Chaos’ Kazuchika Okada and Los Ingobernables de Japón’s Evil will face-off to determine the winner of the 2020 NJPW Cup on July 11th.
In two Match of the Year candidates, Okada pinned IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi to move onto the finals of the tournament and Evil beat his own tag-team partner Sanada to claim his spot.
Either Okada or Evil will challenge Los Ingobernables de Japón leader Tetsuya Naito for both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships on July 12th.
During the show, another Way to the Grandmaster promo aired this time with a little more explanation introducing Master Wato. Wato is former Young Lion Hirai Kawato who has been on excursion to NJPW’s Mexican partner CMLL under the name Kawato-San.
Right after the promo aired Master Wato came to the ring. He vowed to climb to the top of NJPW. Out of nowhere, Suzuki-gun’s Douki attacked Wato with his steel pipe, ripped his jacket off and beat him some more.
Gabriel Kidd, Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi and Hiroshi Tanahashi versus Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi)
Suzuki-gun is up to their old tricks right away with The World’s Most Electrifying Wrestler (Zack Sabre Jr.) grabbing Tanahashi from the apron. Ibushi comes to Tanahashi’s rescue. Suzuki and Nagata continue what has been a great feud so far as they brawl on the floor once again and Tanahashi’s knee is worked over in the ring. When things settle down it is the Young Lion Gabriel Kidd who gets pinned as per usual in these matches. Desperado gets the 1-2-3 on Kidd with Pinche Loco.
In post-match action, The World’s Most Electrifying Wrestler and Kota Ibushi get into it as Tanahashi and Taichi have words. Taichi throws Tanahashi into the steel guard-rail.
Tanahashi gets back in the ring challenging Taichi.
Winners: Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi).
Match Rating: 3 / 5
Chaos (Sho, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto) versus Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito)
Sho and Takagi continue their rivalry, strength against strength. Takagi and Ishii have a test of strength too, wailing on each other in the middle of the ring until Takagi gets some help from his Los Ingobernables de Japón teammates. Takagi throws Sho into the steel barricade and DDTs him on the floor.
Right in front of the official, Bushi chokes out Ishii with his shirt. Everyone on Los Ingobernables de Japón takes their turning pummeling Sho. Sho battles back pinning Bushi with Shock Arrow.
Takagi and Sho trash talk after the match with Takagi asking Sho which belt he would like to challenge him for. Sho grabs the NEVER Openweight Championship. They have a tug of war over the strap. Takagi swings at Sho with the belt. Sho ducks. Sho spears Takagi leaving him in a heap on the canvass. Sho poses with the belt over Takagi.
Winners: Chaos (Sho, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto)
Match Rating: 3 / 5
Evil versus Sanada – NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 SEMI FINAL
Sanada offered his hand to his tag team partner and Los Ingobernables de Japón stablemate Evil before the bell rang. Evil shook his hand almost suckering Sanada in showing that he would do anything to win this match despite the fact that they are friends.
Evil took a walk outside the ring. Sanada held the ropes open for him. Evil clotheslines Sanada over the top rope to the floor. Sanada was thrown into the steel barricade twice by Evil. Evil snatched a steel chair from under the ring, wrapped it around Sanada’s neck, smashing him chair and all into a steel post.
Sanada and Evil continually fight out of each other’s finishing or signature moves as they know each other so well as tag-team partners.
Evil escapes Skull End putting up his knees to also thwart Sanada’s moonsault off the top rope. A coughing and sputtering Evil cannot capitalize though.
Sanada crashes into the official twice knocking him out of the ring. Evil punches Sanada in the “lower abdomen” as the referee lies on the arena floor. Evil slides two steel chairs into the ring. He puts one around Sanada’s head and hits a solo ConChairTo. Evil stomps Sanada’s “family jewels”, rolls the official into the ring pinning Sanada with Everything is Evil.
Evil stands over his fallen partner then just leaves the ring without looking back. Talk about cold. One wonders if NJPW will be turning Sanada into a face soon. It certainly looked like that could be in the cards.
Match Rating: 4 /5
Kazuchika Okada versus Hiromu Takahashi – NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 SEMI FINAL
As Okada approaches the ring, Hiromu does not back down. The bell rings and Hiromu calls out Okada’s name before circling around him. A hurricanrana has Okada flat on his back on the mat. Hiromu takes a powder. Okada gives him a spinning neckbreaker on the arena floor. Hiromu is in bad shape. A slingshot senton and another neckbreaker has him covering up on the mat. A shotgun drop kick gives him some breathing room though. Okada flies through the ropes onto the floor. A running shotgun drop kick off the apron sends Okada right through the door of a ringside barricade.
Okada pancakes Hiromu, splashing him in a corner and DDTing him for only a one count. Hiromu slings Okada over with a German Suplex. Both men lay on the mat shaking away the cob webs. Back on their feet, a slugfest begins.
Okada drop kicks Hiromu off the top rope. Hiromu lands hard on the floor. Okada follows a whip into a barricade with a running kick knocking Hiromu over the railing. Okada DDTs Hiromu off the barricade. Okada flies almost the entire length of the ring with a shotgun drop kick. Hiromu has to crawl back to his feet countering with a shotgun drop kick of his own and a running clothesline. Another shotgun drop kick knocks Okada off the top rope to the floor. Hiromu hits a sunset flip powerbomb off the ring apron on Okada.
Okaka turns a Time Bomb into a Tombstone Piledriver. Hiromu is whiplashed by three Rainmaker Clotheslines and finally falls unconscious to Okaka’s Cobra Clutch.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
Match Rating: 4.5 / 5
A classic example of less being more, quality over quantity. With two potential Match of the Year candidates you cannot ask much more from NJPW.