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Yamagata Yonezawa municipal gymnasium, Japan
Day 4 of the tournament showed little signs of slowing down. The tournament got off to a fantastic start, and this continued on day 4. With Bobby Fish, Tiger Mask, Volador Jr and Will Ospreay all sitting on 0 points prior to day 4, we were guaranteed some fantastic matches.
Match 1: Tiger Mask v Volador Jr
The crowd were fairly hot for the opening match, between Tiger Mask and Volador Jr. With both competitors sitting on 0 points, it was all to play for between the two. After a high paced opening, reminiscent of a Lucha Libre type match, a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by Tiger Mask calmed things down and the match swung in his favour. Tiger Mask tried to slow down and out grapple Volador Jr, with Volador Jr using his very athletic, quick style to his advantage to gain the upper hand in the latter stages of the match. After more back and forth action, Volador Jr turned to focusing on Tiger Mask’s arms with various submission holds, which proved to be effective as Tiger Mask eventually submitted to a variant of the arm bar. With Volador Jr picking up his first 2 points of the tournament, Tiger Mask still sits on 0 points after day 4. ***
Match 2: Thunder Liger vs Chase Owens
We were in for a treat as Yujiro Takahashi accompanied Chase Owens to the ring. However as obvious as can be, the crowd were hotly in Liger’s favour for the entire match, no surprises there! Was another upset to be on the cards, would Chase Owens pick up a further 2 points? With both competitors sitting on 2 points after their opening matches, we were assured that it was all to play for. After a fairly even opening, both men sizing each other up, Owens took advantage of having Takahashi in his corner and deployed him to distract and provide the extra damage on Thunder Liger. Those dastardly heels!
After Owens teased the piledriver, Liger’s reversal & distraction from Takahashi allowed Owens to deliver a low blow to Liger, it looked to be all over for Liger, but no! A smart reversal from Liger to get out of the Piledriver allowed Liger to score a roll up victory for the fan favourite.
The result incensed Owens and Takahashi who gave the good old Bullet Club beat down on Liger. After a piledriver on Liger, it wasn’t looking good, as he lay motionless in the ring, whether it’s a legitimate injury or a work to get him out of the tournament, is yet to be known. I guess he can feel better knowing he’s currently joint top of the group.. Right? ** ½
Match 3: Bobby Fish v Ricochet
Being a huge Ricochet fan, I’m going to try call this review straight down the middle! Ricochet, sitting on 2 points after the first round, Bobby Fish yet to score points: both men are fantastic wrestlers, this match had plenty of promise. After a fun opening, with Ricochet was firing on all cylinders to keep the crowd hot, you can just tell this is a man that loves what he does. This was a really good match, very fun to watch for all.
Ricochet controlled large parts of the match, proving to be far too quick and agile for Fish. Yet this didn’t stop Bobby Fish from occasionally cutting Ricochet down to size with a solid strike game. Towards the ending of the match, Bobby Fish was strongly in the driving seat until a very ferocious combination of kicks and knees allowed Ricochet to set up his finisher, which secured the win via pinfall, and another two points for Ricochet. Very fun match to watch all round. *** ½
Match 4: Will Ospreay vs Barretta
The excitement is always high for whenever I see Will Ospreay on the card, today was no exception. This match being somewhat the main event of the card, and it promised a great showdown for those coveted 2 points. The match opened with some back and forth wrestling, culminating in a gentleman-like handshake of respect between the two. Ospreay proved to be a treat to watch for the entire match, to say he’s 22 which normally is a fairly green age in wrestling, this man is a joy to watch and great beyond his years. The crowd really enjoyed this contest, as did I.
Barretta was struggling to keep up with Ospreay but eventually found ways to slow him down and most importantly, keep Ospreay’s feet on the ground. Barretta slowly took control of the match by working on Ospreay’s arms and legs, smart wrestling from Barretta whenever he was on offence. The match closed with Barretta scoring a pinfall victory after a vicious Omari Driver. As well as keeping Ospreay grounded well throughout the match, Ospreay also remains grounded in B Block, sitting on 0 points whilst Barretta now has 4 points. *** ½
A good evening of wrestling all round for B Blocks second day of competition.
B Blocks current standings:
Barretta – 4
Thunder Liger – 4
Ricochet – 4
Volador Jr – 2
Bobby Fish – 0
Tiger Mask – 0
Will Ospreay – 0