New Japan Pro Wrestling
Best of the Super Juniors Night 5
May 25, 2016

Ichinoseki City General Gymnasium
Iwate, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Night 5 of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors XXIII was the fourth straight show on the tour that was a single camera delivery that aired on a delay. We only get the four tournament matches up on New Japan World, but it again makes for a quick watch. The bell-to-bell action was a total of 39 minutes and 53 second making it the shortest show of the tour so far.

Block A
Matt Sydal (2 pts) def. Gedo (2 pts)

This is Sydal’s first BOSJ tournament and his third match while BOSJ veteran, Gedo, is wrestling in 10th appearance of this tournament. These two have never met one-on-one prior to tonight.

Gedo attacked Sydal while Sydal was holding up the IWGP Jr. Tag title during his entrance. Maybe Gedo was jealous and was thinking about one more run at the Jr. Tag Titles with Jado?I suppose He will have to ask Captain NOAH for permission first. Gedo spent the majority of the first half of this match beating Sydal around the outside of the ring. Gedo was continuously entering the ring and leaving the ring to break up with count, much to the referee’s chagrin. Sydal was wrestling as the underdog fighting from underneath to almost an expert level. Sydal was finally able to catch a break and managed to put Gedo away with a Shooting Star Press in what was the shortest tournament match of the tour. **½

Block A
Kyle O’Reilly (4 pts) def. BUSHI (0 pts)

O’Reilly has been the stand out in a tournament of great performances, and is having a Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit)-esque run in terms of a gaijin wrestler that comes off as a credible fighter against the native Japanese wrestlers. We all thought Will Ospreay was going to be the gaijin stand out of this year’s BOSJ, and while Ospreay has been having a solid tournament, it is O’Reilly that is running away with that distinction.

The closing sequence saw the ungovernable, BUSHI shove O’Reilly into the referee to set up O’Reilly for the mist in his face. O’Reilly ducked the mist knowing he needed to put BUSHI away quickly and hit BUSHI with a flurry of strikes plus a brainbuster that BUSHI kicked out of. In desperation O’Reilly quickly transitioned into a cross armbreaker for the tapout victory.

This was a fun first time ever matchup, but it left you wanting to see these two wrestle again. These are two of the most talented guys in the NJPW Jr. division and they could easily have a better match. ***½

Block A
KUSHIDA (0 pts) def. David Finlay (0 pts)

Finlay has shown some incredible fire in his matches throughout this tour. In this match you really felt like Finlay took KUSHIDA to the limit, which tells a great story of Finlay still being a Young Lion, but he is just about ready to be taken as a serious threat. Finlay has been getting the Stretch Muffler over as a submission hold with great drama that shows the struggle between both the wrestler being stretched and Finlay who is attempts to lock his fingers for the full effect of the move.

Late in the match Finlay managed to roll KUSHIDA up with a school boy to get a 2.999 count on KUSHIDA that got a major pop from the crowd and fellow Young Lion, Jay White who was banging his hand on the mat in support. KUSHIDA was finally able to force the pesky Young Lion to tap out to the Hoverboard Lock for KUSHIDA’s first victory of the tournament. ***¾

Block A
Ryusuke Taguchi (4 pts) vs. Rocky Romero (4 pts)

This was a match between two veterans of the BOSJ tournament and two guys that have been running with a Shinsuke Nakamura tribute act. Taguchi has been coming to the ring with goofy outfits during this tour (and all of 2016 really), so he fittingly came out with a pirate patch and hook to mock Romero’s normal entrance attire.

This match was pretty disappointing considering the performances these two have been pulling out so far in this tournament. Neither of them showed the fire they did in their previous two tournament matches and they didn’t even incorporate their Nakamura acts into any fun comedy spots. Their Nakamura spoof spots were all done in isolation from each other. It did appear as if Taguchi has been watching some Bobby Fish tapes as he put the Ankle Lock on Romero and finally grapevined the leg to force the tap out. Taguchi picked up his third win of the tournament in what has been a surprising win/loss record for Taguchi. **½

Final Thoughts:

This was a another quick show that goes down easy. No match was must see, but no match was bad enough to avoid altogether. I recommend at least watching O’Reilly/BUSHI to see the continuation of O’Reilly’s journey and check out KUSHIDA/Finlay as it was the best match of the night.