Titan, Mike Bailey to advance to semifinals
May 23 saw the final day of A Block league action, as the top two point scorers were determined in Osaka.
It was win and be in for Titan and Hiromu Takahashi in the main event, as Tetsuya Naito kept a watching brief of the LIJ derby. A tense opening game of physical chess opened the bout before both shook on a hard hitting match to come, Hiromu starting a chop battle that Titan won out in, an escalada into a tijeras the first knockdown of the match. As the match came to the apron, Hiromu wanted a subset bomb, and though Titan blocked the flip, Takahashi powerbombed his masked foe into the apron instead. The move put the Time Bomb in the driver’s seat, but after a limbo under a hiromu lariat, a leaping back kick and a gorgeous springboard high cross set El Inmortal for a tope suicida to the outside.
Now in control, Titan tortured the legs of Takahashi with an Indian Deathlock. Hiromu came up to this feet, but had a weakened base when the two traded; still the knee held when countering a Titan tornado DDT into a Falcon Arrow. A corner DVD followed, but Titan knew how dangerous a direction Hiromu was heading, the masked man takin Hiromu to the floor and striking with a tope con giro. Back in though, Hiromu landed the Dynamite Plunger, getting back on track and setting for the Time Bomb.
Titan wriggled free of the move, and an attempted Victory Royal to score a tornado DDT. Wanting Llave Inmortal, Titan clawed at Hiromu, but was unable to get the hold in fully, and Hiromu planted Titan with the Hiromu Chan Bomber. Time Bomb 2 looked to follow, but was countered by Titan; when distance was created, a massive superkick to a charging Hiromu set the luchador for a diving double stomp. Wanting the submission win, Titan, locked in Llave Inmortal, and to the amazement of the Osaka crowd, Hiromu tapped to end the three year Takahashi BOSJ streak.
The semi main event between Mike Bailey and Lio Rush would also prove key in determining the block. A lightning quick start saw both men use every inch of their environment before a quebrada was the first hit of the match, drawing ‘Lio’ chants from the Osaka crowd. Bailey would put the brakes on Rush though, and a blistering mid kick put Speedball in charge, serving up a series of strikes.
A Ki Crusher would create space for Rush to land a hat trick of topes suicida. Bringing Bailey back in, Rush took a trip to the top rope, but couldn’t connect as Bailey again got quick. Going up, Bailey landed a double jump Sky Twister Press to the floor, and hung Rush out to dry over the top rope for some brutal double knees. In control, Bailey set for the Flamingo Driver; though Rush escaped the move, he was rolled into a cross arm breaker, brutal moonsault double knees meaning the CHAOS member gave up the arm for torture. Barely making the ropes, Rush was in a world of hurt at the ten minute mark.
Bailey picked his spots and scored with kicks, but missed another double knee attempt. Getting a surge of adrenaline, Rush scored a crushing lariat, and battled back with kicks, but was rattled in return fire from the Taekwondo master. As the Speedball went for the kill, he was cut off by a desperate diving headbutt from Rush that sent his opponent to the floor; a Spanish Fly landed outside and again from the top rope inside for a near two, and Rush prepared for Final Hour, but got caught with a foot from Bailey at 15 minutes past.
Rush read the Ultima Weapon, and landed Rush Hour on Bailey, but missed Final Hour a second time as Bailey stayed alive. Catching Rush, Bailey landed the Flamingo Driver to win and top A Block.
SHO was set to face DOUKI in A Block action, the Murder Machine apparently having abducted and tied up DOUKI in a bid to get a ‘win’ over DOUKI substitute Ryohei Oiwa. The real DOUKI quickly put paid to the shenanigans, but when the referee was pulled in DOUKI’s path, SHO took control. The Murder Machine dragged DOUKI backstage in a bid to win by countout, but Japones Del Mal got back inside and started to build momentum.
That, of course was the cue to ensure the referee was brought down, but when SHO went to his wrench, DOUKI, grabbed his steel pipe. DOUKI dealt a pipe shot and then found the Italian Stretch, but EVIL headed to ringside, providing distraction enough for SHO to remove the corner pad, delivering a shot into the steel and a cross arm piledriver for two. DOUKI refused to lose, escaping Shock Arrow and taking down EVIL to hit Daybreak, but this time Yujiro Takahashi ran interference, taking out the referee as Suplex De La Luna looked to make a certain three. EVIL hit DOUKI and pulled the referee on top for a deflating three.
The first of the block matchups saw KUSHIDA face Ryusuke Taguchi. With only four points between the two of them, both competitors were eager to finish up on a positive note, and with mutual respect they took to the mat and to the ropes, but to a stalemate each time. A triangle dropkick from Taguchi finally put KUSHIDA out and gave the Coach a slight edge, but a kick to the left arm would be what put the Timesplitter in control.
A hip attack and triangle plancha would finally give Taguchi some time, but a springboard was caught in mid air with an armbar. Taguchi tried to counter out, leading to a series of pin reversals and double knockdowns. As both reset, KUSHIDA went back to the arm and tried for the Hoverboard Lock and Hammerlock Suplex to no avail; Taguchi kept firing back, and in a series of transitions, Taguchi accidentally had his rear exposed. With the full moon in effect, the wereTaguchi came to power, and Oh My and Garankle submitted Taguchi to finally grant his first points.