New Japan Pro Wrestling
Best of the Super Juniors Night 8
May 30, 2016
Yonago Convention Center
Yonago, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Chase Owens def. Beretta

Chase Owens hasn’t faired too well this far as he’s stuck with a 1-2 record and losses against Jushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask. That being said, he defeated Will Ospreay, so it’s not all bad. Beretta is in a four-way cluster for the lead and a 2-1 record. He to has a win over Ospreay, as well as a pinfall on CMLL’s import, Volador Jr.

This is my favorite performance by Owens yet. He contrasted well with Beretta, a natural babyface, and that made his heel shenanigans shine a little more. I can’t say they kept it simple, but they didn’t go crazy. This match worked. It was an easy watch with a little bit of crowd brawling and a lot of fun. I obviously could’ve done without interference by Yujiro Takahashi, but I can always do without Yujiro. A Package Piledriver put Beretta away. ***

Tiger Mask def. Will Ospreay

Ospreay picked up his first win of the tournament in his last outing against Ricochet. That being said, he’s behind the pack with a 1-2 record. Tiger Mask is right there with him, having only defeated Chase Owens thus far.

Grumpy Tiger Mask alert~! Oh man, Tiger Mask must’ve been chomping at the bit for this one since he saw the flip-fest produced by the young Brit standout and Ricochet in Korakuen Hall a few days prior. This was Tiger Mask at his best. He was grumpy. He was angry. He was one step ahead of the prodigy because he’s Tiger Mask, he’s been under the hood for a million years, and he’s still not ready to give up a victory to some young, punk kid from across the pond. He tapped out Ospreay with a wicked armbar around the 8 minute mark.

I thought this was a really solid performance from Ospreay, also. I like him on these single-cam shows a lot. It gives me a new appreciation for just how high he goes on some of his moves. He really gets some elevation and it’s utterly insane. ***1/4

Bobby Fish def. Volador Jr.

Volador Jr. is in a four-way tie with a 2-1 record and 4 points to put him in first place in the B Block, while Fish is a notch below and in a four-way tie for second with a 1-2 record and 2 points.

Bobby Fish is a real treat to the wrestling world. I’m so happy he’s getting featured heavily in both ROH and New Japan because he completely deserves it. This was a smart match with a fun, flippy flyer in Volador. Fish, like a total pro, worked over his knee and worked it over until it played into the finish. He’s so good, and his in-ring movements are so, so quick. Volador did his thing in this match and it was fine, but I thought this was a tremendous look at what Bobby Fish can do when he works a “Bobby Fish match”. This was a blast. I was sucked into this one by the end. Watch it. ***3/4

Ricochet def. Jushin Thunder Liger

Ricochet and Liger are tied atop the B Block going into this match as both men have a record of 2-1. Ricochet is coming off a heartbreaking loss to Ospreay in Korakuen Hall and to boot, Liger is looking to recover from a loss against Volador Jr. 
A different match from the other veteran vs. youngster match on the show, as Ricochet took it to the veteran, Liger, in a cocky, brash fashion. This was their third singles match together (they’ve also faced each other in a Dragon Gate six-man and teamed at the WrestleCon Supershow in 2015) so by now, they know each other pretty well. I would put this a step below their match from the 2014 tournament, but that match was in Korakuen and both guys worked a little harder there than they did here. Regardless, they still worked hard here. Ricochet tapped Liger, meaning that three of the four tournament matches ended in submission. I understand (and support) why Ricochet is busting out submissions now, but it’s Ricochet, and I’ve been watching him fly around for so long that him finishing guys off with submissions doesn’t seem natural. It’s caught me off guard every time he’s done it. That being said, I liked this. ***1/2

Final Thoughts: 

This was a very easy show to watch. It was the first thing I did on Tuesday morning and within an hour I was done watching the matches. They kept things simple and quick and for the most part, rather entertaining. Fish vs. Volador was a blast. If you’re looking to watch one match from this show, go with that. Tiger Mask, the grump, taking it to young Ospreay and Ricochet and Liger battling it out made for a good time. Fun, easy show. Thumbs in the middle.