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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2018’ 3.10.18 Results & Review

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The 2018 New Japan Cup continued tonight, this time at Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium with another two tournament matches. That’s what we’re here for, that’s why you’re reading this so let’s talk about what went down.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado def. Ryusuke Taguchi & Ren Narita @ 7:30 via Desperado Numero Dos on Narita
David Finlay & Tetsuhiro Yagi def. Yuji Nagata & Shota Umino @ 8:51 via Finlay Prima Nocta on Umino
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano def. Michael Elgin & Tomoyuki Oka @ 7:58 via Yano Roll Up on Oka
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Takashi Iizuka def. Juice Robinson & Toa Henare @ 10:52 via Smith Bulldog Bomb on Henare
Naito, SANADA & BUSHI def. Suzuki, Sabre & TAKA @ 12:55 via SANADA Skull End on TAKA
Okada, Goto, YOSH-HASHI & Chuckie T. def. Ibushi, Tanga, Yujiro & Owens @ 12:57 via Okada Cobra Clutch on Owens

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Bad Luck Fale def. Lance Archer @ 11:03 via Grenade

Before the match, the two big men of Bullet Club and Suzuki-Gun stare down one another and back into their corners. They attempt shoulder tackles which are ineffective so both grab the other’s throat. Archer hits a big boot, sending Fale into corner, where he rains down several punches. Fale lifts him off the ropes and gives a powerbomb. Archer rolls to outside and Fale follows, prompting them to begin to brawling into the crowd. Fale throws Archer into the audience chairs and dumps the guardrails on top of him. Archer throws young lions at Fale to even the odds but Fale throws Archer into chairs again. Referee, Red Shoes, forces Fale back into the ring and starts the 20 count which Archer breaks at 19. Fale doesn’t allow Archer back to his feet, instead standing on top of his grounded body and delivers some stomps.

Five minutes pass. Archer gives Fale the bird, egging him on to which Fale obliges and chokes him with the second rope before tossing Archer into the corner. He misses on a splash, eating Archer’s elbow instead. Archer runs the ropes but is caught by a Samoan Drop, which Fale is unable to follow up on , missing a running splash. Archer attempts a shoulder tackle that Fale shrugs off but falls to the follow up tackle. Fale regroups and sends Archer into the corner only for Archer to counter with a boot and delivers The Undertaker’s signature Old School which only keeps Fale down for two. He climbs to the top but is cut off by Fale who attempts a Bad Luck Fall that Archer escapes. Fale rushes into the corner with a splash and heads to the top rope. Ten minutes pass. Archer cuts him off and meets Fale on the top but Fale tosses him away. Archer pulls Fale off the top and hits a lariat, followed by a chokeslam for another two. Running at Fale, Archer is met with a Grenade and a running splash but manages to kick out once again. He’s then lifted for a Grenade and is unable to muster another kick out. Fale advances in the tournament.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Taichi @ 23:53 via High Fly Flow

Before the bell, Taichi’s valet, Miho Abe, tries to distract Tanahashi but the ace has Iron Will. The bell rings and Taichi stands in his corner, not moving. Tana goes in for a lock up but Taichi ducks under the ropes. Taichi again repeats this action and leaves the ring until the count of seventeen. He offers a hand for Tanahashi to shake, which he obliges, and counters Taichi’s attempts to boot his gut. He sends Taichi into the ropes and Taichi ducks back out of the ring, rolling to the outside. Tana tries to send him back in but Taichi rolls to the other side. They make their way back into the ring where Tana is met with boots and sent into the corner. He fights back with a boot of his own and a crossbody from the second rope. Taichi again goes the outside and uses Abe to prohibit Tana from hitting a High Fly Flow to the outside. Abe distracts Tana and Taichi attacks him from behind with the microphone stand. Five minutes pass. He takes Tana to the outside and uses the barricade to choke Tana. He then proceeds to use chair strikes to attack the neck. Taichi takes Nagata’s water (who is at commentary) and spits it in his face. They break the twenty count and begin trading forearms. Taichi lands a kick to the chest which grounds Tanahashi. He rushes the corner but Tana catches him. He snaps Tana back down and gives a kick across the back. The crowd begins telling Taichi to go home. Tana bounces off the corner turnbuckle to hit a running forearm and he pulls Taichi off the mat, proceeding to pepper him with a flurry strikes. Taichi shrugs them off, urging Tana to deliver a huge slap that puts Taichi down. The crowd begins chants of ‘Go Ace’. Second rope senton from Tana.

10 minutes pass. Taichi avoids Tana, sends him over the ropes and doesn’t allow him to skin the cat, instead hitting a big kick that sends Tana to the floor. They both meet on the outside where Taichi throws him into the guardrails and hits some Kawada kicks but his Taichi-shiki Last Ride is countered into a Frankensteiner. Taichi breaks count at eighteen. Tana captures leg and gives multiple Dragon Screws onto the second rope. Crowd chants for Tanahashi. Taichi attempts kicks but receives another Dragon Screw and Tana transitions into a Texas Cloverleaf. Taichi grabs the referee for support before getting to the ropes. Fifteen minutes pass. Taichi counters a Slingblade with a back drop suplex. Tana gives a slap but Taichi rebounds quick and hits another back drop suplex. He tears off his pants but misses a Tensho Jujihou, hits a roundhouse kick instead for a two count. Tana tries to battle out of the Taichi-shiki Last Ride with a Frankensteiner again but Taichi drops him on his head for his troubles. He goes in for a lariat but Tana catches, eats a kick but counters with a Slingblade. He goes to the top and hits High Fly Flow, unable to capitalize with a pin. Taichi grabs onto the back of Tana’s pants, Kanemaru distracts the referee, Taichi kicks Tana low and Gedo Clutch for a two. 20 minutes pass. Lariat to back of head, gamengiri and finally hits the Taichi-shiki Last Ride but Tana kicks out at two. Crowd chants for Tanahashi. Tana gives three Twist & Shouts. Taichi attempts to use the mic stand but Tana catches the strike. The referee turns around with the stand in Tana’s hands. Tana drops the stand and slaps Taichi instead, following up with two Slingblades, managing only a two count. Heads to the top for a High Fly Flow for the victory. Taichi pounds the mat in frustrating before being helped to the back by Abe and Kanemaru. Tanahashi gives the fans his signature air guitar solo to close out the show.

Two matches into his heavyweight career, Taichi continues to be fun. His antics will likely grow tiresome once the fresh match ups against fan favorites are over but as of right now, he’s a breath of fresh air. Both tournament matches were good and capitalized on everybody’s strengths. The final two tag matches were also fun but not something I’ll outright recommend to someone who is looking for only the essential matches.

Recommended Matches
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Taichi
Bad Luck Fale vs Lance Archer

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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