Today, New Japan Pro-Wrestling will hold the third day of the 2020 New Japan Cup. The New Japan Cup is NJPW’s annual 32-man single elimination tournament, usually scheduled for the Spring. 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 four of the sixteen matches in the first round.
Watch exclusively on NJPW World with Japanese commentary.
English commentary will be recorded and uploaded to NJPW World this week.
Note: This event was held in an empty arena.
New Japan Cup 2020 Day 3 Results
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI) def. Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji, Yuya Uemura & Gabriel Kidd (10:33)
After the first three days of NJPW action taking place in a nondescript television studio, New Japan is back in Korakuen Hall, which has a decidedly better atmosphere even without a crowd. Minoru Suzuki went on a rampage against Uemura and Nagata, thanks to the latter eliminating him from the New Japan Cup in the first round last week. El Desperado landed a slap on Yota Tsuji that echoed throughout the hall, then hit the Pinche Loco for the pinfall victory. Only Nagata and Kanemaru are still in tournament contention. Respectively, they will face off against Kazuchika Okada and Taiji Ishimori in the second round two days from now.
New Japan Cup First Round Match: SANADA def. Ryusuke Taguchi (15:47)
SANADA didn’t enter wearing his pirate, which I feel means he should be blackballed from the sport for not taking Taguchi seriously. Taguchi caught SANADA’s leg and placed him in the Paradise Lock. SANADA lackadaisically removed himself from Taguchi’s improperly applied hold and put Taguchi in the Paradise Lock. SANADA elected to attack Taguchi’s tailbone through repeated atomic drops. SANADA attempted the Skull End, but Taguchi got out of it and applied the Oh My and Garankle. SANADA was able to roll out of it and apply the Skull End with a giant swing. Taguchi attempted to fight back with a hip attack, but SANADA did one more atomic drop and then pinned Taguchi with an O’Connor roll to advance to the second round.
New Japan Cup First Round Match: SHO def. Shingo Takagi (17:06)
Determined to prove himself after his loss in last year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament, SHO immediately blasted Shingo with a brutal lariat. Shingo had a guard of some sort on his right hand, which SHO noticed and immediately went to work attacking Shingo’s right arm to try and nullify the Pumping Bomber. A left arm lariat from Shingo showed that this strategy could only ever be so effective. Shingo lifted SHO to the top rope but SHO blocked his move with a headbutt, then sunset flipped over him and hit the Powerbreaker. SHO hit a very delayed bridging German suplex for a two count. SHO set up the Shock Arrow but Shingo blocked it. An incredibly loud slap and Made in Japan from Shingo landed a near fall, then a Pumping Bomber resulted in yet another. Shingo went for the Last of the Dragon, but SHO got out of it and hit a cross-arm piledriver, followed by the Shock Arrow to score the upset. SHO will face SANADA in the second round.
New Japan Cup First Round Match: Kota Ibushi def. Zack Sabre Jr. (15:15)
The match began with fast-paced mat wrestling until Ibushi lost his patience and started kicking Zack in his spindly legs. Zack responded by trying to apply holds to Ibushi’s legs, but Ibushi responded by throwing heavy forearms and Zack crumbled under their force. In a classic brains versus brawn battle, Zack continued to grind down Ibushi’s limbs while Ibushi just tried to apply as much blunt force trauma as possible. The attrition favored Zack the longer the match went, but out of nowhere, Ibushi hit a running knee strike and then hit the Kamigoye for the pinfall victory.
New Japan Cup First Round Match: Taichi def. Hiroshi Tanahashi (21:51)
Tanahashi entered wearing an all silver ring attire with massive shoulder spikes, reminiscent of a Road Warrior. As Tanahashi posed on the turnbuckle to the crowd that didn’t exist, Taichi got under him and powerbombed him, then delivered a Buzzsaw Kick as Tanahashi writhed in pain. DOUKI was also present, as he attacked Tanahashi with his bent pipe when he rolled out of the ring. Tanahashi finally began fighting back as Yota Tsuji pounded the mat for his hero to get up. As Tanahashi rebounded off the ropes to hit the Sling Blade, Taichi attempted a big boot but Tanahashi caught his leg and hit a dragonscrew. Tanahashi fought back but Taichi landed repeated kicks to Tanahashi’s abdomen and then planted him on his head with a backdrop driver. Taichi went for another backdrop but Tanahashi reversed it into the Sling Blade. Tanahashi hit the Sling Blade for a two count, then the High Fly Flow on a standing Taichi. He went for another High Fly Flow, but DOUKI tried to interfere only for Tanahashi to slap him away. Taichi used the distraction to hit a low blow into the Gedo Clutch, but Tanahashi kicked out at two. Taichi an Axe Bomber and an elevated powerbomb for another two count. Finally, Taichi removed his pants, hit a superkick, and put Tanahashi away with the Black Mephisto. He will face Kota Ibushi in the second round.
Taichi and DOUKI continued to attack Tanahashi after the match ended. Kota Ibushi came to Tanahashi’s rescue, and he and Taichi stood each other down in the ring, before DOUKI and Taichi teamed up on Ibushi also. Taichi hit Tanahashi with one of the IWGP Tag Team Championship belts, then posed on top of both members of Golden Ace. Taichi said on the microphone that both the IWGP Tag Team Championships and the New Japan Cup would be his.