Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 7

The second half of Best of the Super Juniors XXII kicked off with a Korakuen Hall show that aired live (and in its entirety) on New Japan World. Taking place on Saturday, May 30, the event hosted three round-robin tournament matches, as well as an undercard featuring other BOSJ competitors and some of New Japan’s top stars. Let’s get right into it — but in case you missed ’em, here are our results of the first six shows:

Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 1

Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 2

Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 3

Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 4

Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 5

Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 6

HonmaTanaka

1. Tomoaki Honma and David Finlay, Jr. defeated Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka in 11:34 when Honma pinned Tanaka. This is the first time I ever noticed how much Finlay looks like his father. Well, that’s genetics for you. Tanaka and Honma started off trading forearms, with Tanaka knocking Honma down after several of the running variety. They tagged out, and Finlay and Komatsu took over with mat wrestling, leading to Komatsu taking Finlay down with a botched hurricanrana (or an innovative body-scissors). Komatsu tagged out, but Honma and Finlay quickly got the heat on Tanaka, working his leg. After a dropkick to Finlay, Tanaka made the hot tag to Komatsu, who hit Finlay with a somersault attack and followed up with a Boston crab. Honma made the save and chopped Komatsu, but missed the Ko-Kokeshi. Komatsu tagged Tanaka, who hit Honma with a gutwrench suplex and locked him in a half crab. Finlay tried to interfere, but Komatsu grabbed him in a half crab, as well. Honma made it to the rope, but the young lion tandem hit him with a double dropkick, then Tanaka followed up with a big German suplex for two. Honma came back with a Kokeshi Rocket, though, then hit the Kokeshi from the top for the win. This started off slow, but got good — and with Honma and Komatsu, how could it not? Tanaka also looked great. ***

CavernarioWhite

2. Barbaro Cavernario and Chase Owens defeated Tiger Mask IV and Jay White in 9:59 when Owens pinned White. White and Cavernario started off with some comedy, as Cavernario rubbed his armpit, licked his hand, and dangled spit out of his mouth. He attempted to tag Owens, but the former NWA Junior Heavyweight Champion would have none of it. White, who’s really technically solid, wrestled Cavernario a bit, then both sides tagged out (Owens could avoid Cavernario’s stink hand no longer). Owens pet the fur on Tiger Mask’s mask, which didn’t endear him to the veteran. After a tag by Tiger Mask, the heels got the heat on White, with Cavernario powerbombing him into the corner for a near-fall. White got his needs up on a Cavernario Vader Bomb, but he couldn’t get the tag, as Owens pulled Tiger Mask off the apron. Finally, White hit Owens with a DDT, then sent Cavernario packing with a back body drop en route to making the tag. Tiger Mask came in with a crossbody, then avoided a Cavernario knee that hit Owens. He got a crucifix on Cavernario, but Owens managed to make the save. The heels almost fought each other, but cooler heads prevailed and they double-teamed Tiger Mask. The six-time Junior Heavyweight Champion fought back with a dropkick on Owens and a Tiger Driver on Cavernario. He tagged White, who came in on fire, hitting Cavernario with a missile dropkick, but Owens caught him with a gutbuster. Cavernario dove out onto Tiger Mask, leaving Owens to hit White with the Package Piledriver for the pin. Really enjoyable match, and I actually thought Owens and Cavernario made a good “odd couple”-style tag team. ***1/4

RainmakerHall

3. Kazuchika Okada and Roppongi Vice defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Nick Jackson, and Cody Hall in 12:55 when Okada pinned Hall. Jackson and Beretta started things off, trading quick offense and crotch chops. When Jackson went out to the apron, he, of course, decided to come in with a slingshot DDT, so Beretta caught him and gave him the northern lights suplex back in. Quick fix: have the guy on the apron hook Beretta for a suplex, then Beretta does the northern lights. At least that’s something you see more often. Roppongi Vice doubled teamed Jackson a bit, then Okada tagged in. Jackson tagged out to Yujiro, and Okada hit him with a tope atomico before crotch-chopping the corner, which sent an angry Jackson tripping into the ring. Okada, I should mention, didn’t have blond hair anymore — it was a greyish-purplish-brown, like cheap brown dye that’s fading. Still, it’s Okada, so he pulled it off. They tagged to Romero and Jackson, and Romero ran wild, hitting corner lariats. Cody Hall caught him on the outside, though, and gave him a snake eyes on the apron. Jackson followed up with a superkick, and they got the heat on the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion. Finally, Romero came back, avoiding a Hall lariat (which took out Yujiro) and a Jackson apron moonsault (which took out Hall) to tag Okada. “The Rainmaker” DDTed Yujiro, but “Mr. Rated R” came back with a fisherman’s buster. He tagged Hall and the heels hit corner attacks on Okada, followed by a Hall discus lariat. Roppongi Vice came in with a double lariat on Hall, but he actually jumped over it. They turned their attention to Jackson and Yujiro while Okada hit Hall with THE dropkick. He followed up with a top rope elbow drop, then hit the Rainmaker for the win. Fun match, but on a show this strong from top to bottom, this was on the lower end of the spectrum. ***

MakabeKO

4. Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazushi Sakuraba, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, Meiyu Tag, and Captain New Japan in 16:50 when Yano pinned Captain New Japan. As usual, the match started off with the wrestlers pairing off with their Pay-Per-View opponents — first, Nakamura and Goto traded hard strikes, then Shibata and Sakuraba tried to get one another in a guard, then Ishii and Makabe ran into each other. Ishii hit Makabe with a headbutt that absolutely laid him out, knocking him from the ring and sending the babyface team into a panic. Makabe made it back inside after the 18 count, but CHAOS went to work on him. Nakamura laid into Makabe with knees and kicks, but Makabe came back with a double lariat to the former Intercontinental Champion and Toru Yano. He nailed Ishii with another lariat, then tagged Goto, who nailed Nakamura with a spinning heel kick, a backdrop, and an ushikoroshi. Nakamura escaped an attempt at a Shouten Kai and hit the Boma Ye, only for Sakuraba and Shibata to get back in the ring and go at it. Sakuraba nearly locked Shibata in a triangle, but “The Wrestler” blocked it. Sakuraba tagged YOSHI-HASHI and Shibata tagged Tanahashi, but YOSHI-HASHI hit the “Ace of the Universe” with the head hunter. CHAOS cleared the remaining babyfaces off the apron, but they came back in and everybody hit everybody else with everything. Tanahashi nailed YOSHI-HASHI with the Sling Blade, but he got his knees up on the High Fly Flow and tagged Toru Yano. They traded hair pulls and Tanahashi tagged Captain New Japan, who missed a diving headbutt. He hit Yano with the uranage, leading to a bench-clearing brawl, but of course, Yano and the Captain were left standing in the ring. Yano pulled CNJ’s costume over his face, then pushed the referee away. Tanahashi ran in, but Yano nailed him and Cap with stereo low blows, then pinned Captain New Japan. Post-match there were a lot of staredowns, but Makabe and Ishii just started beating on each other again. This was a great match that diverged from the usual multi-man tag (they got the heat on a name guy, there was no brawling around the arena) to its benefit. ***3/4

LigerGedo

5. Jushin Liger [A, 2 points] pinned Gedo [A, 4 points] in 12:36. Tomoaki Honma, whose vocal cords were crushed long ago, joined the commentary team during intermission, so for the rest of the show it sounded like Satan was really enjoying a night of New Japan action. They wrestled to start, with Liger getting the better of it. Gedo nearly got the Gedo Clutch out of nowhere, but Liger escaped and continued to dominate until Gedo dropkicked him in the knee. Gedo rolled out of the ring and slammed Liger’s leg into the ringpost twice. He then grabbed a fan’s chair, and when referee Marty Asami took at and put it down, Gedo pulled Liger’s nether-regions into the post. Back inside, Gedo worked Liger’s leg over with a grapevine, then an Indian deathlock, and finally a figure four leglock. Liger rolled to the ropes to force a break, and when Gedo attempted the hold again, Liger rolled him up for two and hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Gedo came back with a guillotine over the ropes, then covered Liger with his feet on the ropes for leverage, but when Asami noticed the infraction, he stopped the count. Gedo and Asami got into a shoving match, then Liger rolled Gedo up for two. Gedo stopped a la magistral attempt and stayed on top for two, but Liger escaped a Gedo Clutch and hit a Thesz Press for a two count of his own. Liger got another near-fall off a shotei, then tried a Brainbuster, but Gedo slipped out. Liger got behind him, pulled his hands between his legs to flip him over, and hooked Gedo’s legs with his legs to get the pin. Good match with great heat, though the finish was a little flat — Liger’s shoulders looked like they were down when he was pinning Gedo, so I didn’t know if it was going to be ruled a draw. His shoulders were up, but it was close. ***1/4

TaguchiOReilly

6. Ryusuke Taguchi [A, 4 points] submitted Kyle O’Reilly [A, 6 points] in 13:15. Taguchi came out to the ring with a banana in his tights. Seriously, it was a banana, he took it out. O’Reilly wasn’t amused. They started off with some wrestling, but quickly moved into submission attempts — O’Reilly tried to get the Armageddon, Taguchi briefly countered into an Ankle Lock, and O’Reilly kicked him off. After some narrowly missed attacks — one guy did soccer style kicks and the other guy tried to use his butt as a weapon, and you can guess which was which — Taguchi tried for a sunset flip, but O’Reilly countered into the Armageddon. Taguchi got to the rope, but O’Reilly continued to work the arm. When O’Reilly went for a sunset flip, Taguchi rolled out of it and hit a dropkick to make his comeback. He hit another at O’Reilly’s behest, but on the third, O’Reilly avoided the legs and locked on a Scorpion Deathlock. Taguchi got to the rope, then fought back with Funky Weapons and a somersault plancha. After countering a sunset flip attempt with a butt drop, Taguchi went for the Three Amigos. O’Reilly blocked the third and tried to hit three rolling butterfly suplexes, but Taguchi blocked the third and hit a front suplex. They got up and traded forearms, but O’Reilly put Taguchi down with a striking combination. Taguchi came back with an enzuigiri, but O’Reilly bounced off the ropes and hit the McGuinness lariat. He followed up with a cradle backdrop hold, but Taguchi kicked out. Taguchi blocked a brainbuster and slapped O’Reilly, and they both did the rubber leg sell. O’Reilly jumped on Taguchi, grabbing a guillotine, but Taguchi picked his foot and turned it into an Ankle Lock. O’Reilly stood up and tried to turn it into a Scorpion Deathlock, but Taguchi rolled him up for two. Back up, Taguchi hit the Dodon for two, then slapped on the Ankle Lock once more for the submission. This was a high-energy, action-packed match that went a long way toward making the tournament feel like a junior version of the G1. ***1/2

FishK

7. KUSHIDA [B, 6 points] submitted Bobby Fish [B, 4 points] in 16:29. KUSHIDA got the better of Fish in the early goings, easily out-wrestling him, so Fish threw the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion to the outside and gave him a dragon screw on the arena floor. He continued to work the leg with methodical (but entertaining) offense — he trapped it between his knees and dropped to the mat, he hit it with a tope atomico, and he even locked in the Fish Hook Deluxe Edition, but KUSHIDA got to the ropes. Fish climbed to the top, but the Time Splitter rolled across the ring. Fish climbed down, attacked him again, and climbed up top again, but when he leapt off with a diving headbutt, KUSHIDA moved. The former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion made his comeback, hitting a handspring back elbow and grabbing the Hoverboard Lock. Fish maneuvered his arm so that it was in front of his torso, reducing the pressure, then grabbed the rope. KUSHIDA continued to work on the arm, then knocked Fish out of the ring and hit him with a somersault plancha. Back inside, he hit a handspring kick and got the Hoverboard Lock, but again, Fish got his arm in front of his body and made the ropes. The Time Splitter tried to stay of offense but Fish took control, hitting a Samoan drop and an exploder suplex into the turnbuckle. KUSHIDA tried to fight back with a kick, but Fish got his leg up, damaging the New Japan native’s leg once again. Fish hit a sit-out suplex slam, then put KUSHIDA on the top turnbuckle. He managed to knock Fish off by wrenching his arm, but the former Ring of Honor World Tag Team Champion got back up and hit a sit-out superplex slam. He covered for two, but the way he went for the pin allowed him to transition from the kick-out straight into the Fish Hook Deluxe Edition. KUSHIDA got to the ropes and stayed there, leaving Red Shoes Unno to hold Fish back from attacking him further. That slowed down the momentum a bit. The former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion hit a Complete Shot into the turnbuckle, then did the Time Splitters salute and went for the Shiranui, but Fish caught him on his shoulders. He went for a gutbuster, but KUSHIDA caught Fish’s arm on the way down and put him in the Hoverboard Lock for the submission. This was a great match with a great finish. After the bout, the Time Splitter sent a shout-out to his injured partner, Alex Shelley. ***3/4

This was the best show of the tournament thus far, and things are only going to heat up as we head into the home stretch! We’ll be back with a look at Night 8 — including full reviews of the show’s three tournament matches — but before we go, let’s look at the standings:

Block A —

Kyle O’Reilly — 6 points
Ryusuke Taguchi — 6 points
Beretta — 4 points
Barbaro Cavernario — 4 points
Gedo — 4 points
Jushin Liger — 4 points
Chase Owens — 4 points
Yohei Komatsu — 0 points

Block B —

KUSHIDA — 8 points
Nick Jackson — 6 points
Mascara Dorada — 6 points
Rocky Romero — 6 points
Tiger Mask IV — 6 points
Bobby Fish — 4 points
Alex Shelley — 2 points
David Finlay, Jr. — 0 points

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3 responses to “Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 7

  1. Pingback: Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 8 | King of Sports·

  2. Pingback: Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 9 | King of Sports·

  3. Pingback: Best of the Super Juniors XXII, Night 9 | King of Sports·

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