NEW JAPAN CUP 2020 Day 2: Okada vs Gedo, Nagata vs Suzuki
By: Mike Murray
*Taiji Ishimori over Gabriel Kidd
*Yoshinobu Kanemaru over Yuya Uemura
*CHAOS – Hirooki Goto, Yoshi-Hashi, Sho & Yoh over LIJ -Evil, Sanada Shingo Takagi, and Bushi – Goto pins Bushi
*Yugi Nagata over Minoru Suzuki
*Kazuchika Okada over Gedo
GABRIEL KIDD VS TAIJI ISHIMORI
This was a decent opener to today’s show. Gabriel Kidd is a Young Lion from the LA Dojo. The match focused around Ishimori’s speed and experience over Kidd’s relatively larger size. Started with a series of wrist locks, Ishimori gave two back rakes to Kidd. Ishimori controlled almost all of the match, but Kidd got in a dropkick as Ishimori jumped from the second rope and landed a couple of suplexes. Ishimori tried a hurricanrana and Kidd caught him and transitioned it into a Boston Crab. Ishimori applied an STF and Kidd tapped out.
WINNER: Taiji Ishimori at 9:45
Mike’s rating 2.75 out of 5
Kidd looked completely outmatched by Ishimori as the veteran took the easy win.
YUYA UEMURA VS YOSHINUBU KANEMARU
Kanemaru comes out with his whiskey and tells Uemura to get back. Uemura, the Young Lion, takes it to Kanemaru before he can get in the ring and they proceed to brawl outside before the match officially starts. Both guys are growling and grunting which adds a lot to the struggle. Uemura rolls Kanemaru back into the ring and the bell rings. Kanemaru shows his vicious side throughout the match and focuses on Uemura’s neck. At one point they are back outside the ring and Uemura is dropped over the guardrail and Kanemaru gives him a double foot stomp from the top of the guardrail to Uemura’s back and neck. This leads to the patented Gedo count out spot as the ref gets to 16 before Uemura rolls back in.
Kanemaru tied up Uemura in a tree of woe and proceeds to put his boot right into the Young Lion’s face. Uemura hits a cross body from the top rope and a double under hook suplex. Kanemaru continues to work on Uemura’s neck until he gets on the second rope and hits Deep Impact for the win.
WINNER Yoshinubu Kanemaru at 9:30
Mike’s rating: 3.5 out 5
Uemura looked really good and showed a lot of passion and fire taking it to the veteran Kanemaru.
MINORU SUZUKI VS YUGI NAGATA
Man, I miss hearing a crowd sing along to Kazi Ni Nare. Nagata comes out in a robe. This was a war! Bell rings and Suzuki kicks Nagata and they start a forearm exchange. Forearms turn into a slap exchange. Nagata ended up slapping Suzuki about 25 times in this exchange. The two veterans end up outside where Nagata is sent into the rails and Suzuki tries to get a chair and is topped by the ref twice. He is successful with the third chair and hits Nagata in the arm with the chair. Suzuki then wraps Nagata’s arm around the barricade.
Back in the ring, Suzuki bullies Nagata in the corner. Nagata kicks a sitting Suzuki so many times in the chest. Suzuki tries his sleeper hold and gets a two count. Standing sleeper into a Gotch-style piledriver attempt but can’t hit it. Nagata blocks a second attempt of the piledriver and backdrops Suzuki. Nagata is bleeding from the mouth. Some head butts by Suzuki including one that looked legit and both men end up lying on the mat. More forearms by Suzuki but Nagata hits an exploder suplex and then a side duplex into a pin and beats Suzuki.
WINNER Yuji Nagata in 20:35
Mike’s rating: 4.25 out of 5.
This was awesome. Two veterans in a battle to see whose will is stronger. Unbelievable amount of punishment taken by both men with tons of hard strikes. Both Suzuki and Nagata looked amazing in this, and remember they are both 52 years old. No one mailed it in with this one and I can only imagine what a crowd would have added to this match. Bit of a surprise with Nagata getting the win I thought. This match is definitely worth going out of your way to see.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA VS GEDO
Toru Yano is out on commentary. Gedo comes out with his arm in a makeshift sling and his terrible fishing hat. Red Shoes tells Gedo to get the sling off and when he does, an aerosol can fell out. Gedo tries to lie down and just get Okada to pin him and get it over with, unfortunately for those of us watching – that doesn’t happen. As the bell rings, Okada approaches Gedo lying on the mat and when the Rainmaker tries to pin his former manager, Gedo goes for a roll-up. From there, Gedo has brass knuckles that Okada takes, then Gedo pulls out a wrench and proceeds to hit Okada with it in the midsection. Gedo runs Okada into the barricade outside the ring for more damage to Okada’s core. Stomps to Okada’s midsection. Gedo struggles with the time keeper’s table and finally gets it over the barricade and uses it against Okada and hits him in the gut. Gedo gets the timekeeper’s hammer and blatantly hits Okada with it several times.
Okay tries for a tombstone piledriver, Gedo grabs Red Shoes to block it. Another tombstone attempt, Okada ends up hitting Red Shoes and Gedo hits a low blow to Okada. Gedo gets another pair of brass knuckles, this time from under the mat. Hits Okada with them. Jado comes out and I know WH Park is probably super excited at this point. Jado distracts Red Shoes, Gedo gets the brass knuckles back. Okada hits some dropkicks, knocks Jado off the ring apron. Tombstone to Gedo and Okada puts on the Deep In Debt as Gedo taps out.
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada in a long 15:30
Mike’s rating: 2.5 out of 5.
If you liked Yano vs. Jado, you probably liked this match as well. If you hated that match from day one of the New Japan Cup, well I bet you hated this one too. This was an overbooked mess to make it seem that Gedo had any chance to beat Okada. Red Shoes was terrible in this and there were plenty of opportunities to just call a disqualification and end this quickly. That could have resulted in a win for Okada, who then could have been beaten down after.
Also, slotting this as the main event is questionable at best, especially after the strength of the Nagata-Suzuki match. A referee should be there to help the match and not as a shortcut to get through it. The use of Deep in Debt was interesting: 1. It brings back Okada’s submission move as a finisher, 2. It shows that Okada didn’t even need to use a Rainmaker to defeat Gedo. In the end, I would have thought that Okada would have been chomping at the bit to get some more revenge on Gedo from his past betrayal, but that storyline almost seems behind Okada now.
So after today’s matches, for Round 2 of the New Japan Cup will see:
*YOSHINOBU KANEMARU VS TAIJI ISHIMORI
*YUJI NAGATA VS KAZUCHIKA OKADA
Let me know what you guys thought of today’s show. What was your fav match? What are you looking forward to? And who do you think is going to win? You can reach me on twitter at @ScarboroughDad.