Japan Cup opening round matches:

Bad Luck Fale defeated Lance Archer

They took it out of the ring quickly as Fale brawled with Archer into the crowd. Archer cleared people and looked to throw Fale into chairs, but Fale countered and throws him into the chairs instead.

Archer got the advantage and went to the turnbuckle but Fale took him down. Archer went for the blackout, but Fale avoided it and hit a lariat and a big splash. Archer grabs Fale and went for a chokeslam but Fale pushed him away. then hit the grenade out of nowhere for the win. It was fine, but not really anything of note. Seemed kinda short, too.

Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Taichi

Taichi did everything in his power to stall early. He finally got the heat on Tanahashi as he outpaced him running back to the ring and stomped on him as he tried to return to the ring. Taichi took Tanahashi to the outside and threw him into the crowd.

Taichi continued to get heat on Tanahashi until he fired back some shots and slapped Taichi square in the face. Taichi took Tanahashi to the outside and looked to powerbomb him onto the stage, but Tanahashi fired back with a hurricanrana that sent Taichi reeling. He then worked on Taichi’s legs and applied the cloverleaf.

Tanahashi continued to work over Taichi until Taichi unleashed a brutal side suplex on Tanahashi.  He followed with a Ganso bomb. Tanahashi fired back with the slingblade and hit the high fly flow, but Tanahashi’s injured knee started to bother him,. Taichi used the bum knee to shove the referee, low blow Tanahashi and landed the Gedo clutch, but Tanahashi kicked out.

Tanahashi revived and hit three twist and shout neckbreakers in succession. Taichi went to use the cane, but Tanahashi grabbed it and threw it out of the ring. Taichi tried to distract the referee again and went for a low blow, but this time Tanahashi blocked it and landed two sling blades. When Taichi kicked out, Tanahashi finished with the high fly flow for the win.

This was way better than expected. The early part of the match was kinda dull but once the stalling stopped it became a tremendously well built match with a lot of great nearfalls. People totally bought that Taichi could get a fluke win and their reactions helped the match a lot too.

This means Hiroshi Tanahashi and Bad Luck Fale will square off on March 14 to decide who will make it to the semifinals.