Six in contention after penultimate night in Ehime
The penultimate night of Best of the Super Junior action in Ehime ended with six still in contention for the Ryogoku finals next Wednesday, Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado leading the way with one more match still to wrestle.
The main event saw Hiromu Takahashi face off against DOUKI, fighting to be able to control his destiny in a rematch from his return from injury three months earlier. As with that bout in Korakuen hall, DOUKI exploded out the blocks with a dive to the Time Bomb, and immediately dove to the floor before sending Hiromu into the guardrails. DOUKI would retain control until a rope hung choke from Takahashi brought the Suzuki-Gun member outside, and a shotgun dropkick down the apron line would connect; DOUKI was persistent in trying to get the Doton No Justsu back inside, but would get rolled into D.
Staying one step ahead when DOUKI escaped, Hiromu blocked a Daybreak attempt and wanted a Sunset Bomb, but was caught instead with a quebrada as DOUKI rallied. A wild DOUKI Bomb would score flush on Hiromu on the floor, and in the ring, Daybreak would connect for two, but he couldn’t finish Hiromu, instead almost falling victim to the Time Bomb before a counter into the ‘DOUKI Chokey’. Hiromu struggled in the hold, but would find a flatliner, and landed the Time Bomb to secure a crucial victory.
The semi main event of the evening saw Ryusuke Taguchi try to draw El Desperado into his usual comical tricks. After trying to bait the masked champion to the floor, and then into running the ropes to exhaustion, Desperado demanded the serious Taguchi come forward. Big Match taguch would keep Desperado rooted in a headlock, but when an escape saw the Coach caught in the ropes, a steel chair would ring off the steel buns before the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion took control of his opponent’s knee.
Taguchi would have best success when misdirecting Desperado with his comical side, feints and hip attacks leading to a triangle plancha, while Desperado would try for Numero Dos. As momentum built for Taguchi though, he was all serious, perhaps leading to his demise. Trying Dodon To The Throne, he would have his knees caught, and got rolled into the Numero Dos as Desperado emerged victorious.
After being several points clear of the rest of the table, SHO was staring down the barrel of a three match losing streak when he faced Taiji Ishimori, who needed a win to survive. SHO would naiively request Ishimori lay down to start the match of, and was soon tricked into being on the receiving end of an inside cradle, before Ishimori took vicious control on the floor, dropping SHO throat first over the guardrail.
The Murder Machine would respond in kind, attacking Ishimori’s arm both in and out of the ring. Ishimori would seem to have the upper hand when it came to underhanded tactics, directing SHO into an exposed turnbuckle, but when desperately trying to escape a Bloody Cross attempt, it would be the referee that SHO was able to sandwich inbetween Ishimori and the naked steel. With the official downed, SHO would go for his wrench, but Ishimori would avoid the shot and deliver a knee before tucking the weapon into his boot. Using the now loaded boot to strike SHO low, Ishimori backslid his way to victory.
YOH’s bout with El Phantasmo would see its winner survive in the tournament, while the loser would be out of the Ryogoku running. Still, Phantasmo felt confident enough to strut around the ring, paying for his arrogance as YOH followed him outside, but quickly turning the tables as he sent the CHAOS member into the ring post. The ever arrogant Phantasmo applied his brand of humiliating offense, but a dropkick from YOH and a dive to the outside would even the odds.
YOH would come out on top of a strike exchange, and uncorked a German suplex for two, and though a Direct Drive attempt would get countered with the UFO, YOH was able to roll into the Stargzaer before applying the DNV. The increasingly desperate Phantasmo would use the loaded boot to stamp out of Direct Drive again, and nearly forced a Cattle Mutilation submission, but he couldn’t hit Sudden Death flush, and YOH capitalised as his opponent landed on the hard part of his own boot on a moonsault attempt, getting the Five Star Clutch.
Robbie Eagles would start fast out of the gate against Yoshinobu Kanemaru, pushing the pace in a must win scenario. Following up speedy take downs with a dive was ill-advised though, as the Heel Master would cut Eagles off at the knees and kept at the Sniper of the Skies even as the former champion sought to take flight. Picking Eagles off with a basement dropkick, Kanemaru followed up with a Figure Four, and spiked the Australian with a Satellite DDT, but Eagles would escape Deep Impact and countered Touch Out into a Turbo Backpack before locking in the Ron Miller Special to stay in the running.
Starting the night’s league action were the already eliminated Master Wato and BUSHI. Wato would keep pace with his masked opposition before BUSHI took advantage on the floor. A leg lariat would see Wato fire back with a leg lariat and a tornillo to the outside, but BUSHI would block the Recientemente and land DDTs on the floor then the apron. Ultimately though, it would be the TTD and RPP that would give Wato his fourth win.