The second night of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament was headlined by YOH earning his first two points.
Saturday’s event drew a respectable crowd of 702 but the Nagoya Prefectural Budokan is a large auditorium space with a second deck that was virtually empty. Due to the huge size of the building and the emptiness of various areas, it harmed the atmosphere that paled in comparison to Friday’s opening night at a sold-out Korakuen Hall.
*A BLOCK: TJP over KUSHIDA in 9:39
*B BLOCK: Yoshinobu Kanemaru over Dan Moloney in 5:43
*A BLOCK: Lio Rush over Ryusuke Taguchi in 5:21
*B BLOCK: Robbie Eagles over Clark Connors in 5:57
*A BLOCK: Speedball Mike Bailey over SHO in 12:08
*B BLOCK: Francesco Akira over Kevin Knight in 8:41
*A BLOCK: Taiji Ishimori over Titan in 9:25
*B BLOCK: El Desperado over BUSHI in 8:56
*A BLOCK: Hiromu Takahashi over DOUKI in 12:49
*B BLOCK: YOH over Master Wato in 18:13
In the main event, the B Block had the spotlight position with YOH pinning Master Wato after hitting the Direct Drive and getting on the board with two points. After eighteen minutes, YOH powered through with a poisonrana and superkick before connecting with his finisher for the win in the longest match on the card.
The B Block included El Desperado winning his first match of the tournament using El Es Clero to catch BUSHI for the pin. Desperado sold his knee throughout the match including collapsing when he was Irish whipped to the corner.
Francesco Akira also improved to 1-1 in the B Block by pinning Kevin Knight after hitting his Fireball (double knees from behind) to defeat Kevin Knight, who falls to 0-2, although has had two good performances to kick off the tour.
Robbie Eagles improved to 2-0 in the B Block by pinning Clark Connors with a roll-up after playing possum. Gedo called for Connors to use his new finisher, No Chaser when it appeared Eagles was done. After a weak slap by Eagles, he lured Connors into his trap with the pin and leaves with four points.
The opening B Block match featured Yoshinobu Kanemaru submitting Dan Moloney with the ankle lock as Kanemaru has gotten off to a strong start in the B Block with four points as the members of Just Five Guys continue to be booked strong.
The A Block matches featured IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi rebounding from his loss to Speedball Mike Bailey on Friday by defeating DOUKI with the Time Bomb. DOUKI threatened with the DOUKI Choky three times, and the champion relied on the rope to escape. After surviving Daybreak, and Suplex de la Luna, Hiromu countered the Time Bomb and won in under thirteen minutes. Hiromu will headline Sunday’s show in Nagoya with Lio Rush in a big rematch from March.
Taiji Ishimori submitted Titan after La Mistica into the Bone Lock and remains undefeated in the A Block.
Speedball Mike Bailey was on “House of Torture duty” on Saturday against SHO, and by extension, EVIL. This was overbooked to death with EVIL’s constant interference, a referee bump, the use of the wrench, and general indifference from the audience. The match began with SHO attacking Bailey on his way to the ring and using a chair on Bailey’s foot and later, hit it with the wrench. Bailey used a cradle to nearly pin SHO, but EVIL yanked the referee to the floor and entered the ring to stomp Bailey, which was not a DQ, for whatever reason. Bailey came back with the Tornado Kick in the corner and Ultima Weapon. Bailey limped to the back. This would have been more passable with a lively crowd but it’s such a tired formula with the House of Torture that the only positive you can rest on is the fact it’s a different type of match than any of the other nine.
Lio Rush pinned Ryusuke Taguchi in a sprint, which Rush has mastered after two nights in the tournament with both his matches clocking in under six minutes. Rush hit a pair of dives to the floor and kicked out from the Dodon. Rush connected with Rush Hour off the bottom rope and the Final Hour to win in 5:21. Rush is going to have a tremendous showing in this tournament.
Finally, KUSHIDA was caught by TJP in the opener after countering the Pinoy Stretch and going for the Hoverboard Lock when TJP surprised him with an inside cradle as the former champion falls to 0-2.
Later in the show, TJP joined Kevin Kelly for the English-language broadcast and the two did a tremendous job together with great analysis and a breakdown of each wrestler’s style. He also noted the three hardest wrestlers to kick him have been Katsuhiko Nakajima, Hayata Fujita, and Speedball Mike Bailey.
A BLOCK: Lio Rush (4), Speedball Mike Bailey (4), Taiji Ishimori (4), Hiromu Takahashi (2), TJP (2) DOUKI (2), Titan (2), SHO (0), Ryusuke Taguchi (0), KUSHIDA (0)
B BLOCK: Robbie Eagles (4), Yoshinobu Kanemaru (4), El Desperado (2), YOH (2), Master Wato (2), Dan Moloney (2), Clark Connors (2), Francesco Akira (2), Kevin Knight (0), BUSHI (0)
The tournament continues on Sunday with a card in Nagoya and streaming at 4 a.m. ET with the following matches:
*A BLOCK: Hiromu Takahashi vs. Lio Rush
*B BLOCK: El Desperado vs. Master Wato
*A BLOCK: TJP vs. Speedball Mike Bailey
*B BLOCK: YOH vs. Dan Moloney
*A BLOCK: KUSHIDA vs. Titan
*B BLOCK: Robbie Eagles vs. Francesco Akira
*A BLOCK: DOUKI vs. Taiji Ishimori
*B BLOCK: BUSHI vs. Clark Connors
*A BLOCK: SHO vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
*B BLOCK: Kevin Knight vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru