New Japan returns to action after 110 days with no shows due to COVID-19. This is my review of the fourth show back, and night 3 of the New Japan Cup 2020. This show was available live on njpwworld with Japanese commentary only, but is now available with English commentary by Kevin Kelly.
The show opens with the New Japan Cup promo video package. After the video package, we get an announcement by the chairman, Sugabyashi about their TV. New Japan will be live on July 3rd in Japan and on njpwworld worldwide. Then the ring announcer announces matches for this show.
Minoru Suzuki, DOUKI, El Desperado & Kanemaru vs Yuji Nagata, Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji
- This mach starts when Suzuki-gun get the jump start. They all brawl to ringside and as it settles down, the Young Lions gets some shine on DOUKI. DOUKI gets a tag and Suzuki-gun get heat on Uemura. Suzuki slaps the piss out of Uemure, then Suzuki-gun stomp him down. Both Suzuki and Nagata tag in and they continue where they left off on Night 2. When Nagata gets the upper hand, Suzuki-gun run in but Nagata takes care of them all. Tsuji tags in against Desperado. After a spot where everyone runs in, ending with Suzuki and Nagata, Desperado and Tsuji are back in the ring. Desperado hit Tsuji with a Pinche Loco for the pinfall victory. Winners: Suzuki-gun in 10:34.
SANADA vs Ryusuke Taguchi
- The match kicks off slowly with a few minutes of chain wrestling. We get some back and forth with fist bumps, catching kicks, and Paradise locks. Just a whole bunch of nothing at the five minutes call. At this pace, it feels like the match will go 60 minutes, but I very much doubt they will. Eventually they wrestle a bit more seriously and it becomes a technical battle between the Skull End of Sanada, against the Ankle lock of Taguchi. in the last minute or so they traded lots of good pinning combinations and Sanada pinned Taguchi. This match started slow and boring but ended up quite good. After the match Sanada gives Taguchi a shirt, which he puts on. Winner: Sanada in 15:47.
Shingo Takagi vs SHO
- This starts fast and hard hitting, the opposite of the previous match. They smash each other over and over in the first few minutes, then Shingo sends SHO to ringside. Shingo hurles SHO into the steel railings hard, then kicks him while he’s down. Back in the ring, neither man lets up as both have something to prove against the other. These two have a rivalry that, in years to come, could possibly be a classic feud. They trade clotheslines, then Shingo hits a brutal suplex on SHO’s head. SHO fires up and hits a few German suplexs. Shingo hits a pumping bomber, a sliding lariat and a Noshigami but HSO kicks out. Shingo gets SHO on the top rope ut SHO gets an arm lock on. SHO hits a sunset bomb on the knees for a double down. Shingo hits a Made in Japan at the fifteen minute point but SHO kicks out. SHingo follows up with a pumping bomber and SHO kicks out again. SHO reverses a Last of the Dragon to a double wrist lock. SHO hits two Shock Arrows on Shingo Takagi and finally defeats Shingo Takagi. That was a great match. Winner: SHO in 17:06.
The Way to the Grandmaster video played, then men in overalls came to clean the ring.
Zack Sabre Jr vs Kota Ibushi
- They wrestle back and forth to start this match, where ZSJ gets the slight edge. Zack gets cocky as Kota tries to strike as ZSJ. Zack takes it back down to the mat as they roll. ZSJ targets the arm, until Kota escapes and gets on top. Zack escapes, rolls through and Ibushi gets to the ropes. ZSJ accepts some leg kicks from Ibushi only to bait him in and get a kneebar. Zack has a way of working over different body parts, so when he gets his finishing hold on, everywhere hurts so they have to tap. Kota fights out and hits a standing moonsault for a two count. As Zack stands on the outside, Ibushi fires up but Zack grabs his legs from under the ropes and drags Kota Ibushi to the floor while putting him in a heel hook. Ibushi’s leg is hurting him now and Zack boots the back of the injured leg. Ibushi fires up with a big clothesline and a double down. Zack stops anything Ibushi tries and Zack transitions to the arms of Kota. ZSJ goes back to the legs but Kota gets to the ropes to force a break. ZSJ stomps on the kneecap and leg. Ibushi keeps fighting back and eventually hits a Kamigoye after what looked like a V-trigger and pins Zack. Really good match. Winner: Kota Ibushi in 15:16
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Taichi
- Before the match, Tanahashi is posing for the camera and Taichi powerbombs him. Tanahashi sells this like he has possibly broken his back or something. Under a minute into the match and DOUKI pulls Tanahashi out to ringsde and throws him into the railings. Taichi chokes Tanahashi with a cord at ringside and rolls him in. Taichi rakes the eyes as Red Shoes counts, then chokes Tanahashi with his hands, and the ropes. Tanahashi sells for minutes apon minutes but, with the help of Tsuji cheering him on, Tanahashi makes a comeback. Tanahashi is great but, without a crowd, his matches suffer more than most in NJPW. Tanahashi with his fans is a sight to be seen as they lean over the railings to get some of his sweat on a Tanahashi branded towel. But not here. Tana fires up and trades kicks and strikes with Taichi. Taichi ducks a lariat and folds Tanahashi up with a vicious backdrop suplex. Tana hits a black-hole slam on Taichi. Tanahashi reverses a backdrop driver into a slingblade. Tana hits a Twist and shout followed by a Slingblade for a two count. Tanahashi hits a Aces High on a standing Taichi but DOUKI gets involved again. Taichi hits a low blow and Gedo clutch but Tanahashi kick out. Tanahashi fires up and hits a big slap to Taichi. Taichi stops Tanahashi from hitting a Slingblade and hits a backdrop driver again. Taichi hits Tanahashi with a Black Mephisto and pins him. Taichi pins The Ace. That’s a shame. Taichi continues to beat on a broken Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi runs down to save Tanahashi and face off with his next opponent. DOUKI and Taichi lay out Kota Ibushi with the tag belt. Then they hit Tanahashi with the belt. This looks to be the next tag championship program. Winner: Taichi in 21:51.
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