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NJPW ‘New Japan Cup 2019’ (3.16.19) Results & Review

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The second round of the 2019 New Japan Cup sees the first of two back-to-back nights at Korakuen Hall. 1,739 fans are in attendance to see the right side of the bracket have their first two second round matches as Hiroshi Tanahashi takes on Ryusuke Taguchi and a main event featuring both Zack Sabre Jr. and Kota Ibushi. Let’s get started!

New Japan Cup Second Round Match
Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Ryusuke Taguchi @ 17:18 via Dragon Suplex – ***1/4

Taguchi wants to fist bump before they begin but Tanahashi refuses. The crowd rallies behind Taguchi, they trade wristlocks, drop toe hold by Tanahashi and secures the headlock. Taguchi sends Tana off the ropes and keeps dropping down to force Tana to continue running. When Tana responds by doing the same, Taguchi traps him in the ankle lock. He begs Tana for the fist bump, the crowd encourages Tana to play along but Taguchi takes a boot to the gut instead. Taguchi rolls through a sunset flip into a low dropkick and land a few hip attacks.

Tanahashi responds by sweeping the leg and applying the ankle lock on Taguchi. He tries to fight back but Tana takes him down and hits his own hip attacks which fires Taguchi up. Huge Taguchi hip attack flurry, springboard dropkick, a second dropkick takes Tana outside and Taguchi follows him out with a springboard plancha. Taguchi applies the ankle lock on the apron, Tanahashi forces the rope break, catches Taguchi with dragon screws into the ropes and attempts the Texas Cloverleaf. Taguchi fights out, pulls Tana off the second rope to an ankle lock, Tana fights through but misses a slingblade and takes another Taguchi flurry.

Three Amigos, Bummer Ye, and a Tiger suplex. Tanahashi tries to rolls through a Dodon but Taguchi sits out and applies Oh My & Garankle. He pulls Tana from the ropes and drops the elbow. Tana catches Taguchi with an inside cradle and jackknife hold, then slaps Taguchi for kicking out. Instead of a hip attack, Taguchi drops Tana with an enziguri but Tana is quick to respond with slinglade, looks for Tiger suplex but Taguchi fights out and takes another slingblade. Tanahashi finishes Taguchi with a dragon suplex, offers the fist bump and Taguchi accepts.

New Japan Cup Second Round Match
Zack Sabre Jr. def. Kota Ibushi @ 16:08 via Orienteering with Napalm Death – ***1/2

Sabre attempts to pull Ibushi in by offering the leg. Ibushi kicks, Sabre reaches in with a headlock but Ibushi rolls to the ropes. Sabre shoulders Ibushi but he bounces back up, Sabre sweeps the leg and misses the PK. Ibushi smirks as he returns the favor by kicking Sabre’s leg out from under him. Sabre catches a kick, turns it into a knee bar and transitions into an ankle lock when Ibushi makes the ropes. Ibushi floats over a corner uppercut, lands a hurricanrana and midkick followed by a flurry of kicks and attempts a standing moonsault.

Sabre gets his knees up and transitions back into a knee bar, continuing the attack even after Ibushi gets to the ropes. He applies an Indian Death Lock and slaps Ibushi across the face. Ibushi’s eyes go black. He forearms out of the hold and backs Sabre into the corner with more strikes. Sabre kicks his leg out, Ibushi ducks the PK and hits a moonsault off the second. Ibushi takes repeated kicks to the leg but won’t go down. He jumps a leg sweep and double stomps Sabre’s effort. They trade full nelsons, Sabre kicks the knee and applies the knee bar once more. Ibushi fires up and lands a bridging half & half, Sabre catches his kick and looks fo a German but Ibushi flips through.

Sabre catches Ibushi running in with a guillotine, Ibushi escapes Zack Driver and lands a lariat. Sabre fights out of a powerbomb, floats through a piledriver and pulls Kamigoye into a triangle choke. Ibushi muscles out of the triangle into Last Ride, Sabre ducks Kamigoye but Ibushi catches an uppercut into a backslide. Sabre again avoids Kamigoye but Ibushi maintains wrist control and pulls him into a straightjacket German. Again, Ibushi misses Kamigoye and Sabre transitions into Napalm Death for the win.

Sabre states that he’s once again running through the Cup and that it’s too easy. He says he’ll win the New Japan Cup, win the title at MSG and defend it at Royal Quest. That’s how we go off air.

Two strong matches, both of which I’d recommend taking the time to watch. I appreciated that neither went long or felt overblown. They stayed to the point and featured some very slick wrestling. We’re now set for a rematch of last year’s finals, Zack Sabre Jr. taking on Hiroshi Tanahashi in the quarterfinals. Another match to get excited for in the next round.

Quarterfinals
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Zack Sabre Jr.
Kazuchika Okada vs Will Ospreay
Tomohiro Ishii vs YOSHI-HASHI

Recommended Matches
Sabre vs Ibushi
Tanahashi vs Taguchi

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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