Monday, June 4, 2018

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXV Finals Review

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors XXV Finals
June 4th, 2018 | Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan | Attendance: N/A

We’ve reached the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors Tournament and it comes down to the two men I wanted to see in the end. For this review, I will just be covering the Ishimori/Hiromu match, as I’m pressed for time and want to get it out there. I will watch the rest of the show, but that will be later tonight.

Best of the Super Juniors Finals: Hiromu Takahashi [10] vs. Taiji Ishimori [10]
This is a first time ever matchup. They came out right after one another, brawling into the crowd and lifting some of what worked for the awesome Hiromu/Desperado match. However, they took it up a notch, with a spot that saw Hiromu take a rana down a flight of stairs. They went back to the ring, where Ishimori took control and wore down Hiromu. None of this felt like filler, by the way. Everything they did mattered and was interesting. When Hiromu got going on his comeback, it felt earned and the action heated up. I love that this didn’t follow the traditional “slow start, hot finish” of a lot of long NJPW main events. The pace made a lot of sense and worked for the guys involved. The back half of the match was outstanding, with two guys giving their all and throwing everything in their arsenal to win an important tournament. There’s a spot where Ishimori has a crossface in, and you think Hiromu might tap because Ishimori just pulls his limbs further and further from the ropes. That was far from the end, though. They went into an absurd stretch of counters, adding levels of the storytelling of the match, and heightening the drama. Seeing Taiji resort to the 450 was great, only to have it fail. Some of the moves we saw late were insane, especially Hiromu’s piledriver. Taiji refused to quit to the triangle choke, so Hiromu used Time Bomb and got the win in 34:09. What an incredible match. It featured breathtaking action, high levels of intensity, and edge of your seat drama. Everything they did just clicked and it provided me with arguably the best juniors match I’ve ever seen in NJPW.[****¾]

Hiromu Takahashi challenged Will Ospreay for the Junior Heavyweight Title (duh), which brought the champion out. Ospreay said he didn’t care about Hiromu winning the tournament, because the title makes him the best. At Dominion, we’ll really see who the best is. (Hint: even if he loses, it’s Hiromu.)

Hiromu ended the show by celebrating with his LIDJ buddies. During this time, the trophy actually broke.

Overall: 10/10. Yea, I only reviewed one match, but it was good enough to garner the rare 10/10 score. It’s a must-see match that currently sits in my top five for the year and it’s been a loaded year. Hiromu really is the best in the world.