Second quarterfinal night in Shizuoka
March 18 will see the second night of quarterfinal action in the New Japan Cup. With only two nights left of the tour, the final four will be completed in Shizuoka.
Watch all of New Japan Cup LIVE in English on NJPW World
Main event: New Japan Cup Quarterfinal-Hirooki Goto vs Tama Tonga
Singles record: 7-0 Goto
Despite shining in the tag team ranks, Hirooki Goto has made it his mission to be at the forefront of singles competition one more time in 2023, and to win the New Japan Cup for the first time in eleven years. The Fierce Warrior has gotten off to a strong start in that endeavour, having overcome an incredibly tough Kyle Fletcher in the round of 16, and now faces a man with whom he has a phenomenal 7-0 record against in Tama Tonga.
For NEVER Openweight Champion Tonga, a win against Hirooki Goto is something that has always proved elusive. Their compatible in ring styles that combine speed and power, Tonga and Goto have always provided intense affairs, and tonight, the stakes of reaching the final four will see both double motivates. Having defeated Aaron Henare in the round of 16, will Tonga turn away another potential NEVER contender, or will it be Goto in the final four?
6th Match: New Japan Cup Quarterfinal- David Finlay vs Shota Umino
Shota Umino and David Finlay rounds out the quarterfinal brackets. For both participants, Okayama was a key proving ground, with crucial wins for each this week. Finlay’s commanding victory over Great-O-Khan showed that the Rebel was willing to fight tough and fight dirty; despite a lack of respect shown to his ancestors, the fighting Finlay legacy style proved to be effective indeed. Meanwhile Umino’s near 30 minute intense struggle with Zack Sabre Jr. saw him tap into a fire unseen since his return from excursion, and the Roughneck earned the biggest win of his post excursion career.
While vastly different in character and thought process, there is much in common for Finlay and Umino. Both men are intent on changing the pecking order in NJPW and neither will give up on their pursuit. Their approach in ring could not be more oil and water separate and that will make this clash of wills all the more exciting to watch.
5th Match: CHAOS (Lio Rush, Toru Yano, YOH & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi)
Opponents in Korakuen are partners in Hamamatsu as Tetsuya Naito and SANADA team up to form an LIJ quartet after their quarter final bout on Friday. Opposite them are a CHAOS team fronted by Lio Rush. Just two more events remain in the long pre title match campaign for Rush and Hiromu Takahashi, and time is running out to make a definitive mark and gain a pre big match advantage.
4th Match: United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan & Mark Davis) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo)
Ill feelings are sure to be in full effect one way or the other tonight after Mark Davis and EVIL collide in the New Japan Cup Quarterfinal. Tonight, a chance for revenge on both sides as Semifinal Sunday looms.
3rd Match: Strong Style (Ren Narita, Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado) vs BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, Chase Owens & KENTA)
NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag team Champions Strong Style are in non title action when they face KENTA, Chase Owens and El Phantasmo. KENRTA and Suzuki are destined to meet over the STRONG Openweight title sooner or later if the King gets his wish, but there might be trios gold on the mind of this BULLET CLUB three man team if they get the win here tonight.
2nd Match: YOSHI-HASHI & Tomoaki Honma vs United Empire (Kyle Fletcher & Aaron Henare)
After they met in the first round of the New Japan Cup, YOSHI-HASHI gets a tag team rematch opposite Kyle Fletcher in our second bout of the evening. Fletcher would much rather have Hirooki Goto on YOSHI-HASHI’s side, and a tag team title shot against Bishamon, but with Goto otherwise occupied tonight, the Aussie Arrow will bide his time and look to solidify he and Mark Davis’ claim instead.
1st Match: Oskar Leube & Ryohei Oiwa vs TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita)
Tag team action will kick us off this evening as Young Lions Oiwa and Leube meet Zack Sabre Jr. and Kosei Fujita. After a stunning match in Okayama, ZSJ’s New Japan Cup campaign is over at the hands of Shota Umino. Now he will look to build back, and continue to elevate the future of TMDK in Kosei Fujita, whose in ring apprenticeship continues.
Originally posted at Read More