Wrestling Review: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 25 (2018) (Day 9)

The third-to-last round of matches from the A Block of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual junior heavyweight tournament are here! The four matches on display from the Best of the Super Juniors 25 tonight are:
– Tiger Mask vs Taiji Ishimori
– Flip Gordon vs YOH
– Will Ospreay vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru

[Please note: to save myself a bit of time, I am only reviewing the tournament matches. There are potential spoilers here from all earlier days of tournament matches.]

+ Will Ospreay vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (A Block Match): another good main event from Ospreay, this time in the classic ‘good guy versus bad guy’, with Kanemaru playing the perfect foil to Ospreay’s high flying offense. There was some spectacular flipping moments from Ospreay, but it was the classic Kanemaru cheats and rule bending that made for the best drama. This was good, but not Ospreay’s best main event


Flip Gordon vs YOH (A Block Match): aside from the obvious examples of Hiromu and Ospreay, I reckon the Roppongi 3K boys, SHO and YOH, have been the tournament MVPs. This was a perfectly fine match, but I’ll repeat myself as I always do and say it was not the spectacular affair I wanted it to be
ACH vs BUSHI (A Block Match): only one slight miscommunication here showed that these two are both really good. ACH is so ridiculously powerful for a smaller guy, and BUSHI is so athletic. This was a lot of fun, but only just that; the real standouts from the tournament as a whole are better than this
Tiger Mask vs Taiji Ishimori (A Block Match): maybe it is just getting too late in the tournament, or maybe I have some sort of subconscious bias against Tiger Mask, but this was completely forgettable

> after noticing Scurll’s foul language yesterday, today’s thoughts went towards how much Ospreay screams bloody murder when he is put into any submission hold

Should you watch this event: Don’t let the 1:3 ratio above fool you; this was not really any worse than any other day, I don’t think. We are late in the tournament, I’ve watched every match so far, and with so many being ‘good’, and maybe even a higher number than usual being ‘great’, it just feels like everyone is running out of steam. The main event was the best match of the show, but even then none of the mtaches would be called “must see”.


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