NJPW Best of the Super Juniors
Day 1 Results
May 13, 2019
1. Douki & Taichi def. Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji
This is the first look we’re getting at Douki, a newcomer who was added as a last-minute replacement for the injured El Desperado. Taichi worked over Tsuji for several minutes as Douki took pot shots on the apron and eventually blasted him with a steel chair while the ref was distracted. Yep, he’ll fit in just fine with Suzuki-Gun. Narita eventually got the hot tag and cleaned house, but the Young Lions’ momentum didn’t last too long. Tsuji locked in a Boston Crab on Douki and held on while Taichi kicked at him numerous times. In the end, Douki picked up the win with an impressive Wheelbarrow Dragon Suplex with a bridge.
2. El Phantasmo, Robbie Eagles & Jado def. Bandido, Rocky Romero & Yuya Uemura
Lots of impressive counters between Bandido and Phantasmo early on. They were having a nice little match until Jado got involved with his kendo stick, and Bullet Club triple-teamed Romero in their corner. Bandido got the hot tag and hit a springboard crossbody on Phantasmo. Uemura nearly knocked Eagles out cold with a series of stiff running uppercuts, and a double underhook suplex for two. He locked in the Boston Crab, but it was broken up by superkicks from the other Club members. Things broke down as Phantasmo did some crazy rope work before sending Bandido flying with a springboard headcissors takedown, then following him to the outside with a tope. Phantasmo got the pin on Uemura. Fun match.
3. Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Shota Umino & YOH
Taguchi took Umino to the mat and controlled the early going, actually hitting his first hip attack, perhaps showing that he’s taking this tournament a bit more seriously than normal. In a funny spot, he tried to get his “team” to run the train, but it’s just Juice, who has to keep running back and forth by himself. YOH tagged in and got an Atomic Drop and Falcon Arrow on Taguchi. He barely grazed him with a superkick and the two traded pinning combinations, then submission counters, until they both hit enzuigiris and collapsed. Umino tagged himself in and put Juice in a half crab, then rolled through into a cross armbar after a tremendous flurry of offense. Juice fought out and his the running cannonball, before applying a high-angle, Tenzan-style double crab, getting the submission as Taguchi had Umino trapped in an ankle lock on the apron.
4. Tetsuya Naito & Bushi def. Toa Henare & Will Ospreay
Bushi tried to show Ospreay that he wasn’t taking him seriously early on, and nearly got decapitated as a result. Slower match with Naito working over Heneare for a bulk of the action, with Henare continuing to kick out and find a way to stay alive. Eventually both guys managed to take the big man down, before Bushi killed Ospreay with a sick DDT on the apron. Naito hit a Tornado DDT, nailed the Destino and scored the win.
A BLOCK TOURNAMENT MATCHES
5. TIGER MAK def. TAKA MICHINOKU
Tiger is coming into the tournament with a tweaked knee, and Taka took advantage immediately, slamming it into the ring post over and over again before applying a Figure Four around the post. Back in the ring Taka reapplied the submission and wrenched away at it for several minutes as the ref basically begged Tiger to tap out and live to fight another day. He eventually got to the ropes to break the hold and hit a Tombstone Piledriver out of nowhere, but landed on his knees and may have hurt himself just as badly. Taka applied a facelock and kept transitioning into different, more brutal submissions every few seconds, but couldn’t find the right one to put things away. Tiger fought back and hit the Tiger Driver for two. He whiffed what I think was supposed to be a headscissors, but made up for it with a Tiger Suplex to get a surprise win.
6. TITAN def. YOSHINOBU KANEMARU
Kanemaru attacked from behind before the match started and tried to remove the lucha star’s mask, but the referee made it very clear he was DQ him. Titan rallied back with a dropkick then did a modified Sasuka Special, landing on his feet, into a headscissors. Kanemaru again took a cheap shot and slowed things down for several minutes with deep holds on the mat. He went up for Deep Impact but Titan caught him with a flip kick. Titan spent way too much time posturing, however, and got caught with Deep Impact off the second rope for a close nearfall. Kanemaru wasn’t happy and shoved the ref down, grabbing his whiskey bottle. Titan caught him with a beautiful handspring backflip into a pinning combination to steal the win!
7. MARTY SCURLL def. JONATHAN GRESHAM
We got a handshake to start things off between these two technical masters. They went counter-for-counter for the first few minutes with Gresham taking a few pages out of his opponent’s playbook before firing out of nowhere with a headscissors takedown, kipping up into a dropkick. Scurll fired back with a superkick on the apron, before applying a Romero Special to slow things back down. Gresham nearly stole the match with a roll-up out of nowhere, before powering Marty into a stalling vertical suplex. Scurll came right back with a sick half nelson suplex, into an enzuigiri. He took things to the top rope hitting a huge superplex, but Gresham trapped his legs into a small package for a surprise nearfall. Gresham with a springboard moonsault, before effortlessly floating into the ankle lock, deadlifting his opponent into a bridging German suplex for another nearfall. He tried for a series of pinning combinations, until Scurll stomped on his fingers and broke them. Even that didn’t stop him, as Gresham continued to pull off combination after combination, trying for pins I’ve never even seen. Marty caught him with the Black Plague, and that’s all she wrote.
8. SHINGO TAKAGI def. SHO TANAKA
Big fight feel here, as Shingo remains unpinned & unsubmitted in a NJPW ring, and SHO has wanted to be the man to beat him for months now.
SHO came out of the gates swinging with some explosive offense, but Shingo eventually caught him with a big lariat before smashing him into the ring post multiple times. From there he continued to bludgeon the tag champ whiled working him over with holds, making sure to hammer him back down as son as he showed any signs of momentum. SHO refused to stay down though, and fired back with some absolutely sick lariats and a snap German suplex. Both guys collided with lariats before trading forearm shots.
They kept at it as they both refused to quit or even fall to their knees. Shingo with a knockout punch, but SHO came out of the ropes with a lariat that turned his opponent inside out. He hit a series of bridging Germans, one after another, but it still wasn’t enough. He somehow deadlifted Shingo back up, almost into a Styles Clash, before slamming him down hard with a powerbomb! 1…2…NO! SHO signals for the Shock Arrow, but the Dragon sped through him with a lariat going about 100mph. Noshigomi connects! Pumping Bomber connects! 1…2…NO! SHO KICKED OUT and commentary is losing their minds!
Last of the Dragon coming, but SHO counters into the cross armbar out of nowhere! Shingo tries to get to the ropes but gets rolled back to center not once, but twice. It looks like it’s over, but at the last second Shingo barely got his foot on the ropes. SHO didn’t know what else to do and just kept firing off with elbows, but got caught with another lariat. They traded hard chops and forearms until Shingo hit about a dozen in a row, but SHO somehow dug down and came back with his own flurry! They’re barely standing, but it’s the Dragon who hits a second Pumping Bomber, and it still isn’t enough. Last of the Dragon coming again, and this time he’s got it! 1…2…3.
9. TAIJI ISHIMORI def. DRAGON LEE
A BLOCK STANDINGS
- Shingo Takagi – 2
- Taiji Ishimori – 2
- Tiger Mask – 2
- Titan – 2
- Marty Scurll – 2
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru – 0
- Taka Michinoku – 0
- Jonathan Gresham – 0
- SHO – 0
- Dragon Lee – 0