NJPW gives us TWO HOURS of action!
NJPW gives us TWO HOURS of action because one was not enough for everything that happened at the end of the Best of the Super Juniors 26! Who wins the tournament finals to move on towards the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship?
Coverage of Best of the Super Juniors 26 will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found on https://frentique.tumblr.com/
- Villain Enterprises VS Chaos; Chaos wins.
- Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White; White wins.
- IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson VS Jon Moxley; Moxley wins and becomes the new IWGP United States Champion.
- Best of the Super Juniors 26 Tournament Finals: Will Ospreay VS Shingo Takagi; Ospreay wins and will challenge Dragon Lee for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene!
The largest field in the history of this NJPW Junior Heavyweight tournament! The A Block Final saw Los Ingobernables de Japon’s newest but biggest member, Shingo Takagi, maintain a perfect record against Bullet Club’s Bone Soldier and last year’s winner, Taiji Ishimori. When the dust settled, Ishimori was no match for the Muscle Dragon! Shingo would also make history by being 9-0 as a first-time entrant. Meanwhile in Block B, it was a rematch from 2016 as The Aerial Assassin and the Funky Weapon threw down once again. Will Ospreay repeated history by defeating Ryusuke Taguchi for another trip to the finals! Who moves on to challenge Dragon Lee in Osaka?
Juice Robinson reigns as a two-time IWGP United States Champion, but a video popped up to let him know his time was almost up. The Flamboyant One promised to whoop this challenger’s ass, but when it turned out that man was Jon Moxley, things might not go so smoothly. Will the Lunatic make a huge impact in his NJPW debut? Or will Juice keep the gold right where it is?
Plus, two former IWGP Heavyweight Champions compete to see who is headed back to the top. The Ace vowed to make yet another return, but the Switchblade says “the line starts behind me!” Will Hiroshi Tanahashi or Jay White revive their respective eras with a victory tonight?
Villain Enterprises VS Chaos!
NJPW jumps right into the middle of this one as Brody King waistlocks Kazuchika Okada. Marty Scurll slingshots to make it a sunset flip German suplex! Brody covers Okada but The Rainmaker’s partner, Rocky Romero, breaks it up! Scurll goes after Romero with a kick and a whip, but he misses in the corner. Romero headscissors Brody to the other corner, then kicks Scurll. Romero gives Scurll a big uppercut, then starts up Forever Clotheslines! He hits Brody, then Scurll, then Brody, then Scurll, but dodges Brody as he charges in! Brody gets Scurll, then Romero uppercuts Brody! Romero clotheslines Scurll out then fires strikes off on Brody, only to run into a Black Hole! Brody grabs Okada, PILEDRIVER! Cover, TWO!? Okada survives and the fans fire up!
Brody drags Okada up, fireman’s carry, but Okada slips out to uppercut. Brody fires a forearm then runs, but into the dropkick! Okada hurries up top, Macho Elbow! And the Rainmaker pose! Okada drags big Brody up, wristlock and ripcord, RAINMAKER!! Cover, Chaos wins!!
Winners: Chaos, Kazuchika Okada pinning
The IWGP Heavyweight Champion keeps himself strong rolling into Dominion in Osaka! Chris Jericho awaits to challenge Okada for that title, but where is he? Okada wants to know, but Y2J is not here. But then the lights go out! And yes, Jericho communicates with video! “Okada~! Come out to play~!” If Okada wants to play with Jericho, play with this Jericho. June 9th, Dominion, Rainmaker VS Painmaker. Jericho promises to knock teeth out and break Okada’s back to become the NEW Heavyweight Champion.
Okada and the fans all saw that, but Okada keeps his head on a swivel. Okada grabs a mic to respond here and now. “I have to say, the IWGP belt is not a toy. You’ll never get it playing around. And what the Hell is a Painmaker?!” The Rainmaker is all NJPW needs! Will Okada make it rain again in Dominion? Or will he suffer a Judas Effect?
Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White!
The Ace is back from another surgery, and he is back for another comeback. He wants the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he’s not alone. The line starts behind the Switchblade while the Ace is at the very back of the line. These two have fought before and it seems they’ll never be done with each other so long as they both want the same title. Who really is next in line for the top prize in NJPW?
Just as Tanahashi makes his entrance and waves to fans, White attacks from behind! Fans boo but White pretends not to hear them right. White stomps Tanahashi then throws him out, and goes out after him. Tanahashi fires back with forearms, but Gedo gets in the way! White clobbers Tanahashi and whips him into railing! White gets in the faces of the fans to soak up their boos and jeers. Then he drags Tanahashi up and into the ring. White stalks Tanahashi and hits a big uppercut in the corner. He throws Tanahashi down and stands on that repaired arm. Tanahashi tries to get free but White stomps the arm!
Fans boo as White flexes and looms over Tanahashi. White drags Tanahashi up but Tanahashi fights back with big forearms. Tanahashi whips but White holds the ropes. The bad arm bothers Tanahashi, and White exploder suplexes Tanahashi out to the floor! White takes a moment before going out to fetch Tanahashi. White rams Tanahashi into railing, then into the apron, then hammerlocks the bad arm to ram that into railing! The Switchblade shows no mercy as he rams Tanahashi into the apron once more! Fans boo while White refreshes the count. White drags Tanahashi back up, to throw him into a post! The ring count starts again and hits 8 of 20 before White refreshes it again. The count gets to 16 of 20 now but White yanks the ref down!
White stomps away on Tanahashi and laces that bad arm in more rails. Fans rally for Tanahashi while White lets the ref count again. The count passes 10 of 20 before Tanahashi gets to his feet. Tanahashi hurries in at 14, but White is on him with toying kicks. Fans cheer “Go Ace!” but White keeps nudging and kicking Tanahashi. Tanahashi throws haymakers with his good arm! He ducks a clothesline to keep punching, then whips. White reverses the wring the good arm, too! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi grimaces as both arms are bothering him now. White puts Tanahashi in a corner for a CHOP! And another! White gives the good arm a shoulder breaker then wrings it out to twist. White says this is too easy. He drags Tanahashi up, but Tananashi blocks the saido!
White knees low, hammerlocks, saido suplex! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi refuses to quit, and fans refuse to give up on him. White refuses to let up, too, and pulls off the padding! White wrenches the bad arm, and elbows away on the bicep! Fans boo while Tanahashi clutches that bad arm. White practically celebrates before dragging Tanahashi back up. He hammerlocks Tanahashi again before throwing a forearm into the back. And he does it again. The fans still cheer, “Go Ace!” but White wrenches, hammerlocks, but Tanahashi reverses to throw forearms with the good arm. White forearms and kicks but Tanahashi hits back heavier. Tanahashi whips but again the arm gives out! White kicks, but into a dragon screw!
Tanahashi and White are both down with respective limb damage, but Tanahashi starts rallying with elbows and forearms! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he throws forearms in a corner. He whips but White reverses, only to run into a dropkick! Tanahashi targets the legs as he positions White in a drop zone. Tanahashi hops up, somersault senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps his cool while fans rally for him. Tanahashi runs, but into a CHOP! But he shrugs it off! Tanahashi fires off on White, whips, but White reverses again. White dodges the Slingblade to a fireman’s carry, but Tanahashi slips out to a full nelson. White breaks free of that, but swings into another. Tanahashi wants Twist ‘n ‘Shout but White suplexes. Tanahashi escapes, only to get a complete shot!
White drags Tanahashi up with a deadlift German Suplex! Both men are down from exhaustion, but White stands first. White drags Tanahashi up into the fireman’s carry, Death Valley DT! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi survives the DVDDT! White’s leg bothers him now, but he keeps on Tanahashi with a cobra clutch. Tanahashi fights out but White grabs his hair. Tanahashi breaks free but his bad arm gets swatted away. White gets Tanahashi for a BIG urenage! Cover, TWO! The Ace survives and Gedo is furious for White. White drags Tanahashi up again, Fisherman and lift, but Tanahashi kicks free for Twist ‘n’ Shout!
Tanahashi holds onto White to bring him up again. Another Twist ‘n’ Shout, but Tanahashi’s not done! He stands up again, but White drops to deny the third. Tanahashi drags White up but White resists again. Tanahashi lets White go but the fans give him new strength to SLAP White! The Ace tries again, but White reverses to a Fujiwara armbar! Tanahashi flails but White cranks way back! White wants to break the fingers, too! Fans rally and Tanahashi fights towards ropes. White switches sides to add some EXTRA torque! Tanahashi endures this arm torture, even as White twists and pulls and cranks as hard as he can! The arm is all the way back!! But somehow, Tanahashi gets a ropebreak!!
White lets go, but the damage has been done. Fans still rally for the Ace, but White drags Tanahashi back up. Half nelson, but Tanahashi grabs the ropes. White slaps the arm away, but Tanahashi spins and throws a palm strike! White staggers, but Tanahashi has the leg. Tanahashi’s arms hurt so much, he uses his legs to do the dragon screw! Tanahashi runs, but White counters Slingblade, only for Tanahashi to come back with it! Then a true Slingblade! Cover, TWO!! White survives but fans are rallying so hard for Tanahashi. Tanahashi goes up top! But Gedo comes over, so Tanahashi kicks him away. Tanahashi stands but White trips him up! White drags Tanahashi out on the ropes, then into BLADE RUNN- No, Tanahashi waistlocks! They go around and around, straitjacket German! With bridge, TWO!!
Fans are thunderous for the Ace as he stands up again. Tanahashi drags White up in the full nelson. But Gedo runs in with brass knuckles! He gets Tanahashi’s palm strike! The ref checks on Gedo, but White LOW BLOWS Tanahashi! White gives Tanahashi BLADE- LOW BLOW from Tanahashi! Poetic justice as Tanahashi rolls White, TWO!! Dragon screw on the ground! And then, CLOVER- No, White grab the bad arm and cradles, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall
The Switchblade wins by the skin of his teeth! The Ace falls to White’s usual treachery, but will White really be the first man up to fight for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?
IWGP United States Championship: Juice Robinson VS Jon Moxley!
For those wondering why the Lunatic is here in NJPW after showing up in Las Vegas, it’s because the Lunatic does what he wants. And what he wants is to take that title off the Flamboyant One. Will Moxley make good on his threat? Or will Juice keep the ass-whooping streak going like he promised?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and a rivalry dating back to FCW begins again in NJPW!
Juice takes off his nightcap to show he’s cut his dreadlocks! But the “Death Rider” doesn’t care, he gives Juice two big dirty birds right in his face. The bell rings and Moxley throws hands right away! Juice gives them back but Moxley knees and CHOPS! Juice CHOPS but Moxley CHOPS! They throw more hands, but Moxley runs, into Juice’s elbow. Juice runs, but into Moxley’s knee! Moxley clotheslines Juice out of the ring! Then he builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit sends Juice onto commentary! But Moxley won’t stop, he hops the rail to give double ax handles! Moxley throws more hands and Juice ends up falling on the front row of fans.
Moxley still doesn’t back down, he just drags Juice up on the chairs for more fists. They fight into the second or third row, and Moxley headbutts Juice down. And BITES Jucie?! Moxley tastes the Juice before dragging him back to ringside. Moxley gives more forearms and they end up going deeper into the crowd. The Lunatic bites Juice more, and wants to juice his head! Moxley argues with Red Shoes, but then pursues Juice up the entryway. Moxley pushes Young Lions around for getting in his way. Then he goes after Juice for a PILE- No, Juice back drops out of the piledriver! Moxley hits the hard concrete floor, and Juice heads back to the ring. But then he reconsiders, and goes up to the upper deck!
NJPW security has fans get clear as Juice climbs up the girder! Juice aims at Moxley, and CANNONBALLS! Juice wipes out Moxley and the Young Lions! The Flamboyant One headbutts Moxley even from the floor, then drags him up to throw into railing. Juice drags Moxley back to ringside, but makes sure to flapjack him on railings first! Moxley gasps and coughs while Juice drags him around. Juice whips Moxley into more railing! Fans cheer as Juice stomps Moxley into the rails. Juice gets space and runs back at Moxley, but he cannonballs railing only! Moxley evades Juice and Juice destroys himself! Moxley gets up and walks it off before going back for another taste of Juice! Juice is already bleeding from the eyebrow as Moxley puts him in the ring.
Moxley stalks Juice and chop blocks the leg! Then he drags that leg to a post to swing it into the steel! And again! Juice starts falling out of the ring, but Moxley puts him in. Moxley drags Juice up for a neckbreaker! Cover, TWO! Moxley rains down rights right to that bad eyebrow. And he bites it again! Moxley mockingly bows to the Japanese crowd as they both boo and cheer. Moxley drags Juice around to put the leg in a Half Crab. Juice endures as Moxley sits down deep. Fans rally up but Moxley turns it into an STF! Juice endures, and bites Moxley’s fingers! Moxley elbows and JABS Juice, not appreciating a taste of his own medicine. Juice wobbles but gets Moxley with a SPINEBUSTER!
Fans rally as Juice rains down lefts onto Moxley! Moxley covers up but Juice just hammers away. Juice staggers away, then goes at Moxley in the corner with more left hands. Red Shoes warns Juice but Juice just hammers away! Juice cusses out Red Shoes, which is rare, but he hates Moxley that much. Juice runs in but Moxley gets out again. So Juice slingshots and splashes down on Moxley! The IWGP US Champion finally has some control while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Juice brings Moxley around. Moxley headlocks but Juice crotches him on the railing! And then LARIATS him off it! Moxley gasps for air while Juice glares with blood dripping down his face. Juice puts Moxley in the ring and LARIATS him again! Fans cheer Juice as he drags Moxley up. Juice fireman’s carries to a Juice Box gutbuster! But just as Moxley writhes from rib pain, Juice clutches a bad leg. But Juice gets up again to climb up top. That leg slows him down a touch, but Moxley shoves him right off!! Moxley goes out to drag a table out from under the ring! He may be in NJPW but he still has a lot of CZW in him! Moxley sets the table up and apologizes to Red Shoes in advance as he gets a chair!
Moxley SMACKS Juice with the chair! He drags Juice to the table and places him on the wood to rain rights down on the bloody eyebrow! Moxley grabs the chair again, and brings it with him to the apron. Moxley takes aim, and bang bang, chair elbow drop on Juice! But the table stays standing, so Moxley brings Juice over, to snap suplex him through it!! Moxley leaves Juice behind and wants Red Shoes to count. Red Shoes reprimands Moxley first, then checks on Juice. Somehow Juice is okay to continue so Red Shoes counts. Moxley celebrates a little early, the count only reaches 10. Juice gets to his feet at 13 but flounders down. Juice crawls at 16, up at 18, and in at 19.5!! Moxley is on Juice, X-PLEX! Cover, TWO!!
Moxley grows annoyed with Juice but he drags Juice back to the rose. He swings the leg into the post again! And again! And then he figure fours the legs, for a hanging Figure Four! Juice endures but he doesn’t want Red Shoes calling it. Red Shoes counts Moxley so Moxley lets go at 4. Juice flops out of the ring but Moxley drags out another chair. Moxley puts the chair around the battered leg! Juice can barely defend himself as Moxley climbs up high! Red Shoes tells Moxley no, but Juice gets up and throws the chair at Moxley’s head! Juice flounders around the outside and finally finds his way into the ring. Fans rally for Juice while Moxley ends up in a corner. Juice runs in, big clothesline!
But Juice keeps going, corner to corner, into Moxley’s LARIAT! Both men are down but the fans are loving this! Moxley drags himself away, but comes back with a BIG forearm! Juice staggers but comes back with a big forearm of his own! Moxley staggers to one knee but comes back with another forearm. Juice gives another, but Moxley headbutts. Juice headbutts, too! Moxley CHOPS but Juice doesn’t flinch! Moxley throws more strikes but Juice SLAPS and JABS! Jab after jab, but Moxley kicks the Left Hand of God away! Moxley underhooks but Juice powers them both out of the ring and to the floor! So Moxley just gets another table! Moxley props it against railing, then goes after Juice. Red Shoes reprimands Moxley again, but Moxley still scoops Juice. Juice slips out, LEFT HAND OF GOD!
Moxley ends up on the table, and Juice has a target. Juice staggers away, then runs back in, CANNONBALL at the table!! But the table doesn’t break! Juice promises to “break this b*tch” one way or another. Juice drags Moxley up and bites him! Red Shoes says no, but Juice says yes to a powerbomb through the table! Juice drags Moxley from the wreckage and into the ring. Moxley stands but Juice trips him to turn him for a Tenzan Boston Crab! Moxley endures and crawls, but Juice drags Moxley away from the ropes! Juice sits back but Moxley slips out, dragon screw! And Cloverleaf! Moxley copies the Ace as he makes Juice suffer! Juice endures but crawls, but Moxley pulls him away! Juice won’t let Red Shoes calls this, he rolls and reels Moxley in, to bite! Moxley lets go, but comes back for the LEFT HAND OF GOD!
Juice wipes the blood from his face and drags Moxley up. Double underhooks from behind, but Moxley slips out. Moxley underhooks but Juice rolls up and bridges! TWO, and the two collide with clotheslines! But Juice stays up! Juice pump up but gets a kick to the bad leg! DIRTY DEEDS! Cover, TWO?! Juice survives!? But Moxley likes that! Moxley drags Juice back up even as fans rally. Moxley underhooks, and lifts, for Death Rider!! Cover, Moxley wins!!
Winner: Jon Moxley, by pinfall; NEW IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion
In his NJPW debut, the Death Rider takes gold! The Lunatic is free and breathing fresh air, but is this only the beginning of Moxley in NJPW?
Best of the Super Juniors 26 Tournament Finals: Will Ospreay VS Shingo Takagi!
It’s a battle of speed and strength as one of the best takes on one of the biggest! The Aerial Assassin has been a tournament winner as well as IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. The Muscle Dragon is undefeated against everyone put in the ring with him. Something has to give, who takes the trophy to then go for the belt?
Fans are already fired up for this match even before the bell. When the bell does ring, the fans get even louder. Ospreay and Shingo stare down while fans duel between them. Shingo and Ospreay circle and tie up. Shingo has the strength advantage and puts Ospreay on the ropes. Ospreay turns it around, but copies Chaos captain Okada with that fake punch to shoulder pat. Shingo shrugs that off and circles with Ospreay again. They tie up with knuckles locks and go shoulder to shoulder. Shingo has the strength again,b ut Ospreay comes back up. Shingo pushes Ospreay but Ospreay bridges. Ospreay gets back up and wrenches to a hammerlock, but Shingo headlocks. Ospreay slips out and wrenches Shingo’s wrist, but Shingo throws body shots.
Shingo wrenches Ospreay again, but Ospreay rolls and handsprings to break free and headlock! Fans cheer the exchange but Shingo powers out. Ospreay bumps Shingo but Shingo runs him over! Only for Ospreay to kip right up! Fans cheer as Ospreay and Shingo stare at each other again. Shingo wants Ospreay to bring it, but Ospreay dares Shingo to bring it. So Shingo kicks low and whips! Ospreay reverses, and hurdles, but Shingo blocks the monkey flip. Shingo runs but misses the sliding lariat. Ospreay kicks, Shingo blocks, Shingo swings but Ospreay ducks, Ospreay handsprings into a waistlock! German Suplex but Ospreay lands on his feet! Springboard but the cutter is denied with an arm-drag! Ospreay sweeps, covers, ONE, but Shingo dodges the kick! Fans love it!!
Shingo stays back in a corner while Ospreay stares him down. Fans duel as Ospreay also backs off. Shingo and Ospreay tie up again, and Shingo slowly powers Ospreay back. Ospreay manages to power Shingo back, but Shingo turns things around in the corner. Shingo pats Ospreay’s shoulder, to CHOP anyway! Fans boo Shingo being sneaky, but Shingo cravats Ospreay. Ospreay works on a counter and throws body shots. Ospreay CHOPS and Shingo felt that one. Another CHOP, and a whip, but Shingo reverses, for Ospreay to huricanrana! Shingo bails out and Ospreay dropkicks him down, to then fake him out. Superhero landing and fans are fired up, but Shingo confiscates commentary’s water to throw it at Ospreay. Fans again boo Shingo’s bad temper.
Shingo walks off his stinging chest but fans rally up for Ospreay. Ospreay waits as Shingo takes his time returning. Shingo runs in but into Ospreay’s kick and uppercut. Shingo gives back forearms and a CHOP! Ospreay knees and Shingo runs, but Ospreay elbows and basement dropkicks Shingo back out! Ospreay slingshots and splashes down! Fans cheer as Ospreay wipes Shingo out. Ospreay throws forearms on Shingo and CHOPS, but Shingo rakes the eyes! Ospreay kicks then whips, but Shingo holds rails to avoid rails. Shingo whips but Ospreay leaps over the railing to land on an open chair! Ospreay hits Shingo but leaps into the fireman’s carry! Shingo flapjacks Ospreay on the apron then DDT’s him to the floor!
Red Shoes tells Shingo to get this in the ring, then checks on Ospreay. Shingo drags Ospreay up and onto the apron. Fans rally both ways as Shingo drags Ospreay up for another fireman’s carry. Ospreay fights out to save himself, and throws big elbows. But Ospreay runs into the fireman’s carry! He slips out to kick Shingo back! Ospreay runs, but Shingo slingshots up over the slide. Shingo runs to FLY!! Not only does Shingo wipe out Ospreay, he practically wipes himself out on the railing! But the Dragon gets up and makes sure everything is working down there. Shingo drags Ospreay up and into the ring for a slingshot stomp! He grinds his feet into Ospreay then jumps for double stomps. Ospreay gasps for air while Shingo looms over him.
Shingo drags Ospreay up to whip and knee into ropes. Then he runs to run Ospreay over! Ospreay is dazed, and then Shingo stands on Ospreay’s head. Shingo drags Ospreay up but Ospreay throws forearms. Shingo shrugs them off then rocks Ospreay with just one forearm of his own! Fans rally as Shingo whips Ospreay to a back drop! Shingo shakes out his hair and watches Ospreay crawl to a corner. Shingo runs in blocks the boot, and gives a clothesline! He throws jab after jab and then another CHOP! Shingo whips Ospreay corner to corner and blocks another boot, but Ospreay ax kicks him! Ospreay throws elbows and CHOPS, then runs, but into a pop-up Death Valley Driver! Cover, TWO!
Shingo keeps his cool as he clamps onto Ospreay with a chinbar. Shingo rains elbows down, then wraps on a chinlock. Ospreay endures and works his way up to throw forearms. Shingo pie faces but Ospreay keeps hitting. So Shingo double CHOPS Ospreay off his feet! But Ospreay kips right back up! Ospreay roundhouses Shingo, then runs, but into an elbow. Shingo runs, Ospreay handsprings the other way, flying enziguri! Ospreay grits his teeth as he slowly rises from the mat. Fans fire up with Ospreay as he runs at Shingo in the corner. Shingo dodges but gets an enziguri. Ospreay rolls, top-rope 619! Ospreay springboards but Shingo gets under. Shingo whips, but Ospreay reverses and uppercuts. Ospreay sweeps the legs, corner to corner basement dropkick!
Ospreay hits the standing shooting star! Cover, TWO! Shingo bails right out of the ring, and leans against railing for support. But Ospreay just builds speed and handsprings to the Sasuke Special! He wipes Shingo out to the railing! Ospreay grits his teeth as he drags Shingo back up and in. Ospreay aims from the corner as Shingo stands, springboard clothesline hits! Pip-pip Cheerio, cover, TWO! Ospreay isn’t backing down, he underhooks Shingo. Shingo resists and back drops out again. Shingo and Ospreay stand, Shingo blocks a kick, but gets the spinning heel! Ospreay runs but into an elbow and a JAB, and a LARIAT! Shingo and Ospreay are both down while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns again as both men slowly stir. Fans rally for both men as Shingo drags Ospreay up. Shingo toys with Ospreay but Ospreay throws forearms back. Ospreay throws more and more, then kicks, but Shingo blocks. Shingo flips Ospreay for 450 degrees onto his back! Then runs for a sliding lariat! Cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives but he is dazed. Shingo drags Ospreay up again, underhooks from behind, Gory Especial to- Ospreay’s sunset flip! Cover, TWO! Mule kick and underhooks, but Shingo again denies Stormbreaker. Shingo forearms but runs into dropkick-flip and enziguri! Ospreay brings Shingo in, suplex but Shingo counters to his suplex, only for Ospreay to give him Osaka Street Cutter! Both men are down again as fans fire up.
Ospreay gets to a corner but so does Shingo. Ospreay runs in for a helluva kick! He hoists Shingo up, tucks him in, Cheeky Nandos hits solid! Shingo slumps slightly, but Ospreay goes up top. Ospreay underhooks, but Shingo resists again! Shingo and Ospreay fight up top with slapping palm strikes. Shingo headbutts Ospreay off the top! Ospreay lands on the apron, and Shingo drags him up by a hand. Ospreay kicks Shingo back! Then springboards, but Shingo blocks, only for Ospreay to fight back. But Shingo holds on, SUPER DEATH VALLEY DRIVER!! Shingo crawls to a cover, TWO!! Ospreay survives and Shingo can’t believe it! But Shingo fires up to run in at Ospreay, for a BIG clothesline! But then they collide with clotheslines! And again!
Shingo whips but Ospreay handsprings, into a torture rack! Burning hammer, but Ospreay lands on his feet! Shingo ducks the Penalty Kick and avoids the moonsault but Ospreay again lands on his feet. Ospreay fakes Shingo out to back heel to buzzsaw! Then springboard, but Shingo blocks to BLOOD FALL! Shingo’s Gory Bomb hits, but he can’t make the cover. Ospreay stands so Shingo prepares his arm. Shingo runs, but Ospreay spins through the Pumping Bomber! Sit-out powerbomb!! Cover, TWO!! Shingo survives the most massive bomb Ospreay has ever hit! Fans are thunderous as both men slowly stir. Ospreay is in a corner while Shingo crawls. Ospreay takes aim, Robinson Special misses! Shingo has the legs, for a wheelbarrow suplex into the buckles!
Shingo has Ospreay on the apron, and he underhooks Ospreay again. Ospreay resists and elbows free. Ospreay hook kicks Shingo! Then Ospreay uses the crossbars as a springboard, OSCUTTER to the apron!! Both men fall to the floor and Red Shoes checks on them. They’re somehow both okay, so the ring count begins. The count passe 10 of 20 but neither man stands. They sit up at 14, stand at 15, and Ospreay is in at 17. Shingo is up at 18, and in at 19.5! But gets a missile dropkick from Ospreay! Cover, TWO! Ospreay scrambles up top, 630 Shooting Star Senton to Shingo’s back!! Shingo drops down, Opsreay climbs back up, SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Cover, TWO!?! Shingo still lives and the fans are thunderous again!
ROBINSON SPECIAL! But Ospreay isn’t done, OSCUTTER!! Cover, TWO?!? How is Shingo doing this?! Ospreay is stunned beyond belief! Fans reach a fever pitch dueling for both men as Ospreay gets to his feet. Ospreay knows there is only one thing that can do this. Underhook, but Shingo resists the lift. Ospreay clubs away on Shingo’s back and even toys with him. Shingo throws hands back, but Ospreay brushes those off. Ospreay gives Shingo a swift kick to the chest, then another. Ospreay and Shingo glare at each other as Ospreay gives more kicks. Shingo blocks one, and headbutts Ospreay down!
Shingo shakes the stars out and drags Ospreay up. He throws big forearms, but Ospreay gives them back. They go back and forth, but Ospreay starts to wobble. Shingo throws more forearms from all sides! Ospreay staggers but comes back, for the JAB! HOOK KICK! Buzzsaw, heel kick, underhooks, and the lift! But Shingo slips out, ducks the roundhouse, and pump handles for MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO?!? Now it’s Shingo who is shocked by this! Ospreay and Shingo are each reaching superhuman levels as fans rally up. Shingo is up, runs at Ospreay, Pumping Bomber! But he’s not done with Ospreay, he gets a bigger running start PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!?! This is what it means to be the Best of the Super Juniors in NJPW!
Shingo fires himself up and drags Ospreay up again. Another pump handle, fireman’s carry, but Ospreay wriggles free and pops up, REVERSE-RANA! That was one especially nasty Poison Steiner. But Shingo and Ospreay still glare at each other. They headbutt on the mat, then Shingo gives a point-blank Pumping Bomber! And then another, and another! Ospreay slumps down, but roundhouses! Ospreay runs but Shingo follows for a clothesline! Shingo runs but Ospreay gets a SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!!! Ospreay won’t take time to be frustrated, he drags Shingo up with a cobra clutch wring out, hook kick! And then, HIDDEN BLADE!! The back hand that has taken out so many! But even that doesn’t seem enough for Ospreay or Shingo. Ospreay watches Shingo rise, top rope OSCUTTER!
But Ospreay holds on, to roll through, underhook and lift! STORMBREAKER!! Cover, Ospreay wins!!
Winner: Will Ospreay, by pinfall; wins Best of the Super Juniors 26; NEW #1 Contender to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion
The first man to slay the Dragon in the tournament, and the first man to pin The Dragon in NJPW, also wins the newly redesigned Best of the Super Juniors trophy! Ospreay raises the one-winged trophy high as the tournament winner, but now he takes up the mic to speak.
“Shingo-san. Thank you very much.” Ospreay speaks to Hiroshi Tanahashi’s old shirt from 20 years ago. It said, “Attack for the Next Generation.” Ospreay believes that the Next Generation of NJPW is standing right here, right now! People come and people go, and Ospreay thanks those men for creating a future. This Junior tournament has been the best tournament of the year! And even though there are people missing, like Hiromu, Ospreay is sure everyone agrees we miss him. Get well soon, Hiromu, so they can fight again. But with people leaving, those that stay in NJPW need to step up.
Ospreay has announcement on that. He cannot go back and forth between England and Japan, so NJPW has helped him with that. He hopes he says this right. “I am moving to Japan.” That’s right, Ospreay is full-time NJPW! Ospreay thanks the fans for his support. Ospreay wants to put NJPW on his back and take it around the world as THE Junior Heavyweight Champion. But he wants some Heavyweights, as well! He will give NJPW his body, his soul because the fans make him so happy to be here! But for now, he must go. “This has been the Best of the Super Juniors 26. Thank you very much!” With the Aerial Assassin vowing to be the future and the face of NJPW, will he also become the champion of the Junior Heavyweight Division?
NJPW backstage press conference
Ospreay speaks to Dragon Lee when he says, “Love you, brother. Love you very, very much.” But, Lee has something Ospreay wants. Ospreay will slay a second dragon when he officially takes Lee on at NJPW Dominion in Osaka! Will CMLL’s dragon fall the same as the NJPW dragon? Or is the Aerial Assassin asking for too much too soon?
Obviously if one hour of NJPW is great, two hours is even greater! There wasn’t as much advertised for this a couple weeks ago, but that’s only because the tournament hadn’t finished. It was good to see them slip in Okada’s moment responding to Jericho’s promo. They didn’t need to do much to sell Okada VS Jericho at Dominion but that video definitely solidified how good it’ll be. I’d say that with Jericho also in AEW, he probably isn’t winning, but then we get Juice VS Moxley and Moxley wins! NJPW fans clearly still like Moxley given his time as Dean Ambrose in the WWE, so it seems they’ll be accepting of Moxley holding one of their titles for a time. There’s a chance that once AEW TV gets going, Moxley will have to lose this NJPW title. At least he’ll have a good run with it until then.
This Tanahashi VS White match was just as good as their others, if not better. I really thought Tanahashi would win with that low blow roll-up to be karma on White, but White still wins with his own low blow. G1 Climax 29 is on the horizon, so while White says he’s next, that tournament will go a long way to officially deciding that. And of course, the finals of this Super Juniors tournament was oh so great. An undefeated Shingo gives Ospreay one of the toughest matches he’s had in a long time, and Ospreay gives Shingo his toughest match in NJPW. But with Ospreay moving to Japan for this company’s sake, as well as being a very popular wrestler worldwide, he naturally gets to go over. Dragon Lee VS Ospreay at Dominion is going to be on par with this match, but could go either way.
My Score: 9.4/10