Still on the “house show” stretch of the Best of the Super Juniors, but this tournament doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. Some surprises at the top of the blocks have the blocks themselves starting to take shape. So without further ado, let’s get into the action from Nagoya.
Flip Gordon vs Tiger Mask:
In this match we have a meeting between two of the more solid performers of the tourney, Tiger Mask leads the block with flip coming up close behind him. The match starts hot with some spots from flip with Tiger keeping right up with him and showing us all that not only does he still have it, but he never lost it. Not only has he taken liger’s spot as the resident old guy, but he’s taken the opportunity and ran with it, maybe even into the finals?!
Tiger slows it down with a head scissors on Flip, trying to keep him grounded with various other submissions, Tiger Mask has really done an incredible job adapting his style as he ages. Ok, folks, I promise I’ll stop putting Mask over so hard, but he really has been a great part of this event!
All credit to Flip in this match as well, he’s been able to keep his high flying style going even during this grueling tour, not exactly an easy feat by any measure. And the crowd is definitely taking notice, he seems to get more and more popular as the nights go on, though I’ll admit his crowd noise wasn’t exactly off the charts here, he’s still getting love from the NJPW faithful.
Tiger is really giving Flip a “warm” welcome with some super stiff shots, but I’d expect nothing less from the legend to welcome the newcomer, great stuff. Tiger hits a tombstone piledriver that would make even old mean Marc himself jealous. This leads into another great series of strikes with Mask teasing the bridging German but Flip escapes with flair using a backflip.
He then gets Tiger Mask into the corner and lands his 450 splash for the pin and hands Tiger Mask his first loss of the event and joins him at the top of the A-block. Tiger Mask and Flip engage in a very respectful handshake after the match. A great performance from both of them.
Winner: Flip Gordon
ACH vs YOH:
Hype levels are at near critical mass for me here as ACH and Yoh square off, both have also had great matches during the tournament and this has definitely been one I’ve marked on my calendar as a must watch.
To absolutely no one’s surprise, the crowd is super hot for these two, getting a raucous dueling chant for the competitors as the two get started, they get a feel for each other early and then the spots start coming in like crazy. ACH is almost playing an older role here as he has prior experience with the company and gains control of the match and slows the pace down a bit, nailing the Roppongi 3k member with some downright nasty chops, ACH really laying it all out here.
ACH goes up top to hit his Midnight Star finish but takes too much time and Yoh seizes the opportunity and hits a great super brainbuster followed by a falcon arrow for a near fall. They go back to trading strikes and ACH hits a cradle DDT for the win! ACH keeping himself right in the conversation with this win, but Yoh, on the other hand, is now sitting only on two points, though his outlook is grim, look for him to continue to deliver for the rest of the tournament.
Taiji Ishimori vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru:
Ishimori is having an absolutely sizzling tournament, and luckily for all of you, I’ve run out of adjectives to describe how much I can’t stand Kanemaru, but I’m sure I’ll come up with more as the match goes on.
Ishimori starts the match turning the tables on Kanemaru with an early beat down on him before the bell, Taiji ain’t putting up with any crap for Kanemaru and has him scouted and this one looks like it might be a short night for the both of them lest I count the veteran out in this NOAH rematch.
Seeing as they’ve faced each other before in NOAH they have each other well scouted and Kanemaru drags Ishimori outside for some of his signature heel plunder working Taiji over with a chair. They both make their way back into the ring and Kanemaru takes control of the match trying to grind Ishimori down before again bringing the two of them outside again. Yoshinobu is clearly looking for the count out victory here, keep right on track with his heel antics.
I am 100% going to pop so hard every time Taiji hits his hangman’s German suplex because it looks so amazing and he’s looking more and more comfortable with it, it’s one of the more creative spots I’ve seen lately. Kanemaru cuts off Ishimori’s rally with a reversal into a tornado DDT. They struggle back and forth on the turnbuckle and Kanemaru hits a super facebuster. Ishimori hits his signature bloody cross but only manages a two count.
Ishimori looks to get the win with a crossface but Kanemaru eventually gets his way to the ropes. They struggle and lead to a ref bump which leads to Kanemaru getting whiskey in the face of Ishimori but only scored a near fall. Ishimori hits another bloody cross but doesn’t manage to get the cover in time, and Kanemaru gets the shock victory via roll-up. Probably the best match from Kanemaru all tournament, but he’s been setting a low bar. Ishimori still manages to meet and exceed all expectations and is still right in the thick of it despite the loss.
Will Ospreay vs BUSHI:
Another night, another Ospreay main event. Notice a pattern yet? This kid is the STAR of the junior division and has backed it up with stellar matches and looks to keep that pace up with an encounter with Bushi who is not to be taken lightly.
Ospreay and Bushi start this match off at an absolutely blistering pace, buckle up folks, we’re in for a great match. Bushi has been quietly putting on a great performance in this tournament, he is effectively a more likable Kanemaru, he works over Ospreay with a chair on the outside and goes for the count out spot, Ospreay makes his way back in but Bushi takes command via some great groundwork.
Bushi is absolutely incredible at keeping up with Ospreay throughout the match and even getting in some impressive offense himself. Ospreay brining the Sasuke special into his repertoire has really brought joy to my cold jaded rasslin fan heart.
Ospreay damn near kills Bushi with a brainbuster onto the apron, in one of the scarier spots I’ve seen in a while. As they get into the ring, Bushi busts out the legendary green mist but only manages to secure a two count. Ospreay is out here doing his damndest to make Bushi look good and it shows, selling the mist for a good long while. A rapid-fire series of spots leads to Bushi countering Ospreay’s cutter into a lungblower and then setting up for a Canadian destroyer but again can only manage a two.
Shortly after Bushi nails the MX to secure the victory after a pulse-pounding finishing sequence. After the match, Bushi cuts a heel promo on Ospreay and gives love to his LIJ counterparts. Great main event and really psyched to see Bushi get his name on the board finally!
Standings After Night 7:
|Flip Gordon||6||Dragon Lee||6|
|Tiger Mask IV||6||El Desperado||4|
|WIll Ospreay||4||Chris Sabin||2|
|Taiji Ishimori||4||Hiromu Takahashi||2|
With night 7 in the books, the final is edging closer and closer and except for a small few, the field is still wide open. Any of these performers could go on a hot streak and end up in the final, so continue to keep up on NJPW right here on Wrestlaholic Japan with myself and Bad Brendan Mizgala doing the dirty work over with the boys in B-block!