By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)
New Japan Pro Wrestling “Best of Super Juniors Night Six”
May 22, 2022 in Akita, Japan at Akita Terrsa
Streamed live on New Japan World
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. This event features five B Block matches.
Kevin Kelly once again provided solo commentary. He said Chris Charlton will rejoin him on Tuesday. Kelly remarked that this is perhaps the smallest building New Japan has stopped in, but he added that it appears every available seat is filled. Like other shows on this tour, there is ample room at ringside, allowing the high-flyers to perform moves the floor without having the crowds too close.
1. Tiger Mask, Alex Zayne, Ace Austin, and Clark Connors defeated Yoh, Ryusuke Taguchi, Jado, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan at 9:00. Kelly pointed out that Zayne got a cut on his cheek a day earlier. Both teams are babyfaces, so this could be fun. Austin gave Yoh the papercut between his fingers. Tenzan hit his Mongolian chips on Tiger Mask. Taguchi entered at 4:00, and for no apparent reason whatsoever, pulled down his own pants to show the crowd his underwear. Connors entered and unloaded chops on Taguchi. Jado hit a DDT out of the ropes on Zayne at 7:00. Austin hit his Fosbury Flop to the floor on three opponents. That left Zayne to hit his top-rope corkscrew press on Jado for the pin. Good opener.
2. Gedo and Taiji Ishimori defeated Sho and Dick Togo at 9:14. Intriguing, we’ve gone from face vs. face, to heel vs. heel teams. Gedo gave Togo some eye-pokes and they are doing some humor. Sho and Ishimori brawled on the floor. Ishimori and Gedo worked over Togo. As you would expect, the crowd was quiet because they didn’t have anyone to cheer for. Ishimori hit double running knees in the corner on Sho at 6:30. Sho hit a spear on Ishimori. Ishimori applied his Crossface submission hold on Togo, who tapped out. Sho hit Ishimori after the match.
3. Shingo Takagi and Hiromu Takahashi defeated Taka Michinoku and Yoshinobu Kanemaru at 8:25. Kelly pointed out that Taka is winless on this tour. The heels attacked before the bell. Kanemaru and Hiromu traded some quick offense, and Kanemaru applied a Figure Four leg lock on the floor at 2:00. The heels worked over Hiromu, who sold a left leg injury. Shingo finally made the hot tag at 5:30 and traded offense with Taka. Kanemaru hit a tornado DDT on Shingo. Shingo hit a double Flatliner on both heels. Shingo then nailed the Pumping Bomber clothesline on Taka for the pin. Hiromu kept limping after the match, selling his leg injury. Good match.
4. Robbie Eagles (4) defeated Douki (2) in a BOSJ match at 11:56. Really fast reversals out of the gate. Douki hit a dive through the ropes and turned it into a tornado DDT on the floor at 3:00. Eagles did a great job selling the neck injury. In the ring, Douki hit a basement dropkick on the upper back and he focused on wrenching the neck. Eagles fired back with a series of Yes Kicks to the chest at 6:30, then a running double knees in the corner. Eagles hit a mid-ring Sliced Bread for a nearfall.
Eagles went for a top-rope move, but Douki caught him and applied his modified Triangle Choke at 8:00. Douki nailed a slingshot DDT for a nearfall. Douki jumped off the top rope, and his left knee buckled when he landed. Eagles immediately hit a top-rope dropkick on the knee. Eagles hit his backpack-flipping-slam for a nearfall; that got a pin the other day. Douki got a rollup for a believable nearfall. Eagles hit an enzuigiri, and they were both down. Eagles applied a leg lock, and Douki tapped out. Really good match.
5. El Lindaman (4) defeated TJP (2) in a BOSJ match at 11:11. Francesco Akira joined TJP to ringside. They traded good mat holds to open, with TJP bringing Lindaman down by a leg lock around his head. TJP snapped his left arm at 2:30, and Lindaman sold the pain. TJP began targeting and working over the arm. TJP then tied up the legs while cranking back on Lindaman’s head. TJP stayed in charge, hitting a slingshot senton for a nearfall at 5:00.
Lindaman performed a T-Bone suplex but was still selling the arm injury. Lindaman executed a flip dive to the floor. TJP came back with a reverse DDT in the ring, and they were both down at 8:30. Lindaman hit a vertical suplex, and they were both down again. TJP hit a German suplex and he applied a modified STF on the mat, but Lindaman escaped. Lindaman hit a German suplex with a bridge and scored the pin out of nowhere. Really, really good match.
6. Bushi (4) defeated Master Wato (0) in a BOSJ match at 9:09. Wato attacked at the bell. Bushi hit a DDT on the floor. In the ring, Bushi hit a standing neckbreaker, and he tied Wato up on the mat. Wato hit a flipping backbreaker over his knee at 3:00. Wato hit a dropkick, then a corkscrew press to the floor. In the ring, he hit an enzuigiri for a nearfall. They traded stiff forearms. Wato hit a German suplex for a nearfall. Bushi hit a Lungblower to the back at 8:00, then one to the chest for a nearfall. Bushi then jumped off the second rope and hit another Lungblower to the chest for the pin. At 0-3, Master Wato is all but eliminated.
7. El Phantasmo (6) defeated Titan (0) in a BOSJ match at 14:42. ELP spit in his hand but Titan shook it anyway. Good, quick reversals to start. Phantasmo did his struts and flips and the crowd was energized and amused. This allowed Titan to hit a springboard crossbody block, and he mockingly did ELP’s strut. Titan hit a springboard huracanrana at 4:00. They brawled to the floor, where ELP hit a DDT. In the ring, Phantasmo hit an impressive delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall.
Titan hit a Frankensteiner out of the corner at 7:30, then a tornado DDT in the ring, and an Asai Moonsault to the floor. In the ring, Phantasmo nailed a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall, and they were both down at 10:00. Phantasmo started to untie Titan’s mask; Kelly warned that removing it would be a disqualification. Titan hit a Death Valley Driver for a nearfall. Titan hit a springboard double stomp for a nearfall at 12:00.
Phantasmo got Titan on his shoulders and did an airplane spin into a DVD for a nearfall. Titan hit a shoulderbreaker over his knee for a nearfall. The crowd was really hot. Phantasmo yanked off the match but pleaded he didn’t mean to do it; the ref allowed Titan to put it back on rather than disqualify Phantasmo. However, as soon as Titan got the mask back on, Phantasmo hit a superkick, then his modified Styles Clash for the pin. Good unique finish with some fun controversy. Kelly insisted Phantasmo should have been disqualified. At 0-3, Titan is also likely eliminated. As ELP headed to the back, he continued to claim it was “accidental.”
8. El Desperado (6) defeated Wheeler Yuta (2) in a BOSJ match at 15:31. Kelly hit it on the head when he said that “Desperado has organically gained in popularity.” Intense lockups to start and they are working a good main event style. Desperado slammed Yuta’s left leg across the ring apron and he began to work it over. Desperado applied an Indian Deathlock in the ring, putting more pressure on the knee. Yuta hit an enzuigiri, and they were both down at 7:00.
Yuta hit a dive through the ropes to the floor, doing a great job of selling his limp before he dove. Yuta hit a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall. Desperado hit a dragon screw leg whip, and he applied the Stretch Muffler at 9:30, but Yuta reached the ropes. However, Desperado again applied the Stretch Muffler. Yuta escaped and applied a Fujiwara Armbar, and he turned it into a Cattle Mutilation double armbar. Desperado hit a Blue Thunder Bomb for a nearfall at 12:00.
They traded stiff forearms and the crowd was hot. Yuta got a rollup for a believable nearfall. He started unloaded elbow shots to the side of the head. Desperado hit the Angel’s Wings face plant. He then hit a second Angel’s Wings for the pin. I said it the other day, but it is hard to imagine Desperado finishing worse than 7-2. Desperado encouraged the crowd to applaud Wheeler, and they shook hands.
Final Thoughts: Wow, this was a really good outing. I will give Phantasmo-Titan best match, as they had great action throughout with the fun finish, and I will narrowly give Lindaman-TJP second-best, just ahead of Desperado-Wheeler. All three were stellar matches.
Once again, the undercard really benefitted with Shingo on the card and the lack of Young Lion matches. The show clocked in at two-and-a-half hours. The tournament has an off day on Monday and resumes Tuesday. With the tournament switching to 10 singles matches moving forward, the shows are likely to clock in at 3-plus hours each day.