New Japan Pro Wrestling
Best of the Super Juniors – Day 7
May 30, 2015
Tokyo, Japan – Korakuen Hall

Here we are, Day 7 of the Best of the Super Juniors! Everyone’s here and accounted for…except Alex Shelley, who is injured and out of the tournament for like the third year in the row. It’s a very sad situation, but what can you do. Regardless, it’s been…a tournament so far, with a few good matches but nothing really standing out other than Liger/Komatsu. Hopefully today’s show will offer some good matches. It certainly has the potential to do so!

Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu vs. Tomoaki Honma and David Finlay: This is like the  battle of the losers since none of these guys ever win matches. But they’re the greatest losers around, I’ll tell you that one. Honma and Finlay played the heels here, working over Tanaka and Komatsu whenever possible. Komatsu made a hot comeback and hit a senton on a standing Finlay for a nearfall. He tried for the half crab but Finlay escaped. Honma makes a comeback but misses the kokeshi headbutt. Tanaka makes a comeback and goes for the half crab but Tanaka won’t give up as both of the young lions apply half crabs, but they’re both broken up. Tanaka hits a great deadlift German suplex for a nearfall. Tanaka hits the ropes but walks into a torpedo kokeshi, then Honma hits the top rope kokeshi for the pinfall. A fantastic opener and easily the best match of the tour thus far. The last few minutes in particular was pretty damn awesome. ****

Tiger Mask IV and Jay White vs. Barbaro Cavernario and Chase Owens: There was comedy early as White complained that Cavernario smelled after locking up. Cavernario then proceeded to do gross out humor such as grabbing his armpit then wanting to tag in Owens. Yes, this was stupid, but for whatever reason it worked. Maybe I’m just too forgiving on New Japan, I dunno. Tiger Mask made the hot tag for his team and took out Cavernario with the tiger driver. Owens then made the comeback for his team as Cavernario hit a huge dive wiping out Tiger Mask and Owens hit the package piledriver on White for the pinfall. These guys worked together better than you’d think and was a good match. ***

Kazuchika Okada and Roppongi Vice vs. Cody Hall, Yujiro Takahashi and Nick Jackson: After the usual feeling out process, the babyfaces made fun of Nick after Okada did the “suck it” sign and injured his foot kicking the announce table. Yujiro made the comeback for his team and worked on Romero. He tags in Okada, but he gets cut off after Cody Hall is tagged in. Soon breaks out into a melee after Okada hits a back body drop on Hall, with bodies flying everywhere. When the dust settles, it’s Hall and Okada, and the latter soon takes out Hall, does the rainmaker pose, then hits the rainmaker on Hall for the win. Good match. ***

For whatever reason, Beretta and Romero, mostly Beretta, were arguing about Romero tagging in Okada to finish the match. A win is a win, dude.

Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazushi Sakuraba, Yoshi Hashi, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, Togi Makabe, Captain New Japan and Katsuyori Shibata: If I never have to see another huge ten man New Japan tag where everyone’s rival squares off I’ll be fine. The thing with it is that, when you separate these into singles matches, Shibata/Sakuraba, Nakamura/Goto, Ishii/Makabe and Yano/Tanahashi seem fine and refreshing. But when you put them all together in a tag it feels like I’ve been watching the same match for months. This started off like every ten man tag NJPW does: everyone paired off based on who they were feuding with. Ishii and Makabe went at it and Makabe was alid out. He was worked on until he finally was tag to tag in Goto, who ran wild. Sakuraba and Shibata go at it for a while, with Sakuraba throwing in some stiff offense. Tanahashi is eventually tagged in, and eventually gets his hands on Yano. He makes a tag to Captain New Japan who, despite doing a fine comeback, falls to a low blow by Yano after Yano pulls his costume over his head. I liked the finish and overall it was better than most New Japan house show main events. ***1/4

Shibata and Sakuraba, as well as Ishii and Makabe, went at it after the match and eventually had to be separated, I guess building tension toward the Dominion show.

Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger: These two worked a slower match than usual. Gedo took control of the match early and after some work on the outside, took Liger back in and worked on a leglock for a good while. Liger eventually reverses. Good back and forth action from here. Liger does the Thesz press and the palm strike for near falls, then hooks Gedo’s legs with his own and pins him. Different than the usual matches we’ve seen thus far, but I liked this. **3/4

Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kyle O’Reilly: Okay, this is weird. As some of you know, a very large earthquake hit Japan during this match. But I never saw them momentarily stop the match, and I have no idea why. Wasn’t like I was picking my nose and not paying attention. I guess I must have been writing or looking at my notes when it happened. Regardless, this turned out to be a pretty good match. There was less of Taguchi’s goofy mannerisms and O’Reilly was super awesome here. He dominated the first half, but eventually it became a back and forth match. Taguchi made a comeback with the hip attacks and landed the three amigo suplexes. O’Reilly made a comeback including hitting a cool back bridge suplex for a nearfall. Tauchi catches him in an ankle lock but O’Rilley reverses into a sharpshooter. Taguchi hits the Dodon for a nearfall then comes back to the ankle lock, which gets him the win. Really good back and forth match. ***1/2

Bobby Fish vs. Kushida:  Thought this was an extremely well worked match. Fish worked on Kushida leg early on in the bout and that became part of the overall match. Fish hit a giant Michinoku driver off the top rope for a great nearfall that people popped huge for when Kushida kicked out. Crowd REALLY got into this one, and I have to credit them they did not care one bit that a giant earthquake just happened there, they want to see WRESTLING. Kushida went for a sliced bread #2 to honor Shelley but Fish tried to counter, only for him to get locked into the hoverboard lock. Fish tries desperately to escape, but eventually has to tap. ***3/4

Final Thoughts: Overall, a really great show. The opener and the main event delivered, plus everything else was pretty good. So far I thought the tournament has been pretty middling, with only a few matches standing out and everything else seemingly being pretty basic. But everyone steps it up a notch for Korakuen Hall, and this show was a great example of that.


Voices of Wrestling – Best of the Super Juniors Pick’Em Standings (after Day 5)

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Edgar Morales5872342332334616
Kelly Harrass5862343422434516
Max Bachhuber5853443223434516
Brian Brennan5762332432434516
Darren Lyne5751422433424716
A. S.5652342342434614
Lawson Leong5682423223333516
Paco Silva Martínez5661342422334616
Rob Reid5653333323333814
Christopher Griger5572241232334616
Claudio Escudero5552334233414516
Derek Drago5564323322323616
Francis Lane5552443212334616
Mitch Cowan5562333433423514
Dan Mullooly5472232324233714
Lee West5472434132324514
Alex Giardini5351234224434514
Allen Vick Jr5361144123324616
Gabriel Perez5342333222334616
Jared Welch5352314223334714
Joseph Remy537344333243458
Kenny Ortiz5363332132414516
Kevin Hare5352333421334416
Mark Berlowitz5353333332333316
Michael Zavala5341332423433714
Oliver Court5362233341424514
Sean Sedor5341333333423516
Tommy Livingstone5352333033423616
Andrew Bates5252341233214616
Jody Plante5251343312334416
Matt Trebby5232333423424514
Morten Hansen5252424312324614
Richard St.Hilaire5242433321333516
Theo Wilson5262333222304616
Brady Livingston5152333122323418
Danny Kuchler5152322332313814
Kent Sinkler5150332423324614
Mitch Parcells5143114334232516
Christopher Duarte506324323242478
David Mora5061324322424413
Karl Clancey5062343322324313
Niall H5062332332323414
Rich Kraetsch506133233443468
Anthony Albicocco4950333231134516
Jake Daniel496233343243268
Jake R.496234333232468
Matt Magnum4961232232324514
Matt McEwen4941332323414514
Mike Spears495244333333358
Abrasive Obelisk487134331323468
Adrian Gaskin4852333212133416
Alan Counihan4852314313313514
Andrew Rich4853334303324411
Azri Aqil4861233312124416
Bastian Sauer486234333233448
Ewen MacDonald485334331243368
Jason Sitek4861332322223514
Kyle Conzett4850343332234610
Nick Mogel4862322322323414
Richard Jaeger4842212433333414
Antonio Edwards474233332333378
Gonçalo Monteiro475234243223368
Marcus Origer4742223414232414
Matt Rolder475234332333448
Paul Cooke4753332213223414
Paul Völsch4753332322334410
Adam Gaetan4650322222333514
Case Lowe465133233342458
Dylan Harris466332332332358
Frederick Cholowski466233333321458
joel zewski466133232233468
Brian Kline453134142433278
Bryan Rose455233243413438
Chris Dalgleish455133242331378
Daniel Mackinnon456123323313378
Darrell Chess4531342343333310
Kevin Wilson453224124233478
Miles Messmer4532412323424510
Santiago Tomasi4541333202434511
Brandon Gordon4432233311433610
Greg Johnson446314232143438
Rob McCaron446233242123448
Víctor Pérez4450333123212514
Anthony Perillo436232143222358
Andy Doran424222322243448
Cal Hodges425223333222348
Mike McDonald425323124331348
T.J. Hawke426123233122278
the mosayat4241442431032410
William Young422133332332368
Aidan Daly413134233243148
Edward Mills415233232220458
Filip Pejic415232322332338
John Cunningham414333132214438
KENTA kicks heads415024332241258
Lee Thomas413122422333268
Phil Williams414222222242368
Trent Williams415132333212358
David Naismith405442322232245
Joe Gagne404134322132447
Brendan Creecy395043232301268
dominic sweeney386233231242343
Keith Campbell385123313222248
Alexander Panos3731331421021511
Berry Meijer374023222241258
Caitlin Lipinski376212242130176
Joseph Roche374213243033273
Lawrence OBrien374234122320248
William Housell Jr.374232331402463
Dakota Schmidt365233222431360
David Woodley365322111233148
Garrett Kidney3651223130231310
Alan Maggle353223223222453
Allan Blackstock355232322331450
David Neil Rapp345134323212350
Gabe Throne345223431333230
Amal Ahmadzai335212243313250
Mike Langford306022422230160
Matt Zierer294132133130143
Kyle Blevins273222203041143
Chris Harrington264113201142430
Sean Flynn264012111211228
Robert O.232332132120130