The second round of the 2019 New Japan Cup reaches its halfway point in front of 1,389 fans at the Nara Centennial Hall. Two more tournament matches as Will Ospreay meets up with Lance Archer and the newest member of Chaos, Mikey Nicholls, faces off with leader, Kazuchika Okada. Let’s get started!
New Japan Cup Second Round Match
Will Ospreay def. Lance Archer @ 18:09 via Storm Breaker – ***1/2
Archer start off by clowning on Ospreay’s size. Ospreay ducks his strikes flips out of slams and low bridges Archer to the outside. Archer catches the plancha, drives Ospreay to the post, catches a springboard forearm, throws Ospreay to the floor and drops him on the guardrails. He takes Ospreay back in the ring, catches a handspring enziguri and drops Ospreay with a wristclutch lariat. Ripcord uranage and big overhand chops in the corner, Ospreay tries to fight back but his chop shows no effect.
Archer sends Ospreay to the ropes where Ospreay is able to land a handspring enziguri followed by a top rope 619 and springboard forearm but Archer is out at one. Ospreay turns a slam into stundog millionaire and a tilt-a-whirl DDT. Archer catches Ospreay running in with the Blackhole Slam, Ospreay returns with a Spanish Fly. They trade strikes with Ospreay collapsing time and time again but manages to sidestep a strikes into a German suplex. Archer catches the springboard forearm, looks for a chokeslam but Ospreay flips through and hops over a pounce. He sets up for the Oscutter but takes a ounce instead.
Huge chokeslam from Archer, Ospreay kicks out. Ospreays flips out of Blackout, follows with a Robinson Special, Archer catches one Oscutter but is taken down with the second. Rocky Romero calls for a Storm Breaker but Ospreay can’t muscle him up. He removes the elbow pad for Hidden Blade, Archer ducks and drops Ospreay with Blackout. Again, Ospreay kicks out. Archer takes it to the top, Ospreay elbows free, slides through the legs and connects with Cheeky Nandos. He pulls Archer off the second and wins with Storm Breaker.
New Japan Cup Second Round Match
Kazuchika Okada def. Mikey Nicholls @ 17:26 via Rainmaker – ***1/4
They start off by trading wristlocks, Okada backs Nicholls to the corner and eats a slap. Okada tries to return the favor but Nicholls ducks only to wind up eating a low dropkick. They go back and forth on headlocks until Nicholls lands a backdrop and follows with another on the apron. Nicholls drives Okada repeatedly into the apron and opens his chest with a chop. He brings Okada back in and connects on a delayed suplex, immediately goes back into the chops and backing Okada into the corner.
Nicholls misses a kneedrop, Okada is quick to follow with an uppercut, three back elbows and a plancha. He sends Nicholls back in, hit another elbow and DDT. Okada is caught in a sideslam but floats through a suplex and sends Nicholls to the ropes for a dropkick. Nicholls avoids the elbow in the corner and fights out of a neckbreaker but Okada sends him flying with a dropkick. Okada takes to the sky with another dropkick, an elbow drop off the top and the Rainmaker pose. Nicholls drives to the corner, takes Okada to the top for a superplex and DVD.
Okada ducks a sliding lariat and hits another dropkick. Nicholls turns a Rainmaker to a spinebuster and sliding lariat then connecting with a moonsault off the top. Okada turns a Mikey Bomb into a headscissors, ducks a sliding lariat, sets up for the Rainmaker but Nicholls turns it into position for a Mikey Bomb. Okada slides out of the Mikey Bombs, drops Nicholls with the discuss lariat followed by the Rainmaker. Okada offers his hand to Nicholls after the match and Nicholls accepts. Okada gives his speech and that’s how we end the show.
The first night of the tournament where the main event was overshadowed. The Archer and Ospreay match was laid out exactly how you’d expect and with perfect execution. Nicholls was solid in the main event but the match suffered from believable near falls. The match was short enough that it didn’t drag but it didn’t quite live up to the billing of a main event. Strong match and a borderline recommendation. If they did the same exact matches in reverse order there would be no complaints.
Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay
Tomohiro Ishii vs YOSHI-HASHI
Ospreay vs Archer
Okada vs Nicholls