Sorry about the lack of updates. I’m currently in the midst of a sinus infection and today, my head does not feel like it’s going to explode.
The third round of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament kicked things into high gear. KUSHIDA finally gets on the board, the dominance of Kyle O’Reilly continues, and Will Ospreay vs. Ricochet shuts down the internet.
- Night 5: Block A (Third Round) Ichinoseki City General Gymnasium
Matt Sydal (2) defeated Gedo: Gedo blindsided Sydal with a superkick to the gut before the bell rang. He spent most of the match beating up Sydal outside of the ring while constantly breaking up the referee’s count. Sydal came back and landed an impressive jumping knee and followed up with a shooting star press for the three count.
Kyle O’Reilly (2) submitted BUSHI: The crowd was behind BUSHI in this one. I was surprised to see a referee bump, but it happened. BUSHI tried to take advantage by spraying the mist, O’Reilly ducked and snatched him for a brainbuster. O’Reilly is a smooth operating submission machine who went for several armbars he got the one he was looking for.
KUSHIDA (2) over David Finlay: Both wrestlers were 0-2 going into the bout. Finlay looked like a stud even though he will probably be nowhere near the finals. This was about the champ getting his first win of the tournament. KUSHIDA went for the back handstand elbow but Finlay caught him in midair threw him for a German suplex. After some well-timed near submissions from both men, KUSHIDA got the Hoverboard Lock, causing Finlay to submit.
Ryusuke Taguchi (2) defeated Rocky Romero: Clotheslines from Romero and Rear views from Taguchi told the story early on. They fought in the crowd for a bit with with Romero trying to beat the ref’s count. Romero channeled his inner Shinsuke Nakamura and hit Taguchi with running knees in the corner. Taguchi came back with an ankle lock, an up and over belly to back suplex, and did his own Nakamura impression followed by a Bomaye looking Rear View for a near fall. Taguchi rolled up Romero with the ankle lock for the tap out.
- Night 6 Block B (Third Round) Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan
Tiger Mask (2) defeated Chase Owens: Tiger Mask was jumped by Owens before the bell even rang. Chase hit a slam off the ropes. After almost being counted out, Tiger Mask came back with an arm submission, but Yujiro pulled out the referee, got in the ring and put the boots to Tiger Mask.
Owens threw the ref back in the ring after he hit Tiger Mask with a low blow. Owens went for the Package Pile Driver, Tiger Mask back dropped Owens to escape while landing on him for the pin. This was a medley of back and forth wrestling mixed with typical Bullet Club shenanigans from Owens.
Bobby Fish (2) defeated Trent Baretta: The story here was Fish working over the leg of Baretta. Almost every time Baretta went for something, Fish would cut him off with a shot to the knee. Fish hit a brainbuster from the top rope, Baretta kicked out for a near fall, and Fish applied a leg lock for the tap.
Volador Jr. (2) defeated Jushin Liger: The crowd really enjoyed this match. They traded some nice high spots. Liger connected with a crossbody to the floor. Liger tried to get back in the ring, but Volador held his leg in an attempt to get him counted out. The finish came when Liger climbed to the top and Volador ran up himself and hit the Spanish fly off the top rope for the pin. I wouldn’t mind seeing this again.
Will Ospreay (2) defeated Ricochet: There are no words to convey the sheer highflying awesomeness that these two men produced in front of the Korakuen faithful. There was actually a “This is awesome” chant,” in Japan. Ricochet hit Ospreay with a Death Valley driver on the apron.
After hitting a northen lights suplex and brainbuster, Ospreay moved out-of-the-way of the 630 splash. Ospreay reversed Ricochet’s Benadryller, in MIDAIR. Ospreay hits a spin kick to the back of Ricochet’s head and follows up with a springboard RKO for the 1,2, & 3.
|Block A||Points||Block B||Points|
|Rocky Romero||4||Jushin Liger||4|
|Kyle O’Reilly||6||Trent Baretta||4|
|Matt Sydal||4||Volador Jr.||4|
|David Finlay||0||Will Ospreay||2|
Final Thoughts: There has been a lot of controversy about the Ospreay vs. Ricochet match, which started when former WCW world champion Vader, on Twitter, stated that “Blantant acrobatics, no story, is there anything done in this video that relates to winning u could get 2 high school gymnast and put on a show.”
I’m not going to say that anybody is right or wrong for their opinion on match because my old school soul understands the criticism. This was the most anticipated match from the moment the tournament blocks were announced. No one expected or wanted a mat classic from these two. People wanted video game style high flying action, and that’s exactly what we got.
No matter what style of professional wrestling tickles ones fancy, the main ingredients to it all is intensity and displaying the will to win. Both of these men did accomplished that in spades. My only complaints about the match, and they’re minor, were with two moves that are not of the high spot variety as I felt they were too phony and took me out of the match for a millisecond. Besides those nutpicks, I just in awe of how two people can move their bodies in such a graceful and combative way.
Will Ospreay had a lot of hype going into the tournament. After losing two straight, he came back with a big win in a match of the year candidate that instantly puts him back as one of the favorites to win the whole thing. New Japan has made the match available, free of change, of their streaming service, New Japan World.
Click here, check out, and see the match that everyone is talking about.