The New Japan Cup 2021 returned this year, in its usual spot, ready to showcase some of the best talent in New Japan Pro-Wrestling. This year Great-O-Kahn and Hiroshi Tanahashi received a buy to the second round of this world famous single elimination tournament.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling | NJPW: New Japan Cup | Night 1 | Fri 5th March 2021 | 18:00 | Korakuen Hall, Tokyo.
SEMI-MAIN EVENT | MATCH FOUR | NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 | FIRST ROUND MATCH: Toru Yano [CHAOS] Vs Bad Luck Fale [BULLET CLUB]
The match starts with Bad Luck Fale throwing Yano’s King of Pro-Wrestling trophy and breaks it, trying to pin him but Yano doesn’t take this laying down and keeps smacking Fale on the back of the head, which is a hilarious sight to be seen.
In five appearances in the New Japan Cup Yano has been eliminated in the first round, let’s hope he can do better this year.
Yano finds some tape on the floor and it appears that he is up to his old tricks, but is outwitted by Fale, who takes the tape and ties Yano’s wrists together around the ring post. While this is going on the referee is counting down. Before Fale can get back Yano takes his out, rolls into the ring still tied to post for a count out win.
Earlier in the match his trophy was broken for the umpteenth time and following the match he seen rolling around the ring crying while holding the broken pieces, as the commentary tells us that he thinks of the trophy as his baby. As usual Yano is true comedy gold.
Match Time: 05m 50s
WINNER: TORU YANO via Count Out
Star Rating: ****
MAIN EVENT | NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 | FIRST ROUND MATCH: Hirooki Goto [CHAOS] Vs Taichi [Suzuki-Gun]
Taichi enters the ring with the voice of an angel; the ever present ZSJ is there in his corner. Hirooki Goto makes his 13th appearance in this tournament and has previously been a three time champion, could he go onto a fourth victory, but first he will need to get past Taichi to go on to face the winner of the Okada vs Shingo. Everyone’s favourite referee Red Shoes is presiding over the match.
Taichi showing off as only he can removes his coat & flexes his pecks, as the match is underway he appears to be very much into choking this evening and of course later we have the inevitable power up pants removing, which is always a “thrill” if you like that kind of thing.
The match is slow feeling forced and dare I say a little boring considering the calibre of talent within the ring. Kevin Kelly is doing his best on commentary to sell the aggression in the ring, but even this can’t disguise a lack of chemistry and synergy between the opponents. The highpoints have to be Taichi’s choke action; he is the real light in the dark doing much of the work, even appearing at times to have gone to the Ric Flair School of selling. We have near fall after near fall with Goto coming out the victor.
In conclusion all grunt and groaning with no satisfying release.
Match Time: 22m 43s
WINNER: Hirooki Goto via a GTR
Star Rating: ****
New Japan Pro-Wrestling | NJPW: New Japan Cup | Night 2 | Sat 6th March 2021 | 17:00 | Ota City General Gymnasium, Tokyo.
MATCH THREE | NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 | FIRST ROUND MATCH: Tomoaki Honma [Main Unit] Vs Minoru Suzuki [Suzuki-Gun]
These two men start off with a test of strength, both of them chopping at each other’s chests. Minoru Suzuki takes everything seriously in the ring and his match against sentimental favourite Tomoaki Honma is no exception. Focusing on the neck of Honma, which is his weak spot due to a broken neck which left him paralyzed a few years ago, Suzuki is a master of the hard hitting aggressive style that Japan has become famous for.
Match Time: 14m 54s
WINNER: Minoru Suzuki via a Gotch Style Piledriver
SEMI-MAIN EVENT | MATCH FOUR | NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 | FIRST ROUND MATCH: Juice Robinson [Taguchi Japan] Vs KENTA [BULLET CLUB]
Match Time: 17m 17s
WINNER: KENTA via a Game Over
Star Rating: ****.75
MAIN EVENT | NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 | FIRST ROUND MATCH: Kazuchika Okada [CHAOS] Vs Shingo Takagi [L.I.J.]
The King of New Japan Pro-Wrestling vs The King of DragonGate go face to face in this main event tonight. The Rainmaker vs The Dragon should be a high calibre main event and hopefully lives up to their 5 star bout in the G1 Climax last year. Shingo Takagi focuses his attacks on Okada’s back, which has been a source of constant pain for Okada for a while; these two men aren’t holding anything back. These two men have incredible chemistry and are showing in this match why they are considered the best in the world, it’s hard hitting, athletic and a true spectacle. A must watch for any Puroresu fan.
Match Time: 23m 58s
WINNER: Shingo Takagi via a Last of the Dragon
Star Rating: *****