New Japan Cup, Night 3 and 4 Tournament Matches Predictions
The first two nights of the New Japan Cup have come and gone, and it was full of action, now we're gonna discuss the other side of the bracket, and the matches to take place are some really good ones so let's get right into it and I'll give my predictions for night 3 and 4. Again for reference he're is the non-spoiler bracket.
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Taichi
Starting off the night 3 matches, with arguably the biggest name in New Japan history, the main stay, the ace of New Japan, Hiroshi Tanahashi. He has proved time and time again, that he's not going anywhere anytime soon, he can still perform at a top level as evident by his G1 performances the past few years (2018 in particular where he won). Taichi on the other hand, has built a reputation of being the most annoying wrestler in New Japan, but he's a great heel at that, I'm not a huge fan but I can at least recognize his ability in the ring, he's basically the Baron Corbin of New Japan. With that said I think we all know whose winning here, Taichi has built himself up a lot since moving to heavyweight but not enough to win here, he's still got a ways to go, Tanahashi wins, handily.
Kota Ibushi vs. Zack Sabre Jr.
To say these are two of the best wrestlers in the world would be an understatement, Zack Sabre Jr. is without a doubt the best technical wrestler in the world, and a vicious one at that. Kota Ibushi is the future of New Japan, in my opinion should have won G1 either of the last two years, that's how good he is and how deserving he is as a talent. With that said, when we get to this years G1 there's no doubt in my mind Ibushi will be winning, which means he probably isn't gonna go far in this tournament, this will be a hell of a match as it always is, these two have a classic every single time and I think it's Sabre's turn to get the win, and move on to the next round.
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Sanada
Another stellar match up on night 3, and another member of a group who hasn't fully reached his potential yet, that being Sanada. Sanada has all the tools in my opinion to be the next Kota Ibushi, to be someone that can be built up to the highest of highs, he just hasn't fully unlocked that potential yet, he hasn't had his coming out performance yet, he definitely will one day. Taguchi on the other hand has been doing this for a long time, but can definitely still go at a higher level compared to some of the other veterans in this tournament. Sanada is gonna win here, but it will definitely be a good one.
Sho vs. Shingo Takagi
Sho and Yoh are the best juniors tag team in New Japan, and I definitely think when the time is right they will be an even better heavyweight tag team, but that's just it, I don't ever see them as anything but a tag team. Shingo Takagi, is one of the most underutilized talents in New Japan today, most of his time since day one in New Japan was as a junior and he's way better then that. Can I see him as a World Champion, not anytime soon, but definitely yes. Part of me, sees Gedo as the kind of booker who doesn't push non New Japan Dojo, Japanese talent, I don't know why but I can see the fact that Shingo spent most of his career to this point in Dragon Gate, as a hindrance on his ceiling in New Japan, regardless of that he's winning here.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Yoshi-Hashi
It feels like to me, Yoshi-Hashi, has been playing the "can't win the big one" role for way too long, every single time, they put emphasis on that fact, and every single time, he fails. He also spends most of that time trying to have a "come from behind performance" in almost every single match, and I'm kind of getting tired of that. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, is reaching the end of his career, again like some of the other veterans that's evident by his use over the past few years, he's become more of a trainer then a wrestler, and that's fine. Yoshi-Hashi should win here, and without the usual "come from behind" win he always gets.
Yoh vs. Bushi
This one is very up in the air to me, both guys are great talents and as I mentioned earlier I don't see either Sho or Yoh going very far in this tournament but I could definitely see Yoh winning here, for the Chaos showdown with Yoshi-Hashi in round two. With pretty much every member of LIJ and Chaos in this tournament, it's hard to say which group will have a better performance. Bushi is a good talent who probably won't do anything big as far as world titles go, but he's a great in-ring performer who always puts on a good show. I think Yoh is gonna win here but probably not get passed round two.
Satoshi Kojima vs. EVIL
Just like his long time parter Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kojima is in the twilight of his career, and isn't featured prominently anymore, he's more of trainer as well these days, and again that's fine. EVIL on the other hand just like his partner Sanada hasn't fully reached his potential as an in-ring talent and is gonna breakout anytime now. With that said EVIL is gonna win, probably a very good back and forth match, that Kojima will definitely put up a fight in. EVIL has all the tools in my opinion to start out as a US Champ, and when it's possible I'd love to see him face Moxley.
Hirooki Goto vs. Yujiro Takahashi
Just like Ishii, Goto is the best he's ever been and deserves to be in the world title picture, the problem that they both face, is they are in a group lead by Okada. Goto, in my opinion needs to breakout on his own, he needs to get the shot he deserves. Yujiro, is and has been the fall guy for the Bullet Club for a while, and seems like he'll be staying in that role for the foreseeable future. Should be a fine match, but Goto should win handily here. I could see him going far but his round two match against EVIL will be a very evenly matched contest that I look forward to watching for sure
That's gonna do it for me, Night 3 and 4 are bound to be great as far as the match-ups go, and I look forward to watching it. Hope everyone has enjoyed the tournament to this point, and enjoys the rest going forward to eventually get us to the big Dominion show in July.