The final of NJPW’s New Japan Cup tournament took place today, as former multi-time IWGP Champion and NJ Cup 2019 winner Kazuchika Okada took on Los Ingobernables de Japon member EVIL.
Okada defeated EVIL’s stablemate Sanada in last year’s final and was the heavy favourite to make it two trophies in a row heading into Saturday’s event.
However, in an upset, EVIL was able to defeat the Rainmaker in an epic final, marred slightly by late interference by the Bullet Club.
Though the run-in at first appeared to be anti-Okada, however, there soon proved to be more to it than at first seemed.
IWGP heavyweight and Intercontinental champion Tetsuya Naito came to the ring to celebrate with his LIJ underling, only for EVIL to attack the group leader.
Bullet Club returned to help put the boots to the champ, and EVIL’s defection from LIJ to the Club was complete 24 hours before his title challenge at Dominion tomorrow.
EVIL’s dissatisfaction with life in LIJ had been hinted at for over a year, and his desire to finally win the big one and become champion at any cost was increasingly apparent during this tournament, NJPW’s first serious action since the COVID-19 lockdown ground wrestling to a halt.
Tomorrow’s main event is now a bona fide grudge match as hostilities between LIJ and Bullet Club hit fever pitch.
Full card results
EVIL def. Kazuchika Okada
Los Ingobernables (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & Shingo Takagi) def. Chaos (Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & Sho)
Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr., Taichi & El Desperado) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Yuji Nagata & Ryusuke Taguchi
Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Los Ingobernables (Sanada & Bushi)
Master Wato def. Douki
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima def. Hirooki Goto & Gabriel Kidd
Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Homna) def. Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji