Here are the results from the first round of the New Japan Cup, held over four nights on the 8th through the 11th of March.
Preliminary Bout: Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale, and Hikuleo) defeated CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, and Mikey Nicholls) via pinfall, after Ishimori nailed Romero with the Bloody Cross.
Preliminary Bout: Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Lance Archer) defeated Satoshi Kojima, Toru Yano, and Toa Henare via pinfall, after Davey Boy hit the Bulldog Bomb on Henare.
Preliminary Bout: Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and BUSHI) defeated Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and TAKA Michinoku) via pinfall, after BUSHI hit the MX on TAKA.
Preliminary Bout: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, and Shingo Takagi) defeated Kota Ibushi and CHAOS (Hirooki Goto and SHO) via pinfall, after Shingo hit Last of the Dragon on Sho.
Preliminary Bout: Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Togi Makabe defeated Michael Elgin, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino, and Colt Cabana via pinfall, after Okada hit Umino with the Rainmaker.
After the match, a vignette teasing the debut of El Phantasmo, the winner of RevPro’s British J Cup tournament, aired. It appears as if El Phantasmo is the newest member of Bullet Club.
Tournament Match: YOSHI-HASHI defeated Manabu Nakanishi via submission, with the Butterfly Lock. This was the average YOSHI-HASHI match. And if you don’t know what that entails, it’s the absolute most average wrestling match you will ever watch.
Tournament Match: Taichi defeated Tomoaki Honma via submission, after applying a standing crossface. Boring match, unfortunately.
Tournament Match: Chase Owens defeated Juice Robinson via pinfall, after hitting the Jewel Heist. Good match, but it went about 3 minutes too long. This is definitely Owens’ biggest win in NJPW so far.
Tournament Match: Tomohiro Ishii defeated Yuji Nagata via pinfall, after hitting the vertical drop brainbuster. Very amazing match, easily the best of the night. I find it amazing that Nagata is still able to work as stiff as he does, while being 50 years old.
Preliminary Match: Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori and Chase Owens) defeated YOSHI-HASHI and Tomoaki Honma via pinfall, after Owens hit Honma with the Package Piledriver.
Preliminary Match: CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) and Satoshi Kojima defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, and Davey Boy Smith Jr.) via pinfall, after Yano reversed a Bulldog Bomb attempt from Davey Boy into the FPNU.
Preliminary Match: Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and Shingo Takagi) defeated Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and TAKA Michinoku) via pinfall, after Shingo hit TAKA with the Pumping Bomber for the victory.
Preliminary Match: Kota Ibushi, Hirooki Goto, and Juice Robinson defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Testuya Naito, SANADA, and BUSHI) via pinfall, after Juice hit the Pulp Friction on BUSHI.
Preliminary Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Yuji Nagata, and Togi Makabe defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Colt Cabana, Manabu Nakanishi, and Shota Umino via pinfall, after Makabe hit the King Kong Knee Drop on Nakanishi.
Tournament Match: Lance Archer defeated Toa Henare via pinfall, after hitting the Blackout. Lackluster match.
Tournament Match: Mikey Nicholls defeated Hikuleo via pinfall, after hitting the Mikey Bomb. Not a great match, but, in my opinion, better than the first.
Tournament Match: Will Ospreay defeated Bad Luck Fale via pinfall, after hitting Fale with a pinfall. Not a half bad match.
Tournament Match: Kazuchika Okada defeated Michael Elgin via pinfall, after hitting the Rainmaker. Best match on a rather lackluster night of matches.
Preliminary Match: Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and TAKA Michinoku) defeated Satoshi Kojima and Yota Tsuji via submission, after TAKA forced Tsuji to tap out to the Just Facelock.
Preliminary Match: Juice Robinson, Yuji Nagata, YOSHI-HASHI, and Manabu Nakanishi defeated Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, and Hikuleo) via pinfall, after Juice hit Hikuleo with Pulp Friction.
Preliminary Match: Los Ingobernables (Shingo Takagi, SANADA, and BUSHI) defeated Hirooki Goto, Tomoaki Honma, and Ren Narita via pinfall, after Shingo hit Narita with the Pumping Bomber.
Preliminary Match: Suzuki-gun (TAICHI, Davey Boy Smith Jr., and Lance Archer) defeated CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Tomohiro Ishii, and Toru Yano) via pinfall, after KES hit the Killer Bomb on Yano.
Preliminary Match: Michael Elgin, Mikey Nicholls, and Colt Cabana defeated Kazuchika Okada, Togi Makabe, and Toa Henare via pinfall, after Nicholls hit the Mikey Bomb on Henare.
Tournament Match: Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan via pinfall, following a quick rollup. What an upset. While Tenzan is obviously at the tail end of his career, it’s still very surprising to see a five-time world champion beaten by a comedy wrestler. Not a great match, but it sure had shock value.
Tournament Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Shota Umino via submission, after Umino tapped out to the Texas Cloverleaf. Amazing match. Umino is easily the best out of the current Young Lion class, and put on an excellent match with the Ace. Tanahashi easily wins Wrestler of the 2010’s, as far as I’m concerned.
Tournament Match: Zack Sabre Jr. defeated EVIL via submission, after forcing EVIL to tap out to the Napalm Death. I really liked this match. Zack Sabre Jr. is a great in-ring storyteller, and we see the common fatal mistake of ZSJ’s opponent trying to outwrestle him. Bad idea. I would not be mad at all to see Zack Sabre Jr. win the Cup for a second year in a row, as unlikely as it is to happen.
Tournament Match: Kota Ibushi defeated Tetsuya Naito via pinfall, after hitting the Kamigoye. Absolutely fantastic match, to cap off the best night of the tournament so far. Naito is excellent at putting matches together in the ring, and Ibushi is just an absolutely fantastic wrestler, in both his athletic ability and intensity. I can very possibly see Ibushi winning the tournament over Okada. Also, I think this all but foretells that Naito will win the G1 this year.
Preliminary Match: Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale, Hikuleo, and Chase Owens) defeated Juice Robinson, Michael Elgin, YOSHI-HASHI, and Yuya Uemura via submission, after Ishimori forced Uemura to tap out to the Yes Lock. Yeah, you read that right. He even calls it the Yes Lock.
After the match, Bullet Club beat the crap out of YOSHI-HASHI.
Preliminary Match: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, EVIL, and BUSHI) defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, and Ren Narita via submission, after Narita tapped out to BUSHI’s horribly executed Boston Crab. Bad match. Skip it. Very little Naito.
Preliminary Match: Kota Ibushi and Tomoaki Honma defeated Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and TAKA Michinoku) via pinfall, after Ibushi nailed TAKA with the Kamigoye.
Preliminary Match: CHAOS (Will Ospreay and Tomohiro Ishii) defeated Suzuki-gun (Taichi and Lance Archer) via pinfall, after Ospreay pinned Archer with the crucifix. After the match, Archer and Taichi attacked the victorious team.
Preliminary Match: Mikey Nicholls, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Toa Henare defeated Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Shota Umino via pinfall, after Nicholls hit the Mikey Bomb on Umino.
Tournament Match: Toru Yano defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr. via pinfall, after rolling up Davey Boy with a schoolboy. A Toru Yano comedy match. My opinions on that have been made known.
Tournament Match: Colt Cabana defeated Togi Makabe via pinfall, after hitting a Superman. Not a half bad match.
Tournament Match: Minoru Suzuki defeated Satoshi Kojima via pinfall, after hitting the Gotch-style Piledriver. Pretty good match.
Tournament Match: SANADA defeated Hirooki Goto via pinfall after hitting a moonsault. Really good match to cap off the night.