Wednesday, November 18, 2020

NJPW: Best of the Super Juniors 2020 Night Two Review - November 18th, 2020

November 18th, 2020 

1) Tomoaki Honma & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd 

Finally something a little different for these openers! 3 legends have been thrown in the mix with young lion Gabriel Kidd. Nagata & Kojima start with a heated exchange before Kidd gets in and goes at it with Honma before getting isolated by the veterans. Really fun match here with Kojima putting Kidd away with a vicious lariat. 

Match rating - **1/2

2) Yuya Uemura (0 pts) vs. BUSHI (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

I was honestly shocked they gave Uemura as much as they did here. He charges BUSHI at the bell and gets a couple of pin attempts for near falls. BUSHI fights back and locks Uemura in a crab and I honestly thought it was done there, but Uemura gets the ropes. They go back & forth for a few minutes before BUSHI puts him away to get his first 2 points of the tournament. Good showing for Uemura as he got a lot more time than he did on Night One and this had some fun drama down the stretch.  

Match rating - **1/2 

3) Robbie Eagles (2 pts) vs. Master Wato (2 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

They start out working holds on the mat and go into arm drags and shit that leads to a stalemate. Wato ends up getting the advantage and drops some elbows to the back of Eagles’ head. Eagles uses his speed to get out of that and flies around for a bit. This turned out to be quite the aerial showcase with several spots that made me wince. This tourney is my first time really seeing Wato and he has been a lot of fun so far. God these two really tore it up. Wato gets what I see as a big win over Eagles here following an excellent counter to Eagles’ 630 as Wato put his knees up and Eagles ate it full force then Wato hit from the top rope, what I’m assuming is his finisher which was a little to crazy for me to try and call some sort of cancun tornado flippy thing. 

Match rating - ***1/4 

4) SHO (2 pts) vs. DOUKI (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

DOUKI jumps SHO basically as soon as he’s in the ring, but regrets it and eats a punt kick on the floor from SHO on the apron for his troubles. DOUKI is able to regain control though with his signature neck breaker on the floor which slows things down. Not for long though because GOD DAMN. These boys tore it DOWN. I haven’t been expecting much out of BOSJ this year bc of the lack of big names but I need to shut up because these matches are GOOD. And gives me a new appreciation for guys like DOUKI, Master Wato, etc. I already knew SHO was a future GOAT, but DOUKI has been showing it the past month or so with so much improvement and this match is another example of that. The Japanese commentary added a lot to it also. Great match. 

Match rating - ***1/2 

5) Taiji Ishimori (0 pts) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi (2 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match 

Big match for a couple of reasons. The obvious being that Ishimori is the reigning Junior champion. The other obvious being he lost his first big match on Night One against Ishimori. Taguchi has 2 points and a chance to defeat the champion to gain two more. Ishimori keeps it grounded early here throwing fists and stomps to Taguchi on the floor and in the ring. They trade a lot of holds in this one. And don’t really build towards much of anything and go right for the finishing run. They trade cradle pinning combos and Ishimori uses the tights to get the pin. Taguchi’s ass is out and he flaunts it to show that Ishimori cheated but the decision is final. 

Match rating - **1/2 

6) Hiromu Takahashi (2 pts) vs. El Desperado (0 pts) - Best of the Super Juniors Tournament Match

So, come to find out, there’s a lot of history here. Hiromu and Desperado came up in the same young lions class in 2010-2011 and have had a heated rivalry ever since as Desperado owns a multitude more victories over Hiromu than Hiromu owns over him. They had a great match in the 2018 BOSJ that stemmed from this and this is their first singles match since that year. Despy has had the short end of the stock almost ever since due to injuries and lack of big opportunities, but this tournament is his chance to make a comeback and thus the importance rises of this big main event match against the hottest junior going, who just so happens to be his long time rival. I found out all this when these two started off straight scrapping with chops and strikes around the outside and in the ring. It felt like a fight and that there was an underlying issue and that’s exactly what it was. They really put that on a great display here with the intensity and seriousness of their longtime issue taking the front seat. This wasn’t about spots and craziness like a lot of Hiromu’s matches. It was about the victory and the issue they have had for many years. In the end, Despy is able to force Takahashi to submit in a match you may see as an upset, but if you look at the history books it’s the opposite. Interesting and great main event. Despy had a lot to say post match in the ring and backstage about how Hiromu is in more main events this tournament than the champion Ishimori and how Ishimori doesn’t seem to have an issue with it, among other things. I’d look into translations of it if you have the time, definitely worth a look and this gave me a new appreciation and interest in Despy. 

Match rating - ***3/4

SHO - 4 points
Master Wato - 4 points
Taiji Ishimori - 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi - 2 points
El Desperado - 2 points
Robbie Eagles - 2 points
Ryusuke Taguchi - 2 points
BUSHI - 2 points
DOUKI - 0 points
Yuya Uemura - 0 points

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