NJPW Road To Power Struggle 2017: Super Jr. Tag Tournament Day 1





NJPW Road To Power Struggle 2017: Super Jr. Tag Tournament Day 1

By GARZA
From October 23, 2017

NJPW Road To Power Struggle 2017: Super Jr. Tag Tournament Day 1

Tomoyuki Oka & Shota Umino vs Bullet Club (Leo Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) - 4.5/10


Shota has been gaining some mass in the last weeks, he looks a lot bigger. We had some good big lads wrestling between Oka and Leo, with Leo dominating, and so Yujiro and him worked Oka for a while until Shota came in with the hot tag. There was a big pop when Shota hit a scoop slam on Leo, but was quickly followed by Yujiro dropping him for the pin. Good opener, I love me some Young Lions.

Post-match - Tonga and Oka brawled, but Leo ain't in the YLC is he? Not sure why this happened really.

Ryusuke Taguchi, ACH, Tiger Mask & Jyushin 'Thunder' Liger vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, Taka Michinoku, & El Desperado) - 6.5/10


Tonight we begin another chapter in Taguchi's journey into finally finding a tag team partner that will stick and could replace Devitt, this turn is ACH, who may be a good pair since he doesn't take himself as serious as Ricochet. I bet you can't guess how this match started, yeah, Suzuki-Gun jumped the babyfaces. Match was focused primarily in building Tiger and Liger vs Kanemaru and Desperado, the heels worked on Tiger most of the time trying to rip the mask off. Tiger made a comeback and tagged in Liger, who ran over the heels.

The latter part of the match then started to focus on building ACH/Taguchi vs Taka/Taichi. They did their butt violence stuff until Taichi hit Taguchi with the mic and rolled him up for the pin.

Post-match - Suzuki-Gun attacked them all. Kanemaru tore Tiger Mask's mask up and took it, Desperado tried the same with Liger, but he couldn't. Taichi locked in a Figure 4 on Taguchi with a chair!. I'm guessing all of Suzuki-Gun gets eliminated on the first round. To cap it off, they killed the ref. Suzuki-Gun reigns supreme.

CHAOS (Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto) vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) w/El Desperado - 6/10


Hey! Guess What! Suzuki-Gun jumped CHAOS at the start. Suzuki went for Yano, Iizuka went for Goto and I guess got rid of him, becasue they both focused on Yano for a while before he came back. I've been actually enjoying this feud because ever though Yano has some wins over Suzuki, I love how every time that Yano wants to go for his shtick, Suzuki just kicks his ass, and that was pretty much the story of this match, Suzuki kicked Yano's ass a lot.

Match had a LOT of cheating but once Goto got inside with the hot tag, the wrestling got slightly better, who am I kidding, Iizuka was biting Goto's boot and Goto sold it. In the end, Goto hit the Ishigoroshi and GTR on Iizuka for the win while Suzuki killed Yano outside. It was a clusterfuck, but there were some parts that I enjoyed, Yano getting his ass kicked is special.

Post-match - Suzuki-Gun beat up CHAOS, Suzuki choked Yano with a bull rope, as Suzuki is trying to tie the hands, Yano turns it around and runs off. Suzuki then literally killed a young lion via hanging, slapped some people around, including camera guys and left.

Kota Ibushi, Juice Robinson, & David Finlay vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, and Katsuya Kitamura - 7.5/10


Look, Tanahashi vs Ibushi will be amazing, but if you ask me, I want a main event between Ibushi and Kitamura, that section of the match was great, especially when Kitamura chopped the life out of Ibushi. Mostly everyone got a chance to run wild at least a bit, but the real focus was on Tana and Ibushi, where Tana worked Ibushi's leg and Ibushi himself worked on Tanahashi's upper body and arm via kicks. We had a great nearfall where Kitamura almost pinned Juice after a spear, but minutes later Juice dropped Kitamura with the unprettier for the win. Great match.

Kitamura had to be the 3rd most over guy in that match, people were chanting for him like crazy as he was kicking out of Juice's offense.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, Sanada, & Tetsuya Naito) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, & Tomohiro Ishii) w/Gedo - 6.5/10


CHAOS started the match on top, but quickly enough, LIJ got the better of Ishii and worked on him for a while, until he made the tag on Okada who actually had a longer segment with EVIL than Naito in this match. Surprisingly, one of the longest segments of the match was between Sanada and YOSHI-HASHI, who ended up tapping out to the Skull End. LIJ looked really dominant all match, but the match itself just wasn't as noteworthy, good wrestling tho.

Super Jr. Tag Tournament First Round Match
KUSHIDA & Hirai Kawato vs Roppongi 3K w/Rocky Romero - 8/10


This is HUGE for Kawato, win or lose, I can imagine he is off on excursion once the YLC is over. Talking about Kawato, match started with Kawato getting the first strike on the champs and running wild for a bit, but being a young lion means you sell, and so RPG got the upper hand quickly.

Once KUSHIDA made it in, the wrestling was great, but it was more of a handicap match with KUSHIDA going against both Sho and Yoh. Kawato had his spots were he got great pops, one being a tope con giro, which I don't think he had done until now, so good for him. Finish was the stupidest thing for KUSHIDA since he had control over RPG and gave in to Kawato's plea to get the tag, and even if Kawato got close to submitting Sho, he's still a young lion that lacks the experience to take on the Jr tag champs. He did however come SOOO close to getting the win with some great near falls, at one point I did believe that Kawato was about to pin the champs.

Super Jr. Tag Tournament First Round Match
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI) vs Dragon Lee & Titan - 9/10


LIJ came out with their mixed masks. Dragon Lee came out with a Kamaitachi-Killer cape that looked awesome, trying to get in Hiromu's head.

BUSHI and Titan stared the match, they did a lucha style sequence, and quickly enough, they allowed Hiromu and Lee to do their thing and reanimate their rivalry. LIJ worked on Titan for about half of the match, trying to rip the mask, taking him to the rafters, and cutting the ring in half for him. When Dragon Lee finally made the tag, I think I accidentally clicked on fast-forward because he was going extra fast. Lee and hiromu wrestled for a while, tons of kicks and germans. There was an awesome spot with Dragon Lee hitting a tope suicida where he went head first and reached the 5th row, followed by an Asai Moonsault by Titan on BUSHI. We had some good near falls with a BUSHI Destroyer and HIromu dropping Lee on his own version of the Destroyer, ending with a Doomsday MK for the win!!

The match was perfectly wrestled, crisp wrestling, fast pace, and not the kind that looks super rehearsed. The action towards the end of the match was awesome, and I could totally see either team advancing.

Post-match - BUSHI cut a promo calling out RPG 3K, who came out and got face to face with LIJ. Rocky Romero cut a promo himself hyping the match and his upcoming birthday. LIJ vs RPG3K in the semifinals! There was this thing that no one allowed Hiromu to get the mic, not on purpose, just happens, it was actually funny.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


Great start to the tournament, even if my two dark horse teams have been eliminated now. Undercard was ok, I'd say only the Ibushi/Tana match was noteworthy and worth checking out. Maybe CHAOS vs Suzuki-Gun if you wanna see 10 minutes of Suzuki torturing Yano.

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