It all boils down to the final two in tonight’s Best of the Super Junior finals.
Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori will battle to determine the twenty fifth Best of the Super Juniors winner. With Will Ospreay eliminated, it seems very likely that the winner of tonight’s main event will challenge for the IWGP Jr. heavyweight championship, possibly at Dominion on 6/9.
The two had a confrontation right after Takahashi defeated KUSHIDA to win the B block. Takahashi was laying in the ring when Ishimori snuck up from behind and tried to do something off the top rope. Takahashi bolted, not wanting a confrontation right after winning his match. They will face off against one another for the first time ever in tonight’s main event.
With this being the final go home show before Dominion, there will likely be more build towards that event. Aside from the usual tags, the co-main event will pit Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada against Kota Ibushi and Chase Owens, with the idea being that Okada is facing Kenny Omega’s best friend just days before he clashes with Omega himself.
Join us for live coverage of the event this morning at 5:30 a.m. EDT. Kevin Kelly will be on English commentary, along with a special guest color commentator.
Flip Gordon and Chris Sabin defeated Tiger Mask and Shota Umino
A pretty solid opener, but nothing special Some nice back and forth, mostly. Gordon got the win for his team with a springboard 450 splash using his knees. Enjoy that finish while it lasts.
Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Minoru Suzuki, Taka Michinoku and Takashi Iizuka
So stop me if you’ve heard this one, but a Suzuki-gun tag team broke down into a brawl early in the match. Suzuki this time focused on YOSHI-HASHI, pelting him with a chair. Suzuki attempted the Gotch piledriver, but YOSHI-HASHI managed to escape.
The finish had everyone in the ring. Michinoku raked Yano’s eyes. Yano came back alive, low blowed Taka Michinoku and pinned him with a roll up. It was there.
Hirooki Goto and Roppongi 3K defeated Taichi, El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Stop me if you heard this one, but a Suzuki-gun tag team broke down into a brawl early in the match. Yes, they used steel chair shots here too. Desperado threw SHO into the crowd and smashed his knee into a chair. Kanemaru and the rest of the heels worked on the bum leg.
YOH made a hot comeback, but got stopped by Kanemaru’s whiskey spray to the face. Kanemaru went for the Deep Impact DDT but YOH countered and scooped him up into a bridge for the win. Better than the previous bout.
The heels beat up on CHAOS after the match. Taichi posed with the NEVER title over the fallen Goto, alluding to their match next weekend.
Marty Scurll and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Henare
Henare was worked on for a bit before Tanahashi made a great hot tag. Henare came in and looked good, hitting Takahashi with a big suplex. Takahashi bit one of Henare’s fingers. He tried to do the same with Tanahashi, but he escaped.
Henare kicked out of a fisherman’s buster from Takahashi, but Takahashi finished him off with the Pimp Juice DDT. Another fine tag team match, but again absolutely nothing special.
Scurll attacked Tanahashi after the match, latching on the chicken wing. Liger, who was on commentary on the outside, had enough and made the save for Tanahashi. This sets up Liger, Tanahashi and Mysterio against Marty Scurll, Yujiro Takahashi and someone else from the Bullet Club.
Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, BUSHI and SANADA defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Dragon Lee, ACH and KUSHIDA
This had a quicker pace than the other matches and started off really strong. Everyone came in and looked good. ACH, who was jumped by Naito right before the match started, tried to finish it with SANADA. He went for a roll up, but SANADA kicked up. He went to lift him in the suplex position, but he blocked it and went for the Skull End. With no other options, ACH submitted.
Chris Jericho appeared on the titantron. He admitted he didn’t headline Budokan back in 1997 when Naito was there, but he headlined WrestleKingdom 12. He mentioned the fact people voted him off of WrestleKingdom 8’s main event.
It’s okay, he says. Naito doesn’t have to know he is. He doesn’t need to know. He’s going to help Naito become a star, then he’ll know who he is. He closed the promo by calling him a certain word we can’t use here. Let’s just say everyone in New Japan LOVES to use the F word.
Naito says Jericho talked too much. He has too much free time on his hands, taking selfie camera videos. He’s going to shut that big mouth of Jericho’s at Korakuen Hall.
Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay defeated Kota Ibushi and Chase Owens
A lot of this was back and forth. Okada was worked on for a bit by Ibushi and Owens, then Ospreay came in and was worked on too.
They built to a confrontation between Ospreay and Ibushi after a double pele kick took out their partners. They exchanged some offense and it was absolutely insane. Ibushi took him out with the Golden Triangle moonsault.
In in the ring, Owens went for the package piledriver, but Okada blocked it. He hit the dropkick, struck Owens with a v-trigger (a message to Kenny Omega) and pinned him with the Rainmaker. Another solid match with good build towards next weekend’s show.
Hiromu Takahashi defeated Taiji Ishimori to win the Best of the Super Juniors tournament
This was an excellent bout, probably on par with some of the recent finals that was some of the best wrestling all year. Lots of excellent callbacks from the previous night, as well as some killer offense by Takahashi and some terrific work from Ishimori. Dunno how high I’d go, or where it is on the scale of awesome matches, for me I feel it’s definitely up near the top.
They start off quick. Takahashi goes for the sunset flip bomb, but Ishimori flips over him as they two begin to brawl on the outside. Takahashi takes Ishimori into the crowd. He ran towards one end of Korakuen Hall to the other, sending Ishimori falling to the floor. He tries to follow with a powerbomb on the concrete steps but Ishimori counters with a hurricanrana, sending him down the stairs in a nasty way.
Ishimori takes him back in the ring, then sends Takahashi back out by sending him into some chairs on the outside. Takahashi makes it back in the ring, but is taken down by a sliding German suplex out of the ring by Ishimori. Takahashi escapes and connects with the sunset flip bomb to the floor.
Takahashi follows by sliding Ishimori out of the ring in a wheelbarrow position, sending him face first to the mat. He follows with a shotgun dropkick hat sends Ishimori into the crowd. Ishimori launched himself with a springboard, but Takahashi took him out with a lariat.
Ishimori finally came back to life by putting in the move that gave him the spot in the finals — the crossface. Takahashi manages to escape, but when he tries to mount some offense Ishimori sets him back down with the crossface once again. Ishimori tries everything in his power to prevent Takahashi from getting to the ropes, but finally he gets a foot on the bottom rope and manages to free himself.
Takahashi sends Ishimori flying into the post with a giant belly to belly suplex. After connecting the dynamite plunger. Takahashi connects with what can best be described as an inverted powerbomb off the top rope and to the floor.
Ishimori blocks the time bomb, plants Takahashi with a reverse rana but Takahashi jumps right back up and hits a reverse rana of his own. A striking exchange follows, with Ishimori getting the better of it. Ishimori drills him with double knees in the corner and then does it again for a pinfall attempt, but Takahashi kicks out.
Takahashi avoids a bloody cross finish and traps Ishimori with the triangle. Ishimori tries to escape, even trying to deadlift his way out but couldn’t do it…until he does, and drives Takahashi into the ring post.
Takahashi comes back to life and plants Ishimori with the piledriver from last night and sinks in the triangle again. Ishimori gets to the ropes. Takahashi hits the running Death Valley Driver into the corner and hits the Time Bomb to win the Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
Takahashi takes the mic after the match. He doesn’t like being called best of the super juniors.He’s taking this all the way to the IWGP Jr. title. That brings out Ospreay, who congratulates him. He says that he’s beaten Takahashi twice already and he’ll prove it again at Osaka.
Hiromu says thank you, meow. He says this our Super Junior tournament. His dream is to take back the title and wear the belt around his waist at Korakuen Hall. That popped the crowd. The show ends with the usual streamer show. Somehow, he ended up breaking the trophy, taking apart one of the wings. Oops!