Wrestling Review: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors (2017) (Days 6 and 7)

As the New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) annual Best of the Super Juniors 24 tournament continues, eight more matches are available on demand via the NJPW World streaming service. Four matches each from Block A and Block B are available over the two days, with Block A matches emanating from Tochigi City Athletic Park Gymnasium, while the matches in the Block B bracket come from Ishikawa, in the Komatsu City Suehiro Gymnasium. Matches from Block A include a battle between two high flyers in Ricochet and Dragon Lee, while the Aerial Assassin Will Ospreay goes up again the legendary Jushin Liger, as Liger looks to capture his first win of the tournament. On the Block B side, Los Ingobernables de Japon member BUSHI looks to take out Ryusuke Taguchi.

+ Jushin Thunder Liger vs Will Ospreay (Block A Match): this battle between two genuine good guys, one with the beneift of youth and one with a huge experience factor, was surprisingly quite one sided, and not nearly as long as I’d have thought it would go; Iw as shocked when it ended when it did. That is not a bad thing, however, as whatever else had been done may have been overkill. This was a safe but fun match between two good wrestlers
+ Dragon Lee vs Ricochet (Block A Match): this was a really good high flying match that never felt like they were just trying to put on a show. I don’t know if ‘safe’ is the word I’d want to use, but there were not really any surprises, and probably not either guy’s best match in the tournament so far, but overall just a really good match to watch
+ El Desperado vs Volador Jr. (Block B Match): there was a lot of action on the opposite side of the ring to the hard cam, and even some brawling in the crowd, so the single camera format did make it a bit difficult to watch. Volador did bust out some cool moves, including Sin Cara/Mistico La Mistica, and the finish was an interesting move I don’t think I’ve seen before. This was above average, and is slowly turning my opinion on Volador around
+ Marty Scurll vs TAKA Michonoku (Block A Match): this crowd was really behind Scurll, and seemed to enjoy heckling him throughout. This had some good moments, but most of the crowd reaction came form the signature spots of each guy. Even still, this was a good match to watch

– BUSHI vs Ryusuke Taguchi (Block B Match): this was probably the most good vs bad match of these two days, and frankly that made it somewhat boring. There was the standard moves from both guys, but nothing surprising, and nothing to separate this from any other match
– Tiger Mash vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (Block B Match): this match did nothing for me. Kanemaru is so bland, and the match was nothing special for either guy. The highlights were the post-match shenanigans, and they were nothing new, either. These Suzuki-gun guys need new material
– ACH vs KUSHIDA (Block B Match): this was really difficult to get through. I found myself getting bored several times, in part to it being much longer than the other matches. There were several periods of the two laying down, recovering, and they seemed to drag a bit too much. This was disappointing
– Hiromu Takahashi vs Taichi (Block A Match): another battle between two long-term ‘bad guys’, this was surprisingly straight forward. I am always surprised at how much the crowd likes Takahashi. This was fine, but nothing special, and clear that both of these two work better as foils to a hero. Not really worth watching, in the end

> I think TAKA might be the first person this tournament to sell the broken finger once his match with Scurll was over.

Should you watch this event: These eight matches were a bit more divisive than the offerings from days 3 and 4, but once again Block A managed to shine. Whilst none managed to blow me away, Volador/Desperado was far better than I thought, and Dragon Lee/Ricochet and Scurll/TAKA were both fun. Since these are all available on demand, seek out the ones listed as positives above, otherwise just have a look for any matches with people you like.


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