NJPW Best of the Super Juniors N10
May 30 2018
We’re in Fukushima, Japan at Big Palette. We’re in Block B this evening.
Marty Scurll  vs. Dragon Lee 
Dragon Lee has shocked Block B and leads comfortably.
However he’s now about to face Scurll, who’s won his last two matches and it’s the opener, implying Dragon Lee’s not quite the big deal the standards suggest. I’m having a hard time processing that Scurll has been in New Japan for a year and he’s actually quite well, getting his character over quickly and coming across like a big star in this division. They don’t exactly bust a gut in this one, revelling in the small town atmosphere where expectations are lower and the shtick can dominate as long as Dragon Lee hits his big flippy dive. Scurll does throw in some fine work, backing away from Lee’s running rana over the ropes to prevent it from happening. Therefore showing he’s done his homework. I like that Marty refuses to be taken in my any of Dragon Lee’s more elaborate spots and that he can’t land his own high risk offence (he actually misses a moonsault here) as that’s out of his safe zone. There’s a nice, tidy degree of logic to the match and most of that comes from a refreshed Villain. Especially as this also applies to Marty doing his standard shtick (like the “Chicken Wing” spin) and Dragon Lee countering it because it was predictable. Honestly, this is a solid little match. If it wasn’t on first it could have gone longer, more epic and stolen the show. They do still throw in a fair few false finishes. Reverse superplex catches Dragon Lee out and the Chickenwing, without theatrics, finishes. Dead good opener.
Due to that win Marty goes top of Block B, having equalled Lee’s points tally but having a better head to head record against the luchadore. With five other wrestlers on four points, the Block is still wide open though.
Final Rating: ***3/4
Ryusuke Taguchi  vs. SHO 
SHO has had a decent ‘showing’ but he’s not really in Taguchi’s league yet, despite being ahead of him.
Taguchi tends to come to life during BOSJ, as he sees himself as a rock in the Junior division. A constant force of excellence and while his style can be a little unconventional he does get genuinely good come BOSJ time. This starts off very light-hearted with Taguchi bringing ass-based assaults and SHO firing invisible arrows at him. One striking him in the posterior and Gooch actually selling it. From there it becomes a fairly generic back and forth scrap, which is good for SHO as he’s going toe to toe with Taguchi and looks his equal. Taguchi is a very giving wrestler. They blow one of SHO’s trademarks, which was supposed to be countered anyway so collapsing into a heap isn’t exactly a reason to re-do the spot. They do establishment work on an arm vs. leg match, given their respective submission finishers and that plays nicely into the finishing sequences, transitioning from one to the other. Taguchi ends up having too much quality and finishes SHO off with a bridging half nelson suplex. I’m sure he has a daft sounding name for that but I don’t know what it is. This was a good outing for SHO, making him look as good as an established junior heavy like Taguchi. The outcome was predictable as a loss would have eliminated Taguchi effectively.
Final Rating: ***
Chris Sabin  vs. Hiromu Takahashi 
People sure don’t give a shit about Sabin in the sticks. Despite Hiromu being clearly one of the stand-outs in this tournament I wouldn’t be watching this if I wasn’t reviewing it. There’s no hook for me. They proceed to put on a belting, fast-paced opening sequence culminating in Sabin hitting a senton off the apron. I should never doubt Hiromu. Not on the form he’s been on in this tournament.
The match is littered with wacky dives and Hiromu putting his body through needless punishment in front of the ungrateful Fukushima audience. When they are doing less silly stuff, which isn’t often, the slick counters are tidily executed. It’s another really good little match. Fukushima is getting themselves a proper decent show. They get into unloading big bombs relatively quickly. I really can’t remember which variations on a theme that Sabin hits of his cross-legged driver moves but none of them finish and Hiromu traps him in his triangle, named “D” (presumably after Daryl) for the submission. This was very good but it felt super brisk.
Final Rating: ***1/2
KUSHIDA  vs. El Desperado 
Despy has been enjoying a solid tournament, highlighted by that Korakuen banger vs. Hiromu (I liked it considerably more than Jack).
KUSHIDA has been knocked off his junior throne by Will Ospreay but he’s savvy enough to know Will is eventually going up to heavyweight. The division will probably revolve around Hiromu and him for some time.
Despy takes a lot of shortcuts and generally behaves like a total cock but I appreciate him doing this without outside interference. He actually distracts the referee before cheating, or insists on extracurricular activities on the floor where Red Shoes gives him more leeway. Like this!
El Desperado doesn't care for your seating plan pic.twitter.com/2zm45Zk0WR
— Arnold Furious; a prince (@ArnoldFurious) June 1, 2018
Despy has gotten very good at carnage. When he’s left to his own devices, by all the other knobbers in Suzuki-gun, he’s actually talented. Despy doesn’t just muck around outside the ring, he also targets KUSHIDA’s leg and works on the Stretch Muffler until KUSHIDA outwrestles him. They end up doing the leg vs. arm match that SHO and Taguchi attempted, only the execution is better. KUSHIDA’s flying armbar off the top rope is sensational. They do some very good counter wrestling until a horrible ref bump leads to KUSHIDA getting a visual submission win via kimura. It’s an embarrassingly bad ref bump. Red Shoes should be ashamed. KUSHIDA wins anyway with Back to the Future so I don’t know why they felt the need to do this at all. It takes the shine off what was an incredible match without that spot. It makes me so mad!
Final Rating: ***3/4
Let’s take a look at Block B before we leave. As you can see it’s really taking shape now. There are winners and losers of the first five. Scurll, Lee, KUSHIDA and Hiromu have emerged as the serious contenders (as it should be). I still say it’s coming down to KUSHIDA vs. Hiromu.
Marty Scurll 3-2 
Dragon Lee 3-2 
KUSHIDA 3-2 
Hiromu Takahashi 3-2 
El Desperado 2-3 
SHO 2-3 
Chris Sabin 2-3 
Ryusuke Taguchi 2-3 
A spiffing little night of wrestling, only slightly ruined by that awful main event ref bump. What were they thinking? Otherwise this was all consistently good and I had a nice time.