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New Japan Cup finals live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL

NJPW will run its first show in front of fans since February 26 today, the New Japan Cup final in Osaka-jo Hall.

Kazuchika Okada will face EVIL in the tournament final, with the winner going on to face Tetsuya Naito tomorrow at Dominion for both the IWGP Heavyweight and the IWGP Intercontinental titles.

Okada previously won the New Japan Cup in 2019 and 2013. This marks the first final round appearance for EVIL. Both times Okada won the Cup he went on to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship in his next title match, taking the title from Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2013 and from Jay White in Madison Square Garden last year. 

The semi-main will feature SHO, Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii taking on Naito, Shingo Takagi and Hiromu Takahashi. SHO and Takagi will face off at Dominion for the NEVER Openweight title. 

The undercard will also feature a preview of tomorrow's IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team title match. At Dominion, Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi will defend the tag titles against Taichi and Zack Sabre, Jr. Tonight, Sabre and Taichi will team with Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Desperado against Ibushi, Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata and Ryusuke Taguchi. 

Master Wato will have his first match since returning from excursion tonight, as he will face DOUKI. This match was set up when DOUKI attacked Wato as he made his debut. 

SANADA and BUSHI vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima vs. Hirooki Goto and Gabriel Kidd, plus Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma vs. Yuya Uemura and Yota Tsuji are also scheduled for tonight's show. 

Our live coverage begins at 4 a.m. Eastern time. 


Recommended matches --

  • Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura 
  • Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi 
  • EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada 


Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma defeated Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura (9:23)

This was a solid, snug opener. 

The crowd gave a round of applause at the opening bell. 

Honma and Tsuji started off with a short strike exchange. They got a nice ovation. Honma hit a shoulder tackle and they tagged out. 

Makabe and Uemura tagged in. Makabe cut Uemura off after a whip into the barricade. Makabe and Honma used quick tags as they continued working over Uemura. Uemura blocked a Honma charge into the corner and tagged out after a flying forearm. 

Tsuji hit Honma with a dropkick for a two count. Honma hit a back elbow but missed a kokeshi. The crowd got behind Tsuji as Makabe tagged back in. Tsuji hit a series of strikes and a spear before tagging out. 

Makabe and Uemura had some miscommunication on a spot. Makabe hit a forearm. Uemura hit a dropkick. Tsuji jumped in and they hit Makabe with tandem dropkicks. Uemura used a crab but Makabe forced a rope break. 

Uemura hit a high-grip belly-to-belly for a near fall. Makabe hit a powerslam for a near fall. Tsuji and Honma jumped in. Honma hit a kokeshi on Tsuji. Uemura used a sunset flip and a rolling cradle on Makabe for a near fall. 

The finish saw Makabe hit a lariat, then use a German with a bridge for the pin. 

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Hirooki Goto & Gabriel Kidd (9:57)

This was another solid undercard tag match. Kidd has improved a lot since the beginning of the year. 

Tenzan and Goto began with a power exchange. Tenzan hit some Mongolian chops. Kojima and Kidd tagged in and traded forearm shots. Kojima cut Kidd off. Goto tried to jump back in but Tenzan and Kojima intercepted him with a tandem tackle. 

Kidd came back with a dropkick to Tenzan. Goto tagged in but ate a mountain bomb from Tenzan. Kojima got a tag and hit Goto with machine gun chops in the corner. Goto cut Kojima off before he could hit a top rope elbow and tagged out. 

Kojima hit a Koji Cutter on Kidd for a two count. Goto broke up the pin. Goto held Kojima in a Russian leg sweep position while Kidd connected with a missile dropkick. Kojima and Tenzan hit Goto with a TenCozy Cutter and he rolled outside. 

Kidd blocked a brainbuster from Kojima and hit his own brainbuster for a near fall. Kidd then hit the ropes and ran into a lariat from Kojima. Kojima covered for the pin. 

Master Wato defeated DOUKI (8:46)

It's Master Wato's world, we're just living in it. 

Wato looked okay here. He did a couple of spectacular dives. DOUKI is not exactly a ring general so the booking didn't do Wato any favors. 

DOUKI took a swing at Wato with his pipe before the opening bell. Wato ducked the shot and sent DOUKI outside. Wato hit a nice tornillo. As DOUKI rolled back inside, Wato hit a springboard elbow that was not as nice. 

DOUKI came back with a tope suicida. He whipped Wato into the barricade and liberally used his pipe to inflict damage on the floor. Back inside, DOUKI hit a double stomp for a two count. 

DOUKI raked the eyes. Wato came back with a dropkick. He followed with karate chops and a bicycle knee strike for a two count. DOUKI hit a lariat into a double down. 

DOUKI hit his slingshot DDT for a near fall. The referee had to check on Wato as it looked like he might have injured his head for real on the DDT. DOUKI hit a torture rack bomb for a two count. 

Wato came back with a sunset flip for a two count. He then hit a twisting senton for the pin. 

After the match, Yoshinobu Kanemaru ran in and laid out Wato. Tenzan then rumbled in to make the save for Wato. 

I say this as someone who has also dyed my hair an obnoxious color: Wato needs to go to a professional to get his hair dyed, or at very least use a better dye. DM me dude, I have some product recommendations. This Master Wato gimmick is just pure death. 


We had an intermission while they disinfected the ring. 


Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi defeated BUSHI & SANADA (9:20)

The finishing sequence was very clever but the rest of this match was just kind of there. They also didn't get a ton of time to build a good match. 

BUSHI and Ishimori began. BUSHI got the upper hand quickly. SANADA and BUSHI used quick tags in hitting some simple offense on Ishimori. Ishimori cut BUSHI off by choking him with his t-shirt and Bullet Club went to work on BUSHI. 

Ishimori taunted the crowd and teased ripping BUSHI's mask off. BUSHI came back with an enzuigiri and a DDT before he tagged out. 

SANADA sent an interfering Yujiro outside and hit a plancha. He then locked the paradise lock on Ishimori before breaking it with a dropkick. Ishimori tried the paradise lock but SANADA rolled out. Ishimori hit a handspring into a Pele kick. 

Yujiro got a tag. He bit SANADA's hand to block a TKO. SANADA then bit Yujiro's hand. BUSHI tagged in and hit a suicide dive to both Yujiro and Ishimori. BUSHI hit a backstabber on Yujiro for a two count. 

The finish saw Yujiro go for Pimp Juice. BUSHI blocked and tried a backslide. Yujiro slid out and used the threat of his own backslide to get back to Pimp Juice. He hit the move and pinned BUSHI. 

Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi (12:44)

The pre-match here was great. Tanahashi was emotional and was pointing out fans in the crowd. 

The match itself was very good as well. 

The first five minutes of the match were spent working over Tanahashi's left leg. Tanahashi teased a couple of signature spots but Sabre would interfere and cut him off again. Tanahashi's selling was on another level here. Taichi held Tana up while Sabre hit him with dragon screws. 

Tanahashi finally managed a crossbody off the second rope and a dragon screw to Taichi. Nagata tagged in and hit Kanemaru with an exploder for a near fall. Ibsuhi tagged in and hit a springboard dropkick. 

Sabre tagged in for a great sequence with Ibushi. Ibushi hit a series of strikes and a standing moonsault. Sabre ducked a mid kick and used a heel hook. Sabre locked in an octopus hold. They did a long submission tease before Tanahashi made the save. 

Sabre and Taichi doubled up on Ibushi. Ibushi blocked a Zack Driver and hit a double Pele kick before tagging Taguchi. Taguchi missed a hip attack on Sabre. Desperado tagged in and hit two atomic drops. 

The babyfaces cleared the ring and went four-on-one on Desperado. Taguchi hit a hip attack for a near fall. Suzuki-gun jumped in. Everyone but the legal men brawled outside. Tanahashi hit a plancha on Taichi. 

The finish saw Taguchi hit a Bomaye for a near fall. He went for Dodon but Desperado shoved him off and nearly into the referee. Desperado then hit a straight right hand and Pinche Loco for the pin. 

Sabre and Taichi tried to attack Tanahashi and Ibushi with the tag titles after the match. Tanahashi hit a slingblade on Sabre. Tanahashi and Ibushi then hit a double slingblade on Taichi. 

Ibushi and Tanahashi posed over a fallen Taichi with the tag belts. 

Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi defeated Tomohiro Ishii, SHO & Toru Yano (15:01)

This was quite good and offered a nice preview of tomorrow's Shingo/SHO match. They also had a great match earlier in the New Japan Cup where SHO eliminated Shingo to set up the NEVER title shot. 

Shingo and SHO started out. They did a series of tackles, drop downs and leapfrogs. SHO hit a dropkick which Shingo no-sold. Shingo hit a lariat. He then tried a sliding lariat but missed. SHO hit some kicks before tagging Yano. 

Yano untied a corner pad. Shingo ducked a swing of the corner pad. Yano raked Shingo's eyes. Naito jumped in and saved Shingo. Ishii and Hiromu brawled to the floor. Shingo knocked SHO off the apron and went outside after him before climbing back in to work on Yano. 

Naito tagged in and continued working over Yano. Naito hit a combinacion cabron. Hiromu tagged in for a corner clothesline and a low dropkick for a near fall. Yano used a hair pull to take Hiromu down before tagging out. 

Ishii and Hiromu had a super exchange. Ishii hit a tackle. They traded palm strikes to the chest. Hiromu hit a shotgun dropkick. The crowd came alive as Hiromu fought for a suplex. Ishii blocked and caught a superkick. They traded Germans. Ishii hit a backdrop suplex. Hiromu momentarily no-sold it before hitting a dropkick into a double down. 

Shingo and SHO tagged back in. Shingo sent SHO into the exposed buckle before hitting a series of strikes in the corner. SHO came back with a spear for a two count. Shingo and SHO traded dozens of strikes. SHO blocked a pumping bomber but Shingo answered with a short lariat. 

Naito tagged in and took a flip bump off a SHO lariat. SHO tagged Yano. Yano sent Naito into the exposed buckle and used a schoolboy for a two count. Naito used a schoolboy for a two count. 

Naito blocked a low blow. Ishii and Yano doubled up on Naito. Yano got a two count of a schoolboy before Hiromu saved. He scored another two count after another Ishii assist. 

Shingo and SHO jumped in. Shingo hit a sliding lariat on SHO. Hiromu jumped in and pulled Yano's hair. LIJ went three-on-one on Yano. Naito used a jackknife cradle on Yano for the finish. 

Shingo and SHO had an intense face-off after the match before LIJ posed in the ring with all their titles. 


We got another intermission as they disinfected the ring before the main event. 


Katsuyori Shibata joined the commentary team for the main event. 

New Japan Cup Final: EVIL defeated Kazuchika Okada (31:50)

This was a match filled with ref bumps and interference in a tournament filled with ref bumps and interference, but there was a payoff here. The match never reached the level of a really good Okada match but the story of the match and the angle after were very memorable. 

The story they've been telling with EVIL all tournament long is that he is being more ruthless and is doing whatever it takes to win, even using low blows and chair shots on his tag partner to advance to the final. 

That was on display here right away. They teased locking up but EVIL hit a kick to the gut and Darkness Falls for an immediate near fall. He went for Everything is EVIL but Okada blocked and locked in the Cobra Clutch. EVIL elbowed out and Okada rolled outside. 

Okada took over on the floor after suckering EVIL in. Back inside, Okada hit a neckbreaker for a one count. He missed a slingshot senton and EVIL threw Okada outside. EVIL put Okada's Rainmaker right arm in a chair and posted it. 

Referee Red Shoes Unno went out to the floor and EVIL shoved him away into the aisle. EVIL placed a chair around Okada's neck and hit it with a second chair. Okada beat the ccount back inside. EVIL slammed Okada's right arm into the mat and hit it with stomps. 

EVIL used a hammerlock around the top rope before hitting some hard chops. EVIL rammed the right arm into the barricade. Back inside, Okada came back with a DDT and a running back elbow. 

Both men missed back elbows in the corner. Okada sat EVIL on the top rope and hit a dropkick, sending EVIL to the floor. Okada whipped EVIL into the barricade and sent him over the railing with a big boot. 

Okada hit a draping DDT off the barricade. Okada threw EVIL back inside and covered for a two count. EVIL blocked an air raid crash and hit a fisherman's suplex for a two count. Okada came back with a flapjack into a double down. 

They traded strikes. Okada missed a dropkick. EVIL missed a senton. EVIL tried a misdirection attack out of the corner but Okada was ready and hit a dropkick. That spot ruled. 

Okada hit a tombstone and locked in the Cobra Clutch. EVIL reached the bottom rope to force a break. Okada hit a running back elbow in the corner. EVIL hit a ref-assisted mid kick. EVIL shoved Okada into Red Shoes who took a bump and rolled to the floor. EVIL hit a low blow. 

EVIL brought four chairs into the ring. EVIL hit Darkness Falls on the chairs. EVIL got rid of the evidence and a Young Lion revived Red Shoes. EVIL covered for a super close near fall. It's tough to tell with the fans instructed not to be vocal but it didn't feel like they bought that as a finish. 

EVIL hit a top rope superplex for a two count. EVIL made a throat slash gesture. Okada hit a forearm strike. EVIL gouged Okada's eyes. Okada came back with an air raid crash into a double down. 

They traded strikes from their knees, then standing. The crowd really got into this exchange, clapping along. EVIL blocked a big boot and hit a rolling elbow at the 25 minute mark. 

Okada hit a dropkick and locked in the Cobra Clutch. EVIL gouged Okada's left eye to break the hold. Okada hit a shotgun dropkick. EVIL no-sold it but popped right up into a tombstone. 

Okada went back to the Cobra Clutch. EVIL appeared to be ready to pass out in the hold but Okada gave it up. Okada hit two Rainmakers before applying the Clutch again. Gedo ran in and took the ref. Yujiro Takahashi ran in and hit Okada with a fireman's carry slam. Yujiro ran off and Gedo walked to the back. EVIL and Okada were both down. 

EVIL hit a lariat for a two count at the 30 minute mark. Okada blocked Everything is EVIL and hit a European uppercut. Okada got the Cobra Clutch again. EVIL shoved Okada off into the referee. Red Shoes took another bump. EVIL hit a low blow. 

EVIL hit a big stomping low blow. The referee was revived. EVIL hit Everything is EVIL for the pin.


EVIL called out Naito after the match. Naito said it would be two members of LIJ in the title match and offered EVIL the LIJ fist bump. EVIL appeared to accept, but then laid out Naito with an STO. 

Gedo, Ishimori, Jado, and Yujiro made their way to the ring. EVIL stomped on Naito's LIJ hat and stomped on Naito. EVIL did the Too Sweet with the Bullet Club to cement his defection. 

Shingo, Hiromu, BUSHI and SANADA ran in to make the save and Bullet Club bailed. EVIL posed with the Two Sweet hand signal before walking to the back with Bullet Club. 

Quite the angle to close a newsworthy show.