NJPW New Japan Cup 2017 final results (20/03/2017): Katsuyori Shibata vs. Bad Luck Fale
The 2017 New Japan Cup came to a close with Katsuyori Shibata taking on Bad Luck Fale in the finals.
The 2017 New Japan Cup came to a close in Niigata today, with Katsuyori Shibata taking on Bad Luck Fale in the final of the 16-man eponymous tournament for a future championship shot of their choosing. The undercard was full of the usual New Japan tag matches as the promotion continued to build towards the next big show, Sakura Genesis.
Suzuki-gun, CHAOS, Los Ingobernables de Japon and Bullet Club continued the gang wars that have plagued New Japan all year, but tonight was all about Shibata and Fale. Neither man had won the New Japan Cup in the past, so a new cup winner was guaranteed, but would it be The Underboss of Bullet Club or the lone wolf of New Japan Pro Wrestling?
#1 Tomoyuki Oka vs. Hirai Kawato
The Young Lions of New Japan Pro Wrestling went one-on-one in an entertaining opening match that showcased the variety in NJPW’s future. Oka had the size advantage throughout but it was Kawato’s pluckiness that stood out, the smaller man took all that Okada could throw at him and came close to pulling off a win of his own. Neither man was able to put the other away, the match ending in a time limit draw.
#2 Jushin Thunder Liger, David Finlay & Tiger Mask IV vs. TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado & Takashi Iizuka
The grumpy juniors teamed with David Finlay to take on a Suzuki-gun side that brought all the usual tricks to the plate. Liger and Tiger Mask have been round long enough to know what to expect, however, and the trio was able to survive the Suzuki-gun onslaught before Finlay put TAKA away with a Stunner.
#3 Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yuji Nagata & Katsuya Kitamura
New Japan Pro Wrestling obviously have high hopes for Kitamura, the muscle-bound star who may be a Young Lion but is a Young Lion who is getting showcase spots in the main matches against top New Japan performers. Kitamura bested Kojima in a battle of strength early on and was even able to get Strong Arm in the Boston Crab, but Kitamura was unable to get the job done. Kojima picked up the win for the IWGP Tag Team Champions following a Koji Lariat.
#4 Hirooki Goto, Gedo & Jado vs. Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi
More CHAOS vs. Suzuki-gun, more shenanigans from the heels. Goto and Suzuki had a nice back and forth that teased a future NEVER Openweight Championship match between the two, but it was the interactions of the two junior tag teams that took centre-stage. Gedo & Jado are on course for an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match against Taichi and Kanemaru, and Jado rammed that point home further by forcing Taichi to tap out to the Crossface.
#5 Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Michael Elgin, Ryusuke Taguchi & Juice Robinson vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI
Los Ingobernables de Japon took on Taguchi Japan in 10-man tag team action to open up the second half of the show, with Naito picking up the win for LIJ after hitting Juice Robinson with Destino. Juice had the upper hand leading to the finish, however, and it took a low blow from Naito to stop the momentum of Juice. Kushida and Takahashi brawled to the back after the match as LIJ put the boots to Juice.
#6 Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano vs. Kenny Omega, Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi
Okada and Omega meet once again. Yano continues to be terrified of Tama Tonga, however, as Okada and Omega took a back-seat somewhat in this eight-man tag match. Okada did end up taking a Bullet Club beating (including a brutal Omega superkick), but the match broke down long enough for the Rainmaker to hit Tanga Roa with a dropkick and Rainmaker lariat for the win.
#7 New Japan Cup Final: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Bad Luck Fale
The final got off to a quick start as Shibata and Fale brawled into the crowd, The Underboss getting the better of the exchange by laying waste to chairs and barricades alike. Bad Luck Fale controlled the majority of the meat of the match, working over Shibata’s injured shoulder with a variety of nerve holds and blows. Fale was able to hit the Grenade for a fantastic near-fall, by which point the crowd were massively into the action.
Shibata was able to counter the Bad Luck Fall into the Sleeper before locking it in once more, choking the big man out until the PK was inevitable. Shibata hit the kick for the win and his first New Japan Cup. Shibata confirmed after the match that he would challenge Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, with that match to headline Sakura Genesis on April 9.
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