Starting the day third-off the bottom, the Birds of Prey are looking to get back on track as the Super Junior Tag League continues!
We’re in the Gymnasium of Tokorozawa Citizen Main-arena in Saitama for this one…
Super Junior Tag League 2019 – TJP & Clark Connors vs. Birds of Prey (Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles)
The Birds of Prey have had a stuttering start to this tournament, losing their first two outings… but a win here will see them record their second in a row.
TJP offers a handshake at the bell, which was accepted, while Clark Connors continued to be a bit of a jerk in refusing any such sportsmanlike offerings. Ospreay starts on TJP’s wrist, but it’s countered with a headscissor takedown that Ospreay escaped, before a flash exchange ended with TJP being ‘rana’d outside as Ospreay’s faked-out dive almost backfired, with TJP returning to continue their flurry to the natural stand-off.
Tags bring in Eagles and Connors, with the Aussie landing some shoulder tackles before he got tripped. Clark’s side headlock is elbowed out of, as more shoulder tackles had the American on the deck ahead of a receipt, which led to Connors just smashing Ospreay off the apron for good measure. Connors faces some double-teaming, and gets monkey flipped into a kick as the Birds of Prey pushed ahead, at least until TJP low-bridged Ospreay outside.
That switcheroo have Connors some fresh impetus as he stomped away on Eagles, then took him into a corner for a Stinger splash and a nasty back chop. Clark only got a one-count from that, so a slam sets up TJP for a slingshot senton as the “Cruiser Great” looked to pick up an upset. TJP busts out EVIL’s old Banshee Muzzle on Eagles, looking to force a stoppage, before Eagles’ escape led him into a Muta lock as TJP was looking focused.
Eagles again gets free and into the ropes, after Connors had knocked Ospreay off the apron, before TJP went after Robbie with some suplexes. An escape allowed Eagles to kick away the knee as he pushed ahead, and brought in Ospreay to try and add some new momentum. It worked, as Ospreay clattered into Connors with a hiptoss and a low dropkick, before a springboard forearm found TJP for a near-fall. Ospreay teases a Storm Breaker, but TJP floats out before handing a Saito suplex as both men tag out, allowing Eagles the opportunity to go after Connors’ leg once more. A 619 to the leg drops Connors ahead of some running double knees for a near-fall. Eagles keeps up by trying for a 450, but Clark avoided it and lands a spear for a near-fall instead, following that up with a Boston crab.
Ospreay saunters in to try and break it up, failing to do so as TJP caught him in an Octopus stretch. Just one day, I wanna see someone tap while their partner tries to free them. Anyway, Ospreay breaks it up as he charged TJP into the pile, only for TJP to hit back with a Hart Attack/Blockbuster combo that almost got Connors the win. On the outside, TJP’s Asai moonsault attempt gets pulled down by Ospreay, as Eagles and Connors traded chops from their knees, only for Ospreay to run in and help double-team Connors. TJP’s save goes awry when he’s met with an assisted standing Shiranui before he was taken outside for a Sasuke special from Ospreay…
…meanwhile in the ring, Eagles pinpoints Connors’ knee with a missile dropkick, but had to shrug off a flash pin attempt before landing a Turbo Backpack for a near-fall, before a 450 to the knee and the Ron Miller Special got the win. Excellent stuff this, for my money the best tournament match on this non-Korakuen stretch of the tour. TJP may well be maligned, but in-ring he’s finding a rich vein of form on this tour. Just a shame the results won’t go his way. ***¾
Your latest standings:
1. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori); Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi (3-1; 6pts)
3. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH); Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru); Volador Jr. & Titan (2-1; 4pts)
6. Birds of Prey (Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles) (2-2; 4pts)
7. Tiger Mask & Yuya Uemura (0-3; 0pts)
8. TJP & Clark Connors (0-4; 0pts)
New Japan had a Saturday show in Gunma’s New Sunpia Takasaki, where Titan and Volador Jr. took on the Suzuki-gun team – ahead of Sunday’s Korakuen Hall, where everyone was in action. We’ll continue to cover the tournament matches on delay from that card!