After a couple of days off, the Road to Power Struggle continues in Hiroshima – and we’ve got the Super Junior Tag League matches for you!
Much like the Best of Super Junior and World Tag League tours, all of the tournament matches are being streamed either live or on delay… today we’re getting just two tournament bouts via the fixed cameras. There’s no commentary either, as this comes from the Hiroshima Green Arena…
Super Junior Tag League: Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi) vs. Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask
For some reason Naito’s out with BUSHI and Shingo, which drew the loudest pop.
We started out with BUSHI and Liger, and the customary tie-up into the ropes. BUSHI returned the favour and rolled back to pose at liger, before he rushed in with a cheapshot, which culminated in a tiltawhirl backbreaker from Liger, who then feigned a dive… and flipped off Shingo to boot. Tags out bring in Shingo and Tiger Mask, with the former winning out on a battle of shoulder tackles, before he scored with a double chop. A rear spin kick from Tiger Mask turns it around, as he tag out and holds Shingo on the floor for a baseball slide dropkick that helped Liger put him into the guard railings. So much for the entire tour being railing free!
BUSHI stops Liger from using a Romero special as the Ingobernables turned it around as we had some brawling outside, with the veterans being hurled into those railings. Back in the ring, they still put the boots to Liger, with Shingo doing the bulk of the heavy lifting here. He resists some chops from Liger, but elbows Tiger Mask off the apron as we’re back to the double-teaming… which Liger counters with a double DDT as he got himself free.
Tiger Mask gets tagged back in, bringing himself back with a crossbody onto Shingo, but the numbers game persisted until a crucifix nearly put away Shingo. We roll through into a cross armbreaker, but Shingo uses his size to power his way out and powerbomb Tiger Mask, before a BUSHI missile dropkick and DDT earns a near-fall. BUSHI tries to keep up, but he charges into the corner, missing as Liger and Tiger double-team him with a Liger Bomb, then a Tiger Bomb for a near-fall.
They headed up top next as as butterfly superplex was cut-off by Shingo, as all four men ended up in the ring… only for Shingo to land a double superplex as he then proceeded to try and nail Tiger Mask with the Pumping Bomb. We do get the spinebuster/backcracker combo for a near-fall on Tiger Mask, before Liger sent a charging Shingo to the floor, meeting him outside with a cannonball off the apron. Back in the ring, Tiger Mask’s clocked with a rewind enziguiri, but he sidesteps a charge from BUSHI and with an abdominal stretch, rolls him down for the flash pin. Pretty decent stuff – but nothing spectacular. So far Shingo’s run has been pretty low key, but it’s also very unfair to expect him to shoot out of the gates when he’s been shoved in low-profile tags! ***
Super Junior Tag League: Ryusuke Taguchi & ACH vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Guess what? We had the by-now-customary Suzuki-gun jump-start-in-the-aisle here, with Desperado and Kanemaru attacking their opponents before they were anywhere near the ring.
The brawling continues as ACH was thrown into the ring post, while Desperado tried to sodomise Taguchi with a rugby ball. I don’t think it quite works like that… In the ring, Desperado continued to kick Taguchi in the arse as Suzuki-gun took firm control, until Taguchi took out Desperado with a hip attack as the rugby-loving pair took over. ACH, perhaps wanting a night off, played Taguchi for the cardio testing charges into the corner, complete with the hip attack backfiring and ACH trying to wisecrack his way out of trouble.
We’re back outside as those guard railings came back into play, with Desperado grabbing a chair from the crowd as he put the boots to ACH some more. Or to be more precise… buried him under a guard rail and threw a chair on it, prompting the double count-out tease. They use Taguchi’s shirt to restrict him somewhat as the junior tag champions remained in control, with Kanemaru stretching Taguchi’s midsection and dropping a knee to the ribs as ACH remained AWOL.
Eventually Taguchi fought back… and got the tag out after feigning a hip attack. In comes ACH, who’s quickly cornered before he nailed a sit-down splash out of the Suzuki-gun corner, then a low dropkick and a stomp as Desperado looked to be on the back foot. A hiptoss from ACH catches Desperado ahead of a huge hip attack that almost ended the match, before the deadlift German suplex was blocked by way of Desperado stamping on the foot.
Kanemaru gets involved, kicking ACH from the apron before Desperado’s spear swung things back around, allowing Kanemaru to pick apart the bones when he tagged back in. ACH manages to break free and bring Taguchi back into play, and of course he’s back in with hip attacks as Kanemaru was in the ropes. A springboard hip attack absolutely clocks Kanemaru for a near-fall, but Desperado’s back to knock ACH off the apron (for a hard landing to boot) as the champions nearly won with a dropkick-assisted sidewalk slam.
Kanemaru keeps up with a reverse DDT, but Taguchi kicks out of that before he countered a Deep Impact DDT with a hip attack. ACH somehow gets back in and rolls up Kanemaru into a wheelbarrow/X-Factor combo… but Desperado broke up the cover and we’ve got a ref bump. A ref bump that lands Kanemaru close to his bottle of whiskey, as he proceeds to take a mouthful, before he accidentally sprayed Desperado with it.
ACH takes Despy outside for a plancha, amd with the referee still down, Taguchi avoids a mule kick before hauling up Kanemaru for a Dodon low blow and a roll-up for the win! A fun subversion of the usual Suzuki-gun tropes, bringing Friday’s tournament matches to a close. ***
Three nights in, and the table looks like this…
Bullet Club OG (Robbie Eagles & Taiji Ishimori) (2-0; 4pts)
Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask; Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo) (2-1; 4pts)
Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH); Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr. (1-1; 2pts)
ACH & Ryusuke Taguchi; Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (1-2; 2pts)
KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin; (0-2; 0pts)
Overall, Friday’s pair of tournament matches were solid, but not spectacular. Exactly what you’d expect from matches taking place on a house show loop.