It’s time for Night Five for this year’s Best Of Super Juniors tournament, and the middle of a tournament is often the most important part. We have our front runners in Master Wato, SHO, Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori, all entering this night with 6 points. Ryusuke Taguchi, Robbie Eagles, BUSHI, and El Desperado trail behind at 4 points. Finally, DOUKI & Yuya Uemura stand at 0 points, their only hope left a complete sweep.
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs. Yuya Uemura
Speaking of Uemura, he kicks off the night with a dream match. He entered this tournament wanting a chance to face Hiromu Takahashi, and tonight he gets that wish. Uemura carries a hurt shoulder into this match, but also took Taiji Ishimori to his limits in his last match. Maybe this is his breakout moment?
Once this tournament is said and done, few will argue if you pointed at Uemura and said he should no longer be classified as a Young Lion. Again in this match, he went move for move with one of the top names in the Junior Heavyweight division, looked wise beyond his years, and it wouldn’t have been considered an upset if he won. Of course, Hiromu Takahashi won, but it was far from easy.
This was as hard fought a win as it gets, and if Uemura had a more defined finisher he would have put Takahashi away, but the armbar isn’t enough yet. The Boston Crab put Uemura away in a way which reminded him and everyone else of his place, and Hiromu Takahashi moves to 8 points.
Match Rating: 3.75/5 (*** ¾)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: DOUKI vs. Master Wato
The first singles match that Master Wato had when he came back to NJPW was against DOUKI, and he was able to get a win then. Now the rematch is here, and DOUKI has gotten miles better since that encounter months ago at the New Japan Cup finals. DOUKI is desperate and dangerous, needing to win all his matches to reach the finals at this point, and will be willing to exploit the hurt knee of Wato to get the win.
Much like their previous match, it was perfectly servicable. Both men have proven themselves to be way better than this, but the chemistry simply isn’t there for them, and neither are skilled enough to carry the weight of a match for the other. It was a simple back and forth match with some impressive spots, and Wato won using the Spiral Tap. He moves to 8 points, while DOUKI remains at zero.
Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** ½)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. BUSHI
This is a match between two men who know each other well, two veterans of the Best of Super Juniors tournament. Taguchi & BUSHI are evenly matched historically with their four previous tournament matches bringing two wins each. Tonight, only one will be able to keep up a winning pace, and it’s too close to call.
Taguchi started this one with a lot more gusto than usual, using less comedy but still using his rear end for the majority of his offense. BUSHI knew how to counter this, and would do so whenever Taguchi got too much steam, and that allowed him to slowly widdle Taguchi down to hit the MX for the win. This was an alright match, nothing too special, but fun all the same. It moves BUSHI up to 6 points, while Taguchi remains at 4.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Taiji Ishimori vs. Robbie Eagles
In a first time singles match, we see two former partners clash. When Robbie Eagles was in Bullet Club, he was a close ally of Taiji Ishimori, who took the young Aussie under his wing. It was a shorter alliance, only lasting six months before Ishimori instead teamed with El Phantasmo, and Eagles moved to Chaos. They’re both in the running of this tournament, and Eagles has a chance to prove he’s a top name by beating the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, and a mentor, at the same time.
After an offer to rejoin Bullet Club with a Too Sweet was rejected, Eagles & Ishimori would start their fast paced war. They’d soar around the ring going for their signature blows, Eagles getting some good shots at the leg of Ishimori and nearly getting the submission win with his kneebar. However, a wrong move came with his 450 Splash, as Ishimori got his knees up and took Eagles breath away. He’d survive the submission attempt, only to fall to Bloody Cross. Eagles held his own in this match, but was unable to beat his old partner, with Ishimori moving up to 8 points, Eagles remaining at 4 points.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** ½)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: El Desperado vs. SHO
SHO & El Desperado have only met in one singles match, they’re steady rivals in tag team action. YOH & Yoshinobu Kanemaru are both sidelined with injury though, and this isn’t a tag team tournament anyways. SHO won their last Best of Super Juniors clash, so can Desperado even that record out?
Desperado got started quick with a thumb to the eye of SHO, getting this one heated in a hurry. They’d go back and forth with big moves, following a pretty typical main event format. There was outside brawling, solid submission work and hard strikes a plenty, but it just took a straight punch to the jaw after countering Shock Arrow, and the Pinche Loco to get Desperado up to 6 points, matching what SHO came into this match with.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** ½)
What was your favorite match of Night Five of Best of Super Juniors? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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