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

May 30, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Twelve Review  

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Twelve
May 30th, 2019 | Osaka Municipal Center in Osaka, Japan | Attendance: 1,455

We’ve arrived at the penultimate B Block show of the BOSJ. This side is way more open than A Block. Currently, four men are tied at the top with 10 points, while two others have 8. Things should clear up here and set the stage for the final B Block show.

B Block: Ren Narita [0] vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion YOH [8]
It has been a treat to watch YOH evolve during this tournament. Everyone knows that SHO has been pegged as the singles star of the team. However, YOH has come into his own and figured out something that works for him. His offense comes across so well and it mostly builds to the now established Calf Crusher. Ren Narita did exactly what he has done all tournament. He brought a bunch of fire and energy to everything he does, while giving the fans some close calls to bite on. The crowd got way into this just as Narita tapped out to the Calf Crusher in 12:22. These two guys are just really fun to watch. I enjoyed the hell out of this and YOH remains alive in the tournament thanks to tiebreakers over ELP and Taguchi. [***¼]

B Block: Bandido [6] vs. Robbie Eagles [10]
Two BOSJ rookies who have both impressed. Bandido has done well in matches that involve a clash of styles. This was no different. Eagles matched him in athletic stuff to start, but I loved how he went to do the stupid Bullet Club taunt only for Bandido to dropkick him. People should rightfully expect that after all this time. Eagles took to the mat, looking to pull out the win with his Ron Miller Special. As Bandido fought back, it led to one hell of a closing stretch. The back half or so of this match was filled with some really entertaining back and forth. They had each other’s finishers scouted well, so Bandido busted out a moonsault fall away slam to earn the victory in 9:35. The kind of sprint I live for in these tournaments. It had a lot of energy and great action. [***¾]

B Block: BUSHI [8] vs. Rocky Romero [6]
BUSHI enters as the hottest wrestler in the tournament not named Shingo. He’s won four straight after an 0-3 start. He also won their 2016 meeting (***½). Rocky came out decked out in a Black Tiger mask, only to unmask and spit mist at BUSHI. Turnabout is fair play. They’ve had a bit of a rivalry over the past few years, especially with Rocky building up his disdain on commentary. The match was solid, with some quality exchanges and a bit more of a snap behind some of the strikes than you’d probably expect. BUSHI pulled out the win with MX, making it five in a row at the 10:21 mark. [***]

B Block: DOUKI [2] vs. Will Ospreay [10]
A lopsided affair in terms of points. Being a Suzuki-Gun boy, DOUKI decided he might as well come in and try to hurt Will Ospreay. Ruin his chances of winning. This was your prototypical Suzuki-Gun match. DOUKI used all sorts of underhanded tactics and shortcuts to take control. He was outmatched in every single way against Ospreay, so he cheated. Even Taichi, who was on Japanese commentary, got involved by interrupting the Oscutter. DOUKI used his pipe as a weapon, but Ospreay kicked out. He came back and hit Storm Breaker while Young Lions held back Taichi in 16:17. This went too long for what they were going for. [**]

B Block: El Phantasmo [10] vs. Ryusuke Taguchi [10]
A lot at stake here. The winner would tie Ospreay for the lead heading into the finale night. Remember when ELP was 5-0? His arrogance has been a huge problem for him since then and has cost him at almost every turn. That was the case again this time. He spent most of the match talking trash to Taguchi and a lot of it made me cringe. Smack talk in NJPW usually doesn’t come off well. Maybe the guys are just corny. It ultimately led to a comedy match. I don’t mind that kind of match, but I am not a fan of it in an important tournament match like this. Add in that it went 20:18 and it just wasn’t working for me. Instead of big match Taguchi this year, he’s now had two bad main events. Taguchi won with the Ankle Lock. [*½]

Will Ospreay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi is set for the final night. So both blocks come down to one match each. You can pretty much predict every Gedo booked tournament outcome by seeing who he books for the final single block main events.

Shingo Takagi 16 (8-0) Ryusuke Taguchi 12 (6-2)
Taiji Ishimori 14 (7-1) Will Ospreay 12 (6-2)
Dragon Lee 12 (6-2) Robbie Eagles 10 (5-3)
Marty Scurll 10 (5-3) El Phantasmo 10 (5-3)
Jonathan Gresham 8 (4-4) BUSHI 10 (5-3)
SHO 8 (4-4) YOH 10 (5-3)
Tiger Mask IV 4 (2-6) Bandido 8 (4-4)
Titan 4 (2-6) Rocky Romero 6 (3-5)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 4 (2-6) DOUKI 2 (1-7)
TAKA Michinoku 0 (0-8) Ren Narita 0 (0-8)
The final score: review Poor
The 411
A rough way to set up the last night of B Block action. The final two matches missed the mark and everything before it was just pretty good at best. That makes for a lackluster show.