Our latest round from the Best of the Super Junior tournament sees BUSHI and Hiromu Takahashi square off in the main event at Korakuen Hall…
Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma pinned Gabriel Kidd & Yuji Nagata in 9:00 (**¾)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – El Desperado pinned Yuya Uemura in 11:26 (***)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Taiji Ishimori pinned DOUKI in 12:00 (***¼)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Ryusuke Taguchi pinned Master Wato in 10:22 (***)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Robbie Eagles submitted SHO in 19:22 (****)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Hiromu Takahashi pinned BUSHI in 23:42 (****)
Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd vs. Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma
We’re cycling between Young Lion tags on this tour then, as it’s Gabriel Kidd’s turn to take a fall.
Kojima and Nagata start us off, really going for it too as Nagata works the wrist, only for Kojima to break it and go back in on his own. He’s caught in a front facelock, but quickly breaks in the ropes before a battle of elbows ended with Nagata knocking Kojima on his arse.
Tags bring in Honma and Kidd, who lock-up and break in the ropes, before Kidd tried to incite a chop battle. He hits the ropes and tries to charge down Honma, but Honma resists and takes down Kidd with a shoulder tackle of his own, following that up with elbows in the corner. A bulldog from Honma sets up for Kokeshi, but Kidd rolls away and takes Honma into the corner, where Nagata tags in to try and capitalise on things. A PK to the back of Honma lands, before Nagata booted Kojima off the apron… which opened the door to a double-team leg spreader as Kidd picked up a two-count.
Kidd’s uppercut in the corner knocks Honma back, with a shoulder tackle getting a two-count. Nagata’s back with shots to the gut, then some kicks, which eventually sparked a battle over a suplex, which Honma won out on. Kojima tags in and traps Nagata with Machine Gun chops, following up with an elbow off the top for a two-count.
Nagata avoids a lariat and hits a low dropkick, then an Exploder to force his way back in… bringing Kidd back into the match too to hit a running forearm. He followed that up with a dropkick for a two-count, before we got back to Nagata and Honma trading elbows. A lariat and a Kokeshi drops Nagata as that interference was snuffed out… forcing Kidd to fight back on his lonesome.
Kidd’s able to avoid a double clothesline, and instead catches Honma and Kojima with a dropkick. A missile dropkick followed for a two-count, before Kidd went for the double underhook suplex. Kojima blocks that, but misses with a lariat as Kidd tries to roll him up for the win… before Kojima kicked out and waffled Kidd with a Cozy lariat for the win. By the numbers stuff, with Kidd getting some decent time against more seasoned pros. **¾
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Yuya Uemura vs. El Desperado
After a win over Hiromu on Wednesday, this ought to be a pretty straightforward outing for Desperado… even if this is the proverbial banana skin.
Desperado rolls outside at the bell, looking to dictate the pace from the off. Uemura tries to talk the referee into letting him give chase… but in the end the switcheroo comes to nought as Uemura caught Desperado back inside with a scissored armbar. It’s escaped, with Desperado keeping it on the mat, as they went back-and-forth looking for a body part.
Of course, Uemura favoured the arm, and went for a cross armbar as Desperado squirmed to the ropes. He pulls Uemura outside after that, giving us the obligatory trip to the guard rails – but Uemura reverses the whip as he seemed to be a step ahead. Desperado plays foul when he kicked the rope into Uemura as they got back inside… then feigned an apology, before he tossed Uemura outside and into the guard rails once more. A slam on the mats followed outside, with Desperado looking to take an easy count-out from there, but of course Uemura beats it.
Back inside, a snap slam has Uemura down again, with a camel clutch following before Uemura was rolled into a pin for another two-count. Uemura tries to chop his way back in, but Desperado cut him off… and avoided a dropkick by clinging onto the ropes. Second time was the charm though, with Uemura forcing an opening as he elbowed away on Despy in the corner, following in with a dropkick and another elbow off the ropes.
Uemura only gets a two-count from that, as he then looked for a Boston crab, dragging Desperado from the ropes so he could roll him over. Eventually, Despy gets to the ropes, but then had to fight out of a Kanuki suplex attempt… then a German suplex, before he elbowed Uemura in the head.
Uemura responded in kind, then ran into a spinebuster as Desperado looked to have turned the tables. A half crab’s next, then Numero Dos, but Uemura breaks it in the ropes… and returned with a cross armbar! Desperado tries to nick the win with a roll-up, but the cross armbar’s kept on, so he needs the ropes to save his skin… but in the end, a poke to the eye and a Mouse Trap pin gets Despy the win, from a match that was much harder than it ought to have been. ***
Best of the Super Junior 27 – DOUKI vs. Taiji Ishimori
On paper, this ought to be similarly one-sided, if only going by DOUKI’s singles win-loss record.
DOUKI, probably knowing this, jumps Ishimori as he took the helmet off, knocking him outside with a dropkick before following in with a tope. Ishimori’s posted too, as DOUKI then admired his junior heavyweight title… but couldn’t whack him with it as the referee disarmed DOUKI.
Instead, DOUKI DDT’s Ishimori on the floor, but it wasn’t anywhere near enough to force a count-out… so they resume in the ring, with DOUKI landing elbows to the back of Ishimori’s neck. Ishimori recovers with a handspring enziguiri, which took DOUKI outside ahead of a Golden Triangle moonsault, with a whip into the guard railings following.
Wash, rinse, repeat, fore Ishimori teased using his belt, but instead just nailed DOUKI by the railings. Some choking by the railings followed from Ishimori, before a springboard seated splash and a Yes Lock back inside forces DOUKI to dive for the ropes. Ishimori stays on top of DOUKI by wrapping his arm around the ropes, with a chinlock following on the mat as he looked to wear down his foe once more.
Ishimori builds up to a back cracker for a two-count, but the Cipher UTAKI’s countered as DOUKI rolled Ishimori into the Italian Stretch #32. It’s broken up, but DOUKI stays on top of Ishimori by hauling him into a sit-out Gory bomb with a backslide for a near-fall, but couldn’t follow up with Daybreak as Ishimori looked for Cipher UTAKI… but it’s again countered. Ishimori regains ground with a sunset flip, but ends up in the Italian Stretch #32 again, eventually breaking the hold in the ropes.
DOUKI hits the ropes and lands a lariat for a two-count, then hit a nasty looking Daybreak DDT, again for a two-count. Suplex de la Luna looks to follow, but Ishimori counters out and boots DOUKI… who then used the referee as a human shield. Not to worry, an enziguiri and a crucifix from Ishimori gets a near-fall, before DOUKI just whipped Ishimori into the referee. Here comes the pipe, landing squarely in Ishimori’s chiseled abs, before Ishmori blocked a second shot with his belt. One belt shot later, the Bloody Cross leaves DOUKI laying, and that’s it. This was okay, but I’m over the “bad guys need to cheat” trope that seems to be running wild here. ***¼
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Master Wato vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
The short-lived tag team, erm, fizzles here? Having tagged for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship tournament earlier this year, “Way To The Ass Master” are up against each other here…
Taguchi shoots for the ankle early on, trying to roll Wato to the mat, but Wato manages to block the takedown as they reset. So Taguchi goes for the arm, working a hammerlock that Wato breaks with a headlock takedown, taking Taguchi to the outside. Returning to the ring, Taguchi’s caught in a leg lock, but he breaks it with a chinlock as Wato headed to the ropes to extricate himself… and find his hammerlock was quickly broken as Taguchi got a foot to the rope.
Taguchi trips Wato and goes for the ankle lock again, but this time Wato scrambles to the ropes, before a battle over a wristlock ended with Wato going for a rear spin kick instead. Chops follow, before some rope running ended with Wato dropkicking Taguchi to the outside for a tornillo.
Back inside, a springboard uppercut met Taguchi for a two-count, with a chinlock and an elbow to the head keeping him down afterwards. There’s a kick to the back too for a two-count, before Taguchi’s search for a hip attack ended in an atomic drop. Taguchi comes back out with a springboard dropkick to knock Wato outside, following up with an inside-out crossbody to the floor.
Wato’s rolled back inside, but Taguchi runs into another series of kicks before he found a way through with hip attacks. Until he went for a spinning hip attack, that gets stopped. They went back-and-forth on kicks, before Taguchi pulled Wato out of the corner and folded him up for a near-fall… then went back to the ankle lock.
Rolling through, Wato applies his own ankle lock, forcing Taguchi to dive to the ropes for a break, but Wato keeps on top of him with kicks and an abdominal stretch driver… only for Taguchi to kick out and go back to the Oh My Garankle. Wato rolls free, then booted Taguchi in the corner before a sunset flip – with a handful of trunks – was reversed as a bare-arsed Taguchi gets the win. This was solid, but never kicked into an upper gear – although I do dig the story they’re doing with Taguchi being smart enough to not be shocked when his trunks get pulled. ***
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Robbie Eagles vs. SHO
Technically a battle of CHAOS members, although Eagles being away for nine months meant a lot of folks probably forgot that!
We’ve a fist bump at the bell, before a headlock takedown and headscissors led to a quick reset. A knuckle lock leads to a test of strength that SHO won out on, despite Eagles’ attempt to reverse the lock… but the Aussie manages to get free and go for a springboard armdrag, only for SHO to block it… and then go in for a cross armbar which instantly ends in the ropes.
Eagles responds with a wheelbarrow roll-through into a Ron Miller Special, but that ends in the ropes, with Eagles coming back with chops. He’s stopped with a knee to the gut, then a kick from SHO, before a standing wristlock and a trip take Eagles down, with the ropes being used to break a key lock. SHO keeps up on the arm, but misses a kick to it as Eagles began to fight back… but he’s met with kicks to the legs before he rolled out and took out SHO’s knees.
SHO’s sent outside for a top con giro that saw Eagles fly into the crowd, but by the time they made it back inside, Eagles could only get a one-count from that. Punches on the mat keep SHO down, ahead of a stomp to the knee with Robbie having to do his own call and refrain. Clap crowds.
Eagles keeps kicking away at SHO’s knee, but SHO returns with a spear and clotheslines in the corner as he looked to chop down the Aussie with more kicks. A PK’s blocked as Eagles tried to counter into a Turbo Backpack, but it’s escaped as Eagles then found a way through with a springboard dropkick to the knee. Mid kicks follow, then running knees in the corner before Eagles misses a low 619… leaving himself prone for a baseball slide dropkick in the corner.
Eagles heads outside, and avoids an apron PK, then lands that low 619 before hitting an Asai DDT, using the ring post for propulsion. Both men manage to beat the count back inside as they begin to throw elbows and clotheslines, but an enziguiri from Eagles edges him ahead momentarily… only for a follow-up headscissors to get blocked as SHO tried to counter… but Eagles lands the ‘rana for a near-fall.
From the kick-out, SHO muscles up Eagles into a Power Breaker, following up with rolling German suplexes. Eagles grabs the ropes to avoid a third, then worked his way into a Turbo Backpack for a near-fall. More work over the knees follows, before Eagles taunted SHO into a strike battle. Kicks to the leg weaken SHO some more, but SHO retaliates with elbows… before he got kicked back to the mat.
A 450 to the leg from Eagles misses, as SHO pushes back, running through a mid-kick to lariat Eagles back down. A cross armbreaker follows from SHO, but there’s a rope break… so SHO pulls Eagles away for a cross-armed piledriver, which nearly gets the win. From there, Eagles flips out of a Shock Arrow as he tries to kick his way free, but a headbutt knocked him back down.
Another head kick from Eagles has him ahead, but also on the mat, before he got up and hit a backflip DDT out of the corner. From there, it’s a 450 to the leg, then the Ron Miller Special to force the submission. A hell of a spirited match with Eagles getting back on track – a banger that’ll likely go under-rated on this tour, I fear… ****
Best of the Super Junior 27 – BUSHI vs. Hiromu Takahashi
With Hiromu having fallen to El Desperado last time out – with some extra-curricular battering as well – he could well be easy pickings for his tag team partner.
We open with a lock-up as Hiromu backs BUSHI into the ropes, before an Irish whip saw BUSHI come back in with a tijeras… but he fakes out a dive as Hiromu ducked by the ring apron. Rushing back in, Hiromu hits a dropkick to take BUSHI out, but he too faked out a dive before putting the boots to his tag partner.
Back-and-forth chops ensue as the crowd clapped along, but BUSHI pulls ahead with a dropkick before a slingshot ‘rana to the outside took Hiromu out. A whip takes Hiromu into the guard rails, then again, before BUSHI began to put the boots to him. Some t-shirt choking waits for Hiromu back inside, then dropkick to the back as Hiromu was draped in the ropes. BUSHI lands a neckbreaker for a two-count, then went down for a STF as Hiromu had to drag himself to the ropes for a break. A slam follows for another two-count, as Hiromu tries to chop his way back into the match, only to get caught with a backdrop suplex for a two-count. More chops, this time from BUSHI, before Hiromu slipped on an Irish whip into the corner… which almost worked out in his favour.
Hiromu’s back with an elbow for a two-count, then a shotgun dropkick, which took BUSHI back outside for a shotgun dropkick off the apron. A Falcon arrow back inside doesn’t quite do the deal, with BUSHI kicking out at two, before clotheslines into the corner were cut-off with a boot… and an overhead kick in the ropes from BUSHI, who headed up for a missile dropkick for extra emphasis.
Hiromu escapes a swinging neckbreaker, but ended up taking a DDT. BUSHI tries to add a Codebreaker, but Hiromu escaped and caught him with a powerbomb instead. A Dynamite Plunger follows for a two-count, but BUSHI creeps back in and hits a backcracker out of the corner to stop that momentum. BUSHI keeps going with a running Codebreaker for a two-count, before a second one was caught by Hiromu… who drops BUSHI on the apron ahead of a superkick.
A sunset bomb’s blocked as BUSHI caught Hiromu in the ropes for a see-saw DDT onto the apron, following up with a tope suicida on the outside, before he rolled Hiromu back inside to set up for the MX… except Hiromu countered it with a Codebreaker of his own. BUSHI nicks back in with a backslide… but Hiromu rolls through as he finally hit the corner death valley driver… only for BUSHI to sneak back with a backslide that rolled through into a low dropkick, and a Magistral cradle for a near-fall.
BUSHI’s back cracker lands next, as did a Codebreaker that nearly flipped Hiromu over… but it’s not enough to put him away. The MX follows, but Hiromu still kicks out… so BUSHI heads up top again, but Hiromu ducks under and throws BUSHI back into the corner with a belly-to-belly. They get to their feet at the 20-minute mark, but there’s not much in those elbows from Hiromu at first… the elbow strikes get swapped back and forth, with Hiromu getting knocked to his knees, only for him to return with a superkick and a lariat.
Hiromu pushes on from there with a Victory Royal, before a Time Bomb 2 was countered into a BUSHI Roll… for a near-fall. The urgency picks up a little there with Hiromu diving in for another lariat, which had BUSHI staggering into the corner, before a shotgun dropkick and another corner death valley driver wore BUSHI down some more. A death valley bomb is next, before the Time Bomb finally got the win. Like the semi, this was a nice, competitive match – but with Hiromu leaps and bounds ahead of BUSHI in the proverbial pecking order, this perhaps was a little more competitive than you’d have expected. ****
World Tag League 2020
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi; Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb; Juice Robinson & David Finlay; SANADA & Shingo Takagi; Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.; Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa; Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (2-1; 4pts)
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (1-2; 2pts)
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens; Toa Henare & Hiroshi Tanahashi (0-3; 0pts)
Best of the Super Junior 27
El Desperado, Robbie Eagles Taiji Ishimori, SHO, Ryusuke Taguchi, Hiromu Takahashi, Master Wato (2-1; 4pts)
BUSHI (1-2; 2pts)
DOUKI, Yuya Uemura (0-3; 0pts)
After three days in a row, we’ve a day off – before embarking on a four-day run, starting Sunday in Nagano with another World Tag League show, as we have Suzuki-gun and the Guerrillas of Destiny in the main event.
A slow burner of a show, with some decent stuff in the first half before things really kicked off after intermission. Make time for the semi- and main events, and you’ll have seen a great hour’s worth of wrestling as the Best of the Super Junior sees a pile-up at the top of the block.