Preview: New Japan Cup 2020 (7/1/20)
With the left side of the bracket currently one step ahead, we now shift our focus to the right side of the bracket where the top right quadrant. This section has been loaded with potential winners and is a highlight of the tournament. In the first of 3 nights, Kota Ibushi takes on Taichi in a quarterfinal encounter. Kota holds a 1-0 record over Taichi in prior encounters but after Taichi’s huge victory of New Japan’s “ACE” in Hiroshi Tanahashi, the odds look much more balanced.
After SHO picked up a shock win over his new rival, Shingo Takagi, SHO battles 2019 runner up, SANADA. Traditionally, a junior heavyweight usually does not fare well against a heavyweight, especially one of SANADA’s stature. This will be their first singles meeting and most fans will be anticipating this exciting match up of future potential aces.
Hirooki Goto and EVIL are not strangers. Goto has a 3-1 record over EVIL including a NEVER Openweight Title defense in 2018. Hirooki Goto, the resilient force of the faction, CHAOS, has plenty to prove. EVIL does as well. How long can EVIL stand in the shadow of his Los Ingobernables teammates? This is sure to be a hard hitting affair between two men ready for something more.
Yoshi Hashi vs BUSHI is another slightly imbalanced match. Yoshi Hashi, the perennial underdog of CHAOS takes on a junior heavyweight in BUSHI. Again, heavyweights are the traditional favorites but with the backstory of Los Ingobernables reigning supreme at Wrestle Kingdom in January and the stalled momentum after COVID-19, maybe this is destiny for BUSHI and LIJ.
New Japan Cup 7/2/20
After Kazuchika Okada went through a grueling match with Yuji Nagata and won using a new submission; Okada is rewarded with a match against, you guessed it; another junior. Taiji Ishimori finds himself 2 matches away from New Japan Cup glory.
In what could be the most entertaining match of the week, Tomohiro Ishii battles IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, Hiromu Takahashi. Hiromu’s unbelievable stride he has been on since returning from life threatening neck injuries is nothing short of a miracle. He looks to continue his run over the Stone Pitbull, Ishii.
The quarterfinals of the right side of the bracket will complete the evening which will set up 7/3/20 as semi-final night. The New Japan Cup has been an exhilarating return to normalcy but things are only starting as we near the grand conclusion on 7/11/2020 with New Japan Cup final night live from Osaka Jo Hall and Dominion on 7/12/2020 in front of a limited, returning crowd. Catch all of the action on NJPWWorld.com.
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