NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING: BEST OF SUPER JUNIORS 2017

By Mark Worrall @hoohoowozza

NIGHT TWO – KORAKUEN HALL

THURSDAY MAY 18TH 2017

MATCH RESULTS

TAICHI DEFEATED TAKA MICHINOKU

DRAGON LEE DEFEATED MARTY SCURLL

HIROMU TAKAHASHI DEFEATED JUSHIN ‘THUNDER’ LIGER

WILL OSPREAY DEFEATED RICOCHET

MATCHES

TAKA MICHINOKU v TAICHI

With both guys being Suzuki Gun members it was a wonder how this match would prevail, what we actually got was a clever idea that saw almost an entire match where neither wrestler made any contact with their opponent and the only contact being the pin fall! The match began with reluctance from both Taka and Taichi to have any sort of wrestling match at all, they both attempted moves that made no contact as they went back and forth avoiding their opponent’s offence. Both exited the ring and contemplated bringing a foreign object into play and then going against that and the first real offence was when Taka kicked the rope as Taichi entered the ring, of course Taichi returned the compliment and took advantage of the time Taka used to sell being caught in the rope to untie the buckle pad and tricked Michinoku into running into the exposed buckle as Taka sold like he had just broken his shoulder. Bottom line, Taichi somehow rolled up Taka to gain his first two points. I enjoyed this for what it was, some may not, however Taichi cut short his entrance and unfortunately there was no Miho! Smiles all round as the Suzuki Gun members fist pumped each other post match.

DRAGON LEE v MARTY SCURLL

Both undefeated so someone was to take their first loss. Basic mat wrestling to start with some nice holds and roll ups before they began to test each other’s strength with some shoulder barges before Scurll got tired of that and stomped the left arm of Lee who immediately took cover ringside. Scurll still seemingly over with the Korakuen crowd finally achieved the heel boos that his character looks for as he tied the mask of Lee to the ropes which the crowd really did not take kindly too as Scurll beat down on the Mexican. Lee did recover as the crowd became invested in him as he took control of Scurll for a while as the match started to go back and forth. A measure of Scurll’s popularity was evident though as a suplex attempt from Lee saw Marty grab his fingers and the shhhh from the crowd, who after one match in Japan and this move is already over saw Scurll snap Lee’s fingers. Scurll would again snap the fingers of Lee as they battled on the top turn buckle, however Lee would knock Scurll back, as he leaned on the turnbuckle Lee hit a double stomp to win the match and stay undefeated. Great match that has me looking silly with Lee taking four points out of four so far. Lee looked great and Scurll played the crowd once again.

JUSHIN ‘THUNDER’ LIGER v HIROMU TAKAHASHI

Liger’s last BoSJ match at Korakuen and he went straight into it determined to relive the years and showed the old WCW Liger that I grew up with. Takahashi did not know what had hit him as he took a huge Lariat from Liger and took a near fall pin as Liger hit a centon on the escaping Junior Champion ringside before Takahashi received a brainbuster to the ring floor as Liger lit up the crowd and showed his intentions as he threw Takahashi back into the ring on the referee’s 16 count and slapped and stomped the gobsmacked Takahashi who cut Liger short by hitting a sunset bomb on Liger on the apron. This enabled Takahashi to gain control and he worked on Liger who was not having any of it as he produced a Liger bomb that had Takahashi barely scrambling out of the cover. Takahashi returned with a German suplex that had Liger no selling the move and hit Takahashi with another brainbuster with yet another near fall. Liger’s desperation to leave Korakuen with a victory in his final BoSJ match at the venue would become his down fall as Takahashi showed his supremacy and planted the ticking timebomb on the 50+ year old legend. Awesome match as Liger simply rolled out the years as he taught the youngster a thing or two and teasing another Takahashi loss seemed to be on the cards. Great send off for Liger from the crowd as they appreciated the performance that he had just given them.

WILL OSPREAY v RICOCHET

Stare down to start as we got a repeat of the previous year’s encounter that went viral worldwide and if a repeat of last year’s match was what you were expecting then you were not to be disappointed as this match, for me exceeded last year’s match up. These two have taken this match all over the world during the last year so how do you make this any different to all the previous encounters? Well, maybe you don’t, you just add to it! Mat wrestling to start with the usual feeling out process before they begun a sequence of moves and flips, and yes we got the same move set as the 2016 Gif they made famous, and yes it still impressed! Back and forth they took their offence with Ricochet controlling more of the match in parts as Ospreay sold big time again and we even got a ‘this is awesome’ chant from the crowd, not heard very often amongst Japanese fans. The ability of both Ospreay and Ricochet to counter one another’s moves is simply inspiring; some may call it choreographed, for me it gave the match that level of excitement that keeps you hanging in. The final stretch saw Ricochet hitting a German suplex before they had a rather tired looking elbow exchange as we headed towards the twenty-five minute mark until Ospreay unleashed on Ricochet with slaps and fists which Ricochet responded by hitting a big Lariat as they headed ringside with another move sequence until Ospreay was victim to a northern lights suplex on the apron followed by another suplex which had Ospreay crawling into the ring on 19! Ospreay’s determination to win saw a brilliant hurricanrana off the top rope to gain a near fall, but it was inevitable from there as the os-cutter put Ricochet away. Simply awesome and what we expect from both of these guys, Ospreay picks up his first two points as this group rolls on.

A BLOCK STANDING

DRAGON LEE 4

WILL OSPREAY 2

HIROMU TAKAHASHI 2

MARTY SCURLL 2

TAKA MICHINOKU 2

TAICHI 2

RICOCHET 2

JUSHIN LIGER 0

There were also four undercard matches with various tag matches between some of the B block competitors and usual New Japan heavyweights, however I just decided to review the BoSJ matches as that what this tour is all about. A great night of singles action with the B block taking centre stage on Saturday May 20th.

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