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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 26’ (5.26.19) Results & Review

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The tenth night of the Best of the Super Juniors 26 sees both blocks in action in front of 1,515 fans at the Makuhari Messe International Conference Hall 7. TAKA Michinoku misses the night due to injury which means Dragon Lee receives a forfeit win and the night off but all eighteen other competitors still have a match. Tonight’s main event sees Taiji Ishimori trying to keep within striking distance of Shingo Takagi as he faces off with SHO. Let’s get started!

Ryusuke Taguchi (4-2) def. Ren Narita (0-6) @ 7:10 via Oh My & Garankle – **1/2
Taguchi offers the fist bump but Narita refuses. Narita takes Taguchi down, picks the leg, Taguchi grabs the ropes and bails. He comes back in, looks for the leg, catches Narita in a headlock but Narita takes the waist. Narita gets the leg and pulls Taguchi from the ropes, Taguchi still gets there, Narita takes the headlock and again Taguchi forces the rope break. Taguchi gets on top of Narita and finds the ankle but Narita is quick to the ropes and they start back on their feet. Taguchi rolls through and picks the ankle, Narita stands and forearms his way out of the hold.

Narita comes charging in where he’s met by a hip attack that sends Narita to the floor. Taguchi looks for a dive but Narita comes back in before he reaches the ropes, sweeps the legs, rolls Taguchi and looks for the Texas Cloverleaf but Taguchi pushes his down on gets Oh My & Garankle. Narita slips through and again applies the Texas Cloverleaf. He pulls Taguchi from the ropes, Taguchi slides out into Oh My & Garankle, Narita tries rolling Taguchi up but only gets a two count and Taguchi is back on the hold, forcing Narita to tap out.

Jonathan Gresham (3-3) def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (2-4) @ 7:45 via Octopus Hold – **3/4
They lock up, Kanemaru pushes Gresham to the ropes, Gresham avoids his strike and takes him down with a headscissors. Kanemaru breaks free but Gresham puts him right back in the hold, Kanemaru finds the ropes. Kanemaru takes the headlock, Gresham sends him off and gets shouldered to the mat. Gresham looks for an armdrag, Kanemaru puts on the brakes, lands a dropkick and pulls Gresham to the apron for a draping dropkick from the floor. He comes back in and pulls Gresham into a headscissors, driving his head into the mat. Gresham gets to the ropes, Kanemaru stays on him with stomps and takes Gresham to the corner.

Kanemaru takes a boot, Gresham sends him over and kicks the arm out followed by an armdrag. Gresham eats a boot followed by a satellite DDT and a moonsault for two. Gresham looks to catch Kanemaru in a frankensteiner but Kanemaru rolls through and they trade pin attempts. Both come up dizzy, Gresham ducks a strike and pulls Kanemaru into a bridging German suplex for two. He rushes in, Kanemaru pulls the referee between them and grabs the whiskey bottle. Gresham ducks the attack and pulls Kanemaru into the Octopus Hold to force the submission.

Rocky Romero (2-4) def. DOUKI (1-5) @ 10:16 via Cross Armbreaker – ***1/4
DOUKI attacks Romero from behind before the bell and takes him outside. He picks Romero up and drives him knee first into the post before bringing him back inside. DOUKI stays on the knee, Romero fires forearms and enziguris his way free. Romero takes too much time to taunt, allowing DOUKI to go after the knee and take control. A running double stomp gets DOUKI a two count. He removes a turnbuckle pad and looks to drive Romero into the exposed corner. Romero puts on the brakes and sends DOUKI in shoulder first. Delivering kicks to the shoulder, Romero unloads a slap to the face before sending DOUKI to the ropes.

DOUKI holds on, sends Romero over and wants a suplex but Romero pulls the arm over the rope and follows with a springboard dropkick. DOUKI ducks a forever clothesline, hits the ropes and lands a dropkick to Romero’s knee. They trade forearms, DOUKI hits the apron and looks for a slingshot DDT. Romero muscles through the attack and pulls DOUKI into a cross armbreaker that DOUKI powrs through into a reverse figure four. Romero finds the ropes, tries to get the boots up, DOUKI catches him in a Gory Special, sits out and drops Romero on his knee and pulls him over into a bridge for a two count. Romero escapes Suplex De La Luna, catches DOUKI with a knee lift followed by a lariat and pulls DOUKI into a cross armbreaker for the win.

Marty Scurll (3-3) def. Titán (2-4) @ 10:29 via Black Plague – ***
They lock up, Titán tries rolling through a headlock, Scurll rolls with him to keep the hold. They knuckle lock, Scurll takes Titán down, Titán gets headscissors and keeps the hold, spinning Scurll to the mat. They trade leg sweeps before hitting the ropes where Titán catches Scurll with a dropkick. Scurll bails, Titán follows him out and hits a hurricanrana before sending Scurll back inside. He sends Scurll to the ropes, Scurll lands a dropkick and pulls Titán into the Romero Special and down into a pin for a two count. Scurll stays on the knee but Titán finds the ropes so Scurll tries to unmask the luchador. Titán goes to bail, Scurll catches him and drives his knee into the apron.

They trade corner lariats, Titán looks for a springboard, Brody King pulls him down so Titán dives on King before following with a springboard on Scurll. He takes Scurll to the top, Scurll shoves Titán off but Titán backflips and lands on his feet. He follows Scurll back up to the top and hits a hurricanana. Scurll ducks a lariat and catches Titán with a satellite DDT. They make it back to their feet and trade forearms. Titán catches Scurll with a boot, Scurll a half and half suplex, Titán a thrust kick and a figure four leg lock. Scurll gets the topes, traps Titán in a backslide for two, ducks an enziguri and hits one of his own. Titán ducks one lariat, can’t a second and is finished with Black Plague.

BUSHI (3-3) def. Bandido (3-3) @ 8:36 via MX – ***
BUSHI offers his hand, Bandido thinks better of it and eats a boot. They hit the ropes and BUSHI catches him in a hurricanrana but Bandido handsprings out and hits a knee. He rushes the corner where BUSHI lands a dropkick, Bandido bails and BUSHI follows him out with a sligshot hurricanrana to the floor. BUSHI pulls a chair out from under the ring but the referee takes it away. BUSHI brings Bandido back in the ring and chokes him with his shirt before bringing him down with a neckbreaker for a two count. He applies an STF, Bandido struggles but finds the ropes. BUSHI stays on the attack, looks for an apron DDT but Bandido breaks free and hits a springboard dropkick that sends BUSHI to the floor, following him out with a tope con hilo.

Bandido brings BUSHI back in for a two count, takes time to get the crowd approval, BUSHI gouges the eyes but Bandido is quick to respond with a stalling powerslam. Bandido looks for a modified Go 2 Sleep, BUSHI escapes and hits an enziguri. He follows Bandido to the corner, eats a boot and Bandido climbs to the top rope for a tornillo followed by a reverse brainbuster and running knee for two. Bandido looks for the 21-plex but BUSHI hangs on and hits a dropkick followed by an apron DDT and spinning neckbreaker for two. Bandido catches the codebreaker, eats an enziguri and a BUSHI Destroyer for two. BUSHI climbs to the second and finishes Bandido with MX.

Shingo Takagi (6-0) def. Tiger Mask IV (2-4) @ 9:22 via Last of the Dragon – ***1/4
They lock up, Shingo backs Tiger to the ropes and takes a swing but Tiger ducks. Tiger teases a knuckle lock bur kicks the knees of Shingo, sends him to the ropes but is shouldered down. Shingo follows with a knee lift, looks for more but Tiger collapses. Shingo goes to pick Tiger up and is trapped in an armbar but quickly escapes and bails outside. Tiger follows him out and sends Shingo back in, gives repeated kicks to the arm and Shingo bails again. Tiger comes to the ropes, Shingo sweeps the leg and drives Tiger’s knee into the post. He stays on the knee and pulls Tiger up for a vertical suplex for a two count. Tiger fires off boots to the chest, Shingo catches a boot and turns it into a dragon screw. Tiger boots Shingo away from a figure four, catches him rushing in with another boot and follows with a headkick for two.

Tiger looks for the Tiger Driver but Shingo backdrops out and heads to the top rope. Tiger cuts him off, hits a series of headbutts and takes Shingo off the top with a butterfly suplex. Shingo escapes a Tiger Suplex by kicking the knee out and they trade forearms. Tiger ducks a lariat, turns it into a Tiger Driver for two and pulls Shingo into a cross armbreaker. Tiger transitions into a triangle and Shingo powers him up for a powerbomb, catches Tiger coming in with a DVD and charges the corner with lariats. Tiger ducks one into a crucifex bomb for two and pulls Shingo into an armbar. Shingo makes it to the ropes, hits a Pumping Bomber but Tiger kicks out at one. Shingo hits another, this time for a two count and finishes Tiger after Last of the Dragon.

YOH (3-3) def. El Phantasmo (5-1) @ 12:03 via Five Star Clutch – **
ELP comes in with a boot before the bell and takes YOH outside. He drops guardrails on YOH and hits him with a shoe followed by a vertical suplex to the floor. ELP breaks the count out and throws YOH into the crowd. YOH makes it in at nineteen, catches ELP in a schoolboy, backslide and a dropkick. ELP pleads to YOH but he stays on the attack, stomping him into the corner. He gets caught running in, sent crashing on the top rope followed by a lionsault. ELP delivers a series of chops in the corner and an eye poke. He goes for a pin but the referee catches his boots over the top rope. ELP sends YOH to the corner and poses. YOH reverses an Irish whip, gets caught running in with a boot and put into the tree of woe.

ELP stomps him low, calls “forever” and continues the attack. YOH suplexes him off, catches ELP with a flying forearm and bridging vertical suplex for two. He heads to the top, ELP cuts him off with a frankensteiner and looks for a frog splash but YOH gets his knees up. YOH rolls ELP up for two and channels Romero by applying the cross armbreaker, ELP finds the ropes. They trade pin attempts, go back and forth with strikes, ELP hits a thrust kick and muscles YOH up for a spinning neckbreaker that gets him a two count. ELP sets up for CR II, YOH backdrops him over the top rope to the floor and wants a dive but eats a boot instead. ELP shoves YOH into the referee and grabs his belt. The referee sees the belt and pulls it away from ELP. YOH runs in and catches ELP in the Five Star Clutch to take the win.

Robbie Eagles (4-2) def. Will Ospreay (5-1) @ 28:02 via Ron Miller Special – ***1/2
Ospreay offers his hand but Eagles refuses the shake. They lock up, Ospreay backs him to the rope and gives a clean break. Again they lock up and Eagles backs Ospreay to the ropes, he too gives a clean break. They knuckle lock, Eagles sweeps the leg, try trade monkey flips, hit the ropes and Ospreay shoulders Eagles to the mat. He offers his hand to Eagles, Eagles kicks the leg and hits the rope. Ospreay drops him with a dropkick and they duck one another’s kicks. Eagles offers his hand, Ospreay comes in for the shake and Eagles paintbrushes him. Ospreay catches Eagles with a monkey flip, Eagles bails and Ospreay fakes out a dive, hits a dropkick from the apron and follows with a plancha. He brings Eagles back in, lays in some stomps, Eagles responds with chops but Ospreay chops back. Ospreay wants to send Eagles off, Eagles grabs the ropes and armdrags Ospreay down followed by a hurricanrana for a two count.

Eagles takes Ospreay over and hits a low dropkick for another two. Ospreay fire forearms, Eagles catches a kick, puts the leg over the rope and sweeps the other. He stays on the knee, figuring fouring and slamming the knee into the mat. They trade forearms, Eagles sends Ospreay to the ropes, Ospreay responds with a handspring enziguri. He catches Eagles coming in with an enziguri followed by a top rope 619. Eagles avoids a springboard forearm but gets swept down, eats a corner dropkick and standing shooting star press for two. Ospreay gets the springboard forearm for another two, Eagles bails and Ospreay follows him out with a Sasuke Special. He knee buckles on the landing but he brings Eagles back in, they trade waistlocks, Eagles kicks the knee out from behind and hits a lariat to the back of Ospreay’s head. Eagles blocks Ospreay’s enziguri, sweeps the leg, lands an enziguri that sends Ospreay to the floor and follows him out with a tope con hilo.

Eagles sends Ospreay back in, hits corner knees, sweeps the leg for another corner knee attack and gets a two count. He drops Ospreay’s knee over his own, Ospreay fires off an enziguri, catches Eagles running in and looks for Cheeky Nandos but Eagles slides out. Ospreay escapes sliced bread, gets caught in a posion rana and they meet on their knees with a forearm exchange. They make it to their feet and exchange chops before going back to forearms. Eagles kicks out the knee and delivers kicks to the chest. He hits the ropes, Ospreay catches him with a wallflip enziguri, they reverse their ways out of a reverse bloody sunday and Turbo Backpack, Ospreay hits the ropes and Eagles comes in with a crossbody that sends them both to the floor. They trade strikes on the apron, Ospreay sets up for Stormbreaker, Eagles escapes and hits sliced bread, driving Ospreay to the apron and falling to the floor. Ospreay makes it in at nineteen but Eagles is waiting with a springboard frankensteiner for two. Eagles looks to follow with a 450 but Ospreay moves and hits a hook kick, signals for Hidden Blade, looks conflicted and Eagles ducks, trapping Ospreay in the Ron Miller Special. He pulls Ospreay from the ropes and reapplies the hold.

Ospreay lunges to the ropes and breaks the hold. Eagles stays on the leg, Ospreay fires forearms but Eagles drops him with a dragon screw. He looks for a springboard dropkick but Ospreay catches him with his own dropkick on the way down. Ospreay catches Eagles with Cheeky Nandos and wants to take him to the top on his shoulders but his knee buckles. They trade forearms on the top, Eagles gets hurricanrana, Ospreay wants to flip through but his knee buckles. Eagles follows with a springboard dropkick to the knee, Ospreay rolls him up for two, Eagles quickly catches him in Turbo Backpack but only gets two. He takes Ospreay to his shoulders, dropkicks the knee, Ospreay ducks his attack and turns Eagles in for a sitout powerbomb for a two count. Ospreay heads to the top, ELP comes for the save but Ospreay boots him off, comes off the top with a shooting star press, Eagles gets his knees up. Ospreay sends Eagles off, he crashes into the referee, ELP cuts off the Oscutter with a chair shot. Eagles pulls up the referee up before applying the Ron Miller Special and Ospreay is forced to tap out. Eagles looks conflicted and refuses to too sweet with ELP. ELP talks with him on their way to the back but Eagles walks off.

Taiji Ishimori (5-1) def. SHO (3-4) @ 20:26 via Bloody Cross – ***3/4
They lock up, Ishimori backs SHO to the ropes and gives a boot to the chest. They hit the ropes, Ishimori hangs on while SHO comes up empty with a dropkick. He sweeps Ishimori’s leg and sends him to the floor with a dropkick and brings Ishimori back inside. SHO kicks out the arm and applies a wristlock, pulls Ishimori’s arm over his shoulder and drop an elbow. He sends Ishimori to corner, Ishimori slides through the ropes and lands a sitout senton. He takes SHO’s head, drives it into the corner and pulls him down into a two count. Ishimori drops a knee over SHO’s neck and backs him to the corner for chops. He ducks a lariat from SHO and catches him in a headscissors followed by a neck crank that gets him a two. They trade forearms, Ishimori puts a boot to the gut, SHO catches the handspring, ducks a lariat and spears Ishimori to the mat.

SHO follows Ishimori to the corner with a pair of lariats followed by a vertical suplex for two and right into a cross armbreaker. Ishimori makes it to the ropes, rolls through a German suplex and lands a double stomp to the chest. SHO avoids corner double knees but gets caught with a handspring enziguri and bails outside. Ishimori follows him out with a moonsault off the second to the floor and brings SHO in for a two count. SHO powers Ishimori up in a gutwrench and drives him down face first followed by a series of German suplexes. Ishimori escapes Shock Arrow, SHO blocks a knee, they ducks each other’s attacks before Ishimori eats a lariat. They trade forearms on their knees, fight up to their feet, SHO lands combination forearms, hits the ropes but is caught with a knee. SHO hits a knee of his own and turns Ishimori inside out with a lariat.

SHO drops Ishimori in a backdrop lungblower followed by a powerbomb lungblower for two. SHO sets up for Shock Arrow, Ishimori flips through but SHO hangs on and drops him with a double wristclutch piledriver. He tries for Shock Arrow again, Ishimori floats through, gets caught in a cross armbreaker, rolls through and applies a crossface. Ishimori rolls SHO from the ropes, pulls the arm into a double armbar, SHO uses his foot to get the ropes. Ishimori charges in with a John Woo and follows with corner knee and Cipher UTAKI for a two count. SHO powers out of Bloody Cross, wants Shock Arrow but Ishimori blocks so he drives a knee into Ishimori’s face and tries again. Ishimori slides out and pulls SHO into Bloody Cross for the win.

Ishimori takes the mic and says he’s going to beat Shingo Takagi, make him reborn, win the tournament and make it reborn.

Tonight’s match quality was at the level of what we saw at Korakuen Hall but the fans were not on their level to put some of the matches over the hump. With two more tournament matches for each competitor, the A Block is down to only two remaining possible winners while the B Block still has six with a chance to win.

The night started with a nice grappling exchange between Taguchi and Narita. The young lion’s ability on the mat have been a bright spot of the tournament. We saw more wrestling from Kanemaru than the last three nights. He was caught in a hold and a clever finish from Gresham. DOUKI has been bringing the heat this last week and continued that pace with Romero who himself has been turning heads all tournament. Scurll and Titán had a pretty smooth match all things considered. Bandido has been wowing crowds all tournament and BUSHI had another borderline performance. The craft Tiger Mask IV tried his best to keep catching Shingo off guard. Him relying on his veteran tricks to keep up with the faster and younger wrestlers has been a low key highlight all tour. YOH and ELP was filled with contrived ideas on how to believably beat ELP so that Ospreay stays in contention. There was very little creativity on how to make the match work and overall it came off uninspired. We got the Ospreay staple. Another 20+ minute match in the semi main event. This was really good, as all of Ospreay’s matches have been, and the story of Eagles struggling with the Bullet Club tactics will be interesting to follow. The main event was possibly the best match of both men’s tournaments. They stayed in the twenty minute pocket and told a story about who wanted it more. SHO came out looking like Ishimori’s equal which was a nice way to end the show.

Recommended Matches
Ishimori vs SHO
Ospreay vs Eagles
Shingo vs Tiger
Romero vs DOUKI

A Block
Shingo Takagi (7-0)
Taiji Ishimori (6-1)
Dragon Lee (5-2) ELIMINATED
Jonathan Gresham (4-3) ELIMINATED
Marty Scurll (4-3) ELIMINATED
SHO (3-4) ELIMINATED
Tiger Mask IV (2-5) ELIMINATED
Titán (2-5) ELIMINATED
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (2-5) ELIMINATED
TAKA Michinoku (0-7) ELIMINATED

B Block
El Phantasmo (5-2)
Will Ospreay (5-2)
Ryusuke Taguchi (5-2)
Robbie Eagles (5-2)
BUSHI (4-3)
YOH (4-3)
Bandido (3-4) ELIMINATED
Rocky Romero (3-4) ELIMINATED
DOUKI (1-6) ELIMINATED
Ren Narita (0-7) ELIMINATED

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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