The New Japan Cup quarter-finals kicked off today with the first two bouts closing the show. Mark Davis, who Will Ospreay hand-picked to replace him in the tournament, was up against Evil and in a battle of LIJ Tetsuya Naito faced Sanada.

Evil started taunting Davis before the match by calling him a loser outside the ring, so Davis dove hitting him with a suicide dive. He followed that by hanging on the ring apron and hitting him with a big knee. Dick Togo got involved by tripping Davis, so there was a brawl outside the ring between the United Empire and the House of Torture.

While the referee dealt with the brawl, Evil started beating Davis with a chair and brought him into the crowd to throw him into a steel wall. Evil was looking for a count-out victory, but Davis made it to the ring just to be thrown into the exposed turnbuckle. Evil was focused on punishing Davis and he started kicking him in the head, which fired Davis up.

Davis hit Evil with a number of forearms before taking him down with a chop, he then slammed Evil and hit a jumping senton. Evil then lured Davis back outside the ring, to throw him into two guardrails and then into the English announce table. Evil locked Davis into a sharpshooter, focusing heavily on Davis’ lower back.

Davis got back into it with two vicious lariats, an enzigiri and then a sliding forearm. Evil then faked an injury and took out the referee, he then low-blowed Davis and back out came the House of Torture. It was a big attack on Davis, and then Will Ospreay emerged from the back in a sling and he was leading the rest of the United Empire to take on the House of Torture.

Mark Davis after his victory. Credit: NJPW

The United Empire wiped everyone out, Fletcher and Davis hit Sho with Corialis and then Jeff Cobb hit Evil with Tour of the Islands. Davis then finished it all off by hitting Evil with the spinning slam and he now advances to the semi-finals of the New Japan Cup!

It was now time for a battle of LIJ, both men showed respect before the match and then started some chain wrestling exchanging holds. This match started extremely slow and they were switching submissions back and forth for the first ten minutes. The match got going when Naito moved out of the way of a suicide dive and then baseball slid into Sanada, sending him to the barricade.

Naito then started throwing Sanada into the barricades and then back in the ring he locked Sanada into a cravat submission. Naito then hit his combination in the corner and then went right back to a submission hold. Sanada broke the hold, hit some forearms, a side suplex and then a beautiful dropkick sending Naito the outside.

Sanada then dove through the ropes with a suicide dive connecting perfectly with Naito and that got him a two-count. Back in the ring, Naito caught him with a neck breaker, a GTR and then a dropkick to the back of Sanada’s head. Sanada blocked a finish, hit a springboard missile dropkick and then a rope-hung twisting neck breaker.

Nobody could get the advantage, as Naito then instantly hit a tornado DDT on Sanada. Naito then leaped from the second rope with a flipping cutter dropping Sanada on his head again and he then wanted Destino. Sanada blocked Destino and then moonsaulted into Skull End, but Sanada released the hold and went for a moonsault. Naito got his knees up for the moonsault.

Both men then traded forearms, with Naito getting the advantage with about a dozen elbows to the neck and head of Sanada. As Naito ran at Sanada, he popped him up into a cutter, and he went for the moonsault again, but to no avail. Naito then connected an enzigiri and hit a Destino, but Sanada willed his way into kicking out at two!

Just 5 Guys addressing the crowd. Credit: NJPW

Sanada then blocked a second Destino and hit the twisting DDT to get the upset victory over his LIJ teammate. Sanada is off to the semi-finals to meet Mark Davis. After the match, Sanada announced his shocking departure from LIJ after seven years. He now joins Just 4 Guys, making them Just 5 Guys and he then told LIJ to get out of his ring.

New Japan Cup 2023 Night Nine Results

TMDK (Kosei Fujita & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. House of Torture (Sho & Yujiro Takahashi)

Takahashi hit Fujita with Pimp Juice to get the win.

Winners: House of Torture

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

Fletcher hit Leube with a running enzigiri and then a spinning tombstone piledriver for the victory.

Winners: United Empire

Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tama Tonga vs. Chaos (Toru Yano, Yoshi-Hashi & Hirooki Goto)

Yano used his usual cheating tactics to push the referee, low blow Tenzan and Kojima, and then rolled-up Tenzan for the pin.

Winners: Chaos

Chaos (Lio Rush, Yoh & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (Bushi, Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi)

This was a very fast-paced match with an anti-climactic finish, Rush blocked a dropkick from Bushi and rolled him up.

Winners: Chaos

Shota Umino, Ren Narita, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki vs. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Chase Owens, Kenta & David Finlay)

After a number of issues between ELP and Finlay throughout the match, Suzuki hit Kenta with the Gotch Style Piledriver for the upset win. After the match, Umino and Finlay were brawling outside of the ring ahead of their quarter-final match tomorrow.

Winners: Shota Umino, Ren Narita, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki

Mark Davis vs. Evil — New Japan Cup Quarterfinal

Winner: Mark Davis

Tetsuya Naito vs. Sanada — New Japan Cup Quarterfinal

Winner: Sanada