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Pantoja’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 30 Night 6 Review

May 18, 2023 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 30 Night Six Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 30 Night 6 Review  

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 30 Night 6

May 18th, 2023 | Iwate Prefectual Gymnasium in Morioka-shi, Iwate | Attendance: 1,004

I still haven’t had the time to do a STARDOM New Blood review and I’ll try again tonight, so this might not be the most detailed review again. There’s so much wrestling on these days. Also, here are my favorite matches I’ve seen from Iwate.

Ibushi/Naito – G1 25 – ***¾

CHAOS vs. LIJ – Kizuna Road 2016 – ***¾

Goto/Ibushi – World Tag League 2018 – ***¾

Finlay/KUSHIDA – BOSJ 2016 – ***¾

The Elite/Sydal, Ricochet & Kojima – Kizuna Road 2016 – ***½

A Block: DOUKI [4] vs. Mike Bailey [8]

I’m looking forward to this given that both are among the MVPs of the tournament so far. The early exchanges were pretty even with DOUKI’s focus being on slowing the pace a bit and Bailey looking to attack with strikes and kicks. We got an early DOUKI CHOUKI attempt as he caught a standing Shooting Star Press but Bailey quickly got to the ropes. I like the panic he showed there, selling how dangerous the hold is. DOUKI kept finding ways to avoid Bailey’s biggest shots from another SSP to countering the Flamingo Driver and slapping on the DOUKI CHOUKI again. The final few moments picked up the pace and Bailey hit a huge spin kick before winning with Ultimate Weapon in 9:46. A hell of an opener between two of the tournament’s best. [***¾]

B Block: BUSHI [0] vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru [4]

Their history includes the 2016 Super J-Cup (**¾), 2017 BOSJ (**½), 2018 BOSJ (**½), and 2021 BOSJ (**½). Yeah, they’ve never cracked *** together. That didn’t happen here again but that was because this was barely a match. BUSHI attacked at the bell, kept up the offensive, and won with MX in 1:46. I’m all for these short matches. [NR]

A Block: Ryusuke Taguchi [0] vs. TJP [6]

Taguchi is already eliminated but can play spoiler here. I dug Taguchi matching TJP to start, showing that headstands aren’t exclusive to the United Empire fella. Although he’s trying to avoid the goofiness this year, he’d still throw his ass at TJP, including once off the top rope. I will always support throwing that ass in any situations. Anyway, this was just solid from start to finish with quality exchanges and neither man gaining a clear upper hand. The closing stretch had the crowd hooked as Taguchi nearly got on the board with several flash pins, Dodon, and his Ankle Lock. Alas, TJP turned the Ankle Lock into the Pinoy Stretch to win in 10:44. Better than I expected. [***¼]

B Block: Dan Moloney [4] vs. Kevin Knight [4]

Two solid new additions to the tournament this year. Right from the start, this felt like a case of Moloney doing his best to avoid or survive Knight’s athletic offense. He kicked out quickly from a standing frog splash and smoothly avoided a springboard cross body. He also avoided a flying clothesline to connect with a Spear. It’s a simple formula but one that worked and made sense in this situation. Moloney brought the more impactful offense like that Spear and a Fisherman Buster but it was never enough. Knight countered the Drilla Killa into the Sky High and then won with the leaping DDT in 8:15. A quality match here. [***]

A Block: SHO [2] vs. Taiji Ishimori [8]

SHO faced Taiji in the 2019 Super J-Cup (****), the 2019 BOSJ (***½), the 2020 BOSJ (***¾), the 2021 BOSJ (***½), and in the 2022 BOSJ (***). This was typical House of Torture BS. They teased an agreeable double countout only for EVIL to hold Ishimori and try to let SHO win. That led to some actual wrestling and a spot where EVIL even teased switching alliances to work with Ishimori. He threw in the towel for Ishimori at one point and the confusion helped lead to SHO rolling him up to steal this in 5:48. It happened. [**]

B Block: Clark Connors [6] vs. El Desperado [6]

Clark brought the power game early, overwhelming Desperado, who is basically a successful one-legged man in this tournament. Connors used a chair a fair bit, threw Desperado into the ring post, and added a suplex on a chair outside to take firm control. He looked for the countout win there but Desperado just barely got back inside. Connors pounced and got right back on offense with a powerslam but in a continuing trend for him in this tournament, made a crucial mistake. Desperado countered No Chaser into a pinning combination to win in 11:21. You would think that these Bullet Club/House of Torture guys would renounce their ways considering their antics always lead to failure. [***]

Post-match, Connors continued the assault only for Desperado to again turn the tide and hit him with his own conchairto.

A Block: Lio Rush [8] vs. Titán [6]

A win for Lio ties him with Bailey atop the standings while Titán could pull into a tie with Lio and Ishimori for second if he wins. The standoff to start here wasn’t just because they could do it. It meant something as it showcased that Titán could hold his own in terms of speed against Lio and that they were evenly matched. In fact, they were kind of even with everything they did. From kick exchanges to bigger moves, these two worked at a wild pace and packed a lot into a short timeframe without ever overdoing it. The closing stretch was probably the best part with more high impact stuff and close calls. A big clothesline by Titán set the stage for a double stomp to give him the win in a frantic 10:23. I am so here for matches like this. Around 10 minutes and action packed. [***¾]

B Block: Francesco Akira [6] vs. YOH [6]

Last year, their match was good (***¼). Surprisingly, we got a second super short match here. YOH did a quick attack and they barely even had time to do anything of note before YOH caught him with the Five Star Clutch to win in 1:34. YOH’s hos streak continues. [NR]

A Block: Hiromu Takahashi [6] vs. KUSHIDA [2]

Long history here dating back to Hiromu’s return from excursion. Wrestle Kingdom 11 (****½), Sakura Genesis 2017 (***, only two minutes), Dominion 2017 (****½), and the 2018 BOSJ (****). So of course, this was one of my most anticipated tourney matches. KUSHIDA looked to control the tempo with a break outside and then by grounding Hiromu and working over the arm. When he hit his somersault outside, it was on his terms, not Hiromu’s. They traded shots inside and you got the sense that KUSHIDA didn’t really respect Hiromu. Commentary noted that he treated the new junior ace like a Young Lion and Hiromu seemed ready to prove him wrong. That led the bitter fight to spill into the crowd which I wasn’t expecting. To take that even further, they ended up outside of the arena and in the grass, complete with Red Shoes calling things. He finally gave up and started a countout but both men managed to get back inside in the nick of time. As we passed 15 minutes, the high octane stuff continued and we got some sunset flip bomb attempts. KUSHIDA caught Hiromu off the apron with the Hoverboard Lock but Hiromu broke it with a powerbomb outside. He then beat the count but KUSHIDA fell behind and was counted out after 16:06. Surprised at that finish and I wonder if it’ll mean something going forward. That ruled for the most part. [***¾]

B Block: Master Wato [6] vs. Robbie Eagles [8]

Some history here including meetings in the 2020 BOSJ (***¼), BOSJ 2021 (***½), Summer Struggle 2021 (***½), and the 2022 BOSJ (***¼). Yeah, this doesn’t feel like a main event. In a lot of ways, this felt like the quintessential Wato match in that it was good and technically sound but it lacked that little extra something to pull me in. I miss when he was a Young Lion who stood up to everyone and got his ass kicked. They had good exchanges and Eagles looked like he might’ve won at several points but the story was that Wato refused to die. Commentary even noted that he does weird things that most people would consider wrong in the ring, yet it somehow works for him. He nearly blew it again late and Kevin Kelly sounded ready to disown him. In the end though, Wato avoided the Trigger Knee and hit his German Suplex to win in 19:37. Went a bit long for what they were going for. If you asked me what a Wato main event would likely get, I’d say ***¼ without even seeing the match. I watched this and guess what? [***¼]

The final score: review Good
The 411
The rare BOSJ show where nothing was really bad. Only one match got less than ** and two were only a minute long so I didn’t give them scores. Nothing is MUST SEE but I’ll take consistently good any day.