Osaka Municipal Central Gymnasium, Japan.
In front of 1,340 Spectators, The BoSJ tournament rumbled on. 4 matches took place from A Block, attempting to follow up possibly one of the most hotly debated topics following Ricochet vs Ospreay’s awe-inspiring match. Fortunately, O’ great one Elliott (@SpecficLuchador) wrote a brilliant piece which you can also find on Kayfabe Today regarding the match that took place.
Onto today’s match card, there as some great matches that took place, and as ever, I took great pleasure in taking the time to review them. There was 4 tag matches to further ongoing feuds, which posed another question that I’m sure will be answered soon.. When will Okada finally give Naito his comeuppance?
(4 tag match results)
Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Michael Elgin & Volador Jr Def. Tomohiro Ishii, Barreta & Will Ospreay
Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV Def. Katsuyori Shibata, Juice Robinson, Jay White & Bobby Fish
Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens Def Satoshi Kojima, Yoshitatsu, Captain New Japan & Ricochet
Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI Def. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & EVIL
(Block A Match Results & Reviews)
Match 1: David Finlay vs Gedo
David Finlay desperately sought to finally get some points on the board, heading into this highly anticipated match with Gedo, sitting on a (0-3) record. A very physical beginning to the tournament matches, with Gedo bringing the intensity straight out the blocks. David Finlay is one of the rising stars in the company so it was no surprise that the fans were firmly behind him once Gedo began using the ring bell and a steel chair in order to gain an advantage. Finlay had a good match, working well throughout the crowd, and the crowd erupted once he won via cradle! Good way to open the tournament today ** ¾
Match 2: Rocky Romero vs BUSHI
Okay so I’m not huge on either BUSHI or Romero, but this match exceeded my expectations and I’m more than happy to admit that. Rocky Romero really stole the show here, some really solid wrestling. BUSHI performed most of his spots and impressed. Some near falls kept the crowd hot, and the ending came when BUSHI blew his green mist once the referee was distracted and got the win via pinfall after a codebreaker. This was the first points on the board for BUSHI who was one of the favourites to progress well. ***
Match 3: Kyle O’Reilly vs Matt Sydal
My fondness of Kyle O’Reilly grows everytime I see him, by the time the BoSJ tournament is over, I’ll probably have one of his T-shirts. It was quite the opposites attract as a match, Sydal with his high flying arsenal and Kyle O’Reilly with some great submission maneuvers. I’m aware that many are backing Kyle O’Reilly to win the whole tournament but unfortunately it was to be Sydal’s day when he hit a double kneedrop from the top rope followed by his perfect Shooting Star Press. These two are undoubtedly two of the best in the World, and today’s showing by both competitors only solidified these claims if you were unsure. ***¼
Match 4: KUSHIDA vs Ryusuke Taguchi (KUSHIDA Def. Taguchi)
KUSHIDA has started the tournament on fire, but unfortunately heading into day 7, his ranking in Block A wasn’t reflecting this, so he was looking to pick up 2 big points against Taguchi. KUSHIDA was also looking for his first victory against Taguchi in New Japan history. This was an immense match, I honestly don’t remember seeing Taguchi feature in a singles match as good as this. With the majority of the high flying wrestling being left to Ospreay, Ricochet and Volador, this match focused around more solid wrestling – Vader now has a part of NJPW in 2016 that he can enjoy. There was plenty of tense near falls and submissions throughout the match which only heightened the intensity of the match. KUSHIDA kicked out of the Dodon, and Taguchi somehow managed to escape the Hoverboard lock. This match was not disappointing whatsoever!
The finish came when KUSHIDA locked in the arm bar and Taguchi had no choice but to submit in what was one of the best matches of the tournament so far, another match that has me kicking myself that I wrote my top 5 MOTM prior to watching this match! Outstanding all round. *** ¾
A Block standings after Day Seven:
Sydal [6 points]
O’Reilly [6 points]
Taguchi [6 points]
Romero [4 points]
KUSHIDA [4 points]
BUSHI [2 points]
Finlay [2 points]
Gedo [2 points]