The New Japan Cup kicked off the second round with a spectacularly unsexy pair of matches. First up is YOSHI-HASHI vs Chase Owens and for dessert Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi. I’m a huge fan of half those people; unfortunately, they’re not wrestling each other. Oh well, perhaps YOSHI and Taichi will surprise me. I live in hope.
Yoshi Hashi defeated Chase Owens in the New Japan Cup Second Round
YOSHI-HASHI might have put together the least inspiring run to a quarter-final of all time. First, he was outworked by the walking shed that is Nakanishi. Now, he’s followed that up by being thoroughly out-classed by Chase Owens. Is this a deliberate thing? Is YOSHI-HASHI’s useless gimmick even extending to his victories now?
Chase dominated the vast majority of this match as he took control early on and kept it. There was some sneakiness involved, wannabe gangster Jado made his presence known more than once, but you couldn’t shake the feeling that Owens was just better than YOSHI.
That was until Jado fucked it up. He tried to hit HASHI with the cane and missed, clonking Owens on the head instead. From there, the whole match changed and YOSHI-HASHI was able to run through his offence to get the victory with Karma.
Honestly, YOSHI-HASHI winning this bummed me out. I know Chase got the victory over Juice, so should get a US Title shot, but why is Gedo plumping for the guy who looks like he doesn’t want to be there over the best undercard wrestler on the planet? It just doesn’t make sense.
Anyway, my biases aside, it was alright, nothing incredible, but a decent enough watch.
Verdict: Three Stars
Tomohiro Ishii defeated Taichi in the New Japan Cup Second Round
Thank fuck for that, I don’t think I could have taken both Chase and Ishii losing on the same night. It would have hurt too much.
Despite Ishii winning, I am going to have to do something that causes me pain. I’m going to have to say nice things about the Singing Ballbag. Yup, I don’t like it any more than you do, but fair is fair.
Not that he didn’t try to muck it up, he started slowly, stalling on the outside while towards the end he got his hands on that mic stand and looked likely to use it. However, Tomohiro Ishii doesn’t take that bullshit. He took the fight to Taichi, and when he tried to cheat, he called his bluff, questioning Taichi’s honour and driving him to throw the mic stand away for a fair fight. Who knew Taichi even knew what honour was?
And when Taichi stood in the centre of the ring and battled it out with Ishii, he was fantastic. He went blow for blow with the Stone Pitbull, delivering some devastating kicks and even produced an outstanding fighting spirit spot when he popped up from a Piledriver. Taichi has it in him to be a badass, and I might like it.
It’s possible that this was my favourite Taichi match of all time. I’d have to go back and check, but it’s up there. Credit has to go to Ishii, of course. He pulled Taichi up and forced him to wrestle his style of match. However, it would be disingenuous to give him all the praise. Taichi proved to me he is capable of doing this shit, and if we see more of this, I might turn a corner on him yet.
Verdict: Four And A Quarter Stars
Two decent tournament matches. I’m still a bit salty than Chase took the fall, but Taichi vs Ishii made up for it by being awesome. Is there anyone Tomohiro Ishii can’t have a great match with it? Well, I guess we’ll find out when he wrestles YOSHI-HASHI.
Watch New Japan: https://njpwworld.com/