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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 25’ 5.24.18 Results & Review

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The second A block night featuring only a hard camera and no commentary as Chaos stablemates collide in the main event of night five of ‘Best of the Super Juniors’ from Otsu, Shiga, Japan. New Japan gets nowhere near a sell out with 1,224 in attendance at Urakuchan Arena but the first hard camera show exceeded my expectations so let’s see if that becomes a trend.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Tiger Mask IV def. BUSHI @ 11:17 via Tiger Suplex – **1/4

BUSHI is one of the hardest wrestlers in the company to pinpoint. He’s a part of LIJ, who have transitioned from heels to faces yet BUSHI was not a face here. He jumped Tiger before the bell, laid him out with some chair shots and ripped at his mask the entire match. He wants to be the premiere masked wrestler in New Japan so wrestling another masked man brings out the fire inside of him. The fans don’t want to boo BUSHI but they can’t applaud his tactics either. There is this struggle to get behind BUSHI in these situations. As opposed to their warm up match at Korakuen, Tiger stayed away from BUSHI’s mask and instead focused on winning. He evaded an MX attempt, hit a powerbomb and immediately followed up with a Tiger Driver for two but stayed on the attack and landed a suplex from the top rope and planted BUSHI with a Tiger Suplex to score the win. BUSHI come out of the night as the only person who hasn’t picked up a victory. The chip on his shoulder is too big and he’s paying the price.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru def. ACH @ 14:08 via Deep Impact – **3/4

ACH came into the tournament with a shoulder issue which his opponents have had no problem exploiting. He was able to overcome in his opening match against Flip but since then he’s lost two in a row. Kanemaru rushed ACH on his way down to the ring, trying to gain the advantage early. ACH was able to land a few chops but his shoulder crumpled on a handspring attempt and Kanemaru began laying into his injured shoulder from there on out. Kanemaru was able to grind him down for a while but ACH powered back with a chop and standing splash. ACH began protecting his shoulder by refusing it use it, instead handspringing and hitting German suplexes with only one arm. Once ACH started taking control of the match he felt more confident and went to the top, looking to land a 450, but Kanemaru rolled out of the way. He sprayed whiskey into ACH’s face and dropped him with Deep Impact for the win. ACH is a great, sympathetic face and Kanemaru taking shortcuts never stops being annoying. Really good chemistry between these two.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Flip Gordon def. Taiji Ishimori @ 9:28 via O’Connor Roll – **1/4

The biggest upset of the tournament so far. Taiji Ishimori’s first defeat since debuting as Bone Solider is at the hands of Flip Gordon. Who would have seen this coming? They started off trying to one up each other by replicating the other’s move but when that turned out to favor Flip, Ishimori begins grinding down on Flip’s neck. Ishimori seemed to have a counter for everything Flip tried to hit. He moved out of the way before Flip could land a Four Flippy and caught him in a crossface when Flip went for a standing Shooting Star. Flip missed a 450 from the top and Ishimori hoisted him up for the Bloody Cross but Flip was able to work his way out. With Flip’s arms wrapped around his waist, Ishimori ran for the ropes but Flip hung on and used Ishimori’s momentum to catch him in an O’Connor Roll. Big upset win for Flip and Ishimori now looks vulnerable for the first time since his debut.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Will Ospreay def. YOH @ 16:28 via Stormbreaker – ***1/4

So far, YOH has been overshadowed by his Roppongi 3K teammate, SHO, as the breakout star of the tournament. Tonight he had an opportunity to show his potential against the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion and Chaos stablemate, Will Ospreay. All year, Ospreay has been on another level. As champion he’s able to bring out the best in everyone he faces and he did so again here with YOH. By dropping Ospreay on his neck with a couple of Germans and being able to counter the Oscutter, YOH looked credible. His offense is a lot like Ospreay’s in that it’s very flashy and demands precision in order to look good. They slipped on a top rope suplex but you saw Ospreay take control and show YOH how to make the best of a sloppy situation. Despite a few blemishes, this was the exact match YOH needed to have with Ospreay. He was able to showcase more of his style against someone who can make his moves look impactful. Of course he wasn’t going to be able to pull off the upset but YOH looked the best that he has so far in the tournament and Ospreay continues to be the man to watch in the A block. The two Chaos members embrace after the match and Ospreay closes the show out by saying he’s the best junior in the world.

Similar to the previous hard camera show, everything hit it’s mark. YOH had the best match of his singles career so far, Flip scored a surprise win over Ishimori and ACH continues to put on killer performances. The story of BUSHI going 0-3 and Tiger going 3-0 shouldn’t be understated. If Tiger wins one more match, BUSHI will already be eliminated. He needs to focus more on winning rather than getting caught up in trivial battles. The match between ACH and Kanemaru exceeded my expectations but if you don’t have time for everything you definitely should check out the main event.

Standings
Tiger Mask IV (3-0)
Taiji Ishimori (2-1)
Will Ospreay (2-1)
Flip Gordon (2-1)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (1-2)
ACH (1-2)
YOH (1-2)
BUSHI (0-3)

Recommended Match
Ospreay vs YOH

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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