After a strange first round of booking that saw two of the tournament favorites eliminated, the 2018 New Japan Cup quarterfinals are set.
The second round of the tournament will feature Juice Robinson taking on Michael Elgin, Hiroshi Tanahashi going one-on-one with Bad Luck Fale, Toru Yano vs. SANADA, and in what could make for the match of the tournament, Zack Sabre Jr. will face Kota Ibushi for a spot in the final four. Round two kicks off Wednesday in Shizuoka.
One non-tournament item worth noting from the shows on this tour is that IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada is actually defeating tag opponents with his Cobra Clutch, in an effort to establish that submission as a legitimate finisher.
Below are the results from Monday's action in Kagawa.
Prelim results --
- El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Ren Narita
- Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, & Tanga Loa defeated Shota Umino, Yuji Nagata, & Tetsuhiro Yagi
- YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto defeated Tomoyuki Oka & Michael Elgin
- BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito defeated TAKA Michinoku & Zack Sabre, Jr.
- Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, & Taichi defeated Toa Henare, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, & David Finlay
- Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Chase Owens & Kota Ibushi
New Japan Cup first round matches --
Toru Yano defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. by countout
Yano tried to tape Smith to the ropes, but he failed. There were lots of standard Yano spots, including removing the turnbuckle pad. Smith rammed Yano into the exposed buckle. They brawled outside and into the crowd, and Yano barely beat the count back in.
Smith worked over Yano, getting a near fall with a gutwrench suplex. Red Shoes took a bump, and Smith hit the turnbuckle chest-first. Red Shoes took another bump, and Yano swung a chair but missed. Smith set the chair up in the corner, whipping Yano into it and into the exposed buckle.
Smith hit a belly-to-back for a near fall, then applied a crossface, but Yano made the ropes. Yano used a slingshot, sending Smith into the buckle, then hit a low blow for a near fall. They rolled outside, Smith crotched himself on the barricade, and Yano beat the count back inside, scoring the victory.
If you like Yano comedy, check this out. If you don't, it's not must-see.
SANADA defeated "Chuckie T" Chuck Taylor
I think SANADA is one of the best guys in the business, because he can wrestle everyone's style. You want to fly? He can do that. You want to brawl? Sure. You want to try something new? Okay. That was on full display here, as these guys did a little bit of everything.
They started with their state-of-the-art opening sequence, then followed with some crowd brawling, straight out of 1998 WWF. Taylor grabbed a table and teased suplexing SANADA through it, but SANADA reversed and suplexed him on the floor. He teased a suplex of his own from the apron through the table on the floor, but Taylor blocked it.
SANADA worked over Taylor's legs, but he fired back with a dropkick, a powerslam, and a figure four. SANADA reached the ropes, hit his leapfrog dropkick spot, then a plancha to the outside. They hit the ropes, then Taylor hit a powerbomb for a near fall and followed up with a crazy tope, and an even crazier standing senton over the barricade, landing on the unpadded arena floor.
Taylor slammed SANADA on a pile of chairs, but SANADA popped right up and powerbombed him through the table. SANADA connected with a springboard dropkick and a belly-to-back for a near fall. Taylor connected with a Falcon Arrow, but he missed when going for a moonsault, allowing SANADA to hit a TKO for two.
SANADA missed a moonsault off the top. Taylor countered, hitting the Awful Waffle off the top for a close near fall. That really got the crowd into the match for the first time. SANADA used a dragon sleeper and teased the Skull End, but Taylor slipped out and rolled him up for two.
Taylor scored another near fall, but SANADA quickly applied the Skull End. SANADA released it, opting to go to the top for a moonsault. He landed it, and got the pinfall.
This felt more like a collection of spots than a psychological clinic, and the lack of heat hurt the match, but the effort from both guys was there and this is worth going out of your way to see.