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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2018’ 3.15.18 Results & Review

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New Japan returns to a sold out Korakuen Hall for the final two matches of the round of eight. Tonight’s winners will face off in the semifinals on Sunday. You’re here to see what happened so let’s do this!

David Finlay & Ren Nartia def. Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino @ 7:15 via Finlay Prima Nocta on Oka – *1/2
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI def. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare @ 10:08 via Y-H Butterfly Lock on Henare – *3/4
Archer, Smith, Taichi & Iizuka def. Fale, Yujiro, Tanga & Owens @ 11:29 via Killer Bomb on Owens – **
Suzuki, Kanemaru & Desperado def. Naito, Hiromu & BUSHI @ 12:46 via Suzuki Gotch-Style Piledriver on BUSHI – **1/2
Tanahashi, Elgin & Juice def. Okada, Ishii & Chuckie T. @ 14:44 via Juice Pulp Friction on Chuckie T. – *3/4

New Japan Cup Quarterfinal Match
SANADA def. Toru Yano @ 6:52 via Skull End – **1/2

Yano’s hijinks works perfectly when the match is short and you care about his opponent. This checked both boxes. They traded various shenanigan victory attempts including low blows, hair pulling and kicking chairs into heads. Yano even had the audacity to lock in a Skull End at one point. SANADA had multiple top notch near falls where I actually bit on Yano pulling off the upset. This was as good of a Yano match as I could hope for, it was short, fast-paced and unpredictable.

New Japan Cup Quarterfinal Match
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Kota Ibushi @ 21:01 via Referee Stoppage – ***1/2

Another great and memorable match between these two. Completely different styles but manage to compliment each other extremely well. The transitions in and out of submissions were so smooth and lead to moments that were completely unpredictable. Unlike the Naito match, you couldn’t tell what direction they were going. Sabre ended up swallowing any attempt Ibushi had at sustained offense. Sabre turning the Last Ride into a Triangle and Ibushi powering out into a Last Ride was a great display of Ibushi’s heart. In the end, it was Sabre’s brain that triumphed over the heart of Ibushi. He dodged a Kamigoye but kept a hold of the arms and transitioned into a cradle that Ibushi couldn’t make his way out of and forced the referee to stop the match. Great showcase between two of the best at their respective styles. Post-match, TAKA calls out SANADA by saying he’ll meet the same fate.

Strong Korakuen show tonight from New Japan. Starting with the undercard, the OG Bullet Club crew worked subtle baby face as Yujiro hit back to back tope suicidas and fired up for a huge reaction. Naito is in Suzuki’s head as he no sells Suzuki’s attempt to make him show his respect and Tanahashi is clearly looking past Juice as a credible opponent for tomorrow. Both tournament matches were great. The perfect Yano match and the chemistry between Sabre and Ibushi on full display. With huge wins over both Naito and Ibushi, Sabre seems to be a lock over his next challenger, SANADA, but time will tell. Now that we’re set for the semifinals, both matches look to be a lot of fun.

Recommended Matches
Zack Sabre Jr. vs Kota Ibushi
Suzuki, Kanemaru & Desperado vs Naito, Hiromu & BUSHI
SANADA vs Toru Yano

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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