NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 4
By Big Red Machine
From May 16, 2019
YUYA UEMURA & TITAN vs. BULLET CLUB (Taiji Ishimori & Gedo) - 4.25/10
TIGER MASK IV & YOTA TSUJI vs. VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Marty Scrull & Brody King) - 7/10
Excellent for an NJPW round-robin tournament show undercard match.
JONATHAN GRESHAM, TOA HENARE, & SHO vs. DRAGON LEE, JUICE ROBINSON, & SHOTA UMINO - 5.75/10
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & TAKA Michinoku) - 6/10
LIJ won but Kanemaru attacked Shingo's knee with a chair after the match.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Ren Narita vs. Robbie Eagles - 6/10
BLOCK B MATCH:
Bandido vs. Yoh - 7/10
There was some working on body parts (Yoh's knee and Bandido's back), but really this was just a match with some athletic moves in a logical order.
BLOCK B MATCH:
El Phantasmo vs. BUSHI - 5.25/10
El Phantasmo got shoved off the ropes while doing his dumb move again. Can I get a "YOU DESERVE IT!" chant next time this happens?
BLOCK B MATCH:
Rocky Romero vs. Will Ospreay - 8.25/10
An awesome match, telling stories of both Rocky working on Ospreay's arm and Rocky's attempts to avoid the Stormbreaker because he knows getting hit with it means certain doom.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. DOUKI - 4/10
DOUKI jumped the bell on Taguchi. He got him on the outside and then began attacking the Young Lions and bodyslamming them onto Taguchi, as the Young Lions just stood there and took it. Culture of respect or not, if some asshole is attacking you for no good reason, you should fight back. And if New Japan's system kayfabe forbids them to do so, that's just f*cked up.
Of course, while all of this is happening the referee is not counting them out like he is supposed to, just so he can start counting them out once their spots are done (including DOUKI doing Hiromu's big back senton to the floor) for the Count-Out Tease That No One Ever Buys™. After allowing DOUKI to jump Taguchi and rewarding him by starting the match instead of trying to restrain him and giving Taguchi time to recover, and then refusing to enforce the count-out rule properly, and allowing a metal pipe to kept in the corner of the ring where either competitor could easily pick it up and use it as a weapon, Red Shoes then refused to count a pin for DOUKI because... I guess he thought a foot on the chest pin was disrespectful or something. I don't know. All I know is that New Japan's referees are an absolute f*cking embarrassment for a promotion that prides itself on having a sport-like atmosphere.
Kevin Kelly described this as the "referee's prerogative" and when Red Shoes stood firm in the face of DOUKI yelling at him, told us that Red Shoes was "explaining to DOUKI why he wasn't counting the pin." Okay... well how about someone explain it to me, then, because the best explanation I could come up with was a completely ridiculous one.
Taguchi misses a dive and we're back on the outside for more no count-out time. Red Shoes went to the outside to check on Taguchi after a suplex and was approached by DOUKI and stumbled backwards. Kevin Kelly claimed that DOUKI shoved him, but DOUKI was a good foot away at least when Red Shoes fell. Caprice Coleman later back this claim. Can we please get them a monitor so they don't f*ck up like this?
Red Shoes' clumsiness allowed DOUKI to counter Taguchi's attempt at making a comeback via diving hip attack off the apron with a chairshot. Meanwhile Caprice Coleman is putting Red Shoes over for not calling DQs, saying he is "so committed to having a winner" in these tournament matches. Isn't there a winner when one person gets disqualified? And if DQ is such a terrible thing to have in these tournaments, why is it in the rules? Also, the tournament clearly has nothing to do with it because New Japan referees don't even call for DQs in pointless undercard matches. When I compare this to the way Caprice handled a similar situation at ROH Bound BY Honor 2019: Miami just three months ago it makes me wonder if Caprice left his brain in the US.
Red Shoes is back in the ring now and is counting them out with both men on the outside, even though last time he didn't start counting until one of them was back in the ring. I guess this is more of that "referee's prerogative" bullsh*t that lets him do whatever he wants. Maybe next he'll decide that you need a seven-count to win via pinfall, or disqualify someone for doing an arm drag or just randomly declare Gresham the winner or some other Vince Russo bullsh*t. What makes that any different from all of his other random decisions to ignore or change certain rules as the mood strikes him?
Caprice Coleman, who just complimented Red Shoes on ignoring the rules because G-d forbid we have a disqualification because that would somehow taint the tournament, is now lamented that DOUKI does so many "illegal things." Not to be outdone in the stupidity department, Kevin Kelly told us that "every move that DOUKI does hurts." As opposed to moves that wrestlers do that don't hurt? That's it. You f*ckers are getting muted.
Taguchi made a comeback and got the ankle lock. This resulted in a spot where DOUKI grabbed Red Shoes and put him in a headlock so he couldn't see Taichi run in and interfere. I don't care if you're in a submission or not. If you grab the referee and just hold him there instead of trying to crawl over him, you clearly know what you're doing and should be disqualified.
They traded false finishes until we got another ref bump. Taichi slid DOUKI a chair and then took Taguchi's attention, but DOUKI inexplicably decided to wait until Taguchi turned around to try to hit him with the chair so Taguchi saw it coming and ducked. Taguchi managed to hit a gordbuster onto the chair, then (after taking forever to taunt in the corner) hit a Shining Wizard for a nearfall, then hit the Dodon, then locked in an ankle lock for the submission victory. This sucked, which is a damn shame because if these two had just wrestled and hadn't done all of this overbooked crap.
Another meh show from B block. Without Ospreay and Rocky this thing would be a total mess. Taguchi in particular continues to sh*t the bed in the main event spots that have been inexplicably given to him.