MAY 24, 2018


Watch: NJPW World

Best Of The Super Junior 2018 Block A
Tiger Mask (6) def. BUSHI (0)

So, uh, looks like Tiger Mask is going on a bit of a run here. I know that Gedo likes to give an unlikely guy a solid run out of the gate in tournaments like this, but I’m more than a little shocked that Tiger Mask is getting it. I suspect that this will be his final victory, but stranger things have happened. The match itself was fine, but completely unremarkable. World took their sweet time uploading these matches yesterday and I’m glad that I didn’t watch this last night when it was posted because I would have been put right to sleep. BUSHI controlled most of the match, going after Tiger’s neck and his mask. Tiger eventually made his comeback and won with a Tiger Suplex. It was your basic house show singles match. **1/2

Best Of The Super Junior 2018 Block A Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (2) def. ACH (2)

We’re at our second match in a row that would have put me to sleep if I had watched this at night. The first half of this match was incredibly boring. I think it would have been alright enough to keep me interested if this was a fully produced show, but as a single cam, this was kind of rough. I take back what I said about the previous match being unremarkable, because I’m having trouble remembering what happened in this match as I’m writing this just a minute or so after the finish. ACH was good here as expected. I really love how much chops have become a part of his offense. I had never really thought of ACH as a striker, but this tournament is changing my perception of him for sure. Kanemaru was incredibly dry and dragged the match down. I would tell you how he won the match if I remembered. **

Best Of The Super Junior 2018 Block A Match
Flip Gordon (4) def. Taiji Ishimori (4)

Quite honestly, I was hoping that I didn’t like this match so I could say “More like Flop Gordon AMIRITE,” but this was, unsurprisingly, pretty good. With a match time of less than 10 minutes, these guys didn’t mess around. I wouldn’t say that this was worked like a sprint, but they definitely tried to fit a whole bunch of stuff into a relatively short amount of time. Ishimori doesn’t really lose much here in his first loss of the tournament. Flip beat him with a bridging pinning combination kind of out of nowhere. That’s the kind of win that you save for a video package down the road for an eventual rematch to get a definitive winner. Both men were very good here and I wish we would have gotten more, but I appreciate that this wasn’t built to be any kind of epic. ***

Best Of The Super Junior 2018 Block A Match
Will Ospreay (4) def. YOH (2)

This clash of CHAOS boys was very good. The layout of this match was brilliant. In the early goings of the match, it looked like YOH was in there with someone completely out of his league. And that might be true, but as the match went on YOH kept going after Ospreay’s neck, wearing him down. The turning point of the match was something that I don’t believe I’ve ever seen before. Will goes to spring off the ropes… and then he just collapses. We often forget that those ropes aren’t just nothing. For Ospreay to be bouncing his injured neck off a metal cable over and over, eventually it’s going to take a toll. People that say Ospreay doesn’t sell well just aren’t paying attention because that was a fantastic touch. YOH took it to Ospreay after that and I really thought he had the match. I really enjoy the ongoing narrative in Ospreay’s matches that he is his own worst enemy right now. Will’s neck is clearly injured and he hasn’t changed his style to account for it so he ends up dealing more damage to himself than even his opponent does. It almost cost him this match, but being the champion that he is, Ospreay fought his way back to victory. If you only watch one match from this show, make it this one. Both YOH and Ospreay were great and the storytelling is fantastic. ****