May 19th, 2022
Hachinohe, Aomori, Japan
Kevin Kelly says YOH has the best poker face in wrestling. That’s fair. YOH is 1-1 in the tournament, rebounding the night before this with a victory. The Suzuki-gun boys charge YOH & Tenzan at the bell. This is all about previewing YOH/Kanemaru which happens in a few days. This is pretty lifeless, though. Like there’s nothing WRONG with it but yeah. YOH wins with the direct driver.
Match rating - *1/2
2) Alex Zayne, Clark Connors, Jado, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Dick Togo, SHO, Gedo, & Taiji Ishimori
This surprised me. There was actually some fire behind some of this. Since I’m behind, I’ve heard that Zayne & Ishimori have a really good match coming up and based off their interactions here, I can definitely see the chemistry. Even Clark Connors looked good here off a tag cleaning the apron of his opponents. Togo & Taguchi had some fun exchanges as well. Just a good time here. The faces win, but Ishimori attacks Zayne after the bell to further that story.
Match rating - **1/2
3) Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ace Austin & Tiger Mask
I love seeing Shingo on these undercards. Ace & Hiromu do a good job here of hyping their singles matches. Shingo takes care of Tiger Mask and pins him with the pumping bomber. After the bell, Ace and Hiromu are nose to nose on the floor and it’s GOOD SHIT.
Match rating - **1/2
4) Wheeler Yuta (0-1) (0 pts) (Blackpool Combat Club) vs. DOUKI (1-0) (2 pts) (Suzuki-gun) - Block B Tournament Match
This was all about Yuta fighting to earn his first victory and set of points in the tournament. It’s pretty standard stuff early, but picks up in the closing minutes. A lot of great chain wrestling & counters. A good sense of desperation from Yuta as he clobbers DOUKI with elbows then slides him into a pinning predicament for the three count.
Match rating - **3/4
5) El Lindaman (0-1) (0 pts) vs. Titan (0-1) (0 pts) - Block B Tournament Match
Lindaman is coming off an amazing G Rex title defense over at GLEAT on the night before this. I don’t even know how he’s standing right now, much less wrestling a match. They work a simple formula after some early flurries from both men. Titan misses a huge leg drop attempt on the apron and Lindaman targets the legs going forward. Titan fires back, though, but he misses a double stomp and it hurts him. Lindaman takes advantage and a bridging german gets him the win. This rocked.
Match rating - ***1/4
6) Robbie Eagles (1-0) (2 pts) (CHAOS) vs. BUSHI (0-1) (0 pts) (LIJ) - Block B Tournament Match
Eagles and BUSHI take to the skies early here. Eagles hits a great dive and begins chopping BUSHI around the ringside area. BUSHI creates some separation, but Eagles keeps focus and targets the leg. We get a few submission false finishes, BUSHI gets the ropes. He creates some momentum for himself with a DDT on the apron. Eagles goes for the turbo backpack and BUSHI counters with a back breaker. It takes a toll on that leg, though. This wasn’t anything super exciting, but it’s super, super solid and technically sound. BUSHI hits the MX on Eagles and it gets him a big victory.
Match rating - ***
7) El Phantasmo (1-0) (2 pts) (BULLET CLUB) vs. Master Wato (0-1) (0 pts) (SIX OR NINE) - Block B Tournament Match
This was meh. I was hoping for more and just.. meh. Nothing to really say about this aside from it being a standard performance, if not below average performance from both men. Not offensive, but not interesting whatsoever. Phantasmo wins.
Match rating - **
8) El Desperado (1-0) (2 pts) (Suzuki-gun) vs. TJP (1-0) (2 pts) (United Empire) - Block B Tournament Match
This topped Hiromu/Akira as the best match in the tournament so far. And it was also a totally different style of match. Despy and TJP basically just put on a wrestling clinic. They trade holds, submissions, and stiff strikes. Just great wrestling, really. Both men seemed to target the legs as Despy hooked TJP in the stretch muffler on a couple of occasions where it looked like things would be over. And eventually Despy is able to put TJP away and get another two points, but only after a great struggle and loads of counters.
Match rating - ***3/4