A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: May 26th, 2015 and May 27th, 2015
Location: Yamagata City Sports Center #2 and Aomori Nippon Budokan
Announced Attendance: 1,120 and 1,530 (respectively)
Like the 23rd and the 25th, to help these reviews go along faster (and get to the point) I am only going to review the tournament matches and combine the two days into one review to make it a more complete review. So this review will have all the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament matches from the 26th and the 27th. Here are the standings going into the events:
Kyle O'Reilly 
El Barbaro Cavernario 
Jushin Thunder Liger 
Ryusuke Taguchi 
|Tiger Mask 
Alex Shelley 
Bobby Fish 
Máscara Dorada 
Nick Jackson 
Rocky Romero 
David Finlay Jr.
And the matches being reviewed:
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Gedo
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: David Finlay Jr. vs. KUSHIDA
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Nick Jackson vs. Rocky Romero
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Barreta vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Yohei Komatsu
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Máscara Dorada vs. Tiger Mask
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Chase Owens vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
Alex Shelley is out of the tournament due to injury, so his opponent Bobby Fish gets two points via forfeit. Let's get started.
El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Gedo
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Tie-up to start and Cavernario hits an armdrag. Irish whip by Gedo but Cavernario kicks him and hits a springboard armdrag. Gedo knocks Cavernario out of the ring, he then joins him and tosses Cavernario around on the floor. Gedo gets back in the ring and removes a turnbuckle pad, when Cavernario gets in Gedo throws him into the exposed corner. Gedo grabs Cavernario and rakes his eyes, reverse chinlock by Gedo and he chokes Cavernario against the second rope. Gedo throws him into the exposed corner again, Gedo picks up Cavernario but Cavernario blocks being thrown into the corner and delivers a dropkick. Now it is Cavernario that throws Gedo into the exposed corner and Cavernario dropkicks him. He does it a second time, Gedo leaves the ring and Cavernario hits a tope suicida from the apron through the ropes to the floor. Scoop slam by Cavernario on the floor, he goes up to the top turnbuckle but Gedo crawls away. Gedo catapults Cavernario into the ring post, back in the ring Gedo throws Cavernario into the exposed corner and Gedo hits a superkick. Cover, but it gets a two count. Gedo goes for the Complete Shot but Cavernario elbows him off, springboard dropkick by Cavernario and he hits a reverse splash off the ropes for a two count. Cavernario picks up Gedo, Gedo slides away and he hits a superkick for two. Gedo goes for the Gedo Clutch but Cavernario ducks away and he applies the Cavernaria for the submission victory! Not a great way to start off the tournament for me. Exposed-corner based offense just seems silly, its one thing for it to be used once but it was the main focus of the match. Also the random Worm by Cavernario seemed odd. It wasn't unwatchable or anything as it wasn't boring but didn't have much I can really recommend.
David Finlay Jr. vs. KUSHIDA
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They circle each other to start and trade wristlocks, drop toehold by KUSHIDA but Finlay gets out of it. Back up they lock knuckles but not much comes of it, KUSHIDA manages to get the Hoverboard Lock applied but Finlay gets to the ropes. Finlay elbows KUSHIDA and clubs him on the mat before choking KUSHIDA against the second rope. Stretch hold by Finlay but KUSHIDA reverses it and sneaks in a schoolboy for two. Finlay slams KUSHIDA into the apron, he slides back in the ring and picks up KUSHIDA but KUSHIDA slides away. KUSHIDA flips himself out to the apron, he kicks Finlay in the head and then snaps his arm over the top rope. Swandive chop to the head by KUSHIDA and he hits an atomic drop followed by a dropkick to the knee. Cartwheel kick by KUSHIDA and he starts working over Finlay's arm. Fireman's carry slam by Finlay, cover, but it gets two. KUSHIDA kicks Finlay, he goes for a handspring kick but Finlay catches him and hits a suplex. Finlay picks up KUSHIDA and they trade pin attempts, but both just get twos. Elbow by KUSHIDA and he punches Finlay to the mat. KUSHIDA charges Finlay, he spins around him and he applies the Hoverboard Lock. Finlay struggles for a moment but he has no choice but to tap out! This was fundamentally very sound. I would argue that it wasn't particularly exciting, it didn't have any memorable moments, but it was a well worked match and probably the best type of match for Finlay at this stage of his career. Mildly Recommended
Nick Jackson vs. Rocky Romero
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Jackson and Romero jockey around to begin the match and Romero hits a shoulderblock. Romero goes off the ropes and he hits a headscissors followed by an armdrag. Romero keeps the armbar applied but Jackson pushes him into the corner. Kicks by Jackson, Romero flips him out onto the apron but Jackson gets back in the ring. Jackson charges Romero while is is between the ropes but Romero moves and Jackson falls out of the ring. Jackson runs to a different side to prevent Romero from diving out and he threatens to leave, but Romero goes out after him. Jackson runs back to the ring and tries to win by Countout, but Romero barely makes it back in time as well. Neckbreaker by Jackson, he picks up Romero and he hits a backbreaker for a two count. Jackson goes for a powerbomb but Romero blocks it, Jackson applies a crab hold but Romero makes it to the ropes. Jackson applies an abdominal stretch but Romero gets out of it, Jackson tries to apply the crab hold again but Romero kicks him off. Romero charges Jackson but Jackson moves and Romero tumbles out of the ring. Jackson goes out after him but Romero drives his head into the apron before hitting a jumping knee from the apron to the floor.
Swandive crossbody by Romero back into the ring and he hits a hurricanrana. Romero charges Jackson but Jackson kicks him back, Jackson goes out to the apron but Romero kicks him and hits a swandive missile dropkick while Jackson is hanging over the top rope. Jackson throws Romero into the corner but Romero avoids his charge. Superkick by Jackson, Romero falls out of the ring and Jackson kicks him from the apron. Jackson rolls Romero back into the ring and he hits a swanton bomb to Romero's back for a two count. Back up, Jackson hits an elbow and goes off the ropes but Romero knees him as he charges in. Romero and Jackson trade elbows, Romero throws Jackson into the corner but Jackson kicks him back. Lariat by Romero in the corner but Jackson hits a superkick. Romero fires back with another lariat and he goes for the Shiranui but Jackson blocks it. Jackson rolls up Romero, but it only gets a two. Running leg kick by Jackson, cover, but Romero barely gets a shoulder up. Jumping knee by Romero, he picks up Jackson and plants him with the Darkhead for the three count! This was a fun back and forth match, they have really good chemistry together. Up until the end neither could get a clear advantage and it was a smooth and entertaining match, which is about all you can ask for from a tournament house show match. I fear this may be the best match on this set of shows, but we'll see. Ultimately probably forgettable in the long run but great for a casual viewing. Mildly Recommended
Barreta vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Taguchi goes for a hip attack off the bat but Barreta bails out of the ring in a slight over-exaggeration. Back in, clubbing blows by Barreta and he goes for a roll-up, but Taguchi dropkicks him in the face. Quick hip attack by Taguchi, Taguchi goes in the ropes but Barreta dropkicks him out of the ring. Barreta slides out after him and he chops him up the aisle, Taguchi goes for a hip attack but Barreta moves and Taguchi hip attacks the ring post. Barreta slides Taguchi back in and he hits a lariat for a two count. Side headlock by Barreta, Taguchi gets out of it but Barreta elbows him to the mat. Taguchi rolls out to the apron, he goes for a DDT but Barreta catches him with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Barreta stomps on Taguchi's butt, snapmare, and Barreta hits a knee drop for two. Neck crank by Barreta but Taguchi gets out of it, Taguchi goes for a leg drop but Barreta moves. Barreta goes off the ropes but Taguchi catches him with a jumping hip attack, hurting himself in the process. Irish whip by Barreta but Taguchi hits a second one, short-range hip attacks by Taguchi and he hits a few more while Barreta is slouched against the ropes. Cover, but Barreta kicks out. Taguchi goes for the Dodon but Barreta reverses it into a roll-up for two. Taguchi charges Barreta but Barreta stomps him down, Barreta slides out to the apron and goes up top, hitting a diving doublestomp to Taguchi's back for a two count. Barreta charges Taguchi but Taguchi applies a schoolboy into an ankle hold. Barreta makes it to the ropes and slides out of the ring, but Taguchi goes out to the apron and delivers the diving hip attack. Back in the ring, Taguchi goes up top but Barreta springs up there with him and suplexes Taguchi to the mat. Barreta hits The Knee That Beat John Cena, but it only gets a two count. Taguchi > Cena. Back up they trade elbows, jumping kick by Taguchi but Barreta comes back with an enziguri. Jumping elbow by Barreta in the corner but Taguchi comes back with a hip attack. Dodon with a low blow by Taguchi, but Barreta gets a shoulder up. Taguchi goes off the ropes and he nails the Sliding Hip Attack, picking up the three count! I didn't think I would like this but uh I really did. Barreta slipping in spots that worked over Taguchi's... ass was well done and Taguchi then selling it when he hit the first few hip attacks was quality. Taguchi is actually a damn good wrestler when he isn't going to far into the comedy/hip attacks thing, I thought here the hip attacks were well spaced out. The match got enough time without feeling too long or too short, and overall I really enjoyed it, worth a watch for sure. Recommended
Kyle O'Reilly vs. Yohei Komatsu
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. O'Reilly pushes Komatsu into the corner to start, but he gives a clean break. Wristlock by Komatsu but O'Reilly trips him to get out of it and both men return to their feet. Side headlock by O'Reilly, Komatsu Irish whips out of it but O'Reilly hits a shoulderblock. O'Reilly runs over Komatsu but Komatsu hits a hurricanrana. Armdrags by Komatsu and he applies an armbar, O'Reilly pushes Komatsu into the corner and he hits a hard elbow. Irish whip by O'Reilly, reversed, O'Reilly kicks Komatsu back and he hits a kick/knee combination. Irish whip by O'Reilly and he knees Komatsu in the stomach. Bodyscissors by O'Reilly while he clubs on Komatsu, he goes off the ropes and knees Komatsu in the ribs. O'Reilly picks up Komatsu and knees him in the head before applying a stretch hold. Back on their feet they trade elbows, O'Reilly goes off the ropes but Komatsu delivers a dropkick. Komatsu elbows O'Reilly into the corner, he leapfrogs over him and hits a jumping elbow strike. O'Reilly rolls out of the ring but Komatsu goes out to the apron and hits a missile dropkick down to the floor. Back in the ring, Komatsu goes up top and he hits a cannonball for a two count. Komatsu applies a single leg crab hold, but O'Reilly gets to the ropes. Komatsu kicks O'Reilly in the corner, Irish whip, but O'Reilly crawls away from him and hits a knee. Double arm takedown into a cross armbreaker by O'Reilly, but Komatsu gets a foot on the ropes. O'Reilly kicks Komatsu in the chest a few times while Komatsu asks for more, Komatsu catches one and hits a few elbows, but O'Reilly delivers a back kick. They both slap each other to the mat, they slowly get up and Komatsu hits a roaring elbow. Inside cradle by Komatsu, but it gets a two count. O'Reilly levels Komatsu with a lariat, but Komatsu gets his shoulder up on the pin attempt. Brainbuster by O'Reilly, and he picks up the three count! Another good but not quite great match. Komatsu is better than New Japan is really letting him be, he has been a 'young lion' for years now but O'Reilly gave him his props here as Komatsu almost had the upset win on several occasions. No wasted time at all, they only had ten minutes so they optimized it the best they could. Good strikes, smart submissions, overall a solid match. Mildly Recommended
Máscara Dorada vs. Tiger Mask
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They tie-up to begin things, Dorada gets Tiger Mask into the ropes and he gives a clean break. Dorada goes off the ropes and they flip around until Dorada chops Tiger Mask to the mat. Dorada charges Tiger Mask but Tiger Mask monkeyflips him out of the ring. Back in the ring Dorada goes for a swandive move but Tiger Mask dropkicks him on the way in. Tiger Mask applies a stretch hold and kicks at Dorada, wristlock by Tiger Mask and he applies a short armbar. Dorada gets a foot on the ropes but Tiger Mask gets him back to the mat and applies a cross armbreaker. Dorada gets to the ropes again and they trade strikes back on their feet. Tiger Mask wins that battle and knocks Dorada out of the ring, Dorada slides himself back in and Tiger Mask punches him against the ropes. Irish whip by Tiger Mask, Tiger Mask drops Dorada out to the apron and he dropkicks him to the floor. Swandive missile dropkick by Dorada, Tiger Mask falls out of the ring and Dorada goes up top, nailing the rope walk plancha suicida down to the floor. Dorada returns to the ring with Tiger Mask slowly following and they trade chops, Dorada goes off the ropes and he hits a springboard back elbow for two. La Magistral by Dorada, but Tiger Mask kicks out. Dorada goes up top but Tiger Mask gets his knees up on the moonsault attempt. Tiger Mask picks up Dorada and he delivers the tombstone piledriver. Tiger Mask goes up top but Dorada avoids the diving headbutt attempt. Tiger Mask and Dorada trade chops, back kick by Tiger Mask but Dorada delivers a dropkick. Dorada goes to the top turnbuckle but Tiger Mask joins him and hits a headbutt. Avalanche double arm suplex by Tiger Mask, cover, but Dorada gets a shoulder up. Dorada drives Tiger Mask back into the corner, modified Tiger Driver by Tiger Mask but Dorada gets a shoulder up. Tiger Mask picks up Dorada but Dorada ducks the kick and hits an enziguri. Dorada Screwdriver by Dorada, and he picks up the three count! This match had some really quality spots but as a match it was just too all over the place for me. It had big moves but they didn't mean anything, even Dorada's cool dive to the floor just lead to Tiger Mask promptly being back in control again. Some memorable moments which is a plus but as an overall match it was a bit too spotty.
Chase Owens vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Owens attacks Liger from behind to start the match and knocks him out of the ring. Owens goes out after him and rams Liger into the ring apron. Back in the ring, cover by Owens but it gets two. Owens throws Liger into the corner but Liger kicks him back, back elbow by Owens but Liger back bodydrops him out of the ring. Baseball slide by Liger and he hits a cannonball off the apron. Liger slides Owens back in and he applies the Romero Special, he releases the hold but Owens hides behind the referee. Dropkick by Owens and he covers Liger for a two count. Knees by Owens and he mocks Liger's pose before hitting a backbreaker for a two count. Reverse chinlock by Owens but Liger gets to the ropes to force a break. Owens throws Liger into the corner but Liger kicks him back, Owens ducks the Shotei and both wrestlers lariat each other. Liger is up first and he hits a Shotei in the corner, he puts Owens on the top turnbuckle and he hits a Frankensteiner for a two count. Liger picks up Owens but Owens grabs the referee and he hits a low blow. Owens grabs Liger and he applies a leg submission hold, but Liger eventually makes it to the ropes. Owens picks up Liger and he hits a slingshot backbreaker. Another backbreaker by Owens, he picks up Liger but Liger blocks the Package Piledriver and sneaks in an inside cradle for two. Owens picks up Liger, elbow by Owens but Liger nails the Shotei. Liger goes for a brainbuster but Owens schoolboys him for a two count. Diving neckbreaker by Owens, he picks up Liger and he drops him with the Package Piledriver for the three count! This was a bit too much of an Owens match than a Liger match. It certainly wasn't bad but it had too much time killing for an eight minute match (for example, everyone knew Liger wasn't tapping to a leg submission and there was no other leg work). It didn't feel like a cheap win or anything which is a plus, but it was a pretty one-side match as it never really felt like Liger had Owens on the edge of defeat. A good match but nothing more than that.
The best way to describe these two shows is "solid." Nothing was bad which is a big plus, but really nothing was great either. Taguchi/Barreta was the best match of the bunch but I wouldn't consider it must-see, and none of the matches went very long. They were typical house show tournament matches but I'll give the wrestlers credit, I didn't get any sense of coasting on the shows whatsoever, so that's a big plus. Definitely better than the Day 2/Day 3 pack I reviewed last time, some quality wrestling here and worth the watch if you're a fan of the New Japan Juniors.
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event reviewed on 6/4/15