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NJPW Best of the Super Juniors night 11 results: YOH vs. Kanemaru

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Thursday's Best of the Super Juniors show in Aomori narrowed the list of potential A Block winners. 

Yoshinobu Kanemaru and ACH were eliminated by virtue of their losses. With the last A Block action set to take place on Sunday, Taiji Ishimori will win the block with a victory. Will Ospreay will take the block with a victory and an Ishimori loss. 

If both Ospreay and Ishimori lose Sunday, we'll have to summon Mike Tenay and Don West and have them explain the various tiebreakers. Or maybe Scott Steiner can break them down for us in a promo. 

Here are the results of Thursday's show, held at the Hachinohe City East Gymnasium. 

Prelim Matches:

  • Shota Umino & KUSHIDA defeated Dragon Lee & Yuya Uemura when Umino made Uemura submit to the Boston Crab.
  • Chase Owens & Marty Scurll defeated Ryusuke Taguchi & Tomoyuki Oka when Owens pinned Oka after a Package Piledriver.
  • Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado defeated Chris Sabin & Toa Henare when Suzuki pinned Henare after a Gotch Piledriver.
  • Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi defeated YOSHI-HASHI & SHO when Naito pinned SHO after a Destino.

A Block Matches:

BUSHI defeated Flip Gordon

Flip hit a variation on the 619 around the post, but BUSHI sent him to the floor on a springboard attempt. BUSHI blatantly used a chair, before sending Flip back inside and choking him with his shirt. BUSHI got the first nearfall of the match off a neckbreaker. 

BUSHI worked a headscissors, attacking Flip's head and neck. He hit a missile dropkick with Flip draped over the ropes, and got another nearfall. Flip made a comeback, clotheslining BUSHI on the top rope, and followed with a springboard dropkick and a tope, before hitting a cool springboard spear. 

Flip hit a rolling senton, a standing shooting star, and a moonsault, picking up his first nearfall. He missed a phoenix splash, and BUSHI planted hm with a DDT. He connected with a missile dropkick, but Flip countered a neckbreaker attempt with a falcon arrow for a nearfall. 

They traded strikes, and BUSHI went up top. Flip hit a springboard superkick, knocking BUSHI to the mat, but BUSHI was able to get his knees up, blocking a 450. BUSHI hit an enziguri and a codebreaker for a nearfall, then hit the MX, and got the pin. 

There was nothing wrong with this, but I was still left thinking that this was one of the weaker bouts of the tournament so far. 

Taiji Ishimori defeated ACH

ACH got the best of a good opening sequence, hitting a chop. He has some of the best opening spots in the business right now. Ishimori cut him off, and hit a seated senton, before going to work on the taped shoulder. He hit an enziguri, and his sliding German. 

ACH made a comeback, sent Ishimori outside, and hit a suicide dive. Back in the ring, he hit a frog splash for a nearfall. He teased the deadlift bridging suplex spot, before hitting it and getting a two count. He went for it again, but Ishimori hit a handspring enziguri, leading to a double down. 

They traded strikes, and ACH hit his doube footstomp. He connected with double knees in the corner, and used a lungblower for a nearfall. He missed a 450, allowing Ishimori to hit a shotgun dropkick. Ishimori used the lungblower for a nearfall, before hitting the Bloody Cross for the pin. 

This was solid, but both men have had better performances in the tournament. They only went about twelve minutes, and the lack of time kept them from getting out of first or second gear. 

Will Ospreay defeated Tiger Mask

They had a nice, simple opening exchange, filled with tackles, dropdowns, and leapfrogs. Ospreay used kicks to attack the left arm, but Tiger was able to counter with a tombstone, sending Ospreay rolling outside, selling his bad neck. They teased a countout, but Ospreay made it back in. 

Tiger used a chinlock. Ospreay fired back with strikes, but the neck gave out on him, and Tiger hit a guillotine legdrop. Ospreay recovered and hit a corkscrew enziguri, and a 619. His neck gave out again. Tiger teased a double underhook superplex, but Ospreay countered, and hit a sidewalk slam for a nearfall. 

Ospreay went for the Storm Breaker, and Tiger went for the Tiger Suplex, but they countered, and knocked each other down with simultaneous kicks. Ospreay hit the Robinson Special, but missed an Oscutter attempt. 

Tiger used a scissored armbar, and double underhook powerbomb for a nearfall. He followed with the double underhook superplex, which got another close nearfall. He went for another tombstone, but Ospreay reversed it into the Storm Breaker, and got the pin. 

They worked hard, and Ospreay did a good job of making Tiger look like a credible threat, but this was the weakest Ospreay match of the tournament. 

YOH defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Kanemaru jumped YOH during his introduction, and sent him to the floor. He threw him into the first few rows, and sent him into the post. YOH beat the count back inside, and Kanemaru applied a camel clutch. YOH rolled to the ropes, and Kanemaru hit a dropkick on the apron, and a DDT to the floor. 

YOH beat the count again, and Kanemaru hit three consecutive DDTs for a nearfall, before continuing to attack the head and neck with stomps and a headscissors. They traded strikes, and YOH hit a dragon screw, his first meaningful offense of the bout. He hit a slingshot footstomp, and a neckbreaker. 

Kanemaru low-bridged YOH on a charge, sending him to the floor. YOH made it back inside, and hit a tope. They teased a Kanemaru countout, but he made it back inside, and YOH hit a superplex into a falcon arrow for a nearfall. 

YOH missed a senton bomb, but recovered as Kanemaru went up top. He went for a superplex, but Kanemaru hit a DDT from the top, and they traded nearfalls. Kanemaru hit a tornado DDT, and both men went down, selling exhaustion. 

Kanemaru hit a dropkick, and connected with an inverted DDT on the apron. He prepared for the whiskey mist as Red Shoes counted YOH. YOH beat the count, and while Red Shoes took the whiskey bottle from Kanemaru, he sprayed the mist on YOH, hit a low blow, and got a nearfall off Deep Impact. 

Kanemaru hit a brainbuster for another nearfall, then went to the top. He jumped into a superkick, but hit a lariat on the rebound. He went for another brainbuster, but YOH cradled him for a nearfall, then rolled into his Five Star Clutch, and got the victory. 

This was another good, but not great main event, and it's clear from this show that everyone in the tournament is feeling the impact of working so many tough matches in a short period of time. 

A Block Standings:

Taiji Ishimori 4-2 (Holds tiebreaker over Ospreay, BUSHI, Tiger Mask)

Will Ospreay 4-2 (Holds tiebreaker over Tiger Mask, YOH)

Flip Gordon 3-3 (Holds tiebreaker over Ishimori, Tiger Mask)

BUSHI 3-3 (Holds tiebreaker over Ospreay, Gordon)

Tiger Mask 3-3 (Holds tiebreaker over YOH, BUSHI)

YOH 3-3 (Holds tiebreaker over Gordon, BUSHI)

ACH 2-4 (Eliminated)

Yoshinobu Kanemaru 2-4 (Eliminated)