New Japan Pro Wrestling
NEW JAPAN CUP 2019
Day 9 – aired 3/20/19
Twin Messe Shizouka
Kevin Kelly and EXACLIBUR (Awesome.) on commentary.
YOSHI-HASHI vs TOMOHIRO ISHII
The bell rings and HASHI snags a headlock and hangs on through whip attempts. HASHI really digs in with the headlock. Ishii gets the whip and a tackle moves no one, Ishii throws shots, HASHI fires back, misses the corkscrew reverse kick but evades a sliding lariat and we get a standoff. They trade shots, another tackle moves no one but fires up, they trade tackles and Ishii puts down HASHI who comes right back firing until he gets dumped with a throw off the ropes. HARD chops by Ishii. HASHI with chops of his own which Ishii absorbs before dropping HASHI with one big chop.
Ishii kicks HASHI in the back to fire him up and looks for a suplex but HASHI blocks it, they jockey for the base advantage and HASHI finally gets Ishii up and over with a vertical. Shots by HASHI and a Headhunter puts Ishii down, and he then kicks Ishii and puts the pressure in with a bit of aggression and arrogance. Nice fire from HASHI. Corner shots by HASHI who drapes Ishii over the top rope and hits a running dropkick to the back and a cover for 2. HASHI smacks Ishii on the back of his head, and keeps paintbrushing Ishii, and Ishii is AWAKE.
HASHI throws elbows and Ishii is UN.PHASED. BIG elbow by Ishii but HASHI keeps coming and they trade a flurry back and forth. Pop for the exchange. Ishii gets the upper hand as HASHI is staggered but fires up again before Ishii drops him with a hard shot. Paintbrush kicks by Ishii to HASHI now, and Ishii lays in strikes in the corner. HASHI is crumbling and finally collapses in the corner as Ishii looks down at him. Headbutts by Ishii who then rips off the training tape from HASHI’s injured shoulder and smacks him, and HASHI starts waking up and SPITS IN ISHII’S FACE, and SLAPS ISHII!
They trade slaps back and forth and HASHI STAGGERS ISHII, and puts Ishii down with a kick to the chest! Chants for HASHI. Lariat by HASHI is absorbed by Ishii and another, Ishii looks to fire back but HASHI FLOORS HIM with a lariat! Liger Bomb by HASHI follows into a cover, but only 2 and HASHI locks in the Butterfly Lock! Ishii fights for the ropes but HASHI transitions to a sleeper and a backstabber, and then goes back to the Butterfly Lock. HASHI keeps pulling Ishii away from the ropes, and Ishii is in trouble. Finally Ishii is able to scoot himself to the ropes and get the break.
HASHI gets a front slam and sets up the Swanton, climbs and dives but Ishii moves and HASHI crash lands. Bunkerbuster is blocked by Ishii who gets behind HASHI and drops him hard with a Backdrop Driver. HASHI blocks an Ishii lariat and they trade thudding chops, Ishii staggers but fires right back with those throat chops of his and hits the folding powerbomb for a 2 count. Sliding lariat misses but Ishii gets a release German, HASHI is right back up (FIGHTING SPIRIT!) but eats a lariat and a sliding lariat, cover by Ishii but only 2!
Brainbuster is reversed into a cradle by HASHI for 2, Ishii looks for a full nelson but HASHI gets another rollup for 2, then hits the reverse corkscrew kick and a lariat to put Ishii down! Chants for HASHI as both are down. Ishii fires back and hits a lariat and a headbutt but HASHI hits a headbutt of his own to stagger Ishii and hits running double knees, covers but only gets 2! Fisherman transitioned into a Northern Lights Driver by HASHI connects, cover but still 2. HASHI looks for Karma but Ishii reverses, HASHI gets a release German suplex instead and looks for Karma again. Ishii reverses into a DDT, HASHI is back up but Ishii hits a HUGE headbutt, eats thrust kicks but hits an enziguri and puts HASHI down with a lariat for 2! Vertical Drop Brainbuster follows, Ishii covers HASHI and gets the 3 count and the WIN!
Tomohiro Ishii defeats YOSHI-HASHI by pinfall after the Vertical Drop Brainbuster to advance to the Semifinals!
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
This was a great match and one of the all-time best showings I’ve seen from HASHI since I began following NJPW. He went toe to toe with Ishii, including strikes and lariats, in a way that I seriously doubted he could, and he proved me wrong here. The question remains, can he be consistent with it? I certainly hope so, given what it can lead to here, because this was pretty dang great. Ishii going over is the right move, I feel like HASHI still has more time if he can keep up stuff like this, and Ishii looked like his badass self throughout. I am so glad to see him in the semis, and part of me REALLY wants this to be his year.
WILL OSPREAY vs KAZUCHIKA OKADA
We get the bell and they look to grapple at the start. Okada gets Will down but Will escapes and gets on top of Okada, and they trade a great and smooth wrist exchange with nice counter-wrestling that goes to the ropes for a break. Okada does his shot tease and tussles Will’s hair, Will fires up but Okada takes control and hits a tackle but Will kips right back up. They face off and Okada just smiles in Will’s face before throwing an elbow and looking more than a little cocky about it. Will fires back and staggers Okada. They trade shots and Will gets Okada over with a monkey flip and then hits the ropes and the backflip taunt as he eyes Okada at ringside. Will dropkicks Okada into the barricade and looks for a pescado, Okada moves and sends Will to the barricade but Will leaps over and looks to fly at Okada who catches him in mid-air with a Euro.
Okada rolls Will back in and gets the tope atomico and mocks Will’s pose, and keeps working over Will. Will fights back but Okada hits a neckbreaker and covers for 2, and grounds Will with a chinlock. Gut shots by Will to fight out, but Okada sits him up top in the corner and dropkicks him over to the floor. The ref counts, Will looks to get back inside but Okada cuts him off and tries to kick him off the apron. Will keeps coming but Okada hits an elbow staggering Will on the apron, Will absorbs another one and rises again, uses his legs to send Okada outside and hits an AMAZING Sasuke Special to wipe out Okada! Will rolls Okada back in and hits a flurry and nails the handspring enziguri and covers Okada for 2.
Okada evades Will in the corner and looks for the DDT, Will blocks it but Okada gets a flapjack instead. The Air Raid Neckbreaker is reversed but Okada hits it on the second attampt and covers Will for 2. Okada looks to climb and hits a BEAUTIFUL elbow drop and hits the Rainmaker pose, but Will pops up and hits a roundhouse kick right to Okada’s head, then rolls to the apron and nails Pip Pip Cheerio and a cover for only 2. Stormbreaker by Will is attempted, Okada fights out so Will looks to break Okada down with kicks and a knee strike, then looks for Stormbreaker again, but Okada gets an armdrag out of it an just KILLS Will with a shotgun dropkick!
Big shots traded, Euros by Okada who paintbrushes Will who gets a backslide, Okada rolls through but Will gets Okada’s wrist and hits a big lariat, and holds onto Okada’s wrist before hitting another short arm lariat and keeps hanging on to the wrist. Will looks for the Rainham Maker but Okada counters it and dropkicks Will in the back and looks for the dropkick, Will holds the ropes so Okada wipes out and looks for the standing shooting star but Okada gets the knees up, Okada with a running Euro but Will pops up (FIGHTING SPIRIT!), and hits a big head kick and hooking superkick.
The elbow pad comes off Will’s arm and he looks for the Hidden Blade, Okada ducks and hoists Will up but Will counters into a stunner. Backflip enziguri by Will connects, followed by a GREAT hooking superkick, then Will gets Okada on his shoulders, climbs to the middle turnbuckle, grabs Okada’s wrist as he stands on the middle rope and flips Okada over into a avalanche sitout Iconoclasm! Cover by Will, but only 2! Robinson Special lands by Will, and he calls for the Os-Cutter but Okada catches him with a German suplex and hangs on to the waistlock, then looks to transition into Rainmaker but Will counters into a standing Spanish Fly for 2!
Will slides to the apron and climbs to the top of the corner, hits a great Shooting Star Press to the back of Okada, then rolls him over and climbs and hits another SSP off the top into a cover, but Okada is out at 2! Os-Cutter attempt is countered again by an Okada dropkick, tombstone piledriver connects to follow and Okada is fired up. Okada stands Will up but Will counters the Rainmaker into a Stormbreaker attempt, Okada gets out of that and hits a spinning tombstone before decapitating Will with a Rainmaker, covers and gets the 3 count and the WIN!
Kazuchika Okada defeats Will Ospreay by pinfall after Rainmaker to advance to the Semifinals
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
Another great match between two great talents. Okada sort of had to go over, at MINIMUM to the semi’s, given his current placement in the storyline of NJPW. But Will looked AMAZING here, and I think itss only a matter of time before he gets both the win over Okada as well as some more significant gold around his waist. You can feel the passion Will has for his artform, and its stunning to watch. Really great work by two people who clearly respect the shit out of each other, they both looked outstanding and Okada moves on to Ishii, which should be a hard-hitting one too. Bring it on.
Despite the results being a bit predictable when taking a step back, these were both outstanding additions to the New Japan Cup 2019 tournament thus far, with the losers really showing a shit ton of ability, hunger and passion in their losses. I’d recommend catching both of these – if you are a fan of classic, hard-hitting and goal-oriented Japanese wrestling, these matches are sure to satisfy. The Cup rolls forward toward more exciting action.