After a hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Japan Pro Wrestling returns to njpwworld to present the New Japan Cup 2020. This is my review of night 2, held on June 17, 2020 in front of no live crowd.
The show starts with a video package introducing the tournament.
Gabriel Kidd vs Taiji Ishimori
- Gabriel Kidd is an English wrestler who has moved to the New Japan Dojo to train under the banner of NJPW. Like most NJPW Young Lions, he focuses on mat wrestling and uses basic moves like the Boston crab and shoulder tackles. The match goes to ringside two minutes in, and Ishimori launched Kidd into the steel railings. Ishimori takes the first few minutes and gets the heat by clawing the back of Kidd. Kidd fought back and tried to catch Ishimori from what looked to be a hurricanrana, and nearly dropped Ishimori on his head. Ishimori was too much for Kidd and submitted him with a crossface. Winner: Taiji Ishimori in 8:54.
Yuya Uemura vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Uemura starts by taking it to Kanemaru straight away. They go to ringside before the bell and Kanemaru throws Uemura into the barrier, but Uemura blocks. The match starts with Uemura slamming Kanemaru and getting a headlock. Uemura holds his side headlock while Kanemaru tries to throw him off the ropes. Kanemaru then tries a roll-up but Uemura reverses. Eventually Kanemaru escapes the headlock and rolls outside. Back at ringside, Kanemaru throws Uemura around and the Young Lion struggles to get back to the ring. Kanemaru has taken over and holds Uemura down with his legs wrapped round the head of Uemura. I thin he’s mad about the extended headlock. Kanemaru places Uemura in the corner and kicks his face off twice. Kanemaru goes for a suplex, but it’s reversed as the Young Lion fires back up. The referee gets knocked down but is back up in time to see Kanemaru try to use his whisky. Uemura gets a quick roll-up but Kanemaru kicks out. About a minute of quick action later, Kanemaru came off the middle rope to deliver a DDT and pin Uemura for the win. Fun match, Uemura has a bright future. Winner: Kanemaru in 9:32.
BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, SANADA & EVIL vs SHO, YOH, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto
- YOH and BUSHI kick the match off and YOH seems to get the upper hand early on. YOH takes BUSHI to the corner and tags Goto. Not even two minutes in and Goto has tagged YOSHI-HASHI. Just over two minutes in and LIJ had seen enough and they take out everyone on the opposite side of the ring. LIJ begin to get heat on YOSHI-HASHI. After a long heat with YOSHI-HASHI, SHO gets the tag and faces off with Shingo. Shingo and SHO have a power battle, then a striking battle, and both were great. SHO gives Shingo a big German suplex and they both tag out. YOH and BUSHI tag back in and YOH seems to be winning, until BUSHI hits a DDT. They trade big kicks and both end up on the mat. Goto, who has had maybe 30 seconds in the ring, tags back in and gets triple teamed by LIJ. Goto fights back, and after everyone does a run in and is taken out by the next guy, Goto pins BUSHI with a GTR. Winners: Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, SHO & YOH in 12:14.
After that match, a short video package played for The Grand Master.
They have a short break to clean to ring and ringside area. Staff members in full-body PPE outfits, with gloves, masks, and a jacket, spray down the whole area and whip everything.
Minoru Suzuki vs Yuji Nagata
- Both of these men are 52 years old. This starts with both men running at each other and forearming each other over and over very hard. They hit each other with increasingly harder shots for minutes on end. Suzuki holds his arms behind his back son Nagata can hit him. Then they begin to slap each other across the face and neck as hard as they can. At this point, they both have extremely red necks from the shots, and their hands seems to be bothering them slightly. five minutes in, Suzuki takes down Nagata with a leg lock. After that, Nagata rolls outside and Suzuki quickly follows. The referee stops Suzuki from using a chair, so Suzuki kills the rer. Suzuki slams buckets over Nagata. Suzuki throws the ref down again and runs away to get another chair and beat Nagata with it. The ref gets back in the ring and starts to count, forcing Suzuki back in too. Nagata gets in at the count of 19 and Suzuki mauls him in the corner. Suzuki uses the ringpost to target the legs of Nagata but the referee intervenes again. Nagata makes a comeback with hard kicks, but Suzuki will not stay down. Suzuki gets a front face-lock and begins to choke out Nagata. Nagata breaks free and goes to work on the arm of Suzuki. While Nagata goes for another arm breaker, Suzuki wraps the arm around the neck of Nagata. Suzuki gets a two count from a sleeper. Suzuki gets another sleeper hold and goes for a piledriver, but Nagata blocks, on the second attempt Nagata backdrops Suzuki. They go back to trading forearms. Nagata has blood on his lips. They slap each other again. Suzuki gives Nagata a sickening hedbutt that sounded like two coconuts knocking together. They both fell down. Back to their feet, Nagata runs the ropes with one last gasp, Suzuki follows, Nagata goes for a clothesline but Suzuki ducks and grabs a sleeper. Nagata quickly reverses the sleeper and hits a back suplex with a pin to defeat Minoru Suzuki. What a match. That was incredible match, but I’m slightly disappointed that Suzuki is out of the tournament now. He is incredible and isn’t featured enough. This wasn’t just the best match on the show, but probably the best match since before COVID-19 changed the world. Winner: Yuji Nagata in 20:36.
Gedo vs Kazuchika Okada
- Gedo comes out wearing a sling on his arm, claiming to be injured. When he pulled his hand out, he had a spray, then a knuckle duster, then a spanner. Gedo uses a spanner in front of referee Red Shoes, but Red Shoes does nothing. The match spills to ringside as Gedo uses his spanner, and a table while Red Shoes watches from the ring. Gedo throws Okada into the barriers at ringside as Okada sells far too much for his former manager. Okada didn’t get any offence until past the six minutes mark, and even then he was selling his ribs from the attack with the spanner, the table, and the railings. Okada starts to string together a few moves, and Gedo rolls out. Okada follows him and is hit with a small wooden hammer used by the timekeepers. Gedo is back on offence. Gedo holds onto the ropes and dodges the dropkick, kicks Okada in the back and gets a nearfall. Okada is one of the best in the world and he has spent the majority of the first ten minutes selling for Gedo. Okada finally hits his neckbreaker and collapses holding his ribs. Okada goes for a tombstone but Gedo grabs the ref. Gedo pushes Okada into Red Shoes and low blows Okada from behind. Gedo pulls out another knuckle duster from inside the ring mat and punches Okada. Gedo wakes the referee and pins Okada wit a Gedo Clutch but Okada kicks out at two. Gedo goes for a blade runner but Okada escapes. Gedo dodges the dropkick again. but Okada hits it a minutes later. Gedo has had his weapons knocked out of the ring and when he looks for it, Okada pulls him in, hits a tombstone and submits Gedo with a Cobra Clutch type hold. Interesting to see that Okada has a new finish, but I’m sure we’ll still see a rainmaker or two against a more worthy opponent. Winner: Kazuchika Okada in 15:30.
Night 2 Highlights
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