Tokyo Korakuen Hall
1. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: TAKA Michinoku vs Mascara Dorada - G: 5 B: 5
Geo: I really did enjoy this. Dorada is so fluid in the ring you'd think he was a salmon swimming downstream. His aerial abilities make him the perfect opponent for TAKA, who played heel in the match by evading Dorada by escaping to the outside, poking eyes, and pulling at Dorada's mask. Dorada's offense came off crispier than Gedo's epidermis after a night of tanning with Geisha's and illicit substances; take for example his rope walk drop kick in the corner and rope crossover-step in the corner. Is it flashy? Yes, but they said the same thing about Mysterio in the 90s and he's one of the best workers in the world. Solid outing by both guys.
Brian: In that gold get-up Dorada looks like something from a Cronenberg film. I agree with Geo here, this was good stuff, and both guys were out there to work. Bringing up Mysterio makes me dream of him competing in a BoSJ in the past (or future). That'd be fantastic. Dorada looked slicker than a seagull in the Gulf of Mexico after BP got through with it. I liked TAKA getting a win with his Just Facelock but his face during it suggested he was casually checking out a girl in the crowd and not trying to rip someone's head off.
2. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Jado vs TJP - G: 3 B: 5
Geo: Although TJP's in-ring was good here I wasn't able to see myself taking anything away from the match as a whole. Jado's energy and presence really seemed to be lacking, but his submission game was acceptable. TJ's 450 splash is very smooth, but overall, the match left very little impression on me.
Brian: I definitely disagree with Geo's blasé write-up above, felt in terms of story, this packed more of a wallop than most of the BoSJ fare thus far. It felt like textbook wrestling storytelling, young, up and coming kid gets a crack at a wily veteran. This is exactly the sort of stuff and role Jado should be doing nowadays. He gave TJP the rub but didn't degrade himself actually coming off stronger here than previous nights. There was one botch off the top that ended up as a makeshift DDT which looked ugly and dangerous but outside of that this was a treat.
3. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Daisuke Sasaki vs Gedo - G: 5 B: 4
Geo: I was surprised by how much I dug this match. Gedo played the dick heel, yelling at the ref and calling him a 'motherfucker'. I liked how he walked around like he owned the place and didn't give a shit about anything except beating up this youngster. Sasaki really shocked me with his energy. He exploded about halfway into the match and got the fans behind him, hitting offense left and right. I thought the in-ring was solid, but the crowd really made the match as they were rooting the kid on. Loved Sasaki's expression when he picked up the win.
Brian: They botched a leap frog where while ducking Gedo's head caught Sasaki in the crotch -- felt like I was watching an old Test match from Raw circa '02. Gedo's personality was aces though he's got a shitty smirk that rivals Gomez Adams'. Man, Daisuke fucking killed it on that suicide dive. Going into this Sasaki was the guy I knew the least about but is quickly becoming one of the guys I'm most interested in seeing. That was a great look on his face post-match, like he just walked into his hotel room to see the busty Kana Tsugihara lying naked on his bed.
4. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Koji Kanemoto vs Taichi - G: 5 B: 4
Geo: I loved just how hard Kanemoto was taking it to Taichi. Consequently, I loved the way Taichi was selling the strikes (almost in disbelief he was being attacked so hard). I enjoyed this aspect even more because it seemed to have awoken a sleeping monster inside Taichi, as he bumped up his game after the attack. This was furthered by Kanemoto slapping the shit out of Taichi, who ripped off his outer layer of pants and went crazy on Kanemoto. Love that.
Brian: Taichi exiting the ring to sit on the bleachers of Korakuen in retreat from Koji's fierce kicks was a fun moment. I love it whenever they cut to Milano Collection A.T. at ringside guffawing on commentary. The finish was kind of slick as Taichi had finally got fired up and gained control but out of nowhere the veteran caught him in a backslide transitioned into a bridging pin.
5. Special Tag Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi & Yuji Nagata vs Hirooki Goto & Manabu Nakanishi - G: 6 B: 6
Geo: Man alive, all four guys had a really great showing here. Brian and I both agree that Nagata is such an awesome performer. His facials during this match were just as good as any other. I especially liked his facials after his exchange with Nakanishi. Tanahashi came in and squared off with Goto, only to receive a headbutt to the jaw that looked sickening. The team of Nagata/Tanahashi played up the selling well. Tanahashi took two really nice lariats from Nakanishi that would've loosened the teeth of a lesser man. He also took a punch that he sold well. Goto and Nak brought the stiffness for sure. All around, one of those matches that really define prowres.
Brian: This match has been talked up elsewhere online and it was a pretty fun ride. In WWE, for example, if you had four bigger stars like this in a tag, the first acts would be meaningless filler, leading up to everyone hitting their trademark shit to end. Here, though, right from the start, this was just a slugfest. All four guys threw and ate stiff shots throughout the entire bout. It was just like, "Let's see what you're made of!" It was mostly toe-to-toe striking but I was still riveted. The facial Geo refers to was great when Nagata, after finally knocking big Nakanishi down, loses all the tough guy resolve in his face and grimaces like an old man clutching his chest because he shouldn't be mowing the lawn in mid-July heat before stumbling back to tag in Hiroshi. Tanahashi getting the win with the High Fly Flow was a nice denouement.
6. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: KUSHIDA vs Jushin Thunder Liger - B: 5 G: 5
Brian: I don't think I've ever noticed Liger's vocal selling but man he was screaming like a stabbing victim. I dug KUSHIDA's springboard rolling senton to Jushin out on the floor. In loss, KUSHIDA still looked good, he firmly controlled Liger for the bulk of the match, but Jushin rallied late and got the victory with his patented Air Scissors Drop.
Geo: I think this match warranted a more legend vs. up-and-comer feel as Liger is more of a legend than Jado ever was or wish he could be. I really think this tourmanent is KUSH's moment to shine as he seemed to be getting the best of Liger at every turn, which made the finish better in the long run. Also, KUSH's combo of striking and submissions really added to the match, as did Liger's vocal selling.
7. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Tiger Mask vs Davey Richards - B: 3 G: 4
Brian: Davey starts off intensely (no surprise). I dug Richards holding up a chair during Tiger's suicide dive to the floor it's just too bad Mask didn't sell it. Speaking of crappy selling, soon after Richards took a Tombstone piledriver on the floor and was back in the ring wrestling moments later. I guess in his own head he imagined this being the equivalent to the famed Dynamite Kid vs. Tiger Mask series but he couldn't be more wrong if he thought the world was flat or that Avatar was a good movie. Davey howling at the moon leaves me thinking he should have got a walk-on role in Red Riding Hood. Tiger getting his ass kicked then winning out of nowhere with a scissored armbar was a joke.
Geo: Haha, yeah, Davey must've had a raging semi knowing that he was going against TM. Talk about a self-fulfilling fantasy. I think that TM did sell that shot with the chair decently, though by clutching his head (you'll notice a bit later in the match that he clutched his head when he had Davey in the corner), but that tombstone looked like jank, and I concur about Davey's no-sell of it in the long-run. That tombstone in the corner could have worked, but ended up looking really haggard instead. I did like this slightly better than my partner in crime, as was the case with the other Davey match.
8. Best of the Super Jr. - Block A: Fujita "Jr." Hayato vs Prince Devitt - B: 6 G: 5
Brian: I love that Hayato starts the bout by running right at Devitt with a big boot. Not even a minute in and Fujita's already clutching at his leg selling the pain from previous nights. Prince driving Jr. through a ringside table with a diving double foot stomp was probably spot of the night. Will we hear the familiar crooning of Joe Esposito post-match or will the fiery Fujita pull it out? Hayato hung tough but once Devitt busted out the Bloody Sunday it was over and Fujita looked like a robot that had been deactivated as he sold it by going limper than Dustin Rhodes when somebody told him his ex-wife Terri was now boning New Jack.
Geo: I love matches that start out hot, and combining the two styles of Devitt and Hayato is sure to please. Hayato's sell on the post kick was really good, as was Devitt following up on his opportunity and attacking the leg. That doublestomp on the table by Devs was pretty nice, and I liked Hayato's facial -- it really looked like he got all of the wind knocked out of him and then some. Once Hayato locked on the choke, I found myself thinking, "he had better continue to sell that leg." Yeah that didn't happen, but how sick was that knee lift to Dev's chin?! Sick. I know Hayato is known for stiffness, but don't lag on his selling. It's pretty good. I wish this would've gone longer, but this is the kind of sprint TNA should be doing! Sick fin.
9. Best of the Super Jr. - Block B: Ryusuke Taguchi vs Great Sasuke - B: 5 G: 5
Brian: Sasuke starts it off trying to keep the pace slow and in his favor like a businessman picking up a Vegas prostitute and telling her it's not a race. Sasuke doing a somersault off of the apron and Taguchi evading so Sasuke landed right on an open folding chair was a great garbage bump. Ryusuke's confidence and ability has grown to the point that he looks right at home hanging with a legend. I thought the "Funky Weapon" was going to bust out the Dodon but he used the trusty Milano–saku Dodon's Throne instead for a big victory. Post-match both men do a dance routine and some idiot cackles like a hyena on commentary.
G: I liked how the match began, down on the ground like a college freshman after two Mike's Hard Lemonades. You've got that really nice inter-generational thing going on here again, but Guch can hang with the best of them and we all know that. Loved that sell by Guch after taking that superplex -- kind of a "oh shit I messed a part of my body up" kind of look. Follow that up with arm psych and you've got a winner. Overall this was a decent way to cap of the night's festivities.