SHO just one point clear at the top with two to go
Shizuoka saw day nine of Best of the Super Jr. action, as the league gets ever closer to deciding matches next weekend, and to Wednesday’s Ryogoku final.
An all masked man main event saw no love lost between BUSHI and El Desperado, the two starting with heavy strikes out the gate, and Desperado rocking the LIJ member with a palm strike out on the floor. When Desperado grabbed some chairs from under the ring though, a dropkick sent the weapon into the champion’s gut, and BUSHI would take full advantage as the brawl continued. The match would finally get back into the ring with BUSHI in full control, and Desperado reeling, a rope hung dropkick continuing the pressure.
BUSHI looked to follow up with his trademark apron DDT, but got dropped to the floor instead, and wiped out with a Desperado tope. Now able to use the weaponry he brought to the table at the start of the bout, Desperado brought a chair crashing across BUSHI’s knee, and suppressed the Jetblack Deathmask back inside, rooting him with an Indian Deathlock. BUSHI needed to go big in return, and a slingshot tijeras followed by a tope suicida found their mark.
A trademark missile dropkick and a DDT followed for BUSHI, but Desperado was able to get back to the knee, a crusher and Dragon Screw leading to Numero Dos. Though BUSHI found the ropes, Desperado followed up with a Mad Splash, and went back to his submission finish, but BUSHI was able to roll free, and a backcracker lead to the apron DDT for two. Momentum growing BUSHI took a gamble on MX, but when the champion sidestepped, a jammed knee and basement dropkick was the result.
Desperado would go back down to the knee after Guitarra De Angel didn’t connect, but BUSHI landed a crunching dropkick in response, followed by a Canadian Destroyer for two. Desperado landed a spinebuster in response and tried for Pinche Loco; BUSHI had the wherwithal to counter the move once, but after the Loco Mono fist rang off his jaw, not a second time as Desperado moved to 11.
Master Wato was right on the bubble of mathematical elimination as he took on Hiromu Takahashi in the semi main event of the evening. A high speed start saw Wato keep pace with Hiromu, until a missed plancha would see the Time Bomb take over on the floor. Takahashi would opt to target the back of the blue haired prodigy, using his Mexican llave experience to stretch Wato, before a tijeras and tornillo saw the master get returns on his high risks.
Hiromu would get wide to stop the Recientemente follow up from Wato, and locked his young for in D, but Wato would power out of the hold, and connect with a high kick at the ten minute mark. On the second try, Recientemente got two, but Wato was too concerned with landing RPP to follow. As Hiromu rolled away twice, the young man was able to change course once with a diving double stomp audible, but the second attempt saw him crash to the mat; still Wato willed himself to his feet and scored a gorgeous German suplex for a nearfall.
Wato escaped a Hiromu lariat, but a headscissors counter would itself be reversed into the Dynamite Plunger. On the second try, the ‘Hiromu Bomber’ landed flush, and Victory Royal came for two before a third lariat turned Wato inside out. Time Bomb II followed and Hiromu moved up to 11 points.
Robbie Eagles would take on his former CHAOS teammate SHO as the IWGP Junior Tag champion sought to get to ten points, and SHO looked to all but guarantee his final spot. Outpaced on the mat, SHO would bury his finger in the eye of Eagles, but the Sniper of the Skies stayed one step ahead with a head scissors whip; when he looked to follow though, SHO pulled a Young Lion directly in the path of a tope suicida. Taking full advantage of the distraction, SHO choked the Australian with his own bandana before going to the eyes and the wrist.
Eagles would fire back, targeting SHO’s knee with trademark accuracy, and stopping the Murder Machine’s attempts to take out the referee. Still, SHO would be able to find a Spear in the process and get more circulation to his knee before looking for Shock Arrow and then the Snake Bite, taking full advanatage of the five count as Eagles made the ropes. Turbo Backpack would score in response for Eagles, but SHO saw a 450 coming, and the former junior heavyweight champion crashed hard to the mat before taking a massive punt to the arm.
Eagles looked for an Asai DDT, but would get shoved into the referee before tasting a German suplex, SHO taking advantage of the downed ref to grab his wrench. Eagles saw both the wrench and a low blow attempt coming, rolling SHO into the Ron Miller Special, and SHO tapped out to get Eagles to ten points.
Ryusuke Taguchi and El Phantasmo both looked for their fifth wins at the midpoint of the day’s card, each engaged in a game of one upmanship as Taguchi’s athleticism and wind was tested by ELP. What could only be called Weak Style strikes were exchanged before Phantasmo engaged the dreaded Purple Nurple; Taguchi would try to walk the ropes en route to his own version of the hold, only to crotch himself.
The Coach got serious as the match passed the ten minute mark, and went for the Hip Attack, only to find empty canvas. When a second found a Phantasmo Atomic Drop though, ELP seemed to favour his knee as Taguchi’s follow up rearward strikes caused even more impact than usual. Taguchi was able to connect with Three Amigos, but when he went for Bummer Ye, a roll-up counter would see a series of flash pin attempts instead, a rolling cradle leading to the disoriented Taguchi fall into the ropes.
Phantasmo seemed in place for Sudden Death, but a last second evasion would see ELP crotched. A pinfall attempt from the Coach would see Phantasmo ‘inadvertently’ strike Taguchi low, and when the referee allowed the match to continue, a lightbulb went off. Distracting official Nakabayashi, ELP his Sudden Death below the Taguchi belt, and followed with a wrist lock; Taguchi submitted to give the Headbanger another two points.
As YOH was riding a four match win streak, Yoshinobu Kanemaru’s early momentum seemed to be stalling in Shizuoka, leading the Heel Master to waste no time in targeting his CHAOS opposition. YOH would fire back with a plancha, but Kanemaru would target the weakened knee of his foe as YOH fought back from underneath. Backflipping to evade a basement dropkick, ‘Nobu was rocked with a Falcon Arrow, but fired back with a British Fall and a novel faceplant for two before looking for Deep Impact. Avoiding the move, YOH would get planted with a Satellite DDT instead, but found a thrust kick, and as Kanemaru tried to get back to the Figure Four, scored with the Five Star Clutch for his fifth straight win.
The first league action of the afternoon saw the already eliminated DOUKI fight for pride against Taiji Ishimori. Starting fast, DOUKI’s momentum would be halted when a quebrada was prevented, and Ishimori exposed the turnbuckle to punish DOUKI’s shoulder. A dropkick would create some space for the Suzuki-Gun member to fly, and despite hitting the cornerpost again, DOUKI found the Doton no Jutsu and Italian Stretch #32. Daybreak scored for the repatriated luchador, but Suplex De la Luna would be countered mid flow into the Bone Lock, and despite DOUKI’s best efforts to fight off the hold, a Mistica into the lock forced a tapout.