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NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Four (May 22) Results & Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Four (May 22) Results & Review

NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING
BEST OF THE SUPER JUNIORS 25 NIGHT 4
MAY 22, 2018
KORAKUEN HALL – TOKYO, JAPAN

Watch: NJPW World

BEST OF THE SUPER JR. 25 B BLOCK
SHO DEF. CHRIS SABIN

Isn’t Chris Sabin something? 36 years old and he’s hanging step for step with the likes of KUSHIDA and SHO in his first Best of the Super Juniors. He went hold-for-hold with the Roppongi 3K stand out, even getting the upper hand at times.

SHO’s Shock Arrow, a cross-armed package piledriver, is becoming such a dramatic finisher in this tournament. He attempted it on the apron once, but Sabin was able to escape. It wasn’t until the later stages of the match when SHO was able to escape a Cradle Shock and then hit a flurry of offense, ending with that piledriver for the win.

This is the kind of back and forth match that I love. Nonstop action from SHO and Sabin, and in the end, SHO was just too strong to defeat. Sabin has been a delightful surprise in this tournament, and SHO has miraculously met sky-high expectations. He is a future ace, if I’ve ever seen one. Well worth watching. ****

BEST OF THE SUPER JR. 25 B BLOCK
DRAGON LEE DEF. RYUSUKE TAGUCHI

I thought Taguchi’s performance in his match vs. El Desperado was weak. The match had too much offense based around asses, and I have no time for that in my wrestling, especially in my Super Juniors. Taguchi transitioned into his annual BOSJ self in this match, using his flying ass attack and nothing more from that region in a failed effort against CMLL’s Dragon Lee.

Taguchi was reliant on his Ankle Lock in this match. He looked to wear down and ground the high-flyer, but a Dragon Lee that can’t fly around can still beat you, and he proved that in this bout. A late match Taguchi hip attack was countered with a bridging German Suplex from the masked man, and with momentum on his side, he was able to put away Taguchi.

Between SHO, KUSHIDA, and Takahashi, there are still plenty of opportunities for Taguchi to have killer matches. This was a step in the right direction, although with the match quality that has been on display in this year’s tournament, this was merely an average match. ***1/2



BEST OF THE SUPER JR. 25 B BLOCK
KUSHIDA DEF. MARTY SCURLL

This had its moments, but it never reached the heights that I wanted it to. This was slow and scientific, probably way more so than 99% of the matches to come in this tournament. Scurll has his Chicken Wing, and KUSHIDA has his Hoverboard Lock, which when executed, can be deadly. These two worked a match around submissions, and then out of nowhere, KUSHIDA hit Back to the Future and pinned Scurll.

I wanted this match to reach a point where I couldn’t take my eyes away from it. I wanted some more intensity and some more drama, because these are two legitimate contenders in this tournament, and they’re battling at Korakuen Hall. It’s not that these two were on cruise control, but they never shifted gears. They never made things get better. They stayed in their lane, and ultimately that led to a disappointing match and another Ospreay-less Scurll match that I wasn’t in love with. Clocking in at just under 20 minutes, I know this isn’t going to be for most people. It will probably have its champions who enjoyed the story that was told, but it wasn’t for me. ***1/4

BEST OF THE SUPER JR. 25 B BLOCK
EL DESPERADO DEF. HIROMU TAKAHASHI

The last thing I want to do is start a “puro vs. lucha” argument, but I might have to do it because essentially, this was a really great lucha match. A hate-filled, mask-ripping brawl is normally mixed in with lazy grappling and weak offense, but this didn’t include any of that. Hiromu and Despy beat the piss out of each other in a delightfully brutal way.

Although I would’ve had this match go about 10 minutes shorter (not that it was too long, but I love seeing these two work sprints), there was a sense of danger that hung over this match that I just loved. I never knew what was going to happen next, who was going to jump off of what, or who was going to fall on their head. It’s exactly what I wanted from these two. There was not a spot that stands out as purely maddening, but the fact that these two were able to go for as long as they did while taking as many bumps as they did is something to behold. Despy pinning Hiromu in the middle of Korakuen is a special sight to see, as well. Hopefully this is not the last battle these two have. They did exactly what I wanted them to do. They went out there and killed each other. ****1/4

Final Thoughts:

This wasn’t as strong as the opening night of the tournament, but two of the four matches were four stars or above, so I can’t give this show anything less than a thumbs up. All four matches are worth checking out, because even Dragon Lee vs. Taguchi and KUSHIDA vs. Scurll had their moments. Through four nights, BOSJ is firing on all cylinders.


About The Author

Case Lowe

I mainly do Dragon Gate things for Voices of Wrestling. Dubbed as Joe Lanza's young boy. @_InYourCase on Twitter

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