Wrestling Review: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors (2017) (Day 14 – The Final)

It has been a long two weeks for New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW), but we finally have a match set to determine who will be the Best of the Super Juniors 24. In a rematch of last year’s final, Will Ospreay, the winner from Block A, will face off against Block B winner KUSHIDA with a shot against current Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi in just a few nights at Dominion. All of the competitors from the A Block and B Block will be in action, as well as a return to TV for some heavyweights such as Minoru Suzuki, Tomohiro Ishii and Hirooki Goto, as well as members from CHAOS, Los Ingobernables de Japon and Bullet Club.

+ Satoshi Kojima and Taguchi Japan (Dragon Lee, Juice Robinson, Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi) vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito): every member of LIJ are my favourite because they have so much swag, but Ricochet may well be one of the best wrestlers in the world right now. I thought this was going to be a real mess, but it ended up being really good. I would like liked a bit more from individuals, but botht eams did a fantatic job. This was match of the night
+ KUSHIDA vs Will Ospreay (Best of the Super Jr. 24 Final): as far as this being the main eve4nt of the show, and a culmination of a fortnight of brutal tournament matches, this was a bit disappointing. Some huge moments, particularly some incredibly dangerous moves, made for an exciting match, but it never felt like the final match of the tournament. This was a good match, no doubt, but lacked that something to make it extra special
+ CHAOS (Gedo & Kazuchika Okada) vs Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Marty Scurll): it is so surreal to me to even write that Scurll was in the ring with Okada, let alone beating him up, though they still haven’t done the Rainmaker-into-finger snap spot I’ve been expecting. There was some clever use of props, and some nice reversals/counters to often used moves. Omega/Okada are just such huge stars it is hard not to get hyped when they go face to face, and their match at Dominion is certain to be phenomenal
+ CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) vs Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Taichi): damn it’s good to see Suzuki again, instead of just the goons in the BOSJ. This matfch was all over the place, with Goto and Suzuki doing most of the in ring work before shenanigans ensued. I really enjoyed this, from start to finish
+ ACH, David Finlay and War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) vs Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa & Yujiro Takahashi): I am so sick of David Finlay, especially when teamed with the amazing War Machine, and especially with how ACH was able to make himself look so good, despite nearly killing himself with a dive. All of the Bullet Club were great, with Takahashi being the standout. This was a wild match, with a few big moments in between
+ Syota Umino, Tomoyuki Oka & Yuji Nagata vs Katsuya Kitamura, Manabu Nakanishi & Tetsuhiro Yagi: hot damn, Kitamura is a beast. As far as opening tag team matches go, this was surprisingly good. Nagata and Nakanishi were a sight for sore eyes, and it has been interesting watching Umino as he develops over the past few weeks. This was slightly above average for this sort of match
+ this show featured more of the heavyweights of New Japan, and dammit I missed them; Goto, Nagata, Suzuki and Ishii just to name a few were great to see again – it feels like far more than a few weeks since I’ve seen them

– Hirai Kawato, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Togi Makabe vs CHAOS (Jado, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii): the crowd responded so well to Kawato, it brought a smile to my face, though I don’t envy him for getting in the ring with Ishii. The same old comedy from Yano was here too, but in the end this felt like a bit of a ‘use up time’ sort of match
– Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask & Volador Jr. vs Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, TAKA Michinoku & Yoshinobu Kanemaru): I’m surprised Taichi wasn’t in this match to continue his thing with Liger, but whatever, this was such a short match it hardly mattered. This was not worth it

> Yujiro Takahashi had Pieter with him again. Lord help me

Should you watch this event: This was a good show, but not for the main event. Ospreay/KUSHIDA was fine, maybe even above average, but it was the semi-main event of Omega/Scurll versus Omega/Gedo and the ten man tag which were the standouts for me. As a build for the upcoming Dominion it has done it’s jobs, because my hype for that show is through the roof.


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