NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 6.3





NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 6.3

By GARZA
From June 03, 2019

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26, 6.3
Tonight's tournament is also a one match thing since everyone has been eliminated other than Ospreay and Taguchi, so for the most part, it's just for bragging rights. While the card always spoils the finals, this makes it even harder to get invested in those tournament matches.

SHO & Jonathan Gresham vs Tiger Mask & Yuya Uemura - 6.5/10


The stuff between Uemura and SHO was great. All tournament, SHO kept antagonizing Uemura, they have developed some good chemistry. They had some nice near falls towards the end, Uemura even kicked out of a Lumbar Check. Uemura would eventually tap out to SHO's Boston Crab. Tiger Mask and Gresham were also there.

Villain Enterprises (Marty Scurll & Brody King) vs Juice Robinson & Toa Henare - 6.5/10


The best thing about Villain Enterprises is that Marty looks more like old school Villain than that stupid plague doctor costume. Never liked that stuff.

I know that Juice's gimmick is that he's all happy-go-lucky and carefree, but dude is about 48 hours from going one-on-one with Jon F'n Moxley. You would imagine he'd be more vicious or focused tonight. Aside from that, match was good, everyone got to play with everyone, and Brody King looked awesome, and better yet, they gave Juice the win over him since Juice really needed a strong win.

Tomohiro Ishii & Shota Umino vs Suzuki-Gun (Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) - 4.5/10


SZKG worked over Shota for most of the match until Ishii and Taichi got their chance to do their thing. The match was kinda heated, early on, Ishii and Taichi brawled into the crowd with chairs while Shota and Kanemaru were the legal men in the ring. Finish saw Kanemaru get the win after Deep Impact.

Post-match - Taichi and Kanemaru attacked Ishii with the mic stand, leaving him for dead at the end.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Shingo Takagi) vs Dragon Lee & Titan - 5.5/10


Man, Titan vs Naito was such a weird pair up. Lee vs Naito instead was actually really cool, Dragon Lee is RUSH's brother and so they did a lot of Ingobernable spots on each other. Finish saw Titan take on both Naito and Shingo's combos until Shingo delivered a Pumping Bomber and The Last Dragon for the win. Fun match.

Post-match - Shingo took Titan's mask, Naito put it on. Naito then took Dragon Lee's mask and threw it to the fans. I hope Shingo wins the BOSJ just so Dragon Lee can kick his ass.

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


Usual Narita match with him getting his ass kicked, making a great comeback, and losing at the end. This was one of those matches that made me hate the Young Lion hierarchy because BUSHI didn't even take off his t-shirt. BUSHI won with MX.

This was a really great tournament for Ren Narita, he wasn't supposed to be there, and while he didn't have a Shota Umino level of breakout, he really got a chance to show off, show some more character (much WIP to go), and get some good matches under his belt. Just like Shota, we have to assume his excursion is coming up, so it's all good for him.

BUSHI was a big disappointment for the tournament for me, he had good matches and is always good, but it just wasn't the tournament that would feature him and while he had 6 wins, none of his matches were exactly noteworthy like last year's Desperado feud. BUSHI is about to find himself in a really weird position, Shingo is obviously being taken care off, Hiromu is about to return, and we know that they'll either fight for the top spot in LIJ, or Shingo goes heavyweight (which leaves other questions), but if not BUSHI finds himself as 3rd from the top, and likely as just the tag team guy now.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Bandido (8) vs Rocky Romero (6) - 7.5/10


Rocky came with a Black Tiger/Bandido half-and-half mask. Didn't look as cool as it sounds. This was a fun match about two guys that were similar to each other. Romero worked over Bandido's left arm and he was being successful for a while until he went for the Forever Forearms and Bandido caught him with a low dropkick on the knee. The match went on back and forward with them exchanging big moves, Rocky chased the armbar and Slice Bread, Bandido the 24 PLEX which he used to win. Good match.

I don't really know if I can say that Bandido had a good tournament. It was his debut and when compared with Phantasmo or last year's Flip Gordon, I think he did a lot better than Flip in terms of both getting over with the crowd and giving good matches. But at the same time, I don't think he was any special at all, he was a good spectacle that never got to the climax of the story. I'm excited to see him come back, but he was just there for me here.

Now to contrast with Rocky Romero, who I thought was the biggest surprise of the tournament. He was the guy that should had just been there to give people points and spoil those that were getting away, and at the end, he became one of the most solid wrestlers, getting for the most part some of the best matches of the tournament.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Robbie Eagles (10) vs YOH (10) - 8/10


Similar match in a way with YOH working the arm and Robbie the leg. Rocky was great in the previous match, but I thought the limb work here was better just with Robbie alone. Robbie looked awesome, but would end up losing to YOH's Dragon Suplex. I was kinda hoping that Robbie would win and maybe get Phantasmo/Robbie vs R3K for the titles at Dominion.

Eagles was easily the breakout star of the tournament. More than Bandido, Phantasmo, or Gresham. He was a name that really came in with nothing, likewise guys like BUSHI or Titan, we kinda knew he'd be there to be in the middle of the block, win and lose some, but at the end, he really really stood out and in my opinion, ended up overshadowing Phantasmo, but as a babyface, so not really killing Phantasmo's work. I think the Jr title scene is too packed for him to make a big impact, but I think he has some Jr Tag gold coming up for him with either Phantasmo or Ishimori.

YOH was a weird one. He has his whole Fujinami thing going on, but you can tell that for a while, it's all about putting SHO over, and in this tournament, it was SHO that got the new music, the new hair color, and all, and yet, I think YOH ended up having the better tournament. SHO got completely overshadowed by his block, and YOH too kinda, but with his low bar, he was able to show a lot more of himself. I think it's inevitable that SHO and YOH will one day collide, and I think YOH is creating this really cocky character that can be wonderful as an antagonist for SHO.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Douki (2) vs El Phantasmo (10) - 8/10


Douki jumped Phantasmo during his entrance, but Phantasmo caught him coming off a dive with a chair and turned things around. This didn't help the image that I have of Douki as a foot soldier since Phantasmo over-heeled him at the end of the sneak attack.

Douki did go and get a lot of offense in as the match went on, he hit a ton of big moves, but he just couldn't put Phantasmo down no matter what. So it was just a matter of time until Phantasmo hit CR II. This was a good match regardless, Douki did good.

Douki, in my opinion, was the weakest wrestler of the tournament, even under Narita. He didn't show anything special, his character kinda sucked and without commentary, you'd know nothing about him. His wrestling relied too much on shenanigans. I wouldn't even bring him back.

Phantasmo I think has a successful project. He got over as a heel incredibly annoying, and perfect for the Bullet Club. He will fit perfectly as one of the top heels in the Jr Division, he's a gimmick that antagonizes everyone.

Post-match - Phantasmo challenged Jyushin Liger to a British Undisputed Jr title match. Seems like the proper match to have in the UK show.

Best of the Super Jr 26 Block B
Will Ospreay (12) vs Ryusuke Taguchi (12) - 9.5/10


Awesome match, I loved how they made use of Taguchi's comedy in more of a 'making fun of' approach than just doing comedy to play to the crowd. Both Ospreay and Taguchi did some comedy, but it all seemed like messing with each other and even the butt stuff looked like legit offense.

The match started slow with some reversals and counters, but it kept building and building. Taguchi worked the leg after Ospreay put some stress on them doing dives. Ospreay, on the other hand, chased the Os Cutter and Stormbreaker from early on in the match. There was a sequence where they went about 70 mph with counters and the crowd was popping for it. The last few minutes of the match were incredible. Ospreay won with Stormbreaker.

Post-match - Shingo came out and said that he will defeat Ospreay because he's stronger (in English actually). Ospreay cut a weird dramatic promo saying that this year has been the worst of his personal life and wrestling is his happy place, he pretty much hinted he is going through depression right now. He says that Shingo is indeed stronger, but he has the heart and he will break Shingo's undefeated streak. Ospreay I think said some of his first Japanese words, saying that he didn't really understood Japanese. Both men were incredible, they just sold a main event in this exchange.

The image of Shingo walking through the shadow out to the ring was something special.

I know Shingo's streak is important right now, but if Ospreay is moving to heavyweight and there is almost zero chance Dragon Lee keeps the title long, I rather see Dragon Lee vs Ospreay at Dominion. Just saying.

Hell of a tournament Ospreay and Taguchi had. Taguchi I thought it be like Romero and BUSHI, the guy that can have good matches, but that's it, and here we are in the finals and Taguchi was right there at the block finals. Ospreay was interesting because he was barely given the main event, he focused less on being a daredevil and more on his basics, he's definitely in a transition period and he's doing it right, really earning that heavyweight spot.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


Good show, it was a one match show, but the show itself was enjoyable for the sake of wrestling, but not really in getting invested of the wins and loses anymore.

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