Hello and welcome back to the New Japan Cup Quarter Finals. After yesterday we found our first two quarter-finalists, today we find out who’s joining them in debatably the more open side of the bracket as any of Ibushi, SANADA, Sabre Jr. or Yano could be through to the next round. But let’s find out who made it:
Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi def. Tomoyuki Oka & Tetsuhiro Yagi
Suzuki-Gun (Taichi, Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) def. David Finlay, Shota Umino & Michael Elgin
CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) def. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Chuckie T & YOSHI-HASHI) def. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) & Kota Ibushi
Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Lizuka) def. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Gedo)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) def. Suzuki-Gun (Zack Sabre Jr., TAKA Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado)
Post-Match: As Kanemaru, Desperado, Takahashi & BUSHI brawled, Ropponngi3k returned, clearing house with Superkicks and German Suplexes indicating their intentions to get back those Jr. Heavyweight titles they only recently lost.
New Japan Cup Semi Final: Juice Robinson vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
Now, let’s cover the elephant in the room first – yes, that is a photo from yesterday’s tag match but I couldn’t find any decent-quality images of today’s encounter yet and so this had to do, but this match, well it deserved a good photo. Face v Face encounters are hard to measure as unless you have a situation where one man is willing to take the heat, it can leave people confused about who to root for, is it one or both? Tanahashi here, choosing to subtly heel it up a bit, worked a classic teacher v pupil encounter as Juice remained honourable, refusing to take any of the low-hanging fruit and attack any of Tanahashi’s injuries directly. The encounter started well as the two men engaged in a show amateur wrestling-style prowess which, while for some might be quite slow a start, kept the crowd engaged and still seemed to be a roughly 50/50 split on crowd support. After a while, the match started to settle into a comfortable groove and seemed to be losing interest as it played out the story of neither man wanting to be too brutal to each other. Luckily towards the finish of the match, they let their personal respect fall slightly to the wayside and really went at it, trading strikes and even finishers as Juice managed to get an impressive near-fall off a high crossbody and a High Fly Flow frog splash aswell as one of the closest small-package kickouts I’ve ever seen. After wrestling over who got to hit the Pulp Friction adjusted unprettier, eventually, they would settle on neither of them with Tanahashi managing to practically knock out Juice with strikes, hit a High Fly Flow to the back and another straight to the just for the pinfall. This was in no way a set-back for Juice as it’s just another notch in his great match list. One day, he’s going to win a title and whatever room he’s in is going to explode with happiness and I for certain, can’t wait for that day.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi
With The Ace officially in the final, take a break from all this craziness tomorrow and join us on Sunday as we find out whether SANADA or Zack Sabre Jr. will be joining him there.