Bad Luck Fale has made it through the first round of the New Japan Cup tournament, defeating long-time rival Togi Makabe.
Fale pinned Makabe following a Bad Luck Bomb, avenging his loss to the “Unchained Gorilla” from Wrestle Kingdom 8 in January.
“That Makabe is a tough SOB!” Fale tweeted. “What a battle we just had. But I finally got the pin. One to remember!”
Both men rushed at each other with lariats when the match began but neither was able to get a clear advantage in the striking department.
Fale buckled first when the action moved outside of the ring, and both men brawled their way into the audience in a scene reminiscent of Fale’s battles against Travis Banks, Rocket, and Kingi in IPW.
Back in the ring, Fale was able to take control of the match, so Makabe moved the action through the ropes again and retrieved a folding chair from under the ring.
The referee refused to let Makabe back in the ring with the chair, so the “Unchained Gorilla” knocked the official down.
Fale then tried to used Makabe’s trademark chain against him, but Makabe would wrestle the chain from Fale and drop him with a chain-assisted lariat.
Fale avoided a top rope splash from Makabe and the two struggled to set up their signature moves until Fale connected with the Grenade.
Surprisingly, Makabe was able to kick out at a count of two, leaving Fale with only one option: the Bad Luck Fall.
Fale lifted Makabe high overhead and flung him into the air, leaving him to crash to the canvas before covering him for the victory.
Fale now advances to the quarter-final stage of the New Japan Cup tournament, where he will face former NEVER Openweight Champion Tetsuya Naito.
The winner of the New Japan Cup will be given the choice of a match for either the IWGP Heavyweight or Intercontinental Championship, currently held by Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi respectively.