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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2018’ 3.12.18 Results & Review

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The fourth night of the 2018 New Japan Cup sees the conclusion of round one. Held at Takamatsu City General Gymnasium #1, SANADA is trusted with the main event and closing out the first round. The final two tournament matches took place tonight, that’s why you’re reading this so let’s see what happened.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado def. Ryusuke Taguchi & Ren Narita @ 8:50 via Desperado Numero Dos on Narita
Fale, Yujiro & Tanga def. Nagata, Umino & Yagi @ 7:54 via Yujiro Pimp Juice on Umino
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI def. Michael Elgin & Tomoyuki Oka @ 9:38 via Y-H Butterfly Lock on Oka
Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI def. Zack Sabre Jr. & TAKA Michinoku @ 8:49 via BUSHI MX on TAKA
Suzuki, Archer, Taichi & Iizuka def. Tanahashi, Juice, Finlay & Henare @ 11:41 via Archer Blackout on Henare
Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii def. Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens @ 9:46 via Okada Cobra Clutch on Owens

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Toru Yano def. Davey Boy Smith Jr. @ 12:51 via Countout

The magic of a Yano match is creating a finish you don’t see coming. This was much longer than you’d ever want a Yano match to be and the finish wasn’t anything special. Smith went to boot Yano on the outside, Yano evaded and Smith crotched himself on the guardrail, unable to make it back into the ring before the twenty count. Too long of a Yano match and it built to a standard, uninspired finish. Like everyone who loses to Yano, Smith looked like a complete goof, which is sad but not unexpected. I don’t hate Yano matches but this was run of the mill, nothing stood out and I was happy when it ended.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
SANADA def. Chuckie T. @ 21:31 via Moonsault Press

SANADA being positioned in the main event shows that New Japan trusts him as a draw. Unfortunately, there were a lot of empty seats. For those who did show up, they received a nice match between SANADA and relative unknown, Chuckie T. They had many fun little spots here. Milano trying to explain the Paradise Lock to SANADA will never not be funny to me. A good portion of the match was on the outside, where they set up a table that Chuckie T. eventually went through. He attempted a springboard up onto the guardrails but SANADA caught him in powerbomb position and slammed him through the table. There were multiple counters, including two out of Skull End and one out of an Awful Waffle. Chuck landed a couple topé con hilos, one over the ropes and another over the guardrails. The match was littered with fun spots but ultimately we knew what was coming. SANADA grounds Chuck with a Skull End and follows with a Moonsault Press for the win. Post match SANADA tells Okada that he is coming for him and bypasses the interview section backstage.

Thanks to low expectations, this show ended up being rather enjoyable. The main event delivered better than last night’s and was a fresh match we had never seen before. Really cool by New Japan to trust SANADA in the main event spot and to come out with the win. Chuckie T. looked about as credible as you could hope for considering the circumstances. It was rather long and never really in question but there were several fun moments that kept the match fresh throughout.

Recommended Match
SANADA vs Chuckie T.

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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