New Japan Pro Wrestling
BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS 26
Day 6 – B Block
Yamagata Big Wing
Kevin Kelly and Caprice Coleman on commentary.
REN NARITA vs ROCKY ROMERO
We get the bell and Rocky fires up the crowd. Lockup, they trade control and standoff. Another lockup, headscissors by Narita takes Rocky over and he grounds Rocky. Nice mat counter by Rocky into a bow and arrow hold, Narita reverses into a cover for 1 and snatches a facelock. Rocky with a cravate, Narita rolls through but Rocky holds on. Slam by Narita is reversed as Rocky keeps the cravate, nice counter by Narita, they trade counters and Rocky drops a knee on the arm, and works the arm over. Classic knee drop to the arm off the ropes by Rocky, cover but only 2, and keeps on the arm. Kimura is applied but Narita makes the ropes. Rocky keeps things methodical, locks in a Cobra Clutch and hits shoulder blocks, transitioning between them. Rocky toys with Narita, gets the Cobra again but Narita gets a backdrop to change momentum. Narita fires at Rocky and hits the body slam. The high belly to belly is blocked but he gets Rocky in a different belly to belly, covers but only 2.
Narita tries the Crab but Rocky fights out of it, hits a nice Euro and sets up Shiranui but Narita gets a backslide for 2, looks for a rollup, Rocky counters but Narita gets it anyway for a quick 2 count. Jacknife into a bridge up and they fight for the backslide position, Rocky rolls through as Narita looks for the Crab, rolls Rocky away and gets a cross-legged Boston Crab instead and sits down, but Rocky gets the ropes. The high belly to belly is blocked again, they trade and Narita gets an overhead throw and covers but only gets 2. They trade again, big jumping knee from Rocky connects but he only gets 2. Big lariat connects by Rocky, cover but still only 2. Rocky fires up, lines up Shiranui but Narita gets a cradle but only gets 2. Rocky goes back to the arm, but Narita asks for more and fires up. HUGE slap by Narita, but Rocky nails the rewind kick and covers but only gets 2, transitions into the cross armbreaker, Narita locks hands and stacks Rocky for 2, Rocky pulls the arm free and wrenches and Narita has to TAP.
Rocky Romero defeats Ren Narita by submission via the cross armbar
JAY’S RATING: 2.75 out of 5
A nice opening contest, with Rocky finally getting on the board after some killer performances thus far. Narita is VERY promising and I’m excited for his growth on excursion. Rocky didnt have to do much here overall, but he still is so crisp, and I still feel like this is the best Rocky we’ve seen yet.
After the match, Rocky slaps Narita but then extends his hand, but Narita smacks it more than shakes it.
DOUKI vs BANDIDO
DOUKI rushes before the bell but Bandido is ready for him, dumping DOUKI and hitting a big suicide dive into the audience, but DOUKI then comes back and sends Bandido into the corner post. Choke by DOUKI outside. Bandido sent back inside and DOUKI keeps the pressure on. Cover by DOUKI but only 2, and he grounds Bandido in a stretch. Bandido makes the ropes to break. DOUKI with the running double stomp, cover but still 2. Bandido hits a boot and an enziguri, then lands the tornillo off the top and a tilt a whirl rana, DOUKI bails but Bandido hits a GORGEOUS tope con giro to wipe out DOUKI. The ref begins the count on both. Spring crossbody by Bandido connects, follows with a big reverse suplex and a Shining Wizard, cover but only 2. The 21-Plex is blocked and DOUKI counters a spring with a dropkick to break the momentum. Pop-up cutter by Bandido is blocked and DOUKI nails a nice dropkick, but Bandido hits one of his own. DOUKI fires back with a nice lariat, cover for 2 and he gets that wrist clutch leg choke of his, but Bandido makes the ropes to break it. The spring DDT is countered by Bandido who lands a nice knee strike, DOUKI fires back but Bandido catches him BEAUTIFULLY off the ropes and locks in a headscissors/armbar combo, but DOUKI gets the ropes. 21-Plex is countered again and DOUKI gets the slingshot DDT, covers but only 2. Suplex De La Luna is countered into a hard rollup for 2 by Bandido, DOUKI fires off a big slap but Bandido hoists DOUKI and lands the West Knee, then hits 21-Plex, bridges and thats the WIN.
Bandido defeats DOUKI by pinfall via the 21-Plex
JAY’S RATING: 2.75 out of 5
Another good match at the early part of the tourney action, with Bandido now getting on the board with a win over DOUKI. Definitely DOUKI’s strongest work, which I in part attribute to having some solid pre-existing chemistry with Bandido as they have worked together before. It allowed both of them to connect really well, and very happy to see Bandido get on the board because the dude is AMAZING.
ROBBIE EAGLES vs EL PHANTASMO
We get a Too Sweet into a handshake between the two Bullet Club teammates. Lockups take them into the ropes, with ELP slapping Robbie. Robbie pushes him off, they tease a Too Sweet but ELP gets a cheap shot. NICE rope climb armdrag from Robbie, nice running rana and spin heel kick connect and ELP bails. ELP knocks Caprice’s water bottle away and gets physical with Kevin Kelly. Robbie tells ELP to get back inside, ELP apologizes but then pushes Robbie into the corner post. ELP tosses Robbie back inside and puts the pressure on, stomping the mudhole. Robbie fires back and gets a rollup for 2 and hits a boot. ELP with a spring crossbody into a lionsault, cover but only 2. Headlock by ELP grounds Robbie but Robbie looks for Shiranui, ELP counters into the tree of whoa and drives in a knee. ELP teases the crowd with the clapping, then climbs and steps on the crotch of Robbie. Robbie throws him off, climbs and hits a great rana off the top and a 619, follows with a spring elbow to the back of ELP’s head, corner double knees and seated corner double knees. Bridging cover, but ELP is out at 2.
Shiranui is blocked again, nice kicks connect and he hits the cutthroat tornado neckbreaker. Cover by ELP but only 2. ELP lines Robbie up and looks for CR2, Robbie counters into a rollup for 1, ELP with one for 1, another reversal, ELP gets a backslide for 2. They trade, nice kicks by Robbie and a cover gets him 2. Robbie is playing more the face here, firing up the crowd but ELP gets a jumping enziguri while Robbie is on top. Nice evade by Robbie who plants ELP with a poison rana and hits Shiranui off the ropes and covers but only gets 2. Robbie climbs and hits a great 450 into a cover but still only gets 2. No wasted motion from Robbie who looks for Turbo Backpack, ELP blinds Robbie with his own bandana in a backslide for 2 and hits a low superkick, follows up with CR2, covers and thats the 3 count.
El Phantasmo defeats Robbie Eagles by pinfall via CR2
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5
Some really nice storytelling here with ELP notching another big win, though if I’m being honest, Robbie showed more sharpness in execution than ELP did. Its not that ELP isnt talented, but his style and smoothness sometimes pushes him to move just a touch more slowly, which made Robbie feel more explosive by comparison. Got my eye firmly on Eagles given this tournament work.
After the match, we get a bit of tension between the BC teammates, but they Too Sweet at the end of things. He then throws the LIJ hat of a young fan with Downs Syndrome away… what a heel.
YOH vs WILL OSPREAY
Nice love for both here. They lock up and work quickly, with Will grounding Yoh with a headlock. Yoh gets a headscissors to counter. Headstand escape by Will who then ties up the legs of Yoh, transitions to a headlock. Tackle by Will drops Yoh, armdrag and dropkick connect from Yoh and they are pretty even so far. They run the ropes and Will gets the monkey flip, Yoh bails and we get the feint dive from Will with the pose. Baseball slide from Will connects followed by the pescado forearm to drop Yoh. A chop by Will just CRACKS. Yoh sent back inside, put in the corner and Will hits another HARD chop. Slam by Will is followed by a kneedrop, cocky cover gets 2. Chinlock by Will grounds Yoh, but Yoh makes the ropes. Will keeps the pressure on, covers and gets another 2. They trade shots, Yoh gets a nice dragon screw to stop Will’s momentum. Yoh fires up, hits the corkscrew forearm and kips up. Corner back elbow by Yoh, Will with an enziguri but Yoh blocks the over the top 619 and hits a dragon screw over the top rope. Will is dumped outside, Yoh fires the crowd up and gets a perfect tope con giro, wiping out Will. Yoh puts Will back inside and works the knees, looks for a Figure Four and Will tries to prevent it but Yoh locks it in fully. Will pulls himself to the ropes for the break.
Dropkicks to the knee from Yoh for a quick followup. Forearms by Yoh but Will fires back with the handspring enziguri. Will favors the knee but hits the hesitation dropkick anyway. #KingOfSelling. Reverse Bloody Sunday connects, cover by Will but only 2. Will looks for Stormbreaker, Yoh blocks and Will lays in kicks and looks for the Os-Cutter, Yoh counters and goes back to the knee. Yoh fires up, Will looks for the backflip enziguri but the knee gives out and Yoh pounces into a Calf Crusher, but Will makes the ropes. Yoh keeps the pressure on the knee, looks for the dragon suplex but Will grabs the ropes, gets a kick from the apron and hits Pip Pip Cheerio and the running shooting star press for 2, but Yoh bridges out of the cover. Will follows with a Liger Bomb but still only gets 2. Os-Cutter is called for again, Yoh counters again, drapes Will and hits a draping Helms Street and covers but only gets 2. Yoh is up top with Will and looks for a superplex but Will fights it off, slides through and gets Cheeky Nandos. Will thinks about flying, climbs but the knee is hurting, misses the Shooting Star and looks to land on his feet but the knee buckles, and Yoh goes for the Calf Crusher again! Will teases tapping as Yoh pulls him back to center but finally makes the ropes to break.
Yoh is feeling it, Will fights back and they trade shots, Kawada kicks by Will but Yoh catches one, looks for the dragon screw but Will counters and hits a standing double stomp. Will hits the Robinson Special, lines up the Os-Cutter but Yoh catches him in a German suplex and bridges but only gets 2. Yoh looks for the dragon suplex, Will counters, they trade evasions and Will eats a superkick from Yoh and both are down. Dragon suplex is attempted again by Yoh, Will counters again but Yoh goes back to the knee and hits a release dragon suplex into the corner. Yoh looks to finish, but Will lands on his feet and hits a head kick, superkick, Yoh hits a jumping knee but Will catches him in a standing Spanish Fly and covers but only gets 2. Stormbreaker connects, cover by Will and thats 3.
Will Ospreay defeats Yoh by pinfall via Stormbreaker
JAY’S RATING: 4 out of 5
A great showing from both here, with the right person winning. Will’s selling work continues to be superb, and Yoh is a burgeoning star in his own right and has been showing as much throughout the tournament so far. They brought some really great stuff out of each other, and as Will continues to split time in the heavyweight ranks, I’m excited by what we have yet to see from Yoh as he continues to develop. Nice work.
BUSHI vs RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
Taguchi does a little dance to the crowd chanting his name, then teases the wrist lock and silly fashion before booting BUSHI. Taguchi starts running the ropes but BUSHI just stands there as Taguchi goes back and forth and runs out of breath, so BUSHI trips him, looks for the low dropkick but Taguchi moves and stays ahead of BUSHI. Love it. Taguchi teases Kokeshi, and lands it! KOKESHI MAKES YOU HAPPY! Taguchi teases the hip attack but BUSHI strikes him in the rear, Taguchi is dumped and BUSHI gets a chair shot to the bum and steps on the bum for good measure. Kick to the bum by BUSHI who then rolls Taguchi back in to choke him with the t-shirt. Neckbreaker by BUSHI, cover but only 2. BUSHI keeps working the hip and bum, targeting one of Taguchi’s signature weapons, and locks in an STF in the middle of the ring to ground and slow Taguchi. Taguchi makes the ropes to break, but BUSHI holds on a bit longer. Atomic drop by BUSHI continues to target the bum, catches a hip attack into another 2 atomic drops and kicks at the bum but Taguchi hits a hip attack off the ropes that sends BUSHI outside. Spring pescado by Taguchi connects and both are down at ringside. BUSHI sent back inside and Taguchi hits the spring hip attack inside, covers but only gets 2. Taguchi dropkicks the leg and looks for the ankle lock, but BUSHI quickly gets the ropes.
Taguchi puts BUSHI against the bottom rope and looks for the hip attack series but he only gets one, BUSHI counters and looks for an apron DDT but Taguchi counters that into a hip attack, looks to dive onto BUSHI outside but BUSHI moves and hits a suicide dive of his own. The ref begins to count both but BUSHI rolls Taguchi back inside, hits corner double knees and hits the mid rope dropkick into the BUSH-a-roonie. Taguchi looks for 3 Amigos but only gets 1 as BUSHI drapes Taguchi over the middle, gets a dropkick to the back and hits the apron DDT. Backstabber by BUSHI connects, cover but only gets 2. BUSHI climbs and looks for MX but Taguchi cuts him off with the hip attack. Taguchi looks for Dodon, BUSHI counters and looks for the Fisherman neckbreaker, Taguchi counters and BUSHI tries the rewind kick but Taguchi snatches the ankle lock instead. BUSHI looks for the ropes but gets pulled back to center, but BUSHI sends Taguchi into the ref. Taguchi checks on him, BUSHI teases the mist and Taguchi ducks but BUSHI fakes him out and spits it right in Taguchi’s eyes! Rewind kick by BUSHI connects, he climbs for MX again, but Taguchi moves and hits an enziguri, but BUSHI gets an amazing bridging backslide for 2. BUSHI looks for a standing MX but gets caught and Taguchi turns it back into the ankle lock, then transitions into Dodon and covers, but BUSHI is out at 2. Right back to the ankle lock by Taguchi, who drops the elbow on it and drops down into the hold and BUSHI has to TAP.
Ryusuke Taguchi defeats BUSHI by submission via the ankle lock
JAY’S RATING: 3.5 out of 5
This was a really good match, if short of being truly great. BUSHI is solid as hell though – he just doesnt quite have that spark for me that really makes his matches special. Taguchi is so entertaining, however, and that really carried so much of this for me. Love seeing Taguchi still rack up points, proving that he hasnt slowed a bit and if anything is only refining more and more over time. A fun match to close the day, though it couldnt compare with the semi-main event.
Yet another solid day. Really enjoying the tournament still, though it does feel like they might have really driven super hard super early and things are getting just a tad tired. Ospreay/Yoh is the big one to catch here, and Taguchi/BUSHI is pretty entertaining. The standings now are:
Taiji Ishimori: (3-0) 6pts.
Shingo Takagi: (3-0) 6pts.
Dragon Lee: (2-1) 4pts.
Marty Scurll: (2-1) 4pts.
Tiger Mask: (2-1) 4pts.
Jonathan Gresham: (1-2) 2pts
Titan: (1-2) 2pts.
Sho: (1-2) 2pts.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: (0-3) 0pts.
TAKA Michinoku: (0-3) 0pts.
El Phantasmo: (3-0) 6pts.
Will Ospreay: (3-0) 6pts.
Ryusuke Taguchi: (3-0) 6pts.
Robbie Eagles: (2-1) 4pts.
Yoh: (1-2) 2pts.
Bandido: (1-2) 2pts.
DOUKI: (1-2) 2pts.
Rocky Romero: (1-2) 2pts.
BUSHI: (0-3) 0pts.
Ren Narita: (0-3) 0pts.