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Kevin’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Eleven Review

May 29, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Eleven Review  

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Eleven
May 29th, 2019 | Nagoya Congress Center in Nagoya, Aichi | Attendance: 1,363

After a few days off, the BOSJ returns. We’re back to individual shows. TAKA Michinoku remains injured. That means his opponent for the day, Marty Scurll, gets a forfeit victory and the show is only four matches long.

A Block: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion SHO [6] vs. Titan [4]
Neither man is alive in the tournament thanks to Shingo running away with this thing. It made for a match that lacked drama. Still, it had several good things going for it. The exchanges were smooth and most of the action was solid. It did get off to a slow start, though I kind of appreciated that. With neither desperate to win due to the standings, they didn’t to come out firing. Both guys kept it babyface throughout, giving us a clean and competitive match. Titan continues to show more mat skills than I knew he had. He hit a late superkick but was quickly caught with a piledriver. The Shock Arrow right after ended him in 11:05. A solid encounter with some good back and forth. [***]

A Block: Taiji Ishimori [12] vs. Tiger Mask IV [4]
Tiger Mask opened 2-0 but hasn’t won since. Ishimori beat Tiger Mask last year (***). He came in dealing with a slew of injuries. Tiger Mask withstood an attack before the bell. I like Ishimori going for that here. Though he’s the favorite, he badly needed to win to keep pace with Shingo. A loss here would’ve eliminated him. He hit Tiger Mask with a flurry of offense and won with the LeBelle Lock in a relatively short 4:36. Just what it needed to be. [**¼]

A Block: Jonathan Gresham [8] vs. Shingo Takagi [14]
Win or lose, the block comes down to Shingo vs. Ishimori on the final night. As expected. Commentary makes a good note of how Shingo’s one weakness might be the mat game, which is Gresham’s strength. Though everything pointed to another Shingo win, they did a good job in making you believe Gresham might pull off the miracle. Every bit of his offense made sense and came across as something done by a guy with a great plan. He did his homework. Shingo flat out overpowered him whenever he got in trouble. Still, the countout tease nearly got me. Gresham kicked out of a lot of offense and came close on more occasions than I believed. He fell to the Last of the Dragon after a very good 11:11. Match of the night thanks to strong work from both men. They played to their strengths and it worked. [***½]

A Block: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Dragon Lee [10] vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru [4]
Due to TAKA’s injury, this is Kanemaru’s final tournament match. He attacked before the bell. Though he had no chance of winning his block, a win over Dragon Lee would theoretically put him in line for a title shot down the line. His heel tactics added some drama to this as you wondered if he’d pull out a surprise victory. I could totally see a Kanemaru title shot on a lesser NJPW card like Kizuna Road. Lee’s comeback wasn’t anything special but was fine. Taichi got involved, Lee got unmasked for a bit, and there were some ref shenanigans, so it was basic Suzuki-Gun stuff. Lee overcame it all to win with Desnucadora in 14:02. It went a bit long and didn’t feel like a main event. The shenanigans added a bit but not enough to make this a recommended match. [**¾]

Shingo Takagi 16 (8-0) Robbie Eagles 10 (5-2)
Taiji Ishimori 14 (7-1) El Phantasmo 10 (5-2)
Dragon Lee 12 (6-2) Will Ospreay 10 (5-2)
Marty Scurll 10 (5-3) Ryusuke Taguchi 10 (5-2)
Jonathan Gresham 8 (4-4) BUSHI 8 (4-3)
SHO 8 (4-4) YOH 8 (4-3)
Tiger Mask IV 4 (2-6) Rocky Romero 6 (3-4)
Titan 4 (2-6) Bandido 6 (3-4)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 4 (2-6) DOUKI 2 (1-6)
TAKA Michinoku 0 (0-8) Ren Narita 0 (0-7)
The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
This is a hard show to rank. On one hand, it’s only four matches and all are under fifteen minutes. That makes it a super easy watch. On the other hand, it lacked any drama because A Block is all but settled. I’ll put it right in the middle