JONATHAN GRESHAM, TOA HENARE, & TITAN vs. TIGER MASK IV, YOTA TSUJI, & SHO - 6.5/10
Gresham vs. Sho will rock if given the right amount of time. Tiger Mask IV vs. Titan should be good as well.
TOMOHIRO ISHII & SHOTA UMINO vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi) - 4.5/10
Credit where it's due in that they did a good job of having the referee be distracted by Ishii Suzuki-Gun started pounding on Shota on the outside, but if you're the f*cking referee, why would you keep arguing with Ishii after you hear the loud "DANGER! WRESTLERS BRAWLING IN THE CROWD!" warning from the ring announcer? Clearly there is a more urgent matter than making sure Ishii stays on the apron that needs your attention, and to keep arguing with him and yelling at him to go back to his corner when he's standing on the floor and meanwhile you know the legal wrestlers are not fighting in the ring is a little bone-headed, don't you think?
The announcers speculated that Suzuki-Gun are beating on Shota Umino here because he helped Dragon Lee get his mask back on after Taichi stole it recently. You know... as if it's somehow out of the ordinary for Suzuki-Gun to be beating on an opponent two-on-one, and especially a young-boy. New Japan has SOOOOO many questions that need to be answered, but these idiots always seem to spend their efforts speculating new answers for the questions that already have obvious answers. It's like if there was a bully who stole the same kid's lunch money every day at school, after watching this for two straight weeks, when he stole the kid's lunch money on Monday of the third week the announcers would turn to each other and say "I think he stole Billy's lunch money because he wants to buy a Milky Way after school today." NO! He stole the money today for the same reason he did every other f*cking day: He's a bully and that's what bullies do! If you want to speculate about something, speculate on why Billy hasn't told the teacher or asked his parents to sign him up for Karate class or something like that which doesn't already have an obvious answer!
Anyway, hot tag, stuff happened, Ishii and Taichi were fine together, another hot tag, Kanemaru pins Umino... but while that was happening, Taichi was choking Ishii with a microphone cord for a good two minutes, to the point where I'm shocked Ishii retained consciousness. Then again, this Tomohiro Ishii, so I shouldn't be surprised that he was up and no-selling it soon afterwards. Taichi cut a promo on him because they apparently have a NEVER Openweight Title match at Dominion. Did they even do anything to set this up?
JUICE ROBINSON & DRAGON LEE vs. VILLAIN ENTERPRISES (Marty Scurll & Brody King) - 5.75/10
This was good for the time it got, but that time was disappointingly short (well under seven minutes). Juice was making extremely obnoxious noises throughout the match. This was ostensibly done to annoy Marty Scrull, but I don't understand how anyone could have not been annoyed by this.
Juice pinned Brody King cleanly to win, which was by far the worst of any of the clean outcomes Gedo could have chosen. Brody over Juice, Scurll over Juice or Scurll over Dragon Lee all set up title matches and Brody over Dragon Lee would at least involve Brody going over. While Juice over Scurll or Dragon Lee over Scurll don't really do anything for anyone, they don't hurt anyone either unless you're putting Marty over Dragon Lee tomorrow, in which case you might as well have Marty beat Dragon Lee two nights in a row to really drive the point home that Marty is a threat to Dragon Lee (don't give me any BS about Marty needing to be "protected" for his BOSJ match tomorrow night against Dragon Lee because he's already out of contention in his block), a draw wouldn't help anyone, but at least no one would have to lose, either, and it'd be a nice little curveball. Dragon Lee pinning Brody would have been bad for reasons I'll get into in a moment, but at least Dragon Lee would look good by beating a guy twice his size.
But instead we had to have Juice Robinson pin Brody King. We took the big scary monster whose only loss so far has been to Tetusya Naito, and instead of setting him up for a title shot, we had him get beat by Juice, too. Yes, Juice is a champion, but champions can lose to set up a title shot sometimes, and Juice is almost certainly going to beat Moxley next week and then be in need of a challenger for Dominion, so why not go with Brody King. When you have a guy as big and talented as Brody you don't just start beating him, you do something with him, first! Naito is Naito. Losing to him is okay. But losing to Naito and then losing to Juice while getting his wins against bottom of the totem pole guys like Gedo and a young-boy takes someone you could potentially do something with and immediately establishes him as Marty Scurll's midcard fall-guy rather than as an entity in his own right.
BULLET CLUB (Taiji Ishimori & Gedo) vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi) - 6/10
Standard New Japan nine-minute undercard fare, complete with bad refereeing.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Ren Narita vs. Yoh - 7/10
This was one of those rare matches that almost makes you believe the young-boy might do it.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Bandido vs. Robbie Eagles - 7.5/10
They wound up on the outside for the count-out tease but Eagles left the ring so they could do another spot and Bandido could take a backdrop on the ramp and Eagles got back into the ring... and the referee just picked up from where he was before instead of restarted the count. What the f*ck?
Kevin Kelly defended this stupidity with his "referee's prerogative" bullsh*t. Well what else does this prerogative cover? Can he end the match on a two-count? Reduce or extend the time limit? This "referee's prerogative" crap completely misses the point of what a referee is supposed to do! A referee's job is to ensure the competition is fought in a fair and safe manner. He/she gets to use his/her judgement of what he/she saw and applies the rules to that to determine whether a foul was committed or not, or whether the runner was safe, or whether someone was offside. A referee does not get to follow, ignore, or modify the rules as he/she sees fit for the sake of adding drama to match!
They did a bunch of spots. REALLY cool spots, but a bunch of spots nonetheless. Bandido picks up the win, which makes the Block B finale on Monday more interesting than if he had won.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Rocky Romero vs. BUSHI - 7/10
Rocky worked the arm and BUSHI worked the head. Rocky was a great babyface.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Will Ospreay vs. DOUKI - 7.5/10
DOUKI tried to jump the bell on Ospreay but Ospreay saw him coming. We still wind up on the outside with no count-out for a while. Taichi got up from the commentary table to interfere but Ospreay scared him off, as well as reversed DOUKI's attempt to take advantage of this distraction.
We headed back to the ring for several seconds so we could get an odd spot where Ospreay wound up on the outside and DOUKI did the pull the ref into the corner and make him stay there spot that so the referee wouldn't see Taichi... just sit at the commentary table and not do anything to Ospreay at all. DOUKI did his big senton to the floor and nearly died, then got back into the ring and did the same force the referee into the corner spot, and this time Taichi hit Ospreay in the face with a chair.
Why is Taichi even allowed to do commentary at this point if he keeps trying to interfere in the matches? Doesn't management care? Last year in the G1 we got this whole big thing about how the Tongans were "ruining the tournament" with all of their interference and management finally instituted a "zero tolerance policy" for them, so why is something similar not being done for Suzuki-Gun in BOSJ?
Taichi went back to the commentary table and the referee was clearly suspicious of him and Milano Collection AT was clearly pointing at him as if to say "this guy just interfered in the match," but the referee didn't do anything about it, I guess because he didn't actually see it. Are you kidding me? These referees are so liberal with things that they actually do see that should clearly be DQs, but they won't eject a known interloper from ringside just because they didn't see him doing anything this time? F*ck off! How about these referees use their "prerogative" that Kevin Kelly is so fond of telling us about to make a match more fair instead of less fair?
After the obligatory count-out tease (which only got to about fifteen even though it was Ospreay taking a big move to the outside followed by a freakin' CHAIRSHOT TO THE FACE), things actually started to get pretty great. We even got something of a pay-off to Taichi's interference with Milano and the young-boys holding him down, but that's the sort of thing that now that it has happened once, I will be forced to ask why it didn't happen in every future instance of a heel commentator attempting to interfere. I really like DOUKI, but I think the association with Suzuki-Gun pretty much made him dead on arrival for me because Suzuki-Gun themselves are just so stale that adding another cheater into the group doesn't do anything. DOUKI is someone who I would love to see as a single guy with his own manager to help him cheat who he might occasionally team with when a tag match is necessary. In Suzuki-Gun he's just another Suzuki-Gun guy doing the same Suzuki-Gun stuff.
BLOCK B MATCH:
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. El Phantasmo - 5.75/10
We got way too much goofy stuff early on. We then got El Phantasmo mocking Taguchi for a bit before we arrived at what might be a new low for Red Shoes. I didn't even think that was possible, but they found a way. El Phantasmo was able to get away with kneeing Taguchi in the balls by grabbing his legs and spreading them apart, then literally told Red Shoes "hey! Look over there!" and f*cking Red Shoes turned his head, allowing El Phantasmo to knee Taguchi in the nuts. AND THEN HE DID THE SAME F*CKING THING A SECOND TIME!
HOW THE F*CK DOES RED SHOES EVEN DRESS HIMSELF IN THE MORNING?! I mean really! How many months do you think it took him to figure out that every Thursday isn't the official company-wide "Leave Your Wallet With Yano Day," and that the reason it never has any money in it when Yano gives it back to him is not because a goat has been sneaking into the locker room and eating all of his cash, change, and credit cards on a weekly basis.
Join us next week when we play "guess which WAR wrestler is Shota Umino's real dad?" (HEY! Don't get angry at me! I'm just trying to come up with a kayfabe reason why Shota is not cripplingly mentally deficient like Red Shoes is, and I doubt the Japanese government would allow someone this stupid to adopt a child, so the only two possible answers left are that either that Shota just showed up on the doorstep one day and convinced Red Shoes he had just been dropped off by a stork, or that Mrs. Red Shoes and some nameless Japanese wrestler were not "talking about baseball" in that locked room with their pants off while Red Shoes was out refereeing that match.
To make this all even stupider, we then got back into the ring and El Phantasmo then stomped on Taguchi's nuts in the corner in front of Red Shoes and was not disqualified. To continue our theme of stupid El Phantasmo counted Taguchi's hip attack by extending his knee, basically causing Taguchi to hit himself with an atomic drop. El Phantasmo proceeded to point out to us all how dumb Taguchi was. Then Taguchi DID THE SAME THING AGAIN, AND EL PHANTASMO COUNTERED IT IN THE SAME WAY AGAIN.
Taguchi eventually got some of his butt-based offense to work, but then we went to the outside for dives, and stayed there forever before Red Shoes started to count. El Phantasmo hurt his leg on his dive to set up that part of the story (Taguchi got one leg lock in early, but that was all we saw of Serious Taguchi until the dive at the start of this sequence). It also led to Eagles coming out to check on El Phantasmo, which El Phantasmo didn't because I guess he thought Eagles was going to screw him? Either way, they had no interactions with each other past that.
The match ended with seven really good minutes of stuff, but the first two thirds of the match killed it. Taguchi won, which according to Kevin Kelly means the block will come down to the Ospreay vs. Taguchi match at the next Block B show, but I don't think that's right. Eagles has the tie-breaker on both guys, so if he wins and Ospreay vs. Taguchi goes to a double-count-out (which Kevin Kelly has told us many times results in no one getting any points) then Eagles would win the block, but if El Phantasmo also wins tomorrow then he and Eagles would both be 2-1-0 against the field (with Taguchi being 1-1-1 and Ospreay being 0-2-1) so I guess they would have a playoff? Anyway, the point is that Kevin Kelly is very wrong when he claims that the field has now been narrowed down to just Ospreay and Taguchi, so he shouldn't be saying it!
A decent BOSJ show brought down by a main event that fell far short of the place demanded of it. Once again we're getting a Gedo round-robin finals were the only relevant matches on the final days of block competition are the main event of each show (yes, I know I just pointed out how this actually isn't case in Block B, but the fact that the announcers didn't even give that fact lip-service tells me that they won't happen). It'd be really nice to feel like I'm not sitting through the majority of the matches on one of these shows for nothing.