We’ve a tape-delayed round of the Best of the Super Junior, as more names fall going into Saturday’s final round.

Quick Results
Kosei Fujita and Ryohei Oiwa went to a draw in 10:00
Best of the Super Junior 28 – Master Wato pinned BUSHI in 11:15 (***¼)
Best of the Super Junior 28 – Robbie Eagles submitted Yoshinobu Kanemaru in 12:23 (***½)
Best of the Super Junior 28 – YOH pinned El Phantasmo in 14:32 (***¼)
Best of the Super Junior 28 – Taiji Ishimori pinned SHO in 13:30 (***¼)
Best of the Super Junior 28 – El Desperado submitted Ryusuke Taguchi in 18:11 (***¾)
Best of the Super Junior 28 – Hiromu Takahashi pinned DOUKI in 20:34 (***¾)

We’re in the Yawatahama Citizen Sports Center in Ehima for another bare bones outing – no graphics, no commentary, but at least we’ve got more than just the hard camera.

Ryohei Oiwa vs. Kosei Fujita
This didn’t make the VOD, so you’ll have to imagine how they drew…

Best of the Super Junior 28: BUSHI vs. Master Wato
Wato’s already out, but a loss for BUSHI would end his wafer-thin chances here…

We’ve early headscissor attempts from both men as Wato put the boots to BUSHI on the outside, only to fall to a missile dropkick back in the ring. A tope suicida knocks Wato into the timekeeper’s table, but BUSHI returned the favour, throwing Wato into the rails as our first count-out tease ends at 18.

T-shirt choking follows, as does a BUSHI STF, before a double handed chop in the corner picked up a two-count for the masked man. Wato recovers by taking things outside for the tornillo, before a springboard uppercut back inside left BUSHI laying.

Kicks land for a near-fall as Wato pushed on, trying for Recientemente but turning it into an Octopus as it’s blocked. That’s a nice touch. BUSHI returns with a DDT, then with a dropkick as he took Wato between the ropes for a slingshot DDT to the apron… following up with a back cracker in the ropes.

Wato blocks an attempt at Terrible, but eats a rewind enziguiri before he came back with a corkscrew roundhouse kick. Recientemente followed for a two-count, before a Tenzan Tombstone Driver and the RPP gets the win to snuff out whatever feint hopes BUSHI had left. A decent enough opener as Wato continues to escaped the inconsistencies that’s plagued him since his return. ***¼

Best of the Super Junior 28: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Robbie Eagles
Like BUSHI in the prior match, a loss for Kanemaru eliminates him as we’re getting into the business end of the tournament.

Kanemaru jumps Eagles to start, but the Aussie’s back with a springboard armdrag and some headscissors before he could take off his entrance gear. Going after the knees, Kanemaru dropped Eagles into a leg lock, then stomped on the knee some more as Eagles tried to bail outside… only for Kanemaru to wrap the leg around the guard rails.

Back inside, a low dropkick spins Eagles down as Kanemaru’s half crab ended in the ropes, before Kanemaru’s spamming of the knee ended with him taking headscissors and a clothesline to the back. A dropkick and some double knees in the corner get Eagles a two-count, but Kanemaru goes back to the knees with a dropkick of his own before applying a Figure Four.

Eagles holds firm and makes it to the ropes to force a break, before a fight over a suplex ended with Eagles taking Kanemaru to the ropes for a 619 to the back of the knees. A springboard missile dropkick to the knee followed, then an Asai DDT for a two-count, before Eagles pulled himself up top for an attempted 450 splash.

Eagles has to roll through as Kanemaru went back to the knee with a low dropkick… before the pair traded inside cradles to try and snatch the win. From there, Kanemaru heads up top for a moonsault for a near-fall, then again for the Deep Impact… but Eagles ducks it and wangled his way into a Turbo Backpack for a near-fall. Another trip up top for Eagles sees him land a 450 splash to the knees, and then it’s the small matter of the Ron Miller Special that forced Kanemaru to submit – and end his chances of making the finals while Eagles kept his alive. A good contest this, as Eagles managed to err on the right side of his somewhat inconsistent tournament form this time out. ***½

Best of the Super Junior 28: El Phantasmo vs. YOH
A loss for either man could end their tournaments if results later go against them – and with YOH seemingly hitting form right now, this is anyone’s game. Although if we’re talking style, I’m not quite sure I get YOH’s XXXL t-shirt. He’ll grow into it, I guess…

Neither man’s in a hurry to get going, but when we start things are taken to the mat as a chinlock from ELP ends in the ropes. Things head outside as ELP posts YOH, then took it back inside for some back rakes.

ELP works over YOH’s wrist ahead of a spriongboard… back rake. Nipple twisters follow as Phantasmo was all about the cheap tricks, before a leaping forearm from YOH got him back in it. As did some back rakes from YOH, who was fed up with that earlier barrage, before he hit a neckbreaker for a two-count.

ELP claimed that YOH’d cut up his back, but ran into a dropkick as things head outside for a plancha, before more back rakes lead to a Falcon arrow for a near-fall. See-saw roll-ups get two-counts, before an enziguiri from Phantasmo leaves both men laying. They fight back to their feet, exchanging elbows as we cross the ten-minute mark, leading to a German suplex from YOH for a near-fall.

YOH keeps going with a Direct Drive attempt, but it’s countered into a whirlibird neckbreaker ahead of a CR2 attempt… it’s rolled through as YOH traps Phantasmo in the Star Gazer calf slicer, but that ends in the ropes before an over-the-knee brainbuster landed. Another Direct Drive’s blocked as Phantasmo stomped on YOH’s foot, before he… rolled YOH in for a Cattle Mutilation? I think I’ve seen that before…

Phantasmo repositions the Cattle Mutilation, but YOH breaks in the ropes before he took a Sudden Death to the gut. ELP tries to follow up with a moonsault, but misses… and jarred his foot on the landing as YOH capitalises with a Five Star Clutch for the win. A good little match as ELP not following up on the Sudden Death with something more grounded costs him – and likely ends his tournament. ***¼

Best of the Super Junior 28: SHO vs. Taiji Ishimori
SHO’s gone from standing alone at the top of the table to fighting to make the finals as the Murder Machine’s in need of maintenance…

This Bullet Club bonanza started with SHO talking Ishimori into laying down for him, but Ishimori kicks out at two, then baited SHO into an inside cradle before a springboard seated senton took SHO outside for respite. Ishimori followed, dropping SHO throat-first across the rails before he went to remove a corner pad.

Back inside, Ishimori began to work over SHO’s left arm, before a trip outside saw SHO throw a Young Lion into Ishimori before the Bone Soldier got thrown into the rails. That turnaround continued as SHO wrapped Ishimori’s arm around the guard rails, then kicked it in time to the ref’s count, leading to a brief count-out tease.

Ishimori remained on the defensive as he’s thrown into that exposed corner for a two-count, but recovered with a handspring enziguiri, leading to a baseball slide German suplex for a near-fall. SHO’s taken into the exposed corner shoulder-first, then went for Ishimori’s hair as the ref’s used to distract Ishimori ahead of a spear.

SHO jumps back in with a Kimura on Ishimori, before a series of kicks earned a two-count. We cross the ten minute mark with Ishimori powering back in with a Cipher UTAKI, before SHO countered a Bloody Cross by shoving Ishimori into the ref (and into the exposed corner). Cue shenanigans as SHO reaches for his spanner, but a leaping knee disarms him before Ishimori pulled an Eddie Guerrero, acting like he’s been hit with the NEVER trios title belt as the ref came to.

Claiming innocence, SHO’s rolled up for a near-fall, then again as Ishimori had his feet in the ropes, before the ref was unsighted… meaning a low blow and a backslide from Ishimori got the win. They didn’t go too deep into the cheap tricks here, as SHO once again comes undone against a veteran bad guy. He’s a lot to learn. ***¼

Best of the Super Junior 28: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. El Desperado
With four men already at 12 points, Taguchi’s pretty much out… which might explain why he went to sit outside the ring to start. Easy count-out is easy.

Except Taguchi’s attempt to bait Desperado outside almost led him to lose via count-out as the champion didn’t blink. Taguchi makes it back in and into a side headlock, before the push-off saw Desperado get baited into endless rope running. An armdrag eventually has Desperado down, as a side headlock clamped down on the champion with Taguchi looking to get the win there.

Attempted switcheroos lead to Taguchi going back with a side headlock, then with some headscissors as he pulled Desperado into his arse. Eventually Desperado breaks free of the side headlock of doom, pushing Taguchi between the ropes before he swing a chair at the green arse. Not a DQ, because why the hell not?

Desperado takes over by working on Taguchi’s knees, trapping him in a Deathlock before chops wore down Taguchi in the corner. Taguchi’s bid to fight back sees him leap into an atomic drop, before he finally connected with a hip attack at the ten-minute mark. More of those follow for a two-count, before Oh My Garankle was pushed away.

Taguchi reapplied the ankle lock moments later, forcing Desperado into the ropes ahead of a Dodon attempt that’s broken up in the corner. Desperado returns with a back suplex, then with a grounded Dragon screw as a Numeros Dos attempt looked to force a stoppage… but Taguchi crawled into the ropes to force the break.

Pinche Loco looks to follow from Despy, but Taguchi escapes, only to miss an enziguiri as another Numero Dos was attempted. Taguchi countered with an inside cradle for a near-fall, before a hip attack took Desperado outside for a body press… back inside, Taguchi lands a springboard hip attack, then a Bummer-Ye for a near-fall, before the pair battled for their relative submission finishers.

Taguchi tries to get the win with Oh My Garankle, then pulled Desperado up into a Dodon to the Throne… for a near-fall. Another Dodon followed, but Desperado rolls through into Numero Dos, grabbing both arms in the process as Taguchi was forced to submit. This got good late on with Desperado clawing for the win as Taguchi came close to what would have been tagged an upset as Desperado now controls his own fate in the final round. ***¾

Best of the Super Junior 28: DOUKI vs. Hiromu Takahashi
A win for Hiromu sees him join Desperado at the top on 13 points – and keep the pair in pole position for the finals…

DOUKI jumped Hiromu before the bell with a dive, as he then looked to get the win early with a Suplex de la Luna and a DOUKI CHOKI… but Hiromu backs to the outside to break it, only to get thrown into the rails for good measure. Irelandub8 2u

Returning to the ring, DOUKI looked to wear down Hiromu with a chinlock, but that ends in the ropes as Hiromu again headed outside for respite. A springboard stomp from DOUKI keeps him ahead for a two-count, before Hiromu fought out of the corner and came back with some headscissors.

A dropkick from Hiromu takes DOUKI outside, with a shotgun dropkick off the apron following, then a Falcon arrow back inside for a near-fall. DOUKI catches a floatover, but can’t get his backsliding Widow’s Peak off as Hiromu countered with the D, forcing DOUKI into the ropes for a break.

Hiromu tries for a sunset bomb, but instead DOUKI kicks him away and hits an Asai moonsault before the pair fought up to the turnbuckles. DOUKI’s armdrag takes Hiromu back outside, as a flying back senton saw DOUKI SPLAT into Hiromu. I groaned at the noise that made. Back inside, DOUKI lands a Daybreak DDT for a near-fall, before a battle of enziguiri led to a sit-out powerbomb from Hiromu.

Another shotgun dropkick keeps Hiromu ahead, but DOUKI fires back in kind… only to run into an overhead belly-to-belly into the corner. Hiromu adds to that with a death valley driver into the corner, before a Dynamite Plunger’s countered into another DOUKI CHOKI. DOUKI lets go and rolls back into the middle of the ring, but Hiromu breaks his grip… only to get maneuvered back into the DOUKI CHOKI anyway.

Once again, Hiromu tries to make it to the ropes, before he hit a Flatliner to counter a Suplex de la Luna attempt. DOUKI ducks a Hiromu-chan Bomber to hit a clothesline of his own, before he tried to snatch a win with a seatbelt pin. From the kick-out, Hiromu’s back with the Hiromu-chan Bomber, then a Victory Royale for a near-fall, as we approached the 20-minute mark. Another Hiromu-chan Bomber followed, then a Time Bomb… and that’s your lot. It sure did feel like the 20-minute mark was the cue for the finish, because that felt like they cut out a fair bit of the home stretch – not that it changed the result, as we set up for a sensational Saturday finale. ***¾

We’re down to one round left in the tournament – and right now El Desperado and Hiromu Takahashi control their fate. Desperado faces El Phantasmo on Saturday, while Hiromu’s got Robbie Eagles in a battle of former junior champions – but a loss for either of them opens the door for someone else to sneak in, with a headache-inducing number of permutations in front of us.

El Desperado, Hiromu Takahashi (6-3-1 / 13pts)
Robbie Eagles, Taiji Ishimori, SHO, YOH (6-4 / 12pts)
El Phantasmo (5-5 / 10pts) – Eliminated
BUSHI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato (4-6 / 8pts) – Eliminated
DOUKI (2-8 / 4pts) – Eliminated

Saturday’s live show in Hyogo is the final round of the tournament, which’ll determine the top two that’ll face off in Wednesday’s finals at Ryogoku Kokugikan. Robbie Eagles vs. Hiromu Takahashi is taking the main event spot, and thus is your big chance of an upset…

Another good night in the Best of the Super Junior sets the stage for a tantalising finale on Saturday – and while this tournament hasn’t been a “match of the year generator” as some would have expected in years gone by, it’s definitely been the better of the two tournaments on this tour.