After blow-out shows on Friday and Sunday, it’s back to just the tournament matches as block B took centre stage on Monday at the wonderfully-named Yonago Convention Centre BiG SHiP in Yonago.
Before we go any further, if you haven’t seen Friday’s main event between Will Ospreay and Ricochet, then New Japan World have posted the match in-full, for free on their service. All you need to do is click here – you don’t need to sign up, sign in, or even figure out what the Japanese for “play” is; the video will start automatically! Even better, if you have a Google Chromecast, you can even stream it to your TV!
Best of Super Junior Tournament, Block B: Chase Owens  vs. Beretta 
We start off with possibly the weakest of the four matches today, and that’s by no means aimed at Beretta. Or the capital of Malta, as Google Translate insists on calling him (but that’s not the best Google Translate fail of the day!)
We get the usual jump start, as Owens takes Beretta to the outside, and we immediately get the flaws of the fixed camera position. Owens takes Beretta through the crowd and into some empty seating, before setting some of them up to try and suplex Beretta through them… but they reverse and end up with neither of them going through it.
Owens throws Beretta back into the ring, but opts to play to the crowd, which gives the former Trent a chance to make a quick return to the outside, courtesy of a tope. Owens uses a chair on Beretta’s back, as Yujiro Takahashi gets involved on the outside. Back inside, Beretta takes a back body drop, but starts a fight back, at least until he took a Flair bump in the corner and then a superkick.
Beretta kicks away another back body drop, but takes an inverted atomic drop, before Owens attempts his package piledriver on the apron. Beretta backdrops his way out of that, before rejoining the fray outside with a flip dive to the floor. Back inside, Beretta gets a two-count from a tornado DDT, before Owens turns Beretta’s top rope crossbody attempt into a gutbuster, then getting a near-fall from a standard gutbuster.
Owens places Beretta on the top rope, and goes for a super gutbuster, but Beretta fights free and lands a super hurricanrana, flipping through on landing into a Shining Wizard for a near-fall. Beretta ducks a clothesline and nails Owens with a release German suplex, before another Shining Wizard gets him a near-fall, but Owens wriggles out of a Dudebuster.
After that, Yujiro slid in a chair, giving the referee a distraction as he went to remove said chair, which allowed Owens to grab one of Beretta’s Roppongi Vice knuckledusters and hit him with it, before rushing in a package piledriver for the win. At least this match was watchable, I guess, but I am not believing that Owens belongs in this group. **½
Best of Super Junior Tournament, Block B: Will Ospreay  vs. Tiger Mask 
Fresh off his stellar/divisive main event from Friday, and Sunday’s Vader-baiting, Will Ospreay returned to tournament action here, and he’s got a new entrance video, featuring the WO logo that’s on his New Japan t-shirt. Now all they need to do is work on that music…
They start with a lock-up, and Ospreay busts out the see-saw kip-ups, except Tiger Mask lets go of the wrist-lock and leaves Ospreay to it, before stomping down on the Essex youngster. They exchange leapfrogs, before Ospreay goes to cravats and headlocks, before taking a pratfall for a near-fall.
Ospreay decks Tiger Mask with a spinning elbow for a two-count, before unloading with some strikes in the corner, and going for an Octopus hold in the middle of the ring, rolling through to score a near-fall. Ospreay lands a handspring into a spinning kick to send Tiger Mask into the corner again, before dropping him with a Phenomenal Forearm that sent Tiger out of the ring… in perfect place to take a moonsault press from the inside, over the top rope, and to the floor.
Tiger Mask just about beat the count back in, and rolled into place for a standing shooting star press from Ospreay for a near-fall, but Tiger Mask blocked a few submission attempts and landed a Tiger Bomb for a near-fall, before locking Ospreay in a grounded chickenwing. Will makes the ropes, before avoiding a flying Tiger, and countering with a Spanish Fly in the middle of the ring for a two-count.
Ospreay tried to follow-up off the top rope, but Tiger Mask got the knees up from a corkscrew shooting star press, before he took Ospreay up top for a butterfly superplex for another two-count. Another chicken wing followed from Tiger Mask, as he turned it into a Millennium suplex (Chickenwing Suplex) for (yep) a near-fall, before pulling back on Ospreay’s arm to score the win via submission. That was a good showcase for Ospreay, but yet-another loss puts the pre-tournament favourite on the bubble once more. ***¼
Best of Super Junior Tournament, Block B: Volador Jr.  vs. Bobby Fish 
The third tournament match of today sees Volador Jr look to join the leading pack at the top of block B, following Beretta’s earlier defeat.
Volador uses lucha flips to try and evade Fish’s early takedowns as the two men cancel each other out, before some headscissors send Fish onto the outside, where he rolls away from an attempted dive… but Volador puts on the brakes and pulls off a flip dive as Fish walked around the ring. Fish makes it back into the ring and takes down Volador with a tiltawhirl backbreaker as the Mexican went into the ropes, but the two quickly end outside the ring once more.
Back inside, Fish stays on top of Volador with suplexes, but he takes a pair of kicks to the face after an inverted atomic drop, before Fish backdrops Volador to the floor as he tried for a monkey flip in the ropes. Fish misses a pump kick to Volador on the apron, and gets caught with an enziguiri from the outside, as Volador rips off his mask and lands a springboard quebrada for a near-fall.
Volador lands a back cracker on Fish following a series of waistlock reversals, before Fish resumes the offence with a flying forearm into the corner. He charges Volador into the other corner, setting him up for an Exploder suplex into the turnbuckles that gets him a near-fall, followed up by a Dragon Screw for another two-count.
Fish gets caught up top with an enziguiri by Volador, whose attempt at a superplex goes badly wrong for him, as he’s shoved to the mat, before a series of kicks from Fish and a Falcon Arrow suplex gets him a two-count. From there, Volador kicks out but gets trapped in a scissored heel hook, and after trying to drag himself to the ropes, he taps. Good match, considering the clash in styles between these two. ***
Best of Super Junior Tournament, Block B: Ricochet  vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger 
Or “Beast God” Thunder Liger, in what is surely the winner of today’s Google Translation of the day! After Volador and Beretta fell to defeat earlier, if we have a winner in this, we’ll have a new outright leader of block B.
Ricochet drills Liger with a jumping knee after the bell, and almost snatches a win in the opening seconds with a reverse Bloody Sunday DDT. A seated abdominal stretch follows, as does a crucifix-style roll-up for a near fall as Liger struggles to get out of the traps here. Liger literally gets trapped on the floor as Ricochet stands on his head, before rolling in the veteran and returning to the ring with a slingshot elbow drop.
Liger gets choked across the bottom rope for a spell, before firing back with some chops, only to be taken down with a side Russian leg-sweep, and a submission hold which is broken as he rolls into the ropes. Some bodyscissors keep Liger grounded, with Ricochet pulling back on the arm, forcing Liger to make another rope break. Another brief comeback for Liger ends with a jumping kick from Ricochet for a near-fall, as we are pretty much seeing one-way traffic.
Ricochet tries to suplex Liger from the apron and to the floor, but ends up being clotheslined to the outside by Liger instead, who followed up with a cannonball dive off the apron, before a Ligerbomb attempt in the ring was counted by headscissors. Liger did connect with a tiltawhirl slam though, but was dropkicked to the outside after Ricochet slipped out of the corner punches.
Ricochet landed his usual backflip plancha to the outside, but Liger managed yet another comeback with a Shotei and a brainbuster back in the ring, getting a two-count from the latter. The match swung once more as Ricochet escaped a Liger bomb, and hit a Northern Lights suplex, rolling into a spin-out over-the-shoulder diamond cutter for a near-fall. A standing shooting star press gets Ricochet another near-fall, as he then went to a grounded Octopus hold, with Liger eventually crawling to the ropes.
Sensing blood, Ricochet went for the Benadryller, but missed and was floored with a rolling heel kick, before nailing a Thesz press for a near-fall. Another jumping knee from Ricochet cut-off Liger once more, with a Brainbuster scoring a two-count, before Ricochet took the win by submission from the Octopus hold. A great back-and-forth bout, although there was a lot more offence for Ricochet, but a solid match to end today’s tournament action. ***¾
So, we end a day of perfectly acceptable pro-wrestling with Ricochet standing alone on top of block B with six points, whilst Will Ospreay is left at the bottom with just the two; and everyone else in the block fills the middle ground with four points. Speaking of Will, he’s going to need to go on a heck of an unbeaten streak to make it to the final, requiring wins over Bobby Fish, Volador Jr. and Jushin “Thunder” Liger to even have a chance of making it.
Block A was back in action on Tuesday, and we should see at least one elimination from the card in Hiroshima, whilst Thursday in Nagoya will be the first of three proverbial finals for Mr. Ospreay.
Block A: Kyle O’Reilly, Matt Sydal, Ryusuke Taguchi (3 wins, 6 points); KUSHIDA, Rocky Romero (2 wins, 4 points); BUSHI, Gedo, David Finlay (1 win, 2 points)
Block B: Ricochet (3 wins, 6 points); Beretta, Bobby Fish, Chase Owens, Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr (2 wins, 4 points); Will Ospreay (1 win, 2 points)
We’ve got just three rounds of matches left, with the last block matches taking place next Monday (June 6) and the finals itself on Tuesday (June 7).
With New Japan World only showing selected cards from the Best of Super Junior tournament in full, we’ll be mirroring them – providing coverage of those shows (when they air) and tournament matches (when they aren’t live) shortly after they’re available…