Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Fave Five 5/23/16-5/29.16

1) Will Ospreay and Ricochet: The match that is getting ALL of the buzz this week. Will Ospreay and Ricochet met in the main event of night six of the Best of the Super Juniors Tournament in one of the most incredible displays of athleticism that I've ever seen. A lot of people loved the match and a lot of people hated it. I can see the arguments from both sides and understand where people are coming from. I'm of the group of people that thought it was great. They went full tilt for almost seventeen minutes in the second best match from the tournament right now. NJPW World has uploaded the match for free now, so everyone can go check it out. Ospreay got the win, his first in an NJPW singles match, but both men deserve the high praise here.

2) Jack Evans, Johnny Mundo and PJ Black: The trio of arguably the biggest pricks in LU had a great week. While Cage captured the Gift of the Gods Championship from Chavo Guerrero on the same episode, the main event is where the real praise goes. Jack Evans and PJ Black were scheduled to team with Fenix in an attempt to win the Trios Titles. Taya pulled them aside and revealed a beaten up Fenix. Johnny Mundo showed up, as the one who attacked him, and became their new partner. The three men took on Dragon Azteca Jr., Prince Puma and Rey Mysterio Jr. for the Trios Titles and won the belts in a fun match. They used all sorts of underhanded tactics but the important thing is that they got the job done.

3) Matt Sydal: After losing his first Best of the Super Juniors match to Rysuke Taguchi (seriously, why is he 4-1?), Matt Sydal has reeled off four straight wins to tie for first place. During the week of 5/23-5/29, he went 3-0. First, he defeated winless BUSHI in a solid match. Then, he beat NJPW booker Gedo in a decent outing. Finally, on night seven of the tournament, he handed Kyle O'Reilly his first loss of the tournament in a great match, putting himself in first place. I wasn't expecting this successful of a showing from Sydal, but he and his partner Ricochet have both done rather well.

4) The Miz: I know a lot of people don't like him and a lot don't respect his skills, but Miz keeps on killing it. After retaining his Intercontinental Title in his best match ever at Extreme Rules, Miz did suffer a tough loss to Cesaro on Raw. That win earned Cesaro another shot at the Intercontinental Title in the main event of Smackdown. This was again, one of the better singles matches of the Miz's career and he pulled out another victory over Cesaro. I'm not sure what his plans are heading into Money in the Bank, but he is still your IC Champion. He was also just chosen to star in another WWE Film, the Marine 5. Plus, Maryse is his wife. Life is good for the Miz.

5) Cage: Won the Gift of the Gods Championship.

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Eight Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors Night Eight
May 30th, 2016 | Yonago Convention Center in Yonago, Tottori, Japan

Night seven was a full show with the multi-camera look. We’re back to just the tournament matches and single camera style for night eight and the B Block. Our last B Block match was the heavily polarizing clash between Ricochet and Will Ospreay. None of the matches on this night look quite as intriguing but should still be fun.

B Block: Chase Owens [4] def. Beretta [4] in 9:53
Chase Owens made sure to attack Beretta during his entrance and give us some crowd brawling. Luckily, the camera was able to catch most of it this time around. Once back in the ring, Owens held serve until Beretta delivered a back body drop onto the apron. Beretta got off a shaky top rope rana, rolled through and nailed a knee for a near fall. He got a few more close calls so Owens had Yujiro Takahashi toss him a steel chair. The referee stopped him, but it opened the door for Owens to use brass knuckles like a 90’s heel. That and the package piledriver led him to even his wins and losses. Like most of Owens’ stuff in the tournament, it’s been okay and nothing more really. Kind of dull at times. **½

B Block: Tiger Mask IV [4] def. Will Ospreay [2] in 7:41
Despite his record, Ospreay has been one of the best performers in the tournament so far, while Tiger Mask has been on the opposite end of that spectrum. They worked at a fast pace, faster than most Tiger Mask matches in recent memory. Ospreay seemed to have a bigger upper hand throughout the match, but made a mistake as a high risk move failed due to Tiger Mask getting his knees up. Tiger Mask then went deep into his bag of tricks to pull out a top rope tiger suplex for a very close near fall. He stayed on Ospreay though and made him submit to a pretty badass looking armbar. Another strong match from Ospreay and probably my favorite from Tiger Mask so far. I’m not sure what the plan is for Ospreay, who is now just 1-3 in the tournament. ***

B Block: Bobby Fish [4] def. Volador Jr. [4] in 8:48
Both guys have been good so far in the tournament, but neither has quite had a standout match just yet. Bobby seemingly jawed with a fan at ringside for a bit and once things started, he ended up back out there and took a dive from Volador. That high flying style got Volador the advantage on a few occasions, but Fish took it right to his leg, not only taking out that part of his offense, but setting up for the Fish Hook later. It was some kicks to the leg that led to a falcon arrow near fall in which Fish instantly locked in the Fish Hook out of the kick out. Volador had to give up and Fish was able to get his second straight victory. Like I said about their tournaments, this was good but not great. Both guys have been really consistent so far and it continued here. ***

B Block: Ricochet [6] def. Jushin Thunder Liger [4] in 11:30
With the losses by Volador and Beretta earlier, whoever won this match would gain sole possession of first place after the night ended. While this began slowly, it got better as it went on. Ricochet was his usual self and props to Liger who was able to keep up with him at every turn despite the major age difference. Near the end, there was a great spot where Ricochet applied a submission and Liger gave a cool tease of a tap out before reaching the ropes. After some more back and forth, Ricochet nailed a Brainbuster for two and went right back to the submission, making Liger tap. While the finish is cool, it’s been done a fair amount in the tournament, and in the last match, which took away from it here. ***½

Overall: 6.5/10. Not the best night so far, but another easy watch. Only having the tournament matches is good since most of them don’t last overly long and are all at least decent. Liger/Ricochet was the best of the bunch, but Tiger Mask/Ospreay and Volador/Fish were both good matches.

Ryusuke Taguchi6 (3-1)Ricochet6 (3-1)
Matt Sydal6 (3-1)Beretta4 (2-2)
Kyle O'Reilly6 (3-1)Jushin Thunder Liger4 (2-2)
Rocky Romero4 (2-2)Volador Jr.4 (2-1)
KUSHIDA4 (2-2)Bobby Fish4 (2-2)
David Finlay2 (1-3)Chase Owens4 (2-2)
Gedo2 (1-3)Tiger Mask IV4 (2-2)
BUSHI2 (1-3)Will Ospreay2 (1-3)