New Japan Strong: New Japan Cup USA 2021 | Saturday 10th April 2021 | 03:00 (UK) | NJPW L.A. Dojo.
The New Japan Cup USA 2021 officially starts here!
We will see the first round of the New Japan Cup USA. The winner of this year’s New Japan Cup USA tournament will not only receive the New Japan Cup USA trophy, they will also be crowned the FIRST NJPW Strong Openweight Champion!
Before we start, check out my preview and predictions here.
MATCH ONE | New Japan Cup USA | ROUND ONE MATCH: Clark Connors Vs Lio Rush
Clark Connors defeated TJP to qualify. Lio Rush beat Rocky Romero to make the 1st round.
Connors refuses a handshake to start the match. Both drop to their knees and start with some amateur wrestling. Connors takes down Rush with a shoulder tackle. Rush is unable to do the same, but drops Connors with a dropkick. Connors takes advantage and starts attacking the back of Rush, throwing Rush almost corner to corner with a hip toss. Rush fights back, and grabs a headlock before using the ropes to spring up into a hurricanrana. Rush picks up a two-count from a suplex.
Rush delivers a series of kicks to a kneeling Connors, who laughs at him and begs for more. Rush blocks the fight back and gets a near fall with an axe kick. Rush attempts an Impaler, but Connors fights out and launches Rush with a Pounce. Connors pushes the referee’s five-count in the corner with a series of rapid shops on Rush. Connors gets a near fall after a release Northern Lights Suplex.
Rush avoids a spear and lands a kick followed by a few clotheslines. Connors ends up on the outside and Rush drops him with a first-rope Asai Moonsault. Rush gets a two-count after a cross-body from the top. Connors stops the slingshot cutter and attempts the spear, but Rush kicks him in the face in mid-air. Rush hits the ropes to follow up, but Connorts catches him on the way back with a spear for a two-count. Connors
attempts the Boston Crab, but Rush rolls through to break free. Connors ends up on the apron, and Rush goes for a handspring kick. Connors catches the legs, and locks in a version of the Boston Crab in the ropes!
Connors attempts a back suplex, but Rush escapes and kicks Clark in the knee. He follows up with a spinning hook kick and the slingshot cutter to get the win.
Match Time: 09m 57s
WINNER: Lio Rush via a slingshot cutter
MATCH TWO | New Japan Cup USA | ROUND ONE MATCH: Ren Narita Vs “Filthy” Tom Lawlor
Narita qualified by submitting Misterioso. Lawlor got past The DKC.
Narita executes a superb judo throw on Lawlor to start before the feeling-out process starts. Lawlor throws the first strike, but Narita retaliates. Lawlor locks in a guillotine attempt while having both arms trapped in hammerlocks, and rolls Narita into a pin attempt for only a one-count. Lawlor rolls over Narita and grabs a body-scissors, getting another one-count with a split cradle.
As they get back to their feet both men strike. Lawlor hits the first chop, but Narita fires back shot-for-shot. Narita takes Lawlor down with a
chinlock, but Lawlor counters and grabs a leglock forcing Narita to reach the ropes. Lawlor delivers a kick to the thigh, and backs Narita into the corner with another series of elbows and chops. Lawlor locks in a cravat and delivers a few knees before throwing a suplex for a two-count.
Lawlor switches from the pin to a side head-and-arm choke, but Narita gets back to his feet and escape with some elbows. Narita fires in some chops, elbows and kicks, but Lawlor creates a bit of space and throws him with an Exploder Suplex. Lawlor attempts a PK, but Narita evades. Narita attempts to grab the leg, but Lawlor counters into a triangle. Narita rolls through and attempts an abdominal stretch. Lawlor counters to a leglock, but Narita rolls through and locks in the Narita Special. Lawlor rolls under to escape, and instead locks in a Figure Four. Narita sits up and delivers a few slaps, but Lawlor keeps the hold on. Narita attempts to reverse, but Lawlor stops him. Narita eventually gets the rope break.
Back on their feet, Lawlor grabs Narita in a front chancery. Narita grabs both arms, and lands a beautiful Butterfly Northern Lights Suplex, keeping the arms and rolling through into a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall. Narita hits a spinning heel kick for a two-count and immediately goes for a rear-naked choke. Lawlor manages to escape and attempts an arm bar, but Narita gets to the ropes. Lawlor attacks the left arm, and throws Narita with a few arm drags. Narita counters the third into a sleeper, but Lawlor stands and delivers an Olympic Slam. Lawlor locks in a rear-naked choke to sit Narita down, then delivers a PK. Lawlor locks in the choke again until Narita passes out.
Match Time: 13m 19s
WINNER: Tom Lawlor via referee stoppage (rear-naked choke)
SEMI-MAIN EVENT | MATCH THREE | New Japan Cup USA | ROUND ONE MATCH: Fred Rosser Vs Hikuleo
Rosser defeated JR Kratos to qualify. Hikuleo beat Jordan Clearwater. Hikuleo attacked Rosser after his qualifier and demanded to meet him in the 1st round.
Hikuleo doesn’t let Rosser get in the ring, charging at him and kicking him in the face. The two brawl outside before the match starts, with Hikuleo throwing Rosser over the barrier to the concrete. Hikuleo throws the referee to the floor while he’s checking on Rosser to stay on the attack. Hikuleo hits Rosser with a brutal chop to the chest before dropping him across the barrier. Hikuleo rolls Rosser in the ring and tries to cover him, but the referee refuses to count as the match hasn’t started. Rosser tells the ref he can compete, so the bell rings.
Hikuleo immediately charges him with a splash in the corner and a running powerslam for a two-count. Hikuleo drops Rosser to the mat with a chop in the corner. Hikuleo grabs Rosser’s arm and lands a pair of shoulder tackles. Hikuleo gets a near fall from a vertical suplex.
Rosser ends up under the bottom rope, and Hikuleo bends to pick him up. Rosser grabs hold of Hikuleo’s hair, and the referee has to physically break the two apart. This allows Rosser a brief moment of respite to catch his wind, and he drives Hikuleo into the ring apron and barrier. Rosser drops Hikuleo with a backdrop suplex onto the apron. Rosser pulls down his knee pad and drives it into the side of Hikuleo’s head for a two-count.
Rosser blocks a chokeslam with a series of chops and a rolling elbow, but Hikuleo counters a running forearm with a powerslam. Hikuleo then lifts Rosser in a fireman’s carry before landing a Michinoku Driver II for the win.
Match Time: 6m 22s
WINNER: Hikuleo via Michinoku Driver II
MAIN EVENT | MATCH FOUR | New Japan Cup USA | ROUND ONE MATCH: Brody King Vs “Dirty Daddy” Chris Dickinson
Dickinson starts by immediately going for a single-leg takedown, but Brody strikes his way out. Brody nails a heavy chop in the corner, and a forearm to take Dickinson down. King gets an early near fall after a powerslam and senton. Dickinson gets his feet up in the corner, and attacks King’s leg. Brody gets a rope break to escape a single-leg Boston Crab. Dickinson continues the attack on the legs and locks in a Figure Four. Brody starts to roll to escape, so Dickinson releases, lands a dragon screw, and re-applies the Figure Four. King manages to get one of Dickinson’s legs away from the hold, and reaches the ropes to break.
King stands in the corner and baits Dickinson in to kick him in the chest. King counters the third, but Dickinson dropkicks him in the knee and
takes him down with another dragon screw. Brody blocks an Irish Whip and delivers some strikes, but Dickinson punches King’s thigh to stop him. Brody reverses an Irish Whip and lands a splash in the corner. Brody whips Dickinson to the opposite corner and nails a clothesline and a cannonball for a two-count. Brody lands a piledriver, but Dickinson again kicks out at two.
Dickinson manages to get a few kicks in to Brody’s head to stop him in the corner, and lands a leaping DDT for a two-count. Dickinson immediately locks in an STF, but Brody manages to crawl to the ropes. Dickinson gets another near fall from a massively impressive deaf-lift German Suplex!
Both men stand and exchange chops and slaps. Dickinson has enough and lands a few leg kicks. Brody ducks the enziguiri attempt and nails a deaf lift German Suplex of his own. Dickinson ducks the lariat, and nails a pair of forearms and an enziguiri to stagger King. Dickinson runs the ropes, but King hits the lariat on the rebound and gets the three-count.
Match Time: 10m 42s
WINNER: Brody King via Lariat
Well, that’s my predictions completely out of the window! 25% success rate on round 1, with my picked winner eliminated. The updated matches for next week’s semi-finals are:
· Hikuleo Vs Tom Lawlor
· Brody King Vs Lio Rush