New Japan CUPdate: March 17

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Davis, SANADA make final four

New Japan Cup action continued in Korakuen on March 17, as the Hall saw Mark Davis face EVIL and SANADA taking on Tetsuya Naito.

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The lines were drawn early for EVIL and Davis as both men were accompanied to the ring by their faction mates. At EVIL’s on mic provocation, a Davis tope suicida was the opening salvo in a pitched battle, and one that saw the referee eventually eject all seconds. Yet as the melee was ensuing, EVIL was taking control of Davis, and with heavy steel chair and guardrail shots, did his damage on the Australian.

Davis began to battle back, and landed a senton that crushed EVIL for two, but as the fight again spilled outside the ring, David took a spill over the TV announce position. Back inside, Davis tasted an EVIL lariat, but fired back with a Brisbane Bomber; as Dunkzilla built momentum it was only a matter of time before the referee went down and HOUSE OF TORTURE re-emerged.

Tonight though, H.O.T would be denied. As a Will Ospreay, arm in a sling, directed the troops, Jeff Cobb, Kyle Fletcher, Aaron Henare and Great-O-Khan hit the ring. O-Khan handcuffed himself to Dick Togo, as Yujiro fell to Streets of Rage, and SHO ate Corealis courtesy of Aussie Open. A Tour of the Islands for EVIL, and then the Water Slide scored for an incredible victory.The main event of the evening saw LIJ faction mates SANADA and Tetsuya Naito collide. A fist bump of mutual respect would start the bout which began with even mat work, but as the pace quickened, SANADA missed a plancha, and Naito would strike hard with a basement dropkick before taking brutal advantage on the floor.Showing no intention of holding back on his teammate, Naito would home in on the neck in signature style. An added boot to the spine and spit to a downed SANADA emphasized Naito’s pre match comments of planning to win at all costs; as the match passed ten and then 15 minutes, Naito was in comfortable control, and shit down SANADA’s flurries of a suplex and springboard dropkick.

When SANADA did catch a break with a plancha to the outside, he elected to bring Naito back inside rather than pursue a dirtier fight. It seemed a fatal, unforced error, a neckbreaker soon coming from El Ingobernable, who closed on victory and landed Esperanza and a brutal tornado DDT.

Yet SANADA found his openings inside and used them well. A Magic Screw, and a pop up cutter landed; though a moonsault would only find the knees of Naito, Cold Skull would deny Valentia, and kick out of the increasingly frantic El Ingobernable’s attempts at flash pin victory.

After a roll of the foot and crushing enzuigiri, Naito rang up the arm of SANADA and looked for Destino. Quick instincts would kick in however, and a counter to SANADA’s new modified DDT finisher would see him to victory. As Naito was left reeling from a sudden end to the match, SANADA had more surprises in mind, as he announced his intention to leave Los Ingobernables De Japon and join with Just 4 (now Five) Guys.


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