NJPW New Japan Cup 2019: Day 3





NJPW New Japan Cup 2019: Day 3

By Big Red Machine
From March 10, 2019

NJPW New Japan Cup 2019: Day 3

SATOSHI KOJIMA & YOTA TSUJI vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku) - 0.25/10


Standard Suzuki-Gun crap. They fight on the outside forever without getting counted out and the heels use weapons right in front of the referee without getting disqualified. Then count-outs suddenly start applying so we can get the Count-Out Tease That No One Ever Buys(TM). Babyface makes it back to the ring. Gets beaten up, makes the hot tag. Suzuki and Kojima hit each other a bunch, teased some finishers, then tagged in the other two to do some spots before the young-boy got pinned. I'm tired of this crap. The last few minutes just barely convinced me to not give this a DUD.

MANABU NAKANISHI, YUJI NAGATA, YOSHI-HASHI, & JUICE ROBINSON vs. BULLET CLUB (Hikuleo, Chase Owens, Taiji Ishimori, & Bad Luck Fale (w/Jado) - 4.5/10


Ishimori looks like a small child standing next to Hikuleo. They had a match. YOSHI-HASHI got beaten down a bit. Stuff happened. The babyfaces won.

HIROOKI GOTO, REN NARITA, & TOMOAKI HONMA vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Shingo Takagi, BUSHI, & Sanada) - 5.25/10



CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Toru Yano, & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (K.E.S. & Taichi) - 7/10


This was fast-paced, extremely fun, and great for the time it got. Archer and Ospreay were terrific together, and Ishii and Taichi and Ishii and Archer were pretty good as well.

KAZUCHIKA OKADA, TOA HENARE, & TOGI MAKABE vs. MIKEY NICHOLLS, COLT CABANA, & MICHAEL ELGIN - 5/10


Some stuff happened. Cabana and Makabe had a bit of a confrontation afterwards.

NEW JAPAN CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Ryusuke Taguchi - 3.75/10


Not good. I know I was a big advocate of Tenzan a few years ago, but maybe it's time for him to actually hang it up.

NEW JAPAN CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Shota Umino - 7.75/10


If Umino is still a Young Lion, he shouldn't be in this tournament. I also often find myself wonder why this kid is still a Young Lion when he's this darn good and has been one for almost two years now. For that reason alone, if I were booking this, I'd have put him over Tanahashi. Just make the kid in the one night. Unfortunately that didn't happen, but the match was worked well enough that when Umino got that small package, I was CERTAIN it was going to happen. Umino is a damn special kid. He's an utterly fantastic babyface, and he showed it here in this match. Hearing the fans chant for a Young Lion in a match against Tanahashi was surreal.

NEW JAPAN CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
EVIL vs. Zack Sabre Jr. (w/TAKA Michinoku) - 8.5/10


An absolute technical WAR with great drama throughout. I could have done without EVIL cheating by shoving the ref at Zack, but other than that one spot I thought this match was AWESOME!

NEW JAPAN CUP FIRST ROUND MATCH:
Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi- 8.5/10


They fought on the outside forever without getting counted out just for the sake of fighting on the outside. Other than that, this was pretty darn awesome. They both worked over each other's heads and clearly but a lot of thought into figuring out how they would get into various situations to set up their big moves. Whereas the previous match was full of crisp technical grappling maneuvers and solid strikes, this one was wild and "sloppy" (in a good way). The previous match had both guys executing their game places to perfection. This one was things going wrong for both guys and they would take any strike they could get just by swinging wildly or would wind up in a position and have to figure out "what kind of move can I hit from this position?" A close second to EVIL vs. ZSJ for MOTN.

Final Thoughts
An awesome show from New Japan! The top matches all delivered and we even got a great match on the undercard to boot! How often does that happen? Make sure you check out the final three matches on this show.

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