The best of the Junior Heavyweight Division battled it out, and now the best two stand tall to face each other! Taiji Ishimori came to NJPW to prove he is THE best Junior Heavyweight in the world today, but he’ll have to go through Hiromu Takahashi to do it! Who will win and earn a shot at Will Ospreay’s title?
This review of Best of the Super Juniors 25 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Therefore, all images are courtesy of AXS TV.
Gifs courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com
- Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi; Hiromu Takahashi wins and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS review what led to this final round.
“Bone Soldier” returned to Bullet Club, but it was revealed to be Pro-Wrestling NOAH’s Taiji Ishimori! Wrestling Dontaku would be where and when Ishimori attacked Will Ospreay, and making his claim to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Both Ishimori and Ospreay participated in the premier Jr. Heavyweight round-robin tournament, and ended up tied 5-2, but one of Ospreay’s two losses was a loss to Ishimori! Not only would that help Ishimori advance, that proved he could defeat Ospreay clean.
But on the other side of things, Hiromu Takahashi, another of Ospreay’s rivals, also went 5-2 and advanced with his win over yet another of Ospreay’s rivals in Kushida! Now they meet, both determined to get one more match with the Aerial Assassin! Will the Ticking Time Bomb blow up the Bone Soldier? Or will Ishimori drive-by Takahashi on his way to the top?
Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Taiji Ishimori VS Hiromu Takahashi!
It’s a first-time-ever match-up of two of the best. Ishimori did everything there is to do as a Junior Heavyweight in Pro-Wrestling NOAH, from being a Three-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Champion to being a Six-Time GHC Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion. Meanwhile, Hiromu has only just begun his legacy. Whose legacy will grow with adding the Best of the Super Juniors trophy?
By the way, that sketch pad Hiromu has is given to commentary, and Jushin Thunder Liger takes a look inside. It seems Hiromu has written notes on his opinion of the other Super Jr. competitors. Clearly he prefers ACH more than he does Ishimori, going by that smiley face.
Hiromu’s opinions aside, Red Shoes does his check of both men and see they’re clear of anything prohibited. The bell rings, and the match begins, after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns and the fans are strongly behind Hiromu. Hiromu and Ishimori stare down, then slowly start to circle. They tie up but then back off. They approach again, but go back to circling. Finally they tie up, and are evenly matched in strength. Hiromu manages to back Ishimori up, but Ishimori turns it around to put Hiromu against the ropes. Red Shoes calls for the break, and Ishimori backs off, only to swing! Hiromu dodges and whips but Ishimori reverses. Hiromu stops himself to whip again, and reel Ishimori in for a forearm. He puts Ishimori on the second rope to then kick the rope, jacking Ishimori’s jaw. Hiromu runs and blasts Ishimori with a dropkick!
Ishimori ends up outside the ring, and Hiromu builds speed, but Ishimori comes back to headscissor Hiromu down! Ishimori goes after Hiromu in the corner for a whip, but Hiromu slides out. The chase is on as Ishimori pursues, but Hiromu leaps over! Ishimori holds ropes to prevent the sunset flip bomb. He backflips and now they start brawling with forearms! The brawl ends up going through the crowd! Hiromu knocks Ishimori down at the entrance, then drags him back up. Hiromu tosses Ishimiro over the railings, and now they go up the stairs! Ishimori breaks free of the headlock and they brawl again! Hiromu rakes the eyes, then stomps Ishimori down. Hiromu gets plenty of distance, and then runs back in for that John Woo Dropkick!
Ishimori gets blasted, and fans fire up for Hiromu. Hiromu wants everyone to clear the steps, and he brings Ishimori up by his hair. Hiromu brings Ishimori into bomb position, but Ishimori huricanranas Hiromu down those stairs!
Both men are down, but Ishimori is up first while Red Shoes checks on Hiromu. Ishimori walks down and fetches Hiromu, and the 20 count finally begins. It reaches 6 as Ishimori stomps on Hiromu. Ishimori leaves Hiromu at the mercy of the count, and he returns to the ring at 14. Hiromu scrambles to beat the count by 19! But Ishimori is upon him again, putting on a cravat hold to focus on that neck. Ishimori cranks on it, but Hiromu fights out. Ishimori snapmares, and grips Hiromu’s head with his feet. He spins around, and tweaks Hiromu’s neck! Hiromu rolls away but fans rally up for him. Ishimori just tunes it out while Hiromu gets away. Ishimori pursues and throws Hiromu into a post. Fans and Young Lions have to be careful as Ishimori bowls Hiromu into chairs!
Ishimori uses one chair to grind Hiromu into the ground, a wicked grin on his face. Ishimori backs off and returns to the ring, but Hiromu stands. Hiromu returns at the count of 9, but Ishimori is on him again. Ishimori chops Hiromu in a corner, then whips him corner to corner. Hiromu boots but is turned sideways for the swing kick! Ishimori runs, and hits Hiromu with a sliding German Suplex! Fans do applaud, giving credit where credit is due. Cover, TWO, and fans rally again for Hiromu. Ishimori drags Hiromu up, snapmare into chinlock. Hiromu endures while fans rally more. He stands up and fights out of the hold. Hiromu runs, but into the sleeper!
Ishimori gets a takedown, and turns his sleeper into a bully choke. Hiromu endures the wrenching and stretching, while also reaching and crawling for ropes. Hiromu uses his legs for the ropebreak. Ishimori lets go, but keeps his cool. He stalks Hiromu to a corner, and chops him again. He whips Hiromu corner to corner but Hiromu reverses with speed. Hiromu runs in but Ishimori slips out then back in, and then out again to shoulder Hiromu back. Ishimori springboards, but Hiromu trips him up. Hiromu runs, and gets the sunset flip powerbomb this time! The Bone Soldier just got blown up, and we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and the 20 count begins again. Hiromu is up at 6, and in the ring at 10. Ishimori stirs at 13, and manages to beat the count at 19, though gingerly. Ishimori stands in a corner, but Hiromu runs in for a big clothesline. Hiromu rolls Ishimori out to then run and basement dropkick him. Cover, TWO. Hiromu keeps his cool while fans cheer for him. He stands, and toys with Ishimori. He brings Ishimori up to chop him into the corner. Then he whips Ishimori, but Ishimori reverses. Ishimori runs in, but into a boot! Hiromu grabs Ishimori for a hanging triangle headscissors! Red Shoes counts, and Hiromu lets go at 4. Then Hiromu drags Ishimori out, wheelbarrow facebuster on the floor!
But Hiromu has more in store as he gets on the apron. Ishimori stands up, and Hiromu blasts him with another John Woo Dropkick! Ishimori ends up bowling into chairs! Hiromu catches his breath before firing up. He fetches Ishimori from the front row and brings him into the ring. Hiromu climbs up, Ishimori stands, and Hiromu hits a flying cannonball! Cover, TWO, but very close. Hiromu stands while Ishimori stirs. He drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Hiromu elbows Ishimori off the waistlock, then runs, but Ishimori follows. Ishimori handsprings, but Hiromu clobbers him out of the air! Hiromu’s seen Ospreay do that enough times to know how to counter.
Hiromu and fans fire up again, and he brings Ishimori up again. He brings Ishimori up in the fireman’s carry again, but Ishimori pops out to victory roll! TWO, into a crossface! Hiromu endures, but then Ishimori turns it into the Lebell Lock! Ishimori has that arm threaded, but Hiromu won’t quit. Hiromu drags himself with one arm and both legs, even as Ishimori wrenches back. Hiromu keeps going, and uses those legs to get the ropebreak again! Ishimori lets go, but he stomps Hiromu before bringing him up. Hiromu hits Ishimori, but Ishimori hits back. Ishimori dares Hiromu to hit him again, so Hiromu does. They brawl with forearms again, going back and forth. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits harder, but Hiromu comes back to hit again and again and again. Hiromu runs, misses, Ishimori runs and tilt-o-whirls Hiromu into the Lebell!
Ishimori wrenches back but Hiromu drags himself around again. Hiromu inches closer and closer, but Ishimori rolls him away from the ropes! Ishimori keeps that Lebell on, but Hiromu refuses to quit! Fans are thunderous for Hiromu, and he claws at the grip. Hiromu drags himself around again, and grabs onto Red Shoes to keep himself from tapping. He then scrambles, only for Ishimori to make it Rings of Saturn! Ishimori even grabs at the legs, but somehow, Hiromu still gets the ropebreak! Ishimori lets him go, but both men are down from exhaustion. They catch their breath while rolling away from each other. Fans rally as both men drag themselves up to their feet.
Ishimori takes aim, runs in, but misses! Hiromu runs in but misses, but then he ducks Ishimori! Hiromu goes after Ishimori on the second rope, German Suplex! But Ishimori lands on his feet! He gets running, but runs into Hiromu’s overhead throw! Hiromu catches his breath while Ishimori is down in the corner. Ishimori slowly stands as Hiromu runs, and Hiromu runs Ishimori over with a powerful lariat! Hiromu drags Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, Time Bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ishimori survives?! Fans are thunderous while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns, and both men slowly stir. Hiromu sits up first, but Ishimori gets himself to a corner. Hiromu runs in, hits the clothesline, then hoists Ishimori up. He climbs up to join Ishimori, and hits a super wheelbarrow! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu grits his teeth as he stands up again. He brings Ishimoriu up, fireman’s carry, and then he Death Valley Drivers Ishimori right into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimori up again, another fireman’s carry, and spins, but Ishimori slips off! Ishimori deflects the superkick but Hiromu deflects the knee strike. Hiromu SUPERKICKS this time, but then runs into a boot. Ishimori Poison-Steiners Hiromu! But Hiromu springs right up to do it back to Ishimori!
Both men are down from such damage to their heads. Fans are at a fever pitch, and still cheering Hiromu on. Both men stir and Red Shoes checks on them. They’re okay to continue, so a count begins. Hiromu and Ishimori stir, they’re up at 7. They crawl towards each other, and brawl with forearms from the mat. Hiromu hits, Ishimori hits, then back again. Hiromu grins with wild eyes as he hits Ishimori again, but Ishimori shakes his head and hits back. They brawl while standing up, and now it speeds up. Hiromu runs out of gas, and Ishimori brings him up for another shot.
Hiromu manages to stand and gets his second wind as he hits back with forearms from both sides. He spins around, but into Ishimori’s jumping knee! Hiromu staggers back, fires up, but runs into a clobbering clothesline! Cover, ONE?! Hiromu shocks Ishimori, but he’s still pretty tired. He slowly stands, but Ishimori is ready. Ishimori runs and blasts Hiromu with a dropkick, then runs corner to corner for double knees! Ishimori drags Hiromu up and into Tombstone position, but turns it into a modified code breaker! Hiromu is dazed, Ishimori covers, TWO!! The superhuman effort is keeping the fans at that fever pitch.
Ishimori gets up, and says BANG as he staggers over. He drags Hiromu up, and lifts Hiromu for a brainbuster, but Hiromu arm-drags out of it! Hiromu goes to headscissor but Ishimori counters with a powerbomb! High stack cover, TWO, and Hiromu gets Ishimori with a triangle hold! Ishimori cartwheels but Hiromu holds on. Ishimori endures, deadlifts, but is brought down again! Hiromu squeezes as tight as he can, but Ishimori tries for a cover. It doesn’t stay, so he deadlifts again, buckle bomb! Ishimori is free, but both men are out of breath. Ishimori rolls away, then runs back in, for a big clothesline. He yurinagi slams Hiromu, then fires himself up. Ishimori climbs up, takes aim, but his 450 hits knees!
Ishimori writhes in pain, but Hiromu’s legs took some damage, too. Both men slowly get up, run in, Hiromu gets around to headscissor Ishimori into the triangle hold! Ishimori deadlifts again, but Hiromu lets go to double underhook! D DRIVER!!
Hiromu can’t make the cover, he’s just too tired. So he goes for the triangle again! Ishimori fades, already dazed from that driver. Ishimori tries a second effort as he grabs at Red Shoes. He keeps moving, reaching, and gets a ropebreak! Hiromu lets him go, but he’s still focused. He brings Ishimori up, fireman’s carry, but Ishimori slips out. Ishimori wants his brainbuster but Hiromu resists. Hiromu lifts again, for another Death Valley into buckles! Hiromu drags Ishimoro up one more time, and swings him for THE Ticking Time Bomb! Cover, Hiromu wins!!
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall; wins the Best of the Super Juniors 25, and will challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
For the first time in his career, Hiromu Takahashi is THE Best of the Super Juniors! The award ceremony will begin after the break.
NJPW on AXS TV returns…
Ishimori is helped out of the ring and to the back. Fans applaud, showing respect to him for his valiant effort. Meanwhile, Hiromu is presented with the Best of the Super Juniors trophy, poses for pictures, and sits down before taking the mic.
“I don’t like it. I don’t like it much at all.” That is to say, he doesn’t like saying this after the tournament. So he must apologize first. But Ospreay! Accept his challenge for that IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship! Will Ospreay comes out! He joins Hiromu in the ring, his title in hand. Aerial Assassin and Ticking Time Bomb stand, and Ospreay congratulates his rival. Everyone is so proud, even Ospreay. Hiromu won Best of the Super Juniors, well done. But that doesn’t mean a thing compared to the belt, because that means Ospreay is the real best Jr. Heavyweight.
Ospreay reminds everyone that he is already up two wins on Hiromu in the past, so Ospreay knows that Dominion will be easy. Ospreay vows to leave with his title, and proves he really is the best in the world. Champion raises his belt, challenger raises his trophy, who will be raising their hands after Osaka?
Ospreay takes his leave, and Hiromu says, “Ospreay. Thank you meow.” The Ticking Time Bomb is not intimidated, and continues to say “Did you all just see that?” Even those watching at home on TV, did they see it? For that matter, did all the Heavyweights see that? Even Liger saw that, right? This is how SUPER JUNIORS do it! Liger has to applaud for that one. “Five years ago today, in this same spot, I still remember what I said.” Hiromu still feels that way. His dream is to hold that IWGP J. Heavyweight belt, and to be a Jr. Heavyweight main event, prime timer!! “Nothing has changed! I’m exactly the same as I was then.” But even more, more, more, more, more, “Let’s have fun!” With everything he has to say already said, Hiromu finally celebrates.
But not just him, the rest of LIJ joins him! Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada appear, and Hiromu shows off his trophy to them. And together, LIJ celebrate.
Hiromu kneels while Naito, Bushi, EVIL and Sanada move aside. Oops, the wing…
Well, that tarnishes the win a little bit. Hiromu kneels in apology to the hurt trophy. Is this a bad omen of things to come?
Taiji Ishimori admits defeat. Today, Hiromu was the better man. But, Ishimori knows there’s more for him to show. There’s unfinished business. Ishimori agrees, though, it’s tough, but fun. Ishimori wants more, more, more! “New battles, exceeding our limits.” He wants to have more fun with Hiromu. “It’s reborn!”
Hiromu said this in the ring, but this tournament is more than just to name a #1 contender. He’s said it all along. Hiromu does apologize, he’s already challenged and lost to Ospreay many times this year. But just one more chance, that all he needs. Ospreay is the best, but so is Hiromu. They’ll settle this once and for all! Dominion is coming, who will truly be THE Best of the Super Juniors?
I was surprised to see AXS TV bring up the finals of the Super Juniors, but I suppose it really is the most important part of the tournament. At the same time, this does help AXS speed up their coverage of NJPW so that they can get to Dominion sooner. This is also the match that THE Dave Meltzer award 5.5 stars, thereby breaking his 5 star system, again. While Meltzer is right in giving this the best rating out of all the BOSJ matches, going over 5 stars seems a bit much. Just reaching 5 stars is more realistic, because it really did have great action and even great character and story work. They went all around the arena, and Ishimori was dead set on a submission victory, but Hiromu showed two can play that game.
It’s really great for Hiromu to go over here because his rivalry with Ospreay has been longer standing, Ishimori only just got to NJPW, and Hiromu is vastly more popular, as the fans showed tonight as they did not sway in their support of him. Hiromu’s interaction with Ospreay was great, but I’m a little sad AXS cut out the interactions with the rest of LIJ. There’s a great little bit where Naito and Hiromu were childishly fighting over the trophy until Naito hands the trophy back with a bow. It means a lot in story for Naito to give that sign of respect to his protege.
My Score: 9/10
Mitchell’s ROH Results & Report! (4/13/19)
Who qualifies for the Crockett Cup?!
Ring of Honor Wrestling Television, Episode 395
ROH plays host to a Crockett Cup Qualifying Match! Will The Briscoes make it through Willie Mack and Jeff Cobb? Or will #DemBoyz be left out in the cold?
- Shane Taylor VS Luchasaurus; Taylor wins.
- Katie Forbes & Mazzerati VS Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani; Sakai & Iwatani win.
- Crockett Cup Qualifying Match: The Briscoes VS Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack; The Briscoes win and move on to The Crockett Cup tag team tournament.
PLAY BY PLAY
The Briscoes speak.
“So when we heard that they’re bringing back the Crockett Cup for 2019…” “Classic.” “We was hyped.” “Hyped!” The Crockett Cup, let’s go! But then they were making Jay & Mark qualify? What the hell? Jay felt disrespected hearing that. They’re 10-time tag team champions and they have to qualify!? But that’s fine, “watch this!” Because at the end, when they’ve won the whole thing atop a pile of bodies, “y’all did this.” Cobb, Mack, the Road to the Cup starts tonight. The Briscoes have warned their opponents, but will they be the ones left out?
Shane Taylor VS Luchasaurus!
The Notorious Hitman wants a championship and the paycheck that comes with it, and will go after anyone he has to to get there. But can he get past the towering beast put before him?
Taylor refuses the Code of Honor to tell Luchasaurus that it doesn’t matter where he came from, he’s in Taylor’s town. Taylor pie faces Luchasaurus but Luchasaurus gives it back. The bell rings and they tie up. They break and then go again, to break again. Fans cheer on Luchasaurus as he dares Taylor to bring it. Taylor runs in but gets a boot. Luchasaurus has his dukes up and Taylor likes the look of that. They circle and Luchasaurus kicks Taylor sharp in the leg. Luchasaurus stalks Taylor but Taylor comes back to circle with him. Taylor gets a swift JAB in, then talks trash, but Luchasaurus swings a kick. Taylor ducks it to give Luchasaurus a CHOP! Luchasaurus stays standing and gives Taylor kicks! Taylor staggers and Luchasaurus runs in, but Taylor puts him on the apron.
Luchasaurus headbutts Taylor but Taylor dodges the boot. Taylor gives another strong JAB, then slingshots Luchasaurus in for a stunner! Fans cheer that show of strength as Taylor covers. TWO, but Taylor keeps on Luchasaurus with clubbing forearms. The wrestling T-Rex is in trouble as we go to break.
ROH returns as Taylor puts Luchasaurus in a corner for CHOPS! Taylor whips Luchasaurus corner to corner then runs in, but into a boot. Luchasaurus boots again but Taylor grabs it. Luchasaurus pries free to give Taylor a knee! Taylor catches Luchasaurus for a CHOKE SLAM! Cover, TWO! Taylor taunts Luchasaurus as he drags Luchasaurus up. Fans rally and Luchasaurus grabs Taylor for a choke! Taylor breaks free and grabs for Luchasaurus, but he blocks it! Luchasaurus gives a strike fest, and a cartwheel for Snake Bite headscissors! Rolling buzzsaw! Cover, TWO! Taylor survives but Luchasaurus keeps his cool. Luchasaurus drags Taylor up but Taylor hits back. They brawl with big shots back and forth, but Luchasaurus gets the edge.
Luchasaurus swings but Taylor bobs ‘n’ weaves to headbutt! Taylor runs but into a knee! Then a back heel kick! Luchasaurus runs, dodges, but still gets clobbered with a clothesline! Cover, TWO! Taylor keeps his cool while he trash talks Luchasaurus. But Luchasaurus sits up and grabs Taylor by the throat! They both stand, but Taylor tries to break free. Luchasaurus lets him go to swing a heel kick. Taylor ducks it, to get the return kick! And another big heel kick! Luchasaurus hits his CHOKE SLAM! And a standing moonsault, but to knees! Taylor survives and then blocks the boot to give a massive urenage! He rolls Luchasaurus for a knee! Greetings from the 216! Cover, Taylor wins!!
Winner: Shane Taylor, by pinfall
The Hitman takes down the Monster from the Mesozoic! Will this be what Taylor needs to go for gold?
Last time on ROH…
The Octopus, Jonathon Gresham, went for revenge on The Last Real Man for adding insult to injury on his bad leg. But after getting bloodied, Silas Young got his hands dirty by sneaking in a low blow! Silas won, and in an interview afterward, Silas told Gresham via the camera that Gresham’s revenge didn’t go the way he thought. Sure he busted Silas open, but Silas-
Wait, Gresham finds Silas. Silas is talking crap, and he looks like crap, too. Gresham’s sure talking big. He may have busted Silas open, but he couldn’t get the job done, huh? Gresham says all their match proved was that Silas couldn’t win fair and square. Silas claims he won with a wrestling move a la that small package cradle. Gresham says Silas is lucky Gresham won’t punch him again. ROH security keeps this from getting any more heated, but there is much left to settle between Octopus and Last Real Man. Will Silas prove he’s a man by giving Gresham a fair rematch?
Tenille Dashwood joins commentary.
She has great news: she’s cleared to compete! When and where will she bring the spotlight back on her and head for that Women of Honor World Championship?
Katie Forbes & Mazzerati VS Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani!
The All Natural and her friend, The Fox, make their ROH TV debuts as a team, but will they stand a chance against two former WOH World Champions?! Just how bright will the Ray of Sunshine and Queen of Stardom shine as a dynamic duo?
The Code of Honor is denied with a flick of the hair and an L for loser on the foreheads. Mazz starts for her team against Mayu! Fans fire up for “Stardom! Stardom!” as Mayu tries the Code again. Mazz SLAPS Mayu and calls her a loser! Mayu kicks and whips Mazz and things speed up. Mayu springboards and arm-drags Mazz then hip tosses her down. She snapmares with hair and covers, TWO! Mazz gets away while Mayu knips up, and fans fire up for the decorated Joshi star. Mazz tags to Forbes but Mayu tags to Sumie. Sumie has the fans on her side but Forbes ignores it. They tie up and Forbes shoves Sumie down. Sumie gets back up and ties up with Forbes again.
Forbes uses the height advantage for leverage, but Sumie kicks at her legs. Sumie goes to whip but Forbes blocks. Forbes whips Sumie but misses in the corner. Sumie fires off Mongolian chops! And chops and chops and chops! Fans fire up but Forbes throws Sumie by her hair! Forbes sits Sumie up for her “enhanced” hip attack! Sumie scrambles to a corner and Forbes handsprings corner to corner for a back elbow. Forbes adds insult to injury with her “All Natural” Stink Face! The ref counts and Forbes backs off at 4. Forbes drags Sumie to a cover, TWO! The duo of champions is in trouble as Forbes drags Sumie to her corner and we go to break.
ROH returns as Mazz whips Sumie corner to corner. Mazz then runs in, but into a boot! Mazz staggers but comes back in to block the next boot. She puts Sumie’s leg on the ropes to kick it. Mazz suplexes and covers, TWO! Mazz keeps her cool and runs to drop the leg, but Sumie gets clear! Sumie crawls but Forbes goes around to the corner and drags Mayu off the apron! Forbes teases Sumie as she holds Mayu up. Sumie gets attacked from behind and Forbes gives Mayu a snake eyes on the apron. Mazz drags Sumie up and whips but Sumie reverses. Mazz grabs ropes and spins to heel kick Sumie away. She gives Sumie a DDT, then covers, but Mayu breaks it! Mazz is furious but fans rally up for Sumie. Mazz spins but Sumie dodges to kick and TJ Neckbreaker!
Fans rally up and Sumie crawls for her corner. Hot tag to Mayu! Mayu aims and dropkicks Mazz down! She drags her back up but Forbes runs in to attack. The duo double whips Mayu but she reverses and wristlocks for a springboard DOUBLE arm-drag! Fans fire up as Mayu gives them both the basement dropkick! Mayu fires up now as she stays on Mazz. She drags Mazz up for a Northern Lights! Bridging cover, TWO! Mazz lives but Mayu stomps her down before tagging Sumie. Mayu climbs one corner as Mazz staggers up, missile dropkick sends her back down! Sumie is perched, crossbody! Cover, TWO!! Mazz survives and Forbes attacks Sumie just because.
Sumie slaps Forbes then puts her in a corner. The Joshi duo double whips but Mazz dodges and spins things around. Mazz sends Sumie into Mayu, then Forbes grabs them both for a DOUBLE Fireman’s Carry! The All Natural does squats with that weight, then hits a DOUBLE Samoan Drop! Mazz flounders to cover Sumie but Sumie gets up. Mazz throws hands then drags Mayu back in. Sumie hits Mazz while Forbes goes to throw Mayu. Mayu blocks and then SUPERKICKS Forbes! Mazz hits Sumie back then goes after Mayu. Mayu SUPERKICKS Mazz, then Smash Mouse from Sumie! Cover, Sumie & Mayu win!!
Winners: Sumie Sakai & Mayu Iwatani, Sakai pinning
The duo of former champions toughs it out and gets the win! Will this new team make big waves in the WOH Division’s growing tag scene?
PJ Black speaks.
“Let me start from the beginning.” The Darewolf came in with a chip on his shoulder, thought he knew better and was just plain better. But his loss to Bandido really hurt. PJ’s been doing this for 22 years now, but given how long he’s been doing this, the frustration is building. He’s been trying to take shortcuts to get ahead, but it doesn’t work. ROH is built on honor and respect, of course, but PJ’s been doing the opposite. Now he’s doing some soul searching and rethinking his mindset. He knows he has to do it differently now. LifeBlood sets a great example for him, and he’ll learn to follow the honor in Ring of Honor. PJ knows now he didn’t know better, but will he be able to make it right in a rematch next week in episode 396?
Crockett Cup Qualifying Match: The Briscoes VS Jeff Cobb & Willie Mack!
The most decorated tag team in ROH were practically offended that they’d have to qualify for the return of the iconic tag team tournament! But as the “baddest tag team on the whole damn planet”, they’ll gladly beat up anyone and everyone they have to in order to win it all. Will #DemBoyz be able to overcome the ROH World Television and NWA National Heavyweight Champions? Or will Cobb and Mack be the duo to #ManUp and make it into the Crockett Cup?
ROH returns as both teams uphold the Code of Honor. That’s surprising for the way The Briscoes have been acting lately. Fans duel for the two teams as they sort out. Mack and Mark start and stare down with the bell. Fans rally up and Mack circles with Mark. They tie up and Mack powers Mark to a corner. Mark turns it around and grinds his forearm in. He backs off at 4 but Mack dodges the chop to give a chop! Mack CHOPS again, but Mark CHOPS back. They trade CHOP after CHOP! Neither man backs down as they keep firing them off! Mack eggs Mark on but Mark knees low. Mark headlocks but Mack powers out to his own. Mark powers out but Mack runs him over!
Mack speeds things up and hurdles over Mark, to then hit a BIG Thesz Press! He fires off hands then runs for a Stone Cold elbow drop. Fans fire up as Mack brings Mark up and powers him to the corner. Cobb tags in and rams his shoulders in. Cobb throws European Uppercuts then whips Mark to a corner. He scoops Mark on the rebound to then suplex! Cobb holds Mark up for a count of 15! Mark flops up and out of the ring! Jay hurries to regroup with his brother and get him back in this. Mark goes back in to tag Jay and Jay circles with Cobb.
They tie up and Jay waistlocks Cobb. Cobb pries his way out to a wristlock but Jay rolls and spins and drop toeholds. Jay gets a facelock but Cobb powers him to a corner! Cobb lets Jay go clean and now the hair comes down from both men. Fans fire up as Cobb shakes the locks out. Jay calls for a test of strength, but with the Hawaiian Hulk? They tie up, but Jay kicks low. The Briscoes tag and mug Cobb while we go to break.
ROH returns as Jay uppercuts Cobb to a corner. Jay throws more uppercuts then whips corner to corner. Cobb reverses but runs into a back elbow. Jay tags in Mark and the Briscoes double whip, to run Cobb over with double shoulders! Fans cheer that as Mark covers, ONE! Mark keeps his eyes on Mack while stomping Cobb. Cobb grits his teeth and throws body shots back. Cobb rocks Mark but Mark hits Mack! Mark still gets forearms from Cobb then Cobb whips to elbow Mark down. Cobb brings Mark up for more forearms, then whips again. Mark holds ropes and Jay tags in. The Briscoes swarm and Mark feeds Cobb to Jay’s boot!
Mark hits Mack again for good measure while Jay drags Cobb up again. The Briscoes throw Cobb out then Mark climbs to corkscrew moonsault onto them both! The South Sussex Chicken flies and takes them both out! Mark puts Cobb in for Jay and Jay covers. TWO, but Jay keeps on Cobb with a headbutt. Jay kicks and bumps Cobb in a corner then stomps in a mudhole. He grinds his boot in but backs off at 4. Jay drags Cobb up to tag Mark, and The Briscoes mug Cobb again. Mark stays between Cobb and Mack as he CHOPS and forearms Cobb. He puts Cobb back in the corner and tags in Jay. They mug Cobb more and Jay rams his shoulders in. Jay brings Cobb around and manages to snap suplex him! Fans cheer that as Jay tags Mark.
Mark clubs Cobb but Cobb throws hands. Mark knees low and clubs Cobb again, but Cobb dodges to DROPKICK! Cobb rolls, hot tag to Mack! The Return of the Mack rallies on The Briscoes! Running leg lariat puts Mark in a corner! Mack goes side to side for a sharp forearm, then side to side again for a bicycle boot! Mark sits down and Mack goes corner to corner for the inverted cannonball! Cover, TWO! Mark survives but Mack keeps his cool. Mack whips Mark corner to corner but Mark reverses. Jay runs in to forearm, and feed Mack to Mark’s shotgun dropkick! Mark drags Mack to a cover, TWO! Tag to Jay and the Briscoes stomp out Mack while we go to one last break.
ROH returns again as Mark holds Mack in the Briscoe corner. Jay distracts the ref while Mark rakes Mack’s eyes, but then the ref has to keep Cobb back. Jay stomps a mudhole into Mack in that time, then both Briscoes grind their boot in. The ref reprimands them both but Jay keeps going to EuroUpper Mack. Tag to Mark and The Briscoes continue to mug Mack. Mark rocks Mack with an uppercut, then stalks him to an open corner for more stomps. Mack throws hands but Mark haymakers and headbutts him down. Mark snapmares Mack to a neck wrench! Fans rally up as Mack endures. Mack works his way up and fights his way out. Mark clubs Mack back then runs, but into Mack’s pop-up complete shot! Both men are down but fans fire up as they stir.
Mack and Mark crawl, hot tag to Cobb but Jay still runs in! Cobb catches Jay for a BIG overhead belly2belly suplex! Mark staggers up and gets one of his own! Cobb sees the Briscoes in opposite corners, so Cobb runs for a big leaping elbow on Jay, then corner to corner for one on Mark! Cobb scoops Mark but Jay saves him. The Briscoes double whip but Cobb reverses to pull them into each other! Cobb gets a leg each, and gives both Briscoes a single leg suplex! Fans fire up as Cobb hits a STANDING MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO!! Mark lives and gets to a corner but Cobb goes at him for CHOPS. Cobb whips but Mark goes up and forearms Cobb back. Mark ducks Cobb to PELE! Tag to Jay, and Jay runs to clobber Cobb! Cover, TWO!
Jay grows frustrated but he drags Cobb up for a neckbreaker, only for Cobb to power out and SUPERKICK! Hot tag to Mack! Mack rallies on Jay with clotheslines and elbows! Mack scoops to a Samoan Drop! And knip up to his own standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Jay still lives and gets away. Mack builds speed but Jay gets away again. Mack pursues but Mark wrecks Mack with a dropkick! Cobb comes around, but gets an apron blockbuster! The Briscoes suckered both opponents in! Jay gets Mack in and fans cheer “Man Up!” Jay underhooks Mack but Mack powers out and ducks to hit a big exploder! Cover, TWO! Mack keeps cool as he whips Jay corner to corner. Jay reverses but runs into a boot. Mack climbs up but Jay intercepts! Mark springboards in, Doomsday! Cover, but Cobb barrels in to break it up!
Fans know “This is Awesome!” and far from over! The Briscoes throw Cobb out then go back to Mack. Mark tags in and Jay helps Mark get Mack up. Canadian rack, but Cobb blasts Jay down! Mack escapes, STUNNER! TO GERMAN!! Mack climbs up, FROG SPLASH!! Cover, TWO!! Mark survives and Mack cannot believe it! Cobb drags Mark up to whip but Jay saves Mark at the ropes. Mark baits Cobb in to send him out, and Jay BOOTS Cobb down! Mark drags Mack up and throws a CHOP! Mack CHOPS back, Mark CHOPS back, repeat! They go for forearms next, then Mack back hands. Mack runs but into a forearm. Mark runs but into a BOOT! Mack runs but Jay headscissors! Jay underhooks, JAY DRILLER! Mark up, FROGGY-BOW!! Cover, The Briscoes win!!
Winners: The Briscoes, Mark Briscoe pinning; advance to the Crockett Cup Tournament
Against a team as tough as they are strong, the Baddest Team on the Whole Damn Planet makes it into the more prestigious tag tournament in the world! Will #DemBoyz beat the best teams in NJPW, NWA and CMLL to take the whole cup, too?
What a great episode of ROH! Taylor VS Luchasaurus was a solid opener, both guys are big but agile so it made for a good match-up. Taylor wins because he’s a strong enough Heel to go after Face champion Jeff Cobb for that ROH World TV title. Of course, by this time in real-time, Cobb is dual champion with both the ROH WTV and NEVER Openweight Championship after G1 Supercard. I’d imagine Cobb being that strong now, I doubt Taylor wins. And there’s obviously a lot more to Silas VS Gresham, their next rematch will be just as good if not better than their previous. The PJ Black VS Bandido rematch next week will be a great match for TV, but I wonder if PJ really will keep it clean like he’s been saying.
The WOH tag match was pretty good, but I’m both surprised and disappointed it wasn’t just an exhibition of how great Sumie Sakai and Mayu Iwatani are. Even after watching her as Khloe Hurtz on Women of Wrestling, and full-well knowing she was trained by Rob Van Dam, I still don’t see how she and a tag partner could’ve lasted this long against two former champions. Especially when, at the time of this taping, Mayu was still WOH Champion and a champion in Stardom. Sumie and Mayu still win, thankfully, and this just seems to further push that ROH is considering their own Women’s Tag Championships. A sadder irony of tape delay is that while Tenille Dashwood is cleared to compete, her contract expired and it doesn’t seem like she’s renewing with ROH. There goes my idea that she’d say Kelly Klein was the one who attacked and injured her.
The tag match main event was incredible! It really is a shame this wasn’t part of the Crockett Cup itself, but if this was just a qualifier, all the matches of the tournament are going to be insane! And I would really hope with how hard The Briscoes fought to get in, they at the very least go to the finals. The Briscoes should also beat Villain Enterprises as payback for losing the ROH World Tag Team Championships to them. Then hopefully once they’ve won the Crockett Cup, The Briscoes go back after the Guerrillas of Destiny to at least take back the ROH tag titles and we get the 2v2 match we were supposed to get in the first place.
My Score: 8.3/10
Mathew’s AJPW Champion Carnival B Block Results & Review: Part 3
Another few days, Mathew brings us another part of the Champion Carnival! All Japan’s biggest tournament of the year keeps churning in quality! How is B block going?
Another few days, Mathew brings us another part of the Champion Carnival! All Japan’s biggest tournament of the year keeps churning in quality!
Welcome back to the Carnival, as we look at the next three shows for the part of the ongoing tournament.
The last part had a lot of solid matches and some nice victories that changed the game a little bit. As we get a little bit closer to the finals, the standings for this set of matches should be interesting.
Will Yoshitatsu remain the only one undefeated now or someone breaks that? Let’s see who will move up or down in the standings as we…dive right in.
- 0 Stars: Dave Meltzer
- 1 Star: Vince Russo
- 2 Stars: Tony Schiavone
- 3 Stars: Eric Bischoff
- 4 Stars: Bruce Prichard
- 5 Stars: Jim Cornette
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Jake Lee vs. Yoshitatsu
Review: Our first match for this show is Jake Lee taking on Yoshitatsu. Jake Lee was recently able to get his first win when he defeated Joel Redman. Yoshitatsu is currently the only one undefeated when he won against Suwama at the last show. Jake would need to have another win here to move up while Yoshi winning would move him to the top spot. Can Jake get another win or will Yoshi remain undefeated?
Yoshi, I know you spent money on Hunter Club gear and I’m sure you’re very proud of yourself but I think you should let that go. You’re not in New Japan anymore, no real need for it and just move forward. Anyway, I thought this was an enjoyable match but if I had to nitpick one thing, it would be that I wish there was a lot more intensity in the match since you kinda felt that when they had a tag match in the last big show I did for them and it didn’t feel like a grudge match or anything for the first half of it. Yoshi having good matches back to back is a very pleasant surprise and I hope that momentum keeps on going as we go forward with the tournament. The chemistry between them was a really nice touch with a great showing by both these men. Jake psyched Yoshi out with a punch to the gut and ran towards him only to get caught in a Koji Clutch which Jake rolled him up for a two count. Yoshi would eventually hook the Koji Clutch all the way after countering his Backdrop and it looked like he had him tapped but Jake answered the referee, making him break it up and pin him for a two. Jake would deliver two knees to his chest before hitting the Backdrop Driver to get the three count, ending the only winning streak we had for B Block.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a half
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our next match is Sam Adonis taking on Suwama. Suwama recently lost to Yoshitatsu but he’s still in a good position with only one win and one loss as he still has time to bounce back. Sam currently has zero wins and two losses, so he would need to get a win here if he would wanna stay in the game a little longer. Can Suwama bounce back or does Sam sweep his chances under the rug?
Suwama is a great opponent for Sam as they have similar styles, making it easier for Sam to work with and show more of what he could do in the ring as he gave a much better performance here than his previous match against Joel. They were able to showcase enough power and strikes to make it rather engaging for the audience who are fans of this type of style, to begin with. It also shows how helpful Suwama can be with his opponents to help make them look good while bringing out your potential as the match progresses. Sam would get Suwama down with a few hits such as the Blockbuster and even lifted him for a Running Powerslam as Suwama was still able to kick out and gets frustrated as he goes to grab a chair for later. Suwama would attempt another Last Ride after failing the first time as Sam would use a dirty tactic of biting his fingers to make him let go as he grabbed the chair to try and strikes him, but Suwama grabbed it and threw it to the side. When the referee wasn’t looking, Sam would hit him with a low blow and roll him up for a two count. Sam isn’t done as he hits a Lariat and a modified Brainbuster it looked like as he shocked the fans by picking up his first win in the tournament. More of this Sam and he’ll be in good shape.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Naoya Nomura vs. Joel Redman
Review: Onto the next show as the one opening this up is Naoya Nomura taking on Joel Redman. Nomura recently suffered his first loss when he fought Joe Doering but he’s still in a good spot as he’s still in first place with the three wins he already has under his belt. Joel recently got his first win when he defeated Sam Adonis and he now has a chance to climb up the ladder a little bit more if he can take Nomura down here. Will Nomura get another win and secure his spot or will Joel pull him down a bit?
I see Joel went back to his better gear than his previous one, thank goodness because he looks a lot better without the singlet. Speaking of Joel, he delivers another great performance in his match against Nomura who also performed just as great as Joel did. Joel was able to do arm manipulation once he threw Nomura into the turnbuckle to know where he needed to take the advantage over him. Nomura did great selling the injury and getting the crowd behind him when he hits Joel with the Spear to try and get momentum back on his side. Nomura would be able to hit a Northern Lights Suplex and another Spear with a roll-up as Joel would still kick out of it. Joel was able to catch him into the Fujiwara Armbar and it looked like he had him ready to tap but Nomura would grab the ropes. Joel saw him going towards the apron and hits a Suplex from the other side and catches him for a Spinning Tombstone and Nomura would still kick out of it, but he quickly turned it back into the Fujiwara Armbar and Nomura tapped out! I know it’s been 7 years since this match happened, but I would love to see Joel Redman fight Zack Sabre Jr again, like immediately.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and three quarters
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Suwama vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our match to close our block for this show is Takashi Yoshida coming back as he takes on Suwama. Suwama has one win and two losses while Takashi is one win and one loss as of right now, so they’re pretty much about even right now. Suwama would need to win the match here though if he can stay in the game. Which one of these two giants comes out the victor in this brawl?
I wasn’t too fond of the first half of the match due to it being a little bit clunky and the fighting around the outside of the arena dragged on a little bit longer than it needed to, plus the camera angles for most of it didn’t help out at all. Outside of that though, the middle of the match was a lot better than I highly anticipated since you got two giants duking it out as best they could with the throat thrusts, Lariats, and a Powerbomb from Takashi along with other power moves. While I’m still not a big fan of Takashi, he has been performing in this tournament much better than anticipated since he used this time to actually showcase his move set properly. Suwama was also able to help Takashi out in the match to make him perform better like how he did with Sam the previous night.
Takashi would have Suwama in his clutches as he hits him with a Diving Elbow Drop for a two count and would do his throat thrusts with a Lariat as Suwama would counter the Lariat with a Lariat of his own on his arm. Suwama would be able to hit the Backdrop and Takashi would be able to kick out of it and Suwama wants to call for the finish when he sets him up for the Last Ride. Once he had Takashi up for the Last Ride, he would just drop him down without doing the full move and I’m not exactly sure what happened there. Suwama would pick him up instead of pinning him as he hits one more Backdrop to get the pinfall victory in a solid match but sloppy beginning and end.
Rating: Eric Bischoff and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Joe Doering vs. Sam Adonis
Review: Our final show for this article as our opening match is Joe Doering taking on Sam Adonia. Both of these men are currently with one win and two losses under their belt, meaning one of them is going to have to suffer a third loss and be in a rather bad position with the standings. Which one of them will be in last place?
The first minute or so was basically Sam hiding behind the rope so he wouldn’t be touched as you have Joe waiting by the ropes, not having any of his crap today as he just wants to beat him up. Which is exactly what he does do when they’re outside of the ring for a couple of minutes as the two were back and forth, but it was mostly Joe that was getting the upper hand. Joe got him back in the ring as he would look to put him away as Sam would distract the referee long enough to kick Joe in the dick and down goes the giant. Joe is unable to move as Sam would pin him down to get the pinfall victory, leaving Joe in last place with three losses.
Rating: Tony Schiavone and a quarter
Champion Carnival B Block Match
Joel Redman vs. Takashi Yoshida
Review: Our final match for this set of matches is Joel Redman taking on Takashi Yoshida. Joel is even right now with two wins and losses while Takashi only has one win still but with two losses, meaning things aren’t looking so hot for Takashi right now. Is Joel does win here, then he’ll be in first place next to Naoya Nomura and if Takashi wins, the majority of them will all be tied up except for Joe and Nomura. Which one of them will get the victory?
It’s so weird seeing Takashi trying to chain wrestle Joel at the beginning of the match and the shocking part of it is him doing it well on top of that, scary sight if you ask me. Joel is, of course, more technically sound compared to Takashi, so of course, he would win this part of the bout. Takashi performed a lot better here than he did in his previous match with Suwama from beginning to end while Joel keeps on proving his worth with all the matches he’s been in. Joel would give Takashi a couple of kicks to take him down before he does his Diving Knee Drop off the top rope for a two count. It looked like Joel was gonna go for the Spinning Tombstone but Takashi would fight out of it to pick him up as Joel gets off him to go for a Backslide with Takashi kicking out. Takashi would hit the Kong Lariat to knock him down and Joel would still kick out, leaving Takashi frustrated and would pick him up to hit the Cyber Bomb as he gets the victory over Joel.
Rating: Eric Bischoff
Overall: Aside from one match, the rest of the show was solid again as usual as I’m very happy with my results so far as it comes to the quality of the matches with an exception for a couple that happened. Our next set of shows should give us a better assessment to see where people stand and who will have no chance of making it.
Favorite Match: Joel Redman vs. Naoya Nomura
Least Favorite Match: Joe Doering vs. Sam Adonis
Naoya Nomura: (3-2) (6 Points)
Yoshitatsu: (2-1) (4 Points)
Daichi Hashimoto: (2-1) (4 Points)
Suwama: (2-2) (4 Points)
Jake Lee: (2-2) (4 Points)
Joel Redman: (2-2) (4 Points)
Takashi Yoshida: (2-2) (4 Points)
Sam Adonis: (2-2) (4 Points)
Joe Doering: (1-3) (2 Points)
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