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Best of the Super Jr. 26 FINAL – Recap & Review

NJPW Best of the Super Jr. 26

Event Date: June 5, 2019 (19:00 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Sumida, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Ryogoku Sumo Hall
Attendance: 7,650
Series: Best of the Super Jr. 26

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Gino Gambino, Chris Charlton
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Miki Motoi, Shunpei Terakawa (1, 5, 7), Yuichi Tabata (2, 4, 6), Shinji Yoshino (3, 8), Jushin Thunder Liger (5 – 8)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 4), Makoto Abe (5 – 8)


Tonight’s main events are briefly profiled.


Match 1
Ren Narita & Jonathan Gresham & Bandido vs Shota Umino & Titan & Dragon Lee (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Dragon Lee pins Ren Narita with a running knee strike
Time: 8:26

Match Thoughts
Good match. The pace in this match was extremely high, and that made it a nice opening match. Everyone came in and out of the ring and had their moments, and I think they all did a good job of getting the crowd pumped for tonight’s show.


Match 2
El Phantasmo (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ) & Robbie Eagles & Taiji Ishimori vs Roppongi 3K (IWGP Jr. Tag Champs) & Ryusuke Taguchi (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: El Phantasmo pins Sho after CRII
Time: 9:09

Match Thoughts
Good match. El Phantasmo made this match all about himself as much as he possibly could, especially at the end. Ishimori was injured so he didn’t do much in this match, but Eagles and ELP were a good team for most of the match. Eagles and ELP beat up Taguchi, then Roppongi 3K started to isolate Eagles. Eagles fought back against both Sho and Yoh, but ELP took credit for Eagles’ work in the end. I think this sets up a neat situation where Eagles and ELP will probably get a title shot, but they won’t be on the same page. I’d like to see Eagles turn on ELP.


Ring Area
After the match, Eagles is upset with El Phantasmo. Kevin Kelly asks Eagles about how the match ended, and Eagles doesn’t seem happy. Eagles walks away from ELP and Ishimori.


Match 3
Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger & YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ) & Tomohiro Ishii vs Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Zack Sabre Jr. (RPW British Heavyweight Champ) & Minoru Suzuki & Taichi (NEVER Openweight Champ)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: YOSHI-HASHI pins Douki after a sitout pumphandle driver
Time: 10:34

Match Thoughts
This was fun. With so many people there was no real focus in the match, but if there was a main point it was to preview Taichi versus Ishii. Those two men spent a decent amount of time in the ring together, and it looks like they’ll have a fun match. Other than that, this match tonight was kind of all over the place, but in a fun way. Suzuki Gun always brings chaos to their matches, especially when there are ten men involved.


Ring Area
After the match, Liger and Suzuki continue to argue and brawl with each other. Eventually they fight their way to the backstage area.


Match 4
BUSHI & SANADA & EVIL & Tetsuya Naito vs Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champ) & Kota Ibushi (IWGP IC Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: EVIL pins Toa Henare after Magic Killer (with SANADA)
Time: 10:27

Match Thoughts
Good match. Naito and Ibushi started the match against each other, and the gave a very fun preview for their upcoming match. They both started fast and kept dodging each other for a very nice opening sequence. They would tag out and everyone else got a chance to get into the match, but Naito and Ibushi came back together late in the match. Eventually, Henare tagged in and got isolated by LIJ. The finish was no surprise after that, but it was still fun to watch.


Match 5
Brody King & Marty Scurll (ROH 6 Man Tag Champs) vs Rocky Romero & Kazuchika Okada (IWGP Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada pins Brody King after the Rainmaker
Time: 10:35

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Brody King wanted Okada, and he got him to start the match. Okada and King fought to a stalemate, then Romero tagged in. Romero expected Scurll to tag, but he didn’t. Romero had to deal with King, and when King got the advantage, Scurll tagged in. From there, Romero had to survive an onslaught from Scurll and King long enough to tag Okada back in. This was a fun match with some lighthearted moments and some impressive wrestling from all four men. This was easily the most entertaining match so far tonight.


Ring Area
After the match, a video plays for Okada. Chris Jericho appears on the screen, and he wants the Rainmaker to come play with the Painmaker at Dominion. When the video ends, Okada looks around, expecting an attack. None comes, so Okada gets on the mic.

Okada says the IWGP Title isn’t a toy. Also, what is a Painmaker? The only thing New Japan needs is a Rainmaker.

A look at the buildup for Jay White versus Hiroshi Tanahashi.


Match 6
Jay White w/ Gedo vs Hiroshi Tanahashi
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jay White wins via pinfall with a hammerlock inside cradle
Time: 19:16

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Jay White started early, and he started dirty. White attacked Tanahashi before the opening bell, and be continued to punish Tanahashi at ringside for much of the early part of the match. Once they got back in the ring, White persisted and kept beating up Tanahashi. White started to focus on Tanahashi’s often-injured arm, and Tanahashi came close to submitting. The fight kept going though, and Tanahashi started to finally mount a comeback. White continued to fight dirty though, and Gedo helped. This all built up to a good and slightly surprising finish. It will be interesting to see how this match affects both men going forward.


A look at how John Moxley made his presence known in New Japan by challenging Juice Robinson.


Match 7
IWGP US Heavyweight Title Match
John Moxley vs Juice Robinson (IWGP US Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: John Moxley wins via pinfall after two double underhook DDTs and becomes the new US Champ
Time: 24:14

Match Thoughts
Great match. Rather, great fight. This was a pretty brutal match. Moxley came into the match wanting to make a point, and Juice came into the match angry. Moxley got the early advantage with a brawling style. He went hard after Juice’s left eyebrow, trying to bust the champ open early in the match. Moxley would continue to hit Juice very hard in the face throughout the match, and he would continue to brawl with the champ. Juice absorbed a ton of punishment, but one of the biggest factors might have been a dive Juice did from the top of the entrance that caught more floor than the people he was aiming for.

Juice looked like he hurt his tailbone, and that slowed him down for the rest of the match. The fight become more even as Juice started to push through the pain and throw some strikes of his own. Both men used chairs, tables, and the barricade, and both men hit some big, punishing moves. Moxley looked really good tonight though, and it felt like the videos Juice had to endure for weeks did have an effect on him. We saw signs of the old Juice, but he got pulled into Moxley’s style tonight. This was very fun to watch, it’s a very good start for Moxley in NJPW, and it’s an interesting development in the character of Juice Robinson.


A look at this year’s finalists in the Best of the Super Jr. tournament.


Match 8
Best of the Super Jr. 26 Final Match
Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; stipulation: the winner will challenge Dragon Lee for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title at Dominion)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Will Ospreay wins via pinfall after Stormbreaker
Time: 33:36

Match Thoughts
Fantastic match! This was every bit a fitting and fantastic finish for the 26th Super Jr. tournament. It was the best match of the tournament, and it was extremely exciting.

Both men came into the match doing exactly what they do best, and they did it to the best of their abilities. Shingo used his punishing power to repeatedly floor Ospreay while absorbing and pushing through a lot of Ospreay’s offense. Ospreay used his speed and kicks with his added arsenal of power moves to keep Shingo off balance and guessing at what would come next. It was a great matchup of styles.

The match started with some very nice sequences of counters and dodges. They then started to get right into some of the heavy moves, building up from strikes to dives to slams. Many risks were taken, many pinfalls were kicked out of, and many moments felt like it could be the end only for the match to keep going. This has got to be one of the matches of the year.


Show Impressions
This was a great show. Top to bottom, I enjoyed every match. I’ve enjoyed this entire tour, and I’m very excited for Dominion.

Match of the Night
Shingo Takagi vs Will Ospreay
I loved it.


Official Results: https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/186446?showResult=1



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