Best of the Super Juniors Day 6, Korakuen Hall, May 27th:
Rocky Romero & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Matt Sydal & Michael Elgin
This was such a fun opener. There was lots of great stuff between Sydal & Romero. Sydal & Elgin made for a great team and even did a double slam and pose together. This was a unique match with two teams you wouldn’t expect, but they worked well together. Elgin took out YOSHI with a Senton off the apron. Sydal & Romero went back and forth until Romero rolled up Sydal to pick up the win.
Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Kyle O’Reilly, David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Jay White, Katsuyori Shibata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Juice Robinson & KUSHIDA
Nothing too much of note here, but it was a fun action packed back and forth match. It was hard to keep track of who was on which team at some points. Shibata & Nagata tore into one another and had a nice exchange of suplexes. Other than that it was lots of quick tags with everyone getting a quick burst of offence. Nagata pinned White with a Back Drop Hold. After the match Shibata and Nagata kept fighting and were held apart.
Tiger Mask IV defeated Chase Owens
This was okay. Owens attacked Tiger before the bell and Yujiro Takahashi did a number on him. Tiger managed to get back into the match and locked Owens in a reverse armbar. Yujiro got involved again. It led to a low blow and Package Piledriver attempt from Owens, but Tiger reversed it and won with a roll up. No one will remember this when the tournament is over.
Bobby Fish defeated Beretta
This was great. These guys had a great match on the last day of last years tournament, so I had high expectations for this. Beretta has also been having a fantastic year as a singles, with some amazing performances in PWG. These guys went back and forth. Fish suplexed Beretta on the floor and he barely got in before the 20 count. Beretta countered the Fish Hook into a great pin attempt. Beretta hit a couple of running knees. Fish hit a Falcon Arrow from the top for a great near fall and transitioned into the Fish Hook to get the submission win. Just a really great match from two guys that don’t get the chance to show what they can do as singles in NJPW often enough. Beretta might be the most underrated wrestler in the world.
Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi defeated Captain New Japan, Satoshi Kojima & Yoshitatsu
This was just a showcase for Omega to further what he did to Tanahashi. We got a nice preview of what could be a great match sometime between Kojima & Omega. Yoshi & Yujiro should never be allowed in the ring together. There’s a constant feeling that one of them will get badly hurt. Captain got a huge pop from the crowd when he almost rolled up Omega. Omega win when he pinned Captain after a Slingblade and High Fly Flow. The crowd were all over him for that and it was great.
SANADA, BUSHI, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito defeated Gedo, Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii
As with all these CHAOS vs Los Ingobernables de Japon matches, this was great. Okada embraced the spirit of the BOSJ and opened the match with a dive out of the ring onto Naito & BUSHI. LIJ worked over Ishii for quite a while. Goto & EVIL had a really hard exchange of lariats. SANADA looked excellent when he was in the ring. Things broke down at the end and there were guys in and out hitting big moves. Gedo is such a great wrestler. He does so many little things well. He ate a Codebreaker and a TKO from SANADA and got a huge pop when he kicked out. He then fell to the Dragon Sleeper. After the bell YOSHI-HASHI ran in when the hold wasn’t broken. This led to CHAOS running off LIJ. It looks like they’re building to YOSHI vs SANADA, which would be great based on their interactions in tag matches. This feud has been so much fun and this was a hell of a match with plenty of excitement and heat.
Volador Jr defeated Jushin Thunder Liger
This was fantastic and it’s insane that Liger can wrestle at this pace at this stage of his career. Volador was lightning quick and Liger even took to the air with a crossbody off the top to the floor to jeep up with him. Liger got big near falls with a Suplex from the top and a Liger Bomb. Volador is pretty spectacular. The crowd always pop when he takes his mask off. Volador went for a moonsault, but Liger got his feet up. The fins I saw Volador hit a Spanish Fly from the top. If you are a fan of Liger, this is must see.
Will Ospreay defeated Ricochet
This was an absolutely spectacular main event. High flying, junior heavyweight style wrestling at its absolute apex and taken to the next level. Will Ospreay became a superstar in his Korakuen Hall debut. The innovation and pin point accuracy of this was absurd. The opening sequence of this was mind blowing and it just built from there. It was like watching a video game or some action cartoon. It was so good that it made an NJPW crowd chant “this is awesome” and “holy shit”, which I don’t think I’ve ever seen before. I’m not gonna recap all the insanity in this, just go watch it and be mesmerised by these two. Ospreay won with the diving cutter to pick up his first points of the tournament and what will hopefully be the turning point for him. After the match the crowd chanted “one more match” as they faced off in the ring. Ospreay is a made man in NJPW already even after only two major singles matches and one victory.
This was a hell of a show. The last three matches are excellent, and the main event is a match of the year candidate.