NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 1

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 1

By Big Red Machine
From May 13, 2019

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 1


DOUKI is an appropriate name for a tag team partner for Taichi, as Taichi's matches tend to make me think of dookey. DOUKI himself was fine. The heels heated a bunch. The match was pretty dull.

ROCKY ROMERO, YUYA UEMURA, & BANDIDO vs. BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, Robbie Eagles, & Jado) - 5/10

Heat on Rocky, hot tag to Bandido, stuff happened, heels won. Nothing particularly exciting happened, but it was never boring, either.


Stuff happened. Juice got the win on Umino via Boston Crab.

THE "TIME'S UP" VIDEO AIRED AGAIN - DUDE! They can't let this guy into New Japan! He's going to stab Juice Robinson with a knife!


Tiger Mask IV vs. TAKA Michinoku - 6.75/10

TAKA went to work on Tiger Mask IV's injured knee. He did a lot of this on the outside for several minutes while not being counted out. The terrible referees have now been made even worse by being given oversized t-shirts to wear, so now they don't even look professional, never mind do their jobs like professionals. The match was very good. I would have given it a seven if Tiger Mask had remembered to sell his knee towards the end.

Titan vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru - 2/10

Kanemaru, being a member of Suzuki-Gun, jumped the bell on his opponent. They didn't even make it thirty seconds before Kanemaru was going for Titan's mask. Can we please stop it with this lazy bullsh*t? Kanemaru ignored the referee's instructions to stop doing so, and even elbowed the referee when the referee tried to physically intervene. This was not a disqualification. After he let Titan go, he walked over to the referee and pushed him. Still not a DQ. Then he grabbed Titan's jacket and began to choke Titan with it. Still not a DQ. The referee tried to pull it away from him and he still wouldn't stop. STILL NOT A DQ. Then he went back to the mask. STILL NOT A DQ. In UFC, if the referee thinks you're eye-gouging, you're EXTREMELY LUCKY to not get DQed the first time it happens. In New Japan, you can do anything as much as you want and the most the referee will do is stand there and count impotently.

More stuff happened, including Titan actually getting a bit of shine before he was cut right off again and DDTed on the floor. We're five minutes in and only now are we actually starting the story of our match, because we had to waste the first four with stupid, lazy, cheap-heat bullsh*t done in a way that destroys all of the referee's credibility. Because that's definitely going to help the match.

Kanemaru worked over the head for a while. Titan also got some offense in. He also kicked out of a Deep Impact. Then we came to the finish, which saw Kanemaru grab his whiskey bottle. He drank some whiskey, clearly intending to spit it at his opponent. The referee tried to stop him so he shoved the referee. STILL NOT A DQ! He spit the whiskey but Titan ducked, then caught Kanemaru in a cool Lucha roll-up for the pin. Kanemaru attacked him after the match, because apparently someone decided we haven't had enough bullsh*t from him tonight.

Jonathan Gresham vs. Marty Scurll (w/Brody King) - 7/10

A great personality match with a notable British influence.

Shingo Takagi vs. Sho - 9/10

This was an absolute BATTLE, and that's really all there is to say. Yes, it was exciting, yes, Shingo sold his arm very well, but all you need to know is that this was the story of two men determined to respond to getting knocked down by getting up and hitting the opponent even harder.

Dragon Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori - 7.5/10

They had a match that was building really well but then they started to fighting spirit out of every head-drop move on the planet and I stopped caring. Ishimori pinned Dragon Lee because apparently we need to see that match for the title again.

Final Thoughts
This was a good show from New Japan, I guess. It was one of those shows that I should have enjoyed more, but the prospect of having to keep up with another one of these tournaments and especially the having to slog through all of those stupid, pointless undercard matches every show finally clicked with me during this show. I love the idea of New Japan's tournaments, but every year by the end I find them so draining, and not in a good way. I don't want to miss the good wrestling, but then having to sit through the pointless undercard crap feels like a painful waste of my time. I really wish they would go back to the "everyone wrestles on every show" format but schedule and bye-day or two for everyone throughout the tournament. It would make these tournaments so much more pleasant to watch.

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