Today, New Japan Pro-Wrestling will hold the eighth 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 the two semifinal matches.
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 8 Results
Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Taichi) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd
As expected, the main theme of the match was continuing the heated rivalries forged during the New Japan Cup, namely Minoru Suzuki with Yuji Nagata and the Golden Aces against Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi. I wouldn’t be surprised if both of said rivalries culminate at Dominion. In addition, Gabriel Kidd’s gumption was on display, as he stepped right up to Minoru Suzuki, only for Suzuki to eat his elbow strikes and drop him with one slap. In the end, El Desperado finished Kidd off with a punch to the face and the Pinche Loco. The fighting continued after the match, and the Dangerous Tekkers threw the IWGP Tag Team Championships at Tanahashi and Ibushi as Zack exclaimed “We’ll make those belts worth something!” Ibushi chased them backstage in a fit of rage.
CHAOS (SHO, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI)
If there had to be one wrestler who was the focus of this match, it was undoubtedly SHO. He came out like a house of fire against every member of LIJ to prove what he had to offer. When Shingo Takagi and SHO fought last year, it seemed like SHO was always on the back foot, that Shingo was never in danger of losing. After beating Shingo in the first round of the tournament and his performance in this match, he now feels like Takagi’s equal and I can think of no greater praise than that. SHO pinned BUSHI with the Shock Arrow. Afterwards, Shingo brandished his two championships at SHO, asking which one he wanted. SHO pulled the NEVER Openweight Championship, making his intentions clear. Shingo attempted to hit SHO with said Championship, but SHO dodged it and hit an impactful spear to state his case. Expect that match to take place at Dominion as well.
Prior to the cleaning and disinfection intermission, a new vignette played involving the new wrestler coming to NJPW who has been referred to as “The Grandmaster.” It revealed that this was Hirai Kawato, who was returning from his learning excursion in Mexico. His gimmick appears to be something of a martial artist, and his new name is “Master Wato.” Personally, I think it looks too goofy and it’s hard to take seriously. It turned out that he was in the building and made his entrance to speak a few words in the ring. As he posed, DOUKI came out of nowhere and attacked him, and Wato needed to be helped to the back after the assault. Perhaps DOUKI will be Master Wato’s first obstacle to overcome.
Semifinal Match: EVIL def. SANADA (20:13)
The match began at a tempered pace, as the teammates gingerly approached each other. Their level of trust has been a recurring theme in their matches together, and EVIL has won his matches so far in the tournament in less than sportsmanlike ways. The question was whether or not EVIL would fight fairly and honorably in this match. As you would guess from his name, of course not. SANADA offered a handshake and EVIL accepted it only to go for his EVIL finish right away, but SANADA had it scouted. As the match progressed, EVIL seemed to have the advantage most of the way through. Shortly after the ten minute mark, he hit the Darkness Falls for a near fall. Not out yet, SANADA wrenched on the Skull End, but EVIL flipped backwards over him to get out of the hold and then floored him with an evil lariat. SANADA fired back up with a cutter from the top rope, but appeared to land on his own head and it looked bad. As EVIL looked to capitalize on the mistake, SANADA rolled him into the Skull End again, but stood up to go for a top rope moonsault but EVIL blocked it with his knees. EVIL pushed SANADA into the referee and hit a low blow, then hit him in the face with a steel chair. With the referee still down, EVIL stomped on SANADA’s groin. He then pushed the referee into the ring, hit the EVIL and won. EVIL advances to the New Japan Cup Final.
Semifinal Match: Kazuchika Okada def. Hiromu Takahashi (27:00)
Hiromu looked excited to wrestle against Okada, while Okada didn’t have any particular expression about him. Hiromu took control of the early going, hitting Okada with rapid and high-powered offense and using his speed advantage on the former IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Okada had 20 kilograms on Hiromu but that extra weight was costing him. Okada hitting a flapjack and a shotgun dropkick to even out the momentum of the match. Okada continued with a top rope dropkick, sending Hiromu flying across the ring, and now seemed firmly in control. Okada went to the top rope, but Hiromu dropkicked off of it, and then sunset flip powerbombed Okada to the floor. He followed up with the Dynamite Plunger, but Okada managed a standing dropkick to end his momentum. Okada hit the Tombstone piledriver and the Cobra clutch, but Hiromu struggled to his feet, picked Okada up, and gave him a death valley bomb in the corner turnbuckle pad. Hiromu hit Okada with a rainmaker of his own and the Time Bomb, but Okada kicked out just before the three count. Hiromu went for the Time Bomb II, but Okada wiggled out of it and hit a spinning Tombstone piledriver and a discus Rainmaker. Finally, he hit a wrist-clutch Rainmaker and applied the Cobra clutch again. Hiromu was unresponsive, and the referee called the match for Okada. Kazuchika Okada advances to face EVIL in the New Japan Cup Final.