Suzuki-Gun (Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs ACH & Volador Jr - 5.5/10
If this had been Taguchi and ACH, we could have pretended it was a Parejas Increibles. It really annoys me when babyfaces don't help out their tag partner when they're getting their ass kicked on the outside or when they're not making the count and risk losing by countout. Suzuki-Gun had the heat on Volador from the start, they worked his leg.
There was some ref pushing and low blow during the finish, but Kanemaru ended up getting pinned cleaned via small package.
Post-Match - Desperado hinted hitting Kanemaru with a chair, but Kanemaru saw him. They're fighting tomorrow.
Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi, Juice Robinson, and KUSHIDA) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, SANADA, and EVIL) - 6.5/10
I wonder if EVIL travels with the scythe himself, that's got to be a pain in the ass. Match had tons of comedy at first, but the good kind of comedy, the type of comedy I'd pay to watch.
First part of the match was all Taguchi Japan dominating BUSHI, this was all the comedy spots. Later on, LIJ started getting the heat on Juice Robinson, who managed to tag in Taguchi, who after some battling, put BUSHI in la Magistral for the win.
Bullet Club (GoD and Bad Luck Fale) vs War Machine and David Finlay - 6/10
Well, at least it's not Yujiro again, but they played out the fact that every match, Finlay tells War Machine that he'll start this, usually because he starts with Yujiro, but now as he turned around, the man in-front of him was Fale, who straight up sent him packing. Match had a slight different dynamic from the series we've been seeing, but everything between WM and GoD was technically the same spots. I liked the parts with Fale and Finlay, I wanna watch more Fale vs Junior Heavyweights on a one-on-one scenario.
Fale definitely brought in an interesting perspective to the match, since War Machine usually can go 50/50 with GoD, but neither man could handle Fale by themselves, so it does open the what if Fale gets involved at Dominion?
Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Yujiro Takahashi) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Gedo) - 6.5/10
Man, fans really really wanna see Omega vs Okada again, but they'll have to wait, Kenny ain't opening this match. So the biggest take from this match was that Okada could dominate Kenny on a one-on-one setting, only with the help of Yujiro was Okada able to get some offense on him, but they were equal enough to cancel each other out when Yujiro and Gedo were working in the ring. Match was good tag team work, not long, not short, they managed to keep Okada and Omega away enough, and Yujiro gets to take a win home.
BOSJ 24 Block A
Taichi (8) w/Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Desperado vs Jyushi "Thunder" Liger (0) - 7/10, but AWESOME!
If this is the first match of the tournament, when there goes my fantasy booking from Day 10's review. First thing that happens is that Suzuki-Gun jump Liger, Taichi grabs a mic and while I have no idea what he said, I THINK he said something like You've lost all the BOSJ and now I'll defeat you once again and win the tournament (win-loss record actually gives him the spot if he wins).
Match was ALL about life pushing down on Liger. Suzuki-Gun hit him from all angles, cheating, countouts, weapon shots, his mask being ripped off, they CUT HIS FREAKING HORN AND SUIT!! at one point I thought he was going to turn into Kishin Liger if he had any hopes of winning.
Eventually Taguchi and KUSHIDA had enough and came out and took out Desperado and Kanemaru leaving Taichi all alone with a pissed off, fired up Liger! BRAINBUSTER AND 1-2-3!! Liger WINS! THIS WAS AWESOME! This wasn't a wrestling clinic or anything, but it was an awesome story, and at the end, this win alone does make up (for me) all the losses in the tournament. He has removed the biggest threat from the tournament.
Post-match - Liger cuts a promo, sounds like he is crying. I really wish I could understand Japanese right now. Huge ovation for Liger.
BOSJ 24 Block A
Taka Michinoku (2) vs Dragon Lee (8) - 6/10
Taka is in a similar situation than Liger, he can fuck Dragon's hopes for the finals, if Dragon wins, he technically qualifies to the finals regardless of the main event, so hopefully this is not telegraphing the decision. Match was for the most part, the typical Taka match we saw during the tournament, tons of heat via heel tactics and then Dragon Lee makes a comeback. Finish was pretty much Dragon Lee distracting himself into a loss. I guess Dragon Lee winning was just a pipe dream I had all along, not gonna lie, it really bums me down seeing this so early in the show, I really don't care much if either Ospreay or Takahashi win.
BOSJ 24 Block A
"The Villain" Marty Scurll (6) vs "King" Ricochet (8) - 8/10
These guys went for a really indie match, they started fast, started strong, and pulled off some spots they had kept secret from the tournament. In a way, this felt like a more intelligent, where they're not doing the cute spots as much, they're not falling for the same spots that we saw all tournament. They also went for bigger moves and closer nearfalls, and not just working the arm to a Chickenwing. Scurll at the end makes Ricochet submit, tho I don't think he had a chance to qualify unless Takahashi lost, so they we're going to have a main event with a one sided stipulation. Good debut tournament for Scurll.
BOSJ 24 Block A
"The Aerial Assassin" Will Ospreay (8) vs Himoru Takahashi (8) - 9/10
Ospreay has been watching the old Shibata vs Ishii matches, he started the match running straight up at Takahashi, he also at one point realized that he wants to take Dragon Lee's spot as the man who died along Takahashi in the ring. Takahashi worked the leg early in the match as soon as he was able to stop Ospreay's crazy opening; furthermore, Ospreay did a great job selling it, with the only exception when he starts screaming like a lunatic.
Match was great back and forward with tons of risky looking moves. Finish saw Ospreay follow the Essex Destroyer with an Os Cutter for the win.
Post-match - Awesome babyface promo, he says that he kept his promise to make the finals, and now he's going for the back-to-back cup winner, he says that the BOSJ is not a hot potato, he's keeping it and defending it.
A really weak first half of the show, but a great second half. First matches worked to prepare some matches for tomorrow and Dominion, but the wrestling just wasn't there. Second half was a roller-coaster of emotions, first i'm jumping of joy for Liger, then depressed for Dragon Lee, then completely neutral between Ricochet and Scurll, and a main event that grew on me as it progressed.
Block A is now done, in hindsight, it ended up working how the wrestlers got placed in each block. Ricochet in Block B does feel like a bit of a waste because he was never favorite, dark horse, or had a story, he was just there. Liger's story could had been better, but I loved what they did with his final match, and if Ospreay wins the whole thing, it will feel like there was a bigger plan at hand. Maybe changing him to Block B and working the finals vs Desperado could had been better because this way Takahashi doesn't defeat him and you could still have Liger pin Takahashi somewhere down the line to earn that shot.