NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
NEW JAPAN CUP NIGHT 10
MARCH 21, 2019
ACT CITY HAMAMATSU
HAMAMATSU, JAPAN

Watch: NJPW World

NEW JAPAN CUP 2019 QUARTER-FINALS
SANADA DEF. COLT CABANA

This was fine. It actually started out pretty well with some matwork and light comedy spots but it did get sloppy as it went along. And of course, it was weird to see Cabana wrestle a straight-laced match against SANADA who always looks very serious. Cabana deserves points for trying to work hard at least.

These guys seemed to be on different pages, so even when you recount some of the spots in the match like moonsault attempts, a dive to the outside, and SANADA rolling through a top rope huricanrana from Cabana into a cradle, it didn’t really mesh well together as a complete match.

At the end of the say I will say that the match managed to hold my attention and I gave a little laughter to some of Cabana’s comedy work. A strange pairing indeed. Can’t help but think Cabana was just slotted into Beretta’s New Japan Cup spot. **3/4





NEW JAPAN CUP 2019 QUARTER-FINALS
HIROSHI TANAHASHI DEF. ZACK SABRE JR.

Now, this wasn’t the best match that these two could have had. That being said it was still pretty good and told a story that ties into the tournament.

The first thing that struck me was how awesome ZSJ’s new facial hair is and how much more it adds to the incredibly cocky persona he had on display here.

Plenty of fun matwork to start. If you’re a ZSJ fan, you’ll love it of course. I mean where else are you going to see matches these days where the wrestlers trade Cobra Twists? And it was a nice change of pace for a Tanahashi match that Sabre went after the Ace’s arm instead of his leg. And of course, you got cool spots like Tanahashi using a Dragon Screw to escape fom Orienteering with Napalm Death.

That being said the match doesn’t manage to hit the highs of last year’s New Japan Cup final between the two. That’s partially due to the finish which I didn’t see coming. Tanahashi channels his inner Tatsumi Fujinami and wins with a Japanese Leg Roll Clutch after escaping from some of ZSJ’s flash pin attempts. But the finish did tell the story of ZSJ being way too cocky in thinking that he already had this tournament won. ****3/4 for Zack’s new facial hair, the match was ***3/4

FINAL THOUGHTS

I don’t generally watch the undercards but I awoke early this morning and decided to turn the show on and caught Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs. Kazuchika Okada & YOSH-HASHI. This was a pretty good match worth watching in anticipation for the Ishii vs. Okada semi-finals.

You can make a pretty decent case this was the worst round of the tournament so far. Ospreay vs. Okada was the only really good match of it, followed by Tanahashi vs. ZSJ. The other matches of the quarter were weak, especially by the standards we’ve come to expect in the New Japan Cup. The final two rounds are shaping up to be absolute bangers though.

New Japan Cup 2019 Prediction Contest

View the updating standings to our New Japan Cup 2019 prediction contest at challonge.com/vownjcup19/predictions. The winner of our prediction contest will receive a free copy of Chris Charlton’s EGGSHELLS, a look at the history of pro wrestling in the Tokyo Dome. Info on EGGSHELLS can be found at amzn.to/2UporYT. Those who come in second or third will receive a free copy of Lee Daly’s new book on the history of PRIDE Fighting Before A Fall. Info on Before a Fall can be found at https://amzn.to/2EPq4II