Tonight’s show is our first of two shows looking at the highlights of last year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. I believe all matches on this show took place on May 22nd, 2015 at Korakuen Hall
Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yohei Komatsu
This was a wild, back and forth match from the get-go. Komatsu brought it early and they brawled everywhere. Really good match, Komatsu showed the most fire I’ve ever seen in this match. Once he comes back from Mexico, he’s going to be awesome no matter where he’s at. The future of the Junior Heavyweight division in New Japan is so bright, I hope they realize that. As with every young lion match, Komatsu gave it his all, but fell to a Liger brainbuster.
Liger says Komatsu has some nice stuff, but all he needs is some experience. He’s interested in seeing how he incorporates new moves in future matches. Komatsu’s sole reply after the match was “Damn it”.
Mascara Dorada vs. Kushida
I was really excited to see this as the one match I wanted to see Mascara Dorada in last year was a singles match with Kushida. They’re both so immensely talented I thought for sure they’d tear the house down no matter what situation they were put in. This match ended up being really good, but unfortunately they weren’t given enough time to make this a really memorable match, with it only going eight minutes with Kushida getting the win with his hoverboard lock (kimura) submission.
Kushida says he debuted in Mexico ten years ago, and finally he had Lucha Libre eating out of his hand. Someday, he wants to make the Best of the Super Juniors bigger than the G1. Watch him climb up the ladder.
Gedo is interviewed. He says that he was surprised he was in the tournament this year, but he was last minute as Omega cancelled at the last minute. In terms of their upcoming match, he said he didn’t allow himself to be in awe of Taguchi so he was careful not to have him get the upper hand. He was surprised about being in the main event, and felt pressure about headlining, but they knew there were certain expectations for him, so he was a bit relieved, especially since Okada was on commentary nearby.
Gedo vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
This was pretty good. You’re not going to get anything flashy with these two, but Gedo is one of the most underrated juniors in the divison as he can have a great match by doing very little. It’s nice to see these kinds of matches every once in awhile as you don’t have to kill yourself every time you step into the ring; it’s simple as just knowing your audience and knowing what works. Taguchi had the ring bell hammer and as the ref was taking it away from him, Gedo low blowed him and used the Gedo clutch for the win.
Taguchi said “oh my penny” and this this was the most “Oh my and Garfunkel” moment ever. He sincerely hopes his son feels better later tonight. I have no idea what he meant.
Gedo made fun of Okada during their interview, saying he thought he couldn’t win, and said so earlier. Okada only said he thought he would win two in a row. Gedo said they’ll both be champions in Osaka. Since Taguchi is favored to win his block, winning tonight gives him confidence. Gedo says there’s no doubt Okada will win the title from AJ at Osaka Jo Hall, and reiterated he’ll beat Kenny Omega in the same building.
Gedo reiterated that he thought Taguchi looked goofy, but had to not be in awe so that he could get into his rhythm. He said his win gave great atmosphere in that anyone ould advance. He mentions how other promotions don’t have a junior heavyweight class (well, I know at least All Japan and NOAH have one, but true for the most part in North America) so for many, the best way to get noticed is by going to New Japan.
Nice highlight show this week. Next week features the Kyle O'Reilly/KUSHIDA match which was all kinds of awesome, so check it out if you haven’t yet.