NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Day 4 Report | Aired 5/16/19

New Japan Pro Wrestling
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BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS 26
Day 4 – B Block

Aired 5/16/19
Aomori industrial Exhibition Concourse

Kevin Kelly and Caprice Coleman on commentary.

ROBBIE EAGLES vs REN NARITA

Eagles takes the arm to start and they trade wrist control and try to stay ahead of each other on the mat. Tackle by Eagles drops Narita, and another. Narita with a trip into a headlock, which he holds on to strong. They run the ropes and Narita gets a tackle of his own. Eagles chop blocks the leg and begins to target the knee. Cover by Eagles but only 2. The leg work continues with Eagles grounding Narita, who makes it to the ropes. Eagles keeps the pressure on while looking cocky but Narita evades the corner knees and hits a nice slam, and follows with a nice dropkick for 2. Caprice mentions the crispness and impact on the basics with the Young Lions – this is why I’ve become a huge fan of the dojo system mentality since getting into NJPW. Narita looks for the bridging belly to belly, Eagles counters and escapes a Boston Crab attempt and nails a spring dropkick to the knee with precision. Cover by Eagles but only 2.

Kicks by Eagles, Narita looks for his finish again but Eagles takes out the knee and hits a running northern lariat to a kneeling Narita, covers but only 2. Narita with a quick cradle for 2, Eagles looks for Turbo Backpack but Narita gets a backslide for 2. They trade, nice kicks by Eagles but Narita ducks one and gets the belly to belly but no bridge, tries the cover but only 2. Narita looks for the Boston Crab, Eagles evades and Narita rolls BEAUTIFULLY and locks in a cross-legged crab instead! The crowd is BEHIND Narita, which is awesome, but Eagles gets the ropes. Narita fires up, Eagles blocks a suplex attempt and lands a kick to the face, Narita tries to come back and knocks down Eagles for 2. Narita is on fire. Nice flurry from Eagles and he gets a quick Turbo Backpack and covers for the WIN.

Robbie Eagles defeats Ren Narita by pinfall via Turbo Backpack
JAY’S RATING: 3.25 out of 5

This was a really strong opener for the show, maybe a little short but given Narita’s Lion status it didnt bug me, and goddamn did Narita show some real fire here. This might be my favorite Ren Narita performance to date as he really showed skill against Eagles, but the experience edge came through and Eagles notches another good-looking win. Good open.

BANDIDO vs YOH

Nice response for Yoh. We get a handshake to begin. Lockup and Yoh is able to get Bandido down with the arm, and they trade mat control and start by feeling each other out. LOTS of love for Yoh. Headlock by Yoh followed by a tackle to drop Bandido, they run the ropes and Bandido shows his power with a great military press slam, but Yoh drapes Bandido on the middle rope and hits a dropkick to the back. Yoh continues with dropkicks to the grounded Bandido and starts looking to work over the knee. Slam by Yoh and a cover for 1. Bandido tries to mount a comeback and lands a top rope tornillo and sends Yoh outside, Yoh tries to rebound but Bandido cuts him off while favoring the leg. Bandido looks for a suplex from the apron but Yoh blocks and brings Bandido to the apron, they trade shots and Bandido gets a headscissors takeover on Yoh to the floor, and follows with an INSANE top rope spring moonsault to the floor wiping out Yoh. Jesus. The ref begins the count as Bandido sends Yoh back inside and covers for 2. The stinger splash misses by Bandido, they trade and evade until Yoh gets the back/neckbreaker combo and both are down.

Yoh looks to fire up and takes down Bandido, and hits a nice corkscrew forearm and a kip up. Bandido evades a dive and they get a little sloppy but Bandido hits a nice pop-up cutter before EATING a superkick by Yoh! Yoh gets hung in the ropes and Bandido pops up to the top rope and hits a draped 450 splash, cover but only 2. Bandido looks for the 21-Plex, Yoh escapes and hits a great bridging German suplex for 2. Bandido gets set up top and Yoh climbs but Bandido fights it off, looks to fly but Yoh cuts him off and hits the superplex, floats it over and DOES THE DEAL WITH THE FALCON ARROW! Cover by Yoh but its only 2! NO ONE KICKS OUT OF THE FALCON ARROW! Yoh looks for the dragon suplex, Bandido fights it and looks for the West Knee, lands it and connects with a big lariat and covers, but Yoh is out at 2. Bandido looks for a 21-Plex but Yoh evades again and dumps Bandido with a release dragon suplex on his head, then hits a bridging dragon suplex and covers and Yoh gets his first WIN in the tournament!

Yoh defeats Bandido by pinfall via bridging dragon suplex
JAY’S RATING: 3 out of 5

Another really strong match tonight, with a couple of sloppy spots but these two worked hard to keep locked in, and it paid off. Yoh gets a strong win here with a ton of crowd support. I’m sad to see Bandido go 0-2, but with his ROH commitments, the result makes sense.

EL PHANTASMO vs BUSHI

BUSHI extends the hand, ELP loogies his hand and extends so BUSHI puts the gun fingers to ELP’s head so ELP bites the fingers. They start fast in the ropes, ELP cartwheels out of a headscissors and lands a dropkick, cover but BUSHI is out at 2. ELP starts working the right hand of BUSHI, walks the ropes with ease, kicking BUSHI at each corner but BUSHI interrupts and puts ELP down to ringside, following with an over the top rana on the floor. The action slows down a bit outside and BUSHI rolls ELP back in and chokes him with the shirt. ELP comes back with a shirt choke of his own, turning it into a neckbreaker and covers, the ref (Red Shoes Uno) is not calling the DQ but wont count the cover. I actually love that distinction. ELP then tosses the shirt at the ref and keeps on BUSHI, tying him in the tree of woe and stepping on BUSHI’s crotch “Oh Canada”-style. Cover but only 2. ELP keeps the pressure on, but BUSHI comes back with a rana off the middle rope and both are down. Strikes by ELP on BUSHI in the corner, BUSHI gets a corner overhead kick and a missle dropkick into the BUSH-a-roonie, double knees connect and BUSHI plants ELP with a DDT for 2.

ELP blocks a monkey flip and gets the cut-throat tornado rack neckbreaker, cover but only 2. Lionsault follows by ELP for another 2. BUSHI gets the advantage in the corner, ELP is stood on the middle rope and BUSHI gets a super rana from that position and covers for 2. MX is called for but ELP catches him in a superkick and BUSHI rolls outside, and ELP follows with a suicide dive. ELP back inside and hits a second suicide dive, then rolls BUSHI back in and climbs, landing a BIG splash and covers but BUSHI is out at 2. ELP traps the arms but BUSHI ranas ELP onto the middle rope and gets a hung apron DDT, then looks for the Fisherman Neckbreaker, ELP pushes BUSHI at the ref and hits a low blow, follows with Greetings from Chasewood Park and covers and thats the 3 count.

El Phantasmo defeats BUSHI by pinfall via Greetings from Chasewood Park
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5

This was a good match, but went back into what I’ve sometimes felt in the past from ELP – everything moved just a little bit slower than it feels like the spots and moves called for. I appreciate the care and precision, but the trade off is it sometimes lets the air and tension out of the match. Nonetheless, both were able to hit their stuff and ELP notches another win, which feels right.

ROCKY ROMERO vs WILL OSPREAY

This could be fun. 🙂 We get the bell, Rocky extends the hand and we get the shake between CHAOS teammates. Lockup and they work fast into a quick standoff. Rocky pulls an Okada break in the ropes, they go fast again, nice evasions and a GREAT sequence into a standoff. Rocky uses the experience to dump Will and hits a baseball slide. Back inside and he hits a basement dropkick, cover but only 1. Rocky looks for Forever Clotheslines but Will counters, Will also counters Shiranui and hits an over the top 619 to take some control. BIG chop from Will. Slam and a knee drop by Will connects for 2. Will keeps on Rocky but Rocky is able to tie Will up in a nice octopus hold, Will tries the ropes but Rocky wrenches the arm back, but Will finally unhooks himself and transitions the move into a backbreaker. Rocky gets grounded by Will, who locks in a chinlock. Rocky fights up and they trade, with Will hitting a FUCKING HARD chop that collapses Rocky. Will measures Rocky who counters from the corner and hits an INSANE around the world DDT that pops Will right on his head, bouncing Will off the top of his head. (#KingOfSelling.) Rocky fires up and looks for a running rana, Will cartwheels out of it but misses the PK, Rocky with another rana attempt and Will with another cartwheel and hits the kick but Rocky catches him mid-handspring with a kick to the arm. Will looks to dump Rocky but Rocky stays on the apron and works the arm, then lands a spring rana, Will to the outside and Rocky wipes Will out with a tope suicida.

Back inside and Rocky drapes Will over the top rope, then springs into a dropkick to the back and covers but only gets 2. Rocky goes back to the arm, hitting a classic knee drop to the arm off the middle rope. Whip by Rocky but Will holds the ropes to counter, but that also further extends the hurt arm. Rocky gets the whip but Will comes back with the handspring enziguri and both are down as Will rolls to the apron. Will up and hits Pip Pip Cheerio and covers with difficulty for 2. BEAUTIFUL Space Flying Tiger Drop by Will wipes out Rocky, as Will keeps selling the arm. Back inside and Will takes control. They trade stiff shots and Will connects with a high roundhouse to the head, Rocky collapses and Will calls for the Os-Cutter, but Rocky catches it into a cross armbreaker. Will rolls to stack Rocky up but Rocky powers him back down and gets the arm fully extended, and Will rolls quickly to the ropes for the break. Rocky fires the crowd back up and keeps on the arm. Nice high kick from Will, Rocky answers with the rewind kick, Will gets the backflip enziguri and both are down again. Rocky evades the hesitation dropkick and gets some Forever Clotheslines going, Will looks to counter and they exchange evasions and Rocky hits a big lariat, and follows with the running Shiranui and the crowd is with him but he only gets a 2 count!

Rocky looks strong and goes for a rana, Will holds on and gets a buckle bomb. Reverse Bloody Sunday connects by Will but still only 2. Hook kick by Will connects and he looks for Stormbreaker, Rocky escapes into a backslide for a close 2, another rollup for another close 2, Rocky sets up Shiranui but Will counters into a superkick, then hoists Rocky for Stormbreaker but Rocky turns it into a GREAT rana rollup, but STILL only gets 2! Rocky Romero is having a GREAT tournament this year, and I’ve been feeling for a while that Rocky has really reached a next level consistently with his work, from story to execution to everything in between. They trade on their knees, Will still favoring the left arm, Rocky staggers Will but Will comes right back with a forearm, Rocky fires up (FIGHTING SPIRIT!) and keeps coming. Big euro by Will and he looks for the Hidden Blade but Rocky has eyes in the back of his head and ducks, hitting a jumping knee strike and a big right hand to put Will down. Rocky looks for a lariat, eats a kick but then fights for the cross armbreaker again and gets the extension! Will looks like he’s in trouble, the crowd is leaning forward and Will shifts over to hoist Rocky up and plant him with a sitout powerbomb! Cover, but only 2! We get the 5 minute warning as Will climbs to the top and hits a HUGE shooting star press, but Rocky is still out at 2! Will follows quickly with Stormbreaker, covers and finally gets the WIN.

Will Ospreay defeats Rocky Romero by pinfall via Stormbreaker
JAY’S RATING: 4.25 out of 5

I fucking loved this match. This was awesome. Will is the future of this entire industry (one might call him the present, but I feel like he’s got a lot more ahead of him). He is also CONSISTENTLY AMAZING at selling and keeping the sell throughout the match. I am all for Will taking the win here as the rising star, but FUCKING KUDOS to Rocky Romero here, who was an utter superstar. I have become one of the biggest Rocky Romero fans over the past few years, and if you want to see a match that demonstrates precisely why, WATCH THIS MATCH. His storytelling is off the charts, his work and passion comes out of his pores, his precision is nuts, he’s great as a manager and on commentary… its unfortunate that no one seems to really be looking at him again for any sort of singles title run, because the dude is MONEY right now. And you could feel the crowd – and NJPW crowds have been loving Ospreay – REALLY WANT Rocky to get what some would call an upset, and that crowd response was gold. UGH. What a great match and what great two talents here.

After the match, Will cradles his CHAOS teammate in respect.

DOUKI vs RYUSUKE TAGUCHI

God I love Taguchi’s music. Sometimes I’ll play it on repeat and just smile. DOUKI attacks before the bell in typical Suzuki-Gun fashion, with Taguchi still in his Taguchi Japan gear. DOUKI stays on Taguchi, who has yet to remove his entrance gear as he fires back. DOUKI with the splits that dumps Taguchi, and he keeps the pressure on outside with a big slam on the floor. Then DOUKI decides to target Uemura at ringside and slams the Young Lion onto Taguchi. He then does the same thing to another Lion to a chorus of boos. DOUKI now climbs and jumps back-first onto Taguchi and the 2 Lions. That is a very dangerous looking flying standing senton. DOUKI back inside as the ref begins to count. Taguchi barely gets back in at 19, and is still wearing his shirt and rugby helmet. DOUKI keeps the pressure on Taguchi in the corner, then rakes his face along the top rope. Taguchi tries to mount a comeback again but DOUKI goes to the eyes to keep control, but Taguchi finally lands hip attacks to stagger and send DOUKI outside, looks for a pescado but DOUKI moves out of the way and Taguchi crashes and burns. Snap suplex by DOUKI on the floor. Taguchi (still in rugby helmet) fires up and looks for a spring hip attack off the apron but DOUKI crushes him with a chair on the rebound. Hard whip by DOUKI to Taguchi deep into the audience chairs.

The ref starts counting both out so DOUKI rolls Taguchi back inside. Running double stomp by DOUKI connects but only for 2. DOUKI with a stretch to ground Taguchi but Taguchi makes the ropes. Hip attack is blocked into an atomic drop by DOUKI but the next one connects and Taguchi follows with a seated dropkick on the money, and then wipes out DOUKI on the outside with the spring dive. Back inside Taguchi hits the spring hip attack but only gets 2. Taguchi looks for the 3 Amigos, DOUKI blocks number 3 but Taguchi gets it on the next attempt. Cover, but only 2. The ankle lock gets locked in by Taguchi but he transitions into Dodon’s Throne and covers, but only gets 2. Taguchi looks for Dodon, DOUKI looks for a rollup but Taguchi gets the cover instead for 2 and reapplies the ankle lock, pulling DOUKI away from the ropes and the drops down into the ankle lock. DOUKI hooks the ref and Taichi hits the ring and dumps Taguchi with a backdrop suplex. Taichi, who was on commentary, returns to his seat and Milano AT looks to give him words. Taguchi chants from the crowd. DOUKI with a spinning slam and a cover but only 2. Suddenly DOUKI is selling the ankle… though it didnt seem to hinder the slam he just pulled off…

DOUKI lines up Taguchi from the apron and gets a spring DDT over the top rope on Taguchi, then looks for Suplex De La Luna but Taguchi fights it off, but DOUKI gets the cross-arm foot choke we saw last time and pulls Taguchi away from the ropes. Taguchi looks like he’s fading but the crowd gets behind him, he looks to fight up and finally gets the ropes. BIG lariat by DOUKI drops Taguchi, and he looks for Suplex De La Luna again but Taguchi gets a rollup for 2, and follows with a Blue Thunder Bomb and both are down. They rise and trade shots but DOUKI evades a corner hip attack and Taguchi collides with the ref, and Taichi is on the apron with a chair. Taguchi catches him though and chases him off, but DOUKI gets the chair and swings, Taguchi ducks the shot and takes out both DOUKI and Taichi. Taguchi now sets up the chair and gets a gourdbuster onto it, then pushes it out of the ring and channels Nakamura, and hits BUMMER YE! Cover, but only 2! Taguchi chants as he fires up, looks for Dodon and nails it, then transitions right into the ankle lock. Taichi tries to intervene but the Lions hold him back, Taguchi drops down into the hold and DOUKI has no choice but to TAP. (Plus, after the bell Taguchi holds on a bit longer, showing that he can go aggressive when he needs to.)

Ryusuke Taguchi defeats DOUKI by submission via the ankle lock
JAY’S RATING: 2.5 out of 5

You know, a lot of people were down on this match given all the outside interference and shenanigans. But I dont know. Was it a great match and should it have been the main event of the day’s action? No. It definitely shouldnt have been, especially after being preceded by Ospreay/Romero, which stole the tourney matches on Day 4. But it was what its match style was meant to be, and so I feel like I need to judge it by how well it pulled off what it was trying to pull off – I need to meet it where its at. And on that level, it was a solid showing of a match. DOUKI is a bit one-note, and that definitely hurts this kind of match, especially when it goes as long as this one did. But Taguchi played his part of the story quite well, and showed that touch of aggression toward the end that took the win. Taguchi is another one who is reaching veteran status but still delivers such good work, pretty much all the time. Funky Weapon FTW.

JAY’S THOUGHTS:

Another solid day of action, though this time the main event definitely felt like a bit of a letdown. I’m not as harsh on this style of match as some, but come on, Ospreay/Romero stole the show, and anyone who has been paying attention could have predicted that, so why that was the semi-main is utterly beyond me. But this was a good set of advancements, and I’m looking forward to more. Updated standings:

A BLOCK

POINTS

B BLOCK

POINTS

Taiji Ishimori

4 (2-0)

Ryusuke Taguchi

4 (2-0)

Shingo Takagi

4 (2-0)

Will Ospreay

4 (2-0)

Tiger Mask IV

4 (2-0)

El Phantasmo

4 (2-0)

Dragon Lee

2 (1-1)

Robbie Eagles

4 (2-0)

Titan

2 (1-1)

DOUKI

2 (1-1)

Marty Scurll

2 (1-1)

YOH

2 (1-1)

Jonathan Gresham

2 (1-1)

BUSHI

0 (0-2)

SHO

0 (0-2)

Bandido

0 (0-2)

Yoshinobu Kanemaru

0 (0-2)

Rocky Romero

0 (0-2)

TAKA Michinoku

0 (0-2)

Ren Narita

0 (0-2)

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