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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 26’ (5.16.19) Results & Review

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The B Block’s second night, and the fourth overall of the Best of the Super Juniors 26, takes place in front of 1,403 fans at the Aomori Industrial Exhibition Concourse. Ryusuke Taguchi receives his second straight main event for his block as he faces off against Suzuki-Gun’s newest member, DOUKI. Let’s get started!

Robbie Eagles def. Ren Narita @ 9:19 via Turbo Backpack – ***
Fans pull out their signs for their hometown boy, Narita, and give him a big ovation on his entrance. They trade wristlocks, Narita takes Eagles over and grabs the arm. Eagles trips and takes the head, Narita sends him off but is taken down by an Eagles shoulder. Narita takes Eagles down and applies a headlock but Eagles gouges the eyes to break free. Narita hits the ropes, ducks two lariats and takes Eagles down with a shoulder. Eagles escapes a slam and cuts Narita off at the knee. He catches Narita’s boot, drapes his leg over the second rope and delivers a kick. Eagles bars the knee, the crowd rallies and Narita finds the ropes. Narita avoids corner double knees and slams Eagles to the mat followed by a corner back elbow and a dropkick for a two count. Eagles blocks the belly-to-belly and kicks free of a Boston Crab.

Eagles bails to the apron, Narita attempts a belly-to-belly over the ropes, Eagles breaks free and delivers a springboard dropkick. Narita catches Eagles coming in but Eagles is quick to kick the back of the knee followed by a lariat to the back of the head for two. Narita rolls up a Ron Miller Special attempt for two, Eagles flurries with kicks, Narita catches a kick and drops Eagles with a bridging belly-to-belly for two. He rolls Eagles from the ropes and applies a Texas Cloverleaf, Eagles finds the ropes slides out of the suplex delivers a flurry of kicks but is caught running in with a pair of forearms from Narita for two. Eagles catches a kick and pulls Narita into the Turbo Backpack for the win. Eagles stomps on a fan’s Narita sign before heading to the back.

YOH def. Bandido @ 13:06 via Bridging Dragon Suplex – ***
Bandido offers his hand and YOH accepts. They lock up and trade hammerlocks, Bandido takes the leg but YOH reaches the ropes. Again they lock up, YOH takes the headlock, Bandido sends him off, ducks lariat and slam YOH. He’s caught running in and tripped over the second rope. YOH runs in with a dropkick and lands a series of follow up dropkicks to the knee. After continuing the attack on the knee, YOH picks Bandido up and slams him back down. Bandido catches him running in the corner with a boot followed by an enziguri and a tornillo. He lands a dropkick on YOH that sends him to the apron but begins favoring the knee. YOH pulls him to the apron with him where Bandido throws him to the floor with a headscissors and follows with a moonsault to the floor and brings YOH in for a two count.

Each duck the other’s kicks until YOH finds the neckbreaker, charges in with a series of elbows and forrarms and heads to the top. Bandido ducks the attack and delivers a pop-up cutter, YOH comes right back with a thrust kick that turns Bandido inside out. Bandido catches YOH running in, drapes him over the second rope and lands a 450 off the second. He looks for 21, YOH blocks and hits a bridging German suplex for two. YOH takes them to the top, Bandido headbutss him to the mat but YOH is right back up with an enziguri and vertical suplexes Bandido off the second, holds on and lands a falcon arrow for two. Bandido breaks free of YOH’s dragon suplex and pulls him up to his shoulders and lands a Go 2 Sleep followed by a lariat for two. YOH catches Bandido running in with a cazadora, hits a release dragon suplex and finishes with the bridging variety. The two embrace after the match.

El Phantasmo def. BUSHI @ 10:32 via CR II – **
BUSHI offers his hand, ELP spits in his hand before offering it to BUSHI. BUSHI puts the gun pose to ELP’s head, ELP bites BUSHI’s finger and they’re off. They hit the ropes, ELP takes BUSHI down and stomps the hand before climbing the ropes for Old School. BUSHI pushes ELP off the ropes to the floor and lands a slingshot hurricanrana to the floor. He brings ELP in, chokes him with his shirt, hits the ropes and is caught with a choke from ELP. The referee refuses to count the pin so ELP throws the shirt at him. He traps BUSHI in the tree of woe and stomps him low, goes for a pin and gets two. ELP stands on BUSHI throat until the count of four, BUSHI fires off a chop and catches ELP with a hurricanrana from the second.

ELP avoids a corner attack, delivers an overhand chop followed by boots and too sweets BUSHI in the eyes. He sends BUSHI to the corner, BUSHI responds with a pendulum kick followed by a top rope dropkick for two. ELP catches the codebreaker, sends BUSHI off and hits the spinning neckbreaker for two followed by a lionsault for another two. BUSHI catches ELP running in, drapes him over the top and lands a hurricanrana for two. ELP thrust kicks an attempted MX and follows with a pair of tope suicidas. He sends BUSHI back in and follows with a splash from off the top for a two count. ELP sets up for CR II, BUSHI ranas through and drops ELP on the apron with a DDT. ELP spins through the fisherman’s screw, pushes BUSHI at the referee, the referee cowers in the corner and ELP hits BUSHI low before finishing him with the CR II.

Will Ospreay def. Rocky Romero @ 25:47 via Stormbreaker – ***3/4
Romero offers his hand and the two both shake and fist bump. They trade wristlocks and waistlocks, Romero backs Ospreay to the ropes and gives a clean break. They hit the ropes, Rocky ties himself in the ropes and goads in Ospreay. Ospreay shoots through the ropes to the floor and Romero follows with a sliding dropkick. He sends Ospreay back in and takes him to the corner. Ospreay avoids the forever clotheslines and sliced bread. He gives Romero an enziguri followed by a top rope 619 and chops Romero to the mat. Romero fires back with a chop of his own but another from Ospreay brings him back down. He again tries to flurry, slides through an Ospreay suplex and catches him in an octopus hold. Ospreay muscles Romero up and drops him with a backbreaker, followed up by a pair of knees to the back and a chinlock.

Romero breaks free and delivers a chop but Ospreay responds with one of his own that sends Romero to the corner. Romero catches Ospreay running in with a pair of boots followed by a satellite DDT. A flurry of chops and forearms, Romero hits the ropes looking for a hurricanrana but Ospreay blocks two attempts, goes for a handspring where he’s cut off by a Romero kick. Romero drops Ospreay’s arm over the top, follows with a springboard hurricanrana, Ospreay bails and Romero follows him out with a tope suicida. He brings Ospreay back in, drapes him over the top rope and delivers a series of up kicks and a springboard double stomp for two. Romero continues the attack on Ospreays arm, climbs to the second rope and drops his knee over the arm. Ospreay blocks an Irish whip but leaves his injured arm exposed. Romero gets the Irish whip, Ospreay lands the handspring enziguri followed by a springboard forearm. Romero bails and Ospreay follows him out with a Sasuke Special.

Ospreay brings Romero in and challenges him to a forearm exchange. Romero instead kicks the injured arm, Ospreay responds with a series of up kicks and delivers a head kick in the middle of Romero’s catchphrase. Ospreay sets up for the Oscutter, Romero sidesteps it and applies a cross armbreaker. Ospreay stomps the head but Romero won’t let go so he reaches the ropes instead. Romero stays on the attack of the arm but Ospreay catches him running in with the wallflip enziguri. Ospreay comes in with a corner uppercut, Romero avoids the dropkick and fires off forever clotheslines. Ospreay ducks the third, Romero ducks a hook kick, slies out of an Ospreay powerbomb and lariats Ospreay inside out. Romero gets Sliced Rocky for two, Ospreays blocks a rana and sends Romero to the corner followed by a reverse Bloody Sunday for a two count of his own. Hook kick from Ospreay, sets up for Stormbreaker, Romero slides through and backslides for two followed by a cazadora for two.

Ospreay blocks Sliced Rocky, lands a thrust kick, sets up for Stormbreaker but Romero drops him with a frankensteiner pin for another two count. They trade forearms on their knees, make it to their feet and continue. Romero fires off a series of palm strikes to the chest, Ospreay takes him down with an uppercut, sets up for Hidden Blade, Romero ducks and catches Ospreay with a knee. Ospreay blocks a lariat with a head kick, Romero turns a lariat into a cross armbreaker, transitions into a triangle, Ospreay powers him up into a sit out powerbomb for two. Ospreay heads to the top rope and hits a shooting star press for another two and immedately finishes Romero with Stormbreaker. Ospreay embraces Romero after the match.

Ryusuke Taguchi def. DOUKI @ 21:22 via Oh My & Garankle – **1/2
DOUKI goes on the attack before the bell, stomping Taguchi into the mat. Taguchi fires off forearms, charges in but DOUKI does the splits and Taguchi shoots through the ropes to the floor. DOUKI slams Taguchi on the outside and slams both Uemura and Umino onto Taguchi. He climbs the top and dives with a senton to the floor. Taguchi breaks the count out at nineteen but DOUKI is there for more stomps. He sends Taguchi to the ropes, delivers a back elbow and stands on his chest but the referee refuses the count. DOUKI puts the boots to Taguchi in the corner, Taguchi tries to fire back but is cut off and his eyes dragged across the ropes. DOUKI cuts off another comeback with an eye gouge and more stomps. He brings Taguchi to his feet, sends him to the ropes and Taguchi fires off a pair or hip attacks that send DOUKI to the floor.

Taguchi looks to follow him out with a plancha but DOUKI moves, drops Taguchi with a suplex and drives him into the post. Taguchi blocks being driven to the apron, drives DOUKI into the apron, sets up for a hip attack off the apron but DOUKI is there to block the attack with a chair and sends Taguchi into the crowd. He pulls Taguchi’s helmet off and slaps him with it before sending him back in the ring for a running double stomp, only getting him a two count. DOUKI sends Taguchi to the corner, Taguchi gets his boot up and lands a hip attack followed by a low dropkick. DOUKI bails and Taguchi follows him out with a springboard plancha before sending him back in and follows with a springboard hip attack. Two vertical suplexes, DOUKI tries blocking a third but isn’t able and Taguchi locks in Oh My & Garankle. He lets go of the hold, hits Dodon for two, looks for a second, DOUKI tries rolling through but Taguchi sits out for another two count.

Taguchi locks in On My & Garankle again but Taichi comes in and drops Taguchi with a Dangerous Suplex. Guitarra del Angel from DOUKI only gets him a two, he sets up on the apron for a slingshot DDT, hits it, looks for Suplex De La Luna but Taguchi blocks. DOUKI traps Taguchi in a double wrist clutch triangle, Taguchi passes out before eventually finding the ropes. He rolls DOUKI up and drops him with a blue thunder bomb for two. They trade forearms, DOUKI a chop to the throat, Taguchi an enziguri, Taguchi comes in with a hip attack, DOUKI ducks and the referee takes the attack. Taichi comes up to the apron with a chair, slides it to DOUKI, Taguchi ducks the attack and drops DOUKI on the chair, followed up with Bummer Ye for two. Taguchi drops DOUKI with a double underhook facebuster, Taichi tries rushing the ring but young lions pull him back as Taguchi locks in Oh My & Garankle and DOUKI quickly taps out.

Taguchi takes the microphone and says years of Suzuki-Gun, Gedo and Jado prepared him for this match. He says DOUKI can do it without Taichi’s help. The crowd is then sent home happy with a dance routine and high fives.

The most lively crowd of the tour made for the best environment so far. The hometown crowd cheering on Narita in the opener created a nice wave of positive energy and the young lion proved he had what to takes to hang. He’s already a blast to watch. YOH and Bandido was a lot of fun as well. Bandido is such an exciting wrestler to watch no matter if it’s tags or singles, he always stands out. The low point in the show went to ELP and BUSHI. There wasn’t any chemistry and outside of the variety of BUSHI hurricanranas, there wasn’t anything there to get excited about. Ospreay and Romero had the clear match of the night. It’s almost become a trope that the semi-main events are stealing the shows so far. Like most of the semi-mains, this went very long but the last eight minutes is the best wrestling the tournament has produced to this point. I haven’t been a fan of the length of a lot of these matches and this one is no exception, but the crowd reactions were great. The main event was what I think everyone expected. These types of matches will never light my world on fire. Too many shenanigans for my taste but the crowd’s energy helped keep a positive vibe. Big ups to today’s crowd.

Recommended Match
Ospreay vs Romero

Standings
Will Ospreay (2-0)
Ryusuke Taguchi (2-0)
Robie Eagles (2-0)
El Phantasmo (2-0)
DOUKI (1-1)
YOH (1-1)
BUSHI (0-2)
Rocky Romero (0-2)
Bandido (0-2)
Ren Narita (0-2)

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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