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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2019’ (3.11.19) Results & Review

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The first round of the 2019 New Japan Cup comes to an close in front of 1,526 fans at the Takamatsu City General Gymnasium. Four more matches and a day’s break before the beginning of the second round. Tonight’s main event is Hirooki Goto versus SANADA. Let’s get started!

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Toru Yano def. Davey Boy Smith Jr. @ 5:31 via Akagiri – *

Before Yano can get in the ring, Smith chases him around the arena. Yano makes his way into the ring and catches Smith in a backslide. Smith returns the favor, Yano kicks out and bails outside. He removes the turnbuckle pad, swings at Smith but misses and is thrown into the rails. Smith brings Yano back in, gets his eyes gouged but cuts Yano off before he can use the tape and boots Yano back outside. Yano is thrown into the rails again, is brought inside, ducks Smith’s corner attack in the exposed buckle and attempts a variety of pins before finding one to score the upset.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Colt Cabana def. Togi Makabe @ 7:27 via Superman Pin – **

Makabe gets Cabana in a headlock, is sent off but shoulder tackles Cabana. Cabana responds with a headlock, gets sent off and trips Makabe. Makabe grids the knees, Cabana hops over the corner lariat into a sunset flip, hit an elbow and lands the double jump splash off the top. Makabe blocks the punches into his own and catches Cabana in a powerslam but the Spider German is blocked. Cabana misses a moonsault, eats a lariat and DVD but avoids the King Kong Knee Drop. He catches Makabe in the leg capture Superman pin and advances to the second round.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
Minoru Suzuki def. Satoshi Kojima @ 13:43 via Gotch-Style Piledriver – ***

They start by trading overhands until a Kojima slam. Suzuki gets up, hits two running boots but Kojima stays standing and floors Suzuki with a lariat. Kojima blocks the first draping armbreaker but gets caught the second time around and bails to the floor where Suzuki is quick to follow with a PK from the apron. The referee stops Suzuki from uses a chair. Suzuki shoves the referee, grabs another chair and breaks it over Kojima’s head. He buries Kojima in chairs and guardrails before making his way back to the ring.

Kojima manages to break the count and catches Suzuki’s PK into a DDT. Machine gun chops are countered into machine gun forearms from Suzuki, back into chops and so forth. Suzuki cuts off the elbow drop, hit a corner boot but Kojima responds with a rolling elbow and follows with the elbow drop. They trade forearms, Suzuki wins the battle. Kojima tries to fire back but the Kojicutter is turned into a sleeper. He spins out of the Gotch, lands another rolling elbow, connects with the Kojicutter and drops Suzuki on a brainbuster. Suzuki catches Kojima running in with a boot and tees off with a series of slaps. Kojima gets the lariat, Suzuki boots the follow up, Kojima hits with his opposite arm. Suzuki ducks the next lariat into a sleeper and finishes Kojima with the piledriver.

New Japan Cup First Round Match
SANADA def. Hirooki Goto @ 20:47 via Moonsault – ***1/2

Both guys take turns surveying the crowd on who they want to win. The referee declares them evenly matched. They trade wristlocks to start. SANADA front flips and cartwheels out, Goto responds with a kick to the chest and a headlock. He goes for another boot, SANADA catches, attempts the Paradise Lock, Goto pushes him off and hip tosses SANADA. Goto charges in, SANADA drops the ropes and sends Goto over. He fakes out a dive and lands a senton off the apron instead.

They head back to the ring and trade overhands. Goto catches a boot, lands a lariat, corner spin kick and backdrop suplex. SANADA fights out of two ushigoroshis, connects with the dropkick and follows with a plancha. Forearms are traded back and forth. SANADA begins teeing of with elbows in the corner. Goto switches position, SANADA takes him down with an uppercut but Goto catches the springboard dropkick. SANADA fights out of the ushigoroshi, hits one of his own, applies Skull End but misses the moonsault.

Both come charging at each other, Goto coming out on top with a lariat. He misses the follow up into Skull End, Goto flips through into position for ushigoroshi but turns it into position for GTR instead. SANADA slips through only to get caught for the ushigiroshi. SANADA fights out of GTR, lands a rope-assisted Magic Killer, Goto responds with a headbutt and reverse GTR. The standard GTR is turned to Skull End, back to GTR, SANADA pushes off the ropes into Skull End and finishes Goto with a moonsault. Like at last year’s New Japan Cup, he tells the fans he’ll see them next time and that’s how we end the show.

Great main event to end what was an otherwise skippable show. Two comedy matches that’ll lead to the ultimate comedy match in the second round. The Suzuki crowd brawling made Kojima look like a dork but the in ring between the two was very good. The chemistry between SANADA and Goto is so slick that it rivals what Sabre and EVIL have going on right now. The main event is definitely the match to watch.

Second Round Matches
Minoru Suzuki vs SANADA
Toru Yano vs Colt Cabana
Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Ryusuke Taguchi
Kazuchika Okada vs Mikey Nicholls
Will Ospreay vs Lance Archer
Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi
Chase Owens vs YOSHI-HASHI

Recommended Match
SANADA vs Goto

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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