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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2018’ 3.18.18 Results & Review

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The semifinal round concludes with a match between SANADA and Zack Sabre Jr. at Act City Hamamatsu in Shizuoka. Winner advances to face Hiroshi Tanahashi on Wednesday. You’re here to see what took place so let’s go!

Shota Umino def. Ren Narita @ 8:39 via Boston Crab – *3/4
Fale, Yujiro & Tanga def. Makabe, Henare & Oka @ 8:44 via Yujiro Pimp Juice on Oka – *1/2
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano def. Takashi Iizuka & Taichi @ 9:12 via Disqualification – *3/4
Juice Robinson & Michael Elgin def. Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens @ 10:55 via Juice Pulp Friction on Owens – **1/4
Killer Elite Squad def. Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI @ 11:12 via Killer Bomb on Y-H – *3/4
Naito, Hiromu & BUSHI def. Suzuki, Kanemaru & Desperado @ 12:54 via Naito Destino on Desperado – **1/4
Hiroshi Tanahashi & David Finlay def. Kazuchika Okada & Chuckie T. @ 11:30 via Finlay Backslide on Chuckie – *3/4

New Japan Cup Semifinal Match
Zack Sabre Jr. def. SANADA @ 26:36 via Armbar – **3/4

This looked fresh and exciting on paper. SANADA more than held his own on the mat, displaying great technical skill that at times even seemed to impress Sabre. The final three minutes the match went off the rails with some miscommunication between Sabre, SANADA and the referee. This resulted in a flat finish that the match didn’t deserve. Twice during this tour, SANADA was trusted to main event as the face against a foreigner which means the company has faith in him. I believe he succeeded in both matches, proving he can handle the main events in these smaller shows. Really unfortunate how the match got off pace near the end because for twenty-two minutes this had potential to be in the conversation of the top three matches of this year’s tournament. As it stands it was a really fun match but just didn’t quite reach the levels of great. 2018 is exciting times for both SANADA and Sabre as they each climb up the ranks of New Japan but it is Sabre who moves on to the finals against Tanahashi on Wednesday.

Tonight had an above average undercard and a main event on the verge of being great. The team of Ibushi and Owens have been fun all tour and had their best performance yet, Ibushi looking super motivated and happy. Tension between Naito and Suzuki continues to build and some good chemistry between Ishii and Taichi. The main event is a tough match to recommend because of the ugly finishing sequence but if you’re a fan of SANADA it was really cool to see him step up and feel like an important piece of New Japan.

Recommended Matches
Ibushi & Owens vs Juice & Elgin
Zack Sabre Jr. vs SANADA
Suzuki-Gun vs LIJ

Robert McCauley hasn't miss 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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