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NJPW Best of the Super Juniors results: Taguchi vs. KUSHIDA


NJPW was back at Korakuen Hall this morning as we head through the last few shows before the Best of the Super Juniors finals on June 3rd. Here are the results:

- Taka Michinoku & Taichi defeated Syota Umino & Dragon Lee when Michinoku submitted Umino with a crossface.

- EVIL & SANADA defeated Hirai Kawato & Ricochet when EVIL submitted Kawato.

- War Machine & David Finlay defeated Guerrillas of Destiny & Yujiro Takahashi when Raymond Rowe pinned Tama Tonga after an assisted powerslam by Hanson.

- Marty Scurll, Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale defeated Gedo, Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada when Scurll submitted Gedo with the chickenwing.

Tiger Mask defeated El Desperado

Desperado controlled a lot of the match, attacking Tiger Mask’s left leg and working on it extensively. Tiger Mask tried to muster a comeback but was limited on what he could do. Out of nowhere, he hit a Tiger suplex and bridged it for the win. This was a good little match that told a nice story.

Tiger Mask wasn’t done, motioning that he wanted to remove Desperado’s mask as he threw him back in the ring. But being a good guy, he decided not to go down that road and left him laying instead.

BUSHI defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Kanemaru jumped BUSHI before he even entered the ring. They brawled into the crowd where BUSHI stunned Kanemaru, giving him enough time to climb onto an arena entryway and launch with a big crossbody, wiping out both Kanemaru and Taka Michinoku.

A good back and forth match followed. Kanemaru has like zero charisma to speak of, but he's good at being intense.

BUSHI took out Michinoku with a suicide dive. Kanemaru used the opportunity to grab the whiskey bottle Suzuki-gun has been using on this tour to blind BUSHI, but instead BUSHI low blowed him (the ref, of course, was distracted) allowing him to soon follow with the MX for the win.

Volador Jr. defeated ACH

This was a very good, fast-paced match. Both guys looked great and worked well with one another, leading to a great match that met my expectations going in.

Volador outed himself as the heel early, taking a cheap shot after shaking hands with ACH. High-paced action followed. Volador unleashed a giant tope con hilo that looked like it connected more with the young lions protecting the crowd than ACH himself.

ACH soon followed with five suicide dives that sent Volador further into the crowd each time he did it. ACH hit a giant superplex to the floor and tried to go to the top rope once more, but Volador cut him off and instead hit the super rana off the top rope for the win.

KUSHIDA defeated Ryusuke Taguchi

This was such a great match. It was two guys going out there and giving it their all. The work early was good and pretty fast paced; a lot of cool dives and submission work as well. Taguchi has rapidly evolved into one of the more reliable great workers in this division over the last year and KUSHIDA is clearly one of the best workers in the world right now.

After starting slow with some chain wrestling, KUSHIDA started to work on Taguchi’s arm. They got up and fast-paced action followed. Taguchi went to the apron and flew off with a hip attack, but KUSHIDA grabbed him in mid-air, grabbing the bum arm and applying an armbar.

Taguchi started working on KUSHIDA’s right leg as the action continued. KUSHIDA cut him off after a hip attack attempt, rolled over, and actually landed the Dodon. When Taguchi tried to mount a comeback again, KUSHIDA caught him with an armbar. They countered each other with many submission attempts until KUSHIDA finally grounded Taguchi with a figure four leglock.

They continued fighting until Taguchi landed a straight punch to the gut, sending KUSHIDA reeling. KUSHIDA tried to go for his new finish -- the move previously known as God’s Last Gift (which is now called Back to the Future) -- but Taguchi took him down with the Kimura and focused on KUSHIDA’s arm. Taguchi nailed the Dodon, but KUSHIDA kicked out.

He followed with a running hip toss, but KUSHIDA kicked out of that as well. Taguchi sunk in the ankle lock. KUSHIDA struggled to escape, then managed to do so, and after some wrangling sunk in the hoverboard lock. Taguchi kept trying to escape, but KUSHIDA got up and landed the Back to the Future for the win.

KUSHIDA cut a promo after the match, giving props to Taguchi as he raised his hand in a sign of respect.

Standings --

Block A has Will Ospreay, Dragon Lee, Ricochet, Taichi, and Hiromu Takahashi all tied with eight points. Marty Scurll (six points), Taka Michinoku (two points), and Jushin Thunder Liger (zero) are out of contention.

Everyone in the B Block has six points, meaning anyone can walk out of the June 1st show as the winner of the block. A lot of variables are in play, to say the least.