New Japan Pro Wrestling

Best of the Super Juniors Night 9

May 24, 2019

Korakuen Hall

Tokyo, Japan

Watch on New Japan World

SHO defeats Tiger Mask

Commentary did a good job establishing the relationship between these guys going back to SHO’s days in the dojo. This match also felt like a throwback to SHO’s young lion days as Tiger Mask was dominating a good chunk of it. In the end though SHO proved that he is not a Young Boy anymore and he put Tiger Mask away.

Will Ospreay defeats Ren Narita

This was a fun little sprint and continues Narita’s stretch of good matches. Ospreay certainly didn’t have to give Narita as much as he did but it’s Will Ospreay we’re talking about here. He did his best trying to get Narita over or even more over rather. The belly to belly on the floor was the highlight of the match. Afterwards Will started selling his back, which led to a great half crab from Narita. Narita had some nice nearfalls down the stretch that had the crowd on the edge of their seats but in the end the outcome was never in doubt.

Marty Scurll defeats Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Most of this match was these men taking a tour of Korakuen Hall. They were teasing a repeat of the finish of Kanemaru’s match with SHO but this time both men manage to make it back. Then we just get loads of heel antics from both men, which is appropriate given the gimmicks of these two. Scurll blocks the whiskey with his umbrella and then returns the favor. Soon afterwards we get the finish in an okay shenanigans filled match.

Robbie Eagles defeats DOUKI

Now I will readily admit that I am not the biggest fan of DOUKI and I still don’t think he belongs in New Japan. With that said this was a great match. The blood added something special to the match as we do not get blood often in New Japan. Eagles overall has had a great tournament so far and is really establishing himself as a household name in the Junior division. But this match wasn’t all Robbie Eagles as DOUKI managed to keep up with his opponent. I definitely recommend that you watch this match.

Shingo Takagi defeats TAKA Michinoku

Taka can sometimes be a bit lax in his matches but he came determined to win this one. He tried to finish off Shingo fast. However, once Shingo recovered he made quick work of his opponent. Another dominant win for Shingo as he looks to sweep his block.

Bandido defeats Ryusuke Taguchi

This ended up being a perfectly acceptable match. Bandido so far hasn’t really impressed me in the tournament and Taguchi has been up and down. Both men tried to adapt to the other’s style with Taguchi pulling out some high flying moves and Bandido doing some ass attacks. It was fine for what it was. They did botch the finish though, which hurt the match for me.

Taiji Ishimori defeats Jonathan Gresham

They decided to start this match off with some comedy, which was a weird choice. Otherwise this felt a clash of styles. Neither man really felt comfortable with the other. Ishimori is not having a good tournament, which is a shame as he had a good year beforehand. But he has been one of the weaker participants of the tournament. You can safely skip this one.

BUSHI defeats YOH

BUSHI is having a decent, if unspectacular tournament so far. While YOH’s matches have been good he hasn’t had any blow away performances yet. This is yet another middle of the road match from these two as this night has largely been pretty mediocre. YOH is building his matches around a long calf crusher sequence in the middle and he does so here. They have a pretty nice strike exchange afterwards before BUSHI manages to get his finisher for the win.

Dragon Lee defeats Titan

These two had a Friday night Arena Mexico lightning match in New Japan. They went at a relentless pace and rarely slowed it down. This is the style that these two excel at and it showed. They were throwing bombs left and right and this match woke me back up after the previous matches. The only knock on this match for me was that it felt a little bit exhibition-y at times and not like a match in a major tournament that both men desperately wanted to win. Otherwise this was a super entertaining match and well worth a watch.

Rocky Romero defeats El Phantasmo

Roppongi 3K completes the sweep on this night. This was another excellent performance from both men after they had great matches on the first Korakuen show as well. Rocky shows once again that he can still go and ELP shows that he belongs in New Japan and has managed to get over with the crowd in record time. He gets heat from the crowd in a good way and Rocky played a great underdog babyface. The heat during the finishing sequence was amazing and while I felt that the match went a little long the finish was perfect. ELP suffers his first loss in the tournament and we get a feel good moment for Rocky. Awesome match and a definite recommendation to watch.

Overall Thoughts

This was a show that can be split into three parts. The early part consists of fun entertaining sprints, the middle part of this show drags a lot with most matches tending on the mediocre and forgettable side, and then the last part of the show, which has two really great matches. If you want to watch this show you should watch the early matches and then skip right to the end of the show to watch Dragon Lee/Titan and Rocky Romero/ELP.