With just three nights of action left in this year’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament, it’s safe to say we’ve entered the final stretch. Taiji Ishimori & Hiromu Takahashi lead the pack at 10 points each, while Master Wato, SHO and El Desperado are close behind at 8 points each. These five are expected to end strong, with everyone behind either eliminated or needing a perfect sweep to make the finals.
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: DOUKI vs. Yuya Uemura
Finally, the two bottom men in the rankings meet. Both Uemura & DOUKI come into tonight with 0 points, having both lost their last six matches. DOUKI has looked great in this tournament, but Uemura has many saying he deserves to graduate from Young Lion status after taking names like Hiromu Takahashi & Taiji Ishimori to their limits. Who will break their losing streak?
If there was a match in this tournament that was Uemuras to win, it was this one. He looked every bit the equal of DOUKI, and they had a back and forth war like expected. Uemura is ready to graduate after this tournament, as once again he took someone who dwarfs him in terms of experience to their limits, nearly tapping DOUKI out with the Boston Crab. DOUKI made the comeback, and hit the high angle Dragon Suplex for his first win of the tournament.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Robbie Eagles
Robbie Eagles could almost be considered the MVP of the tournament in terms of match quality, but sadly he’s been mathematically eliminated due to failing to score the crucial wins along the way. The only impact he can have now is as a spoiler for men like Ryusuke Taguchi, who needs to keep winning to remain in the running. Taguchi has won in the past, and is generally a factor when it comes to deciding the finals, but needs to beat Eagles to keep that going this year.
Despite knowing exactly how important a win tonight could be, Taguchi came in like any other match, looking to entertain first and win second. By the time he picked up the pace, Eagles was already rolling. The ankle lock didn’t get the finish, and Eagles would get a submission of his own to take Taguchi out. This all but eliminates Taguchi from the finals conversation, while pushing Eagles to 6 points.
Match Rating: 3.25/5 (*** ¼)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: BUSHI vs. Master Wato
Master Wato has proven his poor debut was just due to nerves with a fantastic campaign in Best of the Super Juniors. He’s coming into tonight with winning still on the table, but much like Taguchi in the previous match on the card, BUSHI must win to remain in the running. A loss for Wato will hurt him, but a loss for BUSHI eliminates him, so expect to see BUSHI at his best here.
At this point of the tournament, everyone has to give their all. This led to Wato to end up making a few mistakes in this match, which was otherwise finally laid out by the young Grandmaster. He’d hit the Crucifix Bomb, but missed the Spiral Tap. That missed dive was all BUSHI needed to take control and be able to hit MX to ensure he remains in the mix of this tournament.
Match Rating: 2/5 (**)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Taiji Ishimori vs. El Desperado
In a first time singles matchup, Desperado gets one of his most important chances yet. Even if winning the tournament doesn’t happen for him, if he can pin the reigning IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, he could get his latest chance to claim the title for himself. We’ve seen what Desperado will do to claim victory in the past, having beaten Takahashi with a chair behind the referees back, so Taiji Ishimori better be very prepared.
Both men came in with a plan to break the other down with submissions, with Desperado going right after the leg of Ishimori, and Ishimori going for the neck. They’d get their signature holds applied, but this one wasn’t destined to end with a submission. Instead, a low blow into Pinche Loco would be what ends the match, with El Desperado getting the win which bumps him up to 10 points, and perhaps a chance to add to his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team gold.
Match Rating: 3.25/5 (*** ¼)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs. SHO
SHO has tasted plenty of success as part of a tag team, but rarely has singles success been so close for him. Coming into tonight with 8 points is great for him, but now he needs to overcome Hiromu Takahashi to take that next step to the finals. A win here is worth more than two points for SHO, as it would also show everyone that he belongs in the ring with the top names in the division.
These two were never going to have anything short of a lightning quick and hard hitting match. They threw lariats in the ring, brawled on the outside, but SHO was able to block the Time Bomb from Hiromu to keep things going. Instead, Hiromu nailed a Sunset Flip powerbomb to the outside, but SHO didn’t stay down. He returned to the ring, grabbed a double wrist lock and didn’t even let go for the Running Death Valley Driver into the corner. The finishing stretch started with a Powerbreaker, followed by some lariats from both men. Hiromu almost stole it with a Victory Roll, but fell to Shock Arrow soon after.
This was one of the best matches of the tournament, and hopefully will not be the last time these two meet one on one. SHO moves up to 10 points, setting himself up good for the final night of tournament action.
Match Rating: 4.25/5 (**** ¼)
What was your favorite match of Night Seven of Best of The Super Juniors? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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