Day 3 of this year’s competition was aired on tape delay in a single match format on New Japan World,it came from Kira Messe Numazu in Shizuoka. There was an undercard to the tournament matches however these were part of an untelevised live event,if you are interested the rest of the card can be found HERE
The tournament matches on the third day of action consisted of 4 Block A matches and were as follows,Yoh vs Tiger Mask,Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Flip Gordon,Bushi vs Taiji Ishimori and ACH vs Will Ospreay. Things got underway with a match between Roppongi 3K’s Sho and Tiger Mask,this was a decent enough match but didn’t meet the surprising standard of Tiger’s opening day contest with Kanemaru. Most of Yoh’s biggest moments came from kicking out of big moves from Tiger including a Tiger Driver and a superplex from the legendary 6 time junior heavyweight champion, however he hit a beautiful looking Tope Con Giro to the outside that was definitely one of this contests more memorable moments. In quite another big shock it was Tiger Mask once again who was able to bring home the 2 points picking up the victory via a Tiger Suplex. Tiger Mask faces Bushi on May 24th looking for a third consecutive win.
Up next was a first time encounter between Suzuki Gun’s Yoshinobu Kanemaru and “All In” Flip Gordon,barring a few early highspots from Gordon, Kanemaru set the early tone by keeping a slow methodical approach to wear down Flip. Kanemaru tossed Gordon in to the crowd and began to choke him with a chair,when the action got back in to the ring the BOSJ debutant Gordon hit a springboard slingblade to gain the advantage,he then was able to reverse a Kanemaru belly to belly suplex in to an impressive drop kick and kept the Suzuki Gun man cornered with a series of kicks. However there was another quick momentum swing to come as Flip went up top but was punished as he came crashing down on the knees of Kanemaru,however the 7 time GHC Junior Heavyweight Champion took to the top rope for a moonsault but Gordon dodged the bullet and Kanemaru came crashing down. Despite this Kanemaru managed to remain on top and hit a satellite ddt on Flip,the action went back and forth in the closing moments before Gordon hit a stunning Four Flippy Splash to pick up the win in what was a surprisingly good match considering the clash of styles. This was Flip’s first points of this year’s competition but it won’t get any easier trying to secure his next 2 as he takes on Taiji Ishimori up next.
The third match of the third day saw another first time meeting between Los Ingobernables De Japon’s Bushi and Bullet Club’s “Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori. Another stand out clash for the newest addition to the Bullet Club Ishimori after his opening day victory over Ospreay and a tremendous performance from Bushi, who in my opinion is criminally underrated. Ishimori was victorious in and exciting contest which came to an end with Ishimori hitting Bushi with the bloody cross.
The day’s main event would be contested between ACH and IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay,this is the second time the to have met in a one on one match between the two after they previously met at a Rev Pro Cockpit Show back in January 2016,where the Aerial Assassin was victorious,as he was again in this encounter. A really good fast paced,highly athletic encounter, where both guys were able to reel off all their greatest hits and show off just Howe incredible they both are. I think this match would of fit a live show better and probably would of kicked up another gear in front of a Korakuen Hall crowd,that being said there wasn’t really much to critique about it. The finish was sensation and came when Ospreay flipped out of an ACH lariat attempt and nailed ACH with a Robinson Special,which was followed up by a Stormbreaker. Really good effort by both men and the champion is finally on the board but ACH definitely proved he is a contender in Block A.
After a great third day that I think would’ve actually made a fantastic live show let’s recap on the day’s events HERE
Tiger Mask defeated Yoh.
Flip Gordon defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru.
Taiji Ishimori defeated Bushi.
Will Ospreay defeated ACH
Block A Standings
Tiger Mask 4
Taiji Ishimori 4
Flip Gordon 2
Will Ospreay 2
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 0
Block B was the focus as BOSJ returned to Korakuen Hall for the third time in this year’s tournament,Day 4 consisted of 4 tournament matches and 4 non tournament contests featuring Block A competitors which we’ll briefly cover before getting in to today’s tournament action.
Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens defeated Flip Gordon & Tomoyuki Oka,when Owens pinned Oka following a package driver.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki defeated ACH & Shota Umino,when Kanemaru submitted Umino with a Boston crab.
Yoh & Yosh-Hashi defeated Will Ospreay & Gedo,Gedo tapped out to a Yoshi-Hashi Butterfly Lock.
Bushi & Tetsuya Naito defeated Tiger Misk & Toa Henare,Naito Hut destino on Henare for the win. Following this match Chris Jericho made an appearance on screen cutting a promo on Naito about their impending Dominion clash, this promo can be seen
The 4 tournament offerings from Block B were Chris Sabin taking on Sho,Ryusuke Taguchi vs Dragon Lee, Kushida vs Marty Scurll and in the main event Suzuki Gun’s El Desperado up against Los Ingobernables de Japon’s “Ticking Timebomb” Hiromu Takahashi. Up first was Chris Sabin squaring off against Chaos member and one half of Roppongi 3K Sho. The match started at a steady pace with both men showing off their mat based ability,Sabin was able to fire the first major shot his a nailed a huge ddt to Sho before an awesome tope to the outside. Sabin remained on top when the action returned to the ring delivering a dropkick and superplex to Sho, Sho was able to counter a Sabin springboard tornado ddt in to a impactful slam. However this didn’t give Sho the opening he’d of liked and both men began to trade strikes with neither really coming out on top until Sabin was able to deliver 2 massive lariats,but it would be Sho who would assert dominance in the match with some strong knee strikes and a trio of German suplexes. Sho remained on top despite a Sabin backslide attempt that forced a near fall and was able to hit a shock arrow package piledriver for the win and his first points of the tournament.
Up next was Dragon Lee taking on Ryusuke Taguchi,there was a lot of silliness in the contest and it didn’t really do a lot for me. My main highlights were a fantastic looking tope con giro from Lee and Dragon Lee countering one Taguchi’s hip attacks in to a suplex. Dragon Lee was able to pick up the win hitting his patented Desnucadora. Lee remains undefeated in his first 2 match,while Taguchi is still searching for his first points.
The third contest of the day was between Kushida and “The Villain” Marty Scurll,these two had met in two previous encounters with the timesplitter coming out on top in both occasions. During Kushida’s entrance Scurll ran up in to the stands,he was pursued by Kushida however The Villain continued to flee and retreated back to the ring. When the match eventually got underway both men were trying to use their technical prowess to gain the upper hand with multiple submission and pinfall attempts. It seemed like it was Kushida who finally struck the first big blow with a fantastic cartwheel dropkick,however Scurll was able to roll out of the ring compose himself and snapped the fingers of Kushida whilst up on the apron and nailed a superkick to the outside.Scurll took the action back inside the ring and worked over Kushida with submissions and strikes at a methodical pace,Kushida did finally find an opening when Scurll tried to take things up top however Kushida locked an arm and tossed Scurll to the mat. The two continued to exchange strikes before Best Of The Super Jr 24 winner Kushida was able to find an opening transitioning a hip toss in to a seemingly lethal armbar that somehow The Villain was able to escape,Scurll locked in submission’s of his own stretching Kushida in to multiple uncomfortable looking predicaments. The time splitter escaped this and nailed an overhead kick on Scurll but Marty was able to hit a powerful lariat on the rebound. Scurll remained on top and almost scored 2 close falls,he then hit Kushida with a superplex and seemed to believe he was closing in on the win when he attempted the chicken wing however Kushida escaped. Kushida then hit Scurll with automatic midnight,they then began to trade strikes once again and both attempting to pick up the win via roll up. The finishing sequence came when Kushida took Scurll up top but the villain snapped his fingers,Kushida was still able to nail a top rope ddt and went for an armbar however due to the finger snap he was unable to lock the arm he did however get Scurll up for the back to the future and pick up his first win of the tournament and extended his record against Scurll to 3-0.
Day 4 was headlined by Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado,this was the first time the pair had squared off in singles action for 7 years,another interesting note is that Desperado was Hiromu’s senior back in the dojo. This was a match that I noted in my Block B preview would be one to watch after their impressive Tag Team exchanges recently,but this encounter smashed all those expectations and delivered what is almost definitely the best contest of the competition so far and one that will be hard to top. My notes for this match are basically a love letter to the two and is basically another article in itself and I highly recommend you going on to New Japan World and checking out this contest yourself,some of the many highlights included Hiromu taking Desperado up in to the stands and hitting a massive John Woo,Desperado violently tossing Takahashi in to the steal wall at Korakuen Hall before slamming him viciously in to a table before smashing a chair over his back,Takahashi nailing El Desperado with diving knees from the apron which sent the Suzuki Gun man flying in to the commentary table,a sickening reverse from the ticking timebomb,a massive elbow from Desperado that almost knocked Hiromu out cold. In the end Desperado picked up the win hitting a Pinche Loco not long after hitting a low blow and a Guitarra De Angel for a near fall. These two men went just short of 23 minutes and threw everything they had at eachother it will be interesting to see what they have left when Takahashi faces long time rival Dragon Lee and Desperado takes on the impressive Sho this coming friday.
To recap on a fantastic day’s action,
Sho defeated Chris Sabin.
Dragon Lee defeated Ryusuke Taguchi.
Kushida defeated Marty Scurll.
El Desperado defeated Hiromu Takahashi.
Block B Standings
El Desperado 4
Dragon Lee 4
Hiromu Takahashi 2
Chris Sabin 2
Marty Scurll 0
Ryusuke Taguchi 0
After 2 fantastic days of action,the competition rolls on to day 5 in Shiga on Thursday and Osaka on Friday,I’ll be back with an extensive look at these 2 shows as soon as the matches hit New Japan World.