A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: May 23rd, 2015 and May 25th, 2015
Location: Kuki City Gymnasium and Tsubame Citizen Gymnasium
Announced Attendance: 810 and 1,280 (respectively)
For the next few days of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament, New Japan only posted the tournament matches onto NJPW World. Which is fine with me, because they were small shows that I had no interest in seeing the multi-man tag matches from anyway. So this makes my job easier. Therefore I will just be reviewing the tournament matches, and so that the review isn't super short I will do two days within the same review. First, here are the standings going into the events:
|El Barbaro Cavernario 
Jushin Thunder Liger 
Kyle O'Reilly 
|Alex Shelley 
Bobby Fish 
Tiger Mask 
David Finlay Jr.
Here are the matches from these two events I will be reviewing:
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Gedo vs. Yohei Komatsu
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: KUSHIDA vs. Nick Jackson
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Barreta vs. Chase Owens
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: David Finlay Jr. vs. Máscara Dorada
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Bobby Fish vs. Tiger Mask
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kyle O'Reilly
Unfortunately, Alex Shelley was injured on 5/22 in his match against David Finlay Jr., and will miss the rest of the tournament. All his matches will be forfeits going forward. Let's get started.
Gedo vs. Yohei Komatsu
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They trade some simple holds to start until Komatsu hits a shoulderblock, sending Gedo out of the ring. He returns after a moment and this time Gedo hits the shoulderblock. Hiptoss by Komatsu and he hits a dropkick, and Gedo bails again. Komatsu goes out after him but Gedo knocks him to the floor and punches Komatsu in the head. This wide out camera sucks, just for the record, I feel like I have the worst view in the house. Back in the ring Gedo promptly throws him out again, punches by Gedo and they return to the ring. Gedo knocks Komatsu down in the corner, Komatsu starts fighting back but Gedo rakes his eyes. Gedo and Komatsu trade chops and then elbows, which Komatsu gets the better of. Komatsu Irish whips Gedo from the corner, it is reversed, but Komatsu hits a jumping elbow smash. Single arm suplex hold by Komatsu, he goes up top but Gedo avoids him when he dives off. Punches by Gedo and he hits a jawbreaker followed by a superkick while Komatsu is seated on the mat. Cover, but Komatsu gets a shoulder up. Gedo goes for the Complete Shot but Komatsu elbows out of it, Gedo goes off the ropes but Komatsu hits a rolling single leg crab hold. Gedo gets to the ropes, Komatsu goes for a double leg crab hold but Gedo kicks him off. Schoolboy by Gedo but that gets a two count, kick by Komatsu but Gedo snaps off the Complete Shot. Gedo Clutch by Gedo and he gets the three count! This was an ok match, but it had a lot of time wasting and it didn't pick up until the last few minutes. This far off camera isn't helping either, makes it harder to really connect to what they are doing in the ring. Komatsu is fun and Gedo is having a good year, but a pretty average encounter here.
El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They circle around to start, Taguchi gets Cavernario to the mat and goes for the ankle but Cavernario gets out of it. Wristlock by Cavernario ad he gets Taguchi's leg but Taguchi gets out of it and they return to their feet. Side headlock by Taguchi but Cavernario gets out of it and slaps Taguchi in the corner. Irish whip by Cavernario but Taguchi jumps over him, armdrag by Cavernario but Taguchi returns the favor. Taguchi picks up Cavernario and hits a scoop slam, cover, but it gets two. Headscissors by Taguchi but Cavernario gets a foot on the ropes. Taguchi sits down on Cavernario multiple times, he picks him up and he hits a hip attack. Running hip attacks by Taguchi while Cavernario is in the ropes but Cavernario fires back with a lariat for a two count. Footstomp by Cavernario and he removes a turnbuckle pad. Kick by Taguchi, he tries to throw Cavernario into the exposed corner but Cavernario slams on the breaks. Cavernario kicks Taguchi out to the floor and then from the apron dives between the ropes with a tope suicida. Cavernario slides Taguchi back in and he hits a springboard reverse splash. He goes for it again but Taguchi gets his feet up and he hits a hip attack. Cavernario falls out of the ring and Taguchi dives out onto him with a tope con hilo. Back in the ring, Taguchi goes up top and he delivers a diving hip attack. Cover, but Cavernario kicks out. Taguchi charges Cavernario but Cavernario kicks him back, he goes for a missile dropkick but Taguchi catches him with a powerbomb. Taguchi goes off the ropes and he nails the sliding hip attack, and he picks up the three count! This was rough and sometimes not logical. For example, Cavernario removing the pad didn't make any sense, he doesn't normally do that and it really didn't mean anything in the match. When a match is under nine minutes there shouldn't be any time killing like that, just go. There just wasn't any flow to it as some of the transitions weren't great either. Very skippable match.
KUSHIDA vs. Nick Jackson
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. KUSHIDA works the headlock to start and he hits a shoulderblock, he goes off the ropes and KUSHIDA hits a dropkick. Jackson rolls out of the ring but KUSHIDA taunts him, Jackson quickly tries to re-enter but he trips and rolls back out. KUSHIDA knees Jackson as he gets back in and he chops him against the ropes. Atomic drop by KUSHIDA and he dropkicks Jackson in the knee before hitting a cartwheel dropkick. KUSHIDA rolls out to the apron, he grabs Jackson and snaps his arm over the top rope. He goes to do it again but Jackson blocks it and hits a springboard dropkick. Jackson kicks KUSHIDA from the apron before going outside the ring to get KUSHIDA. Back in, Jackson puts KUSHIDA in a crab hold but KUSHIDA gets to the ropes. Backbreaker by Jackson and he covers KUSHIDA for two. Jackson hits a cartwheel into a back scratch, punches by Jackson and he clubs KUSHIDA in the back. Irish whip attempt by Jackson but KUSHIDA blocks it, elbow by Jackson but KUSHIDA kicks him when he goes for a back bodydrop. KUSHIDA flips himself on the apron and he snaps Jackson's arm over the top rope. Swandive elbow by KUSHIDA and he hits a few more, Irish whip by KUSHIDA, reversed, and KUSHIDA hits a handspring elbow strike. Tilt-a-whirl armdrag by KUSHIDA and he goes for the Hoverboard Lock, but Jackson gets into the ropes. KUSHIDA hits an armbreaker and a roaring elbow, but Jackson hits a high kick. Superkick by Jackson and they trade elbows, kicks by KUSHIDA but Jackson rakes his eyes. Handstand kick by KUSHIDA, Jackson falls out of the ring and KUSHIDA goes up top, but Jackson slides back in and dumps KUSHIDA out of the ring. KUSHIDA jumps off the apron but Jackson catches him with a superkick on the way down. Jackson slides KUSHIDA in, he goes up top and he hits a swanton to KUSHIDA's back for a two count. Jackson applies a crab hold but KUSHIDA gets out of it, superkick by Jackson but KUSHIDA hits an overhead kick. Running swinging leg kick by Jackson, he goes up top and he nails the 450 Splash for the three count! I thought this was a really solid match and a step above the last two. The last few minutes were smooth as butter, both are so good, my only real complaint is that I wish the match had gone a bit longer. Really good effort. Mildly Recommended
Barreta vs. Chase Owens
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They jockey for position to start Barreta offers a handshake but Owens doesn't accept. Kick by Owens, Irish whip, and he hits a back elbow. Irish whip again but Barreta sneaks in a sunset flip for two. Chops by Barreta, Irish whip, and he hits a back elbow. Standing moonsault by Barreta, cover, but it gets two. Barreta applies a headscissors but Owens gets out of it, lariat by Barreta and Owens is knocked out of the ring. Barreta goes for a dive but Owens jumps up on the apron and kicks Barreta in the head. Slingshot Codebreaker by Owens, cover, but it gets a two count. Uppercut by Owens and he Irish whips Barreta hard into the corner. Owens goes to the second turnbuckle and he clubs Barreta in the back of the head. Headlock by Owens but Barreta punches and chops his way out of it. Boot by Barreta, he gets on the second turnbuckle but Owens trips him, sending Barreta crashing into the turnbuckles before flopping to the mat. Snap suplex by Owens, cover, but it gets two. Owens picks up Barreta, Irish whip to the corner and he hits a jumping elbow. Owens goes up top but Barreta dropkicks him as he jumps off. Chops and elbows by Barreta and he hits an enzigieri. Jumping elbow by Barreta in the corner and he delivers a tornado DDT for a two count. Barreta waits for Owens to get up but Owens avoids the kick and hits a swinging backbreaker for a two. Owens charges Barreta but Barreta footstomps him in the chest, he goes up top and he hits a diving footstomp to Owens's back. Cover, but it gets a two count. Owens goes out to the apron, Barreta joins him but Owens kicks Barreta and they trade elbows. Kick to the leg by Owens and he drops Barreta on the apron with a package piledriver! Owens slides back in but Barreta barely makes it in before the 20 count. Owens grabs Barreta and hits the double knee gutbuster, cover, but Barreta barely gets a shoulder up. Owens goes up top but Barreta jumps up like he is fine and springs to the top turnbuckle, suplexing Owens to the mat. Running knee by Barreta, cover, but it gets two. Barreta grabs Owens and he drops him with the Dudebuster, picking up the three count! This match had some good spots but the transitions just slayed it for me. Owens hits two potentially match ending moves but Barreta literally two seconds later is jumping and bouncing around the ring like he is still fresh. A little respect for an apron package piledriver please. With that and the slow start, not really a recommendable match even though it did have some bright moments.
David Finlay Jr. vs. Máscara Dorada
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They circle each other to start, wristlock by Finlay but Dorada gets out of it and goes for his leg. Finlay gets out of it as they get back up, back to the mat they go and Dorada hits an armdrag. Side headlock by Finlay into a wristlock, Irish whip by Finlay but Dorada eventually hits a dropkick. Finlay falls out of the ring, Dorada slides out after him but Finlay punches him hard and then hits mounted punches while out on the floor. Finlay returns to the ring with Dorada slowly following, stomps by Finlay and he applies a reverse chinlock. Finlay picks up Dorada and clubs him in the arm before slamming it into the mat. Neck never hold by Finlay but Dorada gets a foot on the ropes. Irish whip by Finlay to the corner but Dorada avoids his charge and hits a dropkick out of the corner. Finlay falls out of the ring and Dorada sails out after him with a plancha suicida. Back in the ring, Dorada hits a swandive crossbody for a two count cover. Irish whip by Dorada, reversed, and Finlay avoids Dorada's springboard move. Elbows by Finlay, cover, but it gets two. Finlay applies a headlock and he stomps down Dorada in the corner. Irish whip by Finlay and he uppercuts Dorada in the other corner. Finlay picks up Dorada and hits a fireman's carry slam, cover, but Dorada gets a shoulder up. Finlay picks up Dorada, scoop slam, he goes out to the apron but Dorada gets his feet up on the swandive move attempt. Dorada goes up top, he walks the ropes and he hits a swandive senton bomb. Dorada Screwdriver by Dorada and he picks up the three count! A step up from the last one but still not great. For a short match it just had too many dead spots, I understand that Finlay is still early in his career but when a match is this short going repeatedly back to headlocks and neck nerve holds is a bit unnecessary. Definitely some stuff here I liked, Dorada's flying was good and Finlay's strikes looked solid from the far away camera, but it was a bit dull otherwise.
Bobby Fish vs. Tiger Mask
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They jockey for position, Fish pushes Tiger Mask into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Side headlock by Tiger Mask but Fish gets out of it, kick by Fish and he rolls Tiger Mask to the mat with a kneelock. Tiger Mask quickly gets to the ropes to force a break, Tiger Mask rolls out to the apron but Fish slides out of the ring and kicks Tiger Mask in the leg. Fish picks up Tiger Mask and hits a single arm suplex back in the ring, kick to the leg by Fish and he hits a snapmare. Senton atomico by Fish, cover, but it gets two. Fish snaps Tiger Mask's leg, they return to their feet and trade elbows. Lariat by Fish as Tiger Mask rolls back out of the ring, but Fish goes after him. Fish goes to kick Tiger Mask but Tiger Mask ducks and Fish accidentally kicks the ring post. Tiger Mask rolls back in the ring but Fish makes it before the count. Dropkick to the knee by Tiger Mask and he hits a high kick in the corner. Double underhook by Tiger Mask, Fish briefly gets out of it but Tiger Mask hits the Tiger Driver anyway for a two count. Tiger Mask goes for a tiger suplex but Fish drives him back into the corner and hits a Samoan Drop. Suplex by Fish, he picks up Tiger Mask and kicks him in the leg before hitting a dragon screw leg whip. Tiger Mask surprises Fish with a kneelock, but Fish makes it to the ropes. Tiger Mask picks up Fish but Fish kicks him in the leg and hits a running elbow. Falcon Arrow by Fish, cover, but Tiger Mask gets a shoulder up. Fish applies the kneelock but Tiger Mask wiggles to the ropes to force a break. Fish picks up Tiger Mask and hits a few punches and kicks, but Tiger Mask ducks one and applies a crucifix hold for the three count! I liked this one quite a bit, it wasn't flashy but it told a good story from start to finish. I liked the leg work by both men here, the flash ending was a bit disappointing since there wasn't really any set-up for it but these types of things happen in round robin tournaments. Overall very solid. Mildly Recommended
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Kyle O'Reilly
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They tie-up to start, O'Reilly applies a waistlock but Liger reverses it into a hammerlock. Takedown by O'Reilly but Liger applies a headscissors which O'Reilly quickly gets out of and they end up back on their feet. Liger applies a stretch hold on the mat and then applies the Romero Special. O'Reilly gets into the ropes to force a break, Liger chops O'Reilly into the corner, Irish whip, but O'Reilly fires back with kicks and knees.
Backbreaker by O'Reilly and he hits a running knee to Liger's back. Snapmare by O'Reilly and he hits a kneedrop followed by a reverse chinlock. O'Reilly knees Liger against the ropes, Irish whip, Liger goes for a sunset flip but O'Reilly blocks it and applies a cross armbreaker. Liger rolls to the ropes to force the break, O'Reilly knocks Liger into the corner, Irish whip, but Liger kicks O'Reilly back. O'Reilly goes off the ropes and both wrestlers lariat each other to the mat. O'Reilly charges Liger but Liger back bodydrops him out to the floor. Baseball slide by Liger, he goes out to the apron and he hits a cannonball. Liger slides O'Reilly back in and he delivers the Liger Bomb, but O'Reilly gets a shoulder up. Back up they trade waistlocks, big elbow by O'Reilly but Liger comes back with a rolling kick. Lariat by O'Reilly but Liger hits a vertical suplex and both wrestlers are down again. Liger is up first and he hits a Shotei in the corner, Liger puts O'Reilly on the top turnbuckle and hits a Frankensteiner but O'Reilly rolls through it for a two count cover. Kick to the chest by O'Reilly and he hits a tornado DDT out of the corner. Brainbuster by O'Reilly, cover, but Liger kicks out. O'Reilly quickly applies the cross armbreaker while also trapping Liger's leg, and Liger taps out! This was probably the best match of this set of matches, a hair better than the previous match but with a much more satisfying ending. O'Reilly was on point here throughout, staying focused and not doing any of his silly stuff. Liger of course is awesome but he really put over O'Reilly here as someone that may win the entire tournament by tapping out to the cross armbreaker. If Liger can tap out to it, anyone can. Quality strike exchanges, the Liger Bomb was killer, everything clicked here. Good match, check it out if you can. Recommended
These matches were all on smaller house shows, and you could tell. First of all, I will continue to complain that one of the largest promotion in the world records any of their events using one hard camera. If Kana Pro can use a multi-cam setup, so can New Japan, it is just harder to get into the matches when the view is so far away. Most of these matches were average at best, although a few did shine through, particularly the last couple matches. Still though most of these were short (under ten minutes) and I can't say there were any really memorable parts aside from Liger tapping out to O'Reilly's cross armbreaker. If you are a completest, go for it, but the average New Japan fan you can just cherry-pick a bit and move on to the next big show.
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event reviewed on 5/23/15