Sunday, June 5, 2016

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Twelve Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Twelve
June 5th, 2016 | New Sunpia Takasaki in Takasaki, Gumma, Japan

It’s the final B Block exclusive night! Night thirteen has matches from both blocks and night fourteen is the finals. Will Ricochet lock up the block? Is Beretta going to end his losing streak? Can Will Ospreay find a way to stay alive? Big implications on this show.

B Block: Tiger Mask IV [6] def. Beretta [4] in 12:17
There was some playful back and forth within the first few minutes. Beretta tied Tiger Mask to the ring post outside, though it didn’t lead to too much of a countout tease. You have to be better at it Trent, like Toru Yano. They fought in the crowd, which was welcome with the multi-camera format. It also led to some rare fighting on the boards of the hockey rink around the arena. Once back inside, we got a series of near falls and close calls, including one after a top rope tiger suplex and tiger bomb from Tiger Mask. It was only when Tiger Mask went to an armbar that he was able to make Beretta submit. So the losing streak continues. Solid enough match. I liked the crowd brawling addition and thought most of the match was fine. **½

B Block: Will Ospreay [6] def. Jushin Thunder Liger [6] in 8:20
Well this is certainly an interesting first time ever matchup. Liger had some fun with the youngster, mocking him at point. Ospreay came back and targeted the arm for a bit before getting folded on a Liger Bomb. They did the countout tease, which happens far too often in tournament matches, G1 or BOTSJ and Liger got in at nineteen. Their final exchange was pretty good, as Ospreay hit a few high impact moves, including a sitout suplex and standing shooting star press, for two. Liger’s Brainbuster attempt was countered and Ospreay won with the springboard cutter. It was, like the previous match, mostly fine. It just felt like it was kind of just there. The crowd was surprisingly dead throughout, despite Liger always getting a good reaction and Ospreay already being pretty over. That didn’t help matters. **¾

B Block: Bobby Fish [6] def. Chase Owens [4] in 10:36
Coming in, I felt like these two could mesh well since neither has a style that is too high octane. The lack of commentary allowed us to hear Bobby Fish before the match, which was kind of funny. After a basic back and forth, it seemed like Owens went after the knee. He made sure to mock the fans by saying “Bobby” as he did so. Chase tried the Bret Hart ring post figure four but it looked like total shit. Fish tried a comeback but ate a big superkick from Owens. Owens withstood a barrage of kicks before applying another figure four variation, though Fish got out. Fish then came back and applied the Fish Hook for the victory. Surprisingly, I had an issue with Fish in this match and not Owens. Fish didn’t well all of the leg work enough, hitting his comeback stuff like nothing for the most part. That took away from a good match. ***

B Block: Volador Jr. [8] def. Ricochet [8] in 12:03
The two men shook hands before the opening bell. They wrestled at a very fast pace to start, earning a standing ovation and leading to another shake of the hands. It looked far better than Volador’s struggles with Will Ospreay in a six man on the previous show. It’s not a big thing, but I love that the announcer says “five minutes passed” and then repeats it in Spanish during Volador matches. Volador nearly killed himself on a moonsault off the apron, but was lucky that Ricochet managed to catch him. Volador was in control for a bit until Ricochet snapped off a rana and then a spinning kick. We nearly got the infamous spot from Ricochet/Ibushi a few years back, as Volador tried a top rope rana only for Ricochet to land on his feet, though he stumbled a bit. Volador then hit a sick looking reverse rana to get the win and take the lead in B Block. This was a good match, though it had a few slip ups to keep it from being one of the best in the tournament. ***¼

If my math is right, the only people alive heading into the final night in B Block are Ricochet, Volador Jr. and Will Ospreay.

Overall: 6/10. One of the lesser nights of the tournament so far. The first match was decent enough and while the second was better, it felt like a disappointment. Fish/Owens had potential but a lack of selling hurt it. The main event was also good, but again had something missing to make it really good. Not a bad night, but not a very strong one either.

KUSHIDA8 (4-2)Volador Jr.8 (4-2)
Kyle O'Reilly8 (4-2)Ricochet8 (4-2)
Matt Sydal8 (4-2)Will Ospreay6 (3-3)
Ryusuke Taguchi8 (4-2)Jushin Thunder Liger6 (3-3)
BUSHI6 (3-3)Bobby Fish6 (2-3)
Rocky Romero6 (3-3)Tiger Mask IV6 (3-3)
David Finlay2 (1-5)Beretta4 (2-4)
Gedo2 (1-5)Chase Owens4 (2-4)

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