NJPW ran their second consecutive sellout night at Tokyo's Korakuen Hall on Sunday, highlighted by the conclusion of the second round of the 2019 New Japan Cup.
The undercard was much stronger than the day before. The matches without tournament implications all delivered with intensity, and the crowd reacted in kind.
The tag matches that provided previews of upcoming Cup matches were strong as well.
As for the tournament matches, Cabana and Yano delivered on what had to be one of the most highly-anticipated comedy matches ever, while SANADA and Suzuki followed up with a strong main event.
Full results and match recaps are below:
YUJI NAGATA, MANABU NAKANISHI & YOTA TSUJI DEFEATED SATOSHI KOJIMA, HIROYOSHI TENZAN & YUYA UEMURA
Super heated opener. Nakanishi and Tenzan jawed at each other during the match. The finish saw Nagata hit an exploder on Uemura, then he applied the Nagata Lock for the submission.
CHASE OWENS, BAD LUCK FALE & HIKULEO DEFEATED JUICE ROBINSON, MIKEY NICHOLLS & REN NARITA
This continued the build for Chase eventually challenging Juice for the U.S. title. Juice and Chase started out, but Chase begged off. Fale and HIKULEO went after Juice on the floor, and Chase tagged in once Juice was on the defensive.
Narita looked good here. He hit Owens with a dropkick and had him in a crab, but Fale made the save. Owens hit the package piledriver on Narita for the pin.
Chase executed a sneak attack on Juice after the match. He teased a package piledriver on the floor, but Juice escaped. Owens ducked the Left Hand of God, and Jado hit Juice with his kendo stick. Owens tossed Juice into the ring, then left him laying with a belt shot.
LANCE ARCHER, DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. & TAICHI DEFEATED TOGI MAKABE, MICHAEL ELGIN & TOA HENARE
Another showcase match for Suzuki-gun, with Smith and Archer on the winning side for the second consecutive night.
The match began with Taichi and Archer dominating Henare. Henare dodged a charge into the corner and tagged Elgin. Elgin and Archer had a big man battle, then Elgin tagged Makabe.
The match broke down, and Smith and Archer hit a Hart Attack on Henare. Taichi took his trousers off, and he hit a buzzsaw kick for a near fall. Taichi hit a superkick before using a Stretch Plum for the submission victory over Henare.
TETSUYA NAITO, SHINGO TAKAGI, EVIL & BUSHI DEFEATED SHO, YOH, KOTA IBUSHI & SHOTA UMINO
This was an incredibly fun eight-man, and the last several minutes were excellent. They teased a future match between Ibushi and Naito for the Intercontinental title.
LIJ beat down SHO for several minutes at the outset. SHO made a comeback with a spear and a deadlift suplex, then tagged Ibushi. Ibushi and Naito did battle, with Ibushi picking up a near fall off a standing moonsault.
Naito hit a pair of neckbreakers. Both traded strikes, and Naito hit a spinebuster. EVIL tagged in and ate a dropkick. Umino entered and ran wild with back elbows and a missile dropkick. EVIL reversed a fisherman buster attempt into one of his own.
Everyone jumped in and hit a big move. Umino held off Naito and EVIL at first, kicking out of an inverted atomic drop into a lariat, but eventually fell victim to Everything is EVIL.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI & TOMOAKI HONMA DEFEATED ZACK SABRE JR. & TAKA MICHINOKU
Tanahashi and Sabre began the match with a mat wrestling clinic. Tanahashi picked up a near fall off a backslide. Sabre and Tanahashi applied dueling cobra twists to Honma and TAKA. Sabre went for a cobra twist on Tanahashi, but Tana dumped him over the top rope with a hip toss.
Sabre used a headscissors on Honma, while also applying a heel hook to Tanahashi. Sabre and TAKA worked over Honma, who eventually dumped Sabre on his head on a suplex, then tagged Tana back in.
Tanahashi went for a cloverleaf on TAKA, but Sabre broke it up. Sabre went for an armbar on Tanahashi, but Honma broke it up with a kokeshi. Tanahashi used a cloverleaf on TAKA for the submission.
After the bell, Sabre attacked Honma and taunted Tanahashi.
TOMOHIRO ISHII, WILL OSPREAY & HIROOKI GOTO DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & YOSHI-HASHI
The highlight here was the interaction between Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI ahead of their matchup in the next round of the tournament.
Much of it was the fact that he was working with Ishii, but YH looked great, easily the best he's been since his return from injury. Ishii and YH engaged in several chop battles. Ospreay broke out a standing shooting star press on Okada.
Near the finish, Okada hit a dropkick. Taguchi hit a hip attack. Goto hit a GTR and got the pin on Taguchi.
NEW JAPAN CUP SECOND ROUND MATCH: COLT CABANA DEFEATED TORU YANO (7:47)
This had to be one of the most anticipated comedy matches of all time. Expectations were extremely high, but they were met, if not exceeded.
Cabana grabbed a waistlock on Yano, and he pulled a roll of tape out of Yano's trunks. Each used a distraction to attempt a schoolboy on the other. After a prolonged log roll spot, Cabana scored a second near fall.
Yano pulled a third roll of tape from under the ring, but Cabana got a hold of it and taped one of the turnbuckle pads. Yano went to untie it, while Cabana untied another. Yano untied a third turnbuckle pad, and they played catch with it. Yano used a schoolboy for a near fall.
Cabana blocked a low blow, then used a Superman cover for the pinfall.
NEW JAPAN CUP SECOND ROUND MATCH: SANADA DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI (28:45)
Can we put Suzuki in the Hall of Fame again? This was great.
They teased locking up. SANADA checked a leg kick. Suzuki grabbed a side headlock, then went after SANADA's left arm. Suzuki used a rear naked choke. SANADA slipped to a hammerlock, Suzuki used a headlock takeover, and SANADA used a headscissors escape.
SANADA used a headlock, but Suzuki used a headscissors to escape it. SANADA used a handstand to escape the headscissors, and they ended up back on their feet.
SANADA went for the paradise lock, but TAKA jumped on the apron for a distraction. Suzuki played as though he was in the lock, but when SANADA went for a dropkick to break the hold, Suzuki popped up and pulled him to the apron for a heel hook.
Suzuki posted SANADA's legs, then draped the right leg over the barricade and attacked it with kicks. The match spilled into the crowd, and Suzuki used a chair. Suzuki continued to attack the right leg over the barricade.
Back inside, Suzuki used an Achilles lock. SANADA reached the ropes, forcing a break. SANADA made it back to his feet. After an exchange of strikes, SANADA hit a dropkick to Suzuki's right knee, then used a dragon screw.
SANADA hit his leapfrog dropkick, then a pescado. Back inside, Suzuki avoided a springboard dropkick, then hit a PK for a near fall. They exchanged a series of forearm strikes. Suzuki was staggered, but eventually dropped SANADA.
They did an awesome misdirection spot. SANADA went for Skull End, but Suzuki powered out and applied a rear naked choke with a bodyscissors. Suzuki transitioned to a lateral press for a two count.
Suzuki hit a couple of short knee strikes, then went for the Gotch Piledriver. SANADA powered out of it. SANADA slipped to the Skull End. He gave up the hold and went for a moonsault. Suzuki popped up, and SANADA rolled through.
SANADA went for a springboard dropkick, but Suzuki caught him and applied a kneebar. SANADA briefly tried to bridge into a cover, but Suzuki used a rear naked choke. Suzuki hit a series of palm strikes, then used another rear naked choke. SANADA powered out and hit a TKO.
After an exchange of strikes, SANADA hit a Saito suplex for a two count. SANADA went to the top for a moonsault, but Suzuki cut him off. SANADA eventually hit the moonsault into the Skull End. Suzuki grabbed the knee and briefly got a kneebar. They traded the same holds, and even simultaneously applied them.
Suzuki slipped to an inverted figure four, but SANADA slid back into the Skull End. Suzuki sold as though he passed out in the hold, so SANADA went for a cover. Suzuki kicked out at two.
SANADA went to the top rope, hit a moonsault, and got the pin.