The ninth night of the 25th Best of the Super Juniors showcased the tournament’s A Block.
Taiji Ishimori, Tiger Mask, Will Ospreay, and Flip Gordon sit atop the block following Tuesday’s show, held in Tochigi at the Tochigi City Athletic Park Gymnasium.
Chase Owens & Marty Scurll defeated Dragon Lee & Yota Tsuji when Owens pinned Tsuji after a Package Piledriver.
YOSHI-HASHI & SHO defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Tomoyuki Oka when Oka submitted to YOSHI-HASHI’s Butterfly Lock.
Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado defeated KUSHIDA & Shota Umino when Suzuki pinned Umino after a Gotch Piledriver.
Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi defeated Chris Sabin & Toa Henare when Naito pinned Henare after a Destino.
A Block Matches:
Taiji Ishimori defeated Tiger Mask
Taiji jumped Tiger as soon as he stepped through the ropes, and worked him over with chops and closed fists. Tiger made a brief comeback, and Taiji sold his kicks like crazy, but Taiji regained the upper hand and went for the mask.
Taiji landed some forearm strikes, but Tiger was able to come back with his kicks and a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Tiger hit a hip toss off the top rope, and picked up a nearfall. He went for a Tiger Suplex, but when Taiji looked to counter, he switched to the cross armbreaker. Taiji reached the ropes, breaking the hold.
Taiji hit double knees in the corner, and followed with a runing knee strike, before slapping on a crossface. Tiger reached the ropes, and got a brief comeback, including hitting a Tiger Suplex for a nearfall. He hit a Tiger Suplex from the top for another nearfall, then applied an armbar, but Taiji reached the ropes.
Tiger went for the Tiger Clutch, but Taiji hit him with a knee strike and a lungblower, then hit the Bloody Cross for the pin.
Tiger is obviouslly more physically limited than anyone else in the tournament, but it’s a lot of fun to see how his matches are put together with that in mind. This was good, and Taiji was a great opponent for him.
BUSHI defeated ACH
ACH got a double-leg, then torw off BUSHI’s shirt and landed some chops. BUSHI responded, using the shirt to choke ACH, and began working over his heavily taped shoulder. BUSHI hit a Hangman’s DDT on the apron, and continued his assault on the floor.
Back inside, BUSHI used an STF and an armbar, working the shoulder. He hit a guillotine legdrop, before ACH was able to mount a comeback. ACH landed a double footstomp to the back, a uranage, and a bridging suplex for a nearfall. He followed with a backbreaker, but BUSHI came back with a missile dropkick and a rana from the ring to the floor.
Back in the ring, ACH hit a DVD for a nearfall, and BUSHI countered a deadlift suplex into a cradle for a nearfall. ACH hit a deadlift suplex, and a running knee in the corner. He went to the top, but missed a 450 attempt. ACH countered an MX attempt, but BUSHI hit a backstabber, leading to a double down.
BUSHI was first up, and hit an MX, but only got a nearfall. He followed with an MX from the second rope, and got the pin.
This felt more like a collection of moves than a match with any real flow to it. They worked hard, but it was neither man’s best outing.
YOH defeated Flip Gordon
Flip got the best of a hot opening exchange, hitting a dropkick and a standing shooting star. He hit a handspring back elbow, but missed another, allowing YOH to hit a slingshot footstomp, a neckbreaker, and a standing senton for a nearfall.
YOH worked a chinlock and a headscissors, as the pace slowed. He followed with a back elbow and a snap suplex, scoring a nearfall. Flip hit an enziguri, and a springboard dropkick, sending YOH outside. He hit a crossbody from the top rope to the floor, and a springboard Sling Blade, back in the ring.
YOH countered a cradle attempt with a guillotine, and landed some Misawa elbows. Flip came back with a superkick, a rolling senton, and another standing sooting star, but YOH landed a superkick, leading to a double down.
They traded forearm strikes, with Flip getting the bes of the exchange. YOH went for the superplex into a Falcon Arrow, but Flip turned it into a Falcon Arrow of his own for a nearfall. Flip hit a top rope 450 for a nearfall, but ate a superkick, and YOH bridged into the Five Star Clutch, and got the three count.
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This was a good action bout, and a good showing for both guys.
Will Ospreay defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Kanemaru jumped Ospreay as he turned his back during ring introductions, but Ospreay was able to respond. He sent Kanemaru to the floor, and hit a plancha. They brawled into the first row, but as Ospreay went for a running attack, Kanemaru connected with a chair shot. He continued to attack Ospreay with a chair, driving it into Ospreay’s neck and shoulder.
Back in the ring, Kanemaru used a headscissors, and a Bomaye. He pulled Ospreay back to the floor, and hit a DDT. Ospreay beat the count back inside, but Kanemaru tore off his shoulder tape, and applied a camel clutch. Ospreay hit a handspring enziguri and a 619, gaining momemtum for the first time. He followed with a springboard forearm for a nearfall.
Kanemaru halted Ospreay’s momentum, hitting a DDT, and an inverted DDT, but Ospreay was able to counter with a standing shooting star, earning another nearfall. He went for a Storm Breaker, but Kanemaru countered, and Red Shoes took a bump. Ospreay went for the cover, but with the referee out, it was to no avail.
Kanemaru hit a low blow. Ospreay stopped a chair shot, but Red Shoes woke up in time to stop Ospreay from using the chair himself. With Red Shoes distracted, Kanemaru went for the whiskey mist, but Ospreay kicked him in the gut, and Kanemaru spit the whiskey in the air. Ospreay hit a sitout inverted DDT for a nearfall.
Ospreay connected with the Robinson Special. He went for an Oscutter, but Kanemaru countered with a dropkick. Kanemaru hit a brainbuster, but only got a two count. He hit Deep Impact, but Ospreay kicked out of that as well.
Kanemaru came off the top, right into a roundhouse kick. Ospreay hit a superkick, a Burning Star Press, and a corkscrew splash off the top for a nearfall, then hit the Storm Breaker for the win.
This was something of a styles clash, with Ospreay’s aerial tactics and Kanemaru’s brawling tendencies. The ref bump was to be expected given Kanemaru’s Suzuki-gun loyalties, but felt out of place in an Ospreay match. Still, this was good for what it was, and Ospreay never has bad matches.
Here are the current tournament standings, and the results of Tuesday’s show.
A Block Standings:
Taiji Ishimori 3-2
Tiger Mask 3-2
Will Ospreay 3-2
Flip Gordon 3-2
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 2-3
B Block Standings:
Dragon Lee 3-1
Chris Sabin 2-2
Marty Scurll 2-2
El Desperado 2-2
Hiromu Takahashi 2-2
Ryusuke Taguchi 1-3