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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 25’ 5.20.18 Results & Review

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The second night of A block action in this year’s ‘Best of the Super Juniors’ took place in front of 1,550 at Kira Messe Numazu. This was the first night of many on this tour that will be released with the hard camera, no commentary treatment. Only the tournament matches were released, the main event being what I consider to be a big time match between Will Ospreay and ACH. These hard camera shows can be a deterrent for some, myself included, but nevertheless let’s get into this night of tournament action!

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Tiger Mask IV def. YOH @ 13:34 via Tiger Suplex – **1/4

Despite being the oldest participant in the tournament, Tiger Mask has performed really well. He’s wrestling like he has something to prove. The match was in his control for the majority of the time and he urged YOH to come at him as hard as possible. YOH had a couple of flurries and displayed his quickness advantage over the aged veteran but when it came to strength, Tiger had YOH outclassed. Other than a few flash pin attempts, YOH was unable to look as if he could pull off the win. After the match, Tiger insisted they shake hands before heading to the back. While maybe this isn’t something to rush out and see, I’m always a sucker for the veteran versus young up and comer matches and enjoyed seeing the dynamic between these two.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Flip Gordon def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru @ 10:03 via Four Flippy Splash – **

In usual Kanemaru fashion, he spent the early portion doing his best to cut down the fast-paced junior heavyweight action. About halfway through, Flip must have inspired him to do more because Kanemaru went to the top and attempted a Moonsault. He was unable to connect and that swung the match into Flip’s favor. Kanemaru tried gaining control back by using the referee as a way of slowing Flip down but Flip countered Deep Impact with a superkick and followed with a Four Flippy Splash. Like the previous match this may not have been the most exciting but Flip is a breath of fresh air and has unpredictable comebacks so it was engaging enough.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Taiji Ishimori def. BUSHI @ 12:03 via Bloody Cross – **1/4

Let it be known that I’m not the biggest BUSHI fan. I usually find his matches one dimensional and not particularly engaging. With that said, in this match he played the underdog and his comebacks worked. He hit a combination DDT, running Hurricanrana, top rope dropkick and finished with a topé suicida. Ishimori did a good job of cutting him down at every turn and when BUSHI fired up, the crowd reacted huge. Just when BUSHI seemed to have the match won, Ishimori countered the MX with a standing Codebreaker and immediately finished with the Bloody Cross. For not being a BUSHI fan, I enjoyed seeing this babyface side of him. Both men worked well in their roles.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Will Ospreay def. ACH @ 16:49 via Stormbreaker – ***1/4

Such a shame this match was relegated to a hard camera show and no commentary team to hype up the emotion. Two of my personal favorites doing battle in a New Japan main event and it won’t receive the amount of eyes it deserves because of the circumstances. Some of the highlights include ACH countering the Pip Pip Cheerio into a backbreaker + Hero’s Grip combination, catching the Oscutter and turning it into a Death Valley Driver and Ospreay flipping out of a lariat and following it up with a Robinson Special. Sadly, ACH was unable to pick up a victory over the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion after his win over Flip Gordon. These are two of the absolute best at their style and deserves a watch despite the camera situation. Post-match Ospreay takes the microphone and proclaims himself the best junior heavyweight in the world and that’s how we end the show.

Even though the show was plagued with the hard camera treatment, I still found all the matches enjoyable. I wouldn’t recommend anything but the main event to a casual fan but the completionists will be pleasantly surprised by this show considering the situation. This is just the first of many shows that will be recorded in this fashion during the tour and I’d bet not many will be better than what we got here. Definitely take the time for the main event and tell others to do the same.

Records
Taiji Ishimori (2-0)
Tiger Mask IV (2-0)
Will Ospreay (1-1)
ACH (1-1)
YOH (1-1)
Flip Gordon (1-1)
BUSHI (0-2)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0-2)

Recommended Match
Ospreay vs ACH

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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