Quarter finals set in New Japan Cup
Eight entrants remain in the New Japan Cup, after the first four digit crowd in Korakuen Hall for over two years saw the elite eight completed on March 18.
The Korakuen faithful received catharsis to fit the house in the main event, as Hiromu Takahashi defeated EVIL. With Dick Togo in tow, the King of Darkness stacked the deck against the Time Bomb from the outset, and Hiromu pushed the pace in response, attacking EVIL on his entrance.
It wasn’t long though, before the numbers got the better of Hiromu, and with an exposed steel buckle assisting, the HOUSE OF TORTURE leader took control. With typical heart, Hiromu would fire back, landing a shotgun drop kick down the apron line and hitting an impressive falcon arrow on EVIL, but an apron sunset bomb was countered, and instead the Time Bomb tasted the guardrail as ring announcer Abe took an all too familiar tumble.
EVIL would look to the Darkness Scorpion and more Togo interference to try for a count out win, but Takahashi willed himself into the ring, and then to kick out of a fisherman’s buster. Darkness Falls would also see a long two for EVIL, but Hiromu would rear back, landing a lariat and the Time Bomb for a near fall of his own.
When Hiromu wanted Time Bomb II, EVIL wouldn’t go for the ride, instead seeing to it that the referee was downed before Togo joined for Magic Killer. As Hiromu continued to stay in the hunt, he would find the Unnamed Hiromu Roll for a visual 10 count, but Togo on cue had drawn the referee. As EVIL sought to capitalise though, Hiromu instead struck with a perfectly timed counter. Shoving his foe into Togo, who went flying off the apron, Hiromu hit his former ally with his own finishing move and scored the three count.
It will be an all LIJ quarter final, as Shinto Takagi survived a game and vicious Chase Owens earlier in the evening. After Chase dropped Takagi with a Package Piledriver on a chair one night prior in Shizuoka, Shingo’s neck was taped up and badly hurting. The Crown Jewel took rapid and full advantage of the situation, creating whiplash with a drop kick to the guardrails, and a shot into the apron.
Normally the aggressor, Takagi was dominated by Owens and relied on big offence to catch a break from Chase’s relentless assault. A DVD on the floor and superplex in ring saw pain shoot through Takagi but also deal heavy damage to Owens; still the C-Trigger would score several times for Chase, as did a piledriver for a near fall.
Increasingly frustrated, Owens made use of a distraction from ‘emotional support partner’ Bad Luck Fale to roll up Shingo with feet on the ropes to no avail; a jackknife also failed before Takagi, still in immense pain, fired off a Pumping Bomber and then Last of the Dragon for the three.