Today, NJPW will hold the ninth and final day of the 2020 New Japan Cup. It is a 32-man single elimination tournament. The winner will challenge Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships at NJPW Dominion on July 12. Today’s card will hold the final match to determine tomorrow’s main event challenger at Dominion!
Watch exclusively on NJPW World with Japanese commentary.
English commentary will be recorded and uploaded to NJPW World this week.
Note: This event will have a reduced attendance capacity to comply with social distancing regulations.
New Japan Cup 2020 Day 9 Results
Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) def. Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura (9:15)
Everyone in this match wrestled with a level of enthusiasm befitting the first NJPW match with a paying crowd in over four months. Also, there was a mystifying new element to this match: the fact that the crowds were told by NJPW not to cheer loudly. Instead, it was just a sea of applause for every cool move and every time the young lions made a comeback. The happiness was palpable. Togi Makabe finished off Yota Tsuji with a bridging German suplex.
TenKoji (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) def. Hirooki Goto & Gabriel Kidd (9:57)
The euphoria of the return of the audience was still affecting me during this match, and it must have been affecting Gabriel Kidd too because he was a house of fire in this match. Even after the crowd successfully stifled the instinct to chant Kojima’s “Icchauzo bakayaro” catchphrase, Kidd lifting Kojima up for a vertical sequence got the biggest vocal reaction so far, prompting gasps from the crowd. Katsuyori Shibata must be a great trainer. Satoshi Kojima put Gabriel Kidd down for the three count with a lariat.
Master Wato def. DOUKI (7:46)
I’m not sure that Master Wato came out like a house of fire, leveling DOUKI with high kicks and a spinning uppercut. When DOUKI took control of the match, it was mostly with repeated eye-rakes and hitting Wato with his pipe. I’m still not sure about Wato. His strikes are very good and fit his persona well, and he certainly looks better than he did in the video package hyping him up over the last month, but it still feels out of place. Master Wato pinned DOUKI with a top rope corkscrew somersault senton.
Following the end of the match, as Wato celebrated, Yoshinobu Kanemaru came out and attacked him. Hiroyoshi Tenzan came out to pull Kanemaru off Wato and the two of them shook hands.
Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & BUSHI) (9:20)
It seemed like Los Ingobernables de Japon especially relished the return of live audiences. The crowd roared (with applause) when SANADA applied the Paradise Lock on Taiji Ishimori, and BUSHI was over as well. There was a single person booing when Ishimori tried to rip off BUSHI’s mask, which may have been unintentional comedy. Yujiro Takahashi pinned BUSHI with the Pimp Juice DDT.
Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi (12:43)
Hiroshi Tanahashi experienced the highest of highs and the lowest of lows in this match. He soaked in the crowd’s applause like no one else, then ten minutes later he was having his knees twisted, pummeled, pulverized, and punished by everyone in Suzuki-gun. This damage may make the difference in the outcome of Tanahashi and Ibushi’s first defense of the IWGP Tag Team Championships against Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi tomorrow. Ibushi and Zack Sabre Jr. exchanged incredibly quick blows and transitions, Nagata threw some lovely suplexes, and Taguchi’s shtick is much more enjoyable with a crowd, even if all they do is clap. El Desperado pushed Taguchi into the referee, then hit him with a straight punch and the Pinche Loco for the pinfall victory.
Golden Ace and Dangerous Tekkers came to blows after the match, but for once in this whole rivalry it was Tanahashi and Ibushi who held the IWGP Tag Team Championships high in the end.
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi) def. CHAOS (SHO, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano) (15:00)
This was a wild trios match featuring five great athletes, and one generational athlete in Toru Yano. But seriously, between SHO and Shingo coming to violent blows as they usually do, Hiromu Takahashi and Tomohiro Ishii in a battle of speed versus hardness, and Toru Yano being surprisingly formidable and only going down after being triple-teamed by all three members of LIJ, and getting several dramatic near-falls on the dual IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion, this match was action-packed. Tetsuya Naito pinned Toru Yano with a jackknife pin for the victory.
After the match, the three members of Los Ingobernables de Japon posed in the ring, with five Championship belts between the three of them.
New Japan Cup 2020 Final: EVIL def. Kazuchika Okada (31:50)
EVIL has really been living up to his name this tournament. Every match he’s won to make it to this point has occurred in a dastardly fashion, with groin stomps and chair shots as far as the eye can see. He went to finish the match early, going for his namesake finisher within two minutes of the opening bell, but to no avail. Even though the crowd was instructed not to cheer vocally, you could hear people calling out EVIL and Okada’s name from time to time. EVIL’s game plan, at first, was to work Okada’s arm to weaken both the Rainmaker, which Okada has yet to actually win a match with in the tournament, and the cobra clutch, which he has been finishing all his matches with. Okada hit a flapjack and a short-range dropkick to slow EVIL’s roll and applied the cobra clutch, but EVIL made it to the ropes to break the hold. Okada tried to capitalize, but EVIL pushed him into the referee and delivered a low blow to Okada. With both Okada and the referee down, EVIL threw no fewer than four chairs into the ring, and Okada with Darkness Falls into the pile of chairs. Okada had enough energy to hit a reverse neckbreaker, but fell to the mat. EVIL hit a nasty rolling elbow and went to run the ropes, but Okada hit a standing dropkick and reapplied the cobra clutch, but EVIL raked his eyes to stop it. Okada applied the cobra clutch once more, but stopped it to hit a short-range Rainmaker. As Okada went to follow up, Gedo came out and distracted the referee, then Yujiro Takahashi attacked Okada while the referee wasn’t looking. Okada caught EVIL in the cobra clutch yet again, but EVIL broke it with a mule kick and then stomped the laying Okada right in the groin. Finally, EVIL hit the EVIL on Okada for the three count.
EVIL wins the New Japan Cup 2020. He will challenge Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships tomorrow at Dominion!
After the match, Tetsuya Naito showed up to congratulate EVIL on his victory. He said that he enjoyed the new EVIL he’s been seeing lately, and that he was looking forward to their match tomorrow. He offered a fist bump to EVIL, but EVIL met it with a Too Sweet, and he hit the EVIL on Naito. Every Bullet Club member in Japan showed up to applaud him, and he left with then. EVIL is Bullet Club.