This year’s Best of the Super Junior rolled onto Nagano on Friday, for the latest round of block action!

Best of the Super Junior 24, Block A: Taichi vs. Marty Scurll
Marty’s about to find out why his sometimes/former Leaders tag team partner joined Suzuki-gun to avoid this guy…

Especially as Taichi jumped him with a kick to the gut… and oh no, he’s got Kanemaru and Desperado at ringside. Just what we needed! A shot with the mic stand’s blocked with Marty’s umbrella, before Marty turfed him outside for an apron superkick! The two brawl in the aisle, with the Suzuki-gun members suspiciously not getting involved – especially when Taichi just tries to get as far away as he can!

In the end, Taichi grabs a chair and jabs Marty with it repeatedly, before finally throwing Scurll back into the ring to score a near-fall. When that doesn’t work, Taichi throws him outside for a mugging, before clobbering him with clotheslines once they’d returned to the ring. Marty runs into a kick to the gut, but tricks Taichi with the Just Kidding superkick, but there’s more interference…

Or at least there would be as Scurll sidestepped Taichi as he charged into a distracting Desperado. That got a near-fall, but a pair of head kicks took Marty down for a near-fall too, before he recovered to try for a chicken wing. Taichi elbowed out, then went for the eyes only to get caught in a sit-out over-the-knee brainbuster for a near-fall. From there, it was pretty much elementary… at least once Taichi’d quit raking the eyes, as he had his fingers snapped before he was pulled into a chicken wing… but the referee got pulled down too!

Of course, Taichi tapped, but the referee didn’t call it… cue more shenanigans, but this time Scurll superkicked his way out of a mic stand shot and threatened to use it on Taichi. This time the referee got up to stop him, which gave Taichi the opening for a low blow before a Gedo clutch got him the win. Yep, I was NOT expecting that result… which leave both men tied at 3-2. ***¼

Best of the Super Junior 24, Block A: Ricochet vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger
Given the results so far, I’m only expecting one result… but despite that, the crowd are massively behind Liger. Perhaps they saw his ding ding on TV?

They start working over each other’s arms, before Liger tripped Ricochet into a seated surfboard… with added rocking to get it into a chinlock, only for Ricochet to escape and grab a headlock as we get another stand-off. Ricochet keeps up with the submissions, using an inverted figure four, then a Muta lock, before Liger grapevined his foe’s legs and went for a Romero special.

Ricochet escaped and caught Liger in the corner with some chops, before connecting with a 619 in the corner. Liger hits back though, and almost shocked Ricochet with a roll-up, before a tiltawhirl backbreaker’s escaped and met with a big boot. A Shotei flipped Ricochet inside out, as Liger smelled blood… but a Ligerbomb was only good for a two-count, as was a Thesz press (of all things!)

Ricochet comes back though with a roundhouse kick and a Benadryller for another near-fall, before a uranage flatliner ensures that Liger’s left looking for his first points. A thoroughly enjoyable outing, although it’s clear that Liger’s limitations are starting to seep through. ***

Best of the Super Junior 24, Block A: TAKA Michinoku vs. Hiromu Takahashi
I love how TAKA’s entrance music has him dropping the MF-bomb at the start, but then they randomly censor different levels of swearing. It’s almost like they forgot what was allowed, but never went back to correct it. Speaking of TAKA, it’s win or bust for him here, but his chances were always limited…

Hiromu’s slaps in the early going just earn a poke to the eye, before TAKA feigns a knee injury from a leapfrog. He sold the knee really well though, but Hiromu saw through it… and took a boot to the jaw before attempting to reply with a sunset bomb. TAKA blocks it and ends up taking him back inside for a rear chinlock with some eye raking thrown in, before wrapping Hiromu’s legs around the post for a figure four.

It’s really quite vicious stuff from TAKA, and a total departure from what we usually see in Hiromu’s matches. A regular figure four follows on the floor as TAKA tries to get a count-out win, slipping back into the ring at the count of 15, but Takahashi beats the 20 count, only to get caught in a Bully choke as TAKA tried to force a submission. Takahashi gets a rope break though, then escaped another choke as he drills TAKA with a pop-up powerbomb.

Yet again TAKA tries for the choke, and succeeds, rolling Hiromu back into the middle of the ring as the ropes beckoned, but eventually we got another rope break. TAKA keeps hurrying towards a victory, with a superkick and a La Magistral, but not even his Michinoku driver can get the job done, as Takahashi powered back in with a clothesline before a Time Bomb picked up the win and sent TAKA out of the tournament. Another really good outing, but with the quality of guys in this block, it’s hard not to have good matches! ***½

Best of the Super Junior 24, Block A: Will Ospreay vs. Dragon Lee
Oh my… if this gets time, it’ll be special. Problem is, it’s on a random tour match in Nagano, so things may be held back. Still, it’ll be a hell of a teaser… especially for those of us who haven’t seen their ROH match (hand goes up). By the time Will had stopped dancing to Dragon Lee’s music, we’d barely 13 minutes left on the video.

They start off slow, as you’d expect, before quickly cranking up the pace as they cartwheeled out of flips before a square-off. Ospreay reacts by lifting Dragon Lee onto the top rope, then forearming him to the floor where he followed up with a shooting star press off the apron… and it didn’t turn into a headbutt either, unlike a certain Hangman!

Back inside, Ospreay lands an elbow for just a one-count, before going to an inverted Cloverleaf in a bid to score a submission. When that didn’t work, they exchanged strikes, with Lee scoring a diving leg lariat before battering Ospreay with a diving dropkick in the corner to get a near-fall. Lee wraps Ospreay’s wrists in the ropes to try and stop any more handsprings, before Ospreay catches the outside-to-the-floor ‘rana and drags Lee onto the apron. A knee strike drops him to the apron, before Lee finally hit that ‘rana to the floor!

Ospreay’s forced to elbow out of a Desnucadora (suplex/powerbomb), before countering an attempt at being thrown outside into a handspring overhead kick as Willy turns it up with a Shibata corner dropkick. Lee invites a series of forearms from his knees, but ends up taking an uppercut before snapping Ospreay with a German suplex off the ropes.

We then go diving as Ospreay lands a tope after throwing Lee to the floor, but an apron enziguiri cuts off a second dive, as Ospreay instead makes do with giving Dragon a wheelbarrow suplex into the corner. Will gets an overhead belly to belly straight back as a receipt, before catching Dragon up top with a cartwheel/handstand kick!

Ospreay’s quickly cut-off as he tried to follow up, and takes a double stomp then a Desnucadora for his troubles, but somehow he kicked out at two! Thankfully, Ospreay escapes a Phoenix-plex and turns it into a reverse ‘rana, before throwing in a Revolution kick and an OsCutter to book his place at the top of the group! A really fun sprint – and now I’m going to try and dig out that ROH match and wait for a rematch on a bigger stage! ***¾

Updated standings:
Block A: Will Ospreay (4-1, 8pts); Dragon Lee, Ricochet, Marty Scurll, Taichi, Hiromu Takahashi (3-2, 6pts); TAKA Michinoku (1-4, 2pts); Jushin “Thunder” Liger (0-5, 0pts). Eliminated: Liger, TAKA
Block B: El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru (3-1, 6pts); ACH, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr. (2-2, 4pts); BUSHI, KUSHIDA (1-3, 2pts)

Well, this was a much better show than block B’s Thursday outing. Then again, the quality of the blocks are that much more marked, so it’s to be expected. Pretty much everything delivered, with the “main event” being the best thing on the show – but don’t you dare sleep on TAKA/Takahashi. Hell, even Taichi’s match was bearable, which is something!

Block B’s up next on Saturday in Ibaraki, before block A returns on Sunday in Gunma, whilst Monday has another full Korakuen Hall show from block B.