The BoSJ was reaching its climax as we headed into day 13 and by the end of today’s match ups, we would learn who would reach the final of the Best Of The Super Juniors tournament 2016.
Barreta Def. Thunder Liger
A fairly decent opener here, neither men had anything to lose or anything to gain. After a short back and forth contest (Match time was 5:18) Barreta picked up the big win against the legend Jushin Thunder Liger following the dudebuster. **
Bobby Fish Def. Tiger Mask
I really enjoyed this match. These guys really brought their A game here. Fish tried to choke out Tiger Mask early on in the match, which gave Fish the upper hand for a while, until both competitors exchanged a vicious series of kicks and both went down. After some exciting submission holds and near falls, it proved to be Bobby Fish’s day as once he locked in the Knee Bar, Tiger Mask had to submit. ***
Chase Owens Def. Ricochet
Oh it happened, Owens did defeat Ricochet, don’t pinch yourself! Owens went out to spoil any chance for Ricochet progressing. Once again, Owens was accompanied to the ring by Bullet Club’s greatest member, Yujiro Takahashi, who really pulled out all the stops to ensure Chase Owens would be the victor here. Ricochet did take out Takahashi early with a fantastic dive.
You could say this was one of Chase Owens’ best match in the tournament, as he really took it to Ricochet. There were some great false finishes including when Chase Owens hit Ricochet with a Knucks Shot and there was 3 inches between hand and mat on the three count. This match came to an end when Chase Owens & Takahashi combined to ensure that Ricochet couldn’t kick out.. Those Dastardly Bullet Club members! ***½
Will Ospreay Def. Volador Jr
The elimination of Ricochet previous to this match meant that the winner of this match up would reach the final. There was a lot to play for in this match and both men really tried to wrap things up quickly. These two men are some of the best high fliers the world can offer, and they sure let us know this. Plenty of big moves from both competitors: Ospreay was really on a par with the veteran Volador, even outshining him. The finish to this match was immense, Volador attempted a spanish fly which was somehow reversed into a diving cutter by Ospreay who picked up the 3 count for his big win which saw him advance to the finals. ***½
SANADA, EVIL & Naito Def. Okada, YOSHI-HASHI & Goto
Rocky Romero Def. Kyle O’Reilly
This was one heck of a match! Romero has really performed well throughout the tournament, and against an opponent like O’Reilly, this match was did not disappoint. This was a superb mat based match, with O’Reilly targeting Romero’s injured shoulder, and Romero trying to keep O’Reilly at bay with some great strikes. Romero’s strikes proved to be the difference between the two, as after a series of strikes and his Nomisugi Knee, he picked up the victory, simultaneously knocking O’Reilly out of the tournament. ***¾
Matt Sydal Def. David Finlay
Another solid match from Block A. Finlay looks to be really improving, especially in the last few days of the tournament. There was a great near fall where Finlay used the same roll up on Sydal, that he used to defeat Gedo with. He’s noticeably extending his ever impressive arsenal of moves, which was reflected in this match with a superb deadlift German Suplex. However, it yet again proved not to be Finlay’s day as after a thundering kick to the head, Sydal hit his Shooting Star Press to pick up the victory. Sydal was still alive and kicking at this moment in time, but he had to hope that both KUSHIDA & Taguchi would lose. ***¼
Ryusuke Taguchi Def. Gedo
From the opening bell, Gedo began using his dirty tactics to gain the upper hand. Gedo managed to get the over Taguchi for a short while. Some great moments including Taguchi countering a crossface into an ankle lock which had the crowd really into it.
Similar to last year’s finish with the opposite ending, Taguchi stole the win right from underneath Gedo with a roll up pin to put himself in the final so long as KUSHIDA didn’t pick up the win in the final match of today’s card. What’s also important is that this match showed that when Taguchi isn’t goofing around, he is an outstanding performer. TAKE NOTE, KENNY OMEGA! **¾
BUSHI def. KUSHIDA
This match was to decide the other finalist. It was down to Taguchi or KUSHIDA. BUSHI was out to spoil any chance of KUSHIDA winning the BoSJ two years running, and looked to accomplish that straight away with a near fall following a codebreaker. KUSHIDA, as usual, was running the show and targeted the arm of BUSHI. He looked to have the victory at arms reach, once he locked in his armbar but BUSHI sprayed him with the mist, following that up with 2 more codebreakers to put KUSHIDA away. ***½
This result now confirms that the final of the BoSJ will be:
Will Ospreay vs Ryusuke Taguchi
*After the match, BUSHI also sprayed his mist on the Jr Heavyweight title belt and demanded a title shot. With challenges from Romero, BUSHI, Sydal, O’Reilly and whoever the tournament winner is.. KUSHIDA is going to have a really busy few months.