After three days, it’s a three-way tie for first place in the A Block of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
*B BLOCK: Kevin Knight over Yoshinobu Kanemaru in 7:18
*A BLOCK: SHO over Ryusuke Taguchi in 7:05
*B BLOCK: Taiji Ishimori over DOUKI in 9:32
*B BLOCK: Francesco Akira over Robbie Eagles in 12:03 (Recommended)
*A BLOCK: Titan over KUSHIDA in 6:02
*B BLOCK: Dan Moloney over YOH in 9:01
*A BLOCK: Speedball Mike Bailey over TJP in 13:02 (Recommended)
*B BLOCK: El Desperado over Master Wato in 14:09
*A BLOCK: Lio Rush over Hiromu Takahashi in 18:12 (Recommended)
Lio Rush pinned IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi in the main event on Sunday’s card and avenged a loss to Takahashi from March.
Rush’s first attempt at the Final Hour saw Takahashi roll over and take the move on his back before kicking out. After a series of head butts, Takahashi was knocked off the turnbuckle and Rush hit the Final Hour for the pin just after the eighteen-minute mark in a very strong main event.
Rush is tied with Speedball Mike Bailey and Taiji Ishimori at the top of the A Block with each one holding 3-0 records and six points each.
Bailey defeated TJP on Sunday while selling his injured foot after the match with SHO on Saturday. TJP stomped the injured body part and tried to submit the IMPACT star with the Pinoy Stretch, but Bailey escaped by grabbing the rope. Bailey avoided the Mamba Splash, which led to the opening for the Tornado Kick and a Flamingo Driver to get the pin.
KUSHIDA continues his losing streak in the A Block with his third loss in a row, this time to Titan of LIJ. KUSHIDA attacked the left arm but was hit with a Tornado DDT, a tope con giro, and the match-ending double stomp off the top as Titan leaves the card with four points in the block.
Taiji Ishimori continues his undefeated run with a submission win against DOUKI in one of the better matches of the tournament and featuring a slew of submissions. The DOUKI Choky was applied three times with Ishimori surviving and leading to a phenomenal sequence of counters ending with La Mistica and the Bone Lock as DOUKI tapped.
The other A Block match saw SHO tease a return to his “serious” version by revealing an NJPW t-shirt and stating he would be serious if opponent Ryusuke Taguchi would do the same. When SHO was caught in an ankle lock, he sent Taguchi into the referee when the lights went out and EVIL appeared. It was a ploy as the two double-teamed Taguchi with the referee down and attacked with the wrench and SHO won with the Shock Arrow.
The B Block included El Desperado pinning Master Wato after connecting with a straight right hand and following with Pinche Loco as he improves to 2-1.
Dan Moloney hit the Gore and the Drilla Killa piledriver to defeat YOH. The highlight of the match was Kevin Kelly’s commentary about guys who leave the WWE system and the “mental gymnastics” they put wrestlers through in the aftermath and comparing it to someone getting out of prison.
Perhaps the best match of the card was Francesco Akira’s win against Robbie Eagles. Eagles went for a Turbo Backpack that was turned into a Poisonrana by Akira. After a series of cradles by both, Eagles hit the Turbo Backpack, missed with a 450 splash and Akira had an opening and hit the Fireball to win. This was a great match and Kelly thought it was the best match of the tournament, so far.
Clark Connors beat BUSHI after landing with a spear on his second attempt and hitting his new finisher, No Chaser, which is similar to the Bloody Sunday.
The card opened with Kevin Knight scoring his first win of the tournament after surviving Yoshinobu Kanemaru’s figure-four. Kanemaru won his first two matches with the submission, but Knight reached the rope and made his comeback including a Sky High and his incredible leaping ‘rana sending Kanemaru off the top turnbuckle. Knight continued with a superkick and a jumping DDT. They noted it was Knight’s first singles win in more than six hundred days.
A BLOCK: Speedball Mike Bailey (6), Taiji Ishimori (6), Lio Rush (6), Hiromu Takahashi (2), TJP (2), Titan (2), SHO (2), DOUKI (2), KUSHIDA (0), Ryusuke Taguchi (0)
B BLOCK: Yoshinobu Kanemaru (4), Robbie Eagles (4), El Desperado (4), Francesco Akira (4), Dan Moloney (4), Clark Connors (4), Kevin Knight (2), YOH (2), Master Wato (2), BUSHI (0)
The tournament has a day off on Monday and resumes Tuesday at 5:30 a.m. ET in Akita with the following matches:
Tuesday, May 16 in Akita:
*A BLOCK: Lio Rush vs. Taiji Ishimori
*B BLOCK: Master Wato vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
*A BLOCK: Hiromu Takahashi vs. SHO
*B BLOCK: El Desperado vs. Kevin Knight
*A BLOCK: KUSHIDA vs. Speedball Mike Bailey
*B BLOCK: Francesco Akira vs. Dan Moloney
*A BLOCK: DOUKI vs. TJP
*B BLOCK: BUSHI vs. Robbie Eagles
*A BLOCK: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Titan
*B BLOCK: YOH vs. Clark Connors