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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 26’ (5.19.19) Results & Review

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The B Block’s third night, and the sixth night overall of the Best of the Super Juniors 26, takes place in front of 1,101 fans at the Yamagata Big Wing. The night’s main event see the undefeated Ryusuke Taguchi take on the winless BUSHI. Let’s get started!

Rocky Romero (0-2) def. Ren Narita (0-2) @ 12:30 via Cross Armbreaker – **1/2
They lock up, trade waistlocks and wristlocks until a stalemate is reached. Locking up again, Romero takes the wrist and pulls Narita into a hammerlock. Narita hits an elbow, takes an arm and headscissors Romero to the mat. Romero slides through and bow & arrows Narita who fights off into a pin for one. Narita fights off a tiger suplex, Romero takes the headlock, Narita tries breaking free but Romero rolls through and keeps the hold. Narita bridges free, Romero takes him down and stomps the arm. Romero keeps on the arm and drops a knee off the second onto the arm. He applies the kimura, Narita finds the ropes but Romero pulls him back up and continues the target. Narita pulls through a wrist clutch and back drops Romero. He breaks free of another wrist clutch and slams Romero to the mat.

Romero blocks one belly-to-belly suplex, gets taken over with a second and fights off the follow up Boston Crab. He boots Narita and looks for Sliced Rocky but Narita backslides through for a two count. Romero looks for La Magistral, Narita puts on the brakes into a pin of his own for two. Narita takes the legs and pulls Romero into a Texas Cloverleaf. Romero makes it to the ropes, blocks a belly-to-belly, Narita fires off forearms but Romero responds with a kick to the arm. Romero hits the ropes, Narita catches with a belly-to-belly and the two trade forearms. Kneelift for a two count from Romero. He hits the ropes and lands a lariat for another two. Narita sends Romero off on Sliced Rocky and rolls him up for two. Romero lands a series of kicks to the arm, Narita catches one and slaps Romero. Romero hits an enziguri and applies a cross armbreaker. Narita tries rolling Romero up, Romero pushes him off and locks in the hold for the win. Romero slaps Narita and offers his hand. Narita slaps Romero’s hand away.

Bandido (0-2) def. DOUKI (1-1) @ 9:55 via 21-plex – **1/4
DOUKI tries rushing Bandido, Bandido throws his hat at DOUKI to try to distract and dropkicks DOUKI out of the ring, following him out with a tope suicida. Bandido looks to sends DOUKI back in but DOUKI sends Bandido into the post before sending him back in himself. He sends Bandido to the ropes and drops him with a back elbow for a two count. DOUKI applies an armlock but Bandido finds the ropes, DOUKI picks him up for a slam followed by a running double stomp for two. Bandido catches DOUKI running in with a pair of boots followed by a tornillo, hurricanranas DOUKI to the floor and follows him out with a tope con hilo. He sends DOUKI in, lands a springboard crossbody followed up by a reverse brainbuster.

DOUKI escapes the 21-plex and dropkicks Bandidos springboard crossbody. He picks Bandido up, hits the ropes, Bandido follows him in with a lariat. They each land a dropkick, DOUKI drops Bandido with a lariat and applies a double wristclutch triangle but Bandido finds the ropes. DOUKI goes to the apron looking for a slingshot DDT, Bandido catches him and lands a knee followed by a swinging headscissors into a cross armbreaker. DOUKI finds the ropes, Bandido catches his boot and sends DOUKI to the apron where he comes back in and hits a slingshot DDT for two. Bandido eats a slap, catches DOUKI running in and muscles him up for a modified Go 2 Sleep followed by the 21-plex for the win.

El Phantasmo (2-0) def. Robbie Eagles (2-0) @ 10:20 via CR II – **3/4
The two shake before they lock up. Eagles backs ELP to the ropes and gives a clean break. They lock up again, ELP backs Eagles to the ropes and gives him a slap. Eagles shoves him down, picks ELP up, ELP teases a too sweet but instead gives Eagles a knee and looks to send him off the ropes but Eagles springboards off and dropkicks ELP out of the ring. ELP bullies the English commentary but Eagles comes out to stop him. ELP agrees to come back in but attacks Eagles from behind and sends him into the post before taking the match back to the ring. Eagles catches ELP in a pin for two, boots ELP into the corner, ELP takes Eagles down and lands a lionsault for a two count.

Eagles breaks out of a headlock with a stunner, looks for sliced bread, ELP sends him over into the tree of woe and stomps Eagles low. Eagles pulls ELP down with a Spider German followed by a hurricanrana and springboard forearm. He follows ELP into the corner with a pair of knees for a two count, ELP blocks the sliced bread and lands an enziguri. ELP muscles Eagles up for a spinning neckbreaker for two and they trade a series of pin attempts before charging back at each other. Eagles lands a series of kicks for two, climbs the top rope where ELP chases and hits an enziguri. Eagles avoids a moonsault, lands a poison rana followed by sliced bread and a 450 splash for two. ELP backslides out of the Turbo Backpack for two, lands a thrust kick and finishes Eagles with CR II. They bicker after the match but wind up too sweeting and making their way to the back.

Will Ospreay (2-0) def. YOH (1-1) @ 24:43 via Stormbreaker – ***1/2
They shake before the bell and survey the crowd’s reaction. The result heavily favors YOH. They lock up, trade wristlocks, Ospreay takes the headlock, YOH finds the headscissors but Ospreay handstands free and takes the head again. YOH tries rolling Ospreay into a pin, makes it to his feet and sends Ospreay off. Ospreay lands a shoulder tackle, YOH responds with a dropkick, hits the ropes and is taken down by Ospreay’s monkey flip and bails outside. Ospreay fakes out one dive, hits a sliding dropkick and follows YOH out with a plancha. After a chop, Ospreay sends YOH back in the ring and gives out more chops followed by a scoop slam and a knee drop for a two count. Ospreay applies a chinlock, hammers at the back but YOH finds the ropes.

More chops from Ospreay followed by a kick to the back for another two count. YOH fires back with a series of forearms, catches Ospreay’s kick and puts him down with a dragon screw. A flurry of forearms and elbows from YOH, looks for the falcon arrow, Ospreay blocks, hits an enziguri but his top rope 619 is caught and turned into a dragon screw. Ospreay bails and YOH follows him out with a tope con hilo before sending Ospreay back in and dropping him knees first on the mat. YOH applies the figure four, Ospreay struggles but finds the ropes and YOH stays on the attack with low dropkicks to the knee. Ospreay makes it to his feet and fires off forearms followed by a handspring enziguri. Back to his feet, Ospreay charges to the corner with a dropkick, picks YOH up and lands a reverse bloody sunday for two.

YOH blocks the Stormbreaker, Ospreay looks to hit the ropes but YOH dropkicks the knee. Ospreay wallflips, his knee buckles and YOH goes on the attack with a kneebar and forearms to the back of Ospreay’s knee. YOH looks for the dragon suplex, Ospreay makes it to the ropes, YOH charges in and eats a boot followed by an enziguri and springboard forearm. Ospreay lands a standing shooting star press, YOH bridges out but is caught in a sitout powerbomb for another two count. YOH pulls Ospreay back to him by the tights to block the Oscutter, drapes Ospreay over the top and hits the final cut for two. He takes Ospreay to the top rope, Ospreay sends him off but YOH rushes back up. Ospreay slides through and lands Cheeky Nandos. He looks for the shooting star, YOH moves and Ospreay’s knee buckles.

YOH applies a kneebar and pulls Ospreay from the ropes. Ospreay struggles but finds the ropes, YOH signals for the end, tries pulling Ospreay back to him but Ospreay fights him off with forearms. The two trade forearms, Ospreay an uppercut and YOH a kick to the back of the knee. YOH asks for more, Ospreay lands a series of up kicks, YOH catches a kick and looks for the dragon screw but Ospreay blocks and hits a jumping double stomp. Ospreay follows with the Robinson Special, sets up for Oscutter, YOH blocks into a bridging German suplex for two. Ospreay blocks the dragon suplex, YOH ducks the hook kick and plants Ospreay with a thrust kick. YOH again looks for the dragon suplex, Ospreay drives him to the corner, YOH dropkicks the back of the knee and suplexes Ospreay to the corner. Ospreay flips through the dragon suplex, lands a couple of kicks, YOH responds with one of his own but Ospreay catches him with a standing Splanish Fly. YOH kicks out at two, Ospreay stays on the attack and finishes YOH with the Stormbreaker. The two embrace after the match.

Ryusuke Taguchi (2-0) def. BUSHI (0-2) @ 14:56 via Oh My & Garankle – **1/2
Taguchi fakes out a knucklelock and boots BUSHI who sends Taguchi to the ropes. Taguchi runs the ropes repeatedly passing by BUSHI. He collapses but avoids BUSHI’s low dropkick and hits a kokeshi. Taguchi follows BUSHI outside where BUSHI is waiting with a chair shot across his butt. BUSHI brings Taguchi back in and chokes him with his shirt followed by a neckbreaker for a two count. BUSHI boots the butt and applies an STF, Taguchi struggles but finds the ropes. BUSHI blocks two hip attacks with atomic drops and lands kicks to the butt before being put down with a hip attack. He bails and Taguchi follows him out with a plancha, hits his “T” pose, sends BUSHI in and lands a springboard hip attack.

BUSHI fires off punches to the gut, Taguchi lands a low dropkick to the knee and looks for Oh My & Garankle but BUSHI quickly finds the ropes. BUSHI trips Taguchi over the second rope, looks for a draping DDT, Taguchi blocks but misses his hip attack and falls to the floor. BUSHI follows him out with a tope sucida, sends Taguchi back in and hits double knees in the corner follwed by a dropkick off the second rope. BUSHI blocks a lariat, looks spinning neckbreaker, Taguchi blocks but BUSHI boots him over the second rope and drops Taguchi with a DDT on the apron followed by a lungblower for a two count. He sets up for MX but Taguchi counters it into a hip attack, brings BUSHI up for Dodon, BUSHI blocks, Taguchi ducks his kick and applies Oh My & Garankle.

Taguchi pulls BUSHI from the ropes, BUSHI rolls through and Taguchi is sent into the referee. Taguchi anticipates the mist by ducking but BUSHI doesn’t spray. Taguchi looks back up and eats the mist followed by an enziguri. BUSHI looks for MX, Taguchi sidesteps and hits an enziguri. BUSHI turns a hip attack into a backslide and catches Taguchi in a Bushiroll for two. Taguchi blocks a codebreaker into Oh My & Garankle, pulls BUSHI up and lands Dodon but BUSHI kicks out at two. Taguchi immediately reapplies Oh My & Garankle, drops the elbow on the back of BUSHI’s knee and forces him to submit.

Taguchi takes the mic and says it’s embarrassing he has so much stuff all over his face and that he may have swallowed some. It’s hard to talk but when it comes to expressing words of gratitude, you have to spit not swallow. He then sends everyone home happy with a dance and high fives to close out the night.

As has become the trend over these first three nights of the B Block, Will Ospreay has the match of the night in the semi-main event and Ryusuke Taguchi wins in the main. The biggest surprise may be BUSHI going on a losing streak to start off the tournament. This seemed like a prime place for him to get that first win and give the fans an LIJ filled weekend. The match itself was fine but too much comedy for a main event. Taguchi and BUSHI have strong chemistry but their characters dictate this is the type of match we’ll see from them. YOH had an opponent who sold his knee work which helped him come off as vicious. Ospreay has unsurprisingly brought the best out of everyone he’s faced so far. Eagles showed he’s clearly the better wrestler between he and ELP, who had to use smoke and mirrors to sneak past the Aussie. A fine match between Bandido and DOUKI but I’m looking forward to Bandido’s return to Korakuen Hall where fans will be coming unglued for the luchador. Romero has been a lot of fun and Narita is full of energy which made for a solid opener. Nothing I’d qualify as bad but Ospreay and YOH were a clear step and a half ahead of everything else. That’s the match to watch.

Recommended Match
Ospreay vs YOH

Standings
Will Ospreay (3-0)
Ryusuke Taguchi (3-0)
El Phantasmo (3-0)
Robbie Eagles (2-1)
Rocky Romero (1-2)
Bandido (1-2)
DOUKI (1-2)
YOH (1-2)
Ren Narita (0-3)
BUSHI (0-3)

Along with being FightBoothPW's editor for NJPW, Robert McCauley also covers show reviews for the key promotions across Japan.

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