NJPW New Japan Cup 2021, 3.18

NJPW New Japan Cup 2021, 3.18NJPW New Japan Cup 2021, 3.18

From March 18, 2021

Gabriel Kidd vs. Yuya Uemura - 5/10

Your usual good Young Lion basics. Kidd won with an double underhook suplex. I don't know why Uemura loses so much. It feels like he loses a lot.

Yota Tsuji & Yuji Nagata vs. The United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) - 5.5/10

Good match, the stuff with Tsuji vs O-Khan was best stuff here. This may had been the first UE match that Cobb didn't get the pin on.

Juice Robinson & Toa Henare vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale & KENTA) - 5.5/10

The stuff with Fale was weak, especially against Robinson. Not that he's amazing, but Henare at least had the better parts of the match, even if he once again lost, now at the hands of Fale's Grenade. Yet another loss in Henare's frustration and decent into madness, at this point, I can only imagine he turns heel at the finals or the Sakura Genesis show and joins the Tongans?

BULLET CLUB (Chase Owens, EVIL & Taiji Ishimori) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) - 7/10

Good match, the better of the undercard. The stuff with Shingo and EVIL looked good, Naito wrestling Ishimori was a nice chance of pace. BUSHI was the babyface in peril and Naito got the win over Owens.

New Japan Cup 2021 Quarter Final Match
David Finlay vs. Jay White - 8.5/10

This suffered a lot from no one thinking that Finlay had a chance at winning, not even the fans live. As usual, they applaud the struggle and effort, but a lot of it just felt more as a reaction, and not an emotion. I'm not even sure if a lot of fans knew what were Finlay's signature moves outside of the Acid Drop, since the stunner didn't get as much reaction, and even when he hit the Acid Drop and got the three, people were just surprised and not necessarily jumping with joy.

The match itself was really good, especially the second half after Gedo and Juice left and Finlay started his comeback. The match started slow with a lot of Gedo distractions, so around the ten minute mark, Juice straight up carried Gedo to the back. Slowly after that, Finlay started a comeback, heading into both men chasing their finishers, mostly between the stunner and the Bladerunner, but it was Finlay that hit a stunner first, followed with Acid Drop, and got the pin.

I guess we have us a dark horse! Realistically, it's best to save either White vs Ospreay or SANADA for a bigger match, and not a semifinal.

Post-match - White seemed to be having another mental breakdown, similar to when he lost to Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom.

New Japan Cup 2021 Quarter Final Match
SANADA vs. Will Ospreay - 9/10

They continued the story that Ospreay is petrified that SANADA's going to re-break his nose, and so they did a lot with that, both with SANADA having the early upper hand because Ospreay kept hiding, then Ospreay using it to gain control of the match and some heat when he tried to also break SANADA's nose, and at the end, as the means that SANADA used to make a comeback.

The match for the most part was great, but I did feel the finish was a bit deflated, or that at least, SANADA hadn't taken enough damage for the finish to happen. He had been in control for a bit, coming close to winning, and then with a series of forearms to the back of the neck and Stormbreaker, he fell. I just feel this is a match that should have ended with some sort of clutch, or at least build up the finish a couple of more minutes.

With Finlay winning, I kinda expected Ospreay to win at this point. Ospreay is still my pick to win the whole thing, and I called for a BOSJ rematch at the finals a while ago.

Post-match - Good promo, he celebrated that Finlay beat Jay White and so he is thinking he has an easy path to the finals and he'll kill his Cinderella story. There's no time to build the match, but I hope that the overconfidence at least gives us a hell of a near fall.


Good show, the two Cup matches were quite good, better than a lot we've gotten on other shows, and for that I'd put this on the 'better' stack of the shows. At this point, we had no Suzuki-Gun or CHAOS since they've all been eliminated, so there was a weird feeling at fist that it felt something was missing.

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