We’re back with block B as the Best of the Super Junior rolled onto Tsukuba!
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: El Desperado vs. ACH
ACH starts by chopping Desperado low after distracting the referee, but Despy gets some groinal revenge by kicking the ropes into him as ACH aborted a dive to the outside.
We quickly get the outside-the-ring shenanigans as Desperado throws ACH at least six rows deep, before whacking him with a chair. Back in the ring, Desperado tries to go for ACH’s knees, keeping his foe on the mat as somehow we reached the five minute mark with not much of note… and then ACH flew back into action with a double stomp, a low dropkick and then a corkscrew plancha!
ACH misses a double stomp, aggravating the knees more, but he’s able to block a charge with his elbow before landing another dropkick for a near-fall. Desperado goes back to the knees with a modified figure four, and again ACH escapes, going back to the low dropkick to take Desperado down, but Desperado uses the referee to stop ACH’s rush… and throws in a low dropkick himself before going to a Stretch Muffler.
ACH breaks that via the ropes, but his attempt to flip out of a move ends when his knee gives out. He’s still able to clothesline and roll back up though, before hitting a Fisherman’s driver for the win. Both men move to six points with a 3-2 record… but this match didn’t do anything for me, as it seemed that the crowd brawling didn’t play into the whole “work the knee” stuff. **½
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: BUSHI vs. Volador Jr.
Volador kept his mask on for the first exchange… before removing it and falling for a BUSHI handshake that gave way to a series of headscissors and… dive!
And by …dive, we mean a slingshot headscissors on the floor! BUSHI keeps up the pressure, targeting Volador’s knee, before landing a missile dropkick back in the ring. A neckbreaker gets a near-fall, whilst an STF forces Volador to the ropes whilst wearing down that knee some more.
Volador manages to get back into it by sending BUSHI outside with some headscissors, then lands a tope con hilo that almost saw the luchador crash and burn. A springboard dropkick also did the trick, with the timekeeper getting ready to ring the bell for that, but Volador had to make do with some near-falls as he set up BUSHI in the ropes for a not-entirely-conceivable legdrop!
Out of nowhere, BUSHI rolled up from a powerbomb position by Volador into a sunset flip for a near-fall, only to take a wild superkick in the corner. The back and forth continued as BUSHI nailed a top rope ‘rana, followed by a swinging Fisherman’s neckbreaker… but Volador kept at it and nearly won with a backcracker.
Volador lands on his feet after going airborne, and tries again… only to get caught as BUSHI brought him down with a Spanish Fly for a near-fall, before finishing him off with the MX. Another short match, and both men now share a 2-3 record… pretty decent, but it’s going to take a major turnaround for either of these guys to be considered a threat in this tournament. ***
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Tiger Mask
Whilst his on-and-off foe Jushin “Thunder” Liger has been struggling in this tournament, Tiger Mask has blossomed in comparison here, with two wins so far…
They started on the mat, with fairly run-of-the-mill stuff with headlock takedowns before Taguchi rolled around to try and confuse Tiger Mask. Some exchanges of armdrags lead to Tiger Mask playing Taguchi as he encourages the Funky Weapon to run the ropes, and something’s really amiss here!
After tiring out Taguchi, a backslide gets Tiger Mask a near-fall, whilst a surfboard stretch looked for a submission… but Tiger changed his tactics and went for an armbar instead. In the end, Taguchi finally hits a hip attack to take down Tiger, and it’s all butt stuff from there, nearly winning the match before Taguchi does some sit-down splashes to try and win it.
Taguchi crashes and burns with a hip attack in the corner, but quickly recovers for a brief ankle lock as Tiger Mask easily grabbed the bottom rope. Out of nowhere, Tiger Mask caught Taguchi in a double armbar that also ended with a rope break, before Taguchi countered himself into taking a Tiger Bomb. After the kick-out, Taguchi’s caught in an armbar again, before the pair go into a back-and-forth series of near-falls, ending when Taguchi pulled up Tiger Mask into a Dodon facebuster for another near-fall.
From that kick-out though, Taguchi clung onto an ankle lock, rolling through it, before Tiger eventually tapped. Pretty decent stuff, with Taguchi now getting a share of the lead – but in a really tight block, Taguchi’s doing very little to stand out from the pack. ***¼
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. KUSHIDA
It’s fair to say that KUSHIDA has been the Liger of this block… coming in with some expectations on his shoulders and largely flopping. With Yoshinobu Kanemaru having TAKA Michinoku in his corner here, it may be another uphill battle for the ROH TV champion.
Of course, Kanemaru jumped KUSHIDA, and eventually dumped him with a German suplex out of KUSHIDA’s handspring attempt, before stomping him to the outside. KUSHIDA takes a reverse DDT onto the apron as they end up on the floor… except this time the referee isn’t immediately jumping to the outside to get his view blocked by TAKA… Kanemaru was able to do that for him as he distracted the referee so TAKA could get some kicks in.
Back in the ring, Kanemaru chokes KUSHIDA with his own shirt, and there’s a few variations on that as KUSHIDA just gets waffled with a dropkick as he’s laid on the apron. Some figure-four headscissors follow was Kanemaru continues to wear down KUSHIDA, who managed to mount a comeback with a headstand kick and a tope con hilo!
KUSHIDA keeps up with a handspring back elbow before heading up for a moonsault that got him a near-fall, as KUSHIDA started to go to work on Kanemaru’s left arm. That quickly set up for a Hoverboard lock, but the tiltawhirl for it saw KUSHIDA take out the referee with his feet, which meant that his tapping was for nought, and TAKA came in for some interference.
Ditto Taichi, because we need a load of run-ins here, as the bottle of expensive whiskey (cheers MrLariato for clueing me in there!) set up Kanemaru for the top rope DDT… but KUSHIDA kicked out at two! From there, KUSHIDA reverses a brainbuster, then goes forearm-for-forearm with his foe, before Taichi got involved again, tripping up KUSHIDA.
An attempt to spray whiskey just took out Kanemaru, who quickly responded with a clothesline for a near-fall, as he then downed that whiskey en route to another top rope DDT attempt. This time though, KUSHIDA blocked it and turned it into an Air Raid Crash! After that, KUSHIDA got back to his knees and rolled into Kanemaru to get the Hoverboard lock, before deciding on the Back to the Future which got him the win as the Young Boys held back Taichi and TAKA. A really good match to “main event” the BOSJ portion of the card, with KUSHIDA going from “going under” to “bubbling up” with one match…and stay with a shout of making the finals. ***½
Updated standings now everyone’s had five matches:
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: ACH, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Ryusuke Taguchi (3-2, 6pts); BUSHI, KUSHIDA, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr. (2-3, 4pts)
Interestingly after five matches, nobody from block B was eliminated… but this was a more even, “lower tiered” group of performers, at least in terms of name value. As for this set of matches… it was more of the same. Nothing as horrible as we saw on day seven, but likewise, there’s not much you should really go out of your way to see. At least the matches are short for us completionists!