Wrestling Review: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 (2019) (Day 3)

[Please note: to save us all some time, I’ll only review the tournament matches themselves. There may be incidental spoilers for previous nights, but I won’t go out of my way to spoil things.]

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s (NJPW) annual junior heavyweight round-robin tournament, the Best of the Super Juniors 26 continues. It is the second night of action for the A Block, as reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Dragon Lee faces the powerhouse of Roppongi 3K, SHO, in the main event. Taiji Ishimori and Marty Scurll will do battle in the semi main, and the undefeated Shingo Takagi will face off against Titan.

+ SHO vs Dragon Lee (BOSJ A Block Match): this was fantastic, with SHO once again proving to be one of the best in the tournament. These two started fast and strong, continued fast and strong and finished fast and strong. Both competitors are going to have tough tournament endings if they continue the pace and style of their first two matches, but it makes for some great viewing
+ Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll (BOSJ A Block Match): for the start of this match, the crowd was very quiet for everything either man did, and it wasn’t until maybe the two-third mark that the crowd picked back up. That is not to say it was a bad match, at all, just that Shingo/Titan before it was good enough to get the crowd’s energy used up. This was still a good match, between two of the ‘definitely in with a chance’ competitors
+ Shingo Takagi vs Titan (BOSJ A Block Match): this was great. My love of Shingo should be clear by now, but it is when he has these really good matches that I feel he could be one of the greats. There was a lot of action outside the ring, which was a bit strange, considering both guys do their best stuff off the ropes. but it made for a different style of match than either has had so far. I enjoyed this

Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Tiger Mask (BOSJ A Block Match): I was surprised at how this tried a bit too hard to be a big match, with finisher kickouts and near finishes. The crowd was mostly into it but for the second match on the show, in the second round of the tournament, frankly I think they put on a bit too much
TAKA Michinoku vs Jonathan Gresham (BOSJ A Block Match): this was okay from a technical standpoint, ad you would expect from Gresham in particular, but it just felt so filler. In a tournament, obviously not everybody should necessarily be a favourite, but it is just hard to imagine either of these two with a serious run, let alone a win. You might like this more than I did if you’re a particular fan of either guy

Should you watch this event: It’s all but guaranteed that SHO, Dragon Lee, Taiji Ishimori and Shingo Takagi will have a good match, so once again, the A Block shows prove more good than bad.

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