MARCH 16, 2021

Watch: NJPW World

We are on Night 10 of what have been a really solid NJ Cup. Shingo has been stealing the show every night he is featured, as is the norm. Sabre and Ospreay had an amazing MOTY performance on Night 8. After the malaise of the February shows, NJPW finally is in a wave where everything has been cool so far, with the exception being one of tonight’s wrestlers, EVIL. That still does not take out how fun the tournament has been so far, and tonight’s main event continues that trend. Will we see an upset win tonight? Is EVIL out of the tournament? Keep reading to find out. 

The Undercard

  • TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yuji Nagata defeat Gabriel Kidd, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
  • BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Jay White) defeat FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) & Toa Henare
  • The United Empire (Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay) (w/Bea Priestley) defeat Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & SANADA)

This was the best thing in the undercard: 

Outside of that, honestly, it is what you expect if you’ve been watching these shows. Short, decent matches to preview the next show. 

NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 – Quarter Finals
EVIL def. Toru Yano

Have you ever gotten to the point that something you don’t like yet it is so pervasive in something you love, that you just end up not caring about that thing eventually? You start treating it as a minor nuisance and you just wait for it to go away? That’s me with EVIL in NJPW. I know, another person that does not like current EVIL, shocking. This match was not offensive, but I just don’t care. Since I don’t care, I just give EVIL and Togo points when they make me laugh at least. To see a superior Yano/EVIL match with an awesome ending, read this review of their G1 match last year, a match where everyone got low balled. I wonder what shenanigans we’ll get now. 

Match started with Yano yelling about something, I don’t know Japanese, so I assume that it’s about Dick Togo hanging around. After a few false starts, Yano is thrown outside of the ring so Dick Togo can beat him up, since EVIL can’t do anything by himself, as we all know. Everybody knows someone like EVIL in their life. You expect better of them, you wonder when they will pick up after themselves, but at the end of the day, you stop caring because he/she will probably not get better on the road he/she is on now.

Back to the match. Yano is being dominated until he grabs EVIL’s hair and throws him to the canvas. He takes out another ring post, as it happens in all of Yano’s matches, and throws EVIL into it. Togo tries to intervene, fails at it, Yano goes outside with EVIL. Togo tries to choke Yano with the steel wire, but alas, Yano takes Togo’s wire and starts choking EVIL! Yano chokes the hell out of EVIL and throws him under the ring to win by countout. I think “Yano and Shingo is surely a weird semifinal, but fuck it, I’m into it”….then the lights go out on the 19th count.

Lights come back on, EVIL is in the middle of the ring, and a Everything is Evil later the match is over. I’m thinking “This fucker does magic know? Fuck EVIL, seriously” then Togo comes back from the back and we find that he turned off the lights so EVIL could escape, and I laughed. ** for making me laugh at the end, but not something worth watching. I preferred this type of match when everybody got kicked in the balls. **

NEW JAPAN CUP 2021 – Quarter Finals
Shingo Takagi def. KENTA

The MVP of NJPW, Shingo, versus one of my personal MVPs, KENTA. KENTA has not been delivering classics, but all of his matches are really fun and have memorable spots where you go “aha” and tonight was no exception. Shingo, as always, was amazing, and singing his praises should be a national holiday. 

Like a lot of KENTA matches, this started with him stalling on the outside, but unlike other opponents Shingo just waited for him in the ring. After being tired of stalling outside, KENTA came back to be hit hard by Shingo. Both men started exchanging elbows and kicks, until KENTA went outside of the ring, and behind Shingo’s back got hold of the ring bell and hit him with it, proving that Shingo did not watch KENTA’s match with Juice from the beginning of the Cup where he did the exact same thing.

KENTA dominated the match with submissions and kicks, those kicks waking up the Dragon to start his comeback. After a few minutes of dominance by Shingo, KENTA barked at him and both men started exchanging elbows. Shingo went for the Made in Japan for a two count, KENTA answered with a knee to his face for another two count, and with a Pumping Bomber and Last of the Dragon, Shingo advanced to the semifinals. I went to the bathroom while Shingo did his post-match promo, and when I came back EVIL was attacking Shingo, and I still don’t care about EVIL or his match on Saturday. Hopefully, Shingo wins that one.

Shingo and KENTA had a really fun match that got intense as the minutes passed. It’s not better than the Okada or Goto match, but another solid match from Shingo, who you should have been watching all tournament long. I would recommend checking this out since both men are always great wrestlers to watch. ****

Final Thoughts

 KENTA and Shingo had a really good match, but nothing else from this show is worth going out of your way to see. I would recommend waiting until Thursday and watch the Shingo match first and then continue with Ospreay vs SANADA and Finlay vs White as a nice three-match card to watch in one sitting.