Results from the opening day of the Best of the Super Juniors in Korakuen Hall:
Justin Thunder Liger defeated Yohei Komatsu
What a match this was to start the tournament. Komatsu attacked Liger before the bell and took it to him, until Liger got pissed off and hit a brainbuster on the floor. From here Komatsu was the ultimate underdog, fighting off everything, and kicking out of everything while getting in a few close near falls when he countered a Liger Bomb and also hit a Falcon Arrow. Liger won after two palm strikes and a brainbuster. A great match, with Komatsu being made to look like a star. This tournament could be huge for Komatsu.
Nick paid tribute to Prince Devitt by coming to the ring on Cody Hall’s shoulders. There was a lot of comedy in this with the usual Bullet Club behaviour with Hall at ringside. It was okay, but nothing special. Tiger Mask tombstones Nick on the floor in the middle of the match, which made no sense to me at all. Tiger Mask got the win after Nick survived a Tiger Driver, but was pinned after a Tiger Suplex.
Alex Shelley defeated David Finlay
This was the debut of Finlay, the son of Fit Finlay. He played the heel here, and looked very good in his first match in Japan. Shelley let him get lots in, and he is a really good traditional wrestler with a lot of European influence. Shelley got the win after Automatic Midnight and left the ring to Finlay after the match. I am looking forward to seeing Finlay grow in NJPW.
Barbaro Cavernario defeated Chase Owens
Cavernario is a full on caveman, even carrying a giant club to the ring like something from The Flintstones. The match was okay, with Cavernario’s crazy offence being the highlight, which included a Superfly splash from the top rope to the floor. Owens looked okay, but he doesn’t do much to stand out, and I can think of countless guys I’d rather see in the tournament. Cavernario won via submission with La Cavernaria.
Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Kazushi Sakuraba, Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
This was the usual fun NJPW ten man tag. Honma missed a lot of Kokeshi’s before finally hitting one on Nakamura. We didn’t get much from Tanahashi and Yano here. Ishii & Makabe had the usual exchange of crazy lariats. The best part was the last few minutes when YOSHI got in some amazing hear falls on Goto, before Goto & Shibata finished him off with an Ushikuroshi/PK combo and the Shouten Kai. This was a preview of a lot of big singles matches coming up in July at Dominion.
Bobby Fish defeated Rocky Romero
This was a good solid match. We had one half of ReDRagon vs one half of RPG Vice, and both partners at ringside as they were set for the next match. Fish worked over the knee of Romero which led to the downfall of Romero. Fish eventually got the win with the Fish Hook.
After the match RPG & ReDRagon brawled with Romero & Fish fighting to the back, leading to the next match.
Kyle O’Reilly defeated Beretta
This was awesome! These two absolutely killed it with this one. O’Reilly worked over the arm with Beretta selling his ass off. The last few minutes were so good, with lots of great counters, and near falls. They fell over the top rope as O’Reilly had Beretta in a guillotine choke, then O’Reilly hit a dropkick off the apron as O’Reilly was seated in a chair. This was one of the best singles matches Bertetta has ever had, and this performance shows just how much he has improved since he was last in the BOSJ in 2013. O’Reilly made Beretta submit to an armbar to win it. This is going to a big tournament for O’Reilly.
KUSHIDA defeated Mascara Dorada
This was another great match. There was lots of crazy fast paced action and plenty of dives. Dorada hit a beautiful moonsault off the top rope to the floor after walking the top rope, and KUSHIDA hit his somersault over the ring post to the floor. Dorada is just insane to watch. There two work so well together. KUSHIDA went after the arm of Dorada, and eventually got him to submit to the Hoverboard Stretch. This was the fastest match of the night, with KUSHIDA getting points on the board as one of the favourites to win.
Gedo defeated Ryusuke Taguchi
This was great! Gedo attacked Taguchi before the bell, and attacked him on the floor with the bell hammer. Gedo tried every dirty trick in the book, exposing the turnbuckle and everything else he could think of. Taguchi got back into it hitting Gedo with his ass from every possible angle and predicament. The last few minutes of this were so good, with the crowd getting behind the underdog Gedo, and wanted him to win. Taguchi had Gedo in the ankle lock, with Gedo holding on, eventually making it to the ropes, and kicking out of Dodon which the crowd went nuts for. Gedo won after a low blow the Complete Shot and the Gedo Clutch. The best part of this was Okada, who was on commentary going crazy when Gedo got the win. A great match, and a great win for the always underrated Gedo.
This was a great show to open the 2015 Best of the Super Juniors, with Komatsu/Liger and the last three matches all well worth watching. Signing up for NJPW World now would be a great idea, as you get the whole tournament for very little money.
Tomorrows card is as follows:
Mascara Dorada & Jay White vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish
Tomoaki Honma, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Captain New Japan, David Finlay & Sho Tanaka
BOSJ Block A: Yohei Komatsu vs. Gedo
BOSJ Block A: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Barbaro Cavernario
Kazuchika Okada & Barreta vs. Yujiro Takahashi & Cody Hall
BOSJ Block B: Alex Shelley vs. Rocky Romero
BOSJ Block B: KUSHIDA vs. Nick Jackson
Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano & YOSHI-HASHI
According to NJPW World, only the tournament matches will be available.