NJPW New Japan Cup 2017 results (12/3/2017): Omega vs. Ishii, Shibata vs. Suzuki and more
The 2017 New Japan Cup continued this evening at the Hyogo Beikomu Gymnasium with the completion of the first round matches. If the first half of the bracket inspired little in the way of excitement the same could not be said about the second, with relative ‘dream matches’ in the shape of Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki, along with Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi and YOSHI-HASHI vs. SANADA. All the results from this show can be found below.
#1 Yuji Nagata & Jushin Thunder Liger vs. David Finlay & Tiger Mask IV
The undercard had to be moved around somewhat when Manabu Nakanishi was unable to wrestle because of illness, meaning the Finlay/Tomoyuki Oka match was scrapped in favour of this tag. Nagata did most of the work for his side, eventually submitting Tiger Mask to the armbar, and Blue Justice got a solid wipe down from Liger following the match.
#2 Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hirai Kawato vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tonga Roa
The Guerrillas of Destiny will surely be looking for a tag match against Kojima and Tenzan sooner rather than later, and this match was all about the big bruisers moving closer to that point. Whilst this match was nothing to write home about the finish may well live long in the memory, Tanga Roa hitting the Young Lion Kawato with a sit-out Tombstone that did not look pretty in the slightest.
#3 Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI
The hype continues to build towards KUSHIDA’s rematch against Hiromu for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and as such the interactions between the two were always going to be the highlight of this eight-man. EVIL continued where he left off last night at the last however, hitting Taguchi with EVIL for the 1-2-3.
#4 Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, Gedo & Jado vs. Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku & El Desperado
This was yet another frustrating Suzuki-gun undercard match full of shenanigans, double-teaming and Taichi having the most punchable face in wrestling. Okada and Goto managed t get in some impressive flurries towards the end, but it was Toru Yano who continued his momentum from night one of the tournament by pinning El Desperado following a low blow.
#5 New Japan Cup first round: Juice Robinson vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Yujiro was out with the bunny lady once again, making him at least 10 times more interesting. Sadly Yujiro is still as boring as they come inside the ropes, and the usual slow and plodding Yujiro match played out here. Juice Robinson (NXT’s CJ Parker) continued his incredible 2017 however, advancing to face the winner of Suzuki/Shibata after hitting Yujiro with Pulp Friction.
#6 New Japan Cup first round: YOSHI-HASHI vs. SANADA
A great G1-style match between two of the rising stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling. YOSHI-HASHI and SANADA have fantastic chemistry in the ring and this was one of their best matches to date, both men coming excruciatingly close to picking up the win with their respective submissions. It was Cold Skull who prevailed in the end, forcing YOSHI-HASHI to tap out to the Skull End.
#7: New Japan Cup first round: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki
This was every bit the war it promised to be. Katsuyori Shibata and Minoru Suzuki hit each other harder than any two humans should hit each other in a violent competition to see who could inflict the most punishment on the other. Suzuki seemed to have the match wrapped up when he locked the sleeper in on Shibata, but the former NEVER Openweight Champion survived long enough to hit Suzuki with the PK for the win. Juice Robinson is next for Shibata.
#8: New Japan Cup first round: Tomohiro Ishii vs. Kenny Omega
The first ever singles match between Tomohiro ishii and Kenny Omega did not disappoint. The two men put on a main event clinic with enough near-falls to last a lifetime, a match full of snug strong style and old fashioned pro wrestling tension. Omega took a scary bump on the top of his head off a German suplex that seemed to derail the match slightly, but all was forgotten as two of the best in the world brought the goods in the home stretch.
It was Ishii who managed to pull out the victory however, managing to avoid the One-Winged Angel long enough to hit a vicious brainbuster and pick up the win, bringing the first round of the New Japan Cup to an end. Also, it seems Adam Cole and Kenny Omega are set to face each other soon after Cole challenged The Young Bucks’ alleigence to Omega. The duo claimed Omega is their leader and firmly stood by him.
The Cup continues tomorrow with a number of quarter final matches. The full draw will see EVIL take on Yuji Nagata, Bad Luck Fale come up against Toru Yano, Katsuyori Shibata go one-on-one with Juice Robinson and Tomohiro Ishii and SANADA face off. The tournament concludes with the final on March 20.