NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
NEW JAPAN CUP NIGHT 8
MARCH 17, 2019
KORAKUEN HALL
TOKYO, JAPAN

Watch: NJPW World

NEW JAPAN CUP 2019
COLT CABANA DEF. TORU YANO

If you like Yano matches, you’ll probably dig this, and if you hate them you definitely will hate this.

Even as someone that generally enjoys Yano matches, I thought this was just okay. I prefer Yano against great workers that can work in comedy stuff. Some of my favorite Yano matches were in the G1 against Kenny Omega for example.

For much of this match, Cabana did a lot of mirroring of Yano’s spots which aren’t nearly as interesting as Yano trying to trick an opponent.

That being said, Cabana did good character work and got himself quite over with the crowd.

It seemed a lot longer than the nearly eight minutes that it went. I will admit a couple of things made me smile though. **





NEW JAPAN CUP 2019
SANADA DEF. MINORU SUZUKI

Cool matwork to start and eventually, Suzuki goes on the attack, brutalizing SANADA on the outside. But once back inside, the match shifts into its main theme of Suzuki being really nasty and SANADA managing to valiantly fight back.

Suzuki also begins to work over Sanada’s leg which remains a constant throughout this match.

There was a lot of exchanges of holds throughout this match. While it was not the most exciting thing, SANADA’s efforts to escape them and the molten crowd heat for him kept this match from getting boring.

Thought the finish was pretty anticlimactic, however, with SANADA slowly going up to the top to hit the moonsault for the win after incapacitating Suzuki after an extended period in the Skull End.

While I thought their match during The New Beginning tour was better, I have to say I’m impressed that they managed to keep my attention for nearly half an hour in a match the devolved into hold vs. hold. The crowd really helped this match from falling flat. ***½

FINAL THOUGHTS

This show might actually become one of the more divisive nights of the tournament. There’s going to be a lot of different takes about Yano vs. Cabana depending on where you stand on comedy matches and/or Yano himself.

I think that hardcore SANADA fans might have gotten more out of the main event than I did. I’m not going to argue over it, but I thought it was a solid but not amazing match.

I’ve actually got SANADA going all the way to the finals but losing to Okada in my Pick ‘Em bracket, in part because the finals are in his hometown of Niigata. But if he does make it that far, he’s gotta make a bigger impact with his matches if he wants to keep momentum coming out of the tournament.