The Best of the Super Juniors tournament resumed Saturday from Korakuen Hall with the final A and B Block tournament matches to set up Monday’s final.
This card featured English commentary from Kevin Kelly and Chase Owens. Don Callis is not at the show with the Impact television tapings this weekend in Windsor.
ACH VS TIGER MASK
ACH has four points and Tiger Mask has six coming into today’s match.
ACH came out wearing a Tiger mask.
ACH missed a chop on the floor and hit the steel post. Tiger Mask stepped on the right hand after the post spot.
ACH worked up to a Tiger Driver and got a near fall of it. Tiger Mask gets to his feet and hits his own Tiger Driver for a two-count. They fought on the top turnbuckle and led to Tiger Mask hitting a double underhook off the top for a two-count.
Tiger Mask set up for a Tiger Driver and was countered with a cradle from ACH for the win.
WINNER: ACH AT 8:31
This was a good opener with ACH playing subtle heel and using Tiger Mask’s trademarks against him. After the match, ACH sold the victory big before bowing to and hugging Tiger Mask.
Both end the tournament with six points.
BUSHI VS YOSHINOBU KANEMARU
Bushi immediately attacked Kanemaru as he entered the ring with his bottle of whiskey.
Bushi went for a suicide dive, Kanemaru pulled Tomoyuki Oka into the way to take the dive instead.
Bushi fought back with a missile dropkick, but Kanemaru blocked a Lightning Spiral.
A few minutes later, he hit the Lightning Spiral, which is a spinning neck breaker and Kanemaru kicked out.
Kanemaru’s whiskey was stopped when Bushi covered the mouth and Bushi sprayed Kanemaru with the mist. Bushi cradled him for a two-count. Bushi went for the MX, Kanemaru used the referee as a shield and then hit the Deep Impact DDT off the turnbuckle and won the match.
WINNER: YOSHINOBU KANEMARU AT 9:24
The match was average with the twist at the end of with the mist versus the whiskey. The audience got into the final sequence and cheered the finish.
CHRIS SABIN VS RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
Chase Owens stated when Tiger Hattori started officiating “the Dead Sea was only sick”, which was a Jerry Lawler joke from decades ago.
Taguchi landed a tope con giro for his first big offensive maneuver of the match after Sabin the majority of the first seven minutes.
After a fast sequence, they both collapsed after the tease of each going for a lariat at the same time. The audience reacted to it as they were face down on the canvas.
Sabin took of his forearm cover and hit a huge lariat for a two-count.
Taguchi repeatedly went for the ankle lock, transitioned to hit the Dodon, which Sabin kicked out of and Taguchi re-applied the ankle lock and this time got the submission.
WINNER: RYUSUKE TAGUCHI AT 10:59
This tournament brings out the best in Taguchi each year and when he has the audience behind him and they get into his wrestling, he really is one of the best junior heavyweights on the roster. I got into the final few minutes when Taguchi was in control and the transitions were very smooth leading to the finish.
Kevin Kelly ended by stating, “you can now get ready for 11 months of goofy Taguchi”, which is accurate.
DRAGON LEE VS EL DESPERADO
Lee came out wearing a Katsuyori Shibata t-shirt and knocked Desperado to the floor and landed an incredible suicide dive and tope con giro.
Lee teased a dive and did a handstand onto the edge of the apron before flipping onto his feet on the floor. Desperado the nailed Lee with a chair and tossed him into the chairs on the floor. Desperado slammed Lee’s left leg with a chair.
Desperado attempted to tear Lee’s mask off and ripped a portion of it.
Lee hit a snap German suplex as Desperado bounced off the ropes. Lee fired up with the Shibata inspired forearms in the corner and baseball slide dropkick.
Lee went for the mask of Desperado and the audience went insane for the tease.
Lee kicked down on Desperado from the tree of woe to the point that Desperado’s mask fell off, he took the double foot stomp, kicked out, and covered his face back up.
Desperado applied Numero Dos to the injured knee and Lee got to the rope. Lee kicked out of the Guitarra de Angel. Desperado kicked Lee low right in front of Tiger Hattori and pinned him.
WINNER: EL DESPERADO AT 12:18
After the match, Desperado tore off Lee’s mask and the young lions removed their shirts to cover Lee’s face.
The finish sucked but this match was so heated when they teased the masks being removed. Those spots were the loudest reactions of the show so far. I liked the post-match with the young lions tending to Lee and how respected Lee and his mask were to them.
Tomoaki Honma made a surprise appearance after 14 months away due to his neck injury. Kevin Kelly mentioned he just got married to a woman he met during his recovery.
He announced he will return to the ring on June 23rd in Yamagata.
FLIP GORDON VS WILL OSPREAY
Each went for dives to the floor, missed the target and landed on their feet.
Owens was very funny at the start, waiting for the moment that Ospreay would start complaining about his neck. He also worked in a plug for Ricky Morton’s wrestling school, where he was trained.
Ospreay hyperextended the left arm of Gordon by leaning back on it.
Gordon landed on his feet from a release German and responded by driving Ospreay face first into the canvas. Gordon hit a springboard spear coming off the second rope.
Gordon blocked the Storm Breaker, he hit a flying knee but then ran into a standing Spanish Fly from Ospreay.
Gordon hit a springboard side kick knocking Ospreay off the top to the floor. Gordon followed with a double springboard somersault dive to the floor.
Ospreay battled through knee strikes to land an Inverted slam, went for the OsCutter and was caught with a superkick. Ospreay stopped the springboard 450 and hit a shooting star press onto Gordon, who was draped on the top rope and he kicked out.
They battled on top, Gordon went for a springboard and was caught in mid-air with a cutter and hit the Storm Breaker to win the match.
WINNER: WILL OSPREAY AT 19:36
This was the best match of the show so far. It was a good story of the two high-flyers trying to outdo the other. Ospreay shook his hand after the match.
Ospreay would win the block if Taiji Ishimori loses his upcoming match. If they tie, Ishimori would advance due to the victory he has over Ospreay.
YOH VS TAIJI ISHIMORI
Will Ospreay is out to watch the match because of the stakes involved.
Kevin Kelly mentioned that “some fans recoiled at the idea of the former Bone Solider returning”, which was followed be Owens stating he recoiled at that thought.
Ishimori landed a Golden Triangle. In the ring, he applied a crossface to YOH and he fought to the rope.
Owens said that YOH reminds him of Marty Jannetty because SHO is the better wrestler.
Ishimori blasted away with forearms and sent YOH down against the ropes near the edge.
YOH hit a superplex into a Falcon Arrow for his hope spot as the audience rallied behind him. Ishimori landed a flying knee, a tombstone onto the double knees, but couldn’t hit the Bloody Cross and YOH got two incredible near falls.
YOH went for an O’Connor roll, Ishimori turned it into a cross face as Ospreay pleaded for YOH not to tap out. Ishimori positioned him away from the rope. YOH tapped and Ospreay was devastated.
WINNER: TAIJI ISHIMORI AT 14:57
Ishimori wins the A Block.
The final 2-3 minutes were excellent and YOH’s fire during the near falls was excellent. Ospreay’s presence added a lot for the final stretch as well and cheering on YOH. Ospreay held YOH to the back.
MARTY SCURLL VS SHO
Scurll’s right quad is taped up.
Scurll stomped on the right hand of SHO and then double stomped the knees during a surfboard attempt.
Scurll applied a submission that was a combination of a Tequila Sunrise and Sharpshooter.
With SHO down, Scurll started to waste time and slapped SHO repeatedly. This led a prolonged forearm exchange and they kept hitting each other simultaneously, this led to simultaneous lariats, each slapped the other and they went down as the audience cheered.
SHO roars as he fires up, he attempted the Shock Arrow but settled for a piledriver. Scurll grabbed the fingers and snapped them on both hands. Scurll stomped SHO’s head but he wouldn’t stay down. SHO took the umbrella and broke it over his knee.
SHO couldn’t lift him for the Shock Arrow because of the damage to his fingers. SHO applied a rear-naked choke, Scurll climbed the turnbuckle with SHO on his back and fell backward to break free.
Scurll landed a flurry of downward elbows, he clasped the hands for the chicken wing, SHO broke out and hit the Shock Arrow on the final attempt and pinned Scurll.
WINNER: SHO TANAKA AT 20:40
This was one of the best matches of the tournament and SHO has had a breakthrough tournament, there is no doubt in my mind that SHO will be a major star. Scurll was excellent as the bully and SHO’s fire and fighting from underneath was terrific.
The win by SHO officially eliminates Scurll.
KUSHIDA VS HIROMU TAKAHASHI
The winner of this match will win the B Block and face Taiji Ishimori in Monday’s final.
The match began with a prolonged collar-and-elbow tie up that neither would give up on. This went on for the first five minutes.
KUSHIDA blocked a sunset flip powerbomb to the floor, knocked Takahashi with a handspring and hit a somersault dive off the top to the floor as the place picked up dramatically. In the ring, KUSHIDA attacked the left arm.
An attempt at Back to the Future was thwarted by an eye rake. KUSHIDA attempted the Hoverboard Lock and it was blocked. Takahashi went for a triangle and KUSHIDA used a cartwheel to evade.
KUSHIDA came off the turnbuckle with the Hoverboard Lock in place and snapped Takahashi’s arm as they landed. He kicked at the leg and applied the Hoverboard Lock off a tilt-a-whirl. Takahashi got to his feet and hit the Dynamite Plunger to break free and both were down.
KUSHIDA attempts a wind-up punch and collapses before standing back up. He got up and went for Masahiro Tanaka punch and Takahashi countered with the triangle applied, KUSHIDA tries to block it with his hand and then gets to the rope.
Takahashi hit a double underhook piledriver and re-applied the triangle, KUSHIDA is out from being dropped on his head and submits.
WINNER: HIROMU TAKAHASHI AT 24:17
Takahashi wins the B Block and will face Taiji Ishimori in Monday’s final.
This was another strong match on a card with several. I would recommend the main event, Will Ospreay vs. Flip Gordon and my match of the night, which was Marty Scurll vs. SHO.
Taiji Ishimori – 10 points (winner)
Will Ospreay – 10
Flip Gordon – 6
Yoshinobu Kanemaru – 6
Bushi – 6
ACH – 6
Tiger Mask – 6
YOH – 6
Hiromu Takahashi – 10 points (winner)
KUSHIDA – 8
Marty Scurll – 8
Dragon Lee – 6
SHO – 6
Chris Sabin – 6
El Desperado – 6
Ryusuke Taguchi – 6