NJPW New Japan Cup Results
March 8, 2019
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
It’s opening night of the biggest New Japan Cup in history! We’ve got four opening round tournament matches this evening headlined by third generation legend Yuji Nagata taking on the “Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii. Plus, Kota Ibushi and Tetsuya Naito will square off in tag team action ahead of their upcoming singles match, the dream team of Tanahashi and Okada returns, and more!
Our English commentary team for the evening is Kevin Kelly and Don Callis, who welcome us to Korakuen Hall as Bullet Club makes its way to the ring for a bit of six-man tag team action.
(1) Bad Luck Fale, Hikuleo & Taiji Ishimori def. Mikey Nicholls, Rocky Romero & Will Ospreay in a six-man tag team match, after Jado smacked Romero with his kendo stick, and Ishimori hit the Bloody Cross.
(2) Minoru Suzuki & Killer Elite Squad def. Toa Henare, Toru Yano & Satoshi Kojima in a six-man tag team match. Davey Boy Smith Jr. dropped Henare with a running powerslam and a sit-down powerbomb to get the win for his team. Suzuki-Gun murdered all the Young Lions at ringside after the match, and Minoru made Don Callis SCREAM like a small child just by walking past the broadcast booth.
(3) BUSHI & EVIL def. Taka Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr., when Bushi hit the MX on Taka. ZSJ freaked out after the match after taking EVIL’s Darkness Falls during the match, and not being able to get as much offense in on him as he would have liked. That tournament match is going to be excellent.
(4) Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & SANADA def. Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto & SHO in a six-man tag team match. One heck of a sprint from all six guys. Shingo got the pin on SHO to preserve all four of the tournament competitors. Naito and Ibushi are ready to tear the house down.
(5) Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Togi Makabe def. Michael Elgin, Shota Umino, Colt Cabana & Ryusuke Taguchi in an eight-man tag team match. Okada got the win for his team with a Rainmaker on Umino. Some really excellent exchanges here between the tournament competitors.
Before things could get started, the lights in the arena went out and a video package aired teasing the NJPW debut of a mysterious superstar, who appeared to be El Phantasmo (ELP) from Revolution Pro. The video ended with the Bullet Club logo flashing on the screen, so it looks like Tama Tonga has been scouting again.
YOSHI-HASHI vs. MANABU NAKANISHI
Nakanishi shook off some early offense with big shoulder tackles and a running splash, but the 52-year-old veteran couldn’t quite keep up with Yoshi-Hashi’s speed and got caught in a kneebar. YH continued to work over the knee with various submissions, stomping away at the target in between holds. He made the mistake of trying to start a chop battle against an oak tree, as Nakanishi just absorbed the strikes and brutalized him with the manliest of manly chops.
The big man set in with some basic suplexes and charged up for the lariat, but YH went back to the knee with a low dropkick, followed by the Head-Hunter for a nearfall. The two struggled up to the top rope, which peaked the crowd’s interest because, again, Nakanishi is 52 and moves like he’s much older. The vet managed to hit a superplex on YH and then VAULT HIMSELF OVER THE ROPES with a crossbody to the floor. Nakanishi went back to the top rope and HOLY JESUS, MARY AND JOSEPH HE HIT A FLYING CROSSBODY! He tried to finish the match with the Argentine Backbreaker, but YH grabbed the referee’s shirt to save himself.
YH hit a series of lariats, but somehow the big man kicked out at one. Another series of lariats, but Nakanishi countered with a massive spear! YH had no idea what to do, obviously not expecting this level of fight from the legend, but kept up his attack and applied the Butterfly Lock to the neck, which has taken an absurd amount of damage over many decades, and Nakanishi was eventually forced to submit. This match was so much better than it had any right to be. Wow. // Winner: Yoshi-Hashi
TOMOAKI HONMA vs. TAICHI
The match very quickly turned into a brawl on the outside, and I’m not sure which won of them got the better of it as they both took a fair amount of damage. I’ll tell you who did NOT fair well, and it was a fan in the front row who got taken out when Taichi was hurled over the barricade with reckless abandon. Things very quickly turned into Taichi’s favor when the referee got thrown down, and he immediately began using a steel chair to work over his opponent’s surgically repaired neck.