NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXVI: Day 13
By Big Red Machine
From May 31, 2019
RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, SHOTA UMINO, YOTA TSUJI, & BANDIDO vs. YUYA UEMURA & CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, & Will Ospreay) - 6.75/10
Much better than the usual undercard stuff.
JUICE ROBINSON & YOH vs. BULLET CLUB (Robbie Eagles & Jado) - 4/10
Heels jump the babyfaces before the match, spill to the outside, no count-out, blatant cheating without being DQed, blah blah blah. Kevin Kelly needs to shut the f*ck up with his faux outrage at Bullet Club's cheating. Are all just supposed to forget you condoning cheating earlier in this tournament? And now that the heels are getting the heat on Yoh, this asshole is asking questions about go-carts. F*ck off, asshole!
The story of the match was the heels cheating, but that story works a lot better if the referee actually tries to stop them so that it really feels like they're doing something wrong.
SUZUKI-GUN (Taichi & DOUKI) vs. BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo & Gedo) - 2/10
Immediately we go outside for the stupid bullsh*t portion of the match. Once the dull, lazy, pointless crap is over with, they go back to the ring and a wrestling match starts. Bullet Club gets the heat on DOUKI... and f*cking TAICHI of all people is f*cking listening to the referee when the referee tells him not to get into the ring. Are you kidding me? This guy manhandles a referee at least once per match... but now all of a sudden he's afraid of getting DQ and so he's going to listen to the referee about a rule no one ever gets DQed for breaking. And in a match with absolutely nothing on the line? COME ON!
Stuff happened. We got a face-off between Gedo and Taichi with their signature weapons during which they circled each other with the referee in the middle for a good minute straight. Finally they agreed to put the weapons down but Gedo faked it. He tried to hit Taichi with the brass knuckles but Taichi superkicked him and won by submission.
TOA HENARE & REN NARITA vs. LOS INGOBERNABLES DE JAPON (Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI) - 6/10
Fine for the time it got. Henare is really growing on me as a babyface.
BLOCK A MATCH:
Tiger Mask IV vs. Titan - 6/10
Solid. I'd like to see these two get more time.
BLOCK A MATCH:
Sho vs. Jonathan Gresham - 8/10
Fantastic limb-work, selling and storytelling. Gresham worked the knee, Sho worked the head and arm, and I was working very hard to contain my excitement and not wake the neighbors up with my excited shouting. I want to see these two get a good twenty-five minutes the next time they meet.
BLOCK A MATCH:
Dragon Lee vs. Marty Scurll (w/Brody King) - 7/10
We had a pointless chair-shot in front of the referee and no DQ, fighting on the outside without being counted out, and Brody King yanking the referee out of the ring without there being a DQ. I bring all of this up because Dragon Lee winning means that this didn't actually do anything for the match other than make it yet another New Japan match with ref bumps and other stupid shenanigans. These things only mean something if you make them mean something. If they had just let Marty and Dragon Lee go out there and wrestle with Dragon Lee winning cleanly, this could have been fantastic.
BLOCK A MATCH:
Shingo Takagi vs. Taiji Ishimori - 8/10
Both guys' necks got worked over, though I felt that some of the fighting spirit stuff Shingo did (particularly that "I take a DDT, but get back up from being on my head and pull you up into a move spot) took away from it, as he was the guy getting most of the offense in this match. The pacing was excellent and the time really flew by, but I was a little surprised (though not necessarily in a bad way) that they didn't go harder on the false finishes. Shingo picks up the win, blowing past the whole block with an undefeated record. It's about time someone did that in one of these things.
Kevin Kelly claims you only have to weigh in right before the tournament and then "can put on whatever size you want." Well that sounds pretty ripe for abuse now doesn't it? And why even bring it up? There is no positive to doing so, and it has dual negatives of making the company look silly for allowing this obvious loophole and making me think that Shingo- who has been portrayed as a babyface throughout- might be well over the weight limit for the division he has supposedly just ran wild in.
A very good show from New Japan. Block B's finals are up next.