The New Japan kicks off New Japan’s hottest stretch of the year as we are on the road to Madison Square Garden. Day 1 is headlined by a veteran clash between Yuji Nagata and Tomohiro Ishii with some potentially good matches on the upper card.
Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, HIKULEO & Bad Luck Fale) Def. CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Mikey Nicholls & Will Ospreay) // Ishimori beat Romero with the Bloody Cross
Suzuki Gun (Davey Boy Smith Jr, Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki) Def. Main Unit (Toru Yano, Toa Henare & Satoshi Kojima) // Smith beat Henare with the Bulldog Bomb
LIJ (BUSHI & EVIL) Def. Suzuki Gun (Taka Michinoku & Zack Sabre Jr) // BUSHI beat Michinoku with the MX
LIJ (Shingo Takagi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) Def. Main Unit (SHO, Hirooki Goto & Kota Ibushi )// Takagi beat SHO with Last Of The Dragon
Main Unit (Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe, Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi) Def. Main Unit (Ryusuke Taguchi, Colt Cabana, Michael Elgin & Shota Umino) // Okada beat Umino with the Rainmaker
NJ Cup First Round Match: Manabu Nakanishi vs YOSHI-HASHI
The story early was HASHI taking out the knee of Nakanishi. Once Nakanishi got his hands on HASHI he used his power experience to take it to his opponent and reeled back the years with a plancha and a top rope cross body. HASHI managed to pull it back late on with his submissions as Nakanishi’s injuries proved too much as he tapped out to the butterfly lock. A good match that went a little too long but was better than it had any right to be.
Winner: YOSHI-HASHI Rating: 6 out of 10
NJ Cup First Round Match: Taichi vs Tomoaki Honma
This one took way too long to get going and like the last match was a tad too long. Cocky prick Taichi did cocky things for most of the match until Honma made his comeback and forced him to remove his trousers. Once Honma fired up the action got better and stayed at a decent pace until the end. Ultimately skippable or just skip to Taichi removing the pants and watch from there
Winner: Taichi Rating: 3 out of 10
NJ Cup First Round Match: Juice Robinson vs Chase Owens
This started with Owens trying to slow the match down but Juice outsmarted him at every turn, once Owens hit a Russian leg sweep into the barricade the tides turned. After a period of dominance by Owens these two went counter for counter as they both looked to put their opponent away. Owens, to the shock of everyone upset the US Champion and put him down with the package piledriver for the biggest win of his career
Winner: Chase Owens Rating: 7 out of 10
NJ Cup First Round Match: Tomohiro Ishii vs Yuji Nagata
This was everything you would expect from two veterans of strong style. It was just a battle to prove which of these two was a tougher SOB and it was non stop big hits from the very start. Watch! This! Match!
Winner: Tomohiro Ishii Rating: 8 out of 10
All images are courtesy of njpw1972.com