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Andrew’s Ratings & Analysis: NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo 2.2.2020

The second of 3 New Beginning big events! We get the top two British wrestlers in the world, Will Ospreay & Zack Sabre Jr, and our Holy Emperor Taichi looks to stay undefeated in singles competition against Kazuchika Okada!

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The second of 3 New Beginning big events! We get the top two British wrestlers in the world, Will Ospreay & Zack Sabre Jr, and our Holy Emperor Taichi looks to stay undefeated in singles competition against Kazuchika Okada!

There’s a few undercard singles matches on this card, which is a little more unique, but nothing crazy.

We all know the big draws are the last two matches. Taichi continues to take wrestling seriously and put on great matches, while ZSJ may explode if he looses to Ospreay mixed with Brexit.

No more reason to talk, let’s just get to the show!

Ratings:

  • Henare vs Yota Tsuji: Heare wins via Toa Bottom @8:15 – ** 1/2
  • Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tomoaki Honama, Yuya Uemura & Togi Makabe: Tiger Mask wins via Tiger Suplex Hold @9:50 – **
  • Gabriel Kidd vs El Phantasmo: ELP wins via Splash @8:50 – * 1/2
  • Robbie Eagles, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & EVIL: Eagles wins via Ron Miller Special @9:40 – *** 1/2
  • Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & DOUKI vs SHO, YOH, Ryusuke Taguchi & Jon Moxley: Taguchi wins via Ankle Lock @13:00 – *** 1/4
  • KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi: SANADA wins via Skull End @15:35 – *** 1/2
  • RevPro British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Sabre Jr (c) vs Will Ospreay: ZSJ retains via Referee Stoppage @27:05 – **** 3/4
  • Taichi w/Miho Abe vs Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @30:55 – **** 1/2

 

Analysis:

Henare vs Yota Tsuji – Our Maori Lion Tamer starts off the show against Young Lions. He’s basically become nothing more than a Big Lion, since he gets steam rolled against more veteran wrestlers, but he’s still visibly above the Young Lions. Tsuji did have a good showing, he had multiple moments of transitioning a pinfall into the Boston Crab, and had decent power spots.  Tsuji’s Spear looked fantastic as well. But Henare ended up winning the match. I wonder if Henare has become the Lion Tamer, mostly because he was injury prone early in his career. So maybe the last year or so has been more of a proving ground. If he stays healthy, maybe he’ll get a push.

Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Tomoaki Honama, Yuya Uemura & Togi Makabe – The most interesting portion of this match is Yuya being Tiger Mask’s Young Lion. Post-match, Tiger Mask wasn’t happy with Yuya’s performance from their tag match yesterday. So Yuya had something to prove. The veterans of course did their usual thing, and Nakanishi got plenty of time to shine while making his retirement rounds. Yuya finally got time to square off with Tiger, and he came hard and fast, but it was rather uneventful. A High Kick to the head, stopped Yuya’s momentum. Avalanche Butterfly Side Suplex and Tiger Suplex Hold put Yuya away easily.

Gabriel Kidd vs El Phantasmo – One of the worst Young Lion matches in a while. ELP did his cocky heel thing by powdering and moving at the speed of smell, until he felt like doing something. But between the Young Lion moveset being limited and ELP’s desire to try also seems limited, this was rough to sit through. Not technically bad, just slow, boring and heavily unnecessary. Kidd didn’t look inept, again, more just a bad combination of styles.

Robbie Eagles, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii vs Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & EVIL – We get our first match with a bunch of threads. Last night Eagles submitted BUSHI to win the tag match, so he’s already in BUSHI’s head. Ishii beat EVIL, but during this match, Goto seemed to get to EVIL. Takagi beat Goto last night, and he even taunted Goto, acting more like his old Dragon Gate Antias persona. But Ishii took a big fight to Shingo, that Shingo repaid and seemed to enjoy. EVIL and Shingo couldn’t save BUSHI from the submission, because they were distracted with their own personal vendettas. All of this was fun, entertaining, all with great moments. I will mention that early on Ishii seemed to get rocked, but he obviously came back alright, so nothing to be concerned with.

Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & DOUKI vs SHO, YOH, Ryusuke Taguchi & Jon Moxley – Looking at this match, you may wonder to yourself if Moxley will get along with his teammates. Well the rub here is, he never did. Suzuki and Moxley just went at each other, so there was no real teamwork. Hell, when Taguchi was the legal man, during turmoil, he got to his feet while Suzuki and Moxley were brawling, and they both turned to kick Taguchi down, just so they can continue fighting. Yes there were 8 people involved, but only two mattered. Some solid action in general, but the Suzuki and Moxley stuff was just tremendous.

Due to the Olympics, G1 was moved to October, and it seems like they will do a short Hokkaido Tour in July. Which the crowd loves since Sapporo is the capital of Hokkaido, and the island doesn’t always get a lot of love. 

KENTA, Taiji Ishimori & Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi – Early Bullet Club attack tried to make sure we got a similar result as to yesterday’s match. Typical pair offs with storylines, but it was done in a clever way. KENTA was legal against Hiromu and in mid moment, he slides out to beat the hell out of Naito, then throw him into the barricades, afterwards coming back in and trying to play innocent. Still a very fun match with SANADA and Jay keeping their issues well knows, SANADA even played into a small problem Milano and Taiji have when he put him in the Paradise Lock. Just good fun, solid action, mixed in with heelish entertainment.

RevPro British Heavyweight Championship: Zack Sabre Jr (c) vs Will Ospreay – Now these two are known to put on great matches, so the anticipation was Rock Horror levels for this match. Early on, both men took a more calculated approach, and ZSJ took advantage of that, since it suited his style a bit more. It wasn’t until a desperation Back Handspring Flip Kick that we saw Ospreay start to comeback. Ospreay even managed to focus Zack’s knees and go for a few submissions of his own. ZSJ showed himself to be the smarter wrestler at different points, especially when Ospreay hit the Oscutter, and ZSJ rolled out of the ring.

Every time Ospreay missed a move or had a small hiccup, ZSJ was on him with an assortment of Guillotine Chokes, Triangles, Cobra Twists and other submissions. This was just a great match to watch because it fluctuated between a ZSJ match to an Ospreay match, but never felt clunky. Just a masterclass in fusing two different styles of wrestling. Ospreay losing by referee stoppage is nice since it adds to him never tapping and more the sympathy of the referee.

Taichi w/Miho Abe vs Kazuchika Okada – We saw a bit of a transformation in Taichi last year. After feeling snubbed from the G1 in 2018, he got more serious in 2019 with his matches against Ishii and Naito. After the hellish beating that Taichi gave Okada last night, Okada comes into the match heavily taped, reminiscent of the G1 match against Kenny Omega in 2017.

We saw many faces of Taichi during this match. He tried to go for the Iron Fingers early, but Okada had an answer. As Taichi took advantage of the heavily taped neck, Okada just continued to power through. Much of Okada’s early offense got him some space, but at the detriment of his neck. Most notably, no kip ups from Okada and belabored movement for his Zoom Out Pose and a few other good psychology/selling moments.

Taichi was in great form for this match though. He combined the heel aspects of his persona, along with a hard hitting and determined resolve to prove himself. Sure Kanemaru distracted the referee so Taichi could use a chair, and Taichi even grabbed the referee so he could hit a low blow, but it was all great elements to what makes Taichi, well…Taichi. Great strikes, Kawada Kicks with more effort than usual and Taichi even pulled off a damn nice Dropkick (he doesn’t do that often). Even if the heel tactics are something you dislike, it added well to the story of the match and to Taichi’s evolution the last year or so.

Notably, the crowd was even on Taichi’s side for a good portion of the match. He played to the crowd, and seems to be accepted, at least in his home town. Okada may have won, but during his speech he started the old taunt of “Taichi go home” but the crowd responded with “Let’s go Taichi”. Hopefully this means bigger things for Taichi and him staying more in the Dangerous T aspect instead of douchey heel vampire singer…whatever.

 

Overall Score: 8/10

Some may ask how this scored better than yesterday when the ELP match came in so low. Well, it’s because everything else delivered so well, including the final two matches. The fact we have a bunch of threads to pull at coming from the LIJ and Chaos match, and had such a nice balance of heat and shenanigans with the LIJ and Bullet Club match, just great wrestling elements.

Okada maintains his headliner status without taking much of a dip, but Taichi got elevated with such a great match. Okada did mention Antonio Inoki’s name in his closing speech and I have no clue what that means. We did see Inoki say some words during Liger’s retirement, Nakanishi is retiring soon…so maybe the bridge between Inoki and New Japan isn’t completely burned.

Great show, great final two matches and a lot to look forward to for the February 9th show.


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Coverage

Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/22/24)

It’s a mix and match night!

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A Block Round 7, but B Block Round 6!

It’s a little complicated, but A Block’s going again while B Block’s getting back up. Point is, Best of the Super Juniors 31 is in the home stretch!

OFFICIAL RESULTS

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

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current A Block standings!

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

 

BREAKING NEWS for Francesco Akira!

As reported by NJPW just yesterday, The Nova Fireball’s knee injury has taken him out of the tournament. The remaining matches he was scheduled to have will now be scored as “loss by forfeit,” and the points have already been awarded. Therefore…

Here are the NEW B Block standings!

KUSHIDA: 4-1, 8 points
DOUKI: 4-2, 8 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 4-2, 8 points
Robbie Eagles: 4-2, 8 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-2, 6 points
SHO: 3-3, 6 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 3-2, 6 points
Francesco Akira: 2-3, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-3, 4 points
Dragon Dia: 0-5, 0 points [ELIMINATED]

 

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

El Inmortal is still alive in the block, but the Ichiban Young Punk needs this win! The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but do they still fall short? Or will Fujita ruin Titan’s chances of returning to the finals?

The bell rings, they tie up, then break. They tie up again, Fujita wrenches and wrenches and wristlocks. Titan rolls, kips up, bridges back to handspring again, then he arm-drags free. Fujita runs up into a sweep, cover, ONE! Fujita sweeps to cover, ONE! Titan kips up again and the fans cheer. Titan and Fujita reset, tie up, and Titan trips Fujita. Titan runs, cartwheels over Fujita, then dodges him, Fujita stops himself, Titan runs in but Fujita puts him on the apron. Titan blocks a punch to GAMANGIRI! Titan springboards to CROSSBODY! The fans fire up and Titan DROPKICKS Fujita down!

Fujita bails out, Titan builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and Young Lions keep Fujita from hitting the front row! Titan clutches his arm, it still beat up from last night. Titan roars and rises up, and the fans rally behind him. Titan drags Fujita up, puts him in the ring, and then covers, TWO! Fujita’s still in this and the fans applaud. Titan stomps Fujita, drags him up, and then fireman’s carries. Fujita fights free, fires a forearm, but Titan gives it back. They go back and forth, the fans rally up, and Fujita kicks low. Fujita throws forearms, but Titan SUPERKICKS! Fujita HEEL KICKS! Fujita runs, but Titan goes Matrix to dodge!

Titan then CALF KICKS and whips. Fujita reverses to LEG LARIAT! The fans fire up while both men are down! Fujita goes to ropes on one side, Titan goes to the other. Fujita runs in to STRADDLE ATTACK! Fujita keeps moving and he PENALTY KICKS! Cover, TWO! The fans fire up and Fujita drags Titan up. Fujita ROCKS Titan, whips, but Titan blocks. Fujita ROCKS Titan, whips him but Titan reverses to TORNADO DDT! The fans fire up again and rally as Titan pounds the mat. Titan roars and rises, then drags Fujita around to step through and deathlock! But Fujita rolls it back, slips free, and he hooks Titan up now! CROSS CAMEL!

Titan reaches out, but Fujita gets the arms! QUEEN ANGELITO, but Titan fights to the ROPEBREAK! The fans fire up and Fujita roars! Fujita goes to a corner, aims at Titan and runs in, but Titan BOOTS! Fujita blocks that to ROCK Titan with a forearm! Fujita runs but Titan follows! LOCO LARIAT! The fans fire up and Titan goes to the apron! Titan climbs the corner, DIVING- NO, Fujita avoids the stomps! Titan comes back, but Fujita GERMAN SUPLEXES! Fujita can’t keep the bridge because of the bad arm, but he just deadlifts Titan for another GERMAN SUPLEX! Bridging this time, TWO! Titan survives but Fujita isn’t done!

Fujita waistlocks again, deadlifts again, but Titan fights the suplex with elbows! Titan runs, wheelbarrows, then rolls through to get the legs! Deathlock, JAVE INMORTAL!! Fujita endures, but now it’s the STRAITJACKET! Fujita quits, Titan wins!!

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

Titan’s been on a roll with that devastating hold! Will El Inmortal return to the finals and take the trophy home? Will Fujita just have to settle to being a spoiler in these remaining rounds?

 

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

The Sniper of the Skies gets free points from Francesco Akira’s misfortune, but the Infinity Carat Diamond is out of luck. Will Dia shift into spoiler mode and ruin things for Robbie? Or will Eagles still fly high towards the top of the block?

The fans rally and duel already, and Eagles tries to figure out who is getting more. The bell rings, the two rush in, but then back off. Eagles has Dia take it easy, and they circle. Eagles gest a leg, trips Dia and rolls to get the RON MILLER SPECIAL! Dia gets the ROPEBREAK, the fans cheer and Eagles slowly lets off. Eagles slaps Dia around, whips but Dia blocks to CHOP! The fans cheer and Dia whips. Eagles blocks now, so Dia CHOPS again! Eagles drops to a knee, but Dia brings him up to whip. Eagles reverses to go up and around an darm-drag! Things speed up. Eagles hurdles but Dia hurdles back.

Dia runs, ducks the boot and tilt-o-whirl arm-drags! Then he DROPKICKS Eagles out! Eagles rewinds and RANAS! Dia runs up but into a WHEEL KICK! Eagles kips up, Dia bails out, and the fans rally up! Eagles builds speed but has to stop as Dia slides in! Dia fakes the plancha, mule kicks, then ASAI MOONSAULTS! Direct hit but Dia holds onto a knee. Dia shakes it out and fires up as he walks over. The fans applaud and Dia gets Eagles in the ring. Dia hops in, goes up, and aims for D D D- NO, Eagles moves, the leg jams, and then Eagles CHOP BLOCKS! Dia writhes and the fans duel a bit more as Eagles storms over to Dia.

Eagles and the fans get a “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” going! “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” “ROBBIE!” “OI!” “ROBBIE!” “OI!” “ROBBIE ROBBIE ROBBIE!” “OI OI OI!” The fans cheer and Eagles brings Dia around to step through and tie up the legs in a deathlock. Eagles then uses Dia as a skateboard! Eagles then SNAP LOCKS, and he lets Dia go. Dia clutches that leg, Eagles scuffs him and eggs him on. Dia CHOPS back, but Eagles eggs him on. Dia CHOPS again, so Eagles DRAGON SLEEPERS! Dia fights up, throws shots from below and gets free. But Eagles dropkicks the bad leg!

The fans rally as Dia crawls but Eagles is on him. Eagles sits Dia up to KICK! And KICK! And KICKS! Dia gets mad, Eagles pie faces and LEG LARIATS! Dia is folded up and the fans fire up. Eagles pounds the mat, the fans clap along, and he goes corner to corner, but Dia dodges the double knees! Dia goes to the apron, GAMANGIRIS, then avoids the low 619! Dia trips Eagles to slingshot TORNILLO SPLASH! The fans fire up and Eagles goes to ropes. Dia runs in to 619! Eagles staggers, Dia runs up to tilt-o-whirl and DEJA VU SPIKE! Eagles falls over, Dia STANDING MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up and Dia stands Eagles up. Dia runs, rolls, but no Reptilians here! Eagles rolls Dia to a schoolboy bridge, TWO! RON MILLER- BOOT! Dia is free to SOBAT, but Eagles blocks! Eagles reels Dia in, TURBO- NO, Dia goes up and around, MYSTERIO RANA! Cover, TWO!! Eagles survives but Dia goes to the corner! Dia runs back in, rolls and REPTILIAN- NO, Eagles fireman’s carries! But Dia fights it to the REPTILIAN KAI! Cover, TWO!! Eagles survives and the fans are thunderous! Dia roars, and he goes to the corner! Dia climbs, aims, and D D D D- NO! Eagles stops the 4DT, ties up the legs, and DOUBLE KNEE CRUSHERS!

Eagles SUPERKICKS Dia down, goes out then up, for the 450 onto legs! Dia writhes, Eagles steps through to RON MILLER SPECIAL!! Dia flails, reaches out, but Eagles drags him from ropes! Dia TAPS, Eagles wins!

Winner: Robbie Eagles, by submission (gains 2 points; Dia earns 0)

Dia still has the goose egg in his win column after being shot down by The Sniper! Will Dia ever get points on the board? Will Eagles be unstoppable on his rise to the top?

 

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

This is truly a make or break moment for Black Mask and Heel Master. Only one man can stay alive in the block, who will do whatever it takes to win?

But as Bushi is introduced, Kanemaru attacks! The fans boo as Kanemaru stomps Bushi on the floor! Kanemaru drags Bushi up, POSTS Him, and Bushi falls in a heap. Kanemaru stomps Bushi, drags him up, puts him in the ring, and the bell rings. Kanemaru whips Bushi then dropkicks Bushi’s legs out. Kanemaru grabs the bad leg to SMASH the knee on the mat! Kanemaru then drags Bushi to the corner, and he SLAMS the leg into the post! The ref reprimands, Bushi flops out of the ring, and the fans rally up. Kanemaru stomps Bushi, leaves him behind, and the fans rally as Bushi sits up.

Bushi wants to get in the ring but Kanemaru is near the ropes. The ref has Kanemaru give Bushi space and Bushi slides in. Kanemaru goes right after Bushi with stomps! Kanemaru takes Bushi’s shirt away then stomps away some more. Kanemaru drags Bushi and drops an elbow on the knee! Kanemaru has the toehold, Bushi endures, and Bushi drags Kanemaru along to the ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Kanemaru lets go at 4. Kanemaru stomps Bushi to a corner, then drags him up. Kanemaru whips corner to cornre but Bushi barely makes it. Kanemaru runs in but Bushi BOOTS him! And then PENDULUM- NO, Kanemaru stops the kicks!

Kanemaru drags Bushi in, whips him again, but Bushi holds ropes. Kanemaru runs in, Bushi puts him on the apron! Bushi dropkicks the legs out! The fans rally and Bushi WRECKS Kanemaru with another dropkick! The fans rally again, Bushi builds speed, but Kanemaru’s back to dropkick the legs out! Bushi bails out, Kanemaru pursues and he grabs the bad leg. Kanemaru SMASHES the knee on the floor! Kanemaru leaves Bushi behind and the ring count begins. Bushi is still down at 5 of 20, sits up at 8, and rises up at 11. Bushi shakes out the bad leg, hobbles around at 16, and slides in at 18! Kanemaru dropkicks the leg agian!

Kanemaru drags Bushi around, steps through, but Bushi kicks him away! Kanemaru kicks again but Bushi blocks, CLUBS the leg, then dropkicks it out! Bushi gets his own leg moving, runs, but Kanemaru uses the ref as a shield! Bushi moves him aside, Kanemaru blocks the kick! Kanemaru ducks the enzigiri, but not the REWIND HEEL! The fans fire up as Bushi runs up again. CODE- NO, Kanemaru stops the Code Breaker, and then THROWS Bushi at the ref! Kanemaru gets the leg and he SMASHES the knee! The fans boo but Kanemaru goes for his whiskey! Kanemaru doesn’t bother with a sip, he just takes aim! BOTTLE SMASH to the leg!

Kanemaru steps through, but gets BLACK MIST!! Kanemaru staggers around blind, and Bushi goes up! M X!! Cover, BUSHI WINS!

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

The Black Mask gets the better of the Heel Master, and now Kanemaru is DONE! With no chance at a top spot, will Kanemaru just have to settle for being a spoiler? Can Bushi make that dark horse run at the top a reality?

 

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

The Timesplitter leads the block, but time could be running out. Plus, 44 Caliber is aiming for the kill, will he hit the mark? Or can Kushida avoid disaster and head Back to the Future?

Kushida’s on the corner for his introduction, but Drilla rushes him! Kushida jumps up an dover, rolls through and then dodges Drilla’s boot! Drilla fires haymakers, but so does Kushida! Kushida whips, Drilla reverses, and the bell rings right before Kushida FLYING FOREARMS Drilla! The fans are all fired up as Kushida dumps Drilla out, then runs. Drilla avoids the baseball slide, but Kushida keeps him from sliding away. Drilla keeps Kushida from sliding in, and spins him around, for a DRAPING DDT to the floor! The ref reprimands then checks Kushida. The fans rally up, Drilla finally takes his own vest off, and he looms over Kushida.

The ref wants this in the ring, Drilla mocks Kushida checking his watch, and Drilla leaves Kushida behind. Kushida grits his teeth as he clutches a shoulder, and the ring count climbs. Drilla paces, a wild dog behind the fence as it were. Kushida is still down at 10 of 20, even Drilla dares Kushida to get up. Kushida rises at 15 and slides in at 16. Drilla drags Kushida up for a NECKBREAKER! Cover, ONE!! Kushida is still in this and the fans applaud. Drilla digs a boot into Kushida’s neck and shoulder, and he pulls on Kushida’s head! The ref counts as Drilla claws at Kushida’s eyes! Drilla lets go at 4, and Kushida crawls.

Drilla stalks Kushida, drags him up and CLUBS him on the neck! Drilla stalks Kushida around, then CHOKES him on the ropes! The ref counts, Drilla lets off at 4, and Drilla backs the ref down to a corner. Drilla then goes back for Kushida, drags him up and hooks him up for a chinbar style abdominal stretch! Kushida endures, pries free and throws elbows. Kushida kicks but Drilla dodges! Drilla drops down for a headlock but Kushida headscissors for the cradle! TWO!! Drilla CLOBBERS Kushida! Kushida bails out, finally takes his own vest off, but Drilla is there to RAM him into the apron! Drilla UPPERCUTS Kushida, then follows him around the corner.

Drilla storms up on Kushida, UPPERCUTS again, but Kushida gets in Drilla’s face now. Drilla CHOPS, then KICKS, then he clamps on that chinbar! Kushida endures, the ref reprimands, and Drilla ELBOWS Kushida down. Drilla leaves Kushida behind again and demands a ring count. The count begins, Kushida stands at 3 and slides in at 4. The fans rally up but Drilla ROCKS Kushida with a right. Drilla mocks Kushida, Kushida snarls but Drilla fires more forearms! The fans rally, Kushida storms back up and fires forearms of his own! They go back and forth, Drilla pie faces Kushida, so Kushida fires a flurry!

But Drilla gets under, spins Kushida, but Kushida ducks to then get the arm! Drilla steps over and ENZIGIRIS! But the FASTBALL hits back! The fans fire up for the Masahiro Tanaka and we’re at the five minute mark. Kushida STOMPS Drilla’s hands! Kushida eggs Drilla on, baits him into an ELBOW, then goes up to QUEBRADA! Kushida then hurries back up, for a MOONSAULT! Cover, TWO! Drilla’s tough and the fans rally up, but Kushida clamps onto the fingers! Drilla breaks free but Kushida KICKS and KICKS and KICKS! Drilla falls and goes to a corner while the fans fire up again. Kushida powers up, runs in, and SHOTEIS!

Kushida puts Drilla up top, climbs, but Drilla slips under! CHOP to the leg! Drilla then drags Kushida off the corner into DRILLA- NO, Kushida slips free! But Drilla ducks the buzzsaw! Roll up, TWO! Kushida leaps on, but Drilla pushes the Hoverboard away. Kushida comes back to RAM that bad arm! Then he jumps on, HOVER- NO, SPINEBUSTER! And DOUBLE STOMP ELBOW DROP COMBO! Kushida flounders out of the ring and Drilla pursues. Kushida still wants the arm, but Drilla RAMS him into the apron! Drilla follows Kushida to the corner and grabs for him, but Kushida YANKS Drilla into the post first!

Kushida YANKS Drilla into the post again, and then goes up the corner! Kushida pulls Drilla’s arm into the crossbar! The ref counts, Kushida lets go, and Drilla drops back. The ring count starts, the fans rally, but both men are still outside at 10. Drilla drags himself up but the bad arm lets go of the ropes! Kushida is in at 15, Drilla rises at 17! Drilla shakes out the bad arm, and rolls in at 19! Kushida PENALTY KICKS the bad arm! Kushida whips then hip tosses! Cartwheel and DROPKICK! Drilla staggers, Kushida gest the arm, KIMURA! Drilla endures, fights up, but now it’s the HOVERBOARD!! Drilla flails, reaches out, tries to stack, TWO!!

Kushida lets Drilla go and Drilla CHOPS! Kushida PELES! Drilla wobbles, Kushida whips, but Drilla reverses. Kushida handsprings but into DRILLA KILLA!! Cover, DRILLA WINS!!

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

Kushida tried to make Drilla into a one-armed man, but it wasn’t enough to stop him! Is Kushida’s comeback running out of time? Will the Best of the Super Juniors end up being an Abunai Gaijin?

 

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

The Jet is squarely in the middle of the block right alongside the GHC National Champion. But will Knight be able to take flight? Or will he be left in the Silence of Darkness?

The bell rings and the fans rally up as the two stare down. They slowly circle, Hayata avoids Knight’s leg pick, and the two tie up. They’re in a deadlock, but Knight wrenches then wristlocks. Hayata wrenches back, but Knight rolls handsprings, and wrenches gain. Knight snapmares then drops a knee on the arm! The fans cheer and Knight keeps on the armlock. Knight brings Hayata up, wrenches again, then cording holds. Hayata slips through, wrenches, but Knight slips through to headlock for the takeover. Hayata headscissors, Knight kips free and the fans cheer. The two reset, circle, and they tie up.

Hayata trips Knight, things speed up, and Knight hurdles, hurdles, then follows. Hayata sidesteps but Knight goes up and over. Knight then arm-drags Hayata, arm-drags again, then runs up and springboards to FLYING arm-drag! The fans fire up and Hayata bails out. Knight aims, but has to stop the plancha as Hayata moves aside. Knight lands on the apron, jumps again, but Hayata YANKS him down! The fans cheer and rally up while Hayata shakes out the arms. Hayata brings Knight up, POSTS him, then brings him back up. Hayata headlocks Knight, brings him around and POSTS him again! The fans are torn but Hayata stalks Knight.

The ring count starts, Hayata drags Knight up at 5 of 20, then into the ring at 7. The fans applaud, and Hayata stalks Knight more. Hayata stomps Knight, CLUBS him, then snapamres. Hayata runs to basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Knight is still in this, the fans rally, but Hayata clamps on with a headlock. Hayata grinds Knight down but Knight endures. The fans rally as Knight fights up, only for Hayata to wrangle him back down! Knight pries at the hold, fights up, and throws body shots. Hayata CLAWS the eyes! The ref reprimands but Hayata whips Knight to ropes. Knight hurdles over the lariat to then PELE! The fans fire up while both men are down!

Knight crawls to a corner as the fans rally. Knight runs back in at Hayata, to STINGER SPLASH! Then a whip and DROPKICK! Hayata bails out again, and the fans fire up as Knight kips up! Knight builds speed, slides as Hayata moves, then goes to the corner for the PLANCHA! Direct hit and Knight shouts “TSUYOI~!” The fans cheer and even high-five Knight, and he gets Hayata up and in the ring. Knight aims, springboards, but Hayata dodges! Knight comes back, to SKY 2 HIGH! Cover, TWO! Hayata survives and the fans fire up again! Knight watches Hayata stir and the fans rally. Knight runs up, SATELLITE- NO, Hayata stops the DDT!

Knight kicks, whips, but Hayata reverses to arm-drag! And atomic drop! Hayata runs and BULLDOGS Knight down! The fans still rally, Hayata BASEMENT ENZIGIRIS! Cover, TWO! Knight survives and the fans cheer! Hayata gets annoyed but he and Knight slowly rise. Hayata goes to a corner, runs back in and SHOTGUNS Knight into the other corner! Knight slumps down and the fans rally up! Hayata brings Knight in, TORNADO- NO, Knight stops the DDT to put Hayata on the corner! CHOP and UPPER ROOM! Hayata writhes and the fans fire up! Knight gets Hayata up, fireman’s carries, but Hayata slips free to cradle! TWO!!

Hayata dodges Knight to slip around, sunset, then Oklahoma! TWO and Knight cradles, TWO!! Hayata escapes, Knight feints the superkick to ROUNDHOUSE! Knight resets, Hayata rises, and Knight runs up to SATELLITE- NO, still no DDT! Hayata gets Knight around for the 403 IMPACT!! Cover, Hayata wins!

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

Both Jet Setters get grounded in the same round! Will all flights to the semifinals be grounded? Will the GHC National Champion prove he is the Best of the Super Juniors?

 

[Due to scheduling conflicts, coverage will continue tomorrow]

 

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

Francesco Akira’s withdrawal ended up giving points to Hiromu, Douki, Eagles & Sho, and that ended up bumping The Bone Soldier down a couple spots! Will he take his frustrations out on the American Shinobi? Or will the Mack Attack only add to his misery?

 

 

Best of the Super Juniors 31 A Block: El Desperado VS Clark Connors!

The Rogue Luchador has won two main events in a row, but he’s still only on par with 100 Proof. Desperado wants to be the Best of the Super Juniors so badly, he can almost taste it, but will there be No Chaser to go with it? Or can he make it three in a row overall to head for the top?

 

 

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

This is a tale of two tides turning. Being on the hotseat lit a fire under The Public Enemy while All Heat has cooled off. Can TJP keep this historic comeback going? Or will the GCW Champion end the Cinderella story right here?

 

 

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

This one’s gonna be good! It was Wrestling Satsuma no Kuni when Japones Del Mal got his shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, only for the Murder Machine to cheat him out of it. But now, Douki is ahead in the block and could do some serious damage with a win here! Will Douki earn both points and a golden ticket tonight? Or will Sho stack the deck so high it’ll reach the sky?

 

 

Here are the NEW A Block standings!

El Desperado: 4-2, 8 points
Blake Christian: 4-2, 8 points
Clark Connors: 4-2, 8 points
Titan: 5-2, 10 points
HAYATA: 4-3, 8 points
Kevin Knight: 3-4, 6 points
BUSHI: 3-4, 6 points
TJP: 2-4, 4 points
Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]
Kosei Fujita: 2-5, 4 points [ELIMINATED]

 

Here are the EVEN NEWER B Block standings!

DOUKI: 4-2, 8 points
Hiromu Takahashi: 4-2, 8 points
Robbie Eagles: 5-2, 10 points
“Drilla” Moloney: 4-2, 8 points
KUSHIDA: 4-2, 8 points
Taiji Ishimori: 3-2, 6 points
SHO: 3-3, 6 points
Francesco Akira: 2-3, 4 points
Ninja Mack: 2-3, 4 points
Dragon Dia: 0-6, 0 points [ELIMINATED]


My Thoughts:

 


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Mitchell’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Results & Report! (5/21/24)

A Block, Round 6!

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Former friends turned bitter enemies meet once again.

Best of the Super Juniors continues into Round 6, and A Block has a grudge match on its hands as El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru face off! Will the Rogue Luchador humble the Heel Master?

OFFICIAL RESULTS

  • Hiromu Takahashi & Yota Tsuji VS Shoma Kato & Katsuya Murashima; Hiromu & Yota win.
  • DOUKI & Taka Michinoku VS SHO & Yujiro Takahashi; Sho & Yujiro win.
  • Six Man Tag: KUSHIDA, Ninja Mack & Dragon Dia VS Drilla Moloney, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo; Kushida, Mack & Dia win.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: TJP VS Kosei Fujita; TJP wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: BUSHI VS Clark Connors; Connors wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Blake Christian VS HAYATA; Hayata wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Kevin Knight VS Titan; Titan wins.
  • Best of the Super Juniors A Block: El Desperado VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru; Desperado wins.

PLAY BY PLAY

Here are the current A Block standings!

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

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: TJP VS Kosei Fujita w/ Robbie Eagles!

It’s make or break for the Public Enemy! He must win to stay alive in the block, but he’s up against an equally determined Young Punk! Will TJP cling to hope in the tournament? Or will Fujita kick him out of the hot seat and out of the running?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. TJP and Fujita circle, tie up, and TJP waistlocks. TJP brings Fujita down and facelocks but Fujita slips out to facelock TJP. TJP trips Fujita to cover, ONE! TJP facelocks again, Fujita puts him on ropes, and the ref calls for the break. Fujita lets off with a hard pat on the shoulder. TJP gets in Fujita’s face, but the two reset and circle again. They tie up, Fujita headlocks and hits the takeover. TJP powers up to bridge, and he spins Fujita for a headlock and takeover. Fujita headscissors but TJP headstands. The fans cheer, TJP pops free, and he pats Fujita on the knee. The fans applaud as the two reset.

Fujita and TJP circle, tie up, and TJP wrenches to hammerlock. Fujita reaches back and jumps to flying mare free! Fujita bumps TJP, runs, but TJP drops and handsprings. TJP sets up but Fujita hurdles then shoves TJP to ropes. TJP stops himself to wrench and hammerlock Fujita, then spins and trips Fujita for a toehold. Fujita turns over, reels TJP in but TJP uses that to get the BOW ‘N’ ARROW! Fujita pops free to a cover, ONE! TJP sweeps to a cover, ONE! Fujita headscissors to get the ARMBAR! TJP fights up, works to stack Fujita, and then he gets the leg for a FIGURE FOUR CRAB! Not quite Sharpshooter or Cloverleaf but Fujita suffers all the same!

The fans rally and Fujita fights his way over. Fujita reaches out to the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go and the fans applaud. TJP drags Fujita up, UPPERCUTS him against ropes, then whips. Fujita reverses but TJP anticipates the drop down to trap the one arm and get the other, DARK SACRIFICE! Fujita writhes, TJP drags him up to hammerlock the bad arm. TJP RAMS Fujita into the corner, sits him down, and he scrubs Fujita’s face! The fans rally up, TJP runs side to side, BOOT WASH! The fans cheer and TJP covers, TWO! Fujita is still in this but TJP drags him from the corner. TJP ties the legs up again, but now it’s a figure four and butterfly stretch combo!

Fujita endures while his head and legs are trapped, but then TJP shifts to twist an arm! Fujita endures, TJP knuckle locks for a cover, TWO! TJP pushes the arms back down, cover, TWO as Fujita bridges! TJP hops on but Fujita uses that to MONKEY FLIP! Fujita rolls back but TJP MONKEY FLIPS in return! TJP rolls back, but into body scissors and a KIMURA! TJP powers his way forward through the leg guard, to get a BOSTON CRAB! Then TJP reaches back to get Fujita’s arms! REVERSE MEXICAN SURFBOARD! Then TJP drops into the toehold, but Fujita scrambles to the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go and the fans applaud.

TJP stalks Fujita, drags him up, but Fujita fires a forearm. There’s not much to it and TJP pie faces Fujita. Fujita fires another forearm, so TJP UPPERCUTS! TJP whips, Fujita reverses and GAMANGIRIS! Both men are down and the fans fire up! The fans rally and Fujita fires up. Fujita storms up on TJP, but TJP blocks the whip! Fujita still tries, TJP still blocks, so Fujita CHOPS! Fujita whips corner to corner, runs in, but TJP puts him on the apron. TJP swings, Fujita counter punches! Fujita springboards to MISSILE DROPKICK! Cover, TWO! But Fujita sits TJP up and runs to PENALTY KICK! Cover, TWO!

The fans fire up and Fujita shakes out the bad arm. Fujita waistlocks TJP and deadlifts, but TJP fights the rest! TJP pries the hold open but Fujita kicks the clothesline! TJP still catches Fujita to a FINAL CUT! TJP hurries up top now and MAMBA SPLASH! Cover, TWO!! Fujita survives and the fans fire up! TJP catches his breath, drags Fujita up, reels him in, for the HALF HATCH! One Kaibigan! TJP drags Fujita up again, Duwa Kaibigan! TJP drags Fujita up again, but Fujita blocks the third! TJP KNEES Fujita for it, CLUBS him for it, then brings him up again, but Fujita gets around to GERMAN SUPLEX!

Fujita holds on as he brings TJP up, another GERMAN SUPLEX! The fans rally as Fujita GERMAN- NO, TJP fights that with elbows! No hattrick for either man, and TJP runs, but into a waistlock! TJP headlocks free, then gets around to IRON OCTOPUS! Fujita endures, stomps his way forward, and he has the ROPEBREAK! TJP lets go in frustration, and he brings Fujita back around. The fans rally as TJP wrenches, to an ELBOW BREAKER! TJP wrenches again, but Fujita clamps on a SLEEPER! TJP reaches out, slips around, and powers out of the hold, to then SUPERKICK! Fujita staggers but he SUPERKICKS back!

Fujita kicks, but TJP blocks and slips around, LEG CAPTURE SUPLEX! The fans fire up and clap along as TJP pounds the mat. “T! J P! T! J P!” aims from the corner, throws up the crowns, and runs, into a pop-up waistlock! HIGH ANGLE GERMAN! Bridging cover, TWO!! Fujita roars and the fans are thunderous! Fujita storms around, drags TJP up and brings him in, but TJP knees free of the suplex! Inside cradle, TWO! Fujita runs up, trips TJP, rolls and hooks the legs! TJP fights off the Cross Stretch as Fujita wants arms. TJP fights up, arm-drags free, but Fujita drags him into a somersault clutch! TWO, and TJP steps over, PINOY STRETCH!!

The fans fire up as Fujita endures, but TJP thrashes him around! Fujita taps, TJP wins!

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

The Public Enemy stays alive another round! And now with this win, he’s dragged Fujita into the hot seat! The Mighty Don’t Kneel, but will they still miss out on the semifinals? Will TJP make for the biggest comeback story in BOSJ history?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: BUSHI VS Clark Connors!

Black Mask is dangling on the edge while 100 Proof is gearing up for a run at the top! Can Bushi drag Connors down with him? Or will defeat be a hard pill to swallow with No Chaser?

The bell rings and the two rush in! Bushi fires off forearms then runs, but Connors knees low! Connors barks, runs, but Bushi dumps him out! Bushi builds speed, Connors returns, but Bushi fakes out the powerslam! Bushi kicks, whips but Connors reverses, to JEEP FLIPPER! The fans fire up and Connors stalks Bushi to a corner. Connors RIPS Bushi’s shirt away, then CHOKES him with what’s left! The ref counts, Connors lets off, and Connors stands Bushi up to THROW him out. Connors storms out after Bushi, stomps him, then drags him up. Connors brings Bushi around to GRIND his face on the railing!

Connors offers the torn shirt to fans, but then throws it down the ramp! Connors drags Bushi back up, UPPERCUTS him, then brings him around to POST! Bushi falls, the fans rally, but Connors talks trash. Connors goes to the back of the crowd to snatch a fan’s LIJ baseball cap and put it on. Connors wants the ring count, then sits Bushi up to go after the mask! The fans boo but the count is still going! Connors is doing what he did to Titan! Connors stomps Bushi, attacks a Young Lion, then SLAMS the Young Lion onto Bushi! The count is 15 as Connors leaves Bushi behind! Bushi flounders, rises up, and slides in at 19!

The fans cheer as Bushi is safe, but Connors paces. Connors struts up to JUMP ELBOW DROP! Cover, TWO! The fans applaud while Connors gets annoyed. Connors tells fans to shut up, but that only makes them rally harder. Bushi stands to chop, but he can’t put much behind it. Connors throws Bushi down by the mask! Connors clamps on with a chinlock and he grinds Bushi down. Bushi endures, fights around, reaches out, ROPEBREAK! The ref counts, Connors lets off and fans applaud. Connors drags Bushi up, whips him to a corner, then he mocks the fans cheering on Bushi. Connors says they shouldn’t even laugh at him.

Connors runs up but Bushi BOOTS him! Bushi RANAS Connors out of the ring! The fans fire up while Connors flounders back to the apron. Bushi runs up to BLAST Connors, then Bushi builds speed to DIVE! Direct hit and down goes Connors! The fans fire up again while both men stir. Bushi fires up, puts Connors in, then runs in to ELBOW Connors! Bushi puts the bad leg in ropes to DROPKICK it! Then he DRAPING BACKSTABBERS! Bushi stands Connors up, blocks his haymaker, and spins him around. But Connors fights the DDT! Connors wrenches out, Bushi dodges and dropkicks Connors’ leg!

Bushi goes for the legs, but Connors SLAPS him first! Bushi staggers, comes back, but into the SNAP POWERSLAM! The fans fire up while both men are down again. Connors aims from a corner, barks and runs in, but Bushi dropkicks the legs out! Bushi turns Connors over to SMASH the knee! Then the FABLE! Connors endures the leglock but Bushi pulls on the knee! Connors grits his teeth, crawls over, reaches out, but Bushi pulls on the knee more! The fans rally, Connors fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Bushi lets go in frustration while the fans applaud. Bushi gets Connors up but Connors fights the lift with elbows!

Bushi runs up but Connors ELBOWS him again. Connors snarls, runs, but Bushi DROPKICKS! Connors staggers around while Bushi goes to a corner. Bushi runs up, but into a SPEAR!! Cover, TWO!! Bushi survives and the fans fire up again! Connors snarls, he stalks Bushi and drags him up. Connors serves it up, but Bushi fights No Chaser! Bushi wrenches to backslide, but Connors rolls through to JUNKYARD DOG HEADBUTT! Connors then drags Bushi up and in, for NO CHASER!! Cover, Connors wins!

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

100 Proof sweeps LIJ in his block, but then he wants after the mask again! The Young Lions rush in and stop him, so Connors backs off. Connors then takes a fan’s Bushi mask to show it off like a trophy. But will Connors take THE trophy and be the Best of the Super Juniors?

 

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

All Heat finally hit a speedbump in this tournament with last round’s loss while the Silence of Darkness let TJP slip past him. Will the GCW Champion or GHC National Champion establish brand superiority on the way to the top of NJPW?

The bell rings, the two circle and the fans rally. They feel things out, tie up, and Hayata wrenches to a wristlock. Blake rolls, cartwheels, slips through and wrenches to a wristlock. Blake bends Hayata’s fingers to make him flip everyone off. The ref reprimands, Blake sticks to the wristlock, but Hayata rolls and trips him. Hayata drops an elbow on the knee, then pulls on the toehold. Blake pulls on Hayata’s hair but the ref reprimands. Blake uses his legs to turn Hayata to a cover, TWO! The two stand off the fans applaud. Blake and Hayata circle, feel things out, and knuckle lock. Blake rolls, wrangles Hayata but Hayata headscissors!

Blake moves around, pops free, and floats onto a headlock. Hayata powers up and pries free to top wristlock. Blake bridges, kips up, and he wrangles Hayata. Hayata headscissors again but Blake has the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer and Hayata lets off. The two reset again, knuckle lock, then Hayata trips Blak. Things speed up, Hayata handsprings then sidesteps to atomic drop. Hayata runs to SHOTGUN BOOT! Hayata kips up, the fans cheer, and Hayata runs in at the corner. Hayata blocks Blake’s boot, but Blake pokes him in the eye! Blake then somersaults to PELE the bad arm! Blake reels Hayata in for a BACKBREAKER!

Hayata bails out, fans rally up, and Blake builds speed to FOSBURY FLOP! Direct hit and the fans fire up! Blake walks it off and then mocks their applause. Blake flips everyone off, then goes back to Hayata. Blake drags Hayata around to then stand on the arm, and he drops a knee on it! Blake then stands Hayata up against a post, to slide in and pull him back against it! The ref counts, Blake lets go, and he brings Hayata onto the apron. Blake stands Hayata up but Hayata CLAWS Blake’s eyes! Hayata reels Blake in but Blake fights the facelock to WRING the arm into the apron! Hayata writhes and Blake pushes him into the ring.

Blake stands on Hayata’s hair while pulling the arms! The ref reprimands, but Blake drops a knee on the bad elbow! Hayata sits up, Blake clamps onto him with a keylock! Blake then falls back to JAM up the arm! Hayata clutches the elbow but Blake brings him up. Blake wrenches and UPPERCUTS the bad arm, then hits an ELBOW BREAKER! And then an ARMBAR DDT! Blake mocks the applause, flips the fans off, then covers, TWO! Blake is annoyed but he drags Hayata up to suplex. Hayata slips free and DROPKICKS Blake to ropes! The fans fire up, Hayata runs in, but Blake dumps him out! Blake then somersaults to triangle jump DROPKICK!

Hayata falls to the floor, Blake aims and PLANCHAS, but Hayata moves! Blake lands on his feet but that jams up his knee! Hayata puts Blake in, reels him in to lift, for a SITOUT KNEE BUSTER!! Blake writhes, Hayata ties up the legs and has a Deathlock! Blake endures, reaches out, and backstrokes to the ROPEBREAK! The fans cheer, Hayata lets go, and Blake crawls to the near side. Hayata whips but Blake holds ropes to stop that! Blake ROUNDHOUSES, then BOOTS! Then somersaults, to ARMBAR DDT! And then wrench to DOUBLE KNEE DROP the arm! BASEMENT ENZIGIRI! Cover, TWO! Hayata is still in this and the fans rally.

Blake grabs Hayata’s bad arm, drags him up to UPPERCUT the arm, then he grinds the shoulder. Hayata pulls hair, throws forearms, but Blake knees low. Blake hobbles, but he still whips. Hayata reverses to ENZIGIRI Blake down! The fans rally up while both men go to corners. Hayata runs in to DROPKICK Blake down! The fans fire up again as Hayata climbs. SECOND ROPE SAULT! Cover, TWO! Blake is still in this but Hayata keeps cool. The fans rally, Hayata runs in, but Blake dodges. Blake comes back to BOOT! Blake goes out and springboards, to DOUBLE STOMP the bad arm! Blake hurries to ripcord and SPANISH FLY! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Hayata hangs in there and Blake grows frustrated! Blake goes to the apron, the fans rally up, and Blake slashes his throat. 450 SPLASH but Hayata moves! Blake lands out but that jams his leg! CRADLE, TWO!! Hayata and Blake stand, Blake gets around to sunset flip, then Oklahoma Roll! TWO, ghost pin! HAYATA WINS!!

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

The GHC National Champion inches out the GCW Champion in quite the thriller! However, Blake is still leading this block, will he heat things back up soon enough? Will Hayata be able to make a run at the top here in the latter half?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: Kevin Knight VS Titan!

The Jet was grounded by the Heel Master while El Inmortal was mocked by 100 Proof. Both men are just on the outside of those top spots, will Knight take flight again? Or will Titan keep his semifinal hopes alive?

The bell rings and the fans rally up. The two approach, circle, then tie up. They break, tie up again, then break. Titan trips Knight, things speed up, and Titan cartwheels. Knight hurdles, Titan leaps, and then Knight sidesteps. Titan avoids the dropkick but Knight lands on his feet! Knight runs up, Titan puts him on the apron, but Knight ducks the lariat to throw Titan down! Titan kips up to PELE! The fans fire up as Knight staggers back and Titan builds speed. But Knight gets up to springboard and FLYING LARIAT! Now Titan bails out and Knight builds speed, only for Titan to get away. Knight slides out then goes up the corner to PLANCHA! Direct hit!

The fans fire up and Knight flexes! Knight high-fives Abe-san, then he drags Titan up and into the ring. The fans rally, Knight storms up on Titan and brings him around. Knight scoops to SLAM Titan to a drop zone, then he JET SPLASHES! Cover, TWO! Knight checks the count, it was fair, so he lets it slide. Knight wrenches, whips, and catches Titan to a COBRA TWIST! Knight says he’s very, very, very strong! The fans cheer but Titan fights the hold. Titan hip tosses, Knight flips through! Titan dodges Knight to SUPERKICK! Knight SUPERKICKS back! Knight runs, but Titan goes Matrix to dodge, and then CALF KICK!

Titan whips, Knight reverses and DROPKICKS! The fans fire up while both men are down! Titan flops out of the ring, Knight aims and PLANCHAS, but lands out as Titan moves! Titan builds speed and DIVES! Direct hit and the fans fire up with both men down at their feet! Titan rises, he brings Knight up and in, and then goes to a corner. The fans rally as Titan climbs. Knight gets under the leap, Titan comes back, into a SKY 2 HIGH! Both men are down again and the fans rally up. Titan and Knight rise, and Knight eggs Titan on. Titan sits up, Knight fires a forearm! Titan grits his teeth and forearms back!

Knight CHPOS and the fans cheer! Titan CHPOS and the fans cheer! Knight CHOPS, Titan CHOPS, they stand and throw forearms and CHOPS on repeat! The fans fire up as they pick up speed! Knight ROCKS Titan, but Titan SOBATS! Titan powers up and runs, but Knight LARIATS at the ropes! Knight fires up, whips, but Titan reverses to TORNADO- NO! Knight stops the DDT and suplexes, but Titan rolls it around! Titan suplexes, Knight slips free to waistlock. Titan switches, shoves, runs up and TORNADO- NO! Knight blocks again, and now he carries Titan to pop him up and HEAVY RAIN! Cover, TWO!!

The fans fire up as Titan survives and we only now hit five minutes! Knight waits on Titan as he takes aim. Titan rises as the fans rally, and Knight runs up! SATELLITE- NO, Titan back drops Knight away! The fans rally again as both men go to corners. Knight runs bac up but into a BOOT! SOBAT! KICK! PALM STRIKES! WHEEL KICK! Now Titan wants Knight to rise! The fans rally as Titan throws off the armband and goes corner to corner! But Knight leaps over! And then PELES back! Knight roars, the fans fire up again, and Knight gets Titan up! Knight puts Titan up top, for the UPPER ROOM! Cover, TWO! Titan is still in this and the fans fire up!

Knight storms up on Titan, roars again, and hauls Titan up. Knight fireman’s carries, but Titan fights free! Titan shoves, follows, TORNADO DDT! Titan holds on and brings Knight up, for a GOURD BUSTER! Then SUPERKICK! Knight flops over and Titan goes to the corner. Titan skins the cat to the top, then DIVING DOUBLE STOMPS!! Cover, TWO!! Knight survives, but Titan has the legs! Titan turns Knight over in the deathlock, then JAVE INMORTAL!! Straitjacket on top for good measure! Knight is caught, he QUITS! Titan wins!!

Winner: Titan, by submission (gains 2 points; Knight earns 0)

El Inmortal’s hopes of being a semifinalist still live as he grounds The Jet’s flight! Will Titan reach the same heights as he did last year? Can Knight still course correct with just three rounds left?

 

Best of the Super Juniors A Block: El Desperado VS Yoshinobu Kanemaru!

While The Rogue Luchador vowed to finally win the big one just the other night, this one is personal! Desperado knows all The Heel Master’s tricks, but will that help him here in the sixth? Or will the House of Torture’s stacked deck be too much even for the Best of the Super Juniors?

The bell rings and the fans rally as the two circle. They tie up, Despe powers Kanemaru back, and Red Shoes counts. Despe lets off cleanly and the fans applaud. Kanemaru and Despe reset, tie up, and now Kanemaru puts Despe on ropes. But then Kanemaru kicks the leg! Kanemaru whips, but Despe jumps over the low dropkick! Despe kicks and whips, Kanemaru reverses, but again Despe jumps the low dropkick! The fans cheer as the two stand off and reset. They tie up, Despe blocks the kick! Despe rolls Kanemaru, but then DDTS a leg! The fans cheer, Despe grabs that leg and drops an elbow on the knee.

Despe has the leg in a toehold, Kanemaru pulls at the mask but Despe pulls on the leg! Kanemaru endures as Despe keeps the leg trapped, then Despe lets go to SPLASH the leg! Cover, ONE! The fans cheer and Kanemaru clutches the knee. Despe shakes out his arms and goes back for Kanemaru. Despe drags Kanemaru up but Kanemaru throws body shots. Despe kicks and whips but Kanemaru reveres to hammerlock and scoop SLAM! Despe clutches his elbow but Kanemaru drags him up. Kanemaru wrenches and YANKS the arm, hammerlocks it and scoop SLAMS again! Despe writhes and bails out. Red Shoes checks on Despe, allowing Kanemaru to untie the buckle pad!

The Bullet Club Special is in play and Kanemaru storms out after Despe. Kanemaru drags Despe up, wrenches, and then hammerlocks the arm to POST it! Despe falls and crawls away but Kanemaru catches up to him. Kanemaru SLAMS the bad arm on the floor, then SLAMS it again! Despe writhes, the ring count starts, and Kanemaru leaves Despe behind. The count reaches 8 of 20, Despe stands at 11. Despe leans on the corner, slides in at 15, but Kanemaru stomps him down! Kanemaru YANKS on the arm again and again, then snapmares Despe so he can WRING the arm! Despe writhes but the fans rally up.

Kanemaru grabs the bad arm and he pulls off Despe’s elbow pad! Kanemaru stomps the bad arm, digs his heel into it, then clamps on for a top wristlock. Despe endures, the fans rally, and Despe throws punches into Kanemaru’s back. Kanemaru sits up to put on the pressure, but Despe throws body shots. Kanemaru knees low, whips, then hip tosses! Kanemaru drops a leg on the arm, then clamps on a scissor! Kanemaru pushes up to put on the pressure! Despe kicks and flails while he endures, and the fans rally. Despe fights his way over to the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go slowly, and kneels on the arm!

Kanemaru plays dumb but Red Shoes points out what he’s doing. Despe throws more body shots until Kanemaru finally steps away. Kanemaru then brings Despe up, hooks the arm, but Despe fights the hip toss. Kanemaru throws a body shot, then hip tosses, into a short arm scissors! Despe endures, reaches out, and the fans rally. Despe clubs at Kanemaru’s leg but Kanemaru pulls on the hold! Despe still fights around, reaches out, and finds the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go in frustration and Despe scrambles away. Kanemaru stalks Despe, stomps him, then drops a knee on the elbow! Despe writhes but Kanemaru drops another knee, and another knee, and another knee!

Kanemaru pulls on the arm, CLAWS at Despe’s eyes, then brings Despe around to hammerlock the arm. Kanemaru RAMS Despe into the bare buckles! Red Shoes reprimands then checks on Despe. Kanemaru paces but Despe goes to the apron. Kanemaru stands on Despe’s bad arm but Red Shoes counts. Kanemaru stomps Despe as he lets off, and fans still rally. Kanemaru drags Despe up to YANK the bad arm! And YANK it again! Kanemaru whips but Despe fights the hip toss again. Kanemaru CLAWS the eyes and then kicks low. Kanemaru runs, but Despe dropkicks Kanemaru’s legs out! Now things are even as the fans fire up!

The fans rally as Despe and Kanemaru go to corners. Despe stands, shakes out the bad arm, then runs corner to corner. He blocks a boot to dropkick the bad leg! Then Despe grabs the bad leg to DRAGON SCREW! Kanemaru falls over and the fans rally up again. Despe drags Kanemaru by a leg, then drops a leg on the knee! Despe ties Kanemaru’s legs up in the INDIAN DEATHLOCK! Kanemaru CLUBS at Despe’s arm but Despe eggs him on! Kanemaru throws more and more heavy hands and Despe “falls” to put pressure on the leglock! Kanemaru shouts in pain, reaches out, crawls, but Despe shifts to make it a CALF KILLER!

Kanemaru still endures, still fights forward, and still gets the ROPEBREAK! The fans applaud, Red Shoes calls the break and Despe lets go. “Oops!” and he drops knees on the knee. The fans rally up while Kanemaru writhes. Despe drags Kanemaru around, stomps the bad leg, but Kanemaru avoids the elbow drop! Despe shakes out the arms, Kanemaru goes to a corner. Despe runs up, but into a BOOT! Kanemaru runs up, tilt-o-whirls, but Despe fights the DDT! So Kanemaru makes it a KIMURA! Kanemaru drags Despe down and cranks the bad arm! Despe fights his way over, ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru holds until Red Shoes counts!

Kanemaru drags Despe by his bad arm, then reels him in to scoop and BRITISH- NO, Despe slips around to RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Both men are down and the fans fire up again! Despe rolls away to ropes, Kanemaru rolls to pursue. The fans rally, Despe rolls back to center to get away from Kanemaru. Despe stands, fires himself up, and then runs in at Kanemaru. But Kanemaru dodges! Despe stops from hitting buckles, but Kanemaru RAMS him into them! And then whips him back into them! Despe falls, Kanemaru runs up and kitchen sink knees! Kanemaru drags Despe up, whips, and kitchen sink knees again!

Kanemaru goes up a corner and MOONSAULTS! Cover, TWO! But then the KIMURA returns!! Despe endures and the fans rally up! Kanemaru cranks on the double wristlock but Despe still fights around! Despe stands, but Kanemaru drags him back down! KIMURA!! Despe endures, kicks and flails, reaches and finds the ROPEBREAK! Kanemaru lets go in frustration but he then goes up a corner. Despe rises, turns around, into DEEP IMPACT!! Cover, TWO!! Despe survives and the fans fire up again! Kanemaru drags Despe up, but Despe fights the suplex! Despe throws body shots, but Kanemaru still tries! Despe turns that around to suplex Kanemaru!

The fans fire up again while both men are down at the 15 minute mark. The fans rally, Despe huffs and puffs and storms over to Kanemaru. Despe drags Kanemaru up, reels him in, but Kanemaru grabs Red Shoes! Despe BOOTS Kanemaru’s arm! Then Despe reels Kanemaru in, but Kanemaru SHOVES Despe into Red Shoes! The fans boo but Kanemaru whips Despe into the bare buckles! Despe writhes, Red Shoes is also down, and Kanemaru of course grabs his bottle of whiskey. Kanemaru takes a swig, goes back for Despe, but Despe smothers him! Kanemaru pushes Despe back, but Despe ROCKS him and sends the whiskey mist flying!

Despe drags Kanemaru up, reels him in, PINCHE- NO, Kanemaru fights that, and jackknife bridges! TWO!!! The fans fire up, Kanemaru BOOTS, then he ducks to BOOT again! And again! And- SPINEBUSTER! Despe flips Kanemaru up to PINCHE LOCO!! Cover, Despe wins!

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

Another main event and another big win for The Rogue Luchador! The Heel Master almost did this clean and almost won because of it, will he realize where he’s going wrong?

As for Desperado, he gets an icepack and a mic to say, “I knew it! As tough as ever! Damn. I’m glad I won.” The fans cheer that. Despe continues by saying, “For each outing, more is needed. Every time I face him, I level up. This was a league match, but that was the level of a final. I’ll keep going, and I promise to make you guys glad you bought a ticket.” The fans also cheer that. Despe says that this is the Osaka-Jo Hall main event we’re talking about! He keeps saying he doesn’t care, but now it’s right in front of him! It’d be a big disappointment if he doesn’t make it, right? There’ll be a lot of guys in both blocks “gutted” they won’t make it. “But for me, I’ll be taking it.”

The fans cheer as The Rogue Luchador is ready to be the Best of the Super Juniors! Just three more rounds to go, will he make it?

 

Here are the NEW A Block standings!

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


My Thoughts:

A great round for A Block here, and they played up the drama right away with TJP getting that win over Fujita. I can’t really say TJP makes that big comeback to get a spot in the semifinals, because as soon as someone who already beat him gets 5+ wins, they cross him off mathematically. I really like that we’ve got four 4-2 records, those guys are all going strong. Connors has that win over Titan, though, so Titan only gets ahead if Connors falls off in the final three rounds. Blake meanwhile is starting to cool off, and with his loss to Desperado, Blake will need Connors to take Desperado out tomorrow to help him get back up.

And word came in from NJPW today that sadly, Francesco Akira’s knee injury will NOT be okay in time for the next round, or for any of the rounds so he must now forfeit points. As I pointed out last time, the ones who benefit are Hiromu, Douki, Eagles & Sho. Sho gets to six points, the others are at 8 with Kushida, essentially getting B Block to the same situation as A Block. Kushida already beat Hiromu and Sho, so he’d have to fall off pretty bad for either of them to get his spot in the semifinals. Douki is going to face Sho tomorrow, and is still to face Kushida, so Douki could take that spot for himself while taking out Hiromu in the process.

My Score: 9/10


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