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NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26 Recap & Review – Night 1

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26
Night 1 – A Block

Event Date: May 13, 2019 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Miyagino, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan
Venue: Sendai SunPlaza Hall
Attendance: 1,630
Series: Best of the Super Jr. 26

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, Caprice Coleman
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Haruo Murata, Jado(5 – 9)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 4), Makoto Abe (5 – 9)


The competitors in this year’s Best of the Super Jr. Tournament are briefly profiled.


Match 1
Taichi (NEVER Openweight Champ) & Douki vs Yota Tsuji & Ren Narita
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Douki pins Yota Tsuji with Suplex de la Luna (wheelbarrow into a bridging dragon suplex)
Time: 8:43

Match Thoughts
This was a pretty good opener. We got a decent look at Douki, and Ren Narita was mostly protected. Tsuji was in the ring most of the time for his team, and that let Narita save his energy and adrenaline for his first match in this year’s tournament.


Ring Area
After the match, Douki invites Narita into the ring. Narita runs in and attacks Douki, but Taichi quickly attacks Narita. With Narita down, Douki and Taichi leave together.


Match 2
Jado & Robbie Eagles & El Phantasmo (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ) vs Yuya Uemura & Rocky Romero & Bandido
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Robbie Eagles pins Yuya Uemura after the Turbo Backpack (backpack into a modified Michinoku Driver II)
Time: 10:34

Match Thoughts
Good match. Uemura wanted to start the match, but his partners had the young lion stand in the corner for a large portion of the match. Romero and Bandido looked very good, but their opponents worked better as a three-man team. Bullet Club had a lot of energy tonight and looked like they all had something to prove.


Match 3
Shota Umino & Yoh (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) vs Juice Robinson (IWGP US Champ) & Ryusuke Taguchi
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Juice Robinson forces Shota Umino to submit to the Boston Crab
Time: 10:18

Match Thoughts
Good match. Everyone seemed to spend about an equal amount of time in the ring, so no one was really being protected. Juice and Taguchi seemed to work better together as a team, but Umino and Yoh weren’t bad. Umino, as many young lions do, had a lot of energy and even commanded the ring for a short time. Ultimately though, Juice was probably the most dominant in this match.


Ring Area
Immediately after the match, a video appears on the screen. We see someone with a knife watching clips of juice Robinson in a bar. The words “Time’s Up” appear, and the date of July 5, 2019 is shown as the video ends.


Match 4
Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI vs Toa Henare & Will Ospreay
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tetsuya Naito pins Toa Henare after Destino
Time: 10:49

Match Thoughts
Good match. Questions about Ospreay’s focus in the tournament were brought up, and the action in this match added to that some questions about his physical condition going into his first match tomorrow night. That seemed to be the main focus, but this match itself was quite fun to watch. Naito and BUSHI worked better as a team, and they eventually began to separate and dominate Ospreay and Henare.


Match 5
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
TAKA Michinoku (0-0-0: 0) vs Tiger Mask (0-0-0: 0)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tiger Mask wins via pinfall with a bridging Tiger Suplex
Time: 10:58

Match Thoughts
Good match. Tiger Mask went into this match with a recently injured knee, and TAKA did everything he could to capitalize on it. TAKA completely dominated Tiger Mask throughout most of this match. Tiger Mask managed to mount a desperate comeback towards the end, but it seemed like it might be too little too late. This is going to be a tough tournament for Tiger Mask.


Match 6
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0-0-0: 0) vs Titan (0-0-0: 0)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Titan wins via pinfall with El Inmortal (modified figure four leg lock combined with a pin)
Time: 11:01

Match Thoughts
Good match. Kanemaru started strong by going after Titan before the bell. Kanemaru went after Titan’s mask and hurt Titan out on the floor. That led to Titan struggle to regain his composure for a large portion of the match. Titan was able to hang around long enough to recover somewhat, and he began to build a comeback against Kanemaru as the match neared its finish.


Match 7
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Jonathan Gresham (0-0-0: 0) vs Marty Scurll (0-0-0: 0) (ROH 6 Man Tag Champ) w/ Brody King (ROH 6 Man Tag Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Marty Scurll wins via pinfall with the Black Plague (double underhook into a spinning side slam)
Time: 12:22

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Gresham is a pleasure to watch. He’s always thinking a few moves ahead, and his counters and transitions are incredibly fluid and unique. Marty was able to match Gresham at times, and that led to some great sequences. Coleman said we were watching a chess match, and it really did feel like that at times. Both Gresham and Scurll were trying to out think each other tonight.


Match 8
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Shingo Takagi (0-0-0: 0) vs Sho (0-0-0: 0) (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shingo Takagi wins via pinfall after Last of the Dragon
Time: 25:07

Match Thoughts
Great match! The commentators really built up this match well right from the start. They spoke about Sho wanting to be the first to pin or submit Shingo, and they spoke about the possibility that Shingo might have a weakness to submissions. That set the match up very well, and it added a lot to the action in the ring.

Shingo and Sho are two Jr. Heavyweight powerhouses, and they went at each other strong right from the opening bell. They each wanted to prove something, Sho maybe more so than Shingo. This match was a battle of power and strikes, though Sho brought out some great submission attacks late in the match. The excitement built and built to a really great finish. This match definitely brought Sho up a few levels while also solidifying Shingo’s spot as one of the top Jr. Heavyweights in NJPW.


Match 9
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Taiji Ishimori (0-0-0: 0) vs Dragon Lee (0-0-0: 0) (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taiji Ishimori wins via pinfall after the Bloody Cross
Time: 18:32

Match Thoughts
Good match. I don’t think this match could equal the energy of the previous match tonight, but it was a good main event. This was a nice mix of power and technique, and it was a good match for both men. The finish was maybe a mild surprise, but given the status of both men, either could have realistically won.


Ring Area
After the match, Taiji Ishimori says this is his time. He plans to dominate the tournament and take out Shingo Takagi in the final night.


Show Impressions
This was a very entertaining opening night of the Super Jr. tournament. I liked how the tournament matches were all good in different ways and the excitement really did seem to build all the way up to the Shingo/Sho match. The crowd seemed a little worn out by the time the main event happened, but the final match was still good. A lot of the matches tonight felt really important as well. I like that.

Match of the Night
Sho vs Shingo Takagi
This was great. It’s the match to beat in the tournament so far.


Standings After Night 1

Block A

Show/Hide Standings

Marty Scurll (ROH 6 Man Champ)1002
Shingo Takagi1002
Taiji Ishimori1002
Tiger Mask1002
Dragon Lee (Jr. Heavyweight Champ)0100
Jonathan Gresham0100
Sho (Jr. Tag Champ)0100
TAKA Michinoku0100
Yoshinobu Kanemaru0100

Block B

Show/Hide Standings

El Phantasmo (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ)0000
Ren Narita0000
Robbie Eagles0000
Rocky Romero0000
Ryusuke Taguchi (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ)0000
Will Ospreay0000
Yoh (Jr. Tag Champ)0000


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/186438?showResult=1



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