Day eight of the Road to Destruction and the Young Lion Cup sees the action arrive in Yamaguchi, one day before the first big stop of the tour in Beppu.
Shota Umino (2-1) vs Yuya Uemura (0-3)
After a painful early loss to Clark Connors, Shota Umino seems to be finding his rhythm in the Young Lion Cup. Opposite Michael Richards in Shizuoka, Umino was more measured in his approach, leading ultimately to a Fisherman’s Suplex to get a pinfall victory. In Yamaguchi, he seeks to move up to six points and make a big stride to the top spot with just over a week to go.
In the opposite corner is Yuya Uemura. Reeling from three losses, the junior member of the New Japan dojo in terms of experience has his toughest matches in front of him, and this is one of them. Can he turn the Dojo hierarchy around by getting his first two points against the most hyped Noge-based prospect?
Clark Connors (2-1) vs Michael Richards (1-2)
The ‘captain’ of the LA Dojo, Clark Connors is hoping to join the current top point score of 6 at a tense mid way point of the tournament. For Richards, with three matches still to go, a loss to Connors doesn’t eliminate him entirely, but will put the Fale Dojo member on the bubble going into the two big events in Beppu and Kagoshima. The confident Connors is a safe favourite for this bout Saturday, but Richards proved he was capable of victory in a New Japan ring, and wants to repeat the feat to stay with a firm chance of contention.