wrestling / TV Reports

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

May 14, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Two Review  

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Night Two
May 14th, 2019 | Sendai Sun Plaza in Sendai, Miyagi | Attendance: 1,293

The A Block got off to a hot start to open the tournament yesterday. Last year, it was the B Block that dominated things. A Block looks better this time around, but I’m hoping B can at least hang tough. It’s time to start their half of the tournament.

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B Block: DOUKI [0] w/ Taichi vs. Ren Narita [0]
The two replacements for the injured El Desperado and the VISA issue having Flip Gordon. Narita is a Young Lion I like. I’ve never seen DOUKI before, but he’s buddies with Taichi. Commentary made good notes about the lack of knowledge on DOUKI. There aren’t many videos or anything available on him. He was aggressive from the start and wrestled very much like a Suzuki-Gun guy. He shoved the referee, used a chair, and was generally a jerk. Narita always brings fire, so him fighting from behind was pretty cool. He showed off some stuff we don’t usually get from Young Lions. For example, he went for the Lion Crab but rolled DOUKI over to the middle of the ring and instead slapped on a Sharpshooter. Interesting. DOUKI survived and hit an ugly slingshot DDT before winning with a sweet Dragon Suplex in 10:13. DOUKI on offense was pretty bland. Narita made this entertaining with his late flurry. [**½]

Post-match, DOUKI and Taichi beat up Narita with a pipe.

B Block: Robbie Eagles [0] vs. Rocky Romero [0]
Rocky is a veteran of the tournament. This is the first for Robbie Eagles, a Bullet Club member who I’ve only really ever seen in undercard tags. Like TAKA in yesterday’s opener, Eagles came in with a plan to go after his opponent’s leg. It made sense because of Rocky’s speed and penchant for kicks. Eagles kept the pressure on throughout. I loved the little things he did to the leg, like making sure he modified the 619 to target Rocky’s hamstring. Like any good babyface, Rocky fought back with a lot of energy. The crowd was way behind him and bit on his near falls. Eagles delivered a 450 splash, specifically to the leg, before making Rocky tap to the Trailer Hitch in 13:55. That was better than I expected. Eagles’ targeting the leg was well done throughout and Rocky came with strong babyface fire. I’m looking forward to more Eagles. [***¼]

B Block: Bandido [0] vs. El Phantasmo [0]
Two BOSJ rookies. El Phantasmo is another Bullet Club guy, who impressed in a tag at Wrestling Dontaku. Bandido is someone I enjoy and he was part of the Jr. Title match in Madison Square Garden. Lots of fast paced, high flying stuff in this one. It’s the area both men excel at. Commentary hyped up Phantasmo holding a win over Bandido in the past. That helped shed light on how confident Phantasmo was. It cost him on a few occasions, getting Bandido going. The Bandido tope con hilo might be the best in all of wrestling. They had something of a battle of one upping each other. Phantasmo did a wild Canadian Destroyer variation, only for Bandido to best it second later. Just when it looked like Bandido might win, Phantasmo pulled up his mask. That temporary blindness allowed him to nail Greetings from Chasewood Park for two points in 12:12. If you really dig athletic displays, you’ll like this more than me. As is, it was a good match that showcased what both men are capable of. [***]

B Block: BUSHI [0] vs. Will Ospreay [0]
I’ve seen these guys wrestle at Global Wars UK 2016 (***¼) and last year’s BOSJ (***¼). Interestingly, BUSHI’s win over Ospreay last year cost him a spot in the finals, so there’s some revenge on Will’s mind. Ospreay has spent most of the year with the heavyweights, so he shouldn’t have much trouble with these lighter guys. In a tag yesterday, BUSHI targeted the neck. Combine that with how much damage has been caused to Will’s neck over the years and it gave BUSHI the opening he needed. It allows him to stop Ospreay whenever he’d get going. Ospreay did well enough to sell it. I appreciated how some of his hope spots were power based. He’s gained muscle and it shows. He got stopped a few times during his rally, but eventually won with Storm Breaker in 16:35. Another solid match. It lacked some drama because I don’t believe anybody thought BUSHI would beat him again and they never made me believe that. [***¼]

B Block: Ryusuke Taguchi [0] vs. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champion YOH [0]
Strange choice for a main event. One of the coolest things about this tournament is that we usually get BIG MATCH TAGUCHI. The usual comedy guy tends to step up and have some very good matches during the BOSJ. YOH came out to the Roppongi 3K theme, unlike SHO. The girls in the crowd loved him, screaming at the top of their lungs. NJPW’s pretty boy. Taguchi started out with comedy stuff but it got serious pretty quickly. He did everything he could to combat the speed and strength disadvantage he was at. YOH had him beat in pretty much every physical aspect. YOH would counter him at every turn and it was all smooth. The veteran knowhow of Taguchi allowed him to get close to victory with the Ankle Lock and Dodon. Though YOH survived that, he fell to Dodon the End at the 20:38 mark. A bit long at points but a very good main event. [***½]

Taiji Ishimori 2 (1-0) Ryusuke Taguchi 2 (1-0)
Shingo Takagi 2 (1-0) Will Ospreay 2 (1-0)
Marty Scurll 2 (1-0) El Phantasmo 2 (1-0)
Titan 2 (1-0) Robbie Eagles 2 (1-0)
Tiger Mask IV 2 (1-0) DOUKI 2 (1-0)
Dragon Lee 0 (0-1) YOH 0 (0-1)
SHO 0 (0-1) BUSHI 0 (0-1)
Jonathan Gresham 0 (0-1) Bandido 0 (0-1)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 0 (0-1) Rocky Romero 0 (0-1)
TAKA Michinoku 0 (0-1) Ren Narita 0 (0-1)
The final score: review Good
The 411
Not quite as great as night one, this was a good show. Only the DOKUI stuff lacked and even that wasn’t really bad. The rest of the show features good match, though nothing cracked the “great” barrier.