Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, & Toru Yano defeated David Finlay, Yota Tsuji, & Gabriel Kidd (11:17)
YOSHI-HASHI submitted Kidd with the Butterfly Lock. Finlay and YOSHI-HASHI will face off in the second round of the Cup.
Will Ospreay, Great-O-Khan, & Jeff Cobb defeated Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi, & DOUKI (7:51)
O-Khan pinned DOUKI with the Eliminator. Ospreay and Sabre will face off in the second round of the Cup.
Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada, Yuji Nagata, & SHO (11:43)
SANADA submitted SHO with the Skull End. SANADA and Nagata will face off in the second round of the Cup.
Jay White, EVIL, & Bad Luck Fale defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, & Toa Henare (11:41)
EVIL pinned Henare with Everything is EVIL. White and Tanahashi will face off in the second round of the Cup.
New Japan Cup second round: KENTA defeated Minoru Suzuki (16:56)
There was some really exciting stuff here, including an exhilarating slap sequence, but much of the work had a disconnect to it as well. It wasn't as crisp as it could have been.
KENTA stalled at the bell. He grabbed a newspaper from ringside, but Suzuki took it from him and laid it out in the center of the ring, inviting KENTA back in. Suzuki laid in strikes, but upon a rope break, KENTA starched him with a slap, which just angered Suzuki, who in turn gave chase.
When Suzuki re-entered the ring, KENTA tried to take advantage with a big boot, but Suzuki stretched him over the top rope with his illegal armbar spot. He then sent KENTA into the barricades repeatedly before grabbing a chair. The official tried to take it, allowing KENTA enough time to boot the chair into Suzuki and attack him with it.
Back in the ring, KENTA laid in kicks. Suzuki tried to fire up but was consistently foiled as KENTA kept up the offense. KENTA taunted Suzuki with some weak kicks and was met with a single stiff forearm in return, dropping him. This time it was Suzuki who repeatedly laid in kicks, concluding with a cocky cover attempt.
Suzuki hit two more forearms but KENTA avoided the third and took advantage with a DDT, followed by a second draping DDT for two. KENTA laid in corner strikes and somewhat whiffed on his running Shibata dropkick. He set up for the Go To Sleep, but Suzuki countered it into a standing guillotine. When Suzuki tried to transition into the Gotch-style piledriver, however, KENTA rolled through and went for Game Over.
Once Suzuki reached the ropes, KENTA immediately followed it up with the Busaiku knee. He tried for the Go To Sleep again, but Suzuki countered it into a single-leg crab. After a long battle, KENTA eventually reached the ropes. Suzuki goaded KENTA into a standing striking battle, where they both hit some great open-hand slaps. That was one of the best individual sequences of the tournament so far.
KENTA surprised Suzuki with a spinning back fist, but Suzuki fought out of Go To Sleep once again and locked on the rear naked choke. Suzuki let it go, laid in a ton of strikes, and went for the Gotch-style Piledriver, but KENTA immediately countered it into the Go To Sleep out of nowhere for the win.
He will face the winner of tonight's main event in a quarterfinal Cup match.
New Japan Cup second round: Shingo Takagi defeated Hirooki Goto
This was the exact match you would expect from these two, meaning it was excellent. Shingo is probably going a long way in this tournament.
A shoulder block and a vertical suplex sent Goto to the mat again. Shingo went for Noshigami, but Goto fought out and hit a suplex of his own. Goto hit a corner knee into a bulldog for two. He followed it up with a Saito suplex, but Shingo popped right up and hit a Saito suplex himself. Shingo called for the Pumping Bomber and was met with a lariat from Goto. They exchanged clothesline attempts, but neither man would go down both collapsed for a double down.
Shingo went for his striking combination again but was met with a lariat for his trouble. Goto immediately followed it up with the ushigoroshi, but couldn't make the cover. Shingo repeatedly went for a German suplex, so when Goto fought out, he adjusted his gameplan with a clothesline to the back of Goto's head. Shingo taunted Goto with goading kicks, which baited Goto into taking a Noshigami.
Goto avoided the Pumping Bomber but took Made in Japan for his trouble for two. Shingo laid in repeated forearms, connecting hard with the last one, which downed Goto. Goto caught a lariat attempt and hit GTW but was once again too exhausted to cover. He went for GTR, but Shingo fought out, so Goto landed a headbutt and the reverse GTR for two. He followed it up with the mid kick, but Shingo fought out of another GTR attempt and rolled Goto up for a great near fall.
Shingo popped up and downed Goto with a short lariat. He tried to follow it up with Last of the Dragon, but Goto fought out and they had a long battle for a vertical suplex, which Shingo eventually won by draping Goto over the top rope and hitting an assisted GTR. Shingo then hit a picture-perfect Pumping Bomber for a near fall.
The Last of the Dragon followed to allow Shingo to pick up the win and advance.
Shingo Takagi vs. KENTA is the quarterfinal match from this section of the Cup bracket. They will likely be the main event of the March 16 Korakuen Hall show.
Overall: Thumbs Up