NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 5.31





NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 5.31

By GARZA
From May 31, 2019

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 5.31
TAKA Michinoku has been removed from the tournament due to injury, and thus he will forfeit all his remaining matches. Tonight, Yoshinobu Kanemaru gets a pass and 2 free points. I was robbed of my inter-Suzuki-gun match!

It's down to only two men in the Best of the Super Juniors' Block A -- Shingo Takagi vs Taiji Ishimori. Everyone else at this point is just fighting for bragging rights.

CHAOS (Tomohiroo Ishii, Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero) & Yuya Uemura vs Bandido, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino, & Yota Tsuji - 6/10


They're building up tomorrow's main event in the opener, so I guess they want to give these two the most rest time possible. So we got Bandido vs Romero which was short but has potential, it's likely to be a good babyface vs babyface feel good match. We got Uemura beating up the other two YLs, we got Ishii beating up everyone, and obvsioly, Taguchi vs Ospreay, which I'll never count either out when it comes to BOSJ Block finals. As much heat as Taguchi gets for his butt stuff, he has NEVER disappointed me on any BOSJ finals, and now he's going against, arguably, the best wrestler in the world.

Finishing sequence was between Uemura and Shota, with the former about to submit the latter until the rest of the teams came out for the save, and Shota was able to turn the match around and win with a Northelight Suplex. I really thought that Uemura was going to submit his senior classmate.

Post-match - Taguchi injured Ospreay with the ankle lock. Bandido and Rocky went a it. Ishii kinda made the save for Ospreay who limped to the back. Oh boy, i'm already hyped for tomorrow!

Bullet Club (Robbie Eagles & Jado) vs YOH & Juice Robinson - 5.5/10


BC jumped the babyfaces and from there on, they worked over YOH for most of the match until Juice came in for the hot tag, ran wild, got hit by a stick for some drama, came back and killed Jado with Pulp Friction after some miscommunication between him and Robbie, and the assist of YOH. Juice is gonna need more than a win over Jado to get built for Jon Moxley.

Taichi & Douki vs Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Gedo) - 3.5/10


I'm a sucker for heel vs heel matches, but Douki is void of charisma, he's like a TMNT foot soldier and it defeats the purpose of seeing two egos clash. Can they have an athletic match? I mean, sure, but it's not like Douki has been blowing my mind during the tournament either. I was more excited to see Taichi vs Gedo in this match, watching that mic vs brass knuckles stand off is what I'm talking about. The match still sucked.

Toa Henare & Ren Narita vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) - 4/10


Boring match and the thing that worried me a bit, yet I could be wrong, was that the time that Narita and BUSHI got together felt about the same time they'll get in their one-on-one match, so maybe just maybe, we just saw most of what they'll do. Naito vs Henare was meh, Henare is reaching YOSHI-HASHI levels of dislike, he's the human form of boredom. He's not a bad wrestler, he's just boring and he always tries to make up for it by shouting and making faces. He's kinda like Daichi Hashimoto. To the surprise of no one, Naito won with Destino.

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


This was, well, incredibly dull. They started with some nice lucha, did some stuff, hit their big moves, and in a weird pin, the ref gave the win to Titan. It almost looked like a shoot pin. This was one of the worst NJPW matches I've ever seen.

I sad to say it, but Titan sucked during the tournament, none of his matches were particularly memorable. I think Titan could be great in tag action, but having him hold his own on one-on-one matches was asking too much. Tiger Mask on the other hand, had a good showing, he's old and at this point we don't expect anything really, we're all just kinda waiting for the inevitable tournament he announces as his last and we get that one last story. Having said that, the dude still gave us some good stuff here and there, even with so many loses.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
Jonathan Gresham (8) vs SHO (8) - 7/10


Gresham's ribs are all taped off and he's selling even during his entrance. Early on, he made sure that SHO had a handicap similar and went after SHO's leg. This was a great short match with Gresham working his technical style to bring SHO down, and SHO working over the pain for a comeback and consequent win with a Shock Arrow.

There is something in this match that I really stood out over most of what Gresham can do with his moves. All match, Gresham worked on the left leg of SHO, and so when he locked in the Figure 4 Leg Lock, he properly applied it so that the bar would work on the left leg. You have no idea how many times I've noticed that regardless of the leg wrestlers work on, they always try to apply the F4 exactly like Flair and end up putting the bar and tension on the wrong leg. Praise for Gresham and paying attention at what he's doing.

I think these two are some of the polarizing wrestlers of the tournament. Gresham was a great addition since his style is completely unique to the rest of the junior division and offers a new style and mix; on the other hand, SHO had been positioned for months as being at the level of Shingo and being a top junior, but he just wasn't booked like that during the tournament. Granted this is a block with the champion, Ishimori, Scurll, and Shingo, but I just didn't expect SHO to be booked like this, only achieving 10 points and at a hard effort to that.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
Dragon Lee (12) vs Marty Scull (10) w/Brody King - 6/10


Good action overall, but Dragon Lee didn't really sell most of Scurll's offense, and not in a fighting spirit way. Scurll started working both shoulders and knees, and Lee was running soon after and doing power moves. Scurll worked the head, but Lee stood up like nothing, and I don't usually mind some of those later spots if they make them look like spurrs of desperation or one last breath before collapsing thing, but a lot of them, it wasn't the case.

There was a spot towards the end where Lee hit La Desnucadora, but King pulled out the ref to break the count. Lee took him out afterwards, took a Bird of Prey, and still came back for a second Desnucadora for the win.

For a champion, this tournament and block didn't make any favors for Dragon Lee, he had great matches and all, but ended under Ishimori and Shingo, and even if they're in another block, he feels underneath Ospreay and Phantasmo right now too. Scurll was even worse, he feels like a random attraction now, he hadn't been around for a long while and he kinda just returned doing the same stuff and parading Brody King. He felt like a person in limbo, someone we knew would be protected somewhat, but who had no chance at winning.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block A
Shingo Takagi (16) vs "Bone Soldier" Taiji Ishimori (14) - 9/10


Take what I just said with Dragon Lee and Scurll, and now compare it to Shingo's response to what was probably the fastest ever Destroyer ever executed.

The match was awesome, I know Shingo had top matches with SHO and Lee and Kanemaru, but it felt like Ishimori was a guy that took him to the limit in Shingo's own game. They worked each other's heads and hit each other with everything they had. The started trading signature moves from about half way through the match. The closing minutes when they started chasing their finishers and started trading some huge lariats was great, really intense, but I guess knowing that Shingo was most definitely winning took the suspense away from me. Great nonetheless.

Post-match - Shingo put over Ishimori and said that he'll be in the main event of Ryogoku. He said he'll away whoever wins between Ospreay and Taguchi.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


A pretty boring show that was saved last minute by a great main event. Seriously, feel free to skip everything until Shingo vs Ishimori. SHO vs Gresham if you're up to it since it was a short match.

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