New Japan Best Of Super Juniors 1996
review by Geordie Angus

Semi Finals

Jushin Lyger vs. El Samurai

JIP with Samurai working a half boston crab. Lyger counters with an enziguri and hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker, then slaps on the table top submission, which he seques into the inverted surfboard and a camel clutch. He delivers the Capo Kick and a brainbuster for 2. He knocks Samurai around with some palm strikes and another Capo Kick in the corner. Samurai responds with a missile dropkick and a tope suicida. Back in the ring, Samurai gets a powerbomb off the top for 2. Lyger gets a WICKED release german for 2. He falls prey to an inverted DDT, however. Samurai hits the Thunderfire Bomb for 2 and a flying headbutt for 2. Lyger hits a tombstone slam, but misses a knee drop off the top. Samurai goes after the knee with a series of dropkicks. He switches to the arm shortly after with a grounded octopus. Lyger fights out of the hold and gets a palm strike for 2. Lyger with a powerbomb for 2, a drop toehold, and La Majestral for 3. Good little match, might have been better had it been shown in full though. ***1/2

Black Tiger vs. Wild Pegasus

Can’t EVER go wrong with these two. Benoit takes control early with a surfboard, a hammerlock and a front facelock. Tiger applies the gory special. They go into a pinfall reversal sequence and a test of strength. Tiger breaks that up with a headscissors takeover. Benoit regroups and puts Tiger in a bridging indian deathlock. Tiger makes the ropes and delivers a dragonscrew legwhip, then goes to a legbar. Benoit breaks the hold and slaps on a PAINFUL looking boston crab. Tiger responds with a poke to the eye and the slingshot hilo. He puts Benoit on the ramp and delivers another hilo. Back in, Benoit hits a back suplex for 2 and grabs a sleeper. Tiger fights to the ropes and snaps off a rana for 1. Benoit puts him right back in the sleeper, however. Tiger elbows out and hits a shoulderblock. Benoit knocks him down, though, and goes back to the sleeper right away. Tiger fires off a headscissors, but Benoit STILL keeps working the sleeper, this time with an added bodyscissors. Tiger gets a rollup for 2. Benoit re-applies the sleeper and hits the KILL DIE powerbomb, but not the flying headbutt. Tiger backdrops Benoit outside, but misses a planca. Benoit whips him into the railing and delivers a tope suicida. In the ring, Tiger slips out of another powerbomb and gets a brainbuster, followed by the Frog Splash for 2. Benoit turns another sleeper into the Dragon Suplex for 2. Benoit with a tombstone piledriver for 2 and a back superplex. Tiger gets the Black Tiger Bomb for 2 and a rana off the top for 2, then a brainbuster off the top for 3. Awesome match. These guys were the masters at this point, and this shows why. ****1/2


Jushin Lyger vs. Black Tiger

They trade waistlocks and Tiger slaps on a headscissors. Lyger counters with an indian deathlock. Tiger goes to a full nelson, and then a wristlock. Lyger flips out and legsweeps Tiger down. After jocking for position, Tiger puts Lyger in an STF and a camel clutch. Lyger powers out and they go to a test of strength. Tiger takes Lyger down with a rana and goes to a figure four. Lyger turns the move over, and they end up in the ropes. Lyger locks in the table top submission, the inverted surfboard and a camel clutch of his own. Lyger hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker for 2 and goes to a grounded abdominal stretch. Tiger escapes and gets a back elbow, then a powerbomb and the slingshot hilo. Tiger puts his focus back on Lyger’s leg with a legbar. Lyger quickly counters the hold, however, with a headscissors and a keylock. Lyger hits Tiger with a Capo Kick in the corner. He knocks Tiger off the top with a palm strike and delivers a planca off the top. In the ring, Lyger connects with a powerbomb for 2 and a brainbuster for 2. Tiger dumps Lyger back outside and hits him with a top rope planca of his own. Inside the ring, Tiger misses a splash off the top and Lyger slaps on La Majestral for 2. Lyger gets the fishermans buster for 2. Tiger gets a victory roll for 2. Lyger responds with a palm strike for 2, a BIG release german suplex and the Jumping Lygerbomb for 2. Tiger counters a Tornado DDT from Lyger with a brainbuster and hits the Black Tiger Bomb for 2. To the top, and Lyger
counters a superplex with a crossbody for 2. Lyger hits Tiger’s arm with a jumping knee drop off the top and puts him in a cross armbreaker. Tiger makes the ropes and delivers a top rope brainbuster for the win. Awesome, awesome match. Eddie FINALLY gets the big win in japan that he always deserved. ****1/4

Written by Geordie Angus, who can be reached at

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