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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2018’ 3.9.18 Results & Review

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The 2018 New Japan Cup kicked off tonight at Korakuen Hall with 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.

Goto, Yano & Chuckie T. def. Oka, Umino & Yagi @ 6:15 via Chuckie T Awful Waffle on Umino
Killer Elite Squad def. Bad Luck Fale & Tanga Loa @ 9:11 via Killer Bomb on Tanga Loa
Sabre, Kanemaru & Desperado def. Naito, SANADA & BUSHI @ 9:33 via Sabre STF on BUSHI
Suzuki, Iizuka & Taichi def. Tanahashi, Finlay & Henare @ 13:14 via Taichi Tensho Jujihou on Henare
Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI def. Kota Ibushi & Chase Owens @ 11:43 via Okada Cobra Cluth on Owens

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Juice Robinson def. Yujiro Takahashi @ 16:09 via Pulp Friction

Yujiro looks to gain the upperhand early by hitting a sneak attack boot. The two trade punches, Juice lands a leg lariat and sends Yujiro into the corner for a series of punch and chops, followed by a lariat. He misses a follow up cannonball and Yujiro hits big boot in corner and by a big lariat. Yujiro grounds and pounds Juice, setting up a successful running leg drop. He sends Juice into the ropes and hits another big boot. He attempts to hit a second leg drop but misses. Juice is unable to capitalize and sent to the outside where Yujiro hits him with the mic stand. Back in the ring he only receives a one count. Juice fights back with punches but is cut down with a running low kick. Headlock applied to Juice, he powers out and delivers a back drop suplex. 5 minutes pass. Yujiro up to feet first, hits a couple boots, runs the ropes but is caught with a spinebuster. Juice sends him over the ropes and follows up by launching himself over as well, hitting a Plancha. Slingshot over the top spear by Juice, hits his signature punches but Yujiro cuts him off and sends him over the ropes to the outside. They trade suplex attempts, neither successful and Yujiro bites the hand to gain the advantage before throwing Juice over the barricade, onto a group of chairs. He lifts Juice and hits a Fishermen’s Buster suplex onto more chairs. Juice breaks count at 19. Yujiro immediately hits another Fishermen’s for a two count. He takes Juice to the top but he battles back with a headbutt, sending Yujiro to the floor. 10 minutes pass. Yujiro shoves Juice off the top, bringing him back up and hitting a Fishermen from the second rope for another two count. He picks Juice up for Tokyo Pimps but Juice battles out and collapses. With Juice struggling to his knees, Yujiro hits him with a superkick for his troubles. Juice shrugs off the kicks and hits a huge lariat, both fall to the mat. Juice rebounds with a cannonball and a double knee gutbuster for a count of two. He sets up a Pulp Friction but Yujiro pushes him into ref and low blows with a roll up for a two. He follows with a Miami Shine for another two. Juice tries to battle out of Yujiro’s control but is hit with Tokyo Pimps. 15 minutes pass. Pimp Juice countered, superkick caught, Yujiro escapes a powerbomb but cannot escape Pulp Friction and Juice advances to the next round.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Michael Elgin def. Tomohiro Ishii @ 29:02 via Burning Hammer

Ishii stares a hole into Elgin’s soul before the bell. They lock up and struggle to gain advantage. Elgin wins but backs off, giving Ishii space. Another lock up, Elgin lifts Ishii, sends him into ropes where they begin trading shoulder tackle attempts but neither budge. They begin trading forearms and Elgin wins, hits ropes and they trade should tackle attempts once more. Ishii eventually sends Elgin to mat but he recoups quick, lifts Ishii and slams for a one count. Repeated chops from Elgin, beats on the back and gives more chops. Ishii eggs him on for more. Elgin removes elbow pad and nails Ishii an elbow strike; Ishii collapses. Elgin runs the ropes and Ishii counters with a headbutt to arm, where he begins hitting his own chops. 5 minutes pass. Elgin lands his own chop to create space. He hits an elbow before going to the ropes where he is caught by Ishii with a powerslam. Ishii slaps Elgin’s face while down, the two begin trading slaps and Ishii wins the exchange with an elbow; Elgin falls. Elgin misses a gamengiri and Ishii battles out of a suplex hold, rushes Elgin in the corner but is then hit with the gamengiri. Followed by a scoop slam and slingshot splash from the outside then a suplex and running forearm into the corner, Elgin is in firm control. He hits a second rope drop kick and a Falcon Arrow for a count of two. He rushes Ishii to the corner but eats a boot. Not giving Ishii any time gain advantage, follows up with a chop and repeats them. Ishii tells him to continue the strikes, all tre while shrugging them off. He throws Elgin into corner and does the same. Elgin locks his own arms under the ropes, telling him to give his best. 10 minutes pass. They do another round of exchanges, Ishii comes out on top. Elgin rushes Ishii and is countered into a backdrop suplex. He attempts a brainbuster but Elgin hits one of his own, Ishii pops up immediately and delivers his own brainbuster but Elgin too pops up. They stare each other down before trading forearms and both hit the ropes but Elgin catches Ishii, driving him into the corner. They meet in the middle with lariats and repeat once more, hitting the ropes and Elgin delivers a lariat that puts Ishii down. He gets back up and is immediately put down with another. Running lariats from Elgin into the corner. Ishii tries a suplex but Elgin counters into a sitout bomb for another two count. He toys with Ishii, slapping him when down. Ishii pops up and challenges Elgin for best while shrugging off forearms strikes, backing Elgin into corner. 15 minutes pass. They trade forearms, Elgin now shrugging them off. Hits a big one and slams Ishii to mat before going to the top but Ishii slides under and lands a powerbomb for two. He misses a sliding lariat, Elgin gives a Death Valley Driver into the corner before climbing the ropes and squishing Ishii Big Mike Flow for another two. Follows with a second rope Falcon Arrow for yet another two. Elgin attempts to lift Ishii a for powerbomb but Ishii stands up and drops Elgin, landing a German but Elgin pops up and eats a gamengiri for his troubles; both men down. They struggle back to their feet, Ishii rushes Elgin into corner but is caught with a slam. He puts Ishii onto ropes and attempts Elgin Bomb from the second rope. Twenty minutes pass. Ishii hits jumping headbutt onto Elgin’s chin and hits a top rope brainbuster on Elgin for two. Elgin ducks a lariat but Ishii counters into a DDT, Elgin landing a lariat, Ishii a lariat of his own for two. Lifts Elgin for brainbuster but countered and counters one of his own. Elgin with a desperation superkick; both down. They trade more forearms Ishii crumples in corner. Repeated strikes from Elgin. Goes for discus elbow countered with a set of forearms from Ishii. Second discus elbow attempt lands and puts Ishii down. Then an Elgin german hold for two, drops Ishii with another and follows with a laiart. Ishii kicks out at one. Elgin hits another and hits a swinging fallout bomb for two. 25 minutes pass. Puts Ishii on second rope and cruixfex bomb onto the top of Ishii’s head for yet another two. Buckle Bomb, Elgin bomb attempt countered into a Frankensteiner and forearm; Both down. Running lariats. Big headbutt from Ishii, sliding lariat, kickout at two. Brainbuster from Elgin, half and half suplex spinning backfist, buckle bomb, Ishii rushes in with a lariat but caught with a powerbomb. Elgin lifts Ishii and hits Burning Hammer for the win. Elgin goes in for an embrace post match but is shoved away.

This undercard was largely forgettable but both tournament matches delivered memorable performances. I understand not liking Michael Elgin but he and Ishii gave their all for this main event, creating something special.

Recommended Matches
Tomohiro Ishii vs Michael Elgin
Juice Robinson vs Yujiro Takahashi

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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