They’ve had a day off… now they’re back, as block B of this year’s Best of the Super Junior were in action!
The tour’s rolled into Komatsu City, and a building which reminds me a lot of a lecture theatre for some reason.
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Tiger Mask
We get going with a jump start as Kanemaru left the ring and jumped Tiger Mask in the aisle – coming dangerously close to the video projector that had been set up there!
Kanemaru drops Tiger Mask with a DDT on the floor, then throws him into the crowd all whilst TAKA Michinoku distracted and obstructed the referee. They eventually get inside the ring where Kanemaru chokes on Tiger in the ropes, before Tiger Mask kicked his way into a comeback… only until TAKA dragged Kanemaru out of the ring.
There’s another distraction, so Kanemaru attacks Tiger Mask from behind and threatens to unmask him. More stomps keep Tiger Mask down, before he was able to sneak in a back suplex to turn things around briefly, as he misses a swandive headbutt off the top. TAKA gets involved again as he trips up Tiger Mask, which allows Kanemaru to rush in with a boot in the corner, then a clothesline for a near-fall.
Out of nowhere, Tiger Mask trips Kanemaru into a double armbar, but TAKA again gets involved… and gets kicked off the apron for his troubles. More kicks lead to a Tiger Bomb for a near-fall., but out comes Taichi because we’ve not had enough shenanigans… Taichi’s got Kanemaru’s tequila bottle, and uses it on Tiger Mask, allowing Kanemaru to hit a scooping reverse DDT for a near-fall, before the DDT off the top got him the win. Way too much in terms of interference for this to even get going. *¾
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: El Desperado vs. Volador Jr.
We start with Volador leaping over Desperado in the opening exchanges, before taking and giving an armdrag en route to a stand-off. A monkey flip sends Despy flying, but he quickly takes Volador outside and into the ring post, before launching the luchador into the fourth row and beyond!
Desperado grabs a pen again, and a chair, which he nonchalantly wedges between the turnbuckles as Volador narrowly beat the count-out. That chair gives the referee something to do as Desperado jabbed Volador in the face with the pen, before he rips apart Volador’s t-shirt and chokes him with it.
Volador rebounds with a headscissor takedown, but the referee stops his dive as he notices that Desperado’s got a chair. No matter, he hits the dive anyway, before following up with a dropkick back in the ring. A superkick and a back cracker gets a near-fall for Volador, who manages to surprise Despy with La Mistica… but Desperado smashes the referee’s face into the mat before tapping, so it didn’t count! Desperado tries to use a chair, but it’s superkicked into his face before the referee recovers to see a tornado reverse ‘rana as Volador secured the pin. This was fine as we had little in the way of run-ins, but this was over in a flash. **¼
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: BUSHI vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
BUSHI badly needs a win to avoid the risk of elimination, and he starts by flipping out to Taguchi’s mimicking of the Los Ingobernables pose.
Unfortunately, he’s made to run the ropes before avoiding a sunset flip as a low dropkick drills Taguchi early on. Taguchi responds with his usual array of hip attacks, before BUSHI sneaks around the ring and dropkicks Taguchi in the rear. Perhaps he shouldn’t have hung over the bottom rope to look for him…
A t-shirt choke and another low dropkick get BUSHI a near-fall, and he enjoyed a spell on top before Taguchi sent him onto the apron for a missile dropkick. Taguchi flies with a tope con hilo, before a springboard knee strike gets him a near-fall back in the ring, as more hip attacks are quickly cut-off as BUSHI landed a back cracker for a two-count. A backslide goes awry as Taguchi rolled through and hit a hip attack, before he sits down on a counter to the Dodon for another near-fall. BUSHI’s then caught in an ankle lock, but he resists and gets pulled up into another Dodon, which BUSHI switches into a swinging neckbreaker.
BUSHI snaps back with a rewind enziguiri, before hitting a Codebreaker and a modified backpack stunner for another near-fall, as the MX ended up being enough for BUSHI to get his first two points. Pretty decent, but even at this stage of the tournament this felt like a filler match. **½
Best of the Super Junior 24, Block B: ACH vs. Ricochet
In a rather methodical start, ACH took KUSHIDA to the corner… and gave him a clean break, only to get taken down second later with a shoulder tackle for an early near-fall. KUSHIDA regained the momentum as he went to work over ACH’s arm, resisting a kip-up attempt as he made sure that ACH remained on the ground in an armbar. At the second attempt, ACH countered the armbar into a headscissors as the pair went back and forth on the mat.
KUSHIDA thought he’d pushed out of a bulldog, but ACH kept on and ended up taking him outside for a plancha, before taking him back inside for another smooth series that ended with a low dropkick for a near-fall. ACH gets a couple of near-falls out of a neckbreaker, before just about popping up KUSHIDA for a Victory roll that got reversed. That signalled the KUSHIDA comeback, as he followed up with a hiptoss/dropkick combo, before his handspring back elbow was caught and turned into a German suplex. KUSHIDA managed to get back in it, hitting a handstand kick as ACH was on the top rope, then brought him down into a cross armbreaker in the middle of the ring… but ACH made the ropes quickly to keep the match going.
Again, KUSHIDA tries for the armbar, this time hanging up ACH in the ropes, but ACH countered by pulling him back into the ring for a powerbomb. ACH flashes back with a death valley driver for a near-fall, only to get caught in a Hoverboard lock for the briefest of moments. A forearm frees ACH as he tried to fire back, but a discus forearm and a leaping DDT looked to put KUSHIDA back on track…
Except ACH landed a counter in the form of a Michinoku driver as KUSHIDA tried to go for the Small Package Driver that he’s labelled Back to the Future. After sitting up, ACH levelled KUSHIDA with a lariat, before scoring with a Fisherman’s driver to get the win. That puts ACH off joint bottom of the group, leaving KUSHIDA last (on tie-breakers) with BUSHI. This was easily the best match of today’s group action, low on flying but plenty of good back-and-forth as KUSHIDA’s tournament stuttered on. ***¼
Updated standings after four matches each:
Block A: Dragon Lee, Marty Scurll, Will Ospreay (3-1, 6pts); Hiromu Takahashi, Ricochet, Taichi (2-2, 4pts); TAKA Michinoku (1-3, 0pts); Jushin “Thunder” Liger (0-4, 0pts). Eliminated: Liger
Block B: El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru (3-1, 6pts); ACH, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr. (2-2, 4pts); BUSHI, KUSHIDA (1-3, 2pts)
Save for the main event, this was probably a show you could skip, thanks to one rotten match and two that were passable at best. Today’s results mean that BUSHI and KUSHIDA are on the verge of going out if they lose on Saturday in Ibaraki – as we start to enter the business end of the tournament.