Wrestling Review: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26 (2019) (Day 7)

[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 7 is the first in a four day stretch where every competitor will be in action, with five matches from the A Block and five matches from the B Block. Will Ospreay and El Phantasmo will have the coveted main event spot as each man looks to take the uncontested leadership spot in the B Block. In the semi-main event, A Block competitors Marty Scurll and the still undefeated Shingo Takagi will face off, with other matches on the show including BUSHI versus DOUKI, Dragon Lee versus Tiger Mask

+ El PHantasmo vs Will Ospreay (BOSJ B Block Match): this was really good. Although this didn’t have the surprise factor something like Gresham/Titan did, these two had a style, and they wrestled it perfectly. I am awaiting Ospreay’s inevitable move to heavyweight, but as long as he continues to have this style of match when he wants to, then I’m down for whatever. Phantasmo looked a million bucks coming out of this, and even though he is the biggest asshole on the entire roster, I can’t help but love him
+ Shingo Takagi vs Marty Scurll (BOSJ A Block Match): I enjoyed this match, and for the first time I felt like Marty might actually have a chance of winning (and obviously, Shingo is still the super favourite). Win, lose or draw, Marty looked great, and Shingo looked like an absolute beast
+ Robbie Eagles vs Ryusuke Taguchi (BOSJ B Block Match): I really enjoyed this, more than I thought I might. Taguchi was on point, and Eagles looked really impressive. Eagles, once again, is really building some fans in the audience, and ti just made the back and forth action between the two that much more engrossing
+ Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs SHO (BOSJ A Block Match): I loved this. It was the exact type of thing the tournament needed at this point. Fantastic
+ YOH vs Rocky Romero (BOSJ B Block Match): as a student vs teacher fight, this was pretty good, but didn’t really feel like it was the super important moment it should have been. It’s a plus, but it’s a low plus
+ Jonathan Gresham vs Titan (BOSJ A Block Match): as these two tried to out wrestle each other, in the catch-as-catch-can style, this was easily one of my favourite matches of the tournament. Their strikes and throws were great, too, but it was the technical stylings that made both men look fantastic
+ Ren Narita vs Bandido (BOSJ B Block Match): gosh, the crowd was going absolutely nuts for Narita in this match, and because of that I couldn’t help but get hyped as hell. The final few minutes in particular would not have been out of place in a championship main event. It may not be a surprise how this one goes, but how it gets there is what will blow your mind

DOUKI vs BUSHI (BOSJ B Block Match): this was a really one-sided match, and truthfully it wasn’t what I wanted to see. DOUKI impressed me recently, and I always love BUSHI, but I expected more from these two
Tiger Mask vs Dragon Lee (BOSJ A Block Match): this was fine, but felt a little bit unnecessary. Tiger Mask has done surprisingly well thus far, but I don’t believe he will win, and with Dragon Lee already dropping a match early, this was clearly just a ‘make up the points’ match for him. That’s not to say that prediction came true, but it just meant I couldn’t get myself involved in the match
TAKA Michinoku vs Taiji Ishimori (BOSJ A Block Match): TAKA looked really good early, as I again had to wonder if Ishimori was actually injured. This eventually picked up, but it was still just a standard opening match, with only one really impressive moment

Should you watch this event: Greshma/Titan may be one of the best matches of the tournament so far, and you should definitely see it. Narita/Bandido was pretty good, and Kanemaru/SHO was really surprising, and both the Scurll/Shingo and Ospreay/Phantasmo fights were good fun.


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