NJPW Best of the Super Juniors N6 review (5.25.18)

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors N6 review (5.25.18)

NJPW Best of the Super Juniors N6

 

May 25 2018

 

We’re in Osaka, Japan. Back to Block B tonight and what a main event; Dragon Lee vs. Hiromu. Their floor is fucking four stars so we’re in for a belter.

 

Marty Scurll [0] vs. Chris Sabin [2]

Jr6Scurll

Marty is in the hole at 0-2, which is interesting considering New Japan have been positioning him as one of their top level cruisers (with Ospreay, KUSHIDA and Hiromu). He certainly has the star entrance here. All the gear and the personality compared to Sabin’s pure wrestler approach. Marty’s shtick gets him over here in no time while vanilla Sabin is left to just keep up. They do some solid mat wrestling, which is in both guy’s wheelhouses. Having Scurll be as over as he is, allows the match some breathing room. So they can ease into the action, little increments at a time. Scurll the cheerleader all the way, the crowd in the palm of his hand. I like how he does stuff like “superkick, just kidding” but does it slowly, so it’s countered. Then he learns from that and does it quicker so it lands. Initially underestimating Sabin, then taking his skill into account. The match flies by when they get into counters and false finishes and Scurll wins with a reverse brainbuster. Obviously Marty had to pick up a win here or he’d have drifted seriously off the pace. Sabin isn’t winning the Block so any losses he takes are to be expected. Very good match here, Scurll bringing the personality, Sabin the consistency and they both delivered with the technique. Good wrestling all round.

Final Rating: ***3/4

 

Ryusuke Taguchi [0] vs. KUSHIDA [2]

Scurll’s win means that Taguchi is the only wrestler not off the mark and he has a tricky challenge here against one of the best juniors in the world.

Jr6Kushida

Watching this as an individual match rather gives away the nature of the match as the entire video is 7 minutes long, including entrances. That does not leave a lot of time for grappling action. They do a lot of parity stuff but with KUSHIDA routinely outsmarting Taguchi. The response from Taguchi is to keep going for cheeky roll ups and he gets one for the pin in about 2-3 minutes. Poor KUSHIDA has been upset again! Taguchi gets off the mark but you can see how crushed KUSHIDA is at slipping on this banana peel.

Final Rating: **1/2

 

SHO [2] vs. El Desperado [4]

The positioning of this match seemed a little odd but considering KUSHIDA’s swift defeat it now makes sense. Plus the 2-0 Despy is now being seen as a big deal in this tournament.

Jr6SHO

Despy’s mentality during BOSJ has been to rough up opponents on the floor, which was highly effective against Hiromu and seems that way against SHO, as he assaults him with chairs. Incidentally Red Shoes, that’s illegal and therefore a DQ.

Jr6SHOchairs

Anyway, the focus is on SHO’s injured leg. SHO makes a point of screaming in agony so we know his leg is bad, then almost getting counted out because his leg is bad. Less than a minute after Despy’s initial assault and everyone in the building knows SHO has a massive problem. This allows him to become even more of an underdog figure but unfortunately his concept of selling is…not good. Basically he sprints full tilt across the ring twice and then says “ow”. Not a fan of that. The trouble with doing a leg match is no one in modern wrestling has the dedication to stick to that injury. Despy continues to target it too, which means SHO should be completely limited in what he can do, otherwise what’s the point of all this work? Especially as Despy just murders him with submissions (Stretch Muffler baby) and every time SHO is stuck in something I figure it’d be a good finish. Pay off that leg work. SHO does better offensive work in grapping hold and hitting suplexes that require less strength in an injured knee. Especially with no bridge. Then the dope hits a big powerbomb over his own knees and doesn’t sell it at all. Then SHO comes back with a package piledriver and fucking wins. Haha. Whatever lads. El Desperado was great here but I didn’t buy into the match at all. SHO was dreadful.

Final Rating: *

 

Hiromu Takahashi [2] vs. Dragon Lee [4]

Jr6Hiromu

This is what we came for! N6 was sold on this match and with good cause. Almost every match they’ve had is an instant chaotic classic.

Jr6DragonLee

They don’t waste any time getting into the business of killing each other as the opening gambit is a series of chops that seems to last forever. Followed by no sold German suplexes. Followed by Dragon Lee attempting his running rana over the ropes and being met with a powerbomb on the apron. That’s the opening fucking sequence. How nuts are these guys? Well, “very”, obviously. Some of the counters in this are mad. Dragon Lee blocks a dive by dropkicking Hiromu out of the air, on the floor! Dragon Lee isn’t content to just hit a bunch of cool moves though and deliberately stops off to mock Tetsuya Naito before they launch into another crazy sequence. There’s very little selling but in a match that’s wall to wall crazy spots with eventual double downs that’s pretty much acceptable to me. Do a bunch of crazy shit. Get tired. Have a lie down. If you’ve seen these two wrestle before you know what to expect. Madness at every turn. Two guys whose necks are probably fucked already, landing on their necks repeatedly. Hiromu hitting a German suplex on the floor to stop Dragon Lee beating the count and then breaking the count himself anyway is an example of what this feud is all about.

Jr6main

They’re constantly trying to one-up each other. Pushing the other to a new level of insanity. Death defying stunts! This keeps going and going and they go back to the chops only to switch it up and have Dragon Lee get murdered with a Destroyer. It’s yet another crazy match in their series of crazy matches. It’s not without its flaws. Look at Hiromu desperately trying to position himself ahead of a ‘grab the ropes’ near fall. But it’s all part of the madcap nature of the match. Lee finishes with the Dragon Driver.

Jr6Leewin

Excellent match with both a high difficulty level and a sense of danger that is hard to accomplish in a world where everyone has seen everything. Dragon Lee flies out to a 3-0 start and Hiromu is back on 1-2 (with KUSHIDA).

Final Rating: ****1/2

 

Let’s look at Block B. Lee at 3-0 and Despy failing to hit the same mark at the two biggest stories. Although both Taguchi and Scurll getting off the mark make this a very congested table already and Dragon Lee’s record makes him look like the early Block favourite. For Despy and SHO its all downhill from here though.

 

Block B

Dragon Lee 3-0 [6]

El Desperado 2-1 [4]

SHO 2-1 [4]

Chris Sabin 1-2 [2]

Hiromu Takahashi 1-2 [2]

KUSHIDA 1-2 [2]

Marty Scurll 1-2 [2]

Ryusuke Taguchi 1-2 [2]

 

Summary:

Hiromu vs. Dragon Lee is always good. No exceptions. The rule continued here. SHO vs. Despy was really disappointing. The structure was bad and the performances and logic were lacking. Taguchi/KUSHIDA worked for what it was and Sabin/Scurll was great. I’ll take three out of four on this show. I like those odds, especially with the main being a low end MOTYC.

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