CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, & Chuckie T) vs Tomoyuki Oka, Tetsuhiro Yagi, Umino Shota - 5/10
2018 is a world where Chuck Taylor, the Kentucky Gentleman, is part of CHAOS and is teaming with Hirooki Goto. What a time to be alive. Match was all the Young Lions trying to fight Goto (since he is the champ I guess), and getting their asses handed to them, except when fighting Yano. There was a really great short exchange with Oka taking out Goto. Chuckie T pinned Umino for the win.
Killer Elite Squad vs Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Tonga Roa) - 5/10
K.E.S. dominated most of the match until they tried to double team Fale, but he was too heavy, but soon after they got control of the match again. Davey Boy Smith pinned Roa for the win. Ok match. After the match Fale and Archer had a stare down.
Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr, El Desperado, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) w/Taka Michinoku vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & BUSHI) - 7/10
Before the match, Taka cut the same promo saying that Zack will defeat Naito and win the Cup. He introduced Zack Sabre, so it seems like we're finally getting a better push for Sabre.
Match saw SZKG get heat on SANADA for a while until he made a comeback and got Naito in for the hot tag and fought with Sabre. I'd say that everything inside the ring was pretty great, everything outside the ring was the usual SZKG clusterfuck with chairs and stuff, but you should let that damp your enjoyment of watching Sabre and Naito mix it up inside the ring. Sabre tapped out BUSHI for the win. Sabre is such a great heel that he humbles Naito.
Post-match - Taka once again hyped Sabre Jr for the New Japan Cup Winner. I'm really starting to believe that Sabre can make it to the finals and would be a great contender for Okada at Sakura Genesis.
I just noticed that Chuck Taylor is doing commentary for the english table, maybe I should switch to the english channel. Nah.
Hiroshi Tanahashi, David Finlay, & Toa Henare vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, & Takashi Iizuka) - 3.5/10
It really worries me that Tanahashi and Suzuki are fighting here, I really really don't want Tanahashi to win and challenge Suzuki. Talking about Tanahashi and Suzuki, match started with Suzuki going straight for Tanahashi's leg he injured some weeks back. This was the usual Suzuki-Gun match with tons of brawling outside the ring and weapons and instead of building Taichi vs Tanahashi, all the focus was on Tanahashi and Suzuki, so once again I reiterate, I really hope they don't give the Cup to Tanahashi. Taichi pinned Henare after Suzuki choked him out, he couldn't even get his own win. Aside from Suzuki torturing Tanahashi, this was boring. Once again, there were "Let's Go Taichi" chants, I don't know what is going on!
Post-match - Taichi and Tanahashi faced off after the match once Suzuki left. Taichi better fucking decimate Tanahashi tomorrow.
I didn't see them earlier, but there are two new Young Lions.
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) w/Gedo vs Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens - 5/10
Well, it seems like Owens feel more at home teaming with Kota now, he even tried to match the Ibushi blue attire. Just like Suzuki, I don't know why they have the 3 champions come out to wrestle here, I think they could had allowed Goto, Suzuki, and Okada to rest these shows and allow the Taichis and YOSHI's to take center stage in their matches. Not to mention you're hinting at Okada vs Ibushi here, if you're hinting this, you better give Ibushi the cup.
Match was back and forward, Chunky Chase was really the only that was close to being a heel. Owens and Ibushi kinda got heat on YOSHI for a while. Okada finally won with the Clutch. Boring match even with Okada and Ibushi. After the match YOSHI-HASHI tried getting in Ibushi's face but he's still a geek, he couldn't even get the pin tonight.
New Japan Cup 2018 First Round Match
"Tokyo Pimp" Yujiro Takahashi vs Juice Robinson - 7.5/10
Yujiro's valet tonight has an incredible underboob. Also tonight, Juice Robinson has completed his transformation into Billy Graham, he just lacks the charisma and muscles. Match saw Yujiro get heat on Juice a lot, but mostly due to cheating. Juice thus had some good babyface comebacks, the story became that no matter what Yujiro did, Robinson would keep kicking out over and over and over again until Robinson managed to hit the Pulp Friction for the win. I can't remember the last time Yujiro was as great as he was here. While leaving, Robinson hinted going for Goto's title, which could go according to their match at the Anniversary.
New Japan Cup 2018 First Round Match
"Unbreakable" Michael Elgin vs "Stone Pitbull" Tomohiro Ishii - 6/10
This was like "Oh, look at me, I'm so strong Michael Elgin, I know what gets over" and Ishii was like "shut the fuck up". This match had a lot of shoulder blocks, chops, and forearms. The overall story was always Elgin is freaking strong but Ishii doesn't back out and they keep challenging each other, but at the end, Ishii just looked great not giving up against the big douchebag that Elgin is. Great match, but I really felt it could had been a lot shorter, like by one half shorter. There was a really ugly bump with Elgin hitting a powerbomb from the top rope that Ishii landed almost on his head. After a million years, Elgin finally pinned Ishii in what will probably be the worst booking decision in the year. This match seriously got worse as it went on.
Post-match - Elgin cut a promo putting over Ishii, he said the usual I'm gonna win blah blah blah.
Abysmal show, I really disliked that while trying to build Taichi and YOSHI-HASHI for the Cup, they put all the focus on Suzuki and Okada respectivaly. You're telling me you couldn't have Taka replace Suzuki and White replace Okada? You're telling me that in a card with Naito and Tanahashi and Ibushi, you were not gonna sell out Korakuen Hall without Okada and Suzuki? I mean, come on. As per the tournament matches. One was a great battle between jobbers and the other one had Elgin. This show kinda sucked.