Master Wato takes on Titan in the finals of this year’s Best of the Super Junior, with a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title at stake.
Togi Makabe & Oleg Boltin pinned Yuto Nakashima & Oskar Leube in 6:37
Clark Connors pinned Ryohei Oiwa in 5:18
Lio Rush & YOH pinned Kosei Fujita & Robbie Eagles in 9:12
Aaron Henare, Dan Moloney, TJP, Francesco Akira & Great O-Khan pinned Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, KUSHIDA, Kevin Knight & Yuji Nagata in 12:50
EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & SHO vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano ended in a no-contest at 9:07
Ren Narita, Shota Umino, El Desperado & Mike Bailey submitted Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii in 12:47
Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI pinned DOUKI, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & SANADA in 11:52
Best of the Super Junior 30 Final: Master Wato pinned Titan in 24:48 (****½)
We’re at the Ota City General Gymnasium in Tokyo for the finals – and much like the last few shows, I’m skipping through the undercard… where there was a challenge from Shota Umino for Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomohiro Ishii’s NEVER trios titles, against Shota, Jon Moxley and Claudio Castanogli. Bloody hell.
Best of the Super Junior 30 Final: Titan vs. Master Wato
Wato’s won their only singles meeting – in last year’s Best of the Super Junior – but that’s his only win, as a litany of undercard tags for Wato, pre-, during and post-excursion, all ended with losses.
We’ve a mixed crowd response, with Wato just about shading the cheers as Wato started by rolling Titan down to the mat. Resetting, we reach the double-dropkick standoff, before Titan looked to pull ahead with a lucha armdrag… but Wato cartwheels free as he returned with a tijeras. That took Titan outside for a delayed plancha, as Titan struggled to get back into the match as the pair returned to the ring. A low dropkick from Titan spins Wato down ahead of a cross kneebar that ended almost instantly in the ropes. Titan follows up with a Trailer Hitch, which also breaks in the ropes, but Titan’s able to pull ahead, outsmarting Wato and taking him outside… only to see his dive cut-off with a kick. Wato adds a tope con giro to the mix, then a springboard uppercut back into the ring before Vendeval ended in the ropes.
Titan scrambles to grab a rope to block Recientemente, before some bodyscissors dragged Wato to the outside for a springboard moonsault that nearly wiped out a table. Returning to the ring, Titan nails a tope con giro rather than take a count-out win, then took things back inside again to pick up a near-fall. Wato’s attempted comeback sees him land a leaping neckbreaker, but he’s instantly taken down as the pair resumed by trading strikes. That leads to a crucifix that Wato maneuvered into Recientemente for a near-fall, before rolling Titan into Vendeval… that ends in the ropes as Titan struck back with a swinging DDT.
Titan measures up Wato for a through-the-corner clothesline, while a springboard stomp to the back almost got the win… that’s followed up with another Trailer Hitch as we passed the 20-minute mark, only for Titan to switch the hold up into the Llave Inmortal… with Wato just about making it to the ropes before Titan could lock that in. Bloody hell… this Tokyo crowd’s LOUD for that.
An O’Connor roll from Wato sees him turn it around, but the Tsutenkaku German suplex only gets a near-fall, before Titan scored another near-fall from a roll-up coming out of a Mistica. Wato’s on jelly legs, even more so after eating a barrage of kicks, as Titan pulls himself up top for another double stomp. Titan puts his feet through Wato, but it’s still not enough, so Titan goes for the Trailer Hitch one more… only to get rolled-up. Wato pulls ahead from there with a head kick, before the Tsutenkaku German suplex landed… he rolls through it into Recientemente Version 2, and that’s enough to get the win! That was an incredibly breathless finale, with the crowd going along for every second of it – and almost three years on from making his New Japan return to an empty Korakuen Hall, Master Wato has added his name to the litany of Best of the Super Junior winners. Watomania’s running wild all through Ota today! ****½
Post-match, Master Wato confirmed he’ll be taking his title shot against Hiromu Takahashi at Dominion 6.4 in Osaka-Jo Hall next week… that’s Wato’s home town, and we close out with confetti and celebrations.
While the entire Best of the Super Junior tour perhaps felt a little too compact, the entire crew stuck with it – much like Master Wato from day one – and even though he’s had his detractors since returning from excursion, it genuinely feels like New Japan’s got a hot hand in the junior division. Is Wato the hot hand they’ll run with next week? Who knows!