The A Block is back in action for the third night of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors tour. These guys tore it up at Korakuen Hall over the weekend and now they’re back in front of a hot, fun Niigata crowd. On tap is KUSHIDA looking to grab his first victory of the tournament against Rocky Romero and Kyle O’Reilly battling Gedo, among other things.
NJPW – Best of the Super Juniors Night 3
May 23, 2016
Niigata Tsubame Citizen Gymnasium
Matt Sydal def. BUSHI
These are two of my favorite wrestlers going right now so needless to say I am on all board with this match. Sydal is so smooth. It comes across quite well on these single-cam shows that he doesn’t make mistakes in the ring. He’s so technically proficient that it makes his breath-taking, high-flying maneuvers even more spectacular because he’s at a point where he seems like he could grapple with the best of them. These two kept things relatively simple, as they should have, as this was nothing more than a house show in front of a fun Niigata crowd. Sydal picks up his first win after his Shooting Sydal Press.
+1 for Sydal for using the Schwein in this match. Add that into your regular moveset, please. ***1/4
Kyle O’Reilly def. Gedo
Fresh off the heels of a MOTYC vs. KUSHIDA, O’Reilly is back with another familiar foe in Gedo. These two had a hot little match in Korakuen to close out the tournament last year and now they’re back in front of this really fun Niigata crowd. This starts slow. Gedo is in full heel mode, full of antics and neck-wrenching. I love Gedo working the neck, however. Makes the Gedo Clutch seem even a little more deadly. Sadly for the booker man he never got a chance to roll up O’Reilly and steal the victory as a late-match onslaught from O’Reilly, capped off by a brutal armbar forced Gedo to tap. ***
Ryusuke Taguchi def. David Finlay Jr
Taguchi is 2/2 with super fun matches in this tournament (and subsequently 2-0 in the tournament) and that is truly shocking to me. He tore it up with Sydal in Korakuen and he’s back here putting in work against the young boy. He stretched him to shreds. He targeted the ankle of Finlay and in the end, things paid off for him as the youngster was no match for Taguchi’s ankle lock (after a few attempts).
Finlay is so, so good for his age. He’s good, period. He bumps like a madman and when you can make Taguchi’s ass-based offense look deadly, you have my support. Keep an eye out for Finlay in this tournament and don’t skip his matches. He won’t win one, but everything he does right now is hot and worth watching. ***1/2
Rocky Romero def. KUSHIDA
I loved the match these two had in Nagoya last year and felt like overall, it was the most under appreciated match of the tournament. This will more than likely be the same story. KUSHIDA, when things are all said and done, will probably be the MVP of the tournament. He’s off to one hell of a start with matches against O’Reilly and now Romero, and to his credit, he was good here, but Rocky Romero continues to be the most under appreciated wrestler on the planet.
He was GREAT. Subtle things stand out on these smaller shows, and Romero is one of my favorite acts to watch on the single cam house shows. He has such graceful footwork. It’s small stuff like that that does a lot for me in this setting. Loved the way he continued to outsmart KUSHIDA. He was seemingly always one step ahead of him. Popped huge for the finish as Romero put the champion away with his signature Nomisugi knee strike, which I want to see more of. Great looking move. Hot match to close out the show and the first great house show match of the tour. Go out of your way to watch this. ****
This was far better than Block B’s outing the night prior. Romero vs. KUSHIDA is something that everyone needs to see and both BUSHI vs. Sydal and Taguchi vs. Finlay are short and fun enough that if you have the time, you should give them a look. Thumbs up for this show, considering it was a small house show. Well done, Block A!