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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 26’ (5.14.19) Results & Review

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The B Block sees its first night of tournament action in the Best of the Super Juniors 26. 1,293 fans in attendance for the second of two nights at the Sendai Sunplaza Hall featuring a main event between two hometown boys as YOH faces off with Ryusuke Taguchi. Let’s get started!

DOUKI def. Ren Narita @ 10:09 via Suplex De La Luna – **
DOUKI comes out seconded by Taichi. Narita goes for the leg, grabs the waistlock, DOUKI rolls through and bails. DOUKI comes back in, Narita backs him to the corner and lays in a forearm. He charges in, DOUKI does the splits and Narita shoots through the ropes and falls outside. Taichi distracts the referee while DOUKI uses a chair on the young lion and throws him into the crowd. He brings Narita back in, drops him with a back elbow for a two count, followed up with a running double stomp for another two. DOUKI lays in stomps in the corner and shoves the referee aside. Narita uses the time to recover and the two have a forearm exchange. Narita looks for a belly-to-belly suplex but DOUKI takes the arms and applies a double wrist clutch choke. Narita gets to the ropes, catches DOUKI with a dropkick followed by a suplex before locking in a Texas Cloverleaf. DOUKI makes it to the ropes, blocks a belly-to-belly, gets caught running in with a release belly-to-belly but Narita can’t capitalize in time. DOUKI takes him down with a lariat, Narita rolls through a suplex and catches DOUKI in a pin for a nearfall. DOUKI takes the young lion down with a slingshot DDT followed by a Suplex De La Luna for the win. After the match DOUKI attacks Narita with a lead pipe before taking off to the back.

Robbie Eagles def. Rocky Romero @ 13:55 via Ron Miller Special – ***
Romero charges in with a knee, Eagles sidesteps and they have an overhand exchange. Both blocks a sliced bread attempt before Romero catches Eagles with a hurricanrana. Eagles bails, Romero follows but Eagles slides back in. He looks for a dive but Romero is there with a dropkick from the outside. Eagles blocks a forearm, drapes Romero’s leg over the rope and begins targeting the knee. Romero kicks his way free of Eagles hold but Eagles kicks his knee out from behind and follows with a lariat to the back of Romero’s head. Eagles takes the leg, Romero tries breaking his hold with a series of forearms but Eagles catches the strike and dumps him overhead and follows with running double knees in the corner. Romero catches a kick and slaps Eagles. Eagles catches a corner boot but Romero sends him off and lands a dropkick off the second rope. Eagles goes for the leg, Romero lifts his leg and catches Eagles running in with an armbreaker but he makes it to the ropes.

They have a kick exchange, Romero takes the arm and climbs the ropes, dropping his knee on the arm. Romero charges in with the forever clotheslines but his knee gives out and Eagles furthers the damage with a springboard dropkick to the knee followed by the Ron Miller Special. Romero gets to the ropes, fires up, but is taken down with a sliced bread. He slips through the Turbo Backpack and they trade pin attempts before Eagles gets caught with a sliced bread. Eagles catches a knee lift, transitions to another Turbo Backback that Romero counters. Romero blocks a third kick and flurries with a series of his own strikes. Eagles catches a kick and turns it into a Turbo Packpack but Romero kicks out at two. He follows with a thrust kick and a 450 splash onto Romero’s knee and finishes the match with the Ron Miller Special.

El Phantasmo def. Bandido @ 12:14 via CR II – ***1/4
Bandido offers his hand to the referee who shakes. He offers the hand to ELP who returns with a middle finger. They run the ropes, ELP cartwheels out of a hurricanrana and trade a series of monkey flips. ELP lands a springboard hurricanrana, Bandido bails outside and ELP follows with a tope suicida. He lands a series of punches before sending Bandido back inside the ring. Bandido avoids a corner splash, catches a springboard and lifts ELP overhead. ELP lands on his feet but is quickly taken down with a hurricanrana, bails and Bandido follows him out with a tope con hilo. He sends ELP back in, looks for a springboard cross body but ELP dropkicks him out of midair.

Bandido ducks lariat and handstands. He lands a thrust kick, handsprings but is caught on ELP’s shoulders for a spinning neckbreaker. They trade Destroyers and collapse next to each other before making it back to their feet to trade overhand chops. ELP flurries, Bandido cuts him off with a lariat and pops ELP up for a cutter followed by a reverse brainbuster. Bandido takes to the top, ELP cuts him off with an enziguri followed by a rana and a frog splash off the top rope. ELP looks Old School, Bandido puts a stop to it, meets ELP on top and lands a pudgyplex but only gets a two count. Bandido hits the ropes, ELP pulls the referee between them, shoves the referee, pulls Bandido’s mask, hits a superkick and finishes him with the CR II.

Will Ospreay def. BUSHI @ 16:36 via Stormbreaker – ***1/4
They lock up, Ospreay backs BUSHI to the ropes, BUSHI switches position, flips through and poses. Ospreay dropkicks the pose, hurricanranas BUSHI outside, fake out dives and poses. BUSHI dropkicks Ospreay’s pose, Ospreay bails and BUSHI follows him out with a hurricanrana to the floor. BUSHI brings Ospreay in and fires off a couple overhand chops before dropping him with a swinging neckbreaker for two. They trade chops, BUSHI wins the exchange and stomps Ospreay into the mat before applying the STF. Ospreay makes the ropes and they trade strikes. Ospreay pulls off BUSHI’s shirt, lands in another chops, hits the ropes but BUSHI uses his shirt for a choke. Ospreay sends BUSHI over, lands an enziguri followed by a top rope 619 and corner dropkick. BUSHI lands a knee but Ospreay is right back with a springboard forearm. BUSHI catches Ospreay coming in with a pendulum kick followed by a dropkick off the second and, after a struggle, connects with a fisherman’s screw necbreaker.

Ospreay catches BUSHI coming in with a wallflip enziguri and the two trade forearms. Ospreay puts the brakes on a codebreaker, turns it into a powerbomb, looks Oscutter but BUSHI avoids it and lands the codebreaker. BUSHI sets up for MX, Ospreay up-kicks to afford him time, puts BUSHI on his shoulders on the second rope and BUSHI turns it into a hurricanrana but Ospreay lands on his feet and catches BUSHI with a Spanish Fly. Ospreay muscles BUSHI up for a Storm Breaker, BUSHI slips out over the top rope to the apron and catches Ospreay running in, dropping him with a DDT on the apron. Ospreay breaks the count at 19, BUSHI rushes in and catches Ospreay boots, sends them over the second ropes and lands a lungblower. He sets up for MX but Ospreay headkicks him on the way down and follows with a Robinson Special. BUSHI catches the Oscutter, shoves Ospreay into the referee, Ospreay covers BUSHI’s mouth from the mist and smacks it out of BUSHI’s mouth, hits the Hidden Blade and finishes BUSHI with the Stormbreaker.

Ryusuke Taguchi def. YOH @ 20:39 via Dodon The End – ***
Taguchi takes the leg, YOH the waist, they trade positions and Taguchi takes the arm but YOH rolls him up to break the hold. YOH again goes for the waist, Taguchi the wrist, YOH takes the legs and goes for the headlock but Taguchi escapes. They run the ropes, YOH looks to dropkick Taguchi’s drop down but Taguchi lifts up and drops YOH with a hip attack. YOH atomic drops a second hip attack and Taguchi catches himself low in the ropes. YOH Paradise Locks him in the bottom rope, dropkick him free, Taguchi bails and YOH follows with a senton off the apron outside. He brings Taguchi back in for a series of knee drop, uppercuts Taguchi to the corner, catches his boot and turns it into a dragon screw and continues the attack on the knee.

Taguchi makes it to the ropes, YOH dropkicks the knee but Taguchi manages a springboard hip attack followed by a low dropkick and a springboard plancha to the floor. Taguchi drives YOH into the apron, YOH looks to do the same but Taguchi hops up to the apron and lands a hip attack to the floor. He sends YOH back in, looks for another springboard hip attack but YOH avoids it and takes two suplexes instead, cradles through the second for a two count and follows with a neckbreaker. YOH continues the flurries with forearms, gets cut off in the corner, looks for a dragon suplex but Taguchi blocks and decides on a German suplex instead. He takes Taguchi to the top, Taguchi drops YOH to the mat with forearms and hits a hip attack off the second. He sets up for the Bummer Ye but YOH takes the knee, slides through and drops the elbow before applying the figure four. Taguchi reverses the pressure and they roll to the ropes.

Taguchi rolls through a final cut and they trade pin attempts. Taguchi sets up for Dodon, YOH rolls through into a Five Star Clutch but Taguchi stops the bridge and rolls into a Gedo Clutch for two. He follows up with a Bummer Ye but YOH bridges out of the pin attempt, eats an enziguri but drops Taguchi with a thrust kick. They trade forearms, Taguchi hip attacks YOH who catches himself on the bottom rope, pulls himself back in but is caught in Oh My & Garankle. He floats through but Taguchi keeps the hold. Taguchi pulls him up and hits a tiger suplex for two. He follows with an enziguri and Dodon for another two. Taguchi lifts YOH to his shoulders and drops him with Donon The End and picks up the win. He offers a fist bump to YOH but they decide the shake hands instead.

Taguchi thanks YOH for the match and tells the crowd Miyagi produces the best juniors (he, YOH and Ishimori) so they should be proud of their prefecture. He then sends the crowd home happy with a dance routine to close out the show.

Another quiet night from Sendai but still a fun show. Not quite as strong as the A Block but I think that was to be expected. DOUKI gave Narita a fair amount of offense and channeled El Desperado with the splits spot which was a cool shout-out. Romero and Eagles had a strong match. Both those guys should have a solid tournament if tonight is anything to go by. Bandido and ELP had a huge showcase, doing a whole lot inside a twelve minute match and both were super impressive. Match of the night went to Ospreay and BUSHI. They played off last year’s finish where BUSHI won with the mist. This time Ospreay blocked it and was able to get the win. I’m not sure if BUSHI has more in him but this was a strong start for him and I wouldn’t be all that surprised if this performance ends up being his peak. The main event was solid but was upstaged by the two matches before it. I think they have a better match in them but must have felt they had to go twenty minutes in the main event spot. YOH and Taguchi showed good chemistry and with a more condensed match I’m sure they could produce a better match but that hometown boys got their main event and the crowd was again sent home happy. Not a blow away show by any means but easy enough to watch nonetheless.

Recommended Matches
Ospreay vs BUSHI
ELP vs Bandido

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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