Another day, another bunch of flips to talk about. Let’s not waste any time and just talk about those flips. I’m Joe from SteelChair and this is the Best of the Super Juniors…
BOSJ Tournament Match: Tiger Mask vs Flip Gordon
So, I’m willing to admit that maybe it was a little harsh to say “Fuck Flip Gordon”. This is not to say that he’s my new favourite but this was pretty good. What’s nice about this tour are seeing little adjustments Flip is making to his act based on what he’s learning as he goes along such as when he lands on one foot after a bit of rope running so hits a one-leg standing moonsault then again there was also his dreadful sell of a backbreaker where he nearly seemed to actually break Tiger Mask’s knee and you can see Tiger’s not happy about it. Basically, I try not to be biased in these reviews but I was really hoping Mr. Mask would make it through the entire Block undefeated and especially not defeated by this flippy little berk. Personal feelings aside, the action here was good, the best Gordon’s looked this entire tournament apart from when Suzuki was kicking him in the head, Tiger works a slower style than most Juniors but having that pacing allowed Gordon to actually shine in his fundamentals instead of hiding behind flash, that said, it still could have done with a bit more energy behind it. Flip got the pin off a Springboard 450 splash.
Winner: Flip Gordon
BOSJ Tournament Match: ACH vs YOH
This is what people want from the Super Juniors, just mad stuff done quick. If you don’t think ACH is one of the most underrated performers in the world, hopefully, it’s because you properly rate him. Now, the main moment of this match that I want to highlight is when ACH, upon the top rope, dramatically ripped off all his arm tape, presumably to try and make an elbow drop more effective before Yoh jumped up and did his best Seth Rollins impression as he hit a superplex into a falcon arrow for a convincing near fall. It’s great because it shows both men’s strengths as ACH is a good boy when it comes to flips and striking but is also a superior storyteller where Yoh isn’t quite up there yet, he sure can pull out impressive stuff when needed to but also, he really didn’t need a win here. The Roppongi boys are going to be fine coming out of this tournament but ACH really does deserve a bigger place in the company than the one he currently has. ACH won via Package Hammerlock DDT for a pinfall.
BOSJ Tournament Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Taiji Ishimori
There are going to be those out there who are going to say it’s wrong for Ishimori to be taking two losses in a row, especially as both were basically THE SAME ENDING and you know what? I’m not going to argue with those people as this was kind of a shit anticlimax to a rather good match with Ishimori working defacto hero position, he got to bust out asai moonsaults and all sorts of fun things, not everyone needs to work a spotfest in these matches but heck, if SANADA can use a moonsault finish and still be booed, it doesn’t hurt if you can do something to get the crowd’s attention, also, the boy can apply perfect cravate holds. Kanemaru, here, actually seemed motivated, trying to keep up with a younger, hungrier talent instead of coasting and it showed as there was actual tension, that said, it fell short of being great by an ending that didn’t so much seem to come out of nowhere as just stop the match dead in its tracks and just as it was really hitting a good crescendo. Shame, really. Oh, the ending in question was a roll-up by Uncle Kanemaru.
Winner: Yoshinobu Kanemaru
BOSJ Tournament Match: Will Ospreay vs BUSHI
You got one BUSHI, you go BUSHI. Sure, it’s 1 in 4 but that one is the current champion so that means something, doesn’t it? It’s why EVIL has such a big position in the company at the moment. All things aside, this was, for the most part, a very good match, the kind that both men should have been having throughout this tournament with good, clean dynamics, a simple structure and committed performances, especially from Ospreay who was selling his arse off for the entire match, possibly verging on overselling (that last flip off the MX was too much). If the match had some of the fat trimmed off, it would have felt more effective where after another sprinting start, it didn’t have anywhere to build and lost some heat early on but managed to recover well. BUSHI won with a pin off the MX second-rope codebreaker.
This was without a doubt, the best day for Block A so far. More like this please.