SHO & YOH will face Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado in the Super Junior Tag League finals at Power Struggle on Sunday. Both teams sealed their positions with wins in Osaka today on the last night of the Road to Power Struggle tour.
Here are full results and match recaps from today's show, as well as the final tournament standings:
TJP, CLARK CONNORS & YOTA TSUJI DEFEATED JUSHIN THUNDER LIGER, TIGER MASK IV & YUYA UEMURA
TJP pinned Uemura after a Detonation Kick. They only went about six minutes and the Young Lions worked most of the way.
TETSUYA NAITO, SANADA, SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI DEFEATED TAICHI, MINORU SUZUKI, ZACK SABRE JR. & DOUKI
BUSHI pinned DOUKI after a super hurricanrana off the second rope and an MX.
The focus here was on Naito vs. Taichi. Both brawled through the crowd at the opening bell. After the match, Naito hit Taichi with dozens of strikes, but Taichi no-sold all of them. Taichi teased going after Naito with a chair, but they were held apart.
Naito dropkicked the referee after the match as well.
HIROOKI GOTO, TOMOHIRO ISHII & KARL FREDERICKS DEFEATED JAY WHITE, KENTA & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI
Goto pinned Yujiro after hitting him with an ushigoroshi and a GTR. This was a good six-man. Fredericks looked awesome and everyone worked hard.
After the match, White, who had spent the bulk of the match avoiding Goto, went after him. Goto dropped White with a right hand. He went for a GTR, but Gedo jumped in and knocked out Goto with brass knuckles.
White grabbed a chair. Ishii tried to make the save for Goto, but White knocked him down with the chair, then used the weapon on Goto. KENTA jumped in and put Ishii in a rear naked choke, so the final big angle before Power Struggle saw White and KENTA standing tall.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA, YOSHI-HASHI & TOA HENARE DEFEATED KOTA IBUSHI, HIROSHI TANAHASHI & TOMOAKI HONMA
This was similar to the multi-man main event last night involving four of these same guys.
Both nights, Okada and Ibushi did a spot where Ibushi ducked a Rainmaker and Okada hit a dropkick, so look for that or a variation on that theme on January 4.
The highlight sequence here saw Henare hit a thrust kick on Honma. Ibushi then hit a knee strike to Henare. Okada hit Ibushi with a shotgun dropkick. Tanahashi hit Okada with a slingblade. YOSHI-HASHI tried a brainbuster on Tana, but Tana reversed it into a Twist and Shout.
The finish saw Honma submit to YOSHI-HASHI after a Butterfly Lock.
YOSHI-HASHI and Okada tried to cut a promo on Tana and Ibushi after the match. They will face off in a tag match on Sunday.
Okada literally dropped the mic. YOSHI-HASHI picked it up, but accidentally turned it off. Okada and YOSHI-HASHI cut a promo but no one heard it. Tanahashi and Ibushi returned to ringside. Tana picked up the mic and tested it. It worked. He then turned the mic off before cutting a promo. That was a great ad lib.
SUPER JUNIOR TAG LEAGUE MATCH: VOLADOR JR. & TITAN DEFEATED ROCKY ROMERO & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
Romero and Volador began with a lucha sequence, ending in a stalemate. Titan and Taguchi got tags and did some comedy spots. Titan hit a dropkick, sending Taguchi to the floor. Titan tried a tope, but Taguchi jumped back inside, then hit a plancha.
Taguchi and Romero did some more comedy where they hit each other by accident, but they remained in control. Titan came back with a springboard crossbody to Taguchi, then a Pele kick on Romero.
Volador got a tag and ran wild with an enzuigiri, then a springboard dropkick on Taguchi. Volador and Titan hit a tandem top rope splash/double stomp combo for a near fall. Taguchi came back with a hip attack and an enzuigiri. Volador answered with a backstabber.
Romero and Titan tagged in. Titan tried a springboard crossbody, but Romero knocked him out of the air with a dropkick. Romero hit a swinging DDT, and Taguchi hit a Bomaye . Romero covered for a near fall.
Romero and Taguchi hit a combination Dodon/backstabber for a two count. Romero and Taguchi hit stereo hip attacks. They tried the same move again, but Titan dodged it. Volador hit a tope con giro on Taguchi. Titan used a magistral cradle on Romero for a two count.
Titan used a clutch for a great near fall. Romero used a cradle for a two count. Romero hit forever clotheslines, but Titan answered with his diving clothesline out of the ring, a swinging dropkick in the corner, and a springboard second rope double stomp for a two count.
Titan then hit a second double stomp for the pin. This was a great match. All four of these guys are fantastic, but Titan was the standout performer of this tournament.
SUPER JUNIOR TAG LEAGUE MATCH: EL DESPERADO & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU DEFEATED WILL OSPREAY & ROBBIE EAGLES
Desperado and Kanemaru attacked before the opening bell. Ospreay and Eagles quickly came back with a crazy stereo dive that has to be seen to be believed. Suzuki-gun retaliated by turning this into a fight in the crowd. Desperado whipped Ospreay about eight rows deep into the crowd.
Back inside, Desperado used a single-leg crab on Eagles. Kanemaru tagged in, but Eagles stopped him with a kick to the leg and a cutter, into a double down.
Eagles managed a tag to Ospreay. Ospreay hit a backflip kick on Kanemaru for a two count. Kanemaru used an eye rake, then hit a dropkick. Desperado and Kanemaru tried a double team, but Eagles jumped in to even the odds. Eagles hit a suicide dive on Kanemaru, while Ospreay hit a standing shooting star press for a near fall on Desperado.
Eagles got a tag and hit a dropkick to Desperado's leg, the usual precursor to the Ron Miller Special. Eagles got the submission hold applied, but Desperado reached the ropes. Desperado hit a spinebuster.
Desperado used Numero Dos, but Eagles reversed into a sunset flip for a two count. All four men jumped in. Everyone hit a dropkick. Kanemaru and Ospreay rolled to the floor. Desperado hit a spear. Eagles answered with Turbo Backpack.
Eagles hit a double stomp to Desperado's leg on the apron. He followed with a 450 splash to the leg, then applied the Ron Miller Special. With the hold still applied, Ospreay hit a springboard 450 on Desperado. After a long struggle, Kanemaru made the save.
Ospreay hit Kanemaru with a wall flip kick, then a Space Flying Tiger Drop. Taichi was at the commentary desk. He pulled Ospreay's hair, then jumped on the apron to distract the referee.
Ospreay and Eagles went for Red Wing. BUSHI ran down and spit black mist in Ospreay's face. Kanemaru then spit whiskey in Eagles' eyes, and Desperado used a cradle on Eagles to score the pin.
Ospreay cut a promo on BUSHI after the match. He took BUSHI's attack as a challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Ospreay accepted, and said the match will happen Sunday at Power Struggle.
I understand that it would be a waste of Ospreay to have him in the Junior Heavyweight Tag Team picture, but it feels like they have just scratched the surface with him and Eagles as a team.
SUPER JUNIOR TAG LEAGUE MATCH: SHO & YOH DEFEATED EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI
SHO out-wrestled both Ishimori and ELP at the outset. ELP rolled outside to regroup, then used a trip from Ishimori on the floor to gain the edge on SHO. ELP clotheslined SHO over the top. SHO sold his taped-up back on landing. Ishimori then slammed SHO's back into the post.
Back inside, ELP and Ishimori used their trademark back rakes. They continued using quick tags, working over SHO's back, then stomping on his crotch.
Ishimori hit a sliding German. SHO came back with a vertical suplex and made his first tag to YOH over ten minutes into the match. YOH hit a dragon screw on ELP, a dragon screw on Ishimori, then a double dragon screw on both.
YOH used a figure four on ELP. After a rope break, ELP came back with kicks and an enzuigiri before tagging out. ELP and Ishimori hit stereo superkicks for a two count. Ishimori hit a codebreaker, immediately followed by an ELP moonsault for a near fall. YOH responded with a combination DDT/flatliner to both members of Bullet Club.
SHO tagged in but was immediately cut off with a superkick. Bullet Club teased a Doomsday Device, but YOH saved his partner, hitting both with superkicks. SHO and YOH hit a 3K on ELP, but Ishimori made the save.
Ishimori also ate a 3K. YOH hit a plancha to Ishimori. ELP went for a low blow, but SHO blocked it. SHO went for Shock Arrow, but his back gave out. ELP hit a low blow, then used an inside cradle for a two count.
ELP went for CRII, but SHO used an inside cradle for his own near fall.
SHO hit a lariat, then hit Shock Arrow for the pin. This was a disappointing match.
After the match, Desperado hit a Pinche Loco on SHO, while Kanemaru spit whiskey in YOH's eyes. Suzuki-gun then brought chairs into the ring. Desperado hit a con-chair-to on SHO's back. Desperado cut a promo mocking SHO and YOH, as well as the crowd in Osaka.
FINAL SUPER JUNIOR TAG LEAGUE STANDINGS
- SHO & YOH: 10 points (5-2)
- El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: 10 points (5-2)
- El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori: 10 points (5-2) eliminated
- Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles: 8 points (4-3) eliminated
- Volador Jr. & Titan: 8 points (4-3) eliminated
- Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi: 8 points (4-3) eliminated
- TJP & Clark Connors: 2 points (1-6) eliminated
- Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura: 0 points (0-7) eliminated