Editor Note: This is the review of night two of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Best of the Super Juniors XXII. You can read night one here.
Best of the Super Juniors XXII Night Two (05/23/15)
Location: Kuki, Saitama, Japan inside the Saitama/Kuki Synthesis Gymnasium
When New Japan says “next day delivery” they literally mean almost next day in the United States as well. I’m joking, but it is such a difference from how we view next day on-demand delivery here in the United States. Usually after 2AM we get the shows that aired the night before available to us. New Japan didn’t make the second day Best of the Super Juniors tournament matches available on New Japan World until roughly around 11pm ET on Saturday night, which translates to around Noon in Japan. To be fair, this is still new to them. This is the first big tournament they’ve had since New Japan World has existed. I’ve had New Japan World since a few days after Wrestle Kingdom 9, and to my knowledge, they’ve never posted something new in solely on-demand format. It’s always been live first and then it just stays on the service after that. The idea of having to finish a show and then turn around, cut it up, make edits, and make it available in a swift manner on NJPW World is still something they have to get used to doing. There could be several other reasons as to why, but we will have to see if there is going to be a set time as to when we might receive the next show, or if it is going to vary depending on certain factors.
I should state that I only wrote the previous paragraph to give context as to why this is being posted so late. I should also make note that it seems like for the “next day delivery” shows, which will be most of the shows during this tournament, New Japan will only make available the actual tournament matches. So, anyone that really loves all those New Japan Tag Team matches are going to be out of luck for the most part. But don’t fear, I’m going to post the full show results and also go into detail on the three matches that were made available.
I say three matches, because before the show started it was announced Alex Shelley suffered an ankle injury and will have to forfeit his match with Rocky Romero. New Japan then confirmed that Alex Shelley has a ligament injury and avulsion fracture in his left foot on twitter and that he is done for the tournament.
As noted in the location, this show took place in a small venue with the crowd all literally seated around the ringside area. The show was filmed with different cameras, but the action is only shown through one hard camera that is fixated in the center of the gymnasium. So there are points where wrestlers go out of view and what not, because the camera is not moving with them. If you are one of those that just loves production, this is probably not the show to be watching.
Match 1: Tag Team Match: ReDragon defeated Jay White & Mascara Dorada in 11 minutes and 20 seconds (After Hitting Chasing the Dragon on Jay White)
Match 2: Six Man Tag Team Match: Tiger Mask IV , Jushin Thunder Liger, & Tomoaki Honma defeated Sho Tanaka, David Finlay, & Captain New Japan in 9 minutes and 5 seconds (After Tiger Mask Hits the Tiger Driver to Sho Tanaka)
Match 3: BOTSJ Block A Match: Gedo vs. Yohei Komatsu
Winner: Gedo (After Hitting Komatsu with the Complete Shot and Gedo Clutch Pin) 10 minutes
Komatsu started this out very much like his first match against Liger, except this time he waited for the bell to ring before going after Gedo. Gedo, just like Liger, used his veteran savvy to gain the upperhand. He went outside the ring a couple of times and on the second time, Komatsu followed him out there. This allowed Gedo to take advantage and start bashing Komatsu’s head into things at ringside. The crowd did get a dual chant going early on in the match too. Gedo basically tried every dirty tactic in the book to make sure the crowd cheered for Komatsu. He got into with the ref, he blatantly choked, eye poked, and eye raked Komatsu, and he even yelled at Komatsu in English “Come on you Mother F***er.” Komatsu makes a small comeback, but he misses his big flying move, which allows Gedo to get a cool Jawbreaker and Superkick combo in for a near fall. Komatsu does get in a nice hope spot right at the end, by putting Gedo in the Single Leg Crab after countering the Complete Shot. Gedo has to make two different attempts at going for the ropes to break the hold. After a while, it became obvious Gedo would win, but the pacing of the match and the way Gedo made sure the crowd got behind Komatsu really helped add to the match. I know not everyone likes the idea of Gedo winning, but give him a break, he hardly ever books himself to win matches. Komatsu once again showed flashes that he’s ready to move on to better things. ***
Match 4: BOTSJ Block A Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Barbaro Cavernario
Winner: Ryusuke Taguchi (After Hitting Cavernario with a Sliding Butt Attack 8 Minutes and 45 Seconds
This is one of those matches that makes me really hate Taguchi. I like to laugh and I don’t mind comedy in wrestling at all. However, Taguchi takes it to a different level where it gets annoying because not only does he do comedy, he basically uses his butt for almost his entire offense. When you put that together in a match against another guy that also does comedy, it doesn’t turn out that great. Taguchi even came out to the ring with a bone headband, mocking Cavernario’s head gear. They also did a small “taunt-off” to start the match too. Cavernario made fun of Taguchi’s pose and Taguchi moved around like a caveman. I will say that Taguchi and Cavernario had much better chemistry than Cavernario did with Chase Owens. What they did here was a lot more smooth and gelled better. They traded Armdrags, Cavernario did the Worm and then turned that into a Double Stomp for a near fall. Cavernario took a page out of Sami Zayn’s book with a “Diagonal apron dive through the ropes” to Taguchi on the outside. Taguchi did some butt offense and then hit a Big Tope Con Hilo on the outside too. The finishing sequence is really weird and just threw me off. So, Taguchi does a top Rope Butt Attack, then he counters Cavernario, Carvenario goes to the top rope jumps and Taguchi counters it into a Powerbomb. Then Taguchi simply does a Baseball Slide Butt Attack and wins. SERIOUSLY? He wins with a sliding butt move? My lord I just don’t know what to say. It really puts a sour note on a match that really wasn’t going all that badly. He could have won with the Powerbomb or something, ANYTHING ELSE!!! Well, I guess put a win in the books for Taguchi. However, I still think Cavernario still hasn’t gotten to show too much, but who knows, maybe next time. I will say that I thought The Worm Double Stomp was awesome. * and ½ *
Match 5: Kazuchika Okada & Baretta (CHAOS) defeated Cody Hall & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club) in 10 minutes and 45 seconds (After Okada Hit the Rainmaker on Cody Hall)
Match 6: BOTSJ Block B Match: KUSHIDA vs. Nick Jackson (Bullet Club)
Winner: Nick Jackson (After Hitting a 450 Splash on KUSHIDA) 9 minutes and 10 seconds
This one also started off with some comedy with Nick finding various ways to do “suck-it.” However, KUSHIDA did him one better. While Nick was standing outside, KUSHIDA did the suck-it sign, and Nick acted like KUSHIDA had just said something about his mother and ran into the ring like a wild man. But as he did that, he tripped on the middle rope and it was just a great funny moment. Nick controlled the match early, working on the back of KUSHIDA. There was another funny moment during that stretch that saw KUSHIDA in the corner and Nick runs towards him, then he calmly just starts walking and rake’s KUSHIDA’s back like it’s no big deal. KUSHIDA did make a comeback and put Nick in the Kimura, but Nick quickly scurried to the ropes. There was a great exchange on the outside that ended with KUSHIDA running on the apron and Nick NAILING him with a Superkick. The finishing sequence was pretty sweet with KUSHIDA no-selling a Superkick and immediately doing a Pele and then Nick no-selling that to do a Shining Kick and then hitting the 450 for the win. I was surprised by Nick winning, but I also like that this keeps things tight in Block B as they really should be since that Block features the better wrestling talent. This match was good, but similar to KUSHIDA’s match with Dorada, I felt that it started hitting that next gear right when it ended. These two are capable of a lot more, but it wound up feeling kind of blah because the crowd was in and out of the match a lot as well. ** and ½ *
Match 7: MAIN EVENT: Eight Man Tag Team Match: Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata, Togi Makabe, and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Shinsuke Nakamura, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii, & Toru Yano in 15 minutes and 30 seconds (After Hiroshi Tanahashi hit the High Fly Flow on YOSHI-HASHI)
FINAL THOUGHTS: I don’t feel like I can give a full rating to three matches. If you are following the tournament, but don’t want to watch everything you could probably skip this show. However, it is only 30 minutes so it really wouldn’t hurt to watch these matches anyway. So far there still hasn’t been that one totally stand out match, but there hasn’t been anything downright awful either. Gedo continues his impressive run, Taguchi got a win, and Nick Jackson surprised beating KUSHIDA. I guess it is on to Night 3 on Monday then.
Thank you for reading my New Japan Pro Wrestling: Best of the Super Juniors XXII Night One & Two Review. I will be back tomorrow with thoughts
Results Through Two Nights:
Block A: Jushin Thunder Liger (2 points), Yohei Komatsu (0 points), Ryusuke Taguchi (2 points), Beretta (0 points), Gedo (4 points), Barbaro Cavernario (2 points), Kyle O’Reilly (2 points), Chase Owens (0 points)
Block B: KUSHIDA (2 points), Tiger Mask (2 points), Alex Shelley (2 points), Rocky Romero (2 points), Mascara Dorada (0 points), David Finlay (0 points), Bobby Fish (2 points), Nick Jackson (2 points)