We’re rounding the final turn of this year’s Best of The Super Juniors tournament as it pulls into Kagoshima for night 8. SHO, Hiromu Takahashi, El Desperado & Taiji Ishimori are all tied for the lead with 10 points. The only other two men who still have a glimmer of hope is BUSHI & Master Wato, while everyone else is out.
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: SHO vs. Yuya Uemura
The #NEXTBOYZ clash, as two close friends who love Greco Roman wrestling and who come from the Aichi prefecture meet in our opening match. SHO is a leader at 10 points, holding a wins over Hiromu Takahashi & El Desperado, and has a chance to tune up before facing the final man between him and victory with Taiji Ishimori. Uemura might have proven he’s ready to shed the Young Lion title, but his 0 point run isn’t expected to end here.
This one went exactly as expected, it was a very solid and fun wrestling match, Uemura looked good, but SHO looked better. He’d nail the Powerbreaker & Shock Arrow to drop his friend and move to an easy 12 points, setting him up very nicely for a trip to the finals.
Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** ½)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: BUSHI vs. DOUKI
Unlike Uemura, DOUKI managed a single win in this tournament, but BUSHI will look to make sure he remains in the running tonight. They’ve only met once before, with BUSHI winning back then. DOUKI can technically say he’s on a winning streak after beating Uemura, but can he drop BUSHI next?
It was your typical tournament BUSHI match, with him mostly in control. However, DOUKI kept it competitive and was able to hit all his signature moves except that high angle dragon suplex. BUSHI thought he had won, went for the MX, but DOUKI showed his crafty nature and countered into a roll up for the win. This keeps BUSHI at 8 points, effectively eliminating him.
Match Rating: 2.75/5 (** ¾)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: El Desperado vs. Robbie Eagles
Robbie Eagles is out of the running out this tournament, as even though two wins would get him to 10 points, he’s failed to win key matches that would let him win in a tie. Meanwhile, Desperado is a very likely winner. He’s beaten SHO, Hiromu Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori, meaning he could beat any of them in a tie. Eagles still has a chance to influence the finals of this tournament, by simply exploiting an over confident Desperado and getting the win to keep hi\ from reaching 12 points.
Both men came into this match with intent to pick apart and demolish the leg, and that mainly served to slow Eagles down and force a submission heavy contest. This was an excellent choice, and allowed Eagles to match Desperado on the mat in a thrilling whirl of counters and holds. He’d survive the Stretch Muffler, but Desperado also was able to survive the kneebar. A straight punch to the face followed by Pinche Loco would bring the end, another great match for Eagles that ended with a loss. This moves Desperado up to 12 points, letting him tie up with SHO.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** ½)
Six Man Tag Team Match: Kota Ibushi, Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)
Tonight’s show features a special six man tag team match, as Kota Ibushi enters his home town with Satoshi Kojima and Tomoaki Honma to face Naito, Shingo and SANADA. This could be one of his last cracks at Naito before they meet on January 4th in the Tokyo Dome, and whenever they share a ring, it’s always special.
When viewed as just a special treat for fans, this match was great. We got to see Kojima mix it up with Shingo, some great wrestling from Ibushi & Naito, and Honma was there and hit the kokeshi to make everyone happy. It was a good time, and that was all it needed to be. L.I.J won after a moonsault to Honma, who they kept attacking after the bell just because they could.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Taiji Ishimori vs. Master Wato
Master Wato was teetering on the edge at this point, needing both Desperado & Hiromu Takahashi to lose their matches, and needing a win over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, Taiji Ishimori. Wato has proven he belongs near the top of the rankings, and if he can make the finals, no one can dispute that claim. However, Ishimori isn’t happy following a very avoidable loss to Desperado, and might be aggressive in this match.
Ishimori came into this match with some serious fire behind him, and was able to ensure Wato had a fast start because of it. They would have a fast paced match full of hard strikes, Ishimori got his submissions in, and Wato hit some high flying attacks. Wato got a 2.9 count off a Crucifix Bomb, only to fall to Bloody Cross soon after. This win moves Ishimori to 12 points, keeping pace as he enters the final night of action.
Match Rating: 3.25/5 (*** ¼)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Hiromu Takahashi
Much like Robbie Eagles, Taguchi doesn’t have the tiebreakers needed to win this tournament, but could influence how it ends by simply beating Hiromu Takahashi. He has always been in the conversation until the end of the tournament, and that changed this year in most ways, so now this veteran has something to prove. He’s beaten Takahashi when he was a Young Lion, but is 0-3 since Takahashi came back as the Time Bomb. Takahashi needs to keep winning, and then he’ll make the finals. Simple as that.
This match was some of the most fun you’ll have watching wrestling this year. It was a masterpiece in merging comedy wrestling alongside an epic back and forth match. Taguchi showed everyone why he’s not to be overlooked at any time, as he made Takahashi wrestle his type of match to start, and when Takahashi controlled the pace, Taguchi put his foot on the gas and went as fast as we’ve seen him in years.
The only mistake Taguchi made in this match was trying to win by hitting Hiromu Takahashi with his own finisher, and not sticking to moves he has mastered. Takahashi would counter Time Bomb into a roll up, to get to 12 points and ensure the final night of tournament action has the four way tie. This mainly proved that Taguchi needs one more run on top, before he can’t perform at this level any longer.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** ¼)
What was your favorite match of night eight? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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