New Japan Pro Wrestling “Best of the Super Juniors Final”

Added by Zack Monday

From Ryogoku Kokugikan, June 5th 2019

1)  Six Man Tag match: Bandido, “The Octopus” Jonathan Gresham & Ren Narita vs IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Dragon Lee, Titan & Shota Umino

Winners: Dragon, Titan & Umino after Narita hooked Dragon for a Belly to Belly Suplex, Lee escaped and hooked Desnucadora, but Narita got loose, Lee quickly scored with a Knee Lift and hit the ropes, only for Ren to take him over with the Belly to Belly and cover for a 2. Narita pulled Dragon up for a Backslide, but Lee rolled to his feet and blasted Ren with a Knee Strike, allowing him to pull down his knee pad and OBLITERATE Ren Narita with a Knee Strike to the face and cover for the 3. (Good wrap up for all 5 of these super juniors, as well as Umino. Big trademark spots him by all, with Gresham nailing a sick Shooting Star Press, but immediately selling the ribs. Narita’s fire continued to burn until the very end, looking for his opportunity to win, against the best challenge he could find.)

2) Six Man Tag match: Bullet Club (British Undisputed Cruiserweight Champion “The Headbanger” El Phantasmo, “Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori & “The Sniper of the Skies” Robbie Eagles vs Ryusuke Taguchi & IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH)

Winners: Bullet Club after SHO rocked Eagles with big Forearms and hit the ropes, Eagles ducked a Lariat and responded with a kick combo, punctuated with a Rolling Enziguri, rocking SHO to his knee. Eagles hit the ropes, but SHO had other ideas and leveled Robbie with a Lariat, quickly looking for a Straight Jacket Piledriver, but Eagles escaped. Eagles rocked him with a knee, SHO came back with a big elbow and Eagles threw a kick, which SHO checked and threw his own kick, which Eagles caught and transitioned into The Turbo Backpack, covering for a 2! Eagles blasted SHO back to the mat with a Basement Superkick, before going to the top, Phantasmo tagged Eagles, unbeknownst to him and after Eagles hit SHO with a 450 Splash, Phantasmo pushed Eagles off and used The CR2 to put SHO down for the 3. (Awesome! The build between Eagles and Phantasmo has been some really special stuff and a bright spot in this tournament. Eagles is tired of Phantasmo’s bullshit and has proved himself a force without the heel tactics and interference. Taiji & Phantasmo danced with the Titles, while Eagles walked away, leading to an argument. GREAT STUFF!)

3) 10 Man Tag match: Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano & “The Stone Pitbull” Tomohiro Ishii vs Suzuki-Gun (NEVER Openweight Champion TAICHI, Minoru Suzuki, Undisputed British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI)

Winners: YOSHI-HASHI, Liger, Tiger Mask, Yano & Ishii after Kanemaru went for a lifted Reverse DDT on Tiger, Tiger countered into a beautiful Tiger Driver, but TAICHI was quickly on him, throwing Tiger out of the ring, just as Ishii entered. TAICHI caught Ishii’s kick and kicked him in the buts, as DOUKI held the Referee, Suzuki wrapped Liger up of the ring and ZSJ wrapped up Yano in an Octopus. TAICHI called for DOUKI to put HASHI away, leading to DOUKI hitting a Lariat to HASHI, but he fired up with a chop and then leveled DOUKI with a Lariat. HASHI pulled DOUKI up and used KARMA to put him away. (Wild Suzuki-Gun brawl. I love anything with ZSJ, so I am immediately drawn in. HASHI gets a win in this stacked lineup, which featured TAICHI and Ishii building to their NEVER Openweight Title match and then ZSJ seeming to challenge HASHI to come see him for the Rev Pro Title. Liger and Suzuki mixing it up and then brawling is the kind of shit I love!)

4) Eight Man Tag match: Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) vs IWGP Intercontinental Champion “The Golden Star” Kota Ibushi, Toa Henare, “Unchained Gorilla” Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma

Winners:  LIJ after EVIL escaped the corner, as Henare charged in, immediately followed by SANADA hitting a Jumping Back Elbow to Henare and BUSHI charging in with Double Knees, before throwing him out to a kick from EVIL, kick from SANADA and then a Lariat from EVIL, getting a 2. BUSHI took out Makabe with a Suicide Dive, as EVIL & SANADA combined to put Henare down with Magic Killer and EVIL covered for the 3. (Ibushi vs Naito is going to be great, as always. SANADA’s haircut makes him even more magical. Good stuff throughout, Henare & Honma are fun Headbutting friends, BUSHI wraps up a solid tournament with a good night as LIJ continues to be the strongest faction in NJPW.)

5) ROH Six Man Tag Champions Villain Enterprises (“The Villain” Marty Scurll & Brodie King) vs IWGP World Heavyweight Champion “The Rainmaker” Kazuchika Okada & Rocky Romero

Winners: Okada & Romero after Okada floored King with a Dropkick, he quickly went to the top and scored with a Flying Elbow Drop and hit The Rainmaker Pose, before putting King down with The Rainmaker and covering for the 3. (I really dug this matchup, as I am a fan of all 4. Okada and King had some sequences that make you want to see King get a little stronger in the NJPW ranks and then get a 1 on 1 confrontation. Romero wraps up an incredibly impressive and emotional tournament run.)

As Okada & Romero are celebrating, the lights go out and a promo from Chris Jericho plays on the screen, hyping their upcoming IWGP Title match at Dominion!

6) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs “Switchblade” Jay White w/Gedo

Winner: White after Tanahashi used a Bridged Straight Jacket German Suplex for a 2, he pulled White in for a Dragon Suplex, but Gedo entered the ring. Tanahashi dropped White and blasted Gedo with a Palm Strike, but White used the Referee’s distraction to nail Tanahashi with a Low Blow and hook for The Blade Runner, only Tanahashi escaped and nailed White with a Low Blow and followed with a School Boy, getting a close 2. Tanahashi quickly went for a Texas Cloverleaf, but White cranked on Tanahashi’s injured arm and then used an Inside Cradle, while keeping the injured arm Hammerlocked, getting the big victory. (White vs Tanahashi is a really good, completely rewatchable matchup. White is incredibly smart when it comes to incorporating weak points, or injured limbs, in his moves and cradles. Great to see Tanahashi back, I love the way NJPW doesn’t just gloss over the injury upon returns, you see the injured body part being a catalyst to the defeat and the returning wrestler still needing to sharpen up and get right.)

7) IWGP United States Championship match: “The Flamboyant” Juice Robinson © vs Jon Moxley

Winner and NEW IWGP US Champion: Moxley after Juice escaped the Double Arm DDT and used a big School Boy for a 2, they charged in with a Clothesline collision, Juice called for The Left Hand to God, but Jon kicked out his knee! Moxley pulled Juice in and used a quick Double Arm DDT to get a 2, before Jon fired up, pulled Juice to his feet and used a Lifting Double Arm SPIKE DDT put Juice away and win the US Championship! (Awesome fight! Moxley looked to have fun while really bringing a war with Juice. Juice went for a crazy Somersault Tope off the entrance structure, but overshot the pile and landed REALLY hard on his ass. Great reaction for Moxley and his style is a great fit to the wild, brawling side of NJPW. The way he put a twist on his WWE finisher is just an extra nod to the fact this stage of Moxley is better than Ambrose).

8) Best of the Super Juniors 26 – Final: “The Aerial Assassin” Will Ospreay vs “The Dragon” Shingo Takagi

Winner and NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 Champion: Ospreay after Shingo nailed Will with a Lariat, he called for the Pumping Bomber and hit the ropes, destroying Will and crawling into the cover, which SOMEHOW Will kicked out from. With the crowd going wild, Shingo grabbed Will’s wrist, as they both struggled to their feet, he pulled Will in for The Last of the Dragon, but Ospreay was able to wiggle and snap off a ROUGH looking Reverse Rana. They took a few moments to gather their senses, before crawling to the middle of the ring and ramming heads, leading to them getting to their feet, where Shingo crushed Will with Lariats, each time Will bounding off the ropes and back to Shingo. Will finally countered with a Roundhouse Kick to the head, before hitting the ropes, but Shingo followed in with a Lariat against the ropes and hit the ropes himself, only for Will to pull off an INCREDIBLE One Man Spanish Fly and cover for a CRAZY NEAR FALL! Will pulled Shingo up and hit a sick Rip Cord Hook Kick to the face, dropping him to a knee, where Will followed with The Hidden Blade and then fired the hell up, as Shingo’s heart and will pulled him to his feet, Will scored with The Os Cutter, but he held on to Shingo’s head, rolling both men back to their feet, where Ospreay used The Storm Breaker to put Shingo down and finally get the 3. (INCREDIBLE. Many are calling this their Match of the Year, and I will not scoff at that high regard. This was a Junior Heavyweight masterpiece, representing this era’s blend of speed, power and balls to the wall execution. Will Ospreay is the best wrestler in the entire world and this tournament was a highlight reel of what a great Junior match looks like, match in and match out. Shingo’s undefeated reign of terror comes to an end in the most impressive way possible. His journey to fulfilling his destiny and self-worth is going to be stuff of legend and I am so fucking happy Shingo is a part of the NJPW. They really know how to build a character into making fans really give a shit about what they do, what they say, how they look. The small variations in maneuvers and style for opponent adaption, and the big move variations to put away that tough rival. I am honored to be able to watch the quality of professional wrestling that I do and I say that New Japan is the best wrestling on the planet.)