I’ve just returned home from the SUPER J-CUP 2016 Finals at Ariake Colosseum.

What I Liked

KUSHIDA winning the golden jacket was absolutely the right call. The Time Splitter’s journey to the top of the junior landscape had its hiccups, but it’s great to see that NJPW is committed to him. We didn’t get any classic matches, but his first round match with Taiji Ishimori was excellent nonetheless.

The two tag team title matches saved the show for me. All four teams delivered great performances. I was especially surprised by ACH and Chris Sabin; I’d like to see both guys back in Japan soon. Post-match promos set up some exciting matches for the near future: Daisuke Harada/Atushi Kotoge versus Jado/Gedo and the Young Bucks versus the Briscoes.

The CMLL 6-Man was fun. I’m not much of a lucha fan these days, but this match’s reaction has me looking forward to next year’s Fantasticamania. The Ariake crowd was totally into this match, too. It got the biggest reaction during the match announcements, and it was the highlight of the first half of the show. Maybe putting it after intermission would have been better for the show.

What I Didn’t Like

Originally, I was excited for my first show at Ariake Colosseum. However, I think the venue really hurt the show. The show had its moments, but the cavernous Colosseum counteracted most of the show’s momentum. I may not get the chance, but I’d give it another try for a sold out show. Pro tip: don’t get the churros.

The interference from Suzuki-gun really annoyed me. In my mind, the J-CUP isn’t the place for the same garbage that has plagued NOAH for the last year and a half. It was a nice touch to see Liger and Taguchi out for the final match, but I would have preferred to see more in-ring action and less shenanigans.

Final Thoughts

Overall, The J-CUP was a fun experience and I’m glad I got to attend. The tournament matches didn’t quite meet my expectations, but the rest of the card supported a good final.