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Best of the Super Jr. 26 Recap & Review – Night 7

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26
Night 7 – A & B Blocks
#njbosj

Event Date: May 22, 2019 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,679
Series: Best of the Super Jr. 26

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, Juice Robinson
Commentary (Japanese): Haruo Murata, Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 5), Makoto Abe (6 – 10)

 

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

 

Match 1
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
TAKA Michinoku (0-3-0: 0) vs Taiji Ishimori(3-0-0: 6)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taiji Ishimori wins via pinfall after the Bloody Cross
Time: 4:56

Match Thoughts
This was a good, quick opener. TAKA, like his previous tournament match, started strong. He went after Ishimori’s injured neck as best as he could, and TAKA’s attack sent Ishimori reeling. Ishimori used his strength to eventually build a quick comeback though. It seemed clear that Ishimori wanted to win this as quickly as possible considering not only his hurt neck, but also the next few night of the tour where all the competitors will have tournament matches every single night.

 

Match 2
Best of the Super Jr. 26 B Block Match
Ren Narita (0-3-0: 0) vs Bandido (1-2-0: 2)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Bandido wins via pinfall after the 21 Plex
Time: 6:19

Match Thoughts
Very good match! This surprised me a little. It was a must-win for Bandido, and it really could have been a relatively easy win. However, Narita seems to keep getting more and more confidence as the tournament goes on. Narita threw Bandido off a few times early in the match, and the openings Narita created for himself allowed him to hit a huge belly to belly on the apron. Bandido knew that he had to come back strong, and boy did he come back strong. Bandido hit Narita with a series of moves that would have put most of the men in this tournament away. This was a lot of fun.

 

Match 3
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Jonathan Gresham (1-2-0: 2) vs Titan (1-2-0: 2)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jonathan Gresham wins via submission with an octopus hold
Time: 10:55

Match Thoughts
Great match! Titan tried to match Gresham hold for hold, and though Titan did very, very well, Gresham is better than pretty much everyone in a technical battle. Titan eventually started to throw in some strikes and power moves, but by that point Gresham had already done a lot of damage. Watching Gresham apply holds and then transition and modify them to fit his situation is beautiful. I love watching him in front of a Japanese audience as well. They’re typically fairly quiet, then they’ll notice something small that Gresham does and you’ll hear an “oooh” from the crowd that will get louder as they get more into the match.

For his part, Titan is no slouch in the technical department either. Titan’s finishers are both pretty complex and difficult to describe via text. I’ve really enjoyed his matches in this tournament as well, and I think he was a great match for Gresham.

 

Match 4
Best of the Super Jr. 26 B Block Match
Yoh (1-2-0: 2) (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) vs Rocky Romero (1-2-0: 2)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Yoh wins via pinfall with a calf crusher
Time: 13:29

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Both men had a game plan going into this match. First of all, they both fought fairly and cleanly. They also each picked a body part to focus on. Rocky went after Yoh’s arm, and Yoh went after Rocky’s leg. Rocky was successful early, but Yoh turned the tables partway through the match. This was a nice back and forth battle between two friends.

 

Ring Area
Between matches, the mysterious video once again plays for Juice Robinson. Robinson isn’t happy about it.

 

Match 5
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Tiger Mask (2-1-0: 4) vs Dragon Lee (2-1-0: 4) (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dragon Lee wins via pinfall after Desnucadora
Time: 8:59

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Tiger Mask surprised Dragon Lee early with a series of impressive counters to some of Lee’s more agile moves. Tiger Mask’s experience proved to be a huge factor in this match. Dragon Lee had a difficult time gaining any ground in the match, and Tiger Mask looked great. Lee did eventually pull together some offense by using his strength as his advantage, and that led to a fun finish with a few very good near falls.

 

Match 6
Best of the Super Jr. 26 B Block Match
Douki (1-2-0: 2) vs BUSHI (0-3-0: 0)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: BUSHI wins via pinfall after MX
Time: 7:13

Match Thoughts
Good match. BUSHI and Douki both seemed like they were just trying to keep one step ahead of each other. The pace to the was high throughout, and both men went from move to move at a rapid pace. After a while, BUSHI pulled ahead and steamrolled his way to the finish. This was a good match for BUSHI, and maybe a bit of a stumble for Douki.

 

Match 7
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0-3-0: 0) vs Sho (1-2-0: 2) (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Yoshinobu Kanemaru wins via count out
Time: 4:01

Match Thoughts
Wow. This was a heartbreaker. Sho has repeatedly had great showings in the tournament so far, but that hasn’t translated to many points for him. He needed this win as we near the midway point of the tournament, but Kanemaru was just looking to get his first win. Kanemaru took the fight to the outside early in the match, and he used very devious tactics to keep Sho from doing what he does best. This was surprising and memorable for sure.

 

Match 8
Best of the Super Jr. 26 B Block Match
Robbie Eagles (2-1-0: 4) vs Ryusuke Taguchi (3-0-0: 6) (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Robbie Eagles wins via pinfall with a seatbelt pin
Time: 11:13

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Robbie Eagles is a lot of fun to watch. His focus in the ring is great, and even though he can easily fly, his technical skills are what pulls everything together. Taguchi had some fun in this match, and that frustrated Eagles at times. Eagles would push harder, and sometimes that worked to give Eagles the advantage, but other times it worked in Taguchi’s favor. This match was back and forth all the way up until the finish. I was smiling for a lot of reasons throughout this match.

 

Match 9
Best of the Super Jr. 26 A Block Match
Shingo Takagi (3-0-0: 6) vs Marty Scurll (2-1-0: 4) w/ Brody King (ROH 6 Man Tag Champs)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shingo Takagi wins via pinfall after Last of the Dragon
Time: 14:07

Match Thoughts
Great match! Marty Scurll surprised Takagi right from the start with a series of strong moves. Scurll doinated Singo early, and that was a surprising and fun thing to watch. As good as Scurll was, Shingo wouldn’t be beaten quickly. Eventually Shingo began to fight back, and that led to some of the few shenanigans in the entire match. Scurll had fought a clean match up until that point, but once the shenanigans started, Scurll took full advantage. This was a close match, and it definitely got the crowd excited.

 

Match 10
Best of the Super Jr. 26 B Block Match
El Phantasmo (3-0-0: 6) (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ) vs Wil Ospreay (3-0-0: 6)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: El Phantasmo wins via pinfall after CR II
Time: 26:40

Match Thoughts
Great match! El Phantasmo is so easy to hate and so fun to watch, and this match is a perfect example of that. ELP practically matched Ospreay move for move as far as the high flying goes in this match, and there was quite a lot of high flying. Ospreay had a large advantage in terms of strength and power moves, but neither man was willing to go down easy tonight. Both men took tons of damage, and they both kept fighting. ELP had to resort to some very dirty tricks as the match closed in on the thirty minute mark, but that just added to the tension and made me pull for Ospreay even harder. I think this was a star-making match for El Phantasmo, at least in NJPW.

 

Show Impressions
I really enjoyed this show. I like the format better with every match being a part of the tournament. The final two matches were great, and every match before it was good to great as well. We’re nearing the halfway point of the tournament, and a lot of these matches tonight meant a lot in terms of how desperate people are going to start getting. That made every match feel important, even the ones that didn’t last very long.

Match of the Night
El Phantasmo vs WIll Ospreay
There were a number of matches I could have picked, but this one had a little bit of everything. I really got into the characters and was pulling hard for Ospreay to win, and the action was fantastic. This might be my favorite match of the tournament so far. Maybe.

 

Standings After Night 7

Block A

Show/Hide Results

WrestlerWinLossDrawPoints
Shingo Takagi4008
Taiji Ishimori4008
Dragon Lee (Jr. Heavyweight Champ)3106
Jonathan Gresham2204
Marty Scurll (ROH 6 Man Champ)2204
Tiger Mask2204
Sho (Jr. Tag Champ)1302
Titan1302
Yoshinobu Kanemaru1302
TAKA Michinoku0400

 

Block B

Show/Hide Results

WrestlerWinLossDrawPoints
El Phantasmo (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ)4008
Robbie Eagles3106
Ryusuke Taguchi (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ)3106
Will Ospreay3106
Bandido2204
Yoh (Jr. Tag Champ)2204
BUSHI1302
Douki1302
Rocky Romero1302
Ren Narita0400

 

Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/186442?showResult=1

 

 

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