Wrestling Review: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors (2017) (Day 5)

We’re back at Korakuen Hall, in Tokyo Japan, for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW)’s annual Best of the Super Juniors 24 tournament, and day 5 will see four more matches from the B Block. First up, Volador Jr. will face Yoshinobu Kanemaru before Tiger Mask takes on ACH. Then, Ryusuke Tagichi wil look to use his signature offense to take out El Desperado, before the main event sees KUSHIDA go one on one with BUSHI. There are also two huge eight-man tag team matches, with the Guerillas of Destiny, War Machine, Los Ingobernables De Japon and the Bullet Club all making appearances.

I know, I am so far behind.

+ Ryusuke Taguchi vs El Desperado (Block B Match): to use a sentence I never thought I would use, especially in a world with Bayley and Alexa Bliss as pro wrestlers: this match had too much ass. Desperado played such a despicable bad guy, the crowd was well and truly behind Taguchi. An extended spot using one of my favourite submissions added some drama, before a fantastic ending which will make you either really angry or really happy. This was my match of the night
+ KUSHIDA vs BUSHI (Block B Match): this was a good back and forth match, and would have been match of the night, if I didn’t enjoy Taguchi/Desperado so much. This was probably a better technical match up than Taguchi/Desperado, with lots of near-falls and some great cut-offs in the middle of comebacks
+ Volador Jr. vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Block B Match): despite my ragging on Volador over the last few matches, this was a surprisingly good outing for both men. The shenanigans were kept to a minimum, and the luchador maneuvers were smooth and well timed. I enjoyed this more than I thought I would
+ Tiger Mask vs ACH (Block B Match): these two slowly built the crowd into it, on the back of a series of incredible dives, before an admittedly rather flat ending. But the build up was great, and made this well worth a watch
+ Taguchi Japan (David Finlay & Ricochet) and War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) vs Bullet Club (Marty Scurll, Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi): I think the Guerillas/War Machine feud might be my favourite going at the moment. Every time they are in the ring together, the match is sure to be fire. Add in Ricochet and Marty Scurll and this was always going to be a fantastic showing. Tama Tonga was flying around like a junior heavyweight, and both of War Machine were fantastic here. This was a really good match
+ Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima, Dragon Lee & Juice Robinson vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito): I had this written down with Ryusuke Taguchi instead of Juice, but Taguchi is in his BOSJ match later, so I must have misread somewhere. Much like the Ospreay match earlier, I would have liked to see more of Dragon Lee, but I assume this was a match designed to give him a short break. LIJ are so cool, but I am always surprised at how much the crowd loves Naito even when he is such a jerk

– CHAOS (Jado & Will Ospreay) vs Suzuki-gun (Taichi & TAKA Michinoku): this was really short, and mostly the same old classic bad-guy stuff from the Suzuki-gun duo. Ospreay did a small amount of impressive moves, but for the msot part I felt like this was a rest match for Ospreay
– Hirai Kawato & Tomoyuki Oka vs Katsuya Kitamura & Syota Umino: I’ll say it forever: god damn Kitamura is physically the most impressive person on the NJPW roster. Not much else of note happened, as this was the standard opening tag match

Should you watch this event: If you’ve been watching the tournament so far (day 1 here, day 2 here, and days 3 and 4 here), then it is clear that the A Block matches are more anticipated, but that only means the B Block matches can surprise you more, and that was the case here. With four good tournament matches, and two good eight-man tags, this was well worth watching, especially if you just skip the first two matches.


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