Nara was home to the sixth day of New Japan Cup action, the first time the promotion has ran in the city in over a decade. The top two matches were solid, and by the end of the night a blockbuster quarterfinal was made. Here are the results from the undercard:
- Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi defeated Michael Elgin and Yota Tsuji
Nagata submitted Tsuji with the Nagata lock.
- Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori and Bad Luck Fale defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Togi Makabe and Ren Narita
Owens pinned Narita after the package piledriver.
- Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi defeated Hirooki Goto and Shota Umino
Shingo defeated Umino with the pumping bomber.
- Minoru Suzuki, Taichi and Davey Boy Smith Jr. defeated BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA
Taichi submitted BUSH via the Emperor's Cross. After the match, Suzuki cut a promo on SANADA, who he is facing on 3/17. SANADA motioned like he was going to issue a response, but instead held up his arm in a “X” position and walked away.
- Kota Ibushi and Tomoaki Honma defeated Zack Sabre Jr. and Taka Michinoku
Ibushi defeated Taka with the kamigoye.
- Juice Robinson, Tomohiro Ishii, Colt Cabana and Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI and Toa Henare
Juice pinned Henare with pulp friction. Owens, who was asking for a title match earlier in the show, came out and attacked Juice after the match, holding the US title high.
New Japan Cup:
Will Ospreay defeated Lance Archer
A great match. Both men were tremendous in their roles here. Lots of great near falls and the build to the finish was fantastic.
Ospreay manages to take all of Archer’s offense early, landing on his feet. Ospreay took him to the outside and went for a springboard off the barricade, but Archer grabbed him and hit a overhead belly to belly suplex to the floor. He followed that up by dropping Osprey ribs first on the barricade.
Archer continues to assault Archer, stomping and slapping him each time he tries to mount a comeback. Ospreay tries to mount another comeback but Archer slaps his chest and goes for blackout. Ospreay escaped and hit the springboard enzuigiri, then a 619.
Ospreay counters Archer with a stunner as Ospreay finally begins to mount an offense, but is quickly taken down with a black hole slam. Ospreay fires back and goes for the Oscutter but is blocked not once but twice, with Archer pouncing Osprey to the floor.
Archer chokeslams Ospreay on the apron, then hits another, but Ospreay kicked out. Archer went for blackout again but Ospreay fought back, eventually landing the Oscutter, only for Archer to kick out. Ospreay goes for the elbow to the back of the head, but Archer grabs him and hits blackout...but Ospreay somehow manages to kick out.
They wind up on the top rope, with Ospreay managing to land the cheeky nandos kick. With Archer still on the middle rope, Ospreay grabs Archer and finishes him with stormfront.
Kazuchika Okada defeated Mikey Nicholls
This was okay, but the crowd was absolutely dead for it. They did not buy Nicholls had a shot at any point in the match and you could tell. Nothing Nicholls did was wrong, but this didn’t feel like a hot match at any point, just a well worked one.
They start things off slow with some chain wrestling. They trade headlocks until Nicholls drops Okada with a suplex, then drops him on the apron. Okada’s chest, which has been decimated in recent days with chops, became bloody again as Nicholls worked over him, including laying in a half boston crab.
Nicholls missed a knee drop, which let Okada strike back with an uppercut. He went for the Mikey Bomb, but Okada countered with a flapjack. He starts building up momentum as he goes for the rainmaker. Nicholls charges Okada to the corner instead and lands a superplex.
The two exchange offense for a bit before Okada takes him down with the dropkick. Nicholls countered the rainmaker into a spinebuster. He follows with a moonsault, Okada comes back with a spinning rainmaker, then a second for the win.
The two shook hands after the match as Okada cut a promo to end the show.
So that will make it Kazuchika Okada vs. Will Ospreay in the quarterfinals. That should be a hoot!