Ospreay, EVIL through after second round clashes
New Japan Cup action continued on March 13 in Ehime, as two second round bouts saw two more advance to the second round.
First to the ring were Jeff Cobb and EVIL, Cobb being seconded by available United Empire members to counteract sure to be inevitable HOUSE OF TORTURE interference. That interference came in the opening seconds as Dick Togo tugged at Cobb’s heels, but it was to little avail, and the Imperial Unit quickly saw Togo away before dealing a massive suplex on EVIL and surfing on the backs of both HOUSE OF TORTURE members.
Old school dirty tactics came into play for EVIL though, and a thumb to the eye would slow anyone down. Cobb would be sent into the timekeeper’s table, before a home run steel chair swing did heavy damage to the Imperial Unit. EVIL was cocky in ring, but the athletic ability of Cobb came through, a dropkick scoring, and though EVIL would send his foe into exposed steel, Cobb’s power was still there for Spin Cycle, and a gutwrench off the top rope.
The referee taking a tumble was the next trick in the HOUSE OF TORTURE playbook, and though Togo and EVIL combined for a Mgic Killer attempt, this too didn’t end the match. A Cobb Tour of the Islands would, but the referee was again downed. Though Aaron Henare and Kyle Fletcher would cart Dick Togo away from the ring, Yujiro Takahashi and SHO would come to EVIL’s aid, and handcuffed Great-O-Khan at commentary to the guardrails.
Now surrounded in a four on one scenario, Cobb fought hard against insurmountable odds, but was levelled with a wrench and cane, before the finishing blow from EVIL to send the King of Darkness into the quarterfinals.
The main event of the evening was an all United Empire affair, Mark Davis taking on Will Ospreay. As each felt the other out early, Ospreay would sneak quick kicks to trouble the knee of Davis somewhat; Dunkzilla responded with a big headlock beal that demonstrated the speed and power contest to come. Stining chops from both sides followed, but Davis was stronger with his, and powerful enough to base himself when Ospreay went for a tijeras, instead throwing him voerhead and then out to the floor.
Outside, Ospreay wanted to get quick and springboard off the railing to Davis, but was caught and dropped face first over the steel by Davis, who crushed him with a senton on the outside. Davis maintained full control, landing another senton center ring, but was finally able to hit a tiger wall kick, and a handspring that slowed the big man enough for the Briton to land a springboard elbow.
Ospreay landed a brutal chop, and despite Davis’ best efforts, brought Dunkzilla down with a Dragon screw before going for the Australian’s base with a figure four. The gameplan for Ospreay clear, the Aerial Assassin again went to the hold when Davis made the ropes, but was quickly turned over by the giant, who sprung on one knee to the second rope and flattened Ospreay with a lariat. A huge top rope superplex would send shockwaves through Ehime before earning a two from the referee, and Davis was once again in control of the former World Champion Ospreay.
Davis thought early of the Water Slide, but Ospreasy would resist, and brought his bigger foe into a standup strike exchange. Though Dunkzilla had a clear edge with his upper body, his legs would be lacking, especially after damage done earlier, and leg kicks would soften Davis for a big lariat take down at the 15 minute mark. A forearm off the top to the back of Davis’ head would follow, and Ospreay had thoughts of Hidden Blade, but Davis swung wild and connected to turn Ospreay inside out.
A hard right hand followed for Davis, but a second attempt at the Water Slide was countered with a Crucifix Bomb and then OsCutter for two. Now Ospreay was striking in accurate combination, but Davis was still able to flatten his foe with one strike, and an enzuigiri and corner lariat both had Ospreay reeling. The fight would head to the second rope and then the top where anopther lariat sent Ospreay all the way down to the canvas; the Briton would swing at his foe, but was hoisted into an unreal piledriver as Davis wouldn’t be denied. Again Davis wanted the Water Slide, and again Ospreay refused; unable to get Davis for the Stormbreaker, he would instead land Tiger Driver ’91, and then Hidden Blade to quickly follow for the win.