Yesterday wasn’t the best start but you know what, that’s the nature of these things, you have a bad day, you move on and have a better tomorrow. That aforementioned tomorrow is today and that today is now so now, join us for the second show of NJPW: BOSJ and the first day of Block B’s tournament action, let’s find out what went down…
Shota Umino def. Yota Tsuji // Submission
CHAOS (Will Ospreay, Yoh & YOSHI-HASHI) def. ACH, Tiger Mask & Tomoyuki Oka // Submission
Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minoru Suzuki) def. Flip Gordon & Toa Henare // Pinfall
Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & SANADA) def. Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & Chase Owens) // Submission
BOSJ Tournament Match: Dragon Lee vs Sho
There’s a lot of overuse of chants within the Western Wrestling scene, two of the biggest culprits for me of over and misuse are ‘You Deserve It’ and ‘Fight Forever’. That said, this is one of those rare matches where I’d say fight forever would be an appropriate response. Much like Yoh’s match yesterday, a large portion of this was one half of Roppongi3k trying to prove that they were singles performers as well as tag specialists and on the basis of this, as good and charismatic as Yoh was, Sho really shone here, matching the CMLL star move-for-move including some beautiful suplex and submissions trading. What really shone here was the ability of both men to keep the sympathies of the audience split as despite neither man being a particular villain also both men still were the hero coming out of it also the sheer smoothness of their transitions, this was some next level chemistry. I think if given a little more time, they could have tied in the limb work to make for a more dramatic structure but for that Super Juniors sprint-style, this was a perfectly good block opener. Dragon Lee wins with the Desnucadora vertical suplex bomb for the pin.
Winner: Dragon Lee
BOSJ Tournament Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs El Desperado
From the sublime to the ridiculous, here was a match all about Despy putting in limb work and the limb in question, was Taguchi’s Funky Weapon itself. This won’t be everyone’s cup of tea as it can be quite jarring seeing the sudden shifts in Taguchi’s performance style from bum-heavy comedy wrestler to legitimate technical wrestler but especially for the audience there, what can’t be overlooked is the man’s ability to sell whatever his opponent is giving him and make them buy into him. This was a little more standard than the opener but with some strong performances and a fiery comeback sequence that had the audience very vocal, it’s still worth a warch. Despy wins after a referee distraction with a low blow and a cradle for the pin.
Winner: El Desperado
BOSJ Tournament Match: KUSHIDA vs Chris Sabin
A crisp, technical affair between the two tag partners of Alex Shelley that felt exactly like the kind of action that BOSJ is about. This felt far more of a KUSHIDA match than a Sabin as it was laid out more like a marathon combat sports match than a pro-wrestling encounter but the former TNA Heavyweight champion managed to not just keep up with KUSHIDA but at times, particularly the finish, outdo him. If anything, the only issue here was that in comparison to the opener, with two currently beloved figures in the ring, there was two much respect and not enough actual animosity or vigour to actually push it over the boundary from technically sound into dramatically satisfying but as a re-introduction for the New Japan audience to Sabin, it was superb. I expect to see both of these men doing big things in the tournament going on. Sabin got the pin off the Cradle Shock II fisherman’s driver
Winner: Chris Sabin
BOSJ Tournament Match: Marty Scurll vs Hiromu Takahashi
Time to engage in a bit or a lot of hyperbole but man, this one was not just the best Takahashi match since Wrestle Kingdom, the best Juniors match since Wrestle Kingdom but Scurll’s best match in New Japan thus far. While occasionally the action had occasional bumps in smoothness, the actual structuring and build of intensity was practically perfect as it’s good to see that Scurll has been tailoring his moveset around putting pressure on the neck in order to set up for his Crossface Chickenwing finish. It’s only right considering his nickname is the ‘Ticking Timebomb’ but Takahashi is such a good hero figure because he can work from underneath but it’s his time to burst out and take control, he fully explodes generating a sheer amount of energy that is unrivalled in the division, the company, the world? Lengthy tournament runs like this are also good opportunities to test out new finishers and finishing idea so it was a pleasant surprise that here, Takahashi did just that, instead of using any of his high impact moves, went for a Triangle Choke that it looked like Scurll would break with a powerbomb but Takahashi held on leading Scurll to pass out, though Takahashi had to be practically pried off because he’s still mental. This was like the old Scurll, less of the Being the Elite shtick & time-wasting and more grapple-bastard fearmongering and I can see Scurll being a big name in the division for as long as he wants to be.
Winner: Hiromu Takahashi