[Please note: there are full spoilers for the entire first and second round of action from the New Japan Cup. Head here if you want to start from the beginning.]
The quarter finals begin as New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual tournament, the New Japan Cup continues to narrow the field. Following on from yesterday’s wins, the main event will see Taichi and SANADA look to gain momentum, while Kazuchika Okada faces off against one of the most powerful junior heavyweights in Taiji Ishimori in the penultimate match. Also on the card, YOSHI-HASHI and EVIL do battle, and it’s cat versus dog in the opening contest, as Tomohiro Ishii looks to maul Hiromu Takahashi. With no mother tournament matches to previes, members of CHAOS look to make their mark against the Tetsuya Naito-led trio of Naito, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI.
+ Taichi vs SANADA (New Japan Cup 2020 Quarterfinal Match): I wasn’t entirely sold on this being the main event, especially as Hiromu/Ishii started SO strongly, but this match built nicely until a fun ending stretch. Shouldn’t have been the main event, but it was fine
+ Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi) vs Hirooki Goto, SHO & Yuya Uemura: the best part of these tag matches lately has been the young lions going toe to toe with the big bois in the ring, and this was no exception. Uemura going up against Shingo was fun, but obviously wasn’t going to last long, but Goto, SHO and BUSHI more than held their own. Naito was clearly in rest mode, but can you blame him?
+ Tomohiro Ishii vs Hiromu Takahashi (New Japan Cup 2020 Quarterfinal Match): this was the match I was most looking forward to of any possible combination remaining, and I can’t believe it wasn’t at least semi-main. I loved this from the opening minutes, as the clearly junior Hiromu looked to prove himself against the tough as nails Ishii with brutal shop and slap trades and a wild lariat stalemate that I swear was the end for both men. This was easily a match of the tournament, and match of the year contender
– Kazuchika Okada vs Taiji Ishimori (New Japan Cup 2020 Quarterfinal Match): Ishimori had a few good moments, but overall this was another ‘Okada sells for 95 per cent of the match before hitting his big moves’. Leaving aside the ending, this was Okada at maximum of half speed, and I couldn’t stand it
– YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL (New Japan Cup 2020 Quarterfinal Match): this was really interesting, as one guy was clearly more injured than he let on, but it was not much of a wrestling match
Should you watch this event: Drop whatever you are doing right now, sign into your NJPW World account and watch Ishii/Hiromu at least once. The rest you could take or leave, but definitely try to see that.