The 2023 New Japan Cup tournament began tonight at the iconic Korakuen Hall featuring two tournament matches: El Phantasmo versus Tetsuya Naito and Taichi versus Sanada.
At the start of their contest, Naito mocked ELP dodging lock-ups and clapping, chanting ELP’s name along with the crowd. Naito wants to do the LIJ fist bump with ELP. ELP raises his hand for a Bullet Club too-sweet gesture. Naito kicks ELP in the stomach. ELP rolls to the floor. Naito feigns leaping out of the ring at ELP. Instead, he rolls around on the mat gyrating like ELP does. ELP has had enough of Naito’s shenanigans. He jumps on Naito punching him in the head. ELP clotheslines Naito to the floor where he chops him across the chest three times and DDTs him on the floor.
ELP makes his way through the crowd to a raised part of Korakuen Hall. He leaps off of it onto Naito. They both go down in a heap. The crowd starts enthusiastically cheering for ELP.
ELP moonsaults Naito on the floor from the top rope. In a funny moment, ELP gets a “too sweet” from a young Naito fan.
ELP hits Thunder Kiss ’86 but Naito kicks out. A frustrated Naito tries for CR2. ELP lifts Naito up. Naito gets loose and DDTs ELP and gets a two count with a Destino. ELP doesn’t get the power on a Sudden Death kick as he would have liked. His CR2 is turned into a roll-up. Naito gets the pin…with a handful of tights.
In their bout, Taichi exposed the arena floor and DDTed Sanada on that floor. The match was incredibly close but a determined Sanada drops Taichi with Black Mephisto and pins him with a new move. It is some sort of reverse, hammerlock DDT.
Sanada now moves on to fight Kenta in Round Two.
Tetsuya Naito will battle Chase Owens.
New Japan Cup 2023 Night One Results
TMDK (Kosei Fujita and Zack Sabre Jr.) versus Ryohei Oiwa and Tama Tonga
Tonga and Sabre start the match out hot. They have a really good back and forth. Fujita makes Iowa submit to a nasty double wrist lock submission hold.
Winners: TMDK (Kosei Fujita and Zack Sabre Jr.)
House of Torture (Dick Togo, Sho, Yujiro Takahashi and EVIL) versus Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Ren Narita and Shota Uno
House of Torture attacks before the bell can ring. Wato fights off The House of Torture all on his own including powering out of Togo and his garrote. Wato makes Tog submit to Vendaval. At the end of the match, Taguchi stands on Sho’s hands and won’t let him go or leave. Ren Narita shares some unkind words with Evil and then decks him, throws Evil into a ringside barricade.
Winners: Master Wato, Ryusuke Taguchi, Ren Narita and Shota Uno
Bullet Club (Gedo, Chase Owens and Kenta) versus Yuto Nakajima, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki
Owens pins Yuto with a C-Trigger and a Package Piledriver. Suzuki and Kenta continue jousting on the floor after the bell.
Winners: Bullet Club (Gedo, Chase Owens and Kenta)
Lio Rush, Yoh, Toru Yano versus Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi and Shingo Takagi)
Bushi leaps over the top rope splashing both Rush and Yoh on the floor and knocking them back into the security fence. Bushi kicks Yano in the face so that Shingo can use a backslide on Yano to pin him. Shingo points to his head.
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi and Shingo Takagi)
Chaos (Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto) versus Tomoaki Honma, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada
It looks like The Ace is going to be Brainbustered by Ishii. Okada runs interference and helps The Ace double suplex Ishii. Ishii though pins Honma with a Brainbuster.
Winners: Chaos (Yoshi-Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto)
Tetsuya Naito versus El Phantasmo – New Japan Cup Tournament Match
Winner: Tetsuya Naito
Taichi versus Sanada – New Japan Cup Tournament Match