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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 25’ 5.29.18 Results & Review

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The A block is onto their fifth night of tournament action in the ‘Best of the Super Juniors’ from the Tochigi Sports Park Gymnasium. By far the lowest turnout in the tournament, totaling 683 in attendance with a main event featuring a first time and possibly last time match between Will Ospreay and Yoshinobu Kanemaru.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Taiji Ishimori def. Tiger Mask IV @ 11:19 via Bloody Cross – **1/2

Ishimori puts an end to his slump by giving Tiger Mask his second straight loss of the tournament. After a hot start, Tiger has dropped two in a row and his outlook doesn’t look promising with his remaining opponents being Ospreay and ACH. Tiger and Ishimori have a little bit of history, both as friends and foes in tag team contests but this was their first singles encounter. Ishimori went on the attack before the bell and took Tiger to the outside, slammed his head into the announcer’s table and laughed in his face. Tiger fired up once Ishimori started ripping at his mask. He caught Ishimori running in with a lariat and dropped him with a Tiger Driver before taking Ishimori to the top for a Butterfly suplex and transitioning into an armbar. Ishimori fought out, dodged an enziguri and planted Tiger with the Bloody Cross. Perfectly good match just like all of Tiger’s performances throughout the tournament.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
BUSHI def. ACH @ 11:57 via MX – **1/4

After dropping the first three matches, BUSHI needs to win out in order to have any hope of winning the block. He resorted back to the mist in order to pick up his first win over Ospreay and now he must wrestle ACH. These two had a match at last year’s tournament which saw ACH come out on top. Early on, ACH didn’t fall for BUSHI’s games. He slapped BUSHI’s hand away, refusing to shake and pulled BUSHI’s shirt off before delivering a huge chop. BUSHI used the shirt to choke ACH and gain control of the pace. He targeted ACH’s shoulder throughout the match, hitting him with mutiple dropkicks. When ACH fired up, he wasn’t able to land a German suplex and BUSHI rolled through but was caught getting up with an enziguri. In deperation, ACH climbed to the top but missed the 450 Splash. He was able to muscle through an attempted Codebreaker but BUSHI switched positions and drove ACH down with a lungblower, followed by a Codebreaker and finished with MX. Perfectly fine match but there were a lot dead moments from the crowd where even the referee looked around wondering why no one was reacting. It’s no secret I’m not a fan of BUSHI but this wasn’t bad, just nothing that would standout.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
YOH def. Flip Gordon @ 11:10 via Five Star Clutch – **3/4

This was make or break for YOH. If he lost to Flip, he’d have been eliminated from the tournament. With his back up against the wall, YOH still shook hands with his opponent before the bell. They started out with fast-paced chain wrestling and when time came for the traditional double dropkick stalemate spot, Flip faked YOH out by not going for the kick until YOH got back to his feet. Flip’s advantage didn’t last more than five seconds before YOH evaded a kick and landed one of his own. The two were evenly matched and weren’t able to sustain much offense before being cut off by the other. Flip connected with the springboard dropkick, double jump crossbody to the outside, saw YOH moving out of the way on a Four Flippy attempt, landed on his feet and hit a springboard Slingblade instead and caught YOH in an O’Connor Roll. YOH got out of the flurry by applying a sleeper but Flip got to the ropes and they began trading big forearms. Flip came out on top and hit a 450 Splash from the top for two but couldn’t follow up. YOH caught Flip coming on a springboard with a superkick and rolled him into a Five Star Clutch. Really fun back and forth between the two. Both were incredibly smooth and showed some nice fire in their forearm exchange. Nothing to rush out and see but something nice for the completionists like myself.

Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match
Will Ospreay def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru @ 14:03 via Stormbreaker – ***

One of those matches you’ll only see in this tournament because there is no chance Kanemaru will ever be in a junior title match at this point in his career. Like Tiger Mask, expectations for a Kanemaru match are so low that when he shows up it’s a pleasant surprise. He jumped Ospreay from behind before the bell but Ospreay caught him early on in the attack with a Hurricanrana and slingshot crossbody over the top to the floor. He set Kanemaru on a chair and came running in but Kanemaru nailed Ospreay with the chair and dumped him into the crowd. Ospreay tried to fire up with a dropkick into the corner but was met with a dropkick from Kanemaru instead and immediately taken to the outside where he’d driven to the floor with a DDT. Kanemaru ran in with a lariat but is met with a boot, top rope 619 and springboard forearm combination. He blocks a kick from Ospreay and rips at his eyes before landing his own combo of a DDT, corner lariat and reverse DDT before getting caught in Strombreaker position. Kanemaru lunges at the referee and knocks him down before rolling outside and coming at Ospreay with a chair. Ospreay ducks, attempts to use the chair on Kanemaru but the referee comes to and stops him, giving Kanemaru time to fill his mouth with whiskey. The whiskey mist is blocked and Ospreay springs off the middle rope for an Oscutter but his met by a dropkick. Kanemaru hits Deep Impact from the second rope for a two count but is unsuccessful with a follow up Deep Impact from the top before eating a Stormbreaker and the loss. Strong main event.

Other than the crickets during the match between BUSHI and ACH, I really liked everything from this show. The main event was one of those matches we may never see again, especially in the main event slot and I thought they delivered. You shouldn’t ever expect much from Kanemaru but when he’s facing off with a good baby face his matches work well. Also, YOH and Flip had a fun encounter that I’d really like to see again. The B block is outshining the A block by a wide margin in my opinion but there have been some nice, understated matches in this block. Nearly everything has been fun even though I’m not recommending people spend a lot of time on these matches.

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

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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