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Andrew’s 1st Round New Japan Cup 2019 Ratings & Analysis

Andrew’s bringing all of the first Round of the New Japan Cup! That’s what the people want, right?

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Andrew’s bringing all of the first Round of the New Japan Cup! That’s what the people want, right?

Well now look at how fancy the New Japan Cup is feeling this year. Allowing other champions to participate and extending the field to 32, since this tournament feeds into the main event slot of G1 Supercard against Jay White.

A few new faces, a few under utilized veterans, New Japan Cup debuts and just a regular smorgasbord of NJPW talent. Sadly for David Finlay, an injury at Honor Rising forced him out of the tournament. So what could’ve been a break out moment for him, instead goes to the master of the Funky Weapon, Ryusuke Taguchi!

Let’s see how the first round panned out!

Ratings:

  • YOSHI-HASHI vs Manabu Nakanishi: Yoshi wins via Butterfly Lock @12:25 – *** 1/4
  • Taichi vs Tomoaki Honma: Taichi wins via Dragon Sleeper @17:55 – ** 3/4
  • Juice Robinson vs Chase Owens: Owens wins via Package Piledriver @24:40  – *** 1/2
  • Yuji Nagata vs Tomohiro Ishii: Ishii wins via Vertical Drop Brainbuster @21:40 – **** 1/2
  • Lance Archer vs Toa Henare: Archer wins via Blackout @11:15 – ** 1/4
  • Hikuleo vs Mikey Ncholls: Nicholls wins via Mikey Bomb @9:00 – * 3/4
  • Bad Luck Fale vs Will Ospreay: Ospreay wins via Hurricanrana @11:40 – ***
  • Michael Elgin vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @24:10 – **** 1/4
  • Ryusuke Taguchi vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan: Taguchi wins via Cradle @12:10 – ** 1/2
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Shota Umino: Tanahashi wins via Texas Cloverleaf @14:45 – *** 3/4
  • EVIL vs Zack Sabre Jr: ZSJ wins via Ground Octopus Stretch @15:40 – ****
  • Tetsuya Naito vs Kota Ibushi: Ibushi wins via Kamigoye @20:40 – **** 3/4
  • Toru Yano vs Davey Boy Smith Jr: Yano wins via Roll-up @7:25 – * 1/2
  • Colt Cabana vs Togi Makabe: Cabana wins via Superman Cradle @5:30 – ** 1/4
  • Satoshi Kojima vs Minoru Suzuki: Suzuki wins via Gotch Style Piledriver @13:45 – *** 3/4
  • SANADA vs Hirooki Goto: SANADA wins via Moonsault @20:45 – **** 1/4

 

Analysis:

So now as many know, YOSHI-HASHI is a rolling ball of disappointment, but going against the veteran Nakanishi…he’s got a shot. Nakanishi will be known to some by the name of Kurosawa in WCW. However, he looks much different now and this match was interesting. Nakanishi really fought hard and even dominated a good bit of the match, but YOSHI-HASHI managed to show some resiliency. A match that by most accounts should’ve been a snack break, was a solid venture. Nakanishi tried a Slingshot Plancha to the outside (it sortuv worked) and YOSHI tried to utilize his speed and youth to generate an advantage. Granted, the Butterfly Lock is a very unimpressive maneuver, so that made the finish look a little goofy, but the match was still a solid start to the tournament.

Taichi not only is holding on to Iizuka’s Iron Fingers, but he also did a through the crowd entrance. Honma is still trying to build himself back up after his neck injury, so this is a bigger match for Honma than Taichi. Even though Taichi has established a bad reputation for being lazy, dismissive and generally a heel that Japanese fans can’t tolerate – he’s reduced the irritating aspects of his persona since becoming a heavyweight. Another match that ended up being a little better than expected, with Taichi winning without use of the Iron Fingers and in a different way than usual.

Juice versus Chase was definitely a big surprise. Not just because Chase ended up winning, but the amount of time and how much of a back and forth battle it truly was. My assumption is this was done to set up a US title defense for Juice since it’s fallen into obscurity a little. Damn good match.

Ishii is always good for an old school Strong Style match. Nagata also proved that even at 50, the man can still put on a hell of a match. Ishii busted Nagata’s mouth open in the earlier parts of the match, but this was extremely good. The match remained close and even though most had to assume Ishii was going to win, Nagata made him earn it.

We get an interesting match here. Archer is the obvious favorite, but he’s also never advanced past the first round in all of his previous NJC attempts. So the young Toa Henare had a puncher’s chance at pulling out the upset. Henare caught Archer by surprise with his power on numerous occasions, but Archer was eventually too much. Nothing special, but building more on the Henare character is what this was for.

Mikey Nicholls aka Nick Miller the recently released one half of The Mighty, returns to New Japan against Hikuleo. No offense to Mikey, but Leo is young, pretty green and coming off of injury…so this was the low point of the first round.

Ospreay and Fale put on a decent match. Ospreay worked from underneath because of his rib injury, size difference and Jado interfering. So the way the match was framed was alright, but the Hurricanrana finish was sloppy along with the obvious camera angle showing Fale’s shoulder up…that took the wind right out of the ‘surprise win’.

Another wrestler returning from injury is Michael Elgin. Most of his efforts against Okada are usually stand out matches, and this isn’t any different. Both men also prove their familiarity by stealing moves. Okada does a Buckle Bomb and Elgin Bomb, where Elgin pulls off the Rainmaker. Still unable to overcome the current Ace of New Japan, Elgin falls to a flush Rainmaker. Very good match.

Taguchi, Taguchi, Taguchi. He finds a way to add a unique quirk to all his matches, and this one was Mongolian everything. Tenzan showed a bit of annoyance by copying the way Taguchi throws grounded hip attacks, but it was still amusing. Taguchi kept the match entertaining, especially when he landed a Bumaye. The finish was a cheeky cradle variation where Tenzan kicked out right as the 3 came down.

If you want to see the definition of a star making match, Shota vs Tanahashi is the perfect example. Shota came out firing and really took things to The Ace. Shota even attempted a Cloverleaf Hold to make a point to Tanahashi. The outcome was mathematical, but Tanahashi showed concern during the match, and the crowd bought into near falls, Umino made him earn the win. Shota will be something special.

ZACK SAYBAH TIME! Since EVIL got over the hump by beating Sabre prior to the tag title defense earlier this year, ZSJ wasn’t a lock to win this. EVIL showed great familiarity, the ability to counter a lot of what Zack threw and just maintained the power edge most of the match. EVIL proved he was on a similar level to the submission God, but ZSJ still managed to land and Octopus Hold, bring EVIL to the ground and just stretch him until he tapped. So far this 3rd day is really shaping up to be the best one.

Kota and Naito…well damn. We all had this penciled as the match of Round 1, and it really held up. A few twists on moves (like the Combinación Cabrón on the apron). Words won’t really do it justice. There was a ton of strikes, nice near falls for both wrestlers and that finish…Ibushi basically doing a Tiger Driver ’91 into the Bombaye was just sick. Damn impressive match.

Yano has a tendency to always get a round 1 victory…somehow. He beat Davey Boy last year by count out shenanigans and Suzuki himself doesn’t have a great record against him. So in not a great match, but an entertaining/amusing exchange, Yano edges out DBS with a roll-up.

We got more of a mixed wrestling and comedy match. Not bad for what it was, but it wasn’t a barn burner, more just cute and a little surprising since it sets up a Round 2 match between Yano and Cabana.

Two old rivals, going at it like two people with no love loss. This was a hard hitting affair, with just enough outside Suzuki-Gun stuff to remind you it was a Minoru Suzuki match. Great stuff here, very entertaining and just generally a nice watch. Not quite as balls to the wall Strong Style as Nagata/Ishii, but still damn good.

They did a great job at showcasing how even SANADA and Goto really were. Both had amazing flurries of offense and counters for one another’s signature moves. I really enjoyed the fan survey in the middle of the ring to start with, to see who was more favored.  Fans seemed to sway a little towards SANADA, but both got really good reactions.

 

Round 1 Overall Score: 6.5/10

The matches with the unproven players really did prove the talent gap between the top and bottom. So this wasn’t a bad first round of a tournament since each day’s main event made it all worth it. Day 3 was easily the best day of Round 1.

Let’s remember that this is a further expanded field than usual, so some of these guys were basically given the test drive to larger stages. I’d say everyone performed fairly well, and honestly Hikuleo’s match was the worst, but he’s also the most green of all the participants. So I’d say everyone met their expectations or exceeded them (Nakanishi, Umino and Chase Owens come to mind).

Round 2 Match Ups:

  • Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi
  • Chase Owens vs YOSHI-HASHI
  • Mikey Nicholls vs Kazuchika Okada
  • Will Ospreay vs Lance Archer
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Ryusuke Taguchi
  • Kota Ibushi vs Zack Sabre Jr
  • Colt Cabana vs Toru Yano
  • Minoru Suzuki vs SANADA

 


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/18/24)

Come together for Round 4!

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Who will lead the blocks at the end of tonight?

Four men go into the Best of the Super Junior’s fourth round at 3-0. Will any of them be able to go 4-0? Or will they all run out of luck?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Clark Connors VS Kosei Fujita; Fujita wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Dragon Dia VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Drilla wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: HAYATA VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Hayata wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS Ninja Mack; Douki wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: BUSHI VS TJP; Bushi wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Robbie Eagles; Eagles wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Titan VS Blake Christian; Blake wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Francesco Akira VS Taiji Ishimori; Akira wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: El Deperado VS Kevin Knight; Knight wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS SHO; Hiromu wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current A Block standings!

Titan: 3-0, 6 points
Blake Christian: 3-0, 6 points
El Desperado: 2-1, 4 points
Kevin Knight: 2-1, 4 points
Clark Connors: 2-1, 4 points
Kosei Fujita: 1-2, 2 points
HAYATA: 1-2, 2 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 1-2, 2 points
TJP: 0-3, 0 points
BUSHI: 0-3, 0 points

 

Here are the current B Block standings!

KUSHIDA: 3-0, 6 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-0, 6 points
SHO: 2-1, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-1, 4 points
Francesco Akira: 1-2, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-2, 2 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 1-2, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-2, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 1-2, 2 points
Dragon Dia: 0-3, 0 points

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Clark Connors VS Kosei Fujita!

100 Proof is going strong, but the Ichiban Young Punk isn’t feeling so mighty. Even so, Fujita could make a big leap up the block if he wins here. Will TMDK have a golden ticket to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships? Or will he have to drown his sorrows with No Chaser?

The bell rings and Connors runs right in! Fujita dodges, RANAS, and Connors tumbles out! The fans fire up and Fujita builds speed, but Connors steps aside. So Fujita goes to the apron and PENALTY KICKS! The fans fire up with Fujita while Connors flounders back into the ring. Fujita storms after Connors, CHOPS him, then has him in a corner. Fujita CHOPS again, then follows Connors to another corner. Fujita CHOPS again, Connors snarls, and he goes to the fourth corner. Fujita CHOPS, Connors shoves him away. Fujita runs back in but Connors TOSSES him up and out! The fans boo while Fujita flounders.

Connors goes out after Fujita, drags him up, and runs him into a POST! Connors shouts, the fans cheer, but then Connors takes a fan’s TMDK shirt! Connors CHOKES Fujita with it, then throws it at a Young Lion. Connors then storms down the aisle, comes back for Fujita, and tells fans to shut up with the booing. Connors stands Fujita up and fans move aside! Connors BOWLS Fujita into the chairs! Strike! The fans boo, Connors tells them off but the fans tell him off back. Connors says no one boos him! Nobody! Connors takes a chair, throws it down on Fujita, then does it again and again with more chairs!

The ref reprimands, Connors leaves Fujita behind, and the fans rally up for Fujita. Fujita rises as the ring count starts, but Connors paces around the outside as he waits. The count reaches 10 of 20, then 13. Connors chuckles as Fujita crawls, but then Connors shoves a Young Lion into Fujita! Connors leaves Fujita behind and we’re at 17! 18! Fujita slides in at 19! Connors is mad at the ref for the slow count! The ref defends his count was fair. Connors tells fans off, has a cocky cover on Fujita, but the ref refuses to count. Connors scrapes Fujita’s face, drags him up, and snap suplexes! Then Connors runs to JUMP ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up for Fujita but Connors is frustrated. Connors drags Fujita up, but Fujita blocks the snap suplex! The fans rally as Fujita continues to block. Connors throws body shots, but Fujita CHOPS! Connors wobbles, Fujita CHOPS again! Connors UPPERCUTS, Fujita wobbles and Connors runs, but into a LEG LARIAT! The fans fire up while both men are down! Fujita rises, waits on Connors, and then runs up to CHOP in the corner! Fujita snapmares Connors, goes up and out, and the fans rally as he takes aim. Fujita springboards back in, but into a SPEAR! Connors shakes his head, whips Fujita, and SNAP POWERSLAMS! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Fujita survives! Connors goes to a corner and takes aim. Connors barks, runs in, SPEAR!! Cover, but Connors lets off!? Connors grins and wags his finger, he wants Fujita to hurt! Connors calls out “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE! F you, punk!” Connors steps through to steal the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Fujita endures, the fans rally up, and Fujita claws his way around! But Connors drags him back! Fujita claws at the mat, powers up and has the ROPEBREAK! Connors lets go in frustration, The Sniper he is not. But Connors stomps Fujita around and drags him up. Connors reels Fujita in and calls his shot!

But Fujita fights the lift, wrenches and waistlocks, GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO!! Connors is still in this but Fujita still holds on! Connors fights the lift, throws an elbow, but Fujita CLUBS him back! Fujita runs, but Connors goes the other way! JEEP FLIPPER!! The fans boo but Connors reloads in the corner! Fujita slowly rises, Connors runs in again, SPEAR!! Cover, TWO?!?! Fujita survives and the fans are thunderous! Connors CLUBS away on Fujita, drags him up, but Fujita’s a ragdoll! The ref checks but Connors CLUBS Fujita more. But Fujita trips Connors, rolls and ties the legs up, QUEEN ANGELITO STRETCH!!

Connors endures, reaches out, scrambles forward, but Fujita gets the arms! QUEEN ANGELITO’S SURFBOARD!! Connors endures, but Fujita has the chinlock now to really pull him back! Connors TAPS, Fujita wins!!

Winner: Kosei Fujita, by submission (gains 2 points; Connors earns 0)

Connors got cocky and now he pays for it! How will he explain this one to Bullet Club? As for Fujita, The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will they be aiming for those tag titles after this tournament?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Dragon Dia VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney!

The Infinity Carat Diamond isn’t shining quite as bright as he’d hope being the bottom of this block. However, 44 Caliber hasn’t quite hit the mark, either. Will Dia be unbreakable even now? Or will he start to crack under the pressure?

The bell rings and the two stare down. The fans rally for Dia and the two circle. They tie up, and Drilla shoves Dia down! Drilla laughs and mockingly apologizes. Dia fires himself up, ties up with Drilla again, but Drilla THROWS Dia away! Drilla eggs Dia on, and Dia stands back up. Dia dodges to CHOP, CHOP and CHOP! Drilla shoves, Dia ducks ‘n’ dodges to tilt-o-whirl arm-drag! The fans fire up and Dia keeps moving. Dia tilt-o-whirls twice, DEJA VU RANAS! The fans fire up and Drilla goes out to the apron! Dia GAMANGIRIS him down, then PLANCHAS, but Drilla catches him! Drilla pops Dia around, but Dia slips free to arm-drag again!

The fans fire up while Drilla writhes on the floor. Dia catches his breath, the fans rally up, and Dia drags Drilla up. Dia puts Drilla in, the fans applaud, and Dia hurries to bring Drilla up. Drilla CHOPS back! Dia comes back to CHOP, and CHOP, and CHOP! Drilla spins to CHOP! Drilla snarls, runs, but Dia DROPKICKS him! Drilla stays up, Dia runs up to ENZIGIRI! Dia fires up, drop toeholds Drilla, then runs up, 6- NO! Drilla blocks the call, brings Dia up, but Dia slips free and DROPKICKS Drilla onto ropes! Redial, 619! Dia then slingshot CORKSCREW SPLASHES! The fans fire up as Drilla goes out, and Dia ASAI MOONSAULTS!

The fans fire up again as Dia continues to bring out the Ultimo Dragon arsenal! Dia drags Drilla up and into the ring, then aims from a corner. The fans rally, Drilla stands, and Dia runs up, roll and- NO, Drilla fights it! But Dia rains down fists, and hits REPTILIAN RANA! Cover, TWO and Drilla sunset flips! To deadlift and POWERBOMB! Flip over, and Canadian Rack! DRILLA KILLA!! Cover, Drilla wins!!!

Winner: “Drilla” Moloney, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Dia earns 0)

Perhaps Drilla learned from watching Connors fail that you don’t show mercy, you get the job done! Will 44 Caliber continue to go for the kill until he’s the Best of the Super Juniors? As for Dia, he is still at the bottom, is he about to break?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: HAYATA VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!

The Silence of Darkness and the Heel Master are near the back of the pack, both hoping to claw their way up. Will the GHC National Champion make quite the impact in the fourth round? Or will Kanemaru make things a bit hazy with his whiskey?

Oh well of course Kanemaru attacks during Hayata’s entrance! House of Torture 101 is do whatever you can to get the edge! Kanemaru then drags Hayata up to POST him! The ref reprimands and fans boo but Kanemaru stomps Hayata. Kanemaru tells the ref to leave him alone, even pushes him aside, and then he stomps Hayata. Hayata gets out of his coat but Kanemaru brings him around to SMACK off the commentary table! Kanemaru then drags Hayata by a leg, turns him over, and SMASHES the knee on the floor! Hayata writhes, Kanemaru leaves him behind, and the fans rally up. The ref checks, Hayata seems okay to continue.

Hayata gets in the ring, the bell rings, and Kanemaru is right on Hayata with a whip. Kanemaru dropkicks the leg out! Kanemaru then drags Hayata up for a SHIN BREAKER! Kanemaru drops an elbow on the leg, then traps the leg in a toehold. Hayata tries to fight back but Kanemaru cranks the knee! The fans rally as Hayata endures, crawls over, and has the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go, but then drags Hayata from ropes to YANK the bad leg! Hayata writhes, Kanemaru storms up and stomps the bad leg! Hayata grits his teeth as he sits up, but Kanemaru grabs the leg, trips Hayata, and has a standing toehold!

Hayata endures as Kanemaru twists the ankle! Hayata pushes back but Kanemaru traps the leg for a KNEE JAMMER! Kanemaru lets off to then drag Hayata from ropes, and turn him for the HALF CRAB! Hayata endures, the fans rally, but Kanemaru sits deep! The fans rally as Hayata fights his way forward, to the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru holds on until the ref counts 4. The fans boo but Kanemaru looms over Hayata. Kanemaru stomps Hayata’s leg, but Hayata rises to fire forearms! Kanemaru kicks the bad leg, then grabs it for a SHIN BREAKER! Hayata falls over and Kanemaru paces around.

Kanemaru taunts Hayata, kicks him around, slaps him around, then kicks him some more. Hayata stands to ROCK Kanemaru! And ROCK him again! Kanemaru CLAWS the eyes! Kanemaru whips but Hayata reverses to ENZIGIRI! The fans fire up and Hayata gets up. Hayata goes to a corner, runs up and SHOTGUNS Kanemaru down! Hayata slaps the bad leg into working and the fans rally up. Hayata runs in at the corner, but into a BOOT! Kanemaru runs up but Hayata dodges! Hayata BOOTS back, goes up, and reels Kanemaru in, TORNADO DDT! The fans fire up while Hayata crawls for the cover, TWO!

The fans rally behind Hayata as he drags Kanemaru up. Hayata scoops and SLAMS Kanemaru into a drop zone, then goes up the corner. Hayata manages the second-rope MOONSAULT but FLOPS as Kanemaru moves! Kanemaru dropkicks the bad leg! Kanemaru steps through, FIGURE FOUR! Hayata endures as Kanemaru thrashes and puts on the pressure! The fans rally, Hayata reaches out, and he fights to turn things, only for Kanemaru to turn it right back! Hayata endures, keeps fighting, and he turns things over! Kanemaru turns them back over but now they’re in the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru needs the ref to undo the hold?!

The ref pulls at the figure four, Kanemaru lets Hayata free, but then Kanemaru stomps Hayata. Kanemaru drags Hayata up to suplex, but Hayata slips free! But the leg jams! Kanemaru goes up, DEEP- DROPKICK! Hayata counters the flying DDT and now he brings Kanemaru up. Hayata cross the arms, STRAITJACKET DDT! Cover, TWO! The fans rally and Hayata brings Kanemaru up again. 403- NO, Kanemaru fights the DDT, trips Hayata, but Hayata cradle counters! TWO!! Hayata kicks, runs, but Kanemaru sends the ref into him! ENZIGIRI! The fans boo while both ref and Hayata go down!

Kanemaru mockingly checks on the ref, then gets his whiskey! Kanemaru takes a swig, brings Hayata up, but Hayata smothers him! Kanemaru pushes Hayata away, but then Hayata ducks the mist! Hayata waistlocks, but he blocks the mule kick! LOW BLOW!! And then 403 IMPACT!! Cover, Hayata wins!!

Winner: Hayata, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kanemaru earns 0)

The Heel Master tried to sneak one past the ref, but he ended up tasting his own medicine! Will he just have to drown his sorrows in what’s left of his whiskey? Will Hayata be able to turn things around now that he’s broke even at 2-2?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS Ninja Mack!

Japones del Mal was riding high after beating Hiromu, but Drilla drove him right back down to Earth. As for the American Shinobi, he got cheated by Sho just like anyone else. Who rebounds from last round to head back up the block?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for Douki. Mack offers a handshake, and Douki accepts. The fans cheer the sportsmanship and the two circle. They tie up, Douki powers Mack back but Mack puts Douki in the corner. The ref counts, Mack lets off, and the fans applaud. They rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” The two tie up again, go around and end up in a corner. Douki turns things around on Mack, but lets off as the ref counts. The fans rally up for Douki again, and he ties up with Mack. Mack wrenches the arm to wristlock, but Douki rolls. Mack rolls with him! Douki rolls back but Mack rolls with him again!

Douki stands, they both cartwheel, and Mack keeps the wristlock! The fans rally, Douki spins and reaches back to headlock. Douki grinds Mack down but Mack powers up and out. Things speed up, Mack hurdles but Douki leaps over! Mack kips up, whips but Douki reverses. Douki drops down but Mack handstand walks over! Then Mack handsprings back to RANA, but Douki handsprings through! Things keep moving, Douki tilt-o-whirl RANAS, but Mack handspring and flips through! The fans fire up as the two stand off! Mack and Douki reset, and Mack takes a fighting stance. He eggs Douki on, and the fans rally up for Douki!

Douki strikes a fighting stance of his own! The two circle, and Mack kicks first! Douki blocks that but then Mack blocks the uppercut! Douki SOUTHPAW HELL STABS! Then he reels Mack in for a DDT! The fans rally, Mack goes to a corner, but Douki is on him with a whip. Douki ELBOWS Mack down, covers, TWO! The fans applaud, and Douki stalks Mack. Mack fires body shots! Douki KNEES low, runs, but Mack pops Douki up to “HADOUKEN!” palm strike! Douki falls back, Mack takes aim from the corner. Mack runs up, UPPERCUTS and then sends himself up and out! The fans fire upas Mack returns to RAM into Douki!

Mack slingshots to sunset flip, but Douki rolls through. Mack reels Douki in, lifts, but Douki slips free! Mack HOOK KICKS, whips, but Douki reverses! Mack headstands in the corner then BOOTS Douki down! High stack cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! The fans rally up while Mack tells Douki to just quit already. Mack drags Douki up, winds up, but Douki ducks the buzzsaw! Douki waistlocks, Mack switches, but Douki throws elbows. Douki goes to run but Mack reels him in. Douki kicks free, but Mack ducks the enzigiri to HEEL STAB! Mack runs up but Douki BOOTS him! Douki’s on the apron, DAY- CHOP!

Mack sends Douki down and then he builds speed! The fans fire up as Mack handsprings, but into a waistlock! Douki wheelbarrows but Mack slips free to roll Douki up! TWO, into ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Mack endures and stays on his feet, but Douki pulls! Mack headstands for a cover?! TWO!! SUPERKICK!! Douki flops out of the ring, Mack fires up! The fans rally, Mack handsprings to SASUKE SPECIAL! The fans are thunderous and Mack brings Douki back up! Mack puts Douki in, covers, TWO! Mack hurries to get Douki up and reel him in. Mack lifts for the RUNNING POWERBOMB!! Cover, TWO!! Douki survives and the fans fire up again!

Mack fires up and calls for the finish! Mack goes up and NINJA- NO, Douki moves! Mack rolls through, but Douki BOOTS him! Douki goes up, Mack UPPERCUTS first! Mack goes up the corner after Douki, to SUPER STEINER that Douki sunset flips! TWO, but into ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Mack fights around, reaches out, but Douki rolls him from ropes! ITALIAN STRETCH 32!! Mack is fading, he QUITS! Douki wins!!

Winner: Douki, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Mack earns 0)

The Mack attack could not stop Douki, and now The Italian Stretch #32 has two victims! Will Mack be able to get back up? Will Douki still find his way to the top of the block?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: BUSHI VS TJP!

A critical showdown is happening right here in the middle of the card! Neither Black Mask nor Public Enemy is on the board yet with their 0-3 records, something’s gotta give! Who leaves the other behind with a daunting 0-4 start?

The fans already rally and duel, “T J P! T J P!” “BU~SHI! BU~SHI!” The bell rings, both rush in, but TJP avoids the low dropkick! TJP stomps Bushi, strips Bushi of his LIJ shirt and throws it away! TJP whips Bushi to a corner, runs in, but Bushi BOOTS him! Bushi goes up to M- DROPKICK! The fans fire up and TJP goes corner to corner, to ELBOW! TJP then stomps Bushi down, and scrapes Bushi’s, well, mask really. TJP runs side to side, but he jumps over Bushi’s dropkick! TJP whips Bushi, Bushi reverses, but TJP goes Spider-Man, only for Bushi to dropkick him down! Bushi builds speed, but TJP returns to LARIAT!

The fans fire up was Bushi tumbles out. TJP builds speed, and he WRECKS Bushi with a dropkick! The fans fire up as TJP throws the crown up. TJP brings Bushi around, and POSTS him! The fans rally again as TJP stands in the ring. TJP goes back out to fetch Bushi and put him in the ring. TJP pounds the mat, fans clap along, “T! J P! T! J P!” Bushi rises, TJP runs up, ONE BY- NO, Bushi ducks and TJP almost runs into the ref! Bushi runs up, TJP dodges, and Bushi almost runs into the ref! TJP kicks low, reels Bushi in, and uses the ref in the TORNADO DDT! Cover, but the ref goes down! TJP realizes his mistake!

TJP checks the ref, goes back for Bushi, but he smothers Bushi to contain the mist! TJP then works up a BLOOD MIST but Bushi ducks! BLACK MIST!! Bushi reels TJP in, backslide and BUSHI ROLL! BUSHI WINS!!

Winner: Bushi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; TJP earns 0)

The Public Enemy tried to make things fast and furious but it all backfired! Bushi finally has points, is there still a chance he can take the block? As for TJP, what is he supposed to do to get out of this awful slump?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Robbie Eagles!

The Timesplitter must have turned back time somehow, because he is 3-0 and doesn’t look to be slowing down! Will he be able to keep it up? Or will the Sniper of the Skies be the first major speedbump?

The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. Fans start a “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” but it’s not quite as strong as other times. Kushida and Eagles knuckle lock, then Kushida steps over to wrench and cravat. Kushida brings Eagles to his knees but Eagles fights up. Eagles wrenches Kushida’s arm, wrenches it again and top wristlocks, but Kushida endures. The fans rally, Kushida slips around to waistlock, full nelson, then he spins Eagles to arm-drag him down. Kushida wrenches the arm to a hammerlock, pulls on it, but Eagles endures. Eagles sits up, rolls around and drop toe holds to facelock. Kushida rolls free and the fans cheer.

Kushida and Eagles reset, Kushida gets a leg, and then slips to a headlock. Eagles powers up and out, Kushida runs him over! Things keep moving, Eagles hurdles but Kushida leaps then backs up, to get the legs! Kushida turns Eagles over for a SEATED SURFBOARD! Eagles endures, fights up, and he fights to turn things around. The fans rally, Eagles gets an arm free and he goes up and around to arm-drag Kushida away! Eagles then runs to CHOP BLOCK the legs out! The fans fire up while Kushida clutches a knee. Eagles grabs that leg, isolates it, SLAPS it around, then winds up to PENALTY KICK the leg!

Eagles says he scores with that kick, then he stalks Kushida to a corner. Eagles CHOPS, then follows Kushida to another corner. Eagles UPPERCUTS, stomps the bad leg, then digs his boots in! The ref counts, Eagles drops back, and Kushida goes to the apron. Eagles goes out after Kushida, SLAMS the bad leg on the apron, and the fans applaud. Eagles goes to the crowd to fire them up, then he steps back into the ring. Eagles stalks Kushida, but Kushida CHOPS! And CHOPS! And CHOPS again! Eagles kicks the bad leg! Kushida falls over, but Eagles gets the leg to step over. Eagles has a standing toehold, then SNAP LOCKS it!

Eagles ties the legs up in a FIGURE FOUR! Kushida endures, the fans rally, but Eagles keeps Kushida from ropes! Kushida rolls, Eagles rolls, and they end up in the ROPEBREAK! Eagles lets off the hold, brings Kushida up, and he puts Kushida in a corner. Eagles wrenches, whips, but Kushida barely makes it corner to corner! Eagles runs in to DOUBLE KNEE! Kushida sits down, Eagles comes back, METEORA! Eagles fires up and the fans are with him! Eagles drags Kushida to a high stack, TWO! Kushida also has the ropes, but Eagles goes up the corner. The fans rally as Eagles aims, but Kushida is up to GAMANGIRI!

Kushida shakes out the bad leg, climbs up after Eagles, but Eagles fires body shots and forearms! Eagles HEADBUTTS Kushida away! Kushida comes back to HANDSPRING KICK! Eagles falls to the apron then the floor! The fans rally up, Kushida goes to the apron and runs up, FLYING KNEE to the bad arm! Eagles hobbles away but Kushida gets him in the ring. Kushida takes aim, and he KICKS Eagles in the leg! And KICKS again! Kushida whips, Eagles reverses but Kushida handsprings to BACK ELBOW! The fans fire up as Kushida roars! Kushida goes to a corner, Eagles goes to the other. Kushida runs in, but Eagles dodges!

Eagles returns but Kushida HIP TOSSES him! Kushida handsprings to basement DROPKICK, but Eagles catches the bad leg! HEEL HOOK!! Kushida scrambles around, gets free, but Eagles keeps him from ropes! KNEEBAR!! Kushida endures again and the fans rally up! Kushida drags Eagles along, reaches out, but Eagles drags him back! Kushida basement O’Conner Rolls! Bridging cover, TWO!! Both men stand, Kushida runs up to KICK Eagles’ arm! And KICK! And KICK, but into the TURBO- NO, Kushida turns backpack into takedown! ARMBAR!! Eagles flails, fights around, rolls and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer while Kushida lets go in frustration.

The fans rally while both men are down and catching their breath. Eagles stands, but Kushida runs up to DROPKICK the bad arm! Kushida spins Eagles to ROLLING ELBOW! Eagles avoids the Penalty Kick! Kushida ducks the Roundhouse! Eagles avoids the Fastball to steal the FASTBALL! Kushida wobbles, Eagles reels him in but the bad arm holds him back. Eagles switches sides to cravat, SLICED- NO, Kushida slips free! Kushida jumps on for the HOVERBOARD!! Eagles endures, the fans fire up, and Eagles reaches out. Kushida goes after that arm now! Eagles clasps hands behind his back to stop that!

Eagles wrenches free to ROUNDHOUSE! SUPERKICK! ENZIGIRI! Kushida falls and Eagles roars! The fans fire up again and Eagles brings Kushida up. But Kushida cradle counters, then deadlifts into BACK TO THE FUTURE! But Kushida can’t hold onto the package! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Kushida vows to finish this, and he gets Eagles up. Fisherman, BACK TO THE- CRADLE! Kushida gets free, but Eagles gets around, schoolboy with bridge! TWO!! Kushida runs up, wheelbarrow, somersault then roll over! PENALTY KICK to the bad arm!! Eagles flounders around, stands, but Kushida jumps up! Into TURBO BACKPACK!!

Both men are down again and the fans rally as hard as they can! Eagles crawls to a cover, TWO!! But Eagles ties up the legs! Kushida kicks free, Eagles SUPERKICKS back! Eagles runs up, TRIGGER!! Cover, EAGLES WINS!

Winner: Robbie Eagles, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Kushida earns 0)

Eagles pulled The Trigger and he shot down the former SIX-TIME Junior Heavyweight Champion! Will the Soul of PWA Champion soon prove he’s the Best of the Super Juniors?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: Titan VS Blake Christian!

It’s another critical showdown as El Inmortal and All Heat are both undefeated at 3-0! Titan wants to return to the finals and take that trophy, can he get through the GCW Champion to stay on course?

The bell rings and the two circle. Titan runs up, Blake dodges then whips. Titan goes up and over, handsprings away, and the fans fire up. Titan comes back, Blake slips out to the apron then flips away. Titan WRECKS Blake with a dropkick, builds speed, but Blake slides in as Titan rolls and flips up and out! Blake comes back to FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and the fans fire up! Blake brings Titan up, wrenches, then he wraps the arm around the post! The ref reprimands and counts, Blake lets off at 4, and the fans boo. Blake brings Titan up, puts him in, and he mockingly calls “Titan~” like the fans.

Blake HIP DROPS Titan, traps one arm, then stands on the bad one! Blake hushes the fans, so they can hear the SNAP! The fans boo while Blake mocks Titan’s pain. Blake brings Titan around into a keylock and he pulls on the arm! Titan scrambles forward to the ROPEBREAK! Blake SLAMS the arm down as he lets off! The fans boo but Blake flexes. Blake stands Titan up but Titan CHOPS! Titan fires forearms but Blake ROCKS him back! Blake snarls and he whips Titan to ropes. Titan reverses to TORNADO DDT, but Blake handsprings through! Titan is rather impressed! Titan runs up, but into a wheelbarrow, somersault and KNEE DROP on the bad arm!

Blake waits on Titan to rise up, then he builds speed, but Titan goes Matrix! Titan CALF KICKS back and the fans fire up! Titan runs up, but Blake puts him on the apron! Titan blocks a punch to GAMANGIRI! Titan springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK! Blake tumbles out, the fans fire up and Titan builds speed, to FLY! Direct hit and down goes Blake! The fans fire up and Titan rises! The ring count starts, Titan shakes out the bad arm and stalks Blake. Titan KICKS Blake at 10 of 20, drags him up and puts him in at 14, and the fans applaud. Titan pushes Blake to a cover, TWO! Titan keeps cool and the fans rally up.

Blake sits up, Titan CHOPS him! Blake CHOPS back! Titan CHOPS again, so Blake CHOPS again! They stand, and Titan CHOPS! Blake fires a forearm, then another, then another! Blake fires a flurry, winds up, but Titan kicks, kicks, SOBATS and SUPERKICKS! Blake ends up in a corner, and Titan runs in, but Blake BOOTS him! Blake somersaults to NECKBREAKER! Titan kips right up to PELE! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Titan rolls his way to a corner and the fans rally as he climbs. Titan aims but Blake avoids the double stomps! Blake RAMS Titan into the corner! Blake RAMS Titan in again and again, then YANKS the and arm!

Blake goes corner to corner, but Titan BOOTS him! And SOBATS! KICKS! Palm strikes and WHEEL KICK! The fans fire up, Titan roars, and Titan skins the cat to the top rope! DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Blake writhes, Titan pushes him to a cover, TWO!! The coup de grace wasn’t enough but the fans rally up behind Titan. Titan roars, drags Blake around, but Blake hooks him for a cradle! TWO! SCREW HIGH KICK! The fans rally again, Blake mocks Titan’s pose. Blake whips, Titan reverses, TORNADO DDT! And it hits this time! Titan wants Blake to get up, and Blake goes to a corner. The fans rally for Titan as he runs in, LOCO- JUMP KICK from Blake!!

Blake goes to the apron, springboards in, 450 SPLASH!! Cover, BLAKE WINS!

Winner: Blake Christian, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Titan earns 0)

Even the GCW Champion is a little surprised, but he says it is his time now! Is that true with him as the first to reach 4-0? Or will this one loss motivate Titan to fight that much harder to win the rest?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Francesco Akira VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Nova Fireball’s flame is flickering, but The Bone Soldier has been shooting down everyone in his way so far. Can Akira reignite and rise to the occasion? Or will B Block see #ItsReborn?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” as the two circle. Akira and Taiji tie up, Taiji headlocks and he grinds the hold. Akira fights up, powers up and out, but Taiji runs him over. Taiji runs, Akira drops down, hurdles, but then Taiji hurdle and drops down. But Akira RANAS Taiji out! The fans fire up and Akira builds speed, slides, but Taiji ducks under! Taiji scoops, Akira slips free and shoves Taiji! Taiji stops from hitting post, then dodges Akira. Akira stops from hitting the post, but then Taiji pokes him in the eyes! The ref reprimands but Taiji whips and POSTS Akira! Taiji then grabs bell hammer and a chair!

The fans boo but Taiji only has the hammer as the ref reprimands him. Taiji throws the hammer into the ring, the ref goes after it, and Taiji grabs the chair! Taiji runs up to JAM Akira in the head! Then Taiji SMACKS Akira on the back! Taiji soaks up the cheers and jeers, then leaves Akira behind. The ref checks on Akira, and Taiji unties the blue buckle pad! The Bullet Club Special is in play as Akira scrambles into the ring. Taiji is on Akira with a wrench, ELBOW BREAKER, and snapmare. Taiji steps over to hammerlock the arm, then cradles Akira into the ARMBAR! Akira endures, flails, reaches out, ROPEBREAK!

The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Taiji lets go at 4. Akira shakes out the bad arm, the fans boo but Taiji tells the fans to shut up. Taiji stomps Akira to a corner, wraps the bad arm around ropes, but the ref counts. Taiji lets go at 4, CLUBS Akira on the neck, then whips him corner to corner. Taiji runs in but blocks boots to put Akira in the ropes. ENZIGIRI, then SLIDING- FLYING CUTTER! Akira gets Taiji first and the fans rally up again. “A! KI RA!” rises but Taiji claws the eyes! Taiji whips, Akira reverses to wrench, straitjacket, and NECKBREAKER! Akira runs to basement dropkick! Taiji bails out and the fans fire up!

Akira aims to PLANCHA! Down goes Taiji and the fans fire up with Akira! Akira puts Taiji in, goes up a corner, and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Taiji is still in this but the fans still rally behind “A! KI RA!” Akira shakes out the bad arm, drags Taiji up, SPEED- NO, Taiji blocks the twist! Akira cravats to throw knees in, then tries again. But Taiji wrenches out to WRING the bad arm! Taiji scowls while he stalks Akira. Taiji drags Akira up, whips him to ropes, but Akira reverse. Taiji handsprings to NEURALIZER KICK! Both men are down and the fans fire back up. Taiji checks his head and neck, then goes back for Akira.

Taiji drags Akira up, and then POSTS him in the open corner! The ref reprimands, but Taiji hammerlocks and scoops to SHOULDER BUSTER! Akira writhes and Taiji drops back to the corner. Akira slowly rises as the fans rally up again. Taiji runs in to tilt-o-whirl, but Akira fights off La Mystica! Akira powers up to ROCK Taiji! Taiji ROCKS Akira! Akira shouts and ROCKS Taiji! Taiji shakes it off to ROCK Akira! The forearms go back and forth, then Taiji LARIATS! Akira stays up, Taiji runs, but Akira dodges. Taiji dodges but runs into the COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO! Taiji is still in this but Akira goes to a corner.

The fans fire up as Akira pounds the mat. “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” Akira powers up, runs in, but Taiji ducks the Fireball! LA MYSTICA! BONE LOCK!!! Akira endures but Taiji pushes on that bad arm! Akira reaches out, claws his way over, but Taiji rolls him away from ropes! Akira rolls to a cradle, TWO!! Akira stands, Taiji scoops him into CIPHER- NO, Akira sits on the clutch! TWO!! JUMP KNEE! Taiji roars, BANG, and he reels Akira back in. BLOODY- CRADLE COUNTER! TWO!!! Taiji escapes, Akira SUPERKICKS! Taiji wobbles, Akira knuckle locks to go up and up and TORNADO DDT! Taiji staggers around, into the FIREBALL!! Cover, Akira wins!!

Winner: Francesco Akira, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Taiji earns 0)

Akira is all fired up now as he just took down one of the top guys in this block, if not the entire Junior Heavyweight Division! Is this a sign that Akira can become the Best of the Super Juniors? Will Taiji be able to reload after this loss to still keep a top spot in the tournament?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: El Deperado VS Kevin Knight!

The Rogue Luchador and The Jet are both just outside the top spots, but now the way is open! Will Desperado ground Knight’s flight? Or will Knight be just too fly to stop him now?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for “DE-SU-PE!” as he and Knight stare down. The two circle, feel things out, and then tie up. Desperado wrenches, wristlocks, but Knight rolls and wrenches through. Knight wristlocks, Despe reaches back to cording hold then wrench. Despe whips, Knight reverses and hip tosses! The fans cheer as Knight says he is tsuyoi! Despe gets up, Knight kicks him low. Knight whips, Despe reverses but Knight goes up and over! Despe trips Knight and goes for the leg! STRETCH MUFFLER! Knight scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! Despe thrashes the leg all the same! Red Shoes counts, Despe lets off at 4.

Despe grabs Knight’s leg again, drags him back, but Knight stands up. Despe ducks the enzigiri, flips Knight, but Knight lands out! Knight ducks ‘n’ dodges to rally with big forearms! Knight then scoops to SLAM Despe, and JUMP SPLASH! Knight flexes, covers, TWO! The fans rally while Despe goes to a corner. Knight runs in to clothesline! Despe shoves Knight, ROCKS him with a palm strike, then another, then another! Knight UPPERCUTS back! Despe boots, Knight blocks, but Despe boots him away. Despe goes up but Knight ROCKS him! Depse ROCKS Knight back! Knight leaps to UPPER- NO, Despe stops it!

Despe then has the leg for a HANGING HALF CRAB! Red Shoes reprimands and counts! Despe lets Knight go, then hops down. Despe SPLASHES the bad leg! The fans rally, Despe drags Knight to the corner, and he SLAMS the leg into the post! Knight flops to the floor while the fans are torn, but Despe shrugs it off. Despe stands on the bad leg, then he SMASHES it on the floor! Knight flounders away and clutches the knee. Red Shoes wants this in the ring, and Knight hops in, but Despe follows after. Despe grabs Knight’s leg, steps over, and drops a leg on the knee! Knight writhes, but Despe hooks him up into an INDIAN DEATHLOCK!

Knight endures, Despe sits up and he pushes on the knees. Knight keeps his shoulders up, and he CHOPS! Despe eggs him on, Knight CHOPS more! Knight CHOPS, Despe “falls” and that puts more pressure on the legs! Knight reaches out, Despe mocks the “KE-VI-NN!” chants, but Knight fights to the ROPEBREAK! Despe undoes the leglock, then “Oops!” he falls on the bad leg! Red Shoes reprimands Despe’s usual tricks, but he brings Knight up. Knight throws body shots but Despe eggs him on. Knight throws a forearm, so Despe kicks the leg out! Despe whips corner to corner but Knight barely makes it halfway!

Despe storms up, but he avoids Knight’s dropkick! Despe gets the legs again and rolls into a STRETCH MUFFLER! Knight endures, reaches out, and he rolls free! Despe staggers up, into a DROPKICK! The fans cheer but that was a bit double-edged given Knight’s bad leg. The fans rally, Knight hobbles to a corner, and manages to run! Knight rallies with LARIAT after LARIAT, then whips. Despe reverses, Knight stops himself, and then Knight DUMPS Despe out! Knight manages to PLANCHA! Direct hit and the fans fire up! Knight says he’s still tsuyoi, and he puts Despe in. The fans rally up and Knight takes aim from the apron.

Knight shakes out the bad leg, steps inside to go up the corner. FLYING LARIAT! Knight still hobbles on the bad leg, but he brings Despe up to fireman’s carry! F5!! Cover, TWO!! Despe stays in this, Beast Incarnate, Knight is not. Knight still aims at Despe as he stands, SATELLITE- NO, Despe denies the DDT! Knight rolls under the lariat, PELE, but into an ANKLE LOCK! Roll and STRETCH MUFFLER!! NUMERO DOS!! Knight reaches out, but Despe THRASHES him! Despe drags Knight away from ropes, but Knight still fights with that one free arm! ROPEBREAK!! Despe lets Knight go, and the fans rally up.

Despe stomps the bad arm, reels him in, and underhooks! PINCHE- NO, Knight fights free! Knight leaps, but Despe still holds off the satellite! Despe GOURD BUSTERS, then runs up, but Knight wrenches! EDGE-O-MATIC! Both men are down and the fans fire up! The fans rally and duel as Knight forces himself to stand. Knight goes to Despe, Despe throws body shots. Knight ROCKS Despe and Despe goes to ropes. Knight eggs Despe on, but Despe gets pissed! Despe ROCKS Knight again and again! Knight fires up and DECKS Despe! The fans fire up and Knight drags Despe up. Despe KICKS the bad leg! And then runs to CHOP BLOCK!!

Knight flounders, Despe gets the leg, STRETCH MUFFLER! Knight rolls to a cradle, TWO!! Despe rises, ducks the leg lariat! Knight ducks the regular lariat! Knight puts Despe up top to PELE! Knight fires up and adrenaline helps him climb! Knight drags Despe up but Despe fights the superplex! Despe CLUBS the bad leg, then he shoves Knight down! Knight rolls back, runs up, UPPER ROOM!! The fans fire up with Knight and he aims from the corner! Knight runs to JUMPING DOUBLE STOMP!!! Cover, TWO!!! Despe survives but Knight roars! Despe slowly rises, Knight runs up, SATELLITE DDT!!! Cover, KNIGHT WINS!!!

Winner: Kevin Knight, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Desperado earns 0)

Truly tsuyoi!! The Jet revved his engines and he flew right over Desperado! Knight is now right behind Blake Christian and Titan, will he be flying past one of them, too? Will Desperado be able to rebound and be ready for All Heat in the next round?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS SHO!

The Ticking Timebomb only just got on the board last round against “Ryusuke Taguchi,” even though it was really Dragon Dia. But facing The Murder Machine could be his best bet back to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Will Hiromu be ready for every trick in the book? Or will Sho show us something even more dastardly than ever before?

Wait, wait, wait. What is Sho doing with Hiromu’s framed headshot? And Sho gets the mic to say good evening. It his unfortunate duty to inform everyone that Hiromu could not be here tonight. He has a written statement for Abe-san to read. The fans boo this farce, and Sho intimidates Abe into reading it! The letter is supposedly written by Hiromu himself, apologizing to everyone here tonight that he is unable to compete against “the glorious champion, Sho.” Hiromu doesn’t want to “shame the people of Hachioji by losing to Sho.” Therefore, he cannot wrestle and must forfeit this match. Sho then says this is the truth, Hiromu gave him the letter himself.

Sho says that tonight’s main event will not happen, but the fans chant for “HI-RO-MU! HI-RO-MU!” Sho says yes, he was so looking forward to this tonight. He leads the chant in support of Hiromu, and he “hopes” Hiromu will be alright for next round. Hiromu knows how the fans feel, but Sho will send us home happy with a closing word. The Best of the Super Juniors will have more, more, more, more, more, more fun with everyone~!! Wait, Hiromu’s music plays? Is this more Sho’s sarcasm? Red Shoes won’t raise Sho’s hand in victory because he doesn’t believe this for a moment! Wait, Hiromu IS here, all tied up like Ninja Mack was last round!

Hiromu still gets in the ring and he SHOTGUNS Sho down! Hiromu tells Red Shoes that they can get this going! Hiromu CHOKES Sho with the cuffs Sho put on him! The bell rings, Red Shoes reprimands about the choking, so Hiromu lets off. Hiromu stands Sho up but Sho kicks and whips. Hiromu ducks ‘n’ dodges and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO! Wait, from the look of it, Hiromu has doodles all over his face! The House of Torture was adding insult to injury apparently. Hiromu kicks Sho out of the ring, then he goes to the apron. Hiromu aims and FLYING SHOTGUNS but into a Young Lion!!

Sho uses Shoma Kato as a shield, then he stomps away on Hiromu! The fans boo, Sho just grins and brings Hiromu up. Sho brings Hiromu along by the cuffs, goes to the back segment of the crowd, and he BOWLS Hiromu into a chair. That’s weak, but then Sho takes a fan’s sign and throws it aside. Sho stomps Hiromu, stalks Hiromu with a chair, but Red Shoes reprimands. Sho puts the chair down, and he pulls on the cuffs to torture Hiromu’s hands! Red Shoes reprimands, Sho lets off, and then Sho leaves Hiromu behind for the ring count. The fans boo Sho, the count begins, and the fans rally up for Hiromu.

Hiromu runs in at 5 of 20 but Sho stomps him! Sho TOSSES Hiromu out, goes after him, and grabs the bell hammer! Red Shoes says no, so Sho throws that away. So then he gets as chair to SMACK Hiromu with! Red Shoes reprimands and Sho “apologizes.” Sho drags Hiromu up, scoops him and POSTS him! Sho then SLAMS Hiromu on the floor! The fans boo more but Sho just grins. Sho leaves Hiromu behind while Red Shoes calls for a key. Sho says he doesn’t know where the key to those went, oh well. A Young Lion hurries backstage to search, but Sho gloats like he’s won anyway. The fans boo and Hiromu storms back to the ring.

Sho hurries out after Hiromu so Hiromu leads him on a high speed chase through the crowd! Sho as the corrupt cop chases the noble hero criminal, all to give the Young Lion more time to find that key! The ring count starts, Hiromu stays away since his hands are still bound. But we’re past 10 of 20, Hiromu has to risk it! Hiromu watches Sho closely, then slides in. But Sho kicks low and CLUBS Hiromu down! Sho drags Hiromu up, THROWS him back out, and then goes out after him. Sho grabs his title belt, takes aim, but Red Shoes reprimands. Sho throws the belt aside, goes looking for a chair, but the key is here!

Sho SMACKS Hiromu again! Sho puts Hiromu in, but wait, was that not the right key? The Young Lions have to go looking again! Sho scoops and SLAMS Hiromu! Sho then gets the legs, and he turns Hiromu for the BOSTON CRAB! Sho wants to humiliate Hiromu with a Young Lion level hold! Hiromu endures, fights forward, but Sho drags him back! Sho sits deep on the hold, but Hiromu endures! The Young Lions return, still no luck!! The fans can’t believe it, but the Young Lions search a third time! Hiromu still fights to the ROPEBREAK! Sho lets go but he’s having fun messing with Hiromu now. Sho taunts the fans but they boo.

Sho kicks Hiromu around, taunts him, but Hiromu CLUBS him! Sho says that’s not fair, he used the cuffs as weapons! Red Shoes says Sho’s the one who gave Hiromu the cuffs! Sho avoids Hiromu but Hiromu CLUBS him again! Red Shoes ignores what’s going on, and the fans cheer that justice! Sho CLAWS Hiromu’s eyes, then runs, but Hiromu blows past him to RANA! The fans fire up because Hiromu can still use his legs! Sho bails out, Hiromu has a reprieve, and referee Kevin Sato is here with the key! So Sho gets in his way! The fans boo but Hiromu FLYING SHOTGUNS Sho! And finally, FREEDOM~!

The fans fire up as Hiromu can finally get his hands on Sho! Hiromu winds up but Sho goes scrambling away! Hiromu runs up, drags Sho up and throws him in! Hiromu drags Sho up to whip him to a corner and clothesline! Snapmare and basement dropkick! The fans fire up and Hiromu drags Sho up to reel him in. FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO! Hiromu throws off the shirt House of Torture doodled all over, and he drags Sho up. Hiromu fireman’s carries to CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Oh wait, the House of Torture drew poo on Hiromu’s back. He probably doesn’t even know! But Hiromu fireman’s carries again, only for Sho to bend fingers!

Rede Shoes reprimands but Hiromu kicks, KICKS and whips. Sho reverses, Hiromu stops himself and BOOTS back! Then HANGING HEADSCISSORS! Sho grabs at Red Shoes, and YUJIRO is here! Tokyo Pimp attacks Hiromu and drags him down! REVERSE DDT to the floor! Yujiro puts Hiromu in for Sho, Sho drags Hiromu to a cover, but Red Shoes refuses because of how Sho mistreated him! Sho is furious but Yujiro gets on the apron to argue with him. Sho gets the Torture Tool! Sho aims, swings, but Hiromu ducks! Hiromu snatches the wrench, then throws it back to frame Sho! The fans cheer and Sho defends his innocence on this specific moment!

Red Shoes still confiscates the wrench, Hiromu runs, but then Red Shoes is used as a shield! LOW BLOW!! And then Hiromu is shoved into Red Shoes! Sho and Yujiro then stomp away on Hiromu! The fans boo but this is the House of Torture for you. They double whip Hiromu, then Yujiro BOOTS! Sho runs up to clothesline! Sho snapmares Hiromu then sets him up for the FALLING HEADBUTT LOW BLOW! Sho covers and Red Shoes is back to count, TWO!! Hiromu survives and the fans are thunderous! But Sho vows to end it now. The fans rally for “HI-RO-MU! HI-RO-MU!” but Sho stalks him. Sho brings Hiromu up and in, STRAITJACKET PILEDRIVER!! Cover, TWO?!?

The fans fire up and Sho is furious! Sho aims his bow and he drags Hiromu back up. Sho double pump handles, but Hiromu fights Shock Arrow! So Sho suplexes! Hiromu slips free to SUPERKICK! Sho wobbles, the fans rally up, and Hiromu grits his teeth. Sho flounders around, comes back, but Hiromu catches him into TRIANGLE D! Sho endures, pops free, and he BITES Hiromu’s thigh!! At least we hope that’s the thigh! Red Shoes reprimands, and Hiromu spits out the fabric from Hiromu’s shorts! Sho grabs Hiromu’s legs, holds him open, and even pushes Red Shoes aside! But Hiromu kicks Sho’s legs out first! And then TRIANGLE D!!

Sho flails inside the hold and the fans rally! Sho fights to stack Hiromu, then deadlifts him! POWERBOMB! But Hiromu holds on!! Sho flails, but he’s fading! Hiromu pulls on the arm as hard as he can! Red Shoes checks, Sho fights up and stacks Hiromu again! Sho deadlifts for a BUCKLE BOMB! Both men are down and the fans rally up again. Hiromu and Sho rise, Sho runs, but into a SUPERKICK! Hiromu runs, Sho ducks the lariat then runs, but into the HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu roars and drags Sho up! Fireman’s carry, but Sho CLAWS eyes! Yujiro distracts Red Shoes, and Sho LOW- NO! Hiromu stops that to LOW BLOW Sho!!!

The fans cheer the poetic justice, and then Hiromu fireman’s carries Sho, to RAM him into Yujiro! Then VICTORY ROYALE!! Cover, TWO!! Sho survives but the fans fire up behind Hiromu again! Hiromu waits on Sho to rise, then runs in to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu isn’t done there, he hauls Sho up to OG TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Yujiro YANKS Red Shoes out!! The fans boo as the Tokyo Pimp has to get involved again! Yujiro stomps Hiromu, but here comes Bushi! Yujiro kicks Bushi, fires forearms, then runs, but Bushi TOSSES Yujiro right out! Bushi builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and down goes Yujiro!

The fans fire up as LIJ supports LIJ! HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! And then inverted suplex, TIMEBOMB MK II!!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Sho earns 0)

Justice, true justice, has been served! The villainous Murder Machine loses in the main event he tried to steal, will he finally learn that crime doesn’t pay?

As for Hiromu, he gets a mic and he tells Sho to hold on. Hiromu has to admit, Sho really is amazing. Hiromu ought to commend Sho. AS IF! Sho should apologize to the great people of Hachioji and to all of Japan, the stupid moron! The fans cheer that! And then apparently, Hiromu winning the main event also won him a year’s supply of original Hachioji ramen? And to present the certificate is the owner of SUPER ALPS, Nobuhisa Shiozawa. The fans cheer this great honor for both of them, especially for a Hachioji native like Hiromu. Wait, would Sho have still been given this had he won? Well, all’s well that ends well.

Hiromu and Shiozawa-san have their photo op, and then Hiromu puts his prize aside so he can get back on the mic. The fans chant for “HI-RO-MU! HI-RO-MU!” Hiromu then tells everyone, “I’m home.” The fans cheer with an “Okairi! <Welcome home!>” Hiromu does apologize that it had to be Sho for this match. But Hiromu does want to talk to Bushi. They’re in different blocks, meaning they could end up opponents down the line. Even so, Bushi helped Hiromu out here, and he thanks Bushi for that. The fans applaud that, too! Hiromu then says, “See you in the semifinals, or even the finals!”

Hiromu thanks everyone for coming tonight. He’s still bummed to see empty seats. This building can fit about 5 THOUSAND, it’s that big. The other day, he was in Niigata, went out for a late dinner, and there was a guy at the restaurant who was a fan. “Oh, it’s Hiromu!” All excited to see him and stuff. Hiromu was flattered, glad to chat. Hiromu asked the fan how the show was tonight, and the guy went, “Huh? There was a show tonight?” A funny story, but it also bummed Hiromu out. NJPW needs to promote better. When NJPW goes to all these different places, even the wrestlers try to promote a little.

And this was a guy who watches World Pro-Wrestling TV weekly! Even then, he didn’t know NJPW was in town! It’s not funny, it’s a real problem and NJPW is working to fix it. But it’s also on the wrestlers to promote the shows more. They gotta hit TV, radio, newspapers, everywhere! Plaster the towns with posters! Advertise anywhere and everywhere! The fans applaud that. Hiromu knows Hachioji is a big city, but he also knows there are a lot of people here who love pro-wrestling. But many still miss out on live shows. If they knew, how many do you think would be in here? And Hiromu knows it’d be a whole lot of fun! The fans cheer that!

“That’s why, wherever we go, big or small, we have to reach each and every person. It’s on each and every wrestler to do so. With that kind of promotion, we can let every fan know that wrestling’s in town and pack the house.” The fans cheer in support of that! Hiromu says they haven’t gone as far as they can yet. They can fill up the seats in here! It’s what he wants! This is Best of the Super Juniors, and the finals are gonna main event Osaka-Jo Hall! And of course it’s gotta be Hiromu in that ring, in that spotlight! Hiromu vows to win BOSJ 31! And then he’ll return here next year as the champion! The fans love the sound of that!

Hiromu wants everyone here to remember his words. “Get excited for the next time we’re in town.” And of course, in this BOSJ, they have to have more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, more, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE, MORE… FUN TOGETHER~! Hiromu is not just aiming for the trophy and the championship, he wants NJPW to have it all! But will he be able to have it all himself as the rounds keep on coming?

 

Here are the NEW A Block standings!

Blake Christian: 4-0, 8 points
Titan: 3-1, 6 points
Kevin Knight: 3-1, 6 points
El Desperado: 2-2, 4 points
Kosei Fujita: 2-2, 4 points
Clark Connors: 2-2, 4 points
HAYATA: 2-2, 4 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 1-3, 2 points
BUSHI: 1-3, 2 points
TJP: 0-4, 0 points

 

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

KUSHIDA: 3-1, 6 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-1, 6 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 2-2, 4 points
SHO: 2-2, 4 points
Francesco Akira: 2-2, 4 points
Robbie Eagles: 2-2, 4 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 2-2, 4 points
DOUKI: 2-2, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-2, 4 points
Dragon Dia: 0-4, 0 points


My Thoughts:

Another great round for NJPW here with both blocks going in one night. And great news that of all the matches heading towards Dominion, it will be the BOSJ 31 finals that take the main event. I suppose that means Moxley VS Evil will be second to last, with all the usual antics certainly keeping it from being just a real good match. But that aside, the standings took quite a shift here, with Kushida and Taiji both taking their first losses, right as they’re about to face off in Round 5. Knight getting that comeback win on Desperado was great stuff, and Blake Christian coming out as the ONLY 4-0 is some great stuff.

Bushi getting the win over TJP definitely adds to TJP’s crisis of confidence angle, and I suppose Dia losing again shouldn’t be too shocking given Drilla can’t let someone else get a golden ticket off him. Fujita getting one off Connors is great, though, and with Eagles having already beat Drilla, maybe we get Fujita & Eagles VS Connors & Drilla at Dominion, as I don’t see three-fourths of that making the semifinals. And it’d be pretty cool if TMDK got in on feuding with Bullet Club War Dogs as War Dogs transition away from other feuds.

Hiromu VS Sho was really good stuff, especially with these apparent “arrest” antics. Great win for Hiromu, and great promo from him, as well. Hiromu obviously wants Junior Heavyweight wrestling to come into its own, but he also wants NJPW to get back up to where it was before Pandemic. The lack of advertising and promoting was a rather quiet problem as far as an American fan like myself could tell, so I commend on Hiromu bringing that real conversation up and charging his fellow wrestlers and the company with fixing it, not just leaving it up to fans.

My Score: 9/10


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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/16/24)

B Block, round 3!

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It’s a shootout in the main event!

Best of the Super Juniors Round 3 continues as now B Block takes its turn! But will Robbie Eagles outdraw Taiji Ishimori? Or will The Sniper of the Skies be shooting blanks?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Six Man Tag: El Desperado, Katsuya Murashima & Boltin Oleg VS Kevin Knight, Tiger Mask & Shoma Kato;  Desperado, Murashima & Oleg win.
  • HAYATA & Tomoaki Honma VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Yujiro Takahashi; Kanemaru & Takahashi win.
  • Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS TJP, Callum Newman & Blake Christian; LIJ wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Franceso Akira; Kushida wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney; Drilla wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Ninja Mack VS SHO; Sho wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Dia; Hiromu wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori; Taiji wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current B Block standings!

Ninja Mack: 2-0, 4 points
Taiji Ishimori: 2-0, 4 points
KUSHIDA: 2-0, 4 points
SHO: 1-1, 2 points
Francesco Akira: 1-1, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-1, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-1, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 0-2, 0 points
Dragon Dia: 0-2, 0 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 0-2, 0 points

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: KUSHIDA VS Franceso Akira!

The Timesplitter is approaching 88 miles per hour, and is looking to turn back time to when he was the Ace of the Juniors! However, the Nova Fireball is looking to turn up the heat! Will Kushida or Akira be the one to blaze a trail to the top of the block?

Akira gets in Kushida’s face, Kushida shoves him back, and the ref has them both back off. The bell rings and Akira runs in! Kushida dodges to kick and headlock, but Akira powers out. Kushida runs Akira over, things speed up, and Akira hurdles. Kushida shoves, Akira wheelbarrows and arm-drags! Then Akira CALF KICKS Kushida down! The fans cheer and join in on “A! KI RA!” Akira CHOPS then CLUBS Kushida, but Kushida kicks back. Akira CHOPS, whips but Kushida reverses. Kushida runs in but Akira goes up and gets Kushida for the- NO, Kushida fights out of the Tarantula and brings Akira down to the apron! Kushida YANKS Akira into the post!

The fans rally while Akira shakes out the bad arm. Kushida gets Akira up and scoops to SLAM him on the floor! Kushida leaves Akira behind and the fans rally up more. The ring count starts, Akira stands and slides in at 4 of 20, only for Kushida to TOSS him right back out. Kushida goes out after Akira to scoop and SLAM him again! The fans applaud while Kushida gets Akira up and into the ring. Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! A third cover, TWO! The fans rally while Kushida looms over Akira. Kushida wrenches the arm, CLUBS the arm, then wrangles Akira with a top wristlock. Kushida isolates the arm, to STOMP it!

Akira writhes, goes to a corner, but Kushida is after him. Akira fires a forearm! And fires another! But Kushida wrenches the bad arm and wrangles Akira again! Kushida stands on Akira’s head to twist the arm and hammerlock it, to then TWIST it! Akira flounders away but Kushida is after the legs! Kushida turns Akira over to a SEATED SURFBOARD! Akira fights, Kushida slaps him on the back to get at the arms! Kushida pulls Akira back, but Akira fights to turn things over! They roll and into the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Kushida lets off. Kushida drags Akira up, wrenches and wristlocks, then cravats to snapmare.

Kushida scrapes his soles off Akira’s face, then handsprings to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! The fans rally up while Akira slowly rises. Kushida brings Akira up, wrenches the arm, but Akira shoves him away. Kushida comes back, Akira ducks ‘n’ dodges to RANA! The fans fire up while Kushida bails out, and Akira aims. Akira slingshot, but Kushida slides back in! Akira lands on the apron, only for Kushida to KICK a leg! Kushida runs, but into a SLINGSHOT CUTTER! Both men are down and the fans rally up. Akira and Kushida rise, and Kushida goes after Akira. Akira fires forearms but Kushida knees low.

Kushida whips, Akira reverses, but Kushida ducks the enzigiri! Akira slides Kushida, Kushida slides under Akira! Kushida flips Akira to get the KIMURA! Akira gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX! Both men are down again and the fans fire up! Akira and Kushida go to corners, the fans rally for “A! KI RA! A! KI RA!” Akira runs in to clothesline! Then he comes back to UPPERCUT! Akira snapmares Kushida, goes to the apron, “IKU ZO!” The fans fire up and Akira climbs, but Kushida GAMANGIRIS the arm! Kushida then goes up after Akira but Akira fires forearms! Kushida drops back, Akira adjusts and CROSSBODIES! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up while both men are down. Akira shakes out the bad arm, stalks behind Kushida and half nelsons, but the bad arm won’t let him full nelson! Kushida KICKS Akira in the leg! Then KICKS again! Kushida whips, Akira reverses, Kushida handsprings, but Akira DROPKICKS Kushida! Kushida bails out, Akira PLANCHAS, but into a FUJIWARA! The ref reprimands, Akira fights up, but Kushida hits an ARMBAR BULLDOG to the floor! Akira writhes and clutches his elbow, and the ring count starts. Both men are down at 5 of 20, but Kushida stands at 10. Kushida flounders at the apron, falls back, and we’re at 15!

Kushida springs up to slide in at 17! Akira staggers around, but he slides in at 19! PENALTY KICK! Kushida leaps, but Akira rolls him up! TWO, but Akira drop toeholds! Akira steps over, Kushida slips out to LA MAGISTROL, but Akira pushes it back to a cradle! TWO!! Akira goes to a corner, Kushida runs in, but into the TARANTULA!! The ref counts, Akira lets go at 4, but he fires back up! The fans rally, Akira BUZZSAWS! Akira roars and the fans fire up! Akira gets Kushida up, SPEED FIRE!! Cover, TWO!! Kushida survives and the fans fire back up. Akira goes to a corner, pounds the mat, “A! KI RA!”

Akira aims as Kushida slowly rises. Akira runs up, but Kushida ducks the Fireball! SHOTEI!! Kushida snarls while Akira flounders away. Akira goes to a corner, Kushida runs up, but Akira blocks the Shotei! Akira CLUBS the arm, but Kushida ROCKS him right back! Akira fires forearms in return! Akira then cravats for KNEE after KNEE! Kushida KICKS the bad arm! Akira SUPERKICKS! Akira dodges the fastball to HALF ‘N’ HALF! Akira roars, runs, but has to duck the fastball! COLLISION COURSE! Cover, TWO! Kushida’s still in this but Akira fires back up! Akira puts Kushida up top, CHOPS him, then climbs.

Akira brings Kushida up but Kushida fights the armlock! Kushida throws elbows, but Akira CHOPS! Akira fires forearms but Kushida wrenches his arm! ELBOW BREAKER! Akira drops down to the apron, but he SUPERKICKS back! Akira fires up again, the fans are with him, and Akira goes back up! But Kushida has a KIMURA!! HOVERBOARD ARM-DRAG!!! Akira endures as Kushida has him caught!! Akira reaches, Kushida rolls him from ropes, and cranks the hold! Akira taps, Kushida wins!!

Winner: Kushida, by submission (gains 2 points; Akira earns 0)

The Timesplitter extinguishes the Nova Fireball and continues to 3-0! Will nothing stop Kushida until he’s the Best of the Super Juniors? Can Akira reignite before it’s too late?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: DOUKI VS “Drilla” Dan Moloney!

Japones del Mal came away with a big shocker last round when he took down Hiromu in the main event! But is that one win enough to propel him to the top of the block? Or will 44 Caliber shoot Douki right back down to the bottom?

The bell rings and the fans rally up for Douki. Drilla gets annoyed by that, especially as the fans start to chant “DOUKI! DOUKI!” The two tie up, Douki headlocks, Drilla powers up, but can’t power out as Douki holds on. Drilla lifts, Douki flails, but Drilla powers out this time. Drilla runs Douki over, and fans do applaud the show of strength. Drilla runs, Douki drops down but Drilla drags him up. Douki arm-drags Drilla, then runs. Drilla hurdles, drops down, but Douki avoids the dropkick! Douki wheelbarrows but Drilla fights around to arm-drag! Drilla reels Douki in, but Douki trips him to a jackknife bridge! TWO!!

The fans fire up as Douki says it was that close. Drilla is mad, runs up, but Douki dodges to RANA! Douki RAMS Drilla, runs, springboards, but into Drilla’s arms! SPINEBUSTER! Cover, TWO! Drilla snarls while Douki goes to the apron. Drilla WRECKS Douki with a dropkick! Drilla then goes out and he RAMS Douki into the apron! Douki falls in a heap, but Drilla steps on his back! Drilla soaks up the heat while throwing up the Too Sweet. Drilla then steps away, to take a fan’s chair! Drilla scoops Douki for a BACKBREAKER on the chair! Douki writhes and flops off the chair while Drilla leaves him behind for the ring count.

The fans rally but Drilla tells them to shut up. The count reaches 5 of 20, then 10 before Douki sits up. Douki moves the chair aside, slides in at 15, and the fans cheer. But Drilla is right on him with a whip hard into a corner! Douki falls in a heap again, but Drilla storms up to pull at the mask! The ref reprimands, Drilla lets go, and Douki drags himself up with ropes. Drilla CHOKES Douki, but also goes after the mask! The fans boo, the ref reprimands and counts, and Drilla lets off at 4. Drilla stands Douki up to CHOP him down! Cover, with feet on the ropes! TWO!! Douki still gets free and the fans cheer.

Drilla sits Douki up into a chinlock and digs his knee into Douki’s back. Douki endures, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Drilla grinds his forearm into Douki’s face, but lets off as the ref reprimands. Drilla stomps Douki but Douki gets right up to fire forearms! Douki goes to run, but Drilla reels him in! Drilla pops him up but Douki slips free to waistlock! Drilla breaks that, switches, but Douki elbows free! Douki again goes to run, Drilla reels him back in but Douki kicks free, kicks low, and DDTs! The fans fire up while both men are down! Drilla sits up but Douki stalks him. Douki whips Drilla, Drilla reverses but Douki arm-drags first!

Douki runs in at the corner to ELBOW Drilla, then keeps going, springboard BACK ELBOW! Cover, TWO! Drilla is still in this but Douki keeps cool. Douki drags Drilla up, hooks him up, but Drilla fights the lift! Douki still Gory Especials, but Drilla fights free! Douki blocks the chop, trips Drilla, and rolls him into ITALIAN STRETCH #32! Drilal reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Douki lets go, Drilla bails out, but Douki builds speed! Douki slides out, Drilla slides in! Douki hurries back up and he RAMS into Drilla! Slingshot, DAY- NO, Drilla stops that to SPINEBUSTER and DOUBLE STOMP ELBOW COMBO! Cover, TWO!

The fans rally up for Douki again while he slowly sits up. Drilla aims from a corner, loads up and runs in, but Douki ducks the boot! Douki then BOOTS back, goes to the apron, and slingshots, DAYBREAK! Douki drags Drilla to a cover, TWO! Drilla is still in this but Douki fires up! The fans are with him and he brings Drilla into the wheelbarrow. Drilla elbows free, ripcords and CHOPS, but Douki kips up! Drilla SUPERKICKS! Drilla runs, Douki ducks the boot to tilt-p-whirl, but Drilla blocks and flips Douki around! But Douki arm-drags free! And he rolls Drilla into the ITALIAN STRETCH #32!! Drilla endures while fans fire up!

Drilla fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! Douki pulls until the ref counts 4, then he drags Drilla away from ropes, for ITALIAN STRETCH! But Drilla just powers right out! DRILLA KILLA!!! Cover, Drilla wins!

Winner: “Drilla” Moloney, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Douki earns 0)

The fans were behind the underdog and Drilla wasn’t having any of it! Will the Ichiban Gaijin storm his way to the top of this block? Can Douki turn this around next round?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Ninja Mack VS SHO!

The American Shinobi is on a roll at 2-0, but now he has the misfortune of running into the Murder Machine. Will the Mack attack not be able to get past a deck that’s stacked? Or can he grab a golden ticket off the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion?

OH NO! Sho’s dragging Mack out from the back! And he’s CHOKING Mack with the Torture Tool! The fans boo but Sho grins as he brings Mack all the way to the ring and throws him in! Sho puts his props aside, then “helps” Mack to his feet. Mack flops back over, Sho says he’s fine and stands him back up. And then puts a leg in the ropes? Sho has the ref ring the bell, then he runs in to clothesline! Sho scoops to SLAM Mack, then he gets the legs! BOSTON CRAB! Mack endures, the fans rally, and Mack taps!! Sho wins!!

Winner: Sho, by submission 

Sho laughs at Mack, and brags that this is how good he is! But wait! Some other Ninja Mack runs in and CLOBBERS Sho!! Wait, this is the real Ninja Mack?! Sho tied Mack up to then replace him with a fake? Well, the tape Mack’s tearing away is compelling evidence. The ref then strikes the previous decision and this match restarts! Sho bails out but Mack gives chase! Mack CLOBBERS Sho again, stands him up and DOUBLE CHOPS him! Mack rips Sho’s shirt away, throws it to the crowd, then KICKS Sho against the apron! Mack puts Sho in, the fans fire up, and Mack storms in. Sho kicks Mack, whips, but Mack reverses.

Mack drops down, hurdles over, then backflips. Sho moves but Mack handsprings up to JUMP KNEE! Mack TOSSES Sho, builds speed and the fans rally with “NINJA! NINJA!” Mack handsprings to SASUKE SPECIAL! How fitting for a ninja! The fans fire up and Mack gets Sho back in the ring. The fans continue to rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” as Mack sees Sho go to the far side. Mack slingshots to sunset flip, Sho blocks a kick but Mack fires CHOP after CHOP after forearm, then an UPPERCUT! Mack then handsprings to LION’S BARRAGE! Cover, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Sho flounders, Mack storms up on him and stands Sho up.

Mack knuckle locks, CHOPS and then goes up, up and tightrope walks! But Sho bends fingers! Sho kicks the ropes out and Mack falls! The fans boo but Sho goes out to grab the ring bell hammer. Sho brings that over, but also gets a chair. The ref stops Sho from using the hammer, but Sho just uses the chair to JAM Mack! Sho digs the chair into Mack’s back while the fans boo! Sho also digs the chair into Mack’s stomach! The ref returns, reprimands, and Sho lets go of the chair. Sho brings Mack to the very back of the crowd and BOWLS him into chairs! Weak, he only got two. But Sho leaves Mack behind to go to the ring.

The fans rally for “NINJA! NINJA!” as Mack hurries back to ringside. The ring count starts but Mack is ringside by 4 of 20. Mack slides in at 6, but Sho drags Mack up. Sho kicks low, whips, and kitchen sink knees! Sho storms up on Mack again, drags him around, and has a body scissor squeeze! Mack endures, reaches out, but Sho even pulls the mask! But Mack pushes back to a cover, TWO! Sho keeps on the squeeze, but Mack still endures. Mack fights around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, the ref counts, and Sho lets go. Mack sputters and says “Itai <It hurts.>” Sho gets Mack up, and hangs him out to dry!

Sho then drags Mack off the ropes for a CANADIAN GUT BUSTER! Cover, TWO! Mack is still in this, but Sho covers again, TWO! Another cover, TWO! Sho is annoyed but the fans rally up. Sho kicks Mack around, Mack blocks to body shot! And body shot! And body shot! Sho KNEES low! Sho scoops Mack and puts him on the top rope. Sho CLUBS away on Mack’s back, then runs to TOP SHELF KNEE! And TOP SHELF KNEE again! Sho goes corner to corner, but Mack dodges! Mack ROCKS Sho, springboards to KICK, then runs in to UPPERCUT! GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging cover, TWO! Sho survives, but Mack’s on him with a CROSSFACE!

Sho endures as Mack pulls back! Sho flails, reaches out, crawls his way over, but Mack cranks the hold! Sho still gets the ROPEBREAK! Mack lets go and the fans rally again. Mack brings Sho up, DOUBLE CHOPS him, then DOUBLE CHOPS again! Mack whips corner to corner, Sho reverses, but Mack BOOTS back! And SUPERKICKS! And fires body shots and an UPPERCUT! Mack cravats, but Sho pulls the mask! Sho shoves Mack to the corner, then shoves the ref into Mack! The ref goes down, Sho SPEARS Mack! The fans are torn while everyone is down! Sho checks the ref, says he’s okay, and then grabs his Torture Tool!

Sho grins as he takes aim, but the fans boo. Wait, that’s the fake yellow Mack! Sho realizes that and wonders where the real Mack went. Mack snatches the wrench away and Sho freaks out! Mack puts the wrench down, but Sho rolls him up! But the ref’s still out, he can’t count! Sho gets mad at the ref when this is Sho’s fault! But Mack rolls Sho up! TWO!! Cradle, TWO!! Sunset flip! TWO!! Sho escapes, Mack kips up and SUPERKICKS! The fans fire up and Mack brings Sho to a drop zone. Mack goes up the corner, to NINJA- NO, Sho moves! Mack rolls through, comes back, but Sho dodges! Sho gets the title belt now! But Mack grabs Sho’s legs!

The ref grabs at the belt, it’s a weird tug-o-war, but the ref takes the belt away! Sho LOW BLOWS Mack!! Roll-up, with tights! SHO WINS!!

Winner: Sho, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Mack earns 0)

This is the worst! Sho tried to steal a win with a fake, then cheated to steal this win anyway! Will anyone ever humble the Murder Machine? Or will he continue to lie, cheat and steal until he holds both the trophy and the belt?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Hiromu Takahashi VS Dragon Dia!

The Ticking Timebomb is inexplicably 0-2 to start, but things haven’t gone so well for the Infinity Carat Diamond. Only one can win their first points of the tournament, so who ends up at the bottom of the block?

The frame on Hiromu’s framed picture of himself seems a bit patched together, but Milano Collection AT-san still accepts it graciously. Hiromu then eggs on “Taguchi.” The bell rings and the two rush up! Dia DROPKICKS Hiromu and tells him the name’s Dragon Dia! Dia fires off forearms in the corner, the ref counts, and Dia roars as he lets off. He drags Hiromu up and shouts “ORE WA DIA DA! <I’M DIA!>” Hiromu swings, Dia dodges but Hiromu ELBOWS him. Hiromu whips, ROCKS and puts Dia on ropes to KICK the ropes! Hiromu says he’s Taguchi and runs, but Dia ducks ‘n ‘dodges ‘n’ slides under a boot!

Dia tilt-o-whirls to arm-drag! Then he DROPKICKS! Hiromu tumbles out, Dia fires up and the fans rally. Dia builds speed but Hiromu ELBOWS him! Hiromu whips Dia to a corner, clotheslines and snapmares to basement dropkick! The fans cheer, Hiromu covers, TWO! Dia stays in this and the fans rally up. But even as the fans call out to Dia, Hiromu asks how Taguchi is doing. Hiromu drags Dia up, CHOPS him, then stands him up to CHOP again! Dia falls back, Hiromu covers, TWO! Dia stays in this and the fans rally up. Hiromu storms up and asks who’s this Dia the fans are talking about. Hiromu CHOPS Dia, then whips.

Dia reverses, Hiromu holds ropes and BOOTS Dia, to then have a HANGING HEADSCISSOR! The ref counts, Hiromu lets off at 4, and he drags Dia out to snap suplex to the floor! Dia writhes, the fans rally, and Hiromu asks the cameraman how Taguchi became such a great high-flyer. Hiromu really thinks this is Ryusuke Taguchi? Hiromu goes back to Dia, drags him up and brings him around POSTS him! Dia falls in a heap but Hiromu storms over to him. The fans rally up but Hiromu drags Dia up and puts him in. Cover, TWO! Hiromu keeps on Dia with a headscissors squeeze! Dia endures and the fans rally, even as Hiromu puts on the pressure.

Dia kicks around, reaches out, and has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Hiromu lets off quickly. Hiromu drags Dia up, but Dia pushes him away. Dia CHOPS, but Hiromu eggs him on. Dia CHOPS, then fires a forearm! Hiromu CHOPS, runs, and he counters a hip attack into an atomic drop! Hiromu says that proves this is really Taguchi! Hiromu runs to run Dia over, then stacks him, TWO! The fans rally as Dia stays in this, and Hiromu drags Dia up. Hiromu CHOPS Dia to a corner, then whips corner to corner. Hiromu runs in but into BOOTS! Dia then RANAS Hiromu away! Hiromu bails out, Dia fires up and slingshots, but he feints the plancha!

Dia resets but Hiromu slides in. Dia ducks Hiromu’s lariat to then trip him up and slingshot, TORNILLO! Hiromu bails out, so Dia resets, ASAI MOONSAULT! Direct hit and the fans fire up as both men are down! The ring count starts, the fans rally, and Dia rises at 7 of 20. Dia fetches Hiromu at 11, puts him in at 12, and the fans cheer. Dia fires up again and he goes up the corner. Hiromu rises and Dia leaps, but Hiromu blocks the DDT to fireman’s carry! CORNER DEATH VALLEY! Hiromu drags Dia up, fireman’s carries again, TIMEBOMB- NO, Dia wheelbarrows and somersaults! Hiromu stops that to drag Dia up!

Dia swings an elbow but Hiromu ducks! Dia still SOBATS, runs, but into a scoop and BACKBREAKER! The fans rally and Hiromu suplexes, FALCON ARROW! Cover, TWO!! Dia survives and the fans fire up! Hiromu keeps cool, and he waits on Dia. Dia rises, Hiromu runs, but Dia dodges and rolls, to REPTI- NO, Hiromu stops the rana to POWERBOMB! High stack, TWO! The fans fire up as Dia stays in this! Hiromu taunts Dia, slaps him around, but Dia drags himself up. Hiromu runs, but Dia blocks the lariat! Hiromu SUPERKICKS, runs, but Dia falls! Dia scrambles back up to CHOP! Hiromu gets in Dia’s face!

Hiromu CHOPS Dia, runs, but Dia HIP ATTACKS!! So is he Taguchi or not!? Dia roars, goes to a corner, and then storms up on Hiromu to chicken wing! DODON BUSTER!! Cover, TWO!! Hiromu survives another Taguchi move and Dia roars! Dia again shouts, “Ore wa Dia da!” Fisherman and lift, but Hiromu fights free! Dia ducks the superkick to ENZIGIRI! Hiromu rebounds, into another ENZIGIRI! Dia hurries to get Hiromu up, gets under a leg and lifts, END OVER!! Cover, TWO?!? Hiromu survives and Dia is furious! But Dia also goes to a corner and aims from a corner. Hiromu slowly rises, Dia runs up, roll and REP-

NO, Hiromu blocks the sunset to make it a CRUNCHY!! Cover, TWO!!! Dia survives and the fans fire up again! Hiromu shakes his head and has that wild grin on his face. Hiromu drags Dia up, reels him in, suplex, but Dia fights free! Dia wrenches, dodges, but Hiromu follows! Dia wheelbarrows, but Hiromu makes it a WHEELBARROW GERMAN! But Dia’s right up!! HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! Hiromu hauls Dia up, fireman’s carry, but into REPTILIAN KAI!! Cover, TWO!!! Hiromu survives #DoubleCork but the fans are thunderously behind Dia! Dia drags himself to a corner, rises up, and he goes up the corner!

Dia roars and the fans fire up again! Dia aims to 450, onto knees! Hiromu rolls Dia into a fireman’s carry and lifts him up! TIMEBOMB 1.5!! Cover, TWO!!! Dia survives the 1.5 and Hiromu can’t believe it! Hiromu stands Dia up, runs, to HIROMU-CHAN BOMBER!! And then he adds on with the OG TIMEBOMB!! Cover, Hiromu wins!!

Winner: Hiromu Takahashi, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Dia earns 0)

Hiromu finally gets on the board! And at least in his mind, he still has Taguchi’s number in this tournament. Will Hiromu make this a comeback story for the history books? Will Dia ever crack that goose egg in his win column?

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 B Block: Robbie Eagles VS Taiji Ishimori!

The Sniper of the Skies may be 1-1, but that means he’s only a step behind The Bone Soldier’s 2-0. Who will be number one with a bullet in this main event caliber shootout?

The bell rings, the fans rally up, and Eagles encourages them to get louder. Fans start up a “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” and Robbie joins in. Taiji doesn’t it but Robbie tries to start one for him. The fans don’t respond and Robbie shrugs. The two feel things out, tie up, Taiji waistlocks but Robbie switches. Taiji wrenches, Robbie rolls then wrenches back. Robbie hammerlocks but Taiji switches that onto Robbie. Robbie headlocks, hits the takeover, but Taiji headscissors. Robbie kips free, and the fans applaud as the two stand off. Taiji and Robbie reset, feel things out, and knuckle lock. Taiji wrenches right into a top wristlock!

Robbie goes to ropes, Red Shoes calls the break, but Taiji twists the wrist first. Red Shoes counts but Taiji YANKS the arm as he lets off. Taiji then whips, but Robbie holds ropes to block! Taiji tries again but Robbie still holds on, so Taiji CLAWS the eyes! Taiji whips, Robbie reverses to go up and around and arm-drag! Robbie keeps moving, hurdles Taiji to then RANA him! Taiji gets back up, but Robbie WHEEL KICKS! Robbie kips up, the fans fire up and Taiji bails out. Robbie builds speed but Taiji moves, so Robbie springboards to backflip! The fans cheer but Taiji eggs Robbie on. Robbie slides out but Taiji slides in, and still taunts Robbie.

Robbie slides back in, but Taiji catches him for a NECK TWIST! Robbie staggers away, Taiji goes out after him, and Taiji SMACKS Robbie off the commentary desk! Robbie staggers away, Taiji pursues and scoops, to LAWN DART POST him! Red Shoes reprimands and wants this back in the ring. Taiji goes back in, but he unties the blue buckle pad! The Bullet Club Special is in play, and then Taiji waits on Robbie. The ring count starts, Robbie sits up at 5 of 20, then rises at 8. Robbie slides in at 9, but Taiji storms up on him. Robbie CHOPS, and CHOPS, but Taiji CLUBS Robbie on the neck! Robbie falls and flops against ropes.

Taiji drags Robbie up, cravats for a neck wrench, and he snapmares to NECK TWIST again! Robbie writhes but Taiji looms over him. Taiji clamps on a chinlock and digs his knee into Robbie’s back. Robbie endures, so Taiji pushes him down for a FIST DROP! Taiji then pushes Robbie to a cover, TWO! Robbie gets away and the fans rally up. Taiji stalks Robbie, clamps onto an arm, CLUBS Robbie in the neck, then traps both arms in chicken wings! Taiji spins Robbie around, then gets a leg, and he lifts Robbie into the fisherman stretch! Then he hits the SHOULDER BUSTER! Robbie flounders out of the ring and Taiji says, “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE! F YOU!”

Taiji waits on the ring count, and Robbie is still down at 5 of 20. Robbie sits up at 8, stands at 9, but he falls over at 10! Robbie rises at 12 and rolls into the ring, and fans cheer the resilience. Taiji looms over Robbie, Robbie kicks from below, but Taiji stomps him! The fans rally for Robbie but Taiji wrenches an arm, hammerlocks, then scoops, but Eagles slips free! CHOP BLOCK! Robbie keeps moving, but Taiji ducks the blindside lariat! JUMP KNEE, LA MYSTICA, but Robbie stops it partway! Robbie gets the backslide, TWO! Taiji runs up, Robbie gets around, SNAP SAIDO! The fans fire up while both men are down!

The fans rally up again, and Robbie pounds the mat. Robbie waits on Taiji to sit up, and then he KICKS! And KICKS! And KICKS again! Taiji flounders, Robbie runs, and LEG LARIATS! The fans cheer as Robbie rolls and aims from a corner. Robbie runs corner to corner to DOUBLE KNEE, then he rolls back, to BASEMENT 619! Taiji sits down, Robbie runs back in, METEORA! The fans fire up and Eagles pushes Taiji to a cover, TWO! Taiji stays in this but the fans rally for Robbie again. Robbie shakes out the bad arm, goes up and out, then climbs the corner. But Taiji SLAPS Robbie first! Taiji lifts Robbie off the corner, but Robbie hooks ropes!

Red Shoes counts, Taiji puts Robbie on the apron. Robbie GAMANGIRIS back! Robbie springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK the legs! Robbie then ties up those legs into the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Taiji endures, flails around, reaches out, but Robbie puts on the pressure! The fans rally, and Taiji gets the ROPEBREAK! Robbie lets go, but drops knees on the knee! Taiji flounders away, Robbie vows to end it now. But Taiji ducks the Shining Wizard! BONE LOCK!! Robbie endures, the fans rally, but Taiji puts on the pressure! Robbie reaches back with a leg, ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer as Taiji lets go in frustration.

Taiji hobbles around, drags Robbie up, and Taiji POSTS Robbie in the blue corner!! Then Taiji hammerlocks, lifts, and SHOULDER BUSTERS! Cover, TWO!! Robbie survives and Taiji is frustrated but the fans rally up. Taiji goes to a corner, aims and BANG. Taiji drags Robbie up, but Robbie fights the lift! Taiji still tries but Robbie kicks the bad leg! Taiji runs in but Robbie ELBOWS him away. Robbie runs up, into a BOOT! Taiji runs in, blocks boots, and puts Robbie in ropes! ENZIGIRI and- Robbie springs out to FLYING CHUCK! The fans fire up while both men are down! The fans rally as Robbie rises. Robbie drags Taiji up, but Taiji fires a forearm!

Robbie fires a forearm in return! Taiji fires another forearm! Robbie kicks back! Taiji fires another forearm, and the two stand. Robbie CHOPS, Taiji CHOPS, Robbie CHOPS again! Taiji fires a flurry of forearms, but Robbie KICKS a leg! Taiji LARIATS, runs, but Robbie blocks to ROUNDHOUSE! SUPERKICK! ENZI- NO, Taiji ducks! BONE LOCK! But Robbie slips out to steal BONE LOCK! But Taiji rolls him up! TWO!! Both stand, Robbie blocks the boot, slips around and fires palm strikes! Robbie hooks Taiji up, but Taiji fights the backpack into a gut wrench! But Robbie turns that around to steal- NO, Taiji flips through to somersault clutch! TWO and Robbie has it! TWO!!

The fans fire up, Robbie rolls Taiji with the bridge, TWO!! Robbie steps through, but Taiji BOOTS him into the bare buckles!! Roll-up, TWO, but into BONE LOCK!!! Robbie endures, reaches out, and the fans rally! Taiji pulls way back on the hold! Robbie still fights his way forward, but Taiji rolls him! Robbie pops free, and rolls Taiji into the RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Taiji endures, reaches out, crawls forward, but Robbie drags him back! Robbie puts on the pressure and Taiji flails! Taiji still fights, claws at the mat, but Robbie drags him back again! Robbie KICKS away on the bad leg, then steps through to drop knees on the knee!

The fans are thunderous and Eagles steps through, but Taiji cradles! Then BLOODY CROSS!! Cover, Taiji wins!

Winner: Taiji Ishimori, by pinfall (gains 2 points; Eagles earns 0)

It was a shootout until the end, but it was Taiji who hit the mark! Will Eagles be able to reload and try again in the next round?

As for Taiji, he gets an icepack for his knee, then gets the mic. Taiji taps the mic on the mat for the sound check, then he sits up to say, “Oi Gunma, were you fired up?” The fans cheer, they definitely were. Taiji asks if they wanted Robbie Eagles to win tonight. “Be honest, that’s what you wanted! Well that’s too bad! It is what it is. Sorry to say, I’m here.” The fans do applaud his win. Taiji adds that unfortunately, he’s not interested in anything but the top! And he won’t give this spot to anybody! “You wanna be more fired up, huh? You want more, huh? Well, keep your eyes on me, and only me! Taking it all is my destiny.

“I’m given all that I need, you know what I mean? All of it… by God’s grace!” The Bone Soldier feels he is destined for greatness, but will he make destiny into reality?

 

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

KUSHIDA: 3-0, 6 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-0, 6 points
SHO: 2-1, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-1, 4 points
Francesco Akira: 1-2, 2 points
Robbie Eagles: 1-2, 2 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 1-2, 2 points
DOUKI: 1-2, 2 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 1-2, 2 points
Dragon Dia: 0-3, 0 points


My Thoughts:

A great third round for B Block, and Hiromu finally getting his win here made sense. Pretty funny gag where he is convinced Dragon Dia is just Ryusuke Taguchi with a new look. Not sure why he went with that but Dia insisting he’s his own person while still using moves that Taguchi also uses was really good stuff. I also really liked Sho having a fake Ninja Mack and trying to get a win that way. Bit of a shame Mack didn’t turn things around and win, but I suppose the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion can’t be owing too many matches after this tournament.

Kushida’s still 3-0, a good move in itself. But as the guy who beat Sho, there’s a chance Kushida does have to fall back to his “golden ticket” for a title match. And great main event from Eagles VS Taiji, great win for Taiji to also be undefeated 3-0. His promo was good, and I wonder if claiming God is behind him is him taking a shot at Titan, who always thanks God for his victories. But as it stands, Kushida and Taiji are strong choices for making it out of the block, but I suppose it depends on the plans for Hiromu. Hiromu could replace Taiji as a semifinalist since Kushida already beat Hiromu, because his story really is about redeeming himself from falling short last year.

My Score: 8.9/10


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