Tuesday, July 5, 2016

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors Day 1 Review


Night One - May 21st, 2016

1) Tomohiro Ishii, Will Ospreay, & Beretta vs. Satoshi Kojima, Bobby Fish, & Volador Jr
This was a lot of fun which is what an opener should be so yee. Ospreay & Volador ruled in their exchanges. Ishii & Kojima were at each other's throats the whole time and that's kind of what the match was built around. Volador got fired up for a few moments and even took his own mask off at one point. I'm not sure if that's a regular occurence for him during matches, but if it's not then what the fuck, haha. Volador snags the pin on Beretta following a hurricanrana off the top turnbuckle.

Match rating - **3/4

2) Yuji Nagata, Jushin Liger, & Tiger Mask vs. Katsuyori Shibata, Jay White, & Juice Robinson
Shibata and Nagata have a great staredown early on before the bell rings. They have the main issue here thus they have the best exchanges of the match. Jay White gets a nice flurry and battles with Nagata in the closing moments before he gets put away with a saito suplex that dropped right on his dome. Fine enough sprint.

Match rating - **1/2

3) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ricochet, Yoshitatsu, & Captain New Japan vs. Kenny Omega, Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, & Bad Luck Fale
Another decent multi-man with no real complains other than I'm ready for the tourney matches to begin. BC takes the cheap route every chance they get per usual. Ricochet got a nice hot run. Bad Luck Fale shuts the babyfaces comeback down and plants Captain New Japan with a chokeslam to end it. Post match, Kenny Omega snaps and the BC assaults CNJ some more. Omega then targets Tanahashi with a ladder and lays a beating on him. They carry off Tanahashi on a stretcher following the beatdown.

Match rating - **1/4

4) Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, & YOSHI HASHI vs. Tetsuya Naito, Sanada, & EVIL

This Los Ingnorables story is just pure gold. It provided us with another fiery undercard match here. Also, this was my first time seeing Sanada since he came to NJPW and dear lord, he was amazing. The Sanada/YOSHI HASHI exchange at the end made this match. Quality stuff with some close falls. In the end, the Ignorables come out on top.

Match rating - ***

Highlights of all the non-tournament matches are shown along with a run down of what's to come on tonight's card. Meanwhile, Kazuchika Okada joins the commentary team for an interview.

5) Rocky Romero vs. David Finlay
Finlay got in this tournament thanks to both the Young Bucks getting injured and it's gonna make some interesting first time pairings such as this. Romero isn't praised highly that often, but the reality is that he's a solid as fuck worker. With Finlay being on the come up, this was a pretty enjoyable little match. I'd say it went a bit too long because it lost my attention after a bit, but it definitely gave you some of the goods you'd expect. Romero wins with a jumping/running knee.

Match rating - **1/2

6) Gedo vs. BUSHI
The crowd was really into this one due to the Ignorables involvement with BUSHI representing them, the most hated faction in NJPW. Okada being on commentary in very vocal support of Gedo added to the importance of this bout as well. It ended up being a fairly short contest, but it was fiery the entire time and meant something. BUSHI looked to have the upperhand on the veteran, but one simple mistake and he found himself in the Gedo clutch with his shoulders to the mat for three. Huge upset in the first night of action.

Match rating - ***

7) Matt Sydal vs. Ryusuke Tagachi
Unexpected really good match. Sydal is so so crisp. I say it in nearly every review I do of something involving him, but damn. Taguchi held his own here as well and they delivered a hot match with an awesome finishing stretch. It got turned up a notch when a strike resulted in a cut above the eye of Taguchi. This didn't turn brutal because it was more of an affair for the sake of competition than anything, but it definitely brought more interest into the match at the perfect time as they went into their closing run soon after.

Match rating - ***1/4

8) KUSHIDA vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Rematch from the finals of last year's BOSJ here on the first night of Block A action. Every match these two have is killer and this contest was no different. It wasn't quite on the level of their finals match last year or their meeting RevPro from the fall however it definitely lived up to the hype. My favorite moment of the match came with O'Reilly catching KUSHIDA in mid-air on the outside in a crossarm breaker. It was simply breathtaking as I wasn't expecting it all. The axe and smash combo bloodied the mouth of KUSHIDA and turned this one up a notch in the late going. Lots of great counters and reversals as you would expect with each man thinking ahead considering how well they know each other. O'Reilly picks up the victory in the end by tapping KUSHIDA out after falling down from a triangle choke into what looked like a reverse cross arm breaker. Awesome contest.

Match rating - ****1/4

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