[Please note: there are full spoilers for all PREVIOUS days of tournament action. We are up to semi finals now, but I reviewed the first round here and here; the second round here; and the quarter finals here.]
Both semi finals will be decided on the twelfth night of action from New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) as the New Japan Cup 2021 whittles down from four to just two. On the left hand side, former stablemates collide for the first time ever as The Dragon of Los Ingobernables de Japon, Shingo Takagi, battles the Bullet Club’s King of Darkness, EVIL. On the other side of the bracket, the unlikely finalist, the fourth generation brawler David Finlay, will have his work cut out for him as he battles the Commonwealth Kingpin, the leader of the United Empire, Will Ospreay. The two winners will meet tomorrow night to determine the overall winner, and receive a championship match against the new and inaugural IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Kota Ibushi. Ibushi himself will be in action, meanwhile, as he teams with Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi in a huge six man tag team match against the Bullet Club trio of Jay White, KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi. These three matches and more at the semi finals of the New Japan Cup 2021.
+ Shingo Takagi vs EVIL (New Japan Cup 2021 Semifinal Match): oh baby yes, a grudge match between two wrestlers who love to just HOSS FIGHT each other. The sounds of meat slapping was the perfect soundtrack to this semi final, and while there was the same old expected Bullet Club shenanigans, I was happy with either winner, and the way in which they won was good. This was good, and it sets up a fantastic final tomorrow night
+ David Finlay vs Will Ospreay (New Japan Cup 2021 Semifinal Match): the highest praise I could give this is that they got me completely invested in their match after the scenes of the earthquake. Finlay’s win over White was crazy in the best way, and that energy continued here against the pre tournament equal favourite in Ospreay. This was back and forth, and super crisp, full of intricate but perfectly executed moves from both competitors until a solid ending. If this tournament hasn’t sold you on Finlay, I don’t know what to tell you
+ Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs BULLET CLUB (Yujiro Takahashi, KENTA & Jay White): look at all that star power… and Yujiro. This was probably the most unique match you’ll ever see, because there was a 20-ish minute stretch where the match was stopped to deal with an earthquake. The action itself was serviceable though clearly rushed, but everybody looked as good as you could expect
– Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) vs Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi): you know how this goes; Sabre/SANADA have some fun, DOUKI/BUSHI do some junior stuff and Taichi/Naito are dicks to each other. Forgive me if I’m not blown away by a prelim tag match on the first half of the show
> I got here late and missed two tag team matches, but between you and me I don’t think I missed much. If I get a chance to go back and watch them, I’ll add them in
Should you watch this event: I missed the opening two matches, then the earthquake situation meant this show could have been very short. Thankfully, the two tournament matches were worth watching on their own. Tomorrow night should be a good one.