We’re down to the semi-finals as Mike Bailey, Master Wato, El Desperado and Titan look to secure their spots in Sunday’s Best of the Super Junior final.
Kosei Fujita & Robbie Eagles pinned Gedo & Clark Connors in 6:47
Great O-Khan & Aaron Henare pinned Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano in 4:58
Francesco Akira, TJP & Dan Moloney pinned Ryusuke Taguchi, KUSHIDA & Kevin Knight in 8:38
YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto, Lio Rush & YOH pinned Dick Togo, SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL in 8:45
Tomohiro Ishii, Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi submitted Oskar Leube, Oleg Boltin & Shota Umino in 9:26
SANADA, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI submitted BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & Hiromu Takahashi in 7:53
Best of the Super Junior 30 Semi-Final: Master Wato pinned Mike Bailey in 16:43 (****¼)
Best of the Super Junior 30 Semi-Final: Titan submitted El Desperado in 21:44 (****)
We’re back in Tokyo as the rather-distinct Yoyogi 2nd Gymnasium hosts today’s card… and much like earlier this week, I’m skipping through the undercard… but if you’re going back to watch, the trios match with Okada, Tanahashi and Ishii against Shota Umino, Oleg Boltin and Oskar Leube is worth your time if only for the post-match stuff.
Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton are on hand for English commentary.
Best of the Super Junior 30 Semi-Final: Master Wato vs. Mike Bailey
It’s the block B runner up and the block A winner – and two styles with a lot of similarities here…
Opening with a handshake, the pair feint kicks early on before some lucha stylings led to armdrags and a dropkick that took Speedball to the outside. A plancha follows, as Wato tried to follow up with Vendeval back inside, but that ends up in the ropes as things spill outside again, this time with Bailey taking control.
Wato’s whipped into the corner ahead of a running kick, as Bailey then set up for a slam and Vader Bomb Knees for a near-fall as Speedball looked to be comfortable here. Wato fights back with some forearms, before he rolled away from a running shooting star press… then scored with a facebuster coming out of the corner.
Bailey’s caught with a leaping neckbreaker, then with a tope con giro on the outside.. Wato struggles with a springboard, and eventually leaps into a cross armbar that ended in the ropes. Bailey gets a little ahead of himself, but aborts the Ultima Weapon before going back to the cross armbar… with Wato cradling his way free before see-saw sunset flips took us back to Vendeval.
Breaking free, Bailey tries for, and misses moonsault knees, before the Vendeval almost forced a submission… only for Wato to lose grip as Bailey’s kicks from earlier had had an impact. Bailey rocks his way into the ropes to force the break, but couldn’t quite capitalise as Wato stormed back with Recientemente for a near-fall. How on earth is Wato this close?!
Wato tries for the Tsutenkaku German suplex, but the pair end up on the apron, trading kicks as Bailey ends up tripping Wato… and finally landing the moonsault double knees. From there, we’re back inside for the Ultima Weapon, crashing into Wato’s back as he got back to his feet… but it’s not enough! The Flamingo Driverlooks to follow, but Wato slips out and countered into the Tenzan Tombstone Driver, good for a near-fall as Bailey returned with kicks.
Bailey’s corkscrew enziguiri is stopped with a head kick from Wato, who then rushed in for the Tsutenkaku German suplex… and that’s a heck of an upset on paper as Master Wato’s booked his spot in the final! My God, that was fantastic from start to finish – with the surprise result only adding to it as Wato had his arse handed to him for the first half of the match. An untimely end for Bailey’s debut New Japan tour, but it was a hell of a run as we wonder… is Watomania running wild into Dominion? We’ll see on Sunday… ****¼
Best of the Super Junior 30 Semi-Final: Titan vs. El Desperado
Can they top that?
LIJ shadowed Titan for this one, all in Titan tees (try saying that five times fast), while Desperado was flying solo without Minoru Suzuki nor Ren Narita in his corner… but Desperado looked to shade the early stages, at least until he was taken outside with an armdrag.
On the floor, Desperado blocks a tijeras and ended up driving Titan’s knee into the floor, before Desperado… threw an onion at him. Not a euphemism. Desperado clears the crowd as he went for a spot of Titan bowling, taking him into the third row, before chops took Titan even deeper into the crowd. Back inside, Titan ducks a clothesline, then hit an enziguiri before a springboard tijeras took Desperado out for a tope suicida.
Titan gets his own back with some chair bowling of his own, taking Desperado into the fourth row, before throwing him into the side of a seating deck. A seating deck that Titan sprinted up as he proceeded to hit a body press off of the concourse into Desperado! The count-out’s narrowly avoided, but Desperado’s rolled into a Trailer Hitch… Desperado gets free in the ropes, but couldn’t avoid a Dragon screw as a cross kneebar trapped Desperado in the middle of the ring, forcing him to drag his body to the ropes for another break.
A spear from Desperado stops Titan’s charge into the corner, following up with Numero Dos as it was now Titan scrambling for the ropes. Back-and-forth strikes ensue from there, until Titan snuck in a swinging DDT in the rope before a second dive was punched away by Despy. The kip-up overhead kick knocks Desperado off the apron as a tope con giro crashes into him in the aisle.
Titan adds to that with a double stomp off the top… but Desperado moves away as Titan endured a rough landing. Desperado rushes things back inside for Numero Dos, which once again was broken in the ropes. Guitarra de Angel followed for a near-fall, before Titan escaped Pinche Loco, then crashed into Desperado, who once more spilled to the floor.
Desperado hobbles back in and manages to score a spinebuster seconds later… then rolled into Numero Dos… only for Titan to power out and into a Destroyer. A drop toe hold takes Titan into the ropes, but he’s able to score another swinging DDT as we passed the 20-minute mark, before he pulled himself up top for a crashing double stomp into Desperado. Ankles be damned, Titan’s only able to get a near-fall out of that, before the Llave Inmortal stretched Desperado to force the submission! The two block winners are left in the mud as it’s the runners up making it to the finals… and El Desperado’s dreams of winning this tournament went up in smoke. ****
After the match, Master Wato came out for the obligatory face-to-face with Titan as the show closed out with Titan taking his bow. We’re back on Sunday in Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo for the all-block-B finals… as we find out who’ll be presumably challenging Hiromu Takahashi for the junior title one week later at Dominion.
I might not agree with the choices of the finalists, but the two semi-finals were an absolute doozy – and sets up for a match that you’d assume would have Master Wato the slight favourite, given his year-long momentum?