New Japan Pro Wrestling
Best of the Super Juniors 27 – Night 8
December 5, 2020
Sun Arena, Sendai
Kagoshima, Japan


It is time for more Super Junior action! Let us not waste time on the intro and jump right in!

Best of the Super Juniors 27
SHO (12) def. Yuya Uemura (0)

Is it wrong I want Uemura to get a win here? I KNOW it won’t happen, but sweet dreams are made of these. Some good fire with the grappling to open the match hooks me instantly into this contest. Both men’s motivation level feels high to put on one heck of an opening contest. This match while simple in structure and layout is enhanced by the energy and the pep in the steps they have on almost everything they do. Uemura has been very fun this tournament, and it’s no different here as you can just feel he wants to prove he can get that win with his hard efforts and how he constantly keeps fighting adversity. At one point we have the long forearm exchange battle many matches have and it rules as there’s just so much behind every strike between both men. In case you can’t tell by this point I’m into this match, and behind Uemura, as I want him to overcome SHO’s aggression against all odds and pull it off. Just a simple “can he overcome the odds story?”, but when told well it works!

At one point the Young Lion killer (Boston Crab) is put on and I think that’s the end as Uemura puts on a fantastic struggle and overcomes it! This is just good stuff folks. This is possibly my favorite opening match of this tournament. SHO is just hitting him with everything trying to put this frustrating Young Lion down, and finally does so as is expected (despite my far off dreams), but this isn’t the destination, this is the journey, and in defeat Uemura showcased himself beautifully with SHO giving him a pat on his unconscious chest afterward in a show of respect which is well deserved and earned. I absolutely loved this. Felt it delivered and is up there with Uemura’s highest performances in this tournament so far, and is a notch in the belt for SHO as well. I definitely advise checking this one out as it’s good stuff and a good underdog trying to get that big win story, but ultimately just don’t have what they need in their tank to arrive there. ***3/4

Best of the Super Juniors 27
DOUKI (4) def. BUSHI (8)

Just like I was rooting for Uemura the previous match, I want Douki to get a win here damn it! He deserves more than two points! JUSTICE FOR DOUKI! I appreciate this match not wasting time and getting right to the action. Also, Bushi’s mask this match rules so bonus! This match had one of those 19 count spots, so I want to take the opportunity to say I think they are overdone, overused, and absolutely dislike them. Some wrestlers can do them well, but not enough to be worth the number of times they are gone too. Once the match settles down it’s alright. While I like DOUKI and think he’s much better than I originally perceived when I first saw him, I still struggle when he’s in total control. Once we get past that though things get better and turned out well enough for my satisfaction. Nowhere near the previous match, but I also didn’t expect it to be so that’s not a fair knock at all. BONUS DOUKI GETS THE WIN!!!! YES! Yep, I can safely say I had fun with this match. Oh, Bushi is now completely out!  ***1/4

Best of the Super Juniors 27
El Desperado (12) def. Robbie Eagles (6)

This has a chance to be pretty damn good, even great. Robbie Eagles is so good everyone. That shouldn’t be news, but for those who hadn’t figured this out yet, he’s just so damn good. I love watching him with the knowledge he could get even better. Work is solid throughout the first portion of the match and then things pick up once we get past Desperado’s control period and leg targetting. That’s not to say the opening is bad, the crowd clapping along with everything helps out a lot. Eagles has no chance this tournament but wrestles as if each match can still make a point, an attitude I appreciate being brought. Eagles begins to really be bothered by his leg when attempting certain moves and landing certain ways and I appreciate when limb targetting actually has a purpose, payoff, and effect. I also appreciate once he does Desperado immediately goes back to targetting it as it makes sense he’d go after what is vulnerable to finish Eagles off.

He keeps trying to submit Eagles who both gets out with a pin attempt and then on a second attempt makes the ropes, but I totally bought him submitting. Eagles keeps fighting back refusing to be finished and in a bit of sweet revenge puts Desperado in a leg submission and I love the turnabout. This is a very fun match and I’m quite enjoying it in case you can’t tell. Eventually, all good things come to an end and Desperado gets the victory to put himself in a great position with twelve points. A very fun contest between these two men that I thought came off well. I bit into both men submitting each other before Desperado ends up scoring the pinfall victory. I also got to give bonus points to the injured leg of Eagles at times playing a role in the scheme of things. Things like that go a long way in the presentation of things. ****

SANADA, Shingo Takagi, Tetsuya Naito def. Tomoaki Honma, Kota Ibushi, Satoshi Kojima

This could be a nice nontournament treat. Naito’s all-white outfit, beautiful. Oh, shit, this match starts off with some Naito and Ibushi and the crowd is amped. It doesn’t last long but the crowd was all for it. After some good Honma abuse, we get Ibushi with the tag and we get more Naito and Ibushi interactions. It’s a bit longer than the first and we get more out of it. Crowd this show enhances everything by the way. I know it’s just clapping and many people can’t get into that, but the more enthusiastic, widespread the clapping the more it helps me get into things. Kojima and SANADA get some time to go at it one on one and it’s solid stuff between the two men. I so much prefer Sanada in tag matches, and that includes six and eight men. In the end, despite some preconceived notions I had HONMA DOESN’T TAKE THE FALL! Kojima does. Fun six-man for the time it got. Not a go out of your way match or anything but ended up being a solid addition to the show with some Naito/Ibushi interaction.  ***

Best of the Super Juniors 27
Taiji Ishimori (12) def. Master Wato (10)

Semi Main-event position here. I don’t really have expectations so I hope this turns out to be pretty damn good. This is a definite must-win for either man so I hope they wrestle like it. Arm work form Ishimori dominates the opening of this match. Master Wato really loves to kick, and he does that alot once he gets control. I appreciate Ishimori going back to the arm once he gets through that offense. Both men back and forth each getting moments of control and action against the other. Crowd just like with everything tonight seem to be enjoying what they are presented which helps as I’m not big into this pairing. When things do speed up and get some more intensity though I begin to find the match a bit better to digest. I don’t have any major negatives, and knowing my reviewing luck others will like this match more. They are working hard though and beginning to win me over. Then just as I state that Taiji Ishimori finishes Master Wato off and moves into twelve points and ends his journey. The final 1/3 of this match helped me out big time but it just didn’t click. Sometimes that happens. With that said they worked hard and the crowd liked it. Can’t ignore that. ***1/4

Best of the Super Juniors 27
Hiromu Takahashi (12) defeated Ryusuke Taguchi (6)

The big question I have going into this match, will we get some BIG MATCH TAGUCHI!!! Hiromu has had back to back great main events. Can he make it a three-peat? We get kind of a dance-off to start? Is it ridiculous, yes and it seems Hiromu agrees ha. We get shares of opening the match with silliness such as never-ending rope running and Taguchi getting stuck in the ropes after a flying hip attack. It’s not detracting from the match, both men are working hard and getting down to business. At one point Tacughi keeps going for the hip attack but keeps failing which is comedic but also doesn’t break up the pace or structure of the match so it’s fine. Not to mention we get the pay off of Taguchi finally hitting it. Some of the silliness aside Taguchi hasn’t come to play and is coming off wanting that win. He has no hope in winning this tournament, but a big win over Hiromu is nothing to sneeze at. For Hiromu, a win puts him at twelves and gets him in a much stronger position going into tomorrow.

Taguchi does pepper bits of humor here in there in how he avoids certain things or fails to hit certain things and while not fully my cup of tea, they come off clever on both men’s part and never overstay their welcome. Taguchi keeps for the anklelock in periods of this match to gain the submission victory, and Hiromu keeps finding ways to escape. The match moves along at a nice pace and whenever they announce the time it doesn’t feel like the time announced which is always a great sign. Slaps and trash talk from Hiromu at one point happens and Taguchi will not stand for it and fights back. Alas, we get the Taguchi with his pant down spot which I was really hoping not to appear in this match. This does take me out of things for a short spell but at least it comes and goes and is over with. A long anklelock attempt follows to get me back into it and Hiromu convinces me he might tap before making the ropes.

Despite some things I’m not liking this match does make it into the three-paragraph territory. Helps the things I don’t like doesn’t detract me from the match, except for one spot. Just felt the pants down a spot in this match was not needed for how things were going and moving along. Both men continue to get the offense in at each other as the crowd is enthusiastic! The match is working so I can’t let certain things get in the way of that. Both men have barrages of offense against each other as we head toward the climax at twenty-five minutes. Does not feel like twenty-five minutes at all. Taguchi continues to throw shit at Hiromu but Hiromu is able to get a roll-up and catch Taguchi for a victory! I appreciate Taguchi’s disappointment and frustration at getting caught post-match. He was so close and slipped on the banana peel and reacts as he should. Small touches. This is where I got to look at the small things I disliked, wanted less of, and decide did it ruin the match. It did not. Might have slightly taken down my rating but overall was great. Some of the spots won’t be an issue with others like they were with me, but even if they are trust me they don’t ruin much if anything. A worthy main event. Big match Taguchi did show up! ****

Final Thoughts

Going into the final night of round-robin we have four men at twelve points. As for the show itself, I quite enjoyed it. You got two matches right at 4, one slightly below it and I didn’t hate anything, although the crowd being clap happy might of affected my ratings in the positive as well. That’s not a bad thing at all. I had fun, and I love it when my wrestling succeeds at me having fun!