At long last, Best Of Super Juniors is upon us. Much like the G1 Climax, it is a round robin tournament where combatants are divided up in two blocks, with the winners of each block facing off in the finals. The winner of that will face the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion at Dominion.
Two other things of note: Caprice Coleman is making his debut on color commentary for New Japan, and there are no guardrails at ringside. So the number of whips into the guardrail will go drastically down.
NEVER Openweight Champion Taichi & DOUKI b. Ren Narita & Yota Tsuji when DOUKI pinned Tsuji with a Suplex De Luna – This is DOUKI’s debut, as he is filling in for an injured El Desperado. He was described as being a protege of Taichi’s. Though he may not be an official member of Suzuki-Gun. It didn’t take long for him to fit right in with Suzuki-Gun by attacking Tsuji with a chair on the floor. Tusji got DOUKI in the Boston Crab, but Taichi broke it. Douki retaliated with a Suplex De Luna (Wheelbarrow Dragon Suplex) for the win. Taichi didn’t even have to take of his pants.
After the match, Douki taunted Narita, who slugged him in response. Taichi attacked Narita from behind and put the boots to him. The two heels then walked to the back, gloating.
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Robbie Eagles, & Jado) b. Rocky Romero, Bandido, & Yuya Uemera when Eagles pinned Uemera with a Back Stunner – The teams were evenly matched until Jado struck Romero from behind with the shinai. Bandido got a hot tag, and ran wild for a bit. Uemera then tagged and put Eagles in a Boston Crab. That got broken up by, which led to Eagles pinning Uemera while everybody else brawled on the outside.
IWGP US Champion Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi b. Yoh & Shota Umino when Robinson submitted Umino with an Elevated Crab – Yoh did come to the ring in new short trunks rather than his usual long tights. Team Taguchi worked over Umino. Yoh tagged in and made a comeback. The two fought to a double down. Umino and Juice got the respective tags and went toe to toe for a bit. Juice put Umino in an Elevated Crab while Taguchi kept Yoh at bay. With no save in sight, Umino submitted.
Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI of Los Ingobernables De Japon b. Will Ospreay & Toa Henare when Naito pinned Henare with Destino – Ospreay and Bushi fought to a double down. Double tag out to Henare and Naito. Naito and Bushi double teamed Henare, allowing Naito to hit Destino on Henare for the win.
The rest of the matches are all A Block Tournament Matches. The scoring is simple:
- 2 Points for a Victory (pinfall, submission, or countout
- 1 Point Each for a Time Limit Draw.
- 0 Points for a Loss of any kind. A double countout or double DQ are considered losses for both men
Tiger Mask IV (0-0, 0) p. Taka Michinoku (0-0, 0) with a Tiger Suplex – Taka got the upper hand by using the ringpost on the outside. He smacked Tiger’s leg around the ringpost, and capitalized on the leg damage by using a Figure Four. Any time Tiger tried a comeback, Taka would ground him again with submissions. Finally, Tiger fired up and hit a Tiger Suplex for the pin.
Titan (0-0, 0) p. Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0-0, 0) with a Titanics – Kanemaru attacked before the bell, and dominated the match. he repeatedly tried to unmask Titan. Titan made a comeback and hit a dive to the floor. Kanemaru blocked a moonsault with his knees. Kanemaru got to the second rope for a Deep Impact DDT. Titan tried a suplex or Spanish Fly to reverse it. Kanemaru swated him away and hit the DDT. Titan kicked out, and battled back to a double down. Titan ducked the whisky spit and used his Titanics to get the pin.
Marty Scurll (0-0, 0) p. Jonathan Gresham (0-0, 0) with Black Plague – The match started out slow as the two tried to feel each other out, then shifted intoo high shortly after that. Gresham battled out of holds and rallied with strikes. The two exchanges several roll-ups with neither man getting the pin. Gresham used an O’Connor Roll, whoch Marty reversed into a Chickenwing. Gresham escaped and tried a comeback, but Scurll hit a Black Plague for the pin.
Shingo Takagi (0-0, 0) p. SHO (0-0, 0) with Last Of The Dragon – Sho sported a new hairdo that did not have his usuall highlights. He also, like Yoh, wore new short trunks. Plus, he came to the ring with new theme music that sounded like something out of a Mega Man game. I mean that as a compliment. These two have clashed pretty hard in tag matches, so it makes this match a special treat. Both men were evenly matched in the opening minutes. Takagi took control by ramming Sho into the ringpost. He used submissions on Sho, and taunted him with slaps and kicks. Sho tried to make his comeback, and worked on Takagi’s right arm. The match turned into s battle of strikes, then a battle of suplexes. The two collided with simultaneous clotheslines. Finally, Sho managed to deck Takagi with a clothesline and used a German Suplex for a near fall. A Powerbomb/Codebreaker combo also scored a neear fall. Takagi powered out of a Shock Arrow, and hit a German Suplex. A Pumping Bomber got a two-count. Takagi then hit a Noshigami, and a second Pumping Bomber. Still, Sho managed to kick out. Sho flipped out of a Last Of The Dragon, and applied a Chimera Lock. Takagi tried to escape but Sho countered into a Cross-Armbreaker. This time, Takagi managed to make the rope break. Sho kept up the assault with kicks, which Takagi started welcoming. The two battled with dueling strikes, which quickly went in Takagi’s favor. A third Pumping Bomber still resulted in a two count. Finally, Takagi managed to hit Last Of The Dragon for the pinfall. An excellent match that neither man deserved to lose.
“Bone Soldier” Taiji Ishimori (0-0, 0) p. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Dragon Lee (0-0, 0) with a Bloody Cross – The match went to fisticuffs early on. Ishimori came out on top with a dive to the floor. Back in the ring, Lee tried to make a comeback, but Ishimori grounded him with a Crossface. Lee battled back and another fast paced exchange of strikes and suplexes broke out. Lee hit a Tree Of Woe stomp for a near fall. Ishimori responded with a Crucifix Bomb for his own near fall. They even each hit reverse hurricanranas. An inverted Codebraker by Ishimori got another two count. Ishimori followed that up with a Bloody Cross to finally get the win.
After the match, Ishimori cut a promo that he will defeat Takagi later on and win the tournament.
Here are the standings after night 1
2 Taiji Ishimori
2 Shingo Takagi
2 Marty Scurll
2 Tiger Mask IV
0 Taka Michinoku
0 Yoshinobu Kanemaru
0 Jonathan Gresham
0 Dragon Lee