New Japan "Best of the Super Jr. XXII" Day 12
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Dates: June 5th, 2015
Locations: Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendances: 1,395

We have finally reached the final day of Block matches in the New Japan Best of the Super Jr. Tournament! For those keeping score at home, KUSHIDA has already locked up his block but the other is still up for grabs. Here are the standings going into the event:

Block A Block B
Kyle O'Reilly [10]
Ryusuke Taguchi [10]
Barreta [6]
Chase Owens [6]
El Barbaro Cavernario [6]
Jushin Thunder Liger [6]
Gedo [4]
Yohei Komatsu
Bobby Fish [8]
Máscara Dorada [8]
Rocky Romero [8]
Nick Jackson [6]
Tiger Mask [6]
Alex Shelley [2]
David Finlay Jr.

Today's matches:

- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Barreta vs. Yohei Komatsu
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: David Finlay Jr. vs. Tiger Mask
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Máscara Dorada vs. Rocky Romero
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Bobby Fish vs. Nick Jackson
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Gedo vs. Kyle O'Reilly
- Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Chase Owens vs. Ryusuke Taguchi

Remember that Alex Shelley is out of the tournament due to injury, so KUSHIDA gets two points automatically (which is how he locked up Block B). Let's get to it.

Barreta vs. Yohei Komatsu
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.  Barreta gets Komatsu to the mat but Komatsu gets back up and Irish whips out of the hold. Armdrag by Komatsu and he hits a hurricanrana followed by a dropkick.  Barreta stomps down Komatsu in the corner with a footstomp to the chest, Irish whip by Barreta and he knees Komatsu in the stomach.  Chops by Barreta in the corner and he hits a jumping knee followed by a lariat.  Barreta picks up Komatsu when Komatsu rolls to the apron, elbow by Komatsu and he tries to slingshot back in but Barreta caught him with a Northern Lights Suplex.  Barreta charges Komatsu but Komatsu catapults him into the turnbuckles.  Elbows by Komatsu, Irish whip, and Komatsu hits a jumping elbow strike.  Komatsu goes up top and hits a cannonball, he picks up Barreta and he hits a bridging single arm suplex hold for a two count.  Komatsu picks up Barreta but Barreta slides away, rolling single leg crab hold by Komatsu but Komatsu applies a STF.  Barreta gets into the ropes, and he hits a tornado DDT out of the corner.  Barreta goes up top and he hits a doublestomp to Komatsu’s neck, cover, but Komatsu gets a shoulder up.  Komatsu rolls to the apron, Barreta goes out after him and they trade elbows.  Barreta gets Komatsu on his back and he hits a Death Valley Driver on the ring apron.  Ouch.  Barreta gets back in but Komatsu makes the count, and Barreta hits a sliding knee for a two count.  Barreta pushes Komatsu into the corner and he chops him in the chest.  More chops by Barreta, he puts Komatsu on the top turnbuckle and joins him but Komatsu punches him off.  Barreta springs back up however and suplexes Komatsu down to the mat, running knee by Barreta but Komatsu gets a shoulder up.  Backslide by Komatsu but it gets two, slap by Komatsu and he hits a Falcon Arrow for two.  Komatsu and Barreta trade elbows and Barreta hits an enziguri.  Another running knee by Barreta, he picks up Komatsu and he nails the Dudebuster for the three count!  This was a really fun opener, after a bunch of house shows it was nice to watch a match that both wrestlers made feel important.  Komatsu had a really solid tournament, hopefully he moves up the ranks soon, and Barreta was really good as well.  A great way to start off the night.  Recommended

David Finlay Jr. vs. Tiger Mask
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.  They circle each other to start and end up on the mat, hammerlock by Tiger Mask but Finlay reverses it and he applies a stretch hold.  Tiger Mask gets out of it and they get back up, and Finlay hits a sidewalk slam.  Elbow drops by Finlay, but Tiger Mask kicks out of the cover.  Tiger Mask avoids Finlay in the corner but Finlay hits a jumping elbow anyway.  Reverse chinlock by Finlay and he elbows Tiger Mask in the neck.  Finlay elbows Tiger Mask in the corner, he picks him up and hits a rolling fireman’s carry for a two count.  Finlay goes up to the second turnbuckle but Tiger Mask catches him when he jumps off and hits a powerbomb.  Irish whip by Tiger Mask and he kicks Finlay in the head.  Finlay fights out of the Tiger Driver and goes off the ropes, roll-up by Finlay but Tiger Mask kicks out.  Inside Cradle by Finlay but that gets two as well.  Uppercuts by Finlay but Tiger Mask applies a cross kneelock.  Finlay gets out of it but Tiger Mask keeps kicking him in the leg, uppercuts by Finlay but Tiger Mask gets him to the mat and he goes for the arm.  Finlay gets a foot on the ropes, back up Tiger Mask kicks Finlay but Finlay catches one and elbows Tiger Mask in the leg.  Uppercut by Finlay, he goes off the ropes but Tiger Mask hits a back kick.  Tiger Driver by Tiger Mask, but Finlay gets a shoulder up.  Cross armbreaker takedown by Tiger Mask, he then rolls it over and applies a reverse double armbar, making Finlay submit!  This may have been my favorite match of Finlay’s in this tournament.  It was still a bit basic but it flowed really well, no signs of unease as I think his confidence and comfort has really grown as the tournament progressed.  It was short but they stayed on track, and I liked Tiger Mask’s focus on the limbs.  A good match, not perfect but well worked.

El Barbaro Cavernario vs. Jushin Thunder Liger
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.  Cavernario sneaks in a schoolboy right off the bat but Liger gets out of it and he stretches Cavernario on the mat.  Cavernario reverses the hold and returns the favor but Liger gets out of it and he puts Cavernario in the Romero Special.  Back up, Cavernario goes for a monkey flip but Liger stomps on him, springboard armdrag by Cavernario and Liger slides out of the ring.  Cavernario gets on the apron and he does a tope con hilo over the corner,  I think Liger was expecting the tope con hilo as he barely caught him.  Scoop slam by Cavernario on the floor, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and he hits a diving body press down to the floor.  Back in the ring, Liger kicks Cavernario back when he charges in and Liger hits a Shotei.  Liger picks up Cavernario and he nails the Liger Bomb.  Cover, but Cavernario gets a shoulder up.  Liger puts Cavernario up on the top turnbuckle but Cavernario blocks the Frankensteiner.  Missile dropkick by Cavernario, he charges Liger but Liger hits a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.  Back elbow by Liger and he drops Cavernario with a brainbuster, and he gets the three count!  There were a few miscommunication issues which is surprising since that doesn’t usually happen in Liger matches, so I’ll assume it was Cavernario’s fault.  Aside from occasional sloppiness this was good, the spots were generally well done.  It was just too short to really be memorable by the time the night ends.

Máscara Dorada vs. Rocky Romero
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.  Romero pushes Dorada in the ropes but he gives him a clean break.  Romero throws Dorada down but Dorada hits an armdrag.  Standing moonsault by Dorada and both wrestlers return to their feet.  Dorada and Romero shake hands but Romero kicks him, Dorada flips off the ropes before Romero poses in the ropes, he moves so Dorada tumbles out of the ring.  Tope suicida by Romero, he picks up Dorada and spears him into the ring post.  Romero gets back in with Dorada following, Romero picks up Dorada and elbows Dorada in the arm.  Romero kicks at Dorada and he hits an armbreaker over his shoulder.  Dorada punches back but Romero kicks him and shoves Dorada into the corner.  Lariats by Romero in the corner but Dorada fires back with a lariat.  Dorada hits a hurricanrana, and Romero falls out of the ring.  Dorada goes off the ropes and he hits a step-up tope con hilo over the top rope.  They return to the ring and Dorada dropkicks Romero in the corner.  Dorada puts Romero on his shoulders but Romero slides away.  Dorada gets on the apron, he kicks Romero over the top rope and goes to the top turnbuckle, but Romero punches him and joins him. 

Avalanche cross armbreaker takedown by Romero but Dorada gets a foot on the ropes.  Romero picks up Dorada, back kick by Romero but Dorada kicks him back.  Jumping knee by Romero, he picks up Dorada but Dorada hits a rebound elbow strike.  Romero and Dorada trade elbows but Romero applies a cross armbreaker.  Dorada gets out of it, Romero goes for the Shiranui but Dorada blocks it.  Kick by Romero to the head, cover, but it gets a two count.  Romero picks up Dorada, he drapes him over the top rope and goes out to the apron, hitting the swandive missile dropkick.  Cover, but Dorada kicks out.  Dorada throws Romero out to the apron, he goes for another swandive move but Dorada kicks him before he can make it over.  Hurricanrana by Dorada, he picks up Romero and plants him with the Dorada Screwdriver for the three count!  Another solid match, not a home run but fun from start to finish.  I am glad that Dorada joined New Japan, he has brought some freshness to the division.  I like Romero but I will probably take a break from him after this as he is definitely the type of wrestler that has to do every one of his spots in every match, it got a bit repetitive as the tournament progressed. A fun match but nothing more than that.

Bobby Fish vs. Nick Jackson
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.  They circle each other to start, kick by Jackson and a side headlock, Fish Irish whips out of it and Jackson jumps out of the ring. Fish goes out after him, Jackson slides back in and he kicks Fish back.  Jackson gets on Hall’s shoulders outside of the ring but Fish baseball slides Hall to knock them over.  Jackson gets back in and Fish lariats him, back elbow by Fish and he kicks Jackson in the chest.  Irish whip by Fish but Hall hits him from the floor and Jackson kicks Fish to the mat.  Jackson stomps down Fish in the corner, eye rake by Jackson and he shoulders Fish in the corner.  Jackson scratches Fish’s back and Hall hits Fish from the floor.  Jackson covers Fish but it gets a two count.  Jackson kicks Fish, elbows by Jackson but Fish elbows him back.  Superkick by Jackson but Fish falls over and headbutts Jackson low.  Fish drives Jackson back into the corner and he hits a lariat, Hall gets on the apron though and distracts Fish so Jackson can hit Fish from behind.  Jackson drops Fish onto the apron and Fish dives out of the ring onto Hall.  Jackson jumps out to the apron and he kicks Fish in the head before hitting a tornado DDT down to the floor.  Hall then picks up Fish and runs him all the way to the back and puts him down to try to get him counted out.  The referee starts his count but Fish slowly makes his way back to ringside and barely makes the 20 count.  Springboard dropkick by Jackson, but Jackson accidentally kicks the ring post and Fish trips Jackson, causing Jackson to face plant on the apron.  Fish hits an exploder into the turnbuckles, cover, but it gets a two count.  Punches by Fish but Jackson ducks the kick, and Fish hits a modified Samoan Drop.  Jackson crawls out to the apron, he kicks Fish and he nails a swandive face crusher for a two count.  Jackson knees Fish in the corner but Fish ducks a kick and he goes for the Falcon Arrow.  Jackson slides away, but Fish hits a dragon screw leg whip.  Fish goes off the ropes and hits an elbow smash, Falcon Arrow by Fish but Jackson barely kicks out.  Fish applies the cross kneelock but Jackson reverses it with a cover for two.  Leg kick by Jackson but Fish kicks out of the pin.  Back kick by Jackson but Fish blocks the next one, elbow by Jackson but Fish returns the favor.  Another Falcon Arrow by Fish and this time he gets the three count!  I enjoyed this one too, the wrestlers are stepping it up a bit since this is the last day.  It was a little goofy but I liked Hall carrying Fish to the back to try to get him counted out, at least it was different.  Solid action from start to finish.  Mildly Recommended

Gedo vs. Kyle O'Reilly
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament.  O’Reilly applies a headlock and then a wristlock to start, he gets Gedo to the mat but Gedo gets to the ropes.  Side headlock by Gedo, Gedo goes for a sunset flip but O’Reilly blocks it and goes for the cross armbreaker.  Gedo gets to the ropes, he pokes O’Reilly in the eyes but O’Reilly applies the armbreaker over the top rope while Gedo is on the apron.  O’Reilly dropkicks Gedo off the apron to the floor, he then goes out after him and slams his arm into the table.  O’Reilly pulls Gedo’s shoulder into the ring post before sliding him back in, hammerlock by O’Reilly and he throws Gedo into the turnbuckles.  O’Reilly continues working over the arm but Gedo eventually snaps off a DDT.  Punches by Gedo, Irish whip by O’Reilly and he kicks O’Reilly in the leg.  Gedo rams O’Reilly’s leg into the ring post, and then he applied a figure four leglock around the ring post.  Back in the ring Gedo dropkicks O’Reilly in the knee and he applies a figure four leglock, but O’Reilly gets to the ropes.  He goes for it again but O’Reilly blocks it and applies a seated armbar.  Gedo makes it to the ropes, O’Reilly picks up Gedo but Gedo elbows him.  Gedo kicks O’Reilly in the leg but O’Reilly hits a leg sweep.  O’Reilly applies a double underhook and hits rolling double arm suplexes for a two count cover.  O’Reilly picks up Gedo, kicks to the leg by O’Reilly and he hits a jumping knee.  O’Reilly goes for a kick but Gedo catches it and applies an inside cradle for two.  O’Reilly applies the cross armbreaker but Gedo rolls it over for a two count.  Back kick by O’Reilly but the referee is bumped.  Low blow by Gedo, Complete Shot by Gedo and he puts O’Reilly in the Gedo Clutch for a two count.  Kick to the leg by Gedo but O’Reilly blocks the superkick and hits an armbreaker.  Scissors kick by O’Reilly and he hits the pendulum lariat for a two count.  Brainbuster by O’Reilly and he applies the Armageddon, and Gedo taps out! This one was very fundamentally sound. More mat based then the last few matches so it was a nice change of pace, I can't say it was overly exciting in the middle portion of the match but both stayed focused on their intended limb so at least it was structured well. Gedo had a pretty good tournament as did O'Reilly. Mildly Recommended

Chase Owens vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
This match is part of the Best of the Super Jr. Tournament. This is an interesting match for the main event but for Block points purposes it makes sense. They jockey on the mat, Irish whip by Taguchi and he hits Owens with a hip attack. Owens crawls into the ropes but eventually gets back up, strikes by Owens but Taguchi Irish whips him. Shoulderblock by Owens and Taguchi hip attacks Owens's leg. More hip attacks by Taguchi but Owens ducks one and Taguchi tumbles out of the ring. Owens goes out after him and he rams Taguchi into the ring apron. Owens drops Taguchi onto the apron and rolls him into the ring, cover by Owens but it gets a two count. Stomps by Owens, he picks up Taguchi and hits a hard elbow. Taguchi fights back but Owens elbows him in the back of the head and hits a neckbreaker for a two count. Neck crank by Owens by Owens but Taguchi kicks him back, knee by Owens but Taguchi hits a hip attack. Big boot by Owens but Taguchi hip attacks him out of the ring. Taguchi then goes off the far ropes and he sails out onto Owens with a tope con hilo. Taguchi rolls Owens back in, hip attacks by Taguchi, Irish whip by Taguchi and he hits a springboard hip attack for a two count. Owens hits an armdrag followed by a backbreaker, Owens picks up Taguchi but Taguchi hits a back bodydrop. Taguchi tries to sit on Owens but Owens moves, Owens picks up Taguchi but Taguchi reverses the fireman's carry into a... face sit I guess for two. Taguchi goes for the sliding hip attack but Owens reverses it, Taguchi applies an ankle hold but Owens gets out of it. Owens goes for a kick but Taguchi moves and he gets the ankle hold re-applied, but Owens gets to the ropes.

Taguchi picks up Owens but Owens hits a slingshot backbreaker. Half nelson backbreaker by Owens, Taguchi drops Owens out onto the apron but Owens hits a slingshot Codebreaker for a two count. Owens nails the Package Piledriver, cover, but Taguchi gets a shoulder up. Owens isn't amused and he throws Taguchi out of the ring, he goes to the floor as well and he removes the mats at ringside. Owens goes for the piledriver on the floor but Taguchi gets out of it and hits a DDT on the exposed floor. They both slowly get back into the ring and trade elbows on their knees, inside cradle by Taguchi but it gets two. Owens blocks the hip attack and rolls up Taguchi, but he gets a two as well. Enziguri by Taguchi and he delivers the Dodon's Throne, but Owens kicks out of the cover. Taguchi goes off the ropes and he hits the sliding hip attack, cover, but Owens gets a shoulder up. Taguchi picks up Owens but Owens blocks the Dodon and he drops him with another Package Piledriver, this time getting the three count! This is an odd match for me to critique. Action-wise I didn't really get into it until the last few minutes, everything from the Package Piledriver kickout onwards was good but the first part was repetitive and unimaginative. The crowd was into it due to the implications (if Taguchi won, he reached the finals) so that helped. Definitely some solid stuff here and there but the first half was just too Taguchi for me. Mildly Recommended

Final Thoughts:

This show was definitely a big step up from the last few. There were a few reasons for this - being the last show with block matches there was a bit more emotion, it was shot better so we could see what was going on, and since it was their last big matches on the tour I think the wrestlers were putting a bit more effort into it. What that created was a slew of solid matches, nothing was really great since it was still the end of a long tour and there were still time constraints, but there were a lot of good matches on this show. If you only pick a couple of full events from the BOSJ to watch, make this show one of them, there is enough good here to make it worth viewing.

Grade: B-

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event reviewed on 6/10/15