NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXV: Day 1





NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXV: Day 1

By Big Red Machine
From May 18, 2018

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXV: Day 1

SHOTA UMINO & KUSHIDA vs. REN NARITA & CHRIS SABIN - 5.5/10


Hey! Producer idiot! How about you show us the announcers BEFORE the bell rings rather than waiting for the wrestlers to lock up and then cutting to the announcers so that we DON'T MISS THE WRESTLING? And don't stay there for ten f*cking seconds, either. We don't need a f*cking close-up of Liger when Sabin and KUSHIDA are wrestling!

Why is the referee wearing a t-shirt and not the standard New Japan refereeing uniform?

Narita was good babyface in peril, and he took one heck of a beating. Sabin got the pin on Umino, which was the right call because he (and his finisher) needs to be reestablished after a long time away from New Japan.

DRAGON LEE & TOMOYUKI OKA vs. CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Sho) - 6.75/10


I was pleasantly surprised that they gave this match the time to be this good.

RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & TOA HENARE vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado) - 4.5/10


Suzuki-Gun jumped the bell on their opponents. Aside from one good spot early on where Suzuki cut off Taguchi's attempt to hit something on El Desperado by cutting him off with a huge boot, this was your standard Suzuki-Gun crap where they're on the outside forever and use weapons and the referee is completely impotent. Henare got to look kind of good at the end before getting beaten by Suzuki, who finally gets to hit and get the win with his Gotch-Style Piledriver.

BULLET CLUB (Marty Scurll & Chase Owens) vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Hiromu Takahashi & EVIL) - 5.75/10


Chase Owens is trying to brand himself as "the crown jewel" of Bullet Club. Does he want toilet paper thrown at him? The match was fine. Many of Scurll's antics are wearing on me now.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Tiger Mask IV(0) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru(0) - 4/10


Kanemaru goes for the mask for no real reason other than to be evil. The referee orders him to stop doing this illegal action. He responds by shoving the referee down and continuing to perform said illegal action. There was no DQ for this. We're off to an encouraging start, aren't we?

They had a very good struggle in an armbar, but other than that this was a totally middling match that started off poorly ad ended in that idiotic finish where one guy hits his opponent with a superplex and the guy who just got hit with a superplex turns the other guy's attempt to get up into a small package, totally killing the superplex. Kanemaru attacked Tiger Mask after the match because he's a heel. How about if we save our angles for times when they're actually going to build to something?

BLOCK A MATCH:
Flip Gordon(0) vs. ACH(0) - 6.25/10


ACH was very heavily taped up going into this match. The match was good until they took a random break so that they could fight all the way up to the second level of the arena just so Gordon could do a big dive off of an elevated part of the stands... all without ever being counted out... until it was time for the big dramatic tease of a count-out, at which point the rules about count-outs suddenly began to apply. You take that one spot out and turn into something that actually works with the story of the match rather than hurts its logic for the sake of flip, and this would have been a lot better. Compare that to Flip's first dive (the one at ringside) and you'll understand the difference between and good dive and a dive done just for the sake of a spot.

BLOCK A MATCH:
BUSHI(0) vs. Yoh(0) - 6.5/10


BUSHI jumped Yoh during his entrance. They had a good match. Yoh won via roll-up and got attacked afterwards.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Will Ospreay(0) vs. Taijji Ishimori(0) - 7.25/10


The story of this match was odd in that it was purposely a non-story. They didn't focus on Ospreay's neck much at all... until they did, and then that was the finish. And I actually like that as a storyline technique to tell us "you might think he's over this neck injury... but he's not, and it can come back to bite him at any moment."

Final Thoughts
A disappointing show from New Japan, but enjoyable nonetheless. Hopefully the rest of tournament delivers.

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