[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. Day 6 will see a return to tournament action for the B Block, when Ryusuke Taguchi and BUSHI face off in the main event. This sixth day will also see several factions face their first civil wars: Robbie Eagles and El Phantasmo will face off in an all-Bullet Club showing, whilst Will Ospreay will battle YOH in an intra-CHAOS affair.
+ Ryusuke Taguchi vs BUSHI (BOSJ B Block Match): this was fine, but certainly nowhere near as good as the Eagles/Phantasmo or even YOH/Ospreay match. I have nothing but respect for Taguchi, especially main event Taguchi, but I do wonder why he has been in every main event for the B Block so far. Maybe he will actually win, though not if my boi BUSHI has anything to say about it
+ YOH vs Will Ospreay (BOSJ B Block Match): this was pretty good overall, particularly due to how smooth YOH looked. Ospreay was a little bit sub-standard for me, and I feel like he will be in the G1 this year (maybe as well as Shingo). Ospreay is at that level now where going head to head with him is good, but you don’t win then it’s not worth the time. And if you do win, you’d want to do it earlier than 25 minutes. It’s hard to explain, but I think the gist of it is that I’ve enjoyed Ospreay against the heavies, and seeing him bum around with the juniors is almost a step back
+ Robbie Eagles vs El Phantasmo (BOSJ B Block Match): fun intra-club matchup, which early reminded me of the TAKA/Taichi match from a few years ago (if you recall, they didn’t even touch for nearly 15 minutes). Thankfully, these two did in fact grapple with each other, and it was a lot of fun, especially as it gave Eagles his first opportunity to play the underdog good guy, solely because Phantasmo is such a huge asshole
+ DOUKI vs Bandido (BOSJ B Block Match): really good, with a surprisingly hot crowd. Bandido is really growing on the NJPW crowd, especially against the super-jerk in DOUKI. Bandido is going to be a star here, and by extension moreso in Ring of Honor, but DOUKI also really deserves more credit (especially from me; I freely admit I’ve been a bit harsh on him)
– Ren Narita vs Rocky Romero (BOSJ B Block Match): this was another good showing for Narita, but against someone like Rocky, Narita’s inexperience was more clear than ever. Rocky has such a huge experience advantage that he outclassed Narita in the match, in the wrestling sense, but also in the real world sense, where it was all too clear that Rocky was leading the dance, so to speak
> I’m just getting further behind every day. I need to just smash out three days in a row. Wish me luck
Should you watch this event: Essentially, this was a show built to prove me wrong. DOUKi, Eagles and YOH all really impressed me, after I had been somewhat low on them in the earlier matches, and it made for a really enjoyable show, overall.