Day two of the New Japan Cup is headlined by a match I won’t watch. I wanted to put that out at the front just so as not to waste the time of anyone that would be bothered by that. There are other reviews out there that will be happy to have you read them. Meanwhile, there is still plenty for me to get my teeth into as we have Mikey Nicholls’ return to Japan and Ospreay taking on a super-heavyweight in Bad Luck Fale.
Lance Archer defeated Toa Henare in the New Japan Cup First Round
Archer seemed to think he was going to bully Henare, but Toa was in no mood to play. He came roaring out of the corner with a Powerbomb before following up with a Liger-like Somersault Senton off the apron. Henare never fails to bring the fire, and he was looking for the quick win.
Unfortunately, it’s not easy to put someone like Archer down for three. The big man wheelbarrowed Henare into the barricade and took control, working through his moveset, which, as usual, was rather dull. He did some nice rope walking, but Archer isn’t a wrestler I enjoy watching on the offensive. It’s meat and potatoes stuff that lacks the meanness to make it stand out.
From there, it was all made to look depressingly easy. Henare had brief flare-ups, all of which threatened to bring the match to life, but it was no more than that. Archer was in control and heading towards the second round as, once again, Henare was on the losing side. I hope New Japan have plans for that man; he could do a lot more than this.
Verdict: Two Stars
Mikey Nicholls defeated Hikuleo in the New Japan Cup First Round
Mikey Nicholls has escaped his WWE confinement and made his way to CHAOS. While he mainly worked NOAH before going to the E, he did train at the first LA Dojo, so he has links to New Japan.
Not that his history caused NJPW to roll out the welcome mat with a nice easy return. Nope, he got the massive green fucker and his wannabe gangster mate, Jado. There aren’t many wrestlers who could have a good match with that combination, and Nicholls failed to prove himself the exception. Still, he managed to get the big man up for a Brainbuster with what looked like ease, so that was something.
Of course, it was a match with Hikuleo, so it was never going to be good. There is only so much you can do with someone at that stage in their development. Nicholls got the win to book himself a dance with Okada which is where he’ll get to show what he can do.
Verdict: One And A Half Stars
Will Ospreay defeated Bad Luck Fale in the New Japan Cup First Round
Will Ospreay may have started pinning heavyweights, but few heavyweights are as big as Bad Luck Fale. Getting the win here was quite the moment for Young Bill.
Not that the storyline significance made up for the fact this match sucked. Fale shocked everyone by returning to form for a good outing with Okada last month, but he was back to being awful here. Throw in Jado pissing about at ringside and it was a shit show.
Still, they made Ospreay look good as he kicked out of a Grenade before clumsily rolling Fale up from a Hurricanrana. It’s just a shame it was probably his worst performance in the last year as he was yelping his way around the ring, presumably in an attempt to add some interest to Fale’s offence. This wasn’t good, don’t bother with it.
Verdict: Two Stars
Kazuchika Okada defeated Michael Elgin in the New Japan Cup First Round
I do not, and will not, review Michael Elgin matches. Some of you are no doubt aware of the situation surrounding him and the claims thrown back and forth. Recent information has done nothing to change my opinion that he is someone unworthy of my time.
Verdict: Fuck Michael Elgin
With the main event removed from the equation, this was not a work rate show. There were a lot of big men on this card stinking the place out. If you’re going to skip a day of the Cup, make it this one.
Watch New Japan: https://njpwworld.com/