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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 25’ 5.27.18 Results & Review

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New Japan stayed in Nagoya overnight for a second sold out show at the Nagoya Congress Center in front of 1,841 ready to see B block action in this year’s ‘Best of the Super Juniors’. The main event between Hiromu Takahashi and Ryusuke Taguchi sees two men with losing records looking to even out their score while hoping Chris Sabin is able to put a stop to Dragon Lee’s winning streak.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Marty Scurll def. El Desperado @ 14:42 via Crossface Chickenwing **3/4

After dropping the first two matches, Scurll finds himself on a roll after now picking up back-to-back wins. Conversely, Desperado is on a losing skid after a career win against Hiromu Takahashi. They started off by trading holds but soon after found themselves brawling into the crowd where they swung garbage bins, raking eyes and slammed into the announcer’s table. Back in the ring, Desperado focused on Scurll’s knee while Scurll had to fight from underneath, hitting some big lariats and dropping Desperado with a huge top rope suplex to eventually gain the upper hand. Desperado brought a chair into the ring and set it up in the corner but wound up running into it himself. Scurll set him up for the Chickenwing but Desperado backed up into the referee and swung the chair at Scurll, who ducked and caught Desperado’s arm coming in for the low blow. He kept ahold of the arm and transitioned into the Chickenwing to score the win. Strong opening tournament match. Scurll, being the villain, was ahead of all Desperado’s tricks and didn’t need to resort to any underhanded tactics to pick up the win over Desperado.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Chris Sabin def. Dragon Lee @ 13:39 via Cradle Shock – **3/4

Dragon Lee came into the night as the only undefeated wrestler remaining in the tournament but didn’t leave as such. The two shook hands before the bell and traded holds but wound up in a stalemate. Both found themselves matched up well together, neither sustaining much offense before the other was able to counter and bring the fire right back. They were equally matched, both hitting several huge dropkicks, nasty lariats and slugging it out multiple times with big forearms battles. Lee caught Sabin jumping off the apron to the floor into powerbomb position but Sabin countered into a Hurricanrana and followed up with a dive to the floor. Sabin muscled his way out of another powerbomb attempt, landed a Slingshot DDT but Lee powered up, laying Sabin out with a running kick. He hoists Sabin up for Desnucadora but is dropped by a DDT instead. Sabin tries capitalizing with a Cradle Shock, ends up being rolled up but pops out and turns Lee inside out with a lariat and planting him with Cradle Shock to hand Lee his first loss. These two had a great match but Sabin lacked any crowd support. The fans seemed surprised anytime Sabin hit a big move, not knowing what to expect from him. They rallied behind Lee’s comebacks but were silent for Sabin. Great match but not the ideal atmosphere.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
KUSHIDA def. SHO @ 19:24 via Back to the Future – ****

When the blocks were announced, this was one of the matches I circled and told people to keep an eye on. SHO broke out in his opening match against Dragon Lee and had another incredible match here against KUSHIDA. Both men have a similar style where they pride themselves on their mat wrestling first and foremost. They spent the first seven minutes going back and forth, countering one another’s submissions with holds of there own before KUSHIDA took advantage with a dropkick. SHO wasn’t going to let KUSHIDA off easy and instead showcased his strength by powering out of a keylock and slamming KUSHIDA to the mat. He demanded that KUSHIDA give him all he’s got, wanting to prove that he can take the punishment. At no point did SHO look outmatched by his senior. He’d counter the Hoverboard Lock with powerbombs and reversed direction on a Hurricanrana to land two consecutive powerbombs and transitioning the third into a cross armbreaker. This was the exact match SHO needed to have in order to showcase his skill and give fans faith in him as a future star. SHO had been finding ways out of the Hoverboard Lock all match but his final attempt turned out to favor KUSHIDA. When SHO began driving his knee into KUSHIDA’s chest, KUSHIDA trapped the leg and drove him down with Back to the Future. Awesome match from start to finish. They started slow and kept building and now SHO feels as if he’s cemented himself as the breakout star of the tournament. The two showed respect after the match.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Hiromu Takahashi def. Ryusuke Taguchi @ 14:49 via D – ****

Both men came into the night with two losses and desperate not to add another. When Taguchi is motivated and on his game, he can have a blow away match with anyone. He and Hiromu came out hot and didn’t let up for a second. Silky smooth transitions by Taguchi into ankle locks and Hiromu countering hip attacks into German suplexes. Taguchi fired up and slapped Hiromu across the face before dropping him with a nasty German of his own. Great fire from both guys throughout the match. Hiromu kicks out of one Dodon but Taguchi transitions to an ankle lock and tries another Dodon, this time Hiromu rolls through for a near fall. On the third Dodon attempt, Hiromu once again tries rolling through but Taguchi drops him with a Tombstone Piledriver instead. In a last ditch effort, Hiromu runs in for a Hurricanrana but Taguchi stops the momentum and applies another ankle lock that Hiromu is able to escape. They trade pin attempts before Hiromu catches Taguchi in a Triangle Choke that he tries to fight out of but is unsuccessful and is forced to tap. Back-to-back excellent matches.

You could not have asked for anything better than what we got here tonight. The semi and main event were completely different from one another and both were excellent. You’re always treated to something special when Taguchi is motivated and that was the case here where he and Hiromu went pedal to the metal and had a killer main event. KUSHIDA and SHO had an excellent showcase where you walked away feeling like the future of the division is safe in SHO’s hands. Don’t you dare skip out on these two matches.

Standings
Dragon Lee (3-1)
Hiromu Takahashi (2-2)
Marty Scurll (2-2)
Chris Sabin (2-2)
KUSHIDA (2-2)
El Desperado (2-2)
SHO (2-2)
Ryusuke Taguchi (1-3)

Recommended Matches
KUSHIDA vs SHO
Hiromu vs Taguchi

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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