Shingo Takagi punched his ticket to Ryogoku and the Best of the Super Juniors 26 Final, defeating Taiji Ishimori today in Ehime.
Takagi wrapped up A Block action with a perfect 9-0 record, and remains unbeaten in NJPW singles competition. He has also yet to be pinned or submitted in any tag match in which his team lost.
He will face the winner of Monday's Will Ospreay vs. Ryusuke Taguchi B Block Final, with the BOSJ Final set for June 5. That show will also feature the debuting Jon Moxley, who will challenge Juice Robinson for the IWGP U.S. title.
Here are the full results and match recaps from today's show:
RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, BANDIDO, SHOTA UMINO & YOTA TSUJI DEFEATED WILL OSPREAY, TOMOHIRO ISHII, ROCKY ROMERO & YUYA UEMURA
We saw a brief preview of the B Block final here as Ospreay and Taguchi traded a few spots. Tsuji called for Ishii and paid for it as he got worked over in the blue corner with chops. The crowd was hot and the wrestlers responded by working hard.
Everyone jumped in for a big move, and Ospreay and Romero hit stereo planchas to the floor. Uemura and Umino were the only two left in the ring. Umino hit a spinebuster, and used a fisherman's suplex to pin Uemura.
After the bell, Taguchi went after Ospreay on the floor and put him in an ankle lock. Tsuji again went after Ishii, but they were quickly pulled apart. Ospreay limped to the back after, so they laid the groundwork for the story of their match next week.
JUICE ROBINSON & YOH DEFEATED ROBBIE EAGLES & JADO
They built the match around YOH selling his legs. He finally rolled under a double lariat attempt and hit a double dropkick to Eagles and Jado. Juice got a hot tag and ran wild. Eagles took the referee, allowing Jado to use a kendo stick shot to turn the tide back in the Bullet Club's favor.
Jado used a crossface, but Juice forced a break. Eagles again took the referee, but YOH made the save for Juice. Juice used a series of jabs. Jado used a rollup for a nearfall. Juice countered with the Left Hand of God and hit Pulp Friction for the pin in a very formulaic tag match.
DOUKI & TAICHI DEFEATED EL PHANTASMO & GEDO
Representatives from two heel factions virtually promised a crowd brawl, and that's what we got. It wasn't a particularly inspired meeting.
Gedo and Taichi traded Gedo Clutches for nearfalls. They did a fun comedy spot where Taichi grabbed his mic stand while Gedo got his brass knuckles out. Taichi dropped his weapon, but Gedo kept his. Gedo took a swing, but Taichi ducked, and used the stretch plum for the submission win.
TETSUYA NAITO & BUSHI DEFEATED TOA HENARE & REN NARITA
Narita continues to shine on this tour and held his own against BUSHI at the outset. Naito and BUSHI used an illegal double team to take control once Henare tagged in. Narita got back in and used his Narita Special, but Naito saved for BUSHI.
Narita hit Naito with a dropkick. Henare got a tag and used a spear for a nearfall. BUSHI tried to save, but Narita hit him with a belly-to-belly. Naito made his own comeback, hitting a neckbreaker and a one-legged dropkick for a nearfall. He followed with a Destino on Henare for the win. It was fun seeing Naito sell for Narita.
BUSHI jumped Narita after the match. They will face off on June 3.
A BLOCK MATCH: YOSHINOBU KANEMARU DEFEATED TAKA MICHINOKU BY FORFEIT
TAKA's tournament saw an early exit as an ankle injury forced him to forfeit his last three matches.
A BLOCK MATCH: TITAN DEFEATED TIGER MASK
They shook hands before the bell. Tiger took the first several minutes of the match, landing a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, followed by a series of mid kicks. Titan made a comeback, hitting a headscissors. He sent Tiger outside and teased a dive, but Tiger stepped aside. Titan followed with a backbreaker on the floor.
Back inside, Titan went for a moonsault, but Tiger got his feet up. Tiger hit a double underhook knee strike, then followed with a Tiger Driver for a nearfall. Tiger immediately transitioned from the cover to a cross armbreaker and then an armbar, but Titan forced a rope break. Tiger hit a series of kicks. Titan used an armdrag. He made a cover, and got the pin...off an armdrag.
Tiger protested the finish, and it certainly didn't appear that it was supposed to be the end of the match, but he didn't kick out of the cover. This was very strange.
A BLOCK MATCH: SHO DEFEATED JONATHAN GRESHAM
Gresham had his ribs taped up, and entered selling the injury. They started off with a mat sequence, ending in a stalemate. SHO got a series of waistlock takedowns and dropped into a cross armbreaker, but Gresham quickly reached the ropes.
Gresham rolled to the apron and SHO hit a low dropkick, sending him to the floor. SHO went after Gresham's left arm. Back in the ring, Gresham attacked SHO's left leg. He tried for a spinning toe hold, but SHO kicked him off. Gresham hit a chop to the leg, and again tried for the toe hold, but SHO kicked him off.
SHO hit a hip toss into a cross armbreaker, but Gresham again reached the ropes. Gresham hit a quebrada, and SHO rolled outside. Gresham hit a suicide dive and followed with a shooting star press for a nearfall.
Gresham used a figure four, but SHO rolled to the bottom rope. They rolled to the apron, still in the hold. Gresham kept the hold applied as they rolled to the floor. They teased a countout, but SHO made it back inside at 19.
They traded forearm strikes which really got the crowd into the match. SHO hit a German, but Gresham landed on his feet. SHO used a cradle for a nearfall, then hit a jumping knee strike. SHO hit a deadlift German into a bridge for a two count.
SHO hit a clothesline and Gresham took a flip bump. SHO hit a powerbomb onto his knees for a two count. He followed with Shock Arrow for the pin in a great match. They shook hands after the bell and SHO raised Gresham's hand.
A BLOCK MATCH: DRAGON LEE DEFEATED MARTY SCURLL
They began with a very nice exchange of holds. Scurll went after Dragon's arms with stomps. Dragon hit a headscissors and Scurll rolled outside. Dragon teased a dive, but Brody King tripped him. Scurll used the distraction to hit a superkick on the apron and then tossed Dragon into the crowd.
Scurll used a cloverleaf and hit a series of chops. Dragon fired back with strikes and hit a headscissors. He sent Scurll to the floor, then hit a dive onto Scurll, finishing with a rana. Dragon hit a shotgun dropkick and then hit another dropkick in the corner.
Dragon hit a backbreaker and then used a knee strike for a nearfall. He went for Desnucadora, but Scurll slipped into a chicken wing attempt. Dragon fought it off, but Scurll hit a half-and-half suplex.
They exchanged forearms on the top rope. Scurll used his finger break spot. Dragon teased his foot stomp off the ropes, but King interfered. Scurll hit a superplex for a nearfall. He followed with a series of strikes in the corner, but Dragon answered with a dropkick in the opposite corner.
They had a fast and furious exchange of big moves, including a snap German and a DDT. Dragon hit Desnucadora, but King pulled the referee out of the ring, stopping the count. Dragon hit a suicide dive onto King and threw the ref back in.
Dragon went for Desnucadora again, but Scurll rolled through into a DDT. Scurll used a chicken wing, but Dragon bridged into a cover for a nearfall. Scurll hit a pair of lariats, picking up a nearfall. He then hit the Scurll Driver for another two count.
Dragon hit a snap suplex and a running knee for a nearfall. He pulled his knee pad down, hit another strike, then followed with Desnucadora for the pin in a good match.
SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED TAIJI ISHIMORI TO WIN THE A BLOCK
After an exchange on the mat, Shingo missed with a senton. Ishimori grabbed a hold, but Shingo used a headscissors escape. Ishimori tried for a leapfrog, but Shingo snatched him out of the air and sent him into the corner. Ishimori tried for a springboard attack, but Shingo caught him and hit a DDT.
Shingo used a chinlock and then dropped a knee on Ishimori's head. Ishimori was selling his neck which was damaged early in the tournament. Shingo hit a series of elbows to the neck. Ishimori hit a handstand into a headscissors and torqued on Shingo's neck with his legs.
Ishimori caught Shingo in the ropes and hit a sliding German to the floor. They exchanged strikes on the floor and Ishimori sent Shingo into the post. Back inside, Ishimori hit a springboard senton. He followed with a series of short knee strikes to the shoulder area, setting up for a Yes Lock later on.
Shingo countered a series of strikes to his neck with a jab and then a clothesline. Ishimori hit a backdrop out of a powerbomb attempt. Ishimori hit a handspring kick and Shingo rolled to the outside. Ishimori teased a Golden Triangle, but Shingo cut him off.
Shingo hit a pop-up DVD on the apron, dropping Ishimori to the floor. Back in the ring, Shingo used a sliding lariat for a two count. Ishimori hit a DDT, but Shingo answered immediately with a vertical suplex.
Ishimori hit double knees in the corner. They hit simultaneous lariats. Ishimori hit a Canadian Destroyer, but Shingo popped right up and hit a Pumping Bomber. The crowd had been quiet, but that spot woke them up.
Shingo hit a Noshigami for a nearfall. Shingo hit a lariat and then another Pumping Bomber. He covered, but Ishimori kicked out at two and a half. He went for Last of the Dragon at the 15 minute mark, but Ishimori turned it into a crucifix bomb.
Ishimori hit a big rana and got a very close nearfall. Ishimori went for a lungblower, but Shingo blocked it and hit a wheelbarrow suplex. Ishimori used a misdirection spot and then flew into the Yes Lock. They did a long submission tease, but Shingo dragged his way to the bottom rope, forcing a break.
Ishimori hit a series of knees to the neck. He followed up with a series of punches to the neck. Shingo countered with a headbutt and a big jab. Ishimori hit a jumping knee and then hit his own Pumping Bomber.
Ishimori hit a Woo dropkick followed by double knees in the corner. He hit a lungblower, and Shingo kicked out at two. Shingo blocked a Bloody Cross attempt, and deadlifted Ishimori into Last of the Dragon for the pin.
This was a great main event, ranking right up there with some of the best matches of the tournament.
FINAL A BLOCK STANDINGS
- Shingo Takagi: 18 (Winner)
- Taiji Ishimori: 14
- Dragon Lee: 14
- Marty Scurll: 10
- SHO: 10
- Jonathan Gresham: 8
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 6
- Titan: 6
- Tiger Mask: 4
- TAKA Michinoku: 0
B BLOCK STANDINGS
- Ryusuke Taguchi: 12
- Will Ospreay: 12
- El Phantasmo: 10 (Out of contention)
- Robbie Eagles: 10 (Out of contention)
- BUSHI: 10 (Out of contention)
- YOH: 10 (Out of contention)
- Bandido: 8 (Out of contention)
- Rocky Romero: 6 (Out of contention)
- DOUKI: 2 (Out of contention)
- Ren Narita: 0 (Out of contention)