New Japan Pro Wrestling is back in our lives! Seeing as New Japan is the major wrestling promotion that most-closely resembles real sports, we figured we should start reviewing the major goings on here at Sportsfap, where we celebrate Sports, both real and fake. So please enjoy our coverage of the NJPW Cup 2020, a 32-man single elimination tournament, with the winner getting a title shot at DOUBLE IWGP CHAMPION~!~! Tetsuya Naito.
NJPW Cup 2020 Rd. of 32 – Togi Makabe v. Yota Tsuji
Started hot, and never cooled down. Nothing terribly advanced in terms of offense, but it was hard hitting, both guys looked strong, and it went the right length. Yota sold his ass off, too. I wouldn’t want every match to be like this, but every 2-3 hour wrestling show needs at least one match like this one.
Togi Makabe wins via pinfall w/ German Suplex Hold to advance in the 2020 NJPW Cup
NJPW Cup 2020 Rd of 32 – Jado v. Toru Yano
COVID comedy. Comedy in wrestling doesn’t necessarily = bad (although COVID comedy almost always equals bad), I think it’s possible for a comedy match to be great. Example, Yano v Omega from the G1 a few years ago was a great comedy match. This was not a great comedy match. This was Toru Yano versus Jado featuring hand sanitizer. Whole buncha nut shots too. Not without some charm, but pretty bad and needlessly long.
Toru Yano wins by pinfall w/ Low Blow & Roll-up to advance in the 2020 NJPW Cup
NJPW Cup 2020 Rd of 32 – Tomoaki Honma vs. Hiromu Takahashi
Unlike the first match, which started fast and never really stopped, this match started slowly and built to quite the crescendo. Really enjoyed the story of Hiromu trying to mirror Honma’s spots unsuccessfully, before saying fuck it and busting out some crazy crusierweight shit on the apron. Even though it would have made no sense to have Honma win here, his nearfall on the running seated Kokeshi actually got me. Great nearfall and kick out by Hiromu.
I would have loved to have seen Hiromu win with the lariat he busted out at the end (the one Honma kicked out of at 1). Having this insane jr. heayweight win a match with a simple, hard hitting lariat would have helped to put over that Hiromu belongs vs these heavyweights. I know NJPW has a very set booking and wrestling style, but Lariat 1-2-3 is how this match would have ended if I were Gedo. Fantasy booking aside, the finish they gave us was fine and the right guy won.
Very good match, easily match of the show. I feel like B is too low, and A is too high, so B+? By Canada’s grading standards that would be
Hiromu Takahashi wins via pinfall w/Time Bomb II (Fireman’s Carry into Twisting Backpack Driver) to advance in the 2020 NJPW Cup
NJPW Cup 2020 Rd of 32 – Tomohiro Ishii vs. El Desperado
This was fine, but nothing that I will remember on my death bed, or next week. After low blows featured so prominently in the Yano match, I could have done without them here. A hot finishing stretch helped to save it, but this was on the low end of Ishii matches I’ve seen in my life. Not to say Ishii was bad, he was clearly the best wrestler in the match and arguably the best on the show. Desparado just doesn’t really do it for me. He doesn’t have any particular charisma, and although he takes a really nice bump, I’m not sure that he does anything else particularly well.
This was about on the level of the opening match. In fact I actually prefered the opener, just because it went the right length and the outcome was in somewhat in doubt. This was slightly too long IMO, and the finishing stretch didn’t quite feel earned, although it was still entertaining to see play out because Tomohiro Ishii was in it.
Tomohiro Ishii wins by pinfall w/ Brainbuster to advance in the 2020 NJPW Cup
One great thing about the current climate of wrestling is that shows have become much shorter. A quick and easy two hours to watch, and that’s including intro, outro and a short intermission in the middle. Nothing worth stopping your life to see, but some fun, simple, straightforward rasslin.