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The Week In Japanese Wrestling: Despite talent, Super J Cup was disapponting

Super J Cup

Considering the lineage and prestige that the name carries, the 2016 iteration of The Super J Cup has to be considered disappointing.

The two day event, which began on July 20th at Korakuen Hall and ended this past weekend at Ariake Collosseum, boasted a field which had potential to produce some classic matches. However, that never really materialized. 

The biggest issue with Sunday’s show was that they overshot their target with the building they ran. New Japan learned that an all juniors show is just not ready to draw at that level yet and as a result, capacity was only half full. This made for a very dull atmosphere, a stark contrast to the G1 Climax finals one week earlier.

The other issue was the fact that Taichi was pushed to the semifinal, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru to the finals. This was not the Taichi that tore the house down against Daisuke Harada and Taiji Ishimori in NOAH last year, but rather the one that comes handcuffed to all kinds of shenanigans which kill his matches. Kanemaru, since returning to NOAH, is one of the most uninspiring wrestlers in the world but as GHC Junior Champion, he provided a noteworthy scalp for IWGP Junior Champ and tournament winner, KUSHIDA.

The highlight of the show was The Young Bucks going up against old rivals The Motor City Machine Guns in a fantastic bout which overcame the echoes of the half empty arena and actually managed to get some big reactions.

Chris Sabin and Alex Shelley looked as good as ever, and showed they could still be an asset to any company in the world. The big story after the match was that the Bucks challenged for the heavyweight version of the tag titles, currently held by the Briscoes. This is somewhat of a landmark occurrence for New Japan which keeps the two weight classes very separate. That match goes down on September 22nd at Destruction in Hiroshima.

The lines of weight classes are being blurred elsewhere on the tour as reDRagon mix it up against heavyweights throughout, and Bobby Fish gets a NEVER title shot against Katsuyori Shibata. That is an openweight belt, but they haven’t had too many juniors challenge for it to this point. There are also rumours that reDRagon will be in the heavyweight tag league in December.