A Review by Kevin Wilson
Date: May 29th, 2015 and May 30th, 2015
Location: New Sunpia Tochigi and Tokyo Korakuen Hall
Announced Attendance: 600 and 1,702 (respectively)
Continuing on the same way I have been, we are now onto the next set of matches in the New Japan Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. For the 30th the entire event was released but I don't feel like reviewing random tag matches as the tournament was the meat of the show anyway. So I am only reviewing the Best of the Super Jr. matches. Here are the standings going into the events:
|Kyle O'Reilly 
El Barbaro Cavernario 
Ryusuke Taguchi 
Chase Owens 
Jushin Thunder Liger 
|Bobby Fish 
Máscara Dorada 
Rocky Romero 
Tiger Mask 
Alex Shelley 
Nick Jackson 
David Finlay Jr.
And the matches being reviewed:
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Chase Owens vs. Yohei Komatsu
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: David Finlay Jr. vs. Nick Jackson
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Barreta vs. El Barbaro Cavernario
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Rocky Romero vs. Tiger Mask
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Kyle O'Reilly vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Bobby Fish vs. KUSHIDA
Remember that Shelley is out of the tournament so Máscara Dorada gets two free points. Onto the fun!
Chase Owens vs. Yohei Komatsu
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.
Owens works over the arm to start but Komatsu elbows him off. Hammerlock by Komatsu but Owens returns the favor with an elbow. Komatsu goes off the ropes and he hits a hurricanrana. Dropkick by Komatsu but Owens drops him throat-first on the top rope for a two count. Uppercut by Owens and he delivers a back elbow strike. Owens applies a reverse chinlock but Komatsu gets out of it, elbows by Komatsu but Owens gets him back to the mat. Multiple covers by Owens have no luck, Komatsu fights back with punches but Owens catches him with a boot. Owens goes for a slingshot backdrop suplex but Komatsu lands on his feet and applies a backslide for two. Knee by Owens and he hits a sunset flip into the turnbuckles, getting a two count cover. Owens elbows Komatsu but Komatsu fires up, big boot by Owens and a back kick, but Komatsu delivers a dropkick. Elbows by Komatsu, Irish whip, Owens reverses it but Komatsu hits a jumping elbow. Single arm suplex hold by Komatsu but it gets two. Komatsu goes up top and he nails the cannonball, but Owens kicks out of the cover. Komatsu goes for a suplex but Owens blocks it, Owens goes for the double knee gutbuster but Komatsu lands on his feet. Owens blocks the crab hold attempt, Owens charges him but Komatsu catches him with a rolling single leg crab hold. Owens gets to the ropes to get a break, Komatsu slaps Owens and he elbows Owens in the corner. Owens rakes Komatsu in the eyes and he hits the diving neckbreaker. Package Piledriver by Owens and he gets the three count! Not a big fan of this one. The referee stopping Komatsu in the corner leading to the eye rake was silly, the referee very rarely does that and it was just a cop out that wasn't necessary. Some things weren't too fluid and overall I don't think they meshed very well. A disappointing match for Komatsu.
David Finlay Jr. vs. Nick Jackson
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.
They open by trading holds but neither can get an advantage. Shoulderblock by Finlay but Jackson hits a leg lariat. Jackson bails out of the ring, Finlay chases him around as they get back in, and Finlay hits a back elbow. Dropkick by Finlay but he lets Jackson back up, Finlay charges Jackson but Jackson holds the rope down and Finlay sails out of the ring. Jackson kicks Finlay while standing on the apron, Finlay tries to get back in the ring but Jackson hits a neckbreaker as he does so. Jackson attacks Finlay's back in the corner before hitting the cartwheel back scratch. Irish whip by Jackson and Finlay collapses in the corner. Headlock by Jackson on the mat but Finlay gets out of it and hits a lariat. Back bodydrop by Finlay, but Jackson drops him onto the apron and dropkicks Finlay to the floor. Jackson flips out of the ring but Finlay moves and hits a headscissors. Finlay slides Jackson back in, he goes up top but Jackson pulls his leg out before he can jump off. Big high kick by Jackson, cover, but it gets a two count. Jackson goes up top but Finlay gets his knees up on the swanton attempt. Running uppercut by Finlay, he picks up Jackson but Jackson slides away and hits a high kick. Finlay ducks the next one and he hits German suplex. Another running uppercut and he hits the rolling fireman's carry for two. Finlay picks up Jackson, elbow by Jackson but Finlay hits a few uppercuts. Backslide by Jackson but Finlay delivers another uppercut for a two count. Finlay goes out to the apron but Jackson superkicks him as he springboards into the ring. Jumping knee by Jackson in the corner but Finlay sneaks in an inside cradle for two. Jackson comes back with a swinging leg kick, he goes up top and he hits the 450 Splash for the three count! Jury is still out for me on Finlay, he generally looks competent but his matches aren't overly exciting. He'll get better. This was a good house show match but not anything special. Certainly nothing offensive but nothing memorable either, just a pretty neutral match all the way around.
Barreta vs. El Barbaro Cavernario
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Barreta pushes Cavernario into the corner to begin the match but he gives a clean break. Barreta pushes him into the corner again but this time Cavernario bites his hand. Barreta leaves the ring but returns after a moment, Irish whip by Cavernario but Barreta hits a shoulderblock. Barreta goes off the ropes but Cavernario dropkicks him and Barreta jumps out of the ring again. Back in, Barreta kicks Cavernario and chops him in the corner. Cavernario chops him back, he goes up top but Barreta dropkicks him as he jumps off. Cover, but it gets a two. Scoop slam by Barreta and he hits a knee drop, rake to the eyes by Barreta and he throws Cavernario into the corner. Running elbow by Barreta and he hits a lariat, cover, but it gets two. Barreta applies a reverse chinlock and he elbows Cavernario in the head. Barreta picks up Cavernario and he throws Cavernario into the corner, but Cavernario avoids his charge and Barreta ends up outside the ring. Cavernario goes off the ropes and he hits a springboard plancha down to the floor onto Barreta. Cavernario goes to the floor and stomps Barreta, back in the ring Cavernario kicks Barreta in the head and delivers a leg drop. Cavernario picks up Barreta and he chops him to the mat before dropkicking Barreta in the back of the head.
Cavernario picks up Barreta and hits a snap vertical suplex, cover, but it gets a two count. Cavernario does the worm and hits a leg drop, Cavernario picks up Barreta but Barreta slides away and hits a tornado DDT. Barreta goes up top and he hits a doublestomp to Cavernario's back, cover, but it gets two. Barreta charges Cavernario but Cavernario punches him back. Enziguri by Barreta but Cavernario catapults him into the corner and he tosses Barreta into the turnbuckles. Back up they trade elbows and then trade corner attacks, superkick by Cavernario and Barreta falls to the floor. Cavernario goes up top but Barreta jumps up onto the apron and hits him before he can jump off. Barreta joins Cavernario up top but Cavernario pushes him down to the floor and nails the diving body press. Cavernario gets back in the ring with Barreta slowly following, and Cavernario hits a reverse splash off the ropes for a two count. Cavernario stomps Barreta, he goes up top but Barreta joins him and hits an avalanche suplex. Running knee by Barreta, cover, but Cavernario kicks out. Barreta picks up Cavernario and he nails the Dudebuster, picking up the three count! This was a fun match, nothing earth shattering but it was well paced and it had a few memorable spots. It took a bit to get going but once it did I enjoyed it, solid match. Mildly Recommended
Rocky Romero vs. Tiger Mask
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Aww Romero is wearing a Black Tiger mask (he was one of the previous Black Tiger wrestlers back in 2009) which is a really nice touch. +1 point just for that. Tiger Mask seems mad about it. Romero taunts Tiger Mask to start by ripping up a mask of Tiger Mask and throwing it out of the ring. Finally they get started as Tiger Mask elbows Romero against the ropes but Romero slides out of the ring. Tiger Mask goes out after him and kicks Romero, he slides him back in but Romero bails again. Tiger Mask dropkicks Romero as he gets on the apron and goes outside to throw Romero into the ring post. Tiger Mask goes for a kick but Romero ducks and Tiger Mask kicks the post by accident. Romero gets on the apron and stomps on the back of Tiger Mask's head before getting in the ring. Romero takes the mask off since I guess he got the advantage he wanted with it and goes back outside the ring to continue his attack. He finally rolls Tiger Mask back in and starts working over the leg before applying a chinlock. Romero elbows Tiger Mask in the corner, he puts him up top and he tries to take off Tiger Mask's mask before hitting an avalanche backdrop suplex for a two count. He goes for the mask again but Tiger Mask gets away, Romero drives Tiger Mask back into the corner and he applies the Gory Special but Tiger Mask gets out of it and hits an armdrag. Romero goes off the ropes, he does his 'stay in the ropes' trick but Tiger Mask dropkicks him out of the ring. Romero quickly slides back in and lariats Tiger Mask out of the ring, Romero goes for a knee off the apron but Tiger Mask moves and hits a spinning backbreaker on the floor.
Back in the ring, Tiger Mask knees Romero in the corner but Romero avoids his charge and hits a pair of lariats. Tiger Mask delivers a back kick when Romero goes for a third and hits a high kick in the corner. Tiger Mask puts Romero on the top turnbuckle and joins him, and he hits the avalanche butterfly suplex for a two count. Tiger Mask picks up Romero an goes for the tiger suplex, but Romero runs Tiger Mask into the referee. Crucifix Hold but the referee is too hurt to make the count, this gives Romero time to sneak in an inside cradle for a two count. Tiger Mask picks up Romero and delivers a tombstone piledriver, Tiger Driver by Tiger Mask but Romero gets a shoulder up. Romero blocks the suplex attempt, head kick by Romero and he puts Romero across the top rope before hitting a swandive missile dropkick. Cover by Romero, but it gets two. Romero picks up up Tiger Mask and hits the Black Tiger Tombstone Piledriver, cover, and he gets the three count! I liked the idea initially of Romero wearing the Black Tiger mask but then when he wasted time messing with Tiger Mask's mask it got silly. This match is about picking up two points, its not a heated feud so it just felt out of place. So that took away a chunk of the match, once they got going it was good but that was only the last few minutes. Sadly overall it was just above average even though it started and ended well.
The next set of shows is from Korakuen Hall, so I expect them to be better. Let's see if I am right.
Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. They tie-up to start, Gedo pushes Liger into the ropes and he gives a clean break. They trade holds with neither getting a clear advantage, Gedo works a side headlock but Liger Irish whips out of it. Liger gets away from the Gedo Clutch, they end up back on the mat and Liger twists Gedo's ankle. Bow and Arrow by Liger and he wraps up Gedo in a submission, but after a moment he releases the hold. Chops by Liger in the corner but Gedo dropkicks Liger in the knee. Gedo pulls Liger's leg towards the ring post and he slams Gedo's leg into it. He does it again and a third time, and Liger flops to the floor. Gedo goes back in the ring with Liger slowly following, Gedo grabs Liger but the leg and he hits an elbow drop to it. Leglock by Gedo but Liger gets to the ropes to force a break. Gedo puts Liger in another leg submission but again Liger makes it to the ropes. Figure four leglock by Gedo but Liger gets another break via the same method as the last two times. Running out of different ways to say that. Dragon screw leg whip by Gedo but Liger rolls up Gedo for a two count. Kick by Gedo, he goes off the ropes but Liger hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Liger charges Gedo in the corner but Gedo moves and snaps Gedo's neck over the top rope. Cover by Gedo while using the ropes for leverage but the referee catches him. Gedo argues with the referee, allowing Liger to schoolboy him for a two count. La Magistral attempt by Liger but Gedo blocks it for two. Gedo goes for the Gedo Clutch but Liger blocks it and hits the Lou Thesz Press for two. Shotei by Liger but that gets a two as well. Liger picks up Gedo and goes for a brainbuster but Gedo slides down his back, Liger grabs Gedo and he quickly applies a European Clutch for the three count! I adore Liger but this one didn't do a lot for me. The leg work was solid but ultimately meant nothing, neither wrestler really hit any of their big signature moves and then the match was over. I think if I was there live I'd probably be disappointed, it wasn't a bad match but it was completely forgettable.
Kyle O'Reilly vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Taguchi takes O'Reilly to the match to start and applies a leglock but O'Reilly quickly gets out of it. side headlock by Taguchi but O'Reilly applies a headscissors before they return to their feet. O'Reilly gets the cross armbreaker applied but Taguchi gets out of it, they avoid each other's kicks but Taguchi knocks down O'Reilly with a shoulderblock. O'Reilly boots Taguchi but Taguchi hits a hip attack in return and he stomps on O'Reilly. Taguchi goes for a sunset flip but O'Reilly blocks it and applies a cross armbreaker, but Taguchi gets to the ropes. O'Reilly picks up Taguchi and snaps his arm before hitting a hammerlock backbreaker. O'Reilly knees Taguchi in the ribs and he hits a running knee to the same area. Irish whip by O'Reilly and he knees Taguchi in the stomach. Bodyscissors by O'Reilly and he rakes at Taguchi's face. O'Reilly picks up Taguchi, snapmare, and he hits a kneedrop. O'Reilly stretches Taguchi but releases him after a moment, O'Reilly throws Taguchi into the corner but Taguchi reverses the Irish whip. Sunset flip by O'Reilly but Taguchi rolls through it and hits a dropkick. O'Reilly ducks the next one however and applies a Scorpion Deathlock, but Taguchi wiggles to the ropes. O'Reilly punches Taguchi against the ropes, he goes off the far ropes and he avoids the hip attack. He goes off the ropes again but this time Taguchi hits the hip attack, which sends O'Reilly out of the ring. Taguchi goes off the ropes and he sails out onto O'Reilly with a tope con hilo.
Taguchi slides O'Reilly back in, he gets on the apron but O'Reilly avoids the swandive hip attack. Taguchi hits one anyway, O'Reilly slouches against the ropes and Taguchi hits a series of hip attacks. Taguchi sits on O'Reilly, cover, but it gets two. Rolling vertical suplexes by Taguchi but O'Reilly blocks the third and hits rolling double arm suplexes. Kick by Taguchi and he hits a front suplex, and both wrestlers are hurt on the mat. Taguchi elbows O'Reilly and they trade strikes back on their feet, leg sweep by O'Reilly and he kicks Taguchi in the chest. Boot by Taguchi but O'Reilly kicks him back, another kick by Taguchi but O'Reilly hits a rebound lariat. Capture suplex hold by O'Reilly but Taguchi gets a shoulder up. O'Reilly picks up Taguchi but Taguchi knees him, and both wrestlers do the silly leg wobble sell. O'Reilly applies a guillotine choke but Taguchi reverses it into an ankle hold. Taguchi grapevines the leg but O'Reilly reverses it into a Scorpion Deathlock. Taguchi gets out of it, elbow by O'Reilly but Taguchi hits an enziguri. Dodon by Taguchi, but O'Reilly kicks out of the cover. Oh My & Garankle (ankle hold) by Taguchi, and this time O'Reilly can't reach the ropes and he submits! I liked a good bit of the action here but some things didn't really mesh. Taguchi didn't do anything to target the ankle when he wasn't going for ankle holds, which was unfortunate, and the wobble sell is distracting and probably makes me have the wrong reaction which is laughter. That being said the bulk of the match was pretty solid as you'd expect from an O'Reilly match, it just wasn't without its flaws. Mildly Recommended
Bobby Fish vs. KUSHIDA
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. Hopefully these two can save this set of shows. They jockey around to begin the match, Fish gets KUSHIDA into the ropes but KUSHIDA knees him. Side headlock by KUSHIDA and he hits a shoulderblock, he goes off the ropes but Fish kicks him in the stomach. Fish charges KUSHIDA but KUSHIDA drops him onto the apron and hits a Pele Kick. KUSHIDA goes out to the apron but Fish kicks him the leg to trip him and attacks KUSHIDA's leg on the floor. Fish slides KUSHIDA back in and kicks him in the leg before hitting a kneebreaker. Fish knees KUSHIDA in the stomach, snapmare, and he hits a senton atomico for a two count. KUSHIDA gets up on his own and chops Fish but Fish elbows him back. They trade shots until Fish applies a rolling ankle hold, but KUSHIDA gets to the ropes. Fish picks up KUSHIDA and kicks him in the leg, atomic drop by Fish and he kicks KUSHIDA in the chest. Fish knees KUSHIDA in the leg, he picks him up and hits a hard elbow. Snapmare by Fish, he goes up top but KUSHIDA rolls away before he can jump off. Fish kicks KUSHIDA in the leg, he goes up top again but KUSHIDA rolls away after Fish dives off. KUSHIDA kicks Fish back as he flips himself to the apron, kick over the ropes by KUSHIDA and he snaps Fish's arm over the top rope. Kicks by KUSHIDA and he hits the handspring elbow strike. KUSHIDA goes for a cross armbreaker and rolls it into the Hoverboard Lock, but Fish is too close to the ropes and he forces the break.
Elbows by KUSHIDA but Fish kicks him back. Handspring kick to the head by KUSHIDA, he goes off the ropes and flies out onto Fish with a tope con hilo. KUSHIDA slides Fish back in and he kicks Fish in the arm. Tilt-a-whirl into an attempted Hoverboard Lock by KUSHIDA but Fish mostly blocks it and gets a foot on the ropes. KUSHIDA picks up Fish and snaps his arm, but Fish kicks him in the leg. KUSHIDA punches Fish in the face as the referee protests, KUSHIDA goes off the ropes but Fish ducks the lariat and hits a Samoan Drop. Running knee by Fish in the corner and he hits an exploder into the turnbuckles. Fish kicks KUSHIDA in the leg repeatedly, he goes off the ropes and he hits a forearm smash. Falcon Arrow by Fish, cover, but KUSHIDA gets a shoulder up. Fish picks up KUSHIDA, he puts KUSHIDA on the top turnbuckle and joins him, but KUSHIDA snaps his arm. Fish falls back to the mat but he kicks KUSHIDA in the leg and re-joins him. Avalanche Falcon Arrow by Fish, cover, but KUSHIDA kicks out. Fish quickly applies a cross kneelock but KUSHIDA slowly gets to the ropes to get a break. Fish elbows KUSHIDA in the corner but KUSHIDA kicks him in the arm. Reverse STO into the turnbuckles by KUSHIDA and he kicks Fish in the face. KUSHIDA goes for the Shiranui but Fish blocks it, he keeps KUSHIDA on his shoulders but KUSHIDA rolls off and applies the Hoverboard Lock. Fish struggles but KUSHIDA rolls him back to the middle of the ring and Fish taps out! This was certainly a really good match and the best match on these shows. Both wrestlers focused really well on the limb of their choice and it was logical since both wrestlers have finishers that target that limb as well. The only thing I didn't love was KUSHIDA didn't sell the leg at all when Fish wasn't working it over, luckily that segment was pretty short before they got back on point. An entertaining match, check it out. Recommended
Traditionally, the matches leading up to the last show or two of the BOSJ tournament aren't exactly great matches. This is for a number of reasons, ranging from the wrestlers having a lot of matches in a two week span and pacing themselves, to not all of the wrestlers being great in the first place. This show is a good example of this issue as on the house show the wrestlers weren't given a lot of time and weren't really doing anything memorable. For the show at Korakuen they did get more time and the matches felt more important, but they still never really went to the next level until Fish/KUSHIDA. The main event of the Korakuen Hall event was by far the best and really is the only match that should be sought out, although nothing on the card was outright bad. Just lots of skippable but non-offensive wrestling, but we are only halfway through so we'll see where it goes from here.
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event reviewed on 6/7/15