By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “New Japan Cup – Night Seven”
March 13, 2022 in Hyogo, Japan at Amagasaki Memorial Park
Streamed live on New Japan World
This is a 48-man tournament. At the end of this show, our final 16 will be set, as we have the final four second-round matches here.
Kevin Kelly was alone on commentary again, as Chris Charlton was unable to attend.
1. Yoshi-Hoshi, Hirooki Goto, and Master Wato defeated Taka Michinoku, Zack Sabre Jr., and Taichi at 7:17. Basic match. The heels worked over Wato early. Yoshi and Goto did their team sit-down team slam move on Taka to get the pin.
2. Sho and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Desperado and Douki at 10:28. Kelly talked about how Sho attacked Desperado on Saturday’s show, jumpstarting a new feud. Desperado and Sho traded some offense, but this was mostly Douki vs. Yujiro, and Yujiro got him to tap out.
3. Great-O-Khan, Aaron Henare, Jeff Cobb, and Will Ospreay defeated El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, Gedo, and Bad Luck Fale at 11:34. Once again, the United Empire were the default babyfaces, and Kelly pointed out that the Bullet Club still aren’t on the same page. Ospreay and Phantasmo traded some really good offense, following up on their match from Saturday. Fale and Cobb traded some hard blows after not really touching in a match a few days ago. Cobb couldn’t get him up for a Samoan Drop. Great-O-Khan and Ishimori traded offense, also repeating their match from a day earlier. O-Khan tapped out Gedo after a submission choke hold. Really good match. Cobb vs. Fale should happen soon.
4. Bushi, Tetsuya Naito, and Sanada defeated Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Sho at 12:52. Good action. I enjoyed Sho vs. Sanada in the middle of the match – it was a fresh matchup. Sanada applied the Skull End submission hold and Sho tapped out.
5. Chase Owens (w/Bad Luck Fale) defeated Tiger Mask in a second-round match at 10:29. Owens stalled on the floor, then he tied up Tiger Mask in the ring. Tiger Mask nailed a Tiger Driver for a nearfall at 9:00, and the crowd came alive. Owens went for a package piledriver, but Tiger Mask escaped and got a rollup. Chase Owens finally hit the package piledriver for the clean pinfall. Fale wound up not playing a role in the match.
6. Shingo Takagi defeated Tanga Loa in a second-round match at 12:20. They immediately traded stiff forearms, as Kelly talked about how fans were more split on who would win this match in a poll. They brawled on the floor, and Loa said “it’s good to be back.” They are trading some good offense. Loa hit a top-rope diving headbutt for a nearfall at 8:30. Loa nailed a sit-down powerbomb for a believable nearfall at 11:30. They traded headbutts. Shingo nailed the Pumping Bomber clothesline out of nowhere for the clean pin. Very good match.
7. Evil defeated Tama Tonga in a second-round match at 16:26. They immediately brawled to the floor, and this is an extensive brawl at ringside, with Evil jamming a chair in Tonga’s throat, and he’s choking him. “It has been a wild brawl,” Kelly remarked. Back in the ring, Tonga hit a Stinger Splash for a nearfall at 8:30. Evil used the ref to hit the Magic Killer/spinning faceplant. Evil applied a Scorpion Deathlock, but Tonga reached the ropes at 10:30.
Tonga nailed a hard clothesline, and they were both down, and the crowd was fired up. Tonga nailed a spinning face plant for a nearfall at 13:00. Tonga blocked a low blow, hit a Death Valley Driver and a top-rope frogsplash for a believable nearfall. Tonga nailed the Gun Stun jumping stunner for a visual pinfall, but Dick Togo pulled the ref to the floor. Jado attacked Togo. Suddenly, all members of the Bullet Club hit the ring and were fighting. Ishimori and Phantasmo initially sided with Tonga, but then turned on him. Evil then hopped in the ring and hit the Everything is Evil/rock bottom on the prone Tonga for the pin.
All the Evil Club members (except Jado) beat up on Tonga after the match. Jado tried to help Tonga, but Chase Owens attacked Jado. Fale came out and helped Owens, so he too is against Tonga and Loa. Gedo strutted down to ringside and nailed Jado with brass knuckles. This match was really good, and I truly thought Tonga was winning after that Gun Stun.
8. Hiromu Takahashi defeated Minoru Suzuki in a second-round match at 19:26. I have never seen a match like this before. They immediately started trading hard overhand chops, and both of their chests were immediately red, and Minoru bled just seconds into the match. This went on for the better part of SIX minutes. Suzuki licked his own blood.
They finally brawled to the floor at 7:00. Hiromu climbed back in the ring at the 19-count, and they go right back to the hard chops to the chest. Hiromu hit a shotgun dropkick at 12:00, then a Falcon Arrow for a nearfall. They went back to hitting hard chops. It was just insane how many times they are struck one another. “This is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before, folks,” Kelly said. They are just wearing out their palms. Suddenly, at 17;00, they started actually wrestling, and Hiromu got a rollup for a nearfall.
Suzuki applied a sleeper, and the crowd clapped for Hiromu, who got a blow to Suzuki’s nose that stunned him, and then got a rollup and scored the flash pin. Suzuki went nuts, arguing at ringside that he kicked out. He grabbed some young lions and beat one up. After Suzuki left, Takahashi spoke on the mic (no instant translation tonight from Charlton), and the crowd applauded.
Final Thoughts: That main event was surreal. That is one heck of a way for two guys with different styles to fight. The attack on Tonga and Loa was expected and well done, but I am surprised that nearly everyone is on the side of Evil and Jay White. I expected it to be more 50/50. The tournament continues Monday with two third-round matches.
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