Recommended matches --
- YOSHI-HASHI vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
- Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, SHO & Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi
- EVIL vs. Satoshi Kojima
Korakuen Hall was again the venue for today's show.
New Japan Cup first round match: BUSHI defeated YOH (15:43)
These guys worked hard but this badly needed a crowd. They didn't work particularly stiff, so it was two guys working in a dead silent arena and the match went too long.
The opening exchange saw YOH hit a hurricanrana. BUSHI rolled to the floor and YOH hit him with a plancha. YOH may have tweaked his left knee as he landed awkwardly and came up limping. BUSHI again rolled outside where he sent YOH into the barricade.
BUSHI hit a neckbreaker against the barricade. YOH made it back inside after a countout tease. BUSHI went to work on YOH. YOH came back with a handspring elbow and a figure four. YOH used a dragon screw and falcon arrow for a near fall.
BUSHI came back with a neckbreaker and a draping DDT on the apron for a near fall. YOH hit a pair of bridging Germans for near falls. They traded strikes. BUSHI hit an enzuigiri and a rewind kick. YOH hit a superkick.
They did a series of standing switches. BUSHI hit a backstabber for a near fall. YOH hit a flatliner for a near fall. YOH locked on a calf crusher. YOH gave up the hold and teased a dragon suplex. BUSHI blocked and hit a code breaker.
BUSHI hit an elevated neckbreaker and used the MX for the pin.
New Japan Cup first round match: YOSHI-HASHI defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan (17:37)
These guys beat the hell out of each other. Both had welts all over their chests from hard chops. I can't believe I'm recommending a YOSHI-HASHI match but I am.
They started off trading tackles. Then they moved to chops. Tenzan hit some Mongolian chops. YH sent him outside and they brawled on the floor. They did a countout tease but Tenzan made it back in at 19.
Tenzan hit a brainbuster for a near fall. They traded more chops. YH hit double knees for a near fall. Tenzan went for a brainbuster off the second but YH hit a sunset bomb for a near fall. Tenzan hit a massive spear and used an STF.
Tenzan hit a slam. He missed a top rope moonsault. YH missed a swanton bomb off the top rope. They traded strikes. Tenzan hit chops and a headbutt. YH hit a lariat and made a cover. Tenzan kicked out at one.
YH hit a diving headhunter off the top for a two count. He locked on the Butterfly Lock but Tenzan forced a break. YH went for a headhunter but Tenzan hit a mountain bomb for a near fall.
Tenzan locked in an anaconda vice. YH powered his way to his feet and Tenzan used an anaconda buster for a near fall.
The finish saw Tenzan go back to the anaconda vice. YH turned him over into a crucifix for a near fall, then locked in the Butterfly Lock and Tenzan tapped. An excellent match.
Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, SHO & Toru Yano went to a double countout with Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi (12:29)
Yano and Hiromu began with some comedy. Hiromu acted disgusted at the sight of Yano. He took forever to get in the ring and start the match. The ref checked Yano's tights and found a bottle of and sanitizer.
While the ref disposed of the hand sanitizer, Yano pulled hair clippers from his tights and chased Hiromu around the ring with hair clippers. Hiromu's selling made this funny.
SHO and SANADA had an exchange, then SHO and Shingo, then Ishii and Shingo were in together. They traded hard chops and punches before Naito and Okada tagged in. Okada hit an air raid crash. Naito hit a spinebuster.
They built back to Yano and Hiromu. Hiromu went for a sunset bomb off the apron. Yano pulled a second pair of clippers out of his tights and chased Hiromu through the building with them.
They fought up onto the concessions area. Yano pulled out a roll of tape and taped Hiromu's legs together. Okada ran to the concourse and tried to get Yano back to the arena but it was too late and both Yano and Hiromu were counted out.
Rather than cutting the tape off Hiromu, Naito and Shingo carried him back to ringside.
A Way to the Grandmaster hype video aired before intermission.
New Japan Cup first round match: Hirooki Goto defeated Yujiro Takahashi (w/ Jado) (16:41)
This took a few minutes to get going but the closing sequence was well done.
They started off trading tackles. They brawled to the floor where Yujiro hit an inverted DDT to take control of the match. Yujiro hit kicks in the corner and used a uranage for a two count.
Goto fired back with palm strikes to the chest and a lariat. Goto hit a wheel kick in the corner and a Saito suplex for a two count. Goto went for an ushigoroshi but Yujiro raked his eyes and escaped.
Yujiro hit a fisherman's superplex for a near fall. They did an intricate series of misdirection spots that ended with simultaneous lariats. Goto hit a headbutt. Yujiro hit a big boot.
Goto hit a draping GTR for a near fall. Yujiro grabbed the referee. Goto shoved the referee away. Jado hit a kendo stick shot. Yujiro hit Miami Shine for a near fall.
Yujiro went for Pimp Juice but Goto fought it off at the fifteen minute mark. Yujiro hit two thrust kicks. Yujiro hit a headbutt. He again went for Pimp Juice. Goto reversed into an ushigoroshi attempt. Yujiro blocked with an eye rake.
The finishing sequence saw Jado take the ref. Yujiro swung his pimp cane at Goto but missed. Goto hit a headbutt. Goto hit ushigoroshi for a near fall and hit a GTR for the pin.
New Japan Cup first round match: EVIL defeated Satoshi Kojima (20:09)
This was a very good main event. Kojima is limited but they built a match around what he can still do and it worked.
They traded shoulder blocks. EVIL rolled outside. Kojima missed a pescado and crashed to the floor. EVIL sent Kojima into the barricade. EVIL used a chair and Pillman-ized Kojima's right arm against the post with a chair.
EVIL went to work on the right arm. Kojima tried a slingshot elbow but missed. EVIL went back to the arm. Kojima fired up and hit machine gun chops in the corner. He went for a top rope elbow but EVIL cut him off.
They fought to the apron. EVIL teased Everything is EVIL on the apron but Kojima blocked and hit a DDT. Kojima tossed EVIL back in and hit the diving elbow. EVIL came back with an eye rake and mid kick at the ten minute mark.
EVIL hit a cannonball and used a Fujiwara armbar while wrenching back on Kojima's fingers. Kojima forced a rope break. Kojima blocked a lariat and hit a Koji Cutter. Kojima then hit a second rope Koji Cutter for a near fall. EVIL took the bump right on his knee which looked like it sucked.
Both fought for a suplex. EVIL won the struggle and hit a fisherman's suplex. Kojima blocked Darkness Falls and hit a lariat. Kojima hit the ropes for another lariat but EVIL blocked and hit a lariat for a two count.
EVIL hit Darkness Falls for a two count. He went for Everything is EVIL but Kojima blocked. Kojima blocked a lariat and hit a lariat for a two count.
Kojima hit a brainbuster for a near fall. Kojima called for one more lariat. EVIL pulled the ref in Kojima's path. EVIL hit a ref-assisted Magic Killer. EVIL was down. Kojima was down. The ref was down.
EVIL hit a corner clothesline and top rope superplex for a two count. EVIL pulled off his elbow pad. He went for a lariat but Kojima ducked and hit a lariat. Kojima covered for a two count.
The final sequence saw Kojima hit a lariat to the back. He charged in for a second lariat but EVIL caught him coming in and hit Everything is EVIL for the pin.
EVIL closed the show with a promo.