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New Japan Cup night six results: Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Kota Ibushi


Zack Sabre, Jr. and SANADA punched their tickets to the semifinals of the New Japan Cup tournament Thursday in Tokyo’s Korakuen Hall.

Both won their quarterfinal bouts on night six of the current tour, setting up a showdown between the two of them on Sunday’s show in Shizuoka. The winner of that bout will go on to face the winner of Friday’s Juice Robinson vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi match.

For start times and more details, you can check out Bryan Rose’s post here.

Predicting winners in this tournament has been an exercise in futility, and that trend continued with Sabre’s win over Ibushi.

Below are the results of Thursday’s show in Tokyo.

Prelim bouts:

David Finlay & Ren Narita defeated Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino

YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto defeated Toa Henare & Togi Makabe

Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith, Jr., Takashi Iizuka & Taichi defeated Chase Owens, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale

Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado defeated BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi

Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin defeated Chuckie T, Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii

New Japan Cup Quarterfinal Matches:

SANADA defeated Toru Yano

SANADA attacked Yano before the bell, and pulled his shirt over his head. He rolled him around the ring, and got a nearfall.

SANADA used the Paradise Lock near the ropes, before kicking Yano to the floor. They brawled on the floor, and SANADA tried to tie Yano’s feet with camera cables, but Yano kicked him off into the crowd, and raced back to the ring. They teased a countout, but SANADA made it back in at 19.

Yano choked SANADA with his shirt, but SANADA used a flying headscissors and a plancha to the floor. Yano posted SANADA and went to hit him with a chair, but SANADA moved and Yano hit the post.

They teased another countout. Yano made it back inside and tried to cradle SANADA by his mohawk. Yano untied the turnbuckle pad, but missed a charge into the corner, hitting the exposed buckles. SANADA missed a charge into the exposed buckles, which didn’t look particularly good.

Yano went for Skull End on SANADA, missed, but cradled him for a nearfall. Yano hit an inverted atomic drop and a slingshot into the exposed buckle. Yano went for a Last Ride, but SANADA turned it into a Code Red for another nearfall.

Yano hit a low blow and cradled SANADA again, but SANADA caught Marty Asami’s hand before it could hit the mat the third time. While Asami sold his arm, SANADA hit a low blow, and locked on Skull End for the submission. This wasn’t great pro wrestling, but it had good heat.

Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Kota Ibushi

Sabre out-wrestled Ibushi on the mat for the first quarter of the match. The first time that Ibushi successfully reversed a hold, Sabre turned to striking, but Ibushi quickly established himself as the better striker, landing forearms and kicks. Sabre grabbed a heel hook, grapevine the leg, then transitioned to an armbar, but Ibushi reached the bottom rope, forcing a break.

Sabre continued working over Ibushi’s legs on the mat, trying to eliminate his kicks and flying ability, but Ibushi made it back to his feet, and commenced kicking. Sabre grounded Ibushi again, this time choosing to work on his arms. Ibushi reached the ropes, made it to his feet, and Sabre missed a charge into the corner, allowing Ibushi to hit a hurracanrana and a kick to the chest. That was the perfect time to do that spot, just as things started to hit a lull.

Ibushi hit more kicks, and a standing moonsault for a nearfall. Sabre kicked out and applied an abdominal stretch. Ibushi forced a break, and they traded strikes. Ibushi hit a snap dragon suplex, and bridged into a nearfall. Sabre countered into a bridging pin attempt of his own, before returning to work over Ibushi’s arms again.

Sabre countered a Kamigoye attempt into a roll-up attempt, and they traded nearfalls. They exchanged some slaps to the face, which didn’t appear to be too stiff on the New Japan scale, before Sabre kicked Ibushi in the side of the neck. Ibushi got the better of a strike exchange, and hit a big lariat. Ibushi hit a powerslam, and went for a moonsault, but Sabre caught him in a triangle choke on the landing.

Ibushi tried to turn the triangle into a Last Ride, but Sabre applied an octopus hold. Ibushi slipped out and teased throwing Sabre into the corner like a dart, but Sabre escaped. He charged Ibushi, who went for the Kamigoye, but Sabre forced him to turn it into a bridging suplex nearfall.

Ibushi was spent, and Sabre took his back, tied him up, and hammered him with strikes. With Ibushi unable to defend himself, Red Shoes called for the bell.

Sabre is a master of his craft and Ibushi is an artist. Together, they put on a fine show.