At last! The finals of The New Japan Cup are here. We’ll finally see if my Okada prediction comes true or not.
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi b. Yota Ysuji & Yuya Uemera when Nagata submitted Uemera with a Nagata Lock II – The two Young Lions tried to suplex Nakanishi, which got reversed. Uemera took some punishment before tagging in Tsuji, who slammed both Nagata and Nakanishi. Uemera tagged back in and the two double teamed Nagata. Uemera hit several forearms before getting hit with a kick. Nakanishi gave Tsuji the rack while Nagata used the Nagata Lock II to get the submission.
Michael Elgin, Toa Henare, & Colt Cabana b. Satoshi Kojima, Yoshihiro Tenzan, & Shota Umino when Elgin pinned Umino with an Elgin Bomb – Tenzan and Kojima pounded Colt with Mongolian Chops. Cabana avoided an elbow drop, and he and Henare worked on Tenzan. Cobana failed with his own Mongolian Chops, and had to endure the Machine Gun Chops from Kojima as a result. Henare used his own version of the machine Gun Chops on Kojima, and got felled by a Koji Cutter. Double tag out to Umino & Elgin, which saw a triple team on Elgin by Tencozy & Umino. In the ensuing brawl, Umino when for a missile dropkick, but Elgin countered with a powerbomb. After getting a near fall with a Lariat, Elgin followed up with a Buckle Bomb and Elgin Bomb for the win.
Suzuki-Gun (Minosru Suzuki, Davey Boy Smith Jr., & Lance Archer) b. Togi Makabe, Toru Yano, & Tomoaki Honma when Archer pinned Honma after a Killer Bomb – The heels did their usual pre-bell attack. and threw the match to the floor. Once the match got back in the ring, the heels were working over Yano. Makabe got the hot tag (Makabe hot tags never get old), and ran wild. He and Suzuki traded strikes (another spot that never get old, when it’s the right guys like Kamabe and Suzuki). Honma tagged and hit a Kokeshi on Archer. A Black Hole Slam by Archer for a enar fall. Honma escaped the Killer Bomb, and hit another Kokeshi, but missed a second rope Kokeshi. After an assisted Killer Bomb, Archer pinned Honma.
After the match, Suzuki-Gun attacked Tsuji at ringside, and Archer again threatened Romero with a cage match.
Los Ingobernables De Japon (OWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsya Naito, EVIL, BISHI, & Shingo Takagi) b. Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomohiro Ishii, Hota Ibishi, I Ren Narita when Takagi pinned Narita with a Pumping Hammer – The babyfaces got the shine early, with Taguchi directing the “team” against Bushi. The heels rallied behind Taguchi’s back and took control by beating him down. Ibushi got the hot tag and ran wild for a but. Ishii and Evil traded forearms. Narita tagged in and actually got a few impressive near falls against Takagi. But in the end, Takagi endured everything, and landed a Pumping Hammer for the win.
After the match, Ibushi traded words with Naito, while Evil and Ishii had a pull apart brawl. Ibushi cut a promo backstage saying he wanted the IC Title match at MSG. Naito later obliged, so it looks like that makes the match official.
Zack Sabre Jr., & Taichi (w/Taka Michinoku) of Suzuki-Gun b. Hiroshi Tanahashi & NEVER Openweight Champion Will Ospreay when Taichi pinned Ospreay with a Gedo Clutch – The heels attacked before the bell, complete with Sabre clocking Tanahashi from behind. Ospreay got worked over after the match got back in the ring. Tanahashi got the hot tag and took it to Sabre. For a brief moment, both babyfaces had their opponents in submissions. Sabre hit a Penalty Kick for a double down. Dual tags to Ospreay and Taichi. Sabre broke up a pin attempt, which lead to a four way brawl. Taichi dodged a Stormhammer, low-blowed Ospreay behind the ref’s back and tied him up with a Gedo Clutch for the pin.
After the match, the heels put both babyfaces in submissions. Taichi posed with the NEVER title, and Sabre sat on a fallen Tanahashi with the Rev Pro Title. This seemed to imply not only a title match between Taichi and Ospreay, but a Rev Pro title match between Sabre and Tanahashi.
Bullet Club (IWGP HEavyweight Champion Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, & Bad Luck Fale w/Gedo) b. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto., YOSHI-HASHI, & Mikey Nicholls – CHAOS did some triple teaming on Fale, then the match got thrown to the floor. Hashi got whipped into chairs, and nearly counted out. Bullet Club then went to work on Hashi. Nicholls tagged in and went toe to toe with Hikuleo. A reversed suplex lead to a double down and tags to Goto and White respectively. Bullet Club triple teamed Goto. White tried for a Blade Runner, but Hashi made the save. Goto retaliated with an Ushigoroshi. However, White was able to counter the GTR into a Blade Runner for the pin.
IWGP US Champion Juice Robinson p. Chase Owens (w/Jado) p. Chase Owens with Pulp Friction – Robinson came to the ring with a death stare vibe to him. He hit the ring and immediately got attacked. He managed to knock Owens to the outside, but when he went for a dive, Jado tripped him from behind. Juice went out after Jado, and got superkicked by Owens. This lead to Owens controlling the match and stalking Juice. Juiced fired up and started a comeback, but was hit with the cane Jado. Owens capitalized and kicked him to the floor. Juice managed to rebound and whipped Owens to the guardrail before bring the match back to the ring. Owens escaped a a senton by getting the knees up, Juiced kicked out of a Jewel Heist , and powered out of a Package Piledriver. Juice hit a superplex/Jackhammer combo for a two count. Owens evaded a Pulp Friction, and again tried for a Package Piledriver. Juice escaped, and put Owens in an elevated Boston Crab. Red Shoes got distracted by Jado, so he missed Owens tapping out. Juice tried to get Red Shoes’s attention back to the match. This allowed Owens to kick Juice into Red Shoes, causing a ref bump. Jado got into the ring and used his shinai on Juice. This time, Juice no-sold it and took care of Jado with the shinai. Owens, having recovered, threw powder in Juice’s eyes and hit a low blow. Juice kicked out of a Juice Box, and escaped a Package Piledriver. He rebounded with a Last Ride Powerbomb. Jado saved the match by yanking Red Shoes to the outside. Bad Luck Fale ran in and speared Juice. Owens tried for a beltshot, but Juice dodged and hit Fale instead. Juice decked Owens with a Left hand Of God, and did the same to Jado. Then he was finally able to hit Pulp Friction and get the win.
After the match, Fale attacked Juice and tried for a Bad Luck Fall. Mikey Nicholls hit the ring and made the save. Nicholls gave juice his belt back and raised his hand in victory. I must have watched too much WWE, because I was fully expecting Nicholls to turn on Juice and beat him down after making the save. Thankfully, that didn’t happen, and Juice victoriously made his way to the back.
They have easily an hour left for the main event.
Katsuyori Shibata made a surprise appearance as a guest commentator for the Japanese commentary team. As expected, he got a very warm reception.
A video package aired (the only one of the night, not counting the show opening montage) recapped Okada’s and Sanada’s rises to the finals.
Kazuchika Okada p, SANADA with a Rainmaker – The crowd was instantly into the match and, like yesterday, were more supportive of Sanada due to this being near his hometown. The match had the expected big-match feeling out process, with neither man getting an advantage off the bat. Once Okada escaped a Sanada leapfrog, he was able to get an upper hand at the ten minute park. Sanada made a comeback, did his double leapfrog dropkick, and followed up with a senton to the floor. Okada rallied and hit a neckbreaker and a top rope elbow. He signaled for the Rainmaker, which Sanada escaped and hit a dropkick. The two exchanged forearm strikes, with Sanada coming out on top. Okada responded with a dropkick to the floor. He followed up with a big boot and an elevated DDT to the floor. Sanada reversed a Tombstone piledriver, and got a two count with a back suplex. A Skull End followed by a Tiger Suplex got another near fall. Okada blocked a moonsault by getting his knees up. Sanada ducked a Rainmaker, but got hit with a dropkick. The two each tried and countered several Rainmakers, until Okada used his own Skull End. Sanada reversed that into another Skull End. Sanada tried for another Moonsault, but Okada rolled out of the way for a double down. both men got to their feet at the same time. Sanada shrugged off a Shotgun Dropkick, and hit a TKO. for a close near fall. Sanada got to his feet for another moonsault, but Okada met him at the top. The two reversed Skull Ends, and Okada hit the Spinning Tombstone. At last, Okada was able to hit the Rainmaker for the hard fought victory.
After the match, Okada cut a promo saying that he will beat Jay White at MSG, and that he will face Sanada again when he returns. White an Gedo came to the ring, Gedo said that Hell awaits Okada at MSG, because he will fail miserably. White congratulated Okada, but only one can be champion. Okada replied saying he had no idea what White just said, but he is on another level than White.
Backstage, Okada talked to the press and cut a babyface promo about winning the title at MSG. When asked about Shibata, Okada got very emotional. He looked like he was holding back tears. He said Shibata told him that he had to win. Since it was Shibata telling him this, he new he couldn’t let Shibata down. Shibata responded from the commentary booth “I am alive, so don’t worry about me. Don’t cry.”
This whole tournament was great, and the main events of these last few shows have been off the charts. I anxiously await this year’s G1.