Friday, May 27, 2016
After a night off from action, the tournament returns for a full B Block show. That’s right, non-tournament matches and multiple cameras! I’ve been waiting for one of these again. Some interesting matchups here to say the least and I’m actually going to try and watch the entire show later today. For now though, it’s just the tournament matches again. It will be interesting to see if the upset booking continues as we’re now deeper into the tournament.
Chase Owens decided to be a dick and attack Tiger Mask during his entrance, giving himself an early advantage. Yujiro Takahashi tried to take Tiger Mask to the back for the countout, but Tiger Mask returned and threw Takahashi aside, beating the count. Owens did a good job of heeling it up as he messed with the fans and talked a fair amount of smack. Just as Tiger Mask gained momentum, Takahashi got involved again. It ended up backfiring as Tiger Mask got rid of him and then countered some Owens offense with a pinning combination to earn his first victory. Like everything involving Tiger Mask so far, this was decent at best. The best part of it was surprisingly Owens and his heel tactics.
When asked to shake hands, Fish responded with a loud “I LOVE TO SHAKE HANDS”! He and Beretta know each other quite well from tag matches. They’ve gotten off to opposite starts in the tournament so far. They wrestled at a good pace and everything they did came off well. Things didn’t pick up until Fish hit a big suplex on the outside and you got the feeling this was going into next gear. Fish began to attack the leg, even hitting a moonsault onto it at one point. The finishing stretch was solid and saw Fish pull off a reDRagon staple. He took a kickout by Beretta and turned it into the Fish Hook. It made Beretta tap out, which the referee missed at first, but eventually got right. A good match though something was missing to take it over the top.
Lots of respect shown early on with a handshake, as well as Liger holding the ropes open for Volador. Volador found himself in a bit of trouble but blocked a super rana attempt and scored on a missile dropkick. With the crowd firmly behind him, Liger seemed extra motivated. He did his usual stuff like the Liger Bomb and surfboard, but something just seemed to be clicking for him. Since he’s worked with KUSHIDA last month, he’s been on point. Volador did his mask removal gimmick and tried a moonsault but Liger got his feet up. Liger went up, but Volador followed and hit the top rope Spanish fly to hand Liger his first loss. Liger is pretty gangster for taking moves like that at his age. Overall, this was a solid bout. There was nothing special about it, but both guys worked hard and we got a good match out of it.
We learned yesterday that Will Ospreay has been working through an injury and I wonder if that has something to do with the decision to have him 0-2. This is Ospreay’s first career singles match in Korakuen Hall. These two had a terrific match headlining Evolve 59 during WrestleMania weekend. Both guys wanted to strut their athletic stuff at the beginning and boy did they. The pace in which they moved, trying to outlast the other in their exchange, was incredible. I’m happy I haven’t been doing play-by-play on these matches because this would have exhausted me. They played it to show that both men are equal and it allowed for some breathtaking moments. At one point, Ricochet hit an apron DVD and went to throw Ospreay back in, but he basically did a 619 to land on Ricochet’s shoulders and snapped off a reverse rana to lead to a double countout tease. The spot didn’t come off as crisp as they’d hoped, but that was the only one of the night to feel that way. Things progressed from aerial exhibition to something more personal as Ricochet spit at Ospreay, leading to an uppercut battle. Ospreay then delivered a headbutt that would make even Ishii and Shibata cringe. Their final few minutes were again, unreal at times. Ospreay avoided the Benadryller and won with the springboard cutter. An excellent match that was easily the second best of the tournament so far. I even liked it more than their Evolve 59 outing.
After the match, they started to show each other. The crowd seemed to want a rematch and both men seemed to agree on it sometime down the line before shaking hands.
Overall: I found this similar to night one. The main event absolutely stole the show. Owens and Tiger Mask had the worst match of the tournament so far, but the rest of the matches made up for it. Fish/Beretta and Liger/Volador were both solid showings before Ospreay and Ricochet blew everyone’s minds. A must see MOTYC and the best showing from the B Block so far. Unlike the A Block, this side is wide open.