New Japan Cup night 9 (March 17) Preview

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First quarterfinals in Korakuen

Korakuen Hall sees the quarterfinals of New Japan Cup get underway. The first two into the final four get determined tonight with a packed Korakuen looking to see good triumph over EVIL, and an all LIJ main event.

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Main event: Tetsuya Naito vs SANADA

Singles record:1-1

An all Los Ingobernables De Japon affair will see Tetsuya Naito face SANADA in the main event. While there are no easy matches in the New Japan Cup, Naito has had a difficult run into the quarterfinal stage. Against both El Phantasmo and Chase Owens, flash pins against the run of the match were what saw him through. SANADA too has seen a rough physical path to the elite eight, with Taichi bringing a hard hitting fire from Cold Skull, and KENTA breaking as many rules as he could, as well as a steel chair over SANADA’s head before being caught with his new modified DDT finisher.

With the two men tied at one and one in singles matches then, it is perhaps that unexpected, a new finish that Naito has yet to encounter first hand, a flash pin that can catch SANADA napping, that may turn the tide in this match, and create a path for one of these teammates into the final four. An unpredictable collision, this is a main event not to be missed.

6th Match: EVIL vs Mark Davis

For only the second time since the New Japan Cup’s inception in 2005, an injury to a prior round’s winner has seen a second chance for another competitor. In this case, it’s Ospreay’s United Empire teammate Mark Davis who benefits from his shoulder injury. After coming just short to the Briton in a thriller in Ehime earlier this week, Dunkzilla will be taking the responsibility of being in the substitute position very seriously, and will be taking the motivation of defeating EVIL to make the final four to heart as well.

EVIL’s ascension into the quarterfinal stage has seen he and HOUSE OF TORTURE plumb even lower depths than ever before. A raft of cheating tactics would put paid to Ren Narita in the first round, while Jeff Cobb was only outdone with the entire H.O.T team, and a set of handcuffs that stopped United Empire from supporting the Imperial Unit. Now Davis has a thirst to avenge both Will Ospreay’s tournament hopes, and Jeff Cobb’s tainted defeat. But will it be EVIL uncorking all of the most despicable stops in order to reach semifinal Sunday?

5th Match: Shota Umino, Ren Narita, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki vs BULLET CLUB (David Finlay, Chase Owens, El Phantasmo & KENTA)

Saturday night, David Finlay and SHota Umino will collide for a final four spot in the New Japan Cup. This preview bout will see Umino join Strong Style teammates Desperado, Narita and Suzuki, but they will have their own separate agendas heading into this bout; Suzuki especially. The King has put STRONG Openweight Champion KENTA on notice since the start of this tour, and could everything come to a head tonight in Korakuen?

4th Match: CHAOS (Lio Rush, YOH & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi)

Trios action sees Lio Rush and Hiromu Takahashi continue their path toward Nagaoka Tuesday and IWGP Junior title action. With Rush having the upper hand for the builk of this tour, what answers does Hiromu have tonight?

3rd Match: Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tama Tonga vs CHAOS (Toru Yano, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI)

Another quarter final preview for Saturday in Hamamatsu sees Tama Tonga and Hirooki Goto collide. An intriguing lineup sees a Hontai side compried of three of the most successful tag team wrestlers in NJPW history against the current IWGP Tag Team Champions along with Toru Yano in the other corner, but it’s singles glory that Tama and Goto have in mind.

2nd Match: Oskar Leube, Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb, Aaron Henare, Kyle Fletcher & Great-O-Khan)

As Mark Davis faces EVIL in the semi main event tonight, the United Empire members will be in force to ensure HOUSE OF TORTURE can’t pull the same tricks they used to let EVIL advance past Jeff Cobb earlier this week. In the meantime though, Hontai competition should give pkenty of opportunity to warm up.

1st Match: TMDK (Zack Sabre Jr. & Kosei Fujita) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (SHO & Yujiro Takahashi)

Conversely our opening bout sees Yujiro Takahashi and SHO as ominous foreshadowing of their presence in Korakuen Hall and assured involvement in our semi main event. Korakuen Hall will be willing Zack Sabre Jr. and Kosei Fujita to incapacitate their HOUSE OF TORTURE foes effectively enough that this won’t happen.


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