5/17 NJPW Best of Super Juniors night two results: Vetter’s review of El Desperado vs. Titan, Master Wato vs. TJP, Wheeler Yuta vs. Robbie Eagles, Bushi vs. El Phantasmo, and Douki vs. El Lindaman in B-Block tournament matches

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

New Japan Pro Wrestling “Best of Super Juniors Night Two”
May 17, 2022 in Yamagata, Japan at Sakata City Gymnasium
Streamed live on New Japan World

To rehash the event: this year’s field features two blocks, each with 10 wrestlers. This is a round-robin tournament, so everyone will have nine singles matches in this two-week event. (Some nights, there will be 10 tournament matches, and other nights, there will be five tournament matches and a handful of non-tournament matches.) The winner of each block will then meet in the finals on June 3. The tournament kicked off Sunday with five matches from the A Block; this show features five tournament matches to kick off the B Block.

Kevin Kelly provided commentary solo. Once again, he sounded muffled from his face mask; you can understand him, but it is noticeable. Note that the two A block wrestlers not competing tonight are Hiromu Takahashi and Francesco Akira. The other eight competed in multi-man tag matches.

1. Ryohei Oiwa, Kosei Fujita, and Clark Connors defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuto Nakashima, and Yoh at 10:56. Yoh and Connors started with mat reversals; Kelly said their tournament match is coming up next. Tenzan then locked up with Oiwa at 2:00, and Kelly mentioned how great it is to see Tenzan healthy and back in action. Fujita then squared off with Nakashima. Very basic action so far. Oiwa hit some impressive dropkicks and a gut-wrench suplex on Tenzan.

Yoh and Connors re-entered at 7:00. Connors nailed a Monty Brown Pounce and a headbutt. Nakashima tagged in and hit a bodyslam on Connors, then he applied a Boston Crab. However, Connors escaped, hit a modified powerbomb, and pinned Nakashima. Connors and Yoh jawed at each other.

2. Tiger Mask and Ace Austin defeated Taka Michinoku and Yoshinobu Kanemaru at 7:05. Kanemaru attacked Ace before the bell. Ace applied a leg-scissors headlock, and he used his card to give a paper cut. Tiger Mask and Taka squared off. Ace hit some spin kicks on both opponents. Taka applied a crossface on the mat on Ace at 6:30. Ace hit a spin kick to Taka’s head, then he hit The Fold/flipping neckbreaker faceplant for the pin. Ace stopped at Kelly’s announcer table and said he thrives under pressure, he’s the Ace, and he’s inevitable.

3. Sho, Dick Togo, and Taiji Ishimori defeated Alex Zayne, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Jado at 7:41. Kelly talked about how Taguchi lied about “no butt stuff” in this year’s tournament by immediately using butt-based offense in his tournament match. Taguchi and Ishimori started with shoulder blocks, and Taguchi hit some butt-bumps. The heels worked over Taguchi. Zayne finally  entered at 4:30 and he hit his summersault leg drop on the back of Sho’s head, then he hit his flip-into-a-huracanrana.

Jado entered for the first time and hit some clotheslines on Sho, and he applied a crossface. Togo choked out Jado with his piano wire while the ref was distracted. This allowed Sho to apply a Triangle Choke on Jado, and Jado tapped out. Sho beat up on Zayne on the floor on the floor, and Kelly said “this is what we’re going to see tomorrow night.”

4. Douki (2) defeated El Lindaman (0) in a BOSJ match at 9:20. Lindaman hit a neckbreaker out of the corner early and was fired up; he has great energy. Lindaman hit a DDT for a nearfall at 4:00, then a top-rope missile dropkick. Douki hit a Northern Lights Suplex with a nice bridge for a nearfall. Kelly noted this is another first-time-ever matchup.

Lindaman hit a T-Bone suplex and they were both down. Lindaman went for a frogsplash, but Douki caught him and applied a Triangle choke at 6:30. Lindaman hit a running powerbomb. They traded rollups. Lindaman hit a snap German Suplex for a nearfall. Douki hit a Dragon Suplex with a bridge for the clean pin. I’ll call that an upset. Good match.

5. El Phantasmo (2) defeated Bushi (0) in a BOSJ match at 11:08. Bushi hit a missile dropkick and faked a dive to the floor. ELP raked the back and choked Bushi with a T-shirt, then got a vertical suplex for a nearfall at 3:30. ELP did some flips off the ropes, only to do back rakes.

Bushi nailed a dive through the ropes at 6:00 and he was now in charge. He hit an enziguri and a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall. ELP hit a double knees gutbuster for a nearfall at 8:30. They traded rollups. ELP hit a clothesline and they were both down, and the crowd was hot. Bushi hit a Lungblower for a nearfall at 10:30. Phantasmo hit a Superkick, then he got Bushi up for a modified Styles Clash for the pin. Really good match.

6. Robbie Eagles (2) defeated Wheeler Yuta (0) in a BOSJ match at 11:19. The crowd is hot as they traded fast reversals at the start. Eagles hit a huracanrana at 3:30. Yuta hit a dropkick and an enzuigiri, then a top-rope clothesline for a nearfall. Kelly talked about how Yuta is representing ROH, AEW and the Blackpool Combat Club. Eagles hit a running forearm to the back of the neck, then a running double knees in the corner for a nearfall at 7:00.

They hit simultaneous Mafia Kicks and were both down. They got up and traded stiff forearm shots. This is really good. Yuta got him up for what looked like a Tombstone Piledriver, but he tied up the legs for a submission hold. Eagles applied a submission hold on the mat, but Yuta reached the ropes at 10:00. Eagles got a rollup out of nowhere for the pin. This was really entertaining.

7. TJP (2) defeated Master Wato (0) in a BOSJ match at 12:30. Francesco Akira did not come to ringside with TJP, although TJP was with Akira two days ago. TJP jumped him before the bell; they were both still wearing their jackets. They brawled briefly on the floor. TJP missed a frogsplash in the ring. Wato hit a dive to the floor. In the ring, TJP hit a backbreaker over his knee. TJP hit a running facewash kick in the corner at 3:30.

TJP tied up the legs on the mat while cranking on Wato’s neck, and he was in charge of the action. Wato caught him with a spin kick to the face, and they were both down at 7:30. Wato hit a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Wato hit a Dragon Suplex for a nearfall at 9:00. TJP hit a belly-to-back suplex, and they were both down. Wato hooked the arms, hit a slam and got a nearfall. Wato missed a top-rope corkscrew splash. TJP immediately hit a frogsplash to the back and applied an STF, and Wato tapped out. Good match.

8. El Desperado (2) defeated Titan (0) in a BOSJ match at 13:44. Kelly said this is the first BOSJ for Titan since 2019. However, this is a first-time-ever singles match. They opened with fast reversals. Titan hit a springboard huracanrana. They brawled to the floor at 2:30 and traded chops. In the ring, Desperado ripped at the mask, then he tied up Titan’s legs. Titan nailed an Asai Moonsault to the floor at 7:00.

In the ring, Titan hit a top-rope missile dropkick for a nearfall, then he hit a Dragonscrew Legwhip and applied a Figure Four leglock. Desperado escaped and applied the Muffler Stretch, with Titan’s knee wrapped around Desperado’s neck. They traded hard chops at 10:30. Titan hit a tornado DDT. Titan hit a top-rope double stomp to the upper back.

Desperado nailed a spear and he was fired up. He hit a spinning slam for a nearfall. However, he couldn’t hit the Angel’s Wings. Titan got a rollup for a believable nearfall. Desperado then nailed the Angel’s Wings for the clean pin. Really good match, but I never thought Desperado was in much danger of losing here. Desperado spoke on the mic and he said something in Spanish to Titan ending by saying “much thanks” (hey that college Spanish finally paid off!), then he spoke in Japanese to the crowd.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed Wheeler-Eagles; they kept the action going with really crisp offense, and I’ll give that best match, followed by the Desperado-Titan main event, with TJP-Wato.

I would guess Douki finishes at 3-6, with the fewest wins in the block, so I was really surprised by his clean win to kick off the tournament. Conversely, I expect Desperado to go 7-2 and win the block. I see nearly everyone else here finishing 4-5 or 5-4.

I am looking forward to the end of the tournament when we have 10 BOSJ matches, rather than the meaningless undercard matches featuring past-their-prime wrestlers like Taka, Tiger Mask, Jado and Dick Togo.

The show clocked in at about two and a half hours even.


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