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By Matthew Macklin on 2018-03-12 14:30:00

Results from the final matches in the first round of the New Japan Cup:

Toru Yano defeated Davey Boy Smith Jr.  This wasn't very good. It was your usual Yano match, except it felt twice as long. Nothing really happened and there was no flow to it.  Smith kicked and punched at Yano a lot, while Yano tried to cheat at every turn. The finish saw Smith get crotched on the guardrail and was counted out. Smith should have won here. He deserves better than this. He is being completely under-utilised in his current role.

SANADA defeated Chuck Taylor.  Chuck Taylor main eventing a New Japan show is right at the top of the list of things I never thought I'd see.  That being said, this was a really good match and especially because Taylor is still a relative unknown in NJPW. Taylor set up a table early and this involved a struggle around it. Taylor hit a nice running cannonball into the crowd. Taylor was eventually powerbombed through the table and SANADA took control.  Taylor got a near fall with a falcon arrow and missed a moonsault. SANADA got a near fall with a TKO.  Taylor hit soul food and his finish, the Awful Waffle, but pulling SANADA away from the ropes allowed him time to recover and kick out. There were some great counters and pinning combos from Taylor, but he was locked in Skull End. SANADA released the hold and pinned him after a Moonsault.

The quarter finals are set:

Juice Robinson vs Michael Elgin
Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bad Luck Fale

Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr
SANADA vs Toru Yano

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