DAVID FINLAY JR. & JUICE ROBINSON vs. BULLET CLUB (Yujiro Takahashi & Leo Tonga) - 4.25/10
The match was fine, but why do they keep having Leo Tonga lose? He's large enough that there is real capital to be lost in beating him so often, and they brought him in a way different than the normal young-boy system so he doesn't even get the protection of "he's supposed to be lose because he's a young-boy."
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Toru Yano) vs. SUZUKI-GUN (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) - 3/10
It was a brawl. It wasn't very good, and it ended in a DQ. The best part of this match was after it ended when Suzuki tried to choke Yano to death with a rope. I enjoyed seeing that very much.
CHAOS (Will Ospreay, YOSHI-HASHI, & Trent Beretta) vs. BULLET CLUB (Kenny Omega, Marty Scurll, & Chase Owens) - 5.75/10
HI TANAHASHI, HIRAI KAWATO, & KUSHIDA vs. KOTA IBUSHI, DRAGON LEE, & TITAN - 7.5/10
Nine minutes of pure, simple, fun, professional wrestling. I am pretty darn psyched for Tanahashi vs. Ibushi now.
LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON vs. CHAOS (Roppongi 3K, Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii, & Kazuchika Okada) (w/Gedo) - 7.75/10
We start off with Hiromu and one member of Roppongi 3K forearming the living sh*t out of each other. It only got better from there. GREAT match!
SUPER JUNIOR TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH:
Jushin "Thunder" Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) - DUD!
Suzuki-Gun jump the bell on their opponents, as usual, but this time they just charged at them in aisle so they really didn't get any sort of advantage from it. In fact, it was a completely honorable way to start the match. This was the first in an odd series of spots that, if you didn't know anything about New Japan, would have had you convinced that Suzuki-Gun were the babyfaces and Liger Mask were the heels, which might well be the most backwards thing in the entire history of pro wrestling. This included Liger viciously shoving the referee down (and somehow not getting disqualified for it).
The way they tried to turn this around was by having Kanemaru (after getting what felt like a hot tag), immediately going for Tiger Mask's mask. The referee tried to stop him by trying to put him in a sleeper hold. The referee spent what felt like a good minute trying to restrain Kanemaru so he couldn't perform this illegal action. Just disqualify him! He knows he is doing something illegal and clearly doesn't care! Then Kanemaru elbowed the referee in the face to get him off of him... and there was STILL no DQ.
Then each heel hit one of the babyfaces in the knee with a chair, pretty much one right after the other so the referee had to have been looking at one of them, but there was STILL no DQ. Now they're using chairs on Tiger Mask's knee inside the ring, but they are making an effort to distract the referee. Unfortunately, the way they're doing it is by having Kanemaru manhandle him. Why is it so hard to get this basic sh*t right?! If you want to do this sort of sh*t in your match, JUST DO A REF BUMP! And you don't want do a ref bump, then you shouldn't be doing any of this sh*t, either.
Now Desperado is going to Tiger Mask's mask and the referee is trying to get him stop, but why should he? Nothing else has resulted in a DQ. None of the threats that the referee has made this match in response to illegal actions have resulted in any sort of punishment, so why should this? Now they're going for Liger's mask and the same f*cking thing happens. Why did this moron referee even come out for this match if he wasn't going to enforce the rules? Why even go to work if you're going do your job so G-d damn poorly? The babyfaces are pissed so now they're ripping at El Desperado's mask... and this is just a mask-ripping contest and not a wrestling match now, and it's all the f*cking referee's fault for letting this match get completely out of control.
The mask ripping in this match was completely and totally cheap. Compare the mask-ripping here to Hiromu going for Dragon Lee's mask last night, where there was real history there. This was just cheap, lazy heat.
More stuff happened, including Tiger Mask completely forgetting to sell his leg which had been smashed with multiple chairshots. People did their variations on the sit-out powerbomb for nearfalls. Liger got both whisky in the face and a shot to the head from the whisky bottle but still kicked out, which would have been a great spot if they had spent this match actually working someone over rather than just getting cheap heat by ripping masks, because that just made this yet another cheap, overbooked cheating spot. Then El Desperado hit Liger with his finish and pinned him. Why not just have Liger get pinned by the whisky bottle shot? This doesn't make the win any cleaner! All it does is kill the whisky bottle spot!
SUPER JUNIOR TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT QUARTERFINAL MATCH:
Ryusuke Taguchi & ACH vs. Suzuki-Gun (TAKA Michinoku & Taichi) - 8/10
Suzuki-Gun jump the bell on their opponents. Standard Taguchi butt comedy in the beginning, followed by the usual Taichi hammer stuff, but at least these guys know how to make sure the referee is distracted. Then they did what Yano and Iizuka failed to do and actually came up with some new stuff to do with Taguchi's butt and Taichi using the ring bell hammer. Taichi then took Taguchi's tights, which already had a small hole in the in-seem, and ripped them open to humiliate him. TAKA then performed a rather unique submission on Taguchi which involved pulling Taguchi's legs while using his heel to put pressure on Taguchi's pelvis from the bottom. Basically, it looked like he was trying to shove his entire foot up Taguchi's rectum.
They continued working Taguchi's butt, but then they switched to his head because this is an important tournament and that's a better strategy. They continued with a lot of great babyface vs. heel stuff and had an awesome match, and best of all, the babyfaces won, so we're not going to get any frustrating Suzuki-Gun vs. Suzuki-Gun bullsh*t.
An okay show from New Japan, though it probably would have been quite good if the Suzuki-Gun vs. Liger Mask match had been able to deliver. Aside from that match, pretty much everything else was about where you would expect it to be. Hopefully the semifinals are back up at the levels of last night's tournament matches.