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Kevin’s NJPW Super J-Cup Quarterfinals Review

September 29, 2019 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW Will Ospreay, Raw RevPro
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Kevin’s NJPW Super J-Cup Quarterfinals Review  

NJPW Super J-Cup Quarterfinals
August 24th, 2019 | SFSU Student Life Events Center in San Francisco, California | Attendance: 788

After a solid yet unspectacular start we’ve reached the next round. This is a single camera show and those always feel low budget. That’s especially true with Kevin Kelly’s solo commentary added in.

Super J-Cup Quarterfinals: Caristico vs. Soberano Jr.
CMLL boys. It was hard to really get into this because of the single camera setup. These are two guys known for being high fliers. They did several dives outside but the camera wasn’t far back enough to catch the shot. So they were basically jumping off screen and we were left to guess how they landed. It was odd. The action they pulled off was solid and what I expect from CMLL guys. It’s like I’m watching FantasticaMania or Road to Power Struggle when I see these guys. Caristico won with his avalanche Spanish Fly in 8:19. Solid enough but was held back by not getting the entire match. [**¾]

Super J-Cup Quarterfinals: El Phantasmo vs. TJP
Battle of the douchebags. I liked a fair amount of this one. The exchanges were crisp and you got the sense that what they were doing mattered. TJP tried to make this a mat based game, which is his domain. ELP was all about taking to the air and keeping the pace quick. The main issue was that there wasn’t really someone to root for. Both guys are jerk heels. Why should we cheer for either one? The late back and forth was good, including TJP’s combo leading into the Detonation Kick. Then ELP went into his cheating gimmick. He shoved the ref a few times, including once to break a submission. That was followed by a low blow and rollup in 14:49. Is ELP just a shitty Toru Yano? A lot of his matches end this way. It made sense against Robbie Eagles for the story they’ve been telling. When you do it each match, it becomes overkill. [***]

Super J-Cup Quarterfinals: Dragon Lee vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
Two of New Japan’s resident good boys. There will be no low blows or ref shoving here. Instead, we were treated to a solid wrestling match. It was competitive and evenly matched at points. Dragon Lee held the advantage in terms of speed and power but Taguchi used his wily veteran skills to stay one step ahead. It was a simple story and I dug that about it. Just when things were picking up, it ended in anticlimactic fashion. Lee got two on a sitout powerbomb and then just nailed a running knee to win in 11:37. Like I said, solid pro wrestling. [***]

Super J-Cup Quarterfinals: SHO vs. Will Ospreay
There’s a lot of reasons to be excited here. These are two powerful juniors with freakish athleticism. And it’s a bout we’ve never seen before. You could tell this was going long by how slowly this began. That’s not totally a complaint because the work was good. Ospreay’s arm being taken out was different from a lot of what I’ve seen in his matches. This suffered a bit from going in the crowd for a few minutes and we couldn’t see any of it. That’s difficult to enjoy. I liked a lot of what they did with the arm. SHO kicking Willy’s arm out during a handspring was dope. Some of the arm selling was lesser down the stretch as they went into the big spots we expect from the end of a New Japan main event. Some of what they busted out there was sick. SHO’s Kawada kicks were nuts and looked like they were the end of the Jr. Heavyweight Champion. Alas, Ospreay overcame and won after Hidden Blade and Storm Breaker in 30:32. One of Ospreay’s best 25+ minute matches, though I think it would’ve been better at closer to 22 or so. Still, the arm work was really cool for the most part and there were a lot of great exchanges last. [****]

The final score: review Average
The 411
It’s only an hour and a half, which makes any show easy to digest. Nothing is bad, but only one thing is great. The single cam setup brings this down by a lot in terms of presentation.

article topics :

NJPW Super J Cup, Kevin Pantoja