NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 8





NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 8

By Big Red Machine
From May 23, 2019

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 8

BLOCK B MATCH:
El Phantasmo vs. Ren Narita - 2/10


El Phantasmo stepped on Narita's nuts while Narita was tied up in the ropes. Somehow this was not a DQ. Then he did his rope-walk spot. Does he realize how f*cking boring this spot is? Doing the same trick more times doesn't make it more impressive. It's just more time when absolutely nothing is happening.

El Phantasmo's offense was mostly dull until the end, and the problem with these Narita matches is that we all know he'll never win, so there is no excitement in his nearfalls. El Phantasmo won, but I guess he was annoyed that he didn't get to hit his big finisher during the match so he hit Narita with it afterwards. I should be upset about this, but I don't care because I know it will never lead to anything.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Titan vs. TAKA Michinoku - 4.5/10



BLOCK B MATCH:
Robbie Eagles vs. BUSHI - 5.75/10


Eagles tried to jump BUSHI by charging at him while he was doing his pose on the turnbuckle but BUSHI intercepted him with a missile dropkick to start things off. Then they went to the outside where BUSHI took his belt off and whipped Eagles with it, but somehow was not disqualified. And if you want tell me that hitting someone with your belt is okay because it's part of your clothing, you had better be prepared to explain to me how that is any different than using a loaded boot.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Jonathan Gresham vs. Tiger Mask IV - 6/10


Gresham won with a roll-up, and was so overcome with joy that he... tackled the referee and put him in a sleeper hold? That was weird.

BLOCK B MATCH:
Yoh vs. DOUKI - 6/10


The match started off with Yoh being the world's biggest dumbf*ck and climbing up to the second rope, bending over, and then turning his back on a member of Suzuki-Gun. So yeah. DOUKI jumped the bell and Yoh got knocked off the turnbuckle and down to the floor. Then DOUKI dragged Yoh all the way to the back of the arena so he could run him into the big sign that says "east," then drag him all the way back to the ring. If you want to run someone into something just use the damn ringpost! That way you not only don't waste a bunch of time, but you also don't have the referee just stand there and do nothing when he's supposed to be counting the wrestlers out.

DOUKI's leg got worked over and Yoh got the win.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Sho vs. Marty Scurll (w/Brody King) - 7.25/10


Scurll feigned being hurt, but then hit Sho with a sucker-shot with his umbrella before the bell. They both worked the head and arms to set up their big moves. Marty being solidified as a heel feels like a much smaller deal than it should.

BLOCK B MATCH:
Rocky Romero vs. Ryusuke Taguchi - 5/10


Taguchi randomly became a rugby player last year so Rocky has a basketball gimmick for his match tonight. They goofed off for a while before actually starting to wrestle. The stuff they did was just good enough to get me annoyed because it reminded me that serious Rocky and serious Taguchi could have had one hell of a match, but apparently we had to have comedy instead.

BLOCK A MATCH:
Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taiji Ishimori - 1.75/10


Kanemaru jumped the bell on Ishimori. They quickly wound up on the outside to do a spot to play off of the count-out finish last night's Kanemaru vs. Sho match but Ishimori made it back in time. Kanemaru actually through a chair at Ishimori that did make contract with his leg, but this was apparently not a DQ because Red Shoes was too busy with the count-out, I guess.

When they got back to the ring, Ishimori quickly took over the match. His offense here included a Tombstone double-knee facebreaker, which Kanemaru sold by jumping high in the air and coming down in such a way that he nearly with all of his weight on Ishimori's head. Thankfully Ishimori was able to get out of the way, but it was close.

Kanemaru got the heat back by using Red Shoes as human shield, then throwing him into Ishimori. Red Shoes did not DQ him when he woke up, so apparently Red Shoes has not learned his lesson from last night. Instead he stopped Ishimori from taking a swig of the bottle of whiskey that Kanemaru had just himself taken a swig from. I'm not saying that Red Shoes was wrong to do this. I'm just saying I think it's extremely stupid that he'll let people get away with anything... until it's time for the spot when he's actually supposed to do his job, at which point he springs into action. Predictably, while Red Shoes' back was turned because he was putting the whiskey bottle back in the corner (if you don't want people to use it, how about not letting them keep it on the apron, dumbass?), Kanemaru spat the whiskey into Ishimori's eyes, then and rolled him up for a pin which Red Shoes turned around in time to see and count, giving Kanemaru the win. The match went just under four minutes.

BLOCK B MATCH:
Will Ospreay vs. Bandido- 8.75/10


Holy crap we got a handshake in this tournament that didn't result in some sort of insult or sneak attack! The match contained all of the advertised awesomeness. Ospreay whipped out the Last Chancery and Bandido did a Dragonrana! Ospreay also did some sort of wacky Chris Hero bridging cravat submission. Kevin Kelly, who was the lead announcer for ROH for over five years, and Juice Robinson, who founded a faction in ROH to restore ROH to the way it used to be because he was a fan of the "classic" ROH product, both miscalled this maneuver as Cattle Mutilation, even though Ospreay didn't even have Bandido's arms restrained in any way. What the f*ck?!

BLOCK A MATCH:
Shingo Takagi vs. Dragon Lee- 8.75/10


These guys had a fantastic match with both guys working the head. Shingo not only remains unbeaten, but has now defeated the champion as well. Between Shingo's big run, Shingo being a part of LIJ, Dragon Lee being the champion and Hiromu's rumored return in the next few months (I believe that was the original timetable) there are so many easily and interesting paths this could all take. As long as Shingo wins BOSJ with a maximum of one loss, it almost feels like any path they take will be a correct one.

Final Thoughts
Another decent BOSJ show from New Japan, combining the expected awesomeness from Block A and a fortunate pairing in Block B on top for an excellent double main event, but with some extremely frustrating and disappointing stuff underneath. I hate the referee bullsh*t, but I find it even more annoying when the matches they choose to be ruined by ref bullsh*t (or just to go short) are matches I've been looking forward to.

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