The 2019 New Japan Cup sees its first night of quarterfinal action in front of 1,710 fans at the Twin Messe Shizuoka. Both matches have Chaos brothers colliding as Tomohiro Ishii faces off with YOSHI-HASHI and the main event features Will Ospreay taking on Chaos leader, Kazuchika Okada. Let’s get started!
New Japan Cup Quarterfinal Match
Tomohiro Ishii def. YOSHI-HASHI @ 20:26 via Brainbuster – ***1/2
Y-H secures a strong headlock to start. Ishii works his way free with forearms to the ribs. They have a stalemate with shoulder tackles and begin trading forearms. Y-H ducks a lariat, Ishii ducks a mule kick and Y-H ducks an enziguri for another stalemate. Ishii manages to drop Y-H with a shoulder but he pops back up and forearms are traded once again. An Ishii powerslam puts Y-H down and he slaps the back of Y-H’s head for good measure. Y-H attempts to fire up but he’s dropped again. He pulls the match back into his favor by turning an Ishii brainbuster into his own and is quick to follow with headhunter, boots Ishii into the corner and delivers a flurry of chops and forearms.
The tide turns again when Y-H decides to slap Ishii on the back of the head. Ishii begins leaning into Y-H’s forearms and they have a long exchange of forearms back and forth. It’s Y-H’s turn to be sent to the corner for a series of chops and forearms. He collapses and Ishii takes the time to rip off Y-H’s shoulder tape. Y-H responds by spitting in Ishii’s face and rocks him with slaps to the face, a huge lariat, powerbomb and into the Butterfly Lock. He pulls Ishii away from the ropes, transitions into a sleeper and while applying the hold, brings Ishii down with a lungblower. Y-H reapplies the Butterfly Lock, heads to the top but misses the senton.
Ishii swings the match back into his control by ducking a lariat and landing a suplex. They trade chops but Ishii is quick to get them up into the throat to keep control and stacks Y-H with a powerbomb. Y-H ducks a sliding lariat but takes a German, followed by the sliding lariat. He both cradles and jackknifes his way out of a brainbusters, refuses to go down to lariats and delivers a huge headbutt followed by double knees. Ishii blocks Karma Y-H ducks a lariat into a German, Ishii turns a second Karma into a DDT. Two desperation thrust kicks from Y-H but Ishii connects with an enziguri, lariat and brainbuster for the win.
New Japan Cup Quarterfinal Match
Kazuchika Okada def. Will Ospreay @ 20:10 via Rainmaker – ***1/2
The match starts with the two trading waist locks, wristlocks and headlocks. Ospreay comes out on top and is backed to the ropes by Okada who gives him a clean break and pats the top of his head. Okada shoulders his down but Ospreay is quick to his feet and the two trade forearms. Ospreay monkey flips Okada out of the ring, fakes him out with a dives and boots him through the ropes back to the floor. Okada dodges a plancha, sends Ospreay to the rails but Ospreay hops over and look for the springboard forearm but Okada cuts it off with an uppercut instead. He sends Ospreay back in for the slingshot senton and lands back elbows in the corner. Ospreay tries firing back but Okada catches him in mid air, puts him on the second rope and dropkicks Ospreay to the floor.
Okada waits in the ring for Ospreay to make it back to the apron. They meet forehead to forehead on opposite sides of the ropes and Ospreay blocks a forearm, dumps Okada out and quickly follows with a Sasuke Special. He brings Okada back in, connects with a handspring enziguri but Okada catches him running in and drops Ospreay with a flapjack. Elbow drop from the top and Rainmaker pose but Ospreay drops Okada with a highkick. Ospreay attempts the Storm Breaker but can’t muscle Okada up so he lays in some up kicks to the chest and tries again. Okada armdrags his way out of Storm Breaker and launches Ospreay into the corner with a John Woo.
Ospreay turns an uppercut into a backslide, keeps wrist control and delivers two wrist-clutch lariats on Okada. He sets up for the Rainmaker, Okada ducks, lands a dropkick to the back and send Ospreay to the ropes for another but Ospreay holds the ropes. Okada gets his knees up on the standing SSP. Ospreay lands a headkick, removes his elbow pad, Okada ducks and looks for Heavy Rain but Ospreay transitions to a cutter. A wallflip enziguri rocks Okada, Ospreay puts him on his shoulders takes him to the second for an electric chair and follows up with the Robinson Special.
Okada catches the Oscutter and turns it into a German. Ospreay turns the Rainmaker into a Spanish Fly. He climbs to the top, hits an SSP to both the back and chest of Okada and sets up for Oscutter. Okada dropkicks Ospreay on the Oscutter, hits a tombstone but Ospreay flips through the Rainmaker and positions Okada for Storm Breaker. Okada flips his way out of Storm Breaker, maintains wrist control, pulls Ospreay into a spinning Tombstone and finishes with the Rainmaker. The two embrace after the match, Okada gives his speech and that’s how we end the show.
Two great matches with very digestible run times made for an extremely easy watch. Both matches delivered something different from the other and each hit their respective mark in similar fashion. Which match you think is better will depend on whether you enjoy something hard-hitting or something smooth and athletic. The big story is that the match these results lead to is Okada versus Ishii in the semifinals. A certified ‘Match of the Year’ contender is coming our way on Saturday.
Kazuchika Okada vs Tomohiro Ishii
Okada vs Ospreay
Ishii vs Y-H
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