MAY 18, 2019



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SHO was finally able to get a victory in BOSJ after a hard, technical battle with TAKA. The match centered around TAKA’s constant submission attempts that kept frustrating SHO, who had to take refuge in the ropes many times. I have loved everything about TAKA in this tournament: he’s not here to have MOTY calibre matches, but he’s solid as a rock and it’s a joy to watch his simple yet perfectly executed and clean moves.

SHO struggled to figure out TAKA and the flow of the match didn’t change until he was able to counter a submission hold into an armbar. From there on, SHO found his stride and kept the pressure on TAKA. We got some nice superkick and lariat exchanges, but SHO had TAKA’s number and finished him off with the Shock Arrow. There wasn’t huge amounts of drama here, but at the end I felt the Yamagata fans were very invested in SHO, who keeps rising through the junior ranks with his BOSJ performances. ***¼


I struggled to write about this match where not that much happened. There was a spot early on where Marty tortured Tiger’s fingers with the steel turnbuckle ring and that set up his offense for the rest of the match. The Villain kept stomping, twisting and crunching fingers, Tiger had a little comeback and managed to hit a Tiger Bomb for a nearfall; the crowd woke up a little bit for this, but a couple of minutes later they had no reaction to Scurll locking the Chick Wing Crossface. Tiger survived and got a close nearfall with a backslide but Scurll hit a forearm and the Black Plague for the dry win. Marty Scurll needs Korakuen Hall because crowds outside that venue couldn’t care less about him. **½


Titán is one of my favorite luchadores, so I’ve been disappointed by his performances. He’s been just ‘fine’ but I know he can do so much better and I feel like he’s holding off as if he was afraid of breaking the mold. Once again, we got just an okay showing by Titán as Ishimori easily beat him to get his third win in the tournament. Kelly and Coleman kept teasing about Titán potentially targeting Ishimori’s hurt neck but that didn’t happen until the last two minutes of the match where the mexican used a cool submission hold for that purpose, but Ishimori quickly got out of it and hit Bloody Cross for the three count. Okay effort that resulted in an okay match. Gentleman’s three. ***


I’m in love with Jonathan Gresham’s wrestling. The man is so smooth and has a way to engage me like few other wrestlers in the world can: there’s a beauty in his style and the way he applies each and every one of his holds. And this match was just that: a smooth match at a flowing pace where there wasn’t any time wasting. Some of the combinations that Gresham pulled here were ridiculous and I honestly couldn’t keep my eyes off the screen.

Kelly and Coleman mentioned that these two had an agreement: Gresham wouldn’t target Lee’s hurt elbow and Lee wouldn’t target Gresham’s hurt fingers. And I loved that they respected that throughout the match; even as Gresham was trying to lock an octopus hold, he focused on Lee’s good elbow instead of the bandaged one. That little touch brought a big smile to my face. Unfortunately the finish came too fast for my taste: just when the pace was getting crazy, Lee hit a knee and the Desnucadora for the win. I was so engaged and happy watching this that when the three count hit, I felt as if a spell had lifted from my mind… and I wasn’t ready for that just yet. ***¾


During the first few minutes, Kanemaru broke a table by dropping Shingo knee first into it. And you know that grumpy bastard Kanemaru wasn’t going to give his opponent a break after that: he tortured and cheated his way to dominating the unbeatable Shingo, leading to the crowd getting heavily invested in the match. Kanemaru did a superb job of building drama and making himself a credible threat, while Shingo showed he can also be a killer performer as an underdog; this might be the first time he has worked from underneath in New Japan… and the crowd loved to suffer with him. In the last quarter of the match, Shingo survived Taichi’s interference and the crowd roared in approval as he used Kanemaru’s whiskey against him. Shingo hit Last of the Dragon to get the win and prove that not even the cheating ways of Suzuki-gun Army are enough to stop his power. ***¾


Another fun BOSJ night of action with two great matches on top. Despite some disappointing performances by Titán and Marty Scurll, I’m loving Block A’s dynamic because I feel every match is different and people like Shingo, Dragon Lee and SHO have been able to showcase their ability to work different type of matches.


Taiji Ishimori – 6

Shingo Takagi – 6

Dragon Lee – 4

Marty Scurll – 4

Tiger Mask – 4

Jonathan Gresham – 2

Titán – 2

SHO – 2

Yoshinobu Kanemaru – 0

TAKA Michinoku –  0