NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 5.22





NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 5.22

By GARZA
From May 22, 2019

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 5.22

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
"Bone Soldier" Taiji Ishimori (6) vs TAKA Michinoku (0) - 5/10


Way short match, TAKA went all Sabre initially on Ishimori's head and arm, then Ishimori made a comeback and won with Bloody Cross. The wrestling looked good, but this was way to short to tell a story or build anything.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Bandido (2) vs Ren Narita (0) - 7/10


Bandido came out with a Silver King mask. I believe there was a 10 bell salute in this show's dark segment spot. Another fast paced match that felt more like a Young Lion opener for a while until Narita got a good tease at hitting his over the head suplex, which he kinda did on the apron for a huge pop. The crowd was incredibly awake after that spot leading to two awesome Narita near falls and Bandido winning with 24FLEX. This was a sprint to awesomeness, it was as good as this was going to get given the time and Narita.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
Jonathan Gresham (2) vs Titan (2) - 7.5/10


This was a combo of great technical wrestling and fast paced spots. Titan is not particularly known for being a submission guy, but he played his role well with the ones he knows. I won't lie that I was really hoping for Gresham to work with some Mexican submissions like Sabre vs Pentagon from PWG.

Titan worked the head while Gresham worked the arm. After a ton of two count and pin reversals, Titan tapped out of an Octopus Stretch. Titan tapped CMLL style and I think it took the ref to notice. Great match, Titan's best so far.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
YOH (2) vs Rocky Romero (2) - 8.5/10


Oh Snap! Student vs Teacher! This was a competitive match with YOH going after Rocky's knee. Romero went after YOH's arm. They were pretty vicious for two partners going at each other knowing that they both have a tournament yet to go. The used submissions, strikes, they did a kick exchange on each other's hurt limbs. After a couple of near falls and Rocky going for the killing Shiranui, YOH reverses and locks in the Five Star Clutch to submit Romero. Another great match, a much slower pace, but far more methodical.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
Tiger Mask (4) vs Dragon Lee (4) - 7/10


Dragon Lee came out with a Dragon Lee/Kamaitachi mask, much cooler than the half and half one. The match was short, they took it home quite early. Within minutes Dragon Lee was doing the Tree of Woe foot stomp and Tiger was getting near falls with a Tiger Bomb. Lee won with La Desnucadora. It was a good match, but it could had been better with a slower pace.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Douki (2) vs BUSHI (0) - 6/10


I can't believe BUSHI is still at zero, he should have 10 pts by now. Douki jumped BUSHI to start the match and it led to a brawl, but with limited time, they got back pretty quickly. Douki kinda worked over BUSHI's arm a bit, BUSHI made a comeback and won with MX. Another way too short match with not a lot happening.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
SHO (2) vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0) - DUD


Same formula we just saw, but this time SHO and Kanemaru did spent a lot of time brawling around the crowd. Kanemaru went after SHO's arm, he suplexed him, and guess what!? SHO didn't make the 20 count! I'm giving this a DUD because I didn't get to see these two wrestle and I was actually looking forward to it, but having said that, this was nicely done. A successful way to bring up the count out finish.

In all honesty, with how rushed the show is so far, I thought we were getting a count out win or draw in this show.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Ryusuke Taguchi (6) vs Robbie Eagles (4) - 7.5/10


The match was a fast paced version of what we've been seeing with Taguchi, and it kinda worked, because it made it seem like Taguchi tried his butt stuff, got his ass kicked (literally) for it, and had to quickly get serious and got for the real moves. Robbie worked over Taguchi's leg, which played into the finish when Eagles kicked his knee in and rolled him up for the pin. Taguchi had come close to hitting Dodon to win, but Eagles kept escaping. This was a reasonable dosis of Taguchi.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
Shingo Takagi (6) vs "The Villain" Marty Scurll (4) w/Brody King - 8/10


Scurll worked on all of Shingo's hurt limbs, he went after his hands and head, and eventually, Shingo got pissed off and came back roaring full power. Marty tried to play strike-by-strike with Shingo but obviously, he was no match, adn so he resorted to cheating, first by hitting Shingo with with the umbrella when Brody distracted the ref, and second after a ref bump, when Brody came in and hit a Black Hole Slam on Shingo, and yet Scurll couldn't seal the deal. There was a second ref bump where King took down Marty accidentally, and Shingo took out King with a Pumping Bomber. Finish came when Shingo hit a Pumping Bomber and the Last Dragon for the win.

They did a great job making people think that this was going to be the end of Shingo's winning streak. Scurll has the credibility and King has been protected enough to make his interference mean something. Great stuff.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Will Ospreay (6) vs El Phantasmo (6) - 9.5


Man, can't remember the last time I saw Ospreay this pissed off at someone. He hit about three dives in the first minutes, with the last one that was supposed to be a rolling senton and he over rotated and it turned into a Molly-Go-Round, almost kicking him in the face. They brawled into the crowd and Phantasmo did the balcony dive over the tunnel. He also managed to hit his whole tight rope walk spot beginning to end. They worked on each other's heads all match with some pretty big spots. Ospreay hit a top rope Iconoclasm. Phantasmo hit a piledriver on the apron.

This was one of those matches that it just plays out and Phantasmo comes off as not necessarily a superior wrestler, or an ace, but as someone that just has Ospreay's number. He just had him perfectly scouted, whereas, Ospreay didn't show that he was fully prepare for all of Phantasmo's arsenal. Ospreay is still no slouch and can overcome and adapt and was headed into victory when Phantasmo pushed the ref, landed a low blow and a combo of Spinning Neckbreaker and the CRII for the win. Great match, I'll say third from the top this tournament, I still have SHO vs DL and SHO vs Shingo on top.

This match made Phantasmo in NJPW in my opinion. He had all those vignettes, he had that one good tag match in which he also pinned Ospreay, not since teh tournament started, he had been good at most. He needed that one standout match and he got it here.

Post-match - Phantasmo cut a promo telling the people to renounce their fandom for LIJ and CHAOS and go buy Bullet Club merch because he is going to win the tournament and bring it home to the Club. He also provoked Jyshin Liger before leaving.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


This was an awesome show, not having tag matches meant everything top to bottom mattered and we got top pair ups top to bottom, but it also meant that we got 10 matches, and not all matches could get a lot of time and that meant that some of those matches were sprints and like I said with Dragon Lee vs Tiger Mask, it could had been a great match if paced differently. Great show nonetheless.

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