ELP goes back to back to take golden jacket
El Phantasmo persevered in the eight man Super J-Cup tournament on December 12 to take the legendary golden jacket, and put himself in an apparent match with Best of the Super Junior winner Hiromu Takahashi at a future date.
The tournament kicked off with Chris Bey advancing past Clark Connors with the Art of Finesse. Connors controlled Bey early, but the flash of Bey was backed up with some powerful impacts to the LA Dojo representative. An enraged Connors flew in with a pounce, and countered the Art of Finesse with a massive German suplex, but a second attempt at the move got the job done.
Familiar opponents ACH and TJP squared off in their first round matchup. Both men showed their considerable expertise on the mat, with TJP gaining a submission edge with the Muta Lock, before wrenching ACH’s shoulder. A springboard variant of the Deep Impact put ACH in deep trouble, but ACH found a response with a deadlift German, and met TJP with a thunderous gut buster from the top before the Midnight Star connected.
Rey Horus and Blake Christian had a high impact and high flying contest; Christian taking the first big risk of the match, and Horus using an intricate take down before flying with a tope con giro. With nose bloodied, ‘All Heart’ fought back landing a standing Shooting Star and digging deep with strikes to Horus. A reverse Spanish Fly and Frog Splash put Christian in the semi finals.
El Phantasmo and Lio Rush started with a high pace, and while Phantasmo was able to use his size to gain control, a touch of ring rust led to more than one slip during the match. A high impact Styles Clash on the floor gave the defending champ control, but when Rush was able to easily counter some signature rope walking, a poison rana and tope scored.
Phantasmo caught a handspring into a neckbreaker, but tweaked his ankle on a kick, leading to CR2 being countered with a roll-up for the nearfall. Thinking fast, ELP shoved Rush into the referee and punched Rush low to follow with a schoolboy.
The first semi final pit Chris Bey against ACH. With a tweaked back from the first round with TJP, Bey had the edge over ACH, and the IMPACT star would work over the back with a gameplan that belied his relative inexperience. Yoshi Tonic got two for Bey, and even as he fired back, ACH lacked the core strength to hit a Vertical Drop Brainbuster or Tiger Driver.
In a dangerous position and facing the Art of Finesse, ACH willed himself to hit a release German and brainbuster, before Midnight Star connected to put himself into the final.
Blake Christian exploded out of the gates in the second semifinal, tearing into El Phantasmo in a bid to score a quick win, only for Phantasmo to target Christian’s broken nose. Fighting back, the GCW representative took to the air twice on ELP, Phantasmo this time going to the eyes.
The 2019 winner brutally bullied Christian, targeting the nose and raking the back of the young prospect, who replied with strong kicks, only for a Shooting Star to see his injured face colliding with the mat. Christian went up for Elia, but ELP easily evaded and scored a superkick to make the final.
The main event started with El Phantasmo tearing into ACH before entrances and introductions could be made, attacking with the tournament trophy and assaulting his opponent’s back. ACH insisted he was able to compete, but Phantasmo continued his assault when the bell rang.
A suplex on the entrance ramp and ACH was in danger of being counted out, before barely sliding in at 19.5. With ACH unable to mount any offense, Phantasmo homed in on the hand and fingers but as he went for a rope walk, ACH was able to land a kick that sent his opponent flying. A slingshot cutter and German Suplex followed, but ACH found the Midnight Star stopped by a Frankensteiner, and a splash for a nearfall.
ACH was able to stop the CR2 from ELP, but a Styles Clash connected for two. Calling back to BULLET CLUB history, ELP wanted the One Winged Angel, but a Vertical Drop Brainbuster found the mark for ACH, getting two.
When ACH again went up for Midnight Star, ELP tried to stop his opponent again, only to get caught with a top rope gutbuster. A third attempt at the move, and ACH found the knees and a low blow, before a superkick scored. A CR2, and Phantasmo went back to back. Post match, Phantasmo called out Best of the Super Jr. winner Hiromu Takahashi for Wrestle Kingdom; will that match indeed take place in the Tokyo Dome on January 4 or 5?