New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors Nights 7 & 8 Review

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Round four kicks off in Osaka with KUSHIDA vs. Ryusuke Taguchi headlining Block A. In Block B, Ricochet looks to build upon his momentum as he faces Jushin Thunder Liger. Also, can Kyle O’Reilly keep his undefeated streak alive? 

  • Night 7 Block A (Fourth Round) Osaka, Japan

David Finlay (2) pinned Gedo: Gedo is becoming one of my favorite wrestlers to watch. He is great at working the crowd. Once again, he used the ring ball hammer and acted as if he had no idea why the referee was yelling at him. Finlay made his comeback, rolled up Gedo with a cradle for the pin and got his first win of the tournament.

BUSHI (2) defeated Rocky Romero: Romero is just a great overall performer. BUSHI is kind of odd but his work is solid, especially. The finish came when BUSHI blew green mist off the referee’s distraction and hit a codebreaker off the top rope for the win.

Matt Sydal (2) beat Kyle O’Reilly:  Both men served this match well by telling a good story. Sydal, with his high-flying offense, and O’Reilly, with his ground game, were determined to overthrow the other with their style. O’Reilly went for a suplerplex, Saydal knocked him off the top with a head-butt, connected with a double knee drop and hit the shooting star press to give O’Reilly his first loss of the tournament.

KUSHIDA (2) over Ryusuke Taguchi: It’s wasn’t long ago that Taguchi was the star of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s junior heavyweight division. Now, that title belongs to KUSHIDA. Taguchi wrestled with an intensity as if he was trying to reclaim that glory, which made for a great match. The crowd was  hyped for this all Japanese affair and neither man disappointed.

After a litany of submissions and well-timed near falls, KUSHIDA kicked out of Taguchi’s finisher, the Dodon, and Taguchi returned the favor by escaping the Hoverboard lock. Taguchi cradled KUSHIDA for the pin, KUSHIDA transitioned into an armbar while kicking out, which forced the tap.

 

 

  • Night 8 Block B (Fourth Round) Tottori Yonago Convention Center 

Ricochet (2) submitted Jushin Liger: Ricochet hit Liger with a flying knee right at the bell and immediately followed up with Vertigo for an early near fall. Ricochet wrestled with a chip on his shoulder and abandoned his high-flying arsenal. Liger turned Ricochet inside out with a Shotei and delivered a brainbuster for a near fall. Ricochet came back with a flying knee off the ropes and applied a cobra twist submission for the tap out. The crowd really wanted Liger to win but appreciated Ricochet.

Tiger Mask (2) beat Will Ospreay: There were some fancy roll up exchanges early on followed by handspring enzuigiri where Ospreay took control. Ospreay hit a Sasuke Special after delivering a springboard forearm smash. Ospreay went for a phoenix splash but Tiger Mask got his knees up, hit a Tiger Driver and followed up with a double underhook suplex off the top rope. Ospreay ended up submitting to a scissors armbar, which is a result I didn’t see coming

Bobby Fish (2) defeated Volador Jr.: Both men trades moves back and forth until Fish leveled Volador right head kick on the floor. Fish delivered a snap suplex and a belly to back suplex. Volador goes for a monkey flip but Fish back dropped him out of the ring. Volador came back with a second rope moonsault followed by a backstabber. Volador tweeked his knee as he flipped out of a belly to back suplex attempt and Fish grounded him with a dragon screw leg whip. Fish delivered a falcon arrow, Volador kicked out, and Fish immediately applied the ankle lock for the submission.

 Chase Owens (2) over Trent Baretta: Both men brawled outside the ring kick things off. Once we got in the ring, they went right into the heat with Owens taking control. Baretta escaped a package piledriver attempt from Owens on the apron. Baretta came back with a German suplex and launched himself at Owens with a shinning wizard. Owens tried to bring a chair into the ring, ref took it away, which set up the distraction for Owens to deck Baretta with the knux and hit the package piledriver for the win.

 Current Scores

Block A Points   Block B Points
Kyle O’Reilly 6   Ricochet 6
Matt Sydal 6   Jushin Liger 4
Ryusuke Taguchi 6   Trent Baretta 4
KUSHIDA 4   Volador Jr. 4
Rocky Romero 4   Bobby Fish 4
Gedo 2   Tiger Mask 4
BUSHI 2   Chase Owens 2
David Finlay 2   Will Ospreay 2

 

Final Thoughts: The matches in Block B were lacking that special something. A Block, however, had some memorable moments in every match. I’m surprised that Will Ospreay lost after his stellar match with Ricochet. The big story of this round is that Kyle O’Reilly is no longer undefeated and his first loss puts him currently in a three-way tie, in his block.

The term “super juniors” suggests lots of high-flying, however, there has been a lot of mat wrestling in this tournament, which has been a delight to watch, and shows that wrestlers in a lighter weight class don’t just do high spots. 

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