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Pantoja’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 2022 Night Four Review

May 19, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 2022 Night Four Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 2022 Night Four Review  

May 19th, 2022 | Hachinohe City East Gymnasium in Hachinohe-shi, Aomori

Oh, no. A show on Kane’s least favorite day of the year!

B Block: DOUKI [2] vs. Wheeler Yuta [0]

Early on, it seemed like Yuta wasn’t being aggressive enough and living up to the BCC standards. That changed a bit when he bit at DOUKI’s hand to break free of a hold and hit a pretty big lariat. When Yuta found himself trapped in the DOUKI CHOUKI (I like to spell it that way), he quickly made it to the ropes and snapped off a German suplex. I like the subtle changes Yuta has made to his game. He even busted out the Cattle Mutilation. Things became a bit more hard hitting later with DOUKI matching Yuta’s fire. Their late exchange was remarkable as the guys jockeyed for position, traded crisp submission attempts, and it led to Yuta using the Danielson elbows before turning over into a seatbelt clutch to win. The match went 10:00 and was a really good encounter. Yuta is a highlight of the tourney so far. [***¼]

B Block: El Lindaman [0] vs. Titán [0]

Unlike his fellow B Block counterparts, El Lindaman defended his singles title in Korakuen last night instead of working an undercard tag. He traveled back here for this match so that’s something to look out for. On the flip side, I appreciate commentary noting that Titán is someone who has to adjust to not having other luchadores in the tournament. They had some early exchanges that Lindaman won out on which forced Titán to change things up and ground him with a Figure Four. When he tried for something aerial again, the risk was a problem as he crashed on the apron and seemed to hurt his leg. El Lindaman suffered a similar fate with a dive right after as well. Both guys sold their knees going forward as they traded stuff and near falls. Lindaman won with an impressive German suplex in 11:32. That was good. Maybe it’s because I don’t have much of a connection to either guy but I couldn’t get emotionally invested. Still, really solid from start to finish. [***]

B Block: BUSHI [0] vs. Robbie Eagles [2]

These two have faced off in each of the previous three BOSJ tournaments. They’ve gotten better (***, ***¼, and ***½) each time out. BUSHI jumped Eagles at the bell but quickly had things turned around on him. That’s actually kind of how the match went with neither gaining a clear upper hand. BUSHI would work a submission and Eagles would survive before getting in his own bit of offense like a series of kicks. I always appreciate a match that does that instead of the typical long heel heat segment and babyface comeback. Eagles went after the leg and BUSHI couldn’t even do the BUSHIROONIE because of it. When he did the Backstabber, he couldn’t capitalize because of the bad knee. In a somewhat surprising result, BUSHI hit MX to win at the 11:15 mark, improving to 3-1 against Eagles in BOSJ history. A very good bout with the kind of evenly matched offense that I dig. [***½]

B Block: El Phantasmo [2] vs. Master Wato [0]

These two met last year (***). There was an odd moment to start where ELP bumped heads with the referee while getting checked. ELP was his usual arrogant self once the bell rang, stopping to do flips and taunt, which Wato kind of gave right back to him. The issue here was that nothing else really felt all that special about this. I thought Wato showing that he was tougher and better this time around than last year was important but it didn’t make for the most entertaining of matches since I’m not really into either guy. I dug ELP stopping to talk trash to Hiroyoshi Tenzan at ringside, showing just how much of a jerk he is. Master Wato did his best but I never bought into him winning. He ate a midair Sudden Death and fell to CRII after 16:28 that felt closer to 25. [***]

B Block: El Desperado [2] vs. TJP [2]

It’s wild to think that TJP debuted in New Japan in 2001. This was a different kind of match in the tourney as both guys could take it to the mat and they did. TJP can excel there and he always adds cockiness to it. That worked here because Desperado has become a really popular wrestler so the fans rallied behind him. It was good to see him against a straight villain because him having to make the comeback isn’t something we usually see from him. TJP went high-risk in calculated ways, hitting a diving splash and Grayson Waller style elbow drop for two. When those didn’t end it, he resorted back to the mat only to get trapped in the Stretch Muffler. Some of the close calls down the stretch were well done and TJP’s dominance early (combined with the tournament’s history) made you believe he’d score a big one over Desperado, especially on flash pins. In the end, Desperado moved to 2-0 after hitting Pinche Loco in 16:07. They didn’t do anything that blew me away but had a really strong main event. [***½]

The final score: review Good
The 411
Consistency seems to be the name of the game for B Block. Through 10 matches none have cracked **** but none are below ***. Just a steady stream of good, entertaining matches and I can get behind that.