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By Mark Worrall @hoohoowozza
NIGHT ONE – KORAKUEN HALL
WEDNESDAY MAY 17TH 2017
TAKA MICHINOKU DEFEATED JUSHIN ‘THUNDER’ LIGER (A)
VOLADOR JR DEFEATED TIGER MASK IV (B)
RICOCHET DEFEATED TAICHI (A)
ACH DEFEATED BUSHI (B)
EL DESPERADO DEFEATED KUSHIDA (B)
MARTY SCURLL FORCED WILL OSPREAY TO TAP TO THE CHICKEN WING (A)
RYUSUKE TAGUCHI ROLLED UP YOSHINOBU KANEMARU (B)
DRAGON LEE DEFEATED HIROMU TAKAHASHI
TAKA MICHINOKU v JUSHIN ‘THUNDER’ LIGER
Liger is making his final BoSJ tournament appearance this year so will be somewhat disappointed with his opening match outcome, especially as he controlled the early offset of the match applying his basic array of moves and countering anything that Taka had for him. The determined veteran even
brought the use of a chair into proceedings which the referee seemingly ignored and put Michinoku into a figure four which he escaped. Taka turned the match to his favour as he applied a crossface on Liger who teased tapping out before finally reaching for safety. Taka then felt the force of a Liger bomb which he somehow managed to scramble out of the near fall to roll up the veteran and pick up his first two points. Decent opener that had the crowd invested even though Liger starts with a loss.
TIGER MASK v VOLADOR JR
Tiger worked the arm of Volador to begin with and worked hard throughout in what was not the tidiest of matches. Volador sold the arm work of Tiger well and favoured his left arm throughout. A tope con Hilo from Volador changed around the match to his favour until a mooonsault had Tiger lifting his knees to meet the Mexican. Tiger managed to get a Tiger Driver planted on Volador for a near fall before succumbing to a top rope Spanish fly from Volador as he won the match. No surprise here, however Tiger Mask gave Volador JR a good match.
TAICHI v RICOCHET
As soon has the bell rung Taichi was out and pacing the ring trying to frustrate Ricochet who just stood and smiled, and this seemed to go on for a while until Taichi threw Mio into the ring, by her hair to try and cause a distraction which it inevitably did as Taichi used his microphone to gain an advantage on Ricochet and followed up by using the bell hammer to wear down his opponent. Taichi’s methodical pace did nothing for him as this short match dragged until Ricochet gained back his offence on the lethargic Taichi, who tried to crawl back into the match with some neat kicks, however, ricochet put Taichi away with a benadryller and followed with a shooting star press to win. Taichi is a hard to watch, Mio is easy to look at and that is about it for the twosome, easy win for Ricochet.
BUSHI v ACH
Best match of the first half and Bushi put in a good shift and showed he can be more than just a LIJ whipping boy. After fooling ACH into a handshake, Bushi sent his opponent to the corner courtesy of a drop kick and from there controlled the early setting of the match and hitting ACH with a hurricanrana ringside which lead to a STF effort that saw ACH escape to retaliate with some old school comedy! ‘What’s that’ as he pointed upwards fooling the masked Bushi as he got thrown from the ring and was victim of a great reverse leg drop on the outside. There is an intense feeling to an ACH move and that was evident as the final stretch of the match saw ACH hit Bushi with a huge lariat which he followed with a michinoku driver to win the points. Good effort from both here as the first half of the show came to a close.
EL DESPERADO v KUSHIDA
Former ace of the Junior division, Kushida has watched Takahashi leapfrog him and take the division by storm. Although Kushida teases moving up to heavyweight, this competition is a way for him to find his way back to the top, unfortunately a loss here does not get him there yet. Desperado throwing his t-shirt at Kushida allows him to take advantage by laying the fists into Kushida, who counters by sending Desperado out of the ring. However Kushida would soon find himself being sent through the ringside chairs and punished around Korakuen Hall as Desperado used whatever he could to gain an advantage, and it seemed to work as he then picked apart the left leg of Kushida, who as always selled the injury really well. Kushida responded by working the left arm of Desperado and forced him to tap albeit futile as the referee was already down from a previous encounter. Desperado, to his credit hit Kushida with Guitarra de Angel and shocked the Korakuen crowd by defeating the Junior ace! Good start to the second half and not a result I for one expected.
MARTY SCURLL v WILL OSPREAY
You could hear Scurll mouth the words ‘Gonna make BoSJ my bitch’ and if these are his intentions then he is well on his way! So I guess we have seen this match many times before, and doing something new gets more difficult, but why shouldn’t they, it works, they work, and yet again these two British stars did not disappoint. You have to remember, for the Japanese fans this is new and they were well into this match, especially Scurll who for somebody making their Japanese debut was well over with the Korakuen crowd, power of the internet I suppose. An ospreay/Scurll match is like watching an old film that you just love, watch it a thousand times and it still works and looks good. This was a match that went back and forth as they each countered one another’s moves they know so well, and the rivalry between the two is so evident. Crowd responded well to Scurll flapping his wings as he teased the Chicken wing, and when asked to shush, they did as Scurll snapped the fingers of Ospreay. So it was only fitting that Ospreay tapped when Scurll applied the Chicken wing for real and a win on his debut and with the fans too.
YOSHINOBU KANEMARU v RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
Two veterans of the Junior division and a fun little match to set us up for the main event. Crowed enjoyed the chemistry here as Taguchi and Kanemaru ran and jumped and countered one another before Kanemaru ate his first bite of Taguchi’s rear, his offence which would actually bring him some pain as an awkward landing after being tied up in a cobra clutch would see him favouring his right side. Kanemaru gave some good offence here in match not taken too seriously but was still enjoyable at that. Taguchi would put an ankle lock on Kanemaru that had Taka Michinoku, who had accompanied him ringside jumping to the apron as the referee sought to stop the interference, Kanemaru delivered a low blow on Taguchi who somehow countered by kicking Kanemaru into Taka and rolling up Kanemaru on the rebound to score the win. Nice match, not harmless by any means as the comedic side of Taguchi prevails until the serious side emerges as the competition rolls on.
HIROMU TAKAHASHI v DRAGON LEE
A rematch from New Beginning and the main event of tonight’s show saw another quality encounter between two men who started the match with a two minute slap fest before Takahashi hurricanrana’d Lee out of the ring. However, it would be Lee who would dominate most of the match as Takahashi looked slightly lethargic throughout, whether that was his intentions I’m not sure, but lee seem to get the better of most of the offence in a match that was back and forth, however lee’s offence seem to mean more. So the match had plenty of great moves and near falls, and a great exchange of German suplexes before Takahashi felt the stomping feet of Lee on his head from the top turnbuckle. Takahashi’s desperation saw him trying to remove the mask of lee whose offence began to look tired as Lee hit Takahashi with a death valley driver into the turn buckle which he followed with a Phoenix plex to award Takahashi his first loss since returning to the company last November. Match of the night and Takahashi losing to lee a day ago would have been a surprise to me, after this match, I’m not so sure.
So the first night of BoSJ is past us, a good opening round that was an easy watch and very enjoyable. Now the blocks split and we get the random tags throughout the undercard with a block a night as the main card.