Happy Canada Day~!
Were rating only the NJPW Cup tournament matches, because we all get one life on this earth and you gotta draw the line somewhere .
NJPW Cup 2020 Sweet Sixteen – BUSHI v. YOSHI-HASHI
BUSHI is a really solid wrestler who I do like, but I’m starting to think Yoshi-Hashi is a jabroni with a terrible finisher. Much in the way that Oney Lorcan/Tim Thatcher from this same day was exactly what I was expecting on paper, this was exactly what I was expecting out of BUSHI and YOSHI-HASHI.
Not the strongest offering from NJPW, but hey they can’t all be 7*.
NJPW Cup 2020 Sweet Sixteen – SANADA v. SHO
SHO! What a revelation he’s been over the past 18 months. Fresh off the match of the tournament and arguably the best pure wrestling match since COVID-19 started (vs. Shingo Tagaki in round 1) SHO delivered another great performance here vs the hit-and-miss SANADA. SANADA can be great, but he can also tend to fart his way through matches, similar to a Nakamura or a Randy Orton. We got a motivated SANADA here though, selling his ass off and keeping up with the young SHO. Good match, I’d watch it again.
NJPW Cup 2020 Sweet Sixteen – Kota Ibushi v. Taichi
Best match of Taichi’s career? There was a ton of interference, skullduggery and bullshittitude, but it all worked for this match on this day. Taichi isn’t exactly Kurt Angle in there. He’s going to need some bells and whistles to reach a main-event level of performance. A prime example of a good “smoke and mirrors” match, and a prime example of how to get the most out of a somewhat-limited wrestler like Taichi. I’m now excited for an IWGP Tag Title match (looking like Taichi and ZSJ vs Ibushi and Tanahashi). What a world to live in.
I’m actually pretty shocked that Ibushi hasn’t gotten a run with the IWGP title yet. I guess the timing hasn’t quite lined up for him, but I think Ibushi is ready for any and everything NJPW could possibly throw at him.
NJPW Cup 2020 Sweet Sixteen – EVIL v. Hirooki Goto
Your classic MEAN GUY MATCH. Goto and EVIL are as safe and reliable a 3*+ as you can get in wrestling. These two rarely have bad nights, and never against each other.
I thought the chair into the post spot was probably the weakest it’s ever looked, but ehhh what can you do. Personally wouldn’t mind seeing EVIL either retire that move altogether, or only bust it out in huge matches.
Good, hard hitting, no bullshit rasslin and a worthy main event to a low-level NJPW show.