Thursday, May 25, 2017

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXIV Night Four Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXIV Night Four
May 21st, 2017 | Kira Messe Yumatsu in Numazu, Shizuoka, Japan | Attendance: 1,470

We’re back to the mostly awesome A Block today, including what should be a fun meeting between Jushin Thunder Liger and Marty Scurll, as well as a rematch of the awesome Ricochet/Hiromu Takahashi match from 4/29.

A Block: TAKA Michinoku [2] vs. Will Ospreay [2]
TAKA beat Liger and lost to Taichi, while Ospreay lost to Scurll and beat Ricochet. I thought there were a few good moments in this. TAKA applying the crossface outside for a great countout tease, and then putting the hold right back on once Ospreay beat the count, was great. The tease was a bit phony though as Ospreay was down and then could suddenly run hard enough to beat the count at 19. My main concern with this match was that it was mostly TAKA on offense. I get the heel doing a heat segment, but this could’ve used more of Ospreay’s fun offense. Instead, he got beat up, then got his shit in and won with the Oscutter at 8:46. TAKA’s best work was still against Liger. This felt like an off night for Will following two tough matches to begin the tournament. That’s okay sometimes. [**½]

A Block: Jushin Thunder Liger [0] vs. Marty Scurll [2]
These two met at Global Wars UK last year (***¼), where Marty came out with his own version of Liger’s mask. This was literally a superhero against a villain. This was delightfully campy. Both guys brought fun antics and I got a kick out of Liger mocking the “WOOT WOOT” from Marty’s theme. With Liger in control, Marty got more aggressive. He targeted the arm, looking to set up the Chicken Wing. Liger retaliated with some hope spots, including a super rana and superplex, but it was never enough. He tried an O’Connor roll, but Marty turned it into the chicken wing and Liger had to tap at 12:16. Scurll is three for three in fun matches. This was another strong performance by both men. I’d like Liger to sweep his last four matches and win the block. [***½]

A Block: Dragon Lee [4] vs. Taichi [2]
This tournament is the rare case where a booker should’ve booked himself instead of another talent. He should be in this tournament instead of Taichi. Taichi has this ability to make even the most interesting wrestlers have shit matches. He did it with Ricochet on night one and he tried his hardest with Lee here. We got the typical Suzuki-Gun BS where Desperado jumped Lee while Taichi distracted the referee. Lee’s offense looked good, but everything Taichi did was a drag. Lee hit a corner exploder and a snap German, but then Desperado hit him with a chair. Taichi won shortly after with a powerbomb in 9:04. I wouldn’t be surprised if, at the end of this tournament, Taichi has the seven worst matches all by himself. This sucked and I’m already beyond tired of Taichi in this thing. [*½]

A Block: IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi [2] vs. Ricochet [2]
Their match at Wrestling Toyonokuni ruled (****¼), but I came in expecting a bit less effort with this being a house show type deal. Their last match started insanely hot, but this had a more subdued Knowing the champion, Ricochet had a counter for his sunset flip bomb. Hiromu weathered that storm and took control, choosing to toy with Ricochet. It’s as if, because he beat him last month, Hiromu figured it would be a walk in the park this time. They kept yelling each other’s names before moves. “HIROMU!” “RICOCHET!” Ricochet rallied and the match kept a brisk pace throughout. There was a sense of urgency that neither man wanted to fall to 1-2. Both guys threw bombs down the stretch, before Ricochet dug deep and pulled out Vertigo. Or King’s Landing. I’m not sure what the name is. The match ended at 12:15. I wouldn’t put this on the level of their title match, but this was still a great main event that fit their styles. [***¾]

Overall: 6/10. As long as Taichi’s around, these A Block shows won’t be getting great scores. Hiromu, Ricochet, Liger and Scurll all brought it, producing two quality matches. Taichi sucked the life out of the show and Ospreay took a night off, which is understandable. Middling stuff. Check out Scurll/Liger and the main event, skip the rest.

A BlockPointsB BlockPoints
Marty Scurll4 (2-1)El Desperado4 (2-0)
Will Ospreay4 (2-1)Ryusuke Taguchi4 (2-0)
Ricochet4 (2-1)Volador Jr.2 (1-1)
Taichi4 (2-1)Yoshinobu Kanemaru2 (1-1)
Dragon Lee4 (2-1)Tiger Mask IV2 (1-1)
Hiromu Takahashi2 (1-2)ACH2 (1-1)
TAKA Michinoku2 (1-2)BUSHI0 (0-2)
Jushin Thunder Liger0 (0-3)KUSHIDA0 (0-2)