New Japan Pro Wrestling Super J Cup 2019 – Night One (22/08/2019)

Hello You!

The J Cup finally got uploaded to New Japan World last week. Seeing as I’ve got a day off today I’ll get Night One done. Not sure when the others will be up, so watch this space.

For those not acquainted, this is a big 16 man single elimination tournament to decide who gets to win a cool golden jacket. They’ve been doing this tournament on and off since 1994 and it’s usually provided some classic matches in past iterations, so hopefully this year’s tournament does similar!

Anyway, less chatter, let’s watch some chuffing wrestling!

The event is emanating from Tacoma, Washington on the 22nd of August 2019

Calling the action is Kevin Kelly

Opening Match (I think there was another match actually on the show itself, but this is the opener on what New Japan have uploaded to New Japan World)
Super J Cup Round 1
Soberano Jr Vs Rocky Romero

Soberano is a masked Mexican Luchadore from CMLL who I’ve never seen before, but he must have something to him to be in this. Romero is usually one of the commentary team but still gets in there to wrestle as well when the occasion allows. Kelly notes that this is Romero’s first J Cup appearance, but I think he was in an American J Cup tournament for ROH once as Black Tiger.

Rocky whiffs on a handshake to start and the two men try to gain an advantage in a lock up. Romero gives a clean break but then taunts, which leads to a series of leap frogs followed by a Central American Standoff. Soberano arm drags Romero outside and then fakes out on a dive, as the crowd are into this. Romero says he actually wants to shake hands this time, even shaking the refs hand to show he’s on the level. Soberano warily outstretches his hand, but it’s of course a giant ruse as Romero knocks him down and then mugs for tthe crowd. Rocky looks a lot like a miniature Tony Bellew actually and it’s starting to get a little bit distracting.

Soberano replies with an open hand chop and that leads to both men trading slaps with each other both inside and outside the ring. Romero goes to the eyes to stop that however, but Soberano replies with a bicycle kick. Soberano tries to head up top, but Rocky dropkicks him to stop that and then gets a good old fashioned Kane styled throat thrust before working Soberano over for a while. Soberano eventually manages to fight back and gets a leg drop across the back of Rocky for two. We get the duelling chants from the crowd, as Soberano tees off on Rocky with forearms but then misses a cross body from the top. Rocky hangs Soberano over the top rope and then top rope dropkicks him back into the ring for two.

Rocky gets a multitude of clotheslines in the corner and then pins Soberano following that for two. Rocky goes for Sliced Bread #2, but Soberano flips out and gets a super kick. Rocky replies with a knee but eats another kick and Soberano heads up with a twisting cross body block, which is enough to keep Rocky down in somewhat of an upset. Soberano’s dubbed in music is pretty awful I must say.

WINNER: SOBERANO JR
RATING: **

Just kind of a match really. Nothing wrong with it, just nothing spectacular either.

Match Two
Super J Cup Round 1
TJP Vs Clark Connors

TJP was the inaugural Cruiserweight Champion of the 205 Live Era, but was released by WWE in February 2019. Connors is one of the Young Lions from Katsuyori Shibata’s LA Dojo and he looked impressive during the G1 Climax in the snippets I saw of him. The fans boo TJP the minute his music hits, which makes me think he’s going to be the heel today. Connors is apparently local to the area though, which might explain why the fans are booing TJP. TJP did train at the original LA Dojo back in the day, which gives both of these men a connection to one another.

Connors bulls down TJP with a shoulder block early and then goes for THE YOUNG LION BOSTON CRAB, but TJP easily escapes it and both men fight off submission attempts into a standoff. Very nice. Connors works a headlock, as Kelly mentions on commentary that he trained with Lance Storm before hitting the LA Dojo, which likely explains his technical wrestling proficiency. Eventually TJP uses some veteran smarts to fake out Connors into missing a dropkick before doing the Pentagon Jr “arm break” spot.

TJP works Connors over, targeting the arm and back mostly. Connors manages to fight back with a snap suplex, but TJP monkey flips him into the mount position before transitioning into a Scorpion Deathlock whilst also holding Connors arms in a cool looking hold. TJP transitions that into an Indian Deathlock, but Connors makes the ropes and then no sells a body slam, popping up with one of his own. Both men trade slaps and chops, with more of the crowd clearly behind Connors, and he delivers a dropkick before getting a powerslam.

Connors stomps away at TJP in the corner, but neglects to walk it dry, instead picking TJP up for a chop and then going back to THE YOUNG LION BOSTON CRAB. TJP survives it though, so Connors goes for a spear, only for TJP to counter it into a double stomp and then get a double chicken wing onto the knees for two. TJP sets Connors up top, but Connors fights off the superplex attempt. Connors takes too long following that though, which allows TJP to sprint back up and get the move on his second attempt.

TJP follows that by swivelling his hips and rolling back up to his feet for a brain buster, but Connors is able to kick out. TJP goes to a fireman’s carry next, but Connors fights out and gets a spear but going to THE YOUNG LION BOSTON CRAB. TJP tries to make the ropes but Connors keeps pulling him back into the middle. TJP eventually manages to counter it though into a knee bar and then transitions into a modified STF when Connors almost makes the ropes for the submission victory.

WINNER: TJP
RATING: ***

Good effort by Connors there, but you always kind of thought that TJP would advance when all was said and done. This was an enjoyable match, with good work from TJP and some impressive stuff on display from Connors as well, who is not only competent in the ring but is in good shape as well. He might be one to watch out for when his Young Lion apprenticeship ends and he’s allowed to start getting a bit of flavour to his character.

TJP gives Connors an LA Dojo shirt following the bout to show that he respects his fellow graduate and then kisses the New Japan logo in the middle of the ring.

Match Three
Super J Cup Round 1
BUSHI Vs Caristico

I’ve never been an especially big fan of BUSHI, and have always felt him to be the weak link in the LIJ faction. Caristico is the original Sin Cara from WWE and the original Mistico from CMLL. A trip to Google reveals that Caristico actually translates to “Charismatic”, which is a pretty arrogant name to give yourself in all honesty. The music they’ve dubbed in for Caristico is like something you’d hear on hold whilst on the phone to a department store.

BUSHI jumps Caristico during his entrance and throws him outside, where he follows with a rana. Some in the crowd boo this, but plenty others cheer it. Caristico hasn’t had much luck in the Pacific North West has he? Didn’t he have a pretty terrible WWE debut match with Chavo Guerrero at a show in this part of the country, or am I getting that confused with another region? BUSHI works Caristico over back inside, but he eventually fights back with some kicks and then gets a nice handspring elbow for a double down. Both men almost get counted actually, but Caristico jolts up at 9 to stop that.

Caristico sends BUSHI outside the ring with an arm drag and then follows with a suicide dive, which gets him a two count back inside. Both men trade strikes back inside, which leads to Caristico getting a nice springboard cross body for two. He almost hang in the air like a feather there, it was quite beautiful. BUSHI fights back with a DDT and then stomps away on Caristico before getting a missile dropkick. Caristico slips out of a neck breaker attempt and gets a 619 followed by a springboard splash back in for two.

Was that a shot at Rey Mysterio perhaps, or did Caristico just think he’d do a sequence that the crowd would recognise? BUSHI goes for the Codebreaker, but Caristico blocks it and then tries a satellite head scissors of some kind, but it appears to go wrong somehow. BUSHI DDT’s Caristico onto the apron and then gets a Shake Rattle ‘N’ Roll back inside for two. MX (Codebreaker from the 2nd rope) looks to end things, but Caristico catches him with a kick on the way down. Caristico sets BUSHI up top and brings him down with a one man Spanish Fly to pick up the victory.

WINNER: CARISTICO
RATING: **1/4

I’m guessing what we saw here was more in line with the real Caristico as opposed to his pretty miserable WWE stint? I was impressed for the most part, as he pretty much hit everything barring one exception and definitely carried himself as a star. BUSHI was BUSHI, which meant he was fine but also just kind of there.

Match Four
Super J Cup Round 1
Jonathan Gresham Vs Ryusuke Taguchi

Gresham is a highly rated worker who has worked all over America, Europe and Japan, including in the Best of the Super Junior tournament earlier in the year. He has the nickname of “The Octopus”, because he wrestles like he has 8 arms. Taguchi is the rugby obsessed leader of “Taguchi Japan” and goes by the nickname of “The Funky Weapon” on occasion. He was actually part of the 2009 J Cup tournament and managed to make it to the semi-finals.

We get a handshake to start, which leads to Gresham blocking a wristlock by twisting as well, which is a cool counter that I never would have thought of but is kind of glaringly obvious when you think about it. Gresham dodges some Taguchi attacks in an attempt to tire him out, a plan that proves effecting as Taguchi collapses, only to then fire up in a funny spot. Taguchi wants a time out following that, which Gresham is nice enough to give him, and we go to some chain wrestling. Taguchi blocks an arm drag, but Gresham stomps on his hand during a drop down and then hits him with a dropkick. A nice counter sequence leads to Gresham finally getting the arm drag and he works Taguchi over on the mat with some arm submissions, which Taguchi sells well.

Taguchi eventually manages to make it to the ropes, but Gresham calmly drags him back into the ring for some more punishing submission holds, as it strikes me that a Gresham Vs Zack Sabre Jr bout could potentially be an excellent technical wrestling battle. Taguchi finally manages to get a “Hip Attack” (I mean, he’s clearly hitting him with his bum) to buy himself some time and then hits a series of them once he has a moment to recover. Taguchi heads up and gets another Hip Attack from the top for two, as the power of his arse was not enough to down Gresham on this occasion. Taguchi goes to the Three Amigo’s (Which shouldn’t be a surprise based on his Eddie Guerrero styled ring gear) but Gresham blocks the last one and gets a nice pinning hold on Taguchi for two.

Gresham gets a rana next, which leads to a series of pin reversals and ends with both men rolling around the mat in circles, leaving them both dizzy. Taguchi tries to charge at Gresham following that, but promptly falls down due to being so dizzy. Both men dodge the others’ attempts at throwing a chop, which eventually ends with Taguchi getting a chop, only for Gresham to nip up. This leads to another series of pin counters, which eventually ends with Taguchi on top to get the pin and advance to the next round.

WINNER: RYUSUKE TAGUCHI
RATING: **1/2

Another solid match there, with some fun comedy from Taguchi and some impressive technical wrestling from Gresham. No complaints from me.

Match Five
Super J Cup Round 1
El Phantasmo Vs Robbie Eagles

Phantasmo (Or “ELP” as he is sometimes known) is a member of Bullet Club and has one of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title belts with him here. Eagles is a talented lad from Australia who used to also be a member of Bullet Club but ended up switching over to CHAOS instead when he felt that Bullet Club didn’t fit him.

ELP tries to jumpstart the match, but Eagles sees it coming and sends him outside before following with a suicide dive. Eagles puts ELP back in the ring but he bails to the floor, so Eagles just follows him out with another dive before throwing some chops outside the ring. ELP begs off back inside, but Eagles is having none of that and rana’s him down before dropkicking him in the face. Eagles rains down some punches from the mount, but ELP is able to get to the ropes to cause a break from the ref. Eagles keeps coming though, but ELP is eventually able to go to the eyes to buy himself some time before stomping away in the corner. ELP works Eagles over for a while, taunting the crowd by saying that he’s the King of the North West.

Eagles gets hung in the Tree of Woe and then dropkicked in the face, which is followed by ELP standing right in his Down Under whilst he hangs there. A big dropkick comes next from ELP, but he makes a cocky cover and that allows Eagles to escape. ELP spits on his hand and then chops Eagles, which is pretty darn gross. ELP makes the mistake of taunting for too long, which allows Eagles to target the leg with two attacks and then forearm smash the downed ELP in the back of the head. Both men trade kicks to the head, which ends with ELP turning Eagles inside out with a clothesline for the double down. Both men fight up and trade forearms, but ELP goes to the nipple twist of death to stop that.

This serves only to fire Eagles up however (Or causes him to be aroused. I’m not passing judgment, some people like that kind of thing) and he no sells a series of chops from ELP. Eagles throws some chops of his own and then adds some Kawada Kicks for good measure. Running knee in the corner looks to end things for Eagles, but ELP is able to kick out at two. Eagles heads up top, but ELP stops him and eventually brings him down with a rana following a struggle. ELP heads up next with a Swanton Bomb and then follows up with a moonsault, which only gets two from the crowd. Being the first proper big kick out we’ve had so far tonight that gets a healthy pop from the crowd. ELP is limping following that, so Eagles goes to an inverted Figure Four.

ELP makes the ropes to break that and rolls onto the apron where Eagles DDT’s him and throws him back in for a rope assisted DDT that kind of looked like an inverted Sliced Bread #2 for a near fall. Another good near fall there, as the fans were happy to buy that it might be over. Eagles heads up top for a 450 Splash, but ELP gets his knees up. Eagles sees this coming however and is able to land on his feet, in an impressive show of athletic ability, and then tries to go back to the Figure Four again. ELP pushes him off into the ref however, which momentarily stuns the official and allows ELP to punch Eagles right in the knackers and school boy him for the pin.

WINNER: EL PHANTASMO
RATING: ***1/4

Good heel work from ELP there and Eagles looked good during his sections of the match as well. Fun match that had some good near falls but didn’t go over the top with it so as not to overshadow the rest of the second half of the card. Good stuff all round.

Match Six
Super J Cup Round 1
Dragon Lee Vs Yoh

Lee is a former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion who plies his trade over in CMLL and comes highly rated, whilst Yoh is one third of the Roppongi 3K trio along with Rocky Romero and Sho. Yoh is normally in tag action with Sho, so this is a chance for him to get some reps in singles competition. He’s an example of someone coming in as a Young Lion and then going away for “excursion” to come back with a gimmick of some kind, as often happens in New Japan with their younger guys.

We get some nice technical wrestling to start, as both men know their way around an arm wringer, and that leads to stalemate as Kelly even notes on commentary that he felt these two would be evenly matched. Yoh sends Lee outside with a dropkick and then follows with a flip dive, which is a bit risky considering there’s very little room outside the ring and no barricades or railings out there, barring a thin black one that isn’t going to exactly protect the front row of fans. Yoh works over Lee back inside following that, targeting the right leg and knee especially. Lee eventually manages to get a dropkick to buy himself some time, but when he tries to follow up outside the ring Yoh simply goes back to the leg to stop him.

Lee finally manages fight back somewhat by dropkicking Yoh in the corner and then diving out onto him when he rolls outside, but that appears to hurt his leg even more and Yoh goes right to it once they get back in. Lee keeps trying to set something going, but Yoh always regains the control and manages to Dragon Screw Lee down from the top rope to prevent whichever high flying move he had in mind. Lee gets a dropkick in the corner and then follows with another Shibata style, which gets him a two. Lee tries a PK next, but Yoh counters it into a single leg crap and then hammers away on the leg with elbow drops before going to the Figure Four Leg Lock. Lee drags himself to the ropes to break the hold, but he’s slow to get up and that allows Yoh to set up for a Dragon Suplex.

Lee fights that off and gets a pair of snap German Suplexes, but then runs into a Yoh super kick for a double down, as he just can’t seem to get any momentum going in this match at all. Lee is up first a gingerly drags himself to the top rope, but Yoh cuts him off and then trade strikes whilst sitting on the top rope. Lee double stomps Yoh from the Tree of Woe position, which gets two from the ref. Lee gets a knee strike to Yoh’s face and goes for a powerbomb, but Yoh slips out and then goes to his version of the Calf Crusher. Lee tries to make the ropes but Yoh drags him back into the middle, only for Lee to pull himself towards the ropes again, this time for the break. Lee lands on his feet from a German Suplex and gets a reverse rana before getting a running kick to the face for two. Falcon Arrow follows next however, and that’s enough for the win.

WINNER: DRAGON LEE
RATING: ***

Though I can appreciate the story of Yoh working the leg and knee all match, meaning that Lee could never really get cooking because speed is a huge part of his game plan, it wasn’t exactly the most entertaining use of someone with Lee’s skillset. I saw some complaints towards the AJ Styles Vs Ricochet series in WWE as well for doing the same thing by having AJ keep the matches grounded so much, and I kind of think it was valid critique here as well. The fact that Lee was running around doing high risk stuff at the end and then heaving Yoh up into a Falcon Arrow kind of made all the leg work meaningless in the grand scheme of things as well. If the finish had been Lee catching Yoh with some kind of last gasp pinning hold after having his leg wrecked for the whole match then I think I would have appreciated it more. Still, the submission and leg work stuff from Yoh was executed well and the crowd stayed with it, so it ended up being a decent match when all was said and done. And at least Lee still acknowledged that his leg/knee was hurting to some degree in the closing section and didn’t do like Super Delfin did in the first J Cup tournament, where he had his leg annihilated by Shinjiro Ohtani in their match only to then start immediately no selling it and hopping around following a dive like his leg had never even been touched during the whole bout. I mean, he was working Ohtani, a man who could probably physically twist your leg off and take it home with him.

Match Seven
Super J Cup Round 1
Taiji Ishimori Vs Sho

Ishimori is the other half of the Junior Tag Champs with El Phantasmo and is also a member of the Bullet Club, taking the mantle of “Bone Solider” when the previous wrestler to use that moniker left New Japan. Sho is the regular tag team partner of Yoh, and they actually were the team that Ishimori and ELP defeated to win their Titles, so he might want some revenge here.

Sho opens things with a dropkick and fires off some forearms to Ishimori in the corner before sending him outside with a dropkick. Sho throws Ishimori back inside and then targets the arm with a Randy Orton styled punt. Sho stays on the arm, but Ishimori uses his speed to ellude him and gets a springboard senton to take control. Ishimori sends Sho head first into the turnbuckle and then targets the head and neck area with his attacks following that. Ishimori is actually someone I remember watching way back in 2008 at the Coventry Sky Dome for a Pro Wrestling NOAH event. He teamed up with KENTA to take on Bryan Danielson and Eddie Edwards in what might still possibly be the greatest match I’ve ever seen live. It’s good to see him in New Japan now, and he sells his annoyance well when the crowd start chanting for Referee “Red Shoes” Uno.

Sho finally manages to get back into things with a spear, and the crowd are very much behind him. Sho unloads with some kicks to Ishimori for two and then dead lifts him from the mat into a German Suplex attempt. Ishimori fights out of that but then gets hip tossed into a cross arm breaker. Ishimori gets to the ropes to get out of that, but Sho gives him no respite and stays on the arm. Ishimori fights back with a handspring Pele kick, which sends Sho outside, and then follows with a big Asai moonsault. Ishimori tries to go for the running knees in the corner, but Sho avoids that and both men are down. Ishimori and Sho fight back up to their feet and trade forearms, which ends with Ishimori getting a jumping knee to the face and a reverse rana. Sho replies with a lariat however and both men crash down to the mat again.

Sho turns Ishimori inside out with another lariat and then goes for the Ricola Bomb, which Ishimori counters into The Yes Lock (Which according to Kelly is actually the name he’s using for it as he’s friends with Daniel Bryan) but Sho is able to get himself to the ropes to break the hold. Ishmiro gets a running front dropkick and then follows that up with double knees in the corner. Ishimori follows that up with a double knees to the gut from a Tombstone Piledriver position, but Sho is able to kick out at two. Sho keeps coming and goes for a piledriver, but Sho fights him off so he delivers a big knee strike instead. Powerbomb onto double knees follows, which amazingly isn’t the finish as Ishimori kicks out. That move looked like utter filth, but I’m sure Sho protected him. Modified package piledriver comes next from Sho, and not surprisingly that’s finally enough to keep Ishimori down.

WINNER: SHO
RATING: ***1/4

I really enjoyed that as it featured good work from both men and Sho winning was a nice surprise that I wasn’t expecting.

Main Event
Super J Cup Round 1
Amazing Red Vs Will Ospreay

Red is someone who took high flying in America to a whole new level in the early 00’s with his matches in ROH and TNA. In some ways he had a similar impact on that genre of wrestling back then as Ospreay has kind of had in the past few years, so this seems like a suitably apt way to close the first night of the tournament. This is very much a match you’d do on a game like Fire Pro and wonder what it would look like in real life. Well now we need not imagine!

The story here is that Ospreay was inspired by watching Amazing Red in his younger days, so this match won’t only be a generational collision between high flying wrestlers but it’s also one that has huge personal significance for Ospreay and he seems pretty jazzed for it, as do the crowd. We get the pre-match handshake and the crowd already think the match is awesome. Ospreay gives Red a clean break and then poses for the crowd as they chant for both men. It looks like it would have been awesome being live for this show, as the crowd has been great all night. We get a fast paced sequence as both men counter one another and Red has an opening to knee Ospreay in the face, but doesn’t take it, which allows Ospreay to knock him down with a forearm, earning him some boos from the crowd.

Ospreay sends Red outside with a monkey flip and then fakes out on a dive. This brings Red back in with a rana and he follows with a dive outside, a missile dropkick back inside and then another dive to the outside. So, Amazing Red is still amazing then? Duly noted! Fans chant “You’ve still got it” at Red, in one of the few instances where I’ll allow it because that was pretty crazy for a guy nearing 40. Red controls things back inside, but when he heads up top again Ospreay is able to deliver a chop and send him tumbling to the floor. Ospreay flings Red over the timekeepers table into the crowd, where he sits him on a chair and then gives him a running flying dropkick to knock him off. Red is barely standing following that and quite literally falls into the crowd when Ospreay gives him a stiff chop.

Referee Uno chastises Ospreay back inside the ring and refuses to count when Ospreay goes for a pin straight after all the malarkey outside, which is a nice explanation of why he let them get away with all of that as there was some semblance of consequences once they got back in to excuse why there wasn’t a DQ or count out. Red fights back from underneath back inside and manages to catch Ospreay with a rana before dodging an Ospreay dropkick and spiking him with another rana for two. Red gets a stiff chop in the corner, but Ospreay replies with a 619 and then springboards in. Red dodges that however and gets a springboard Complete Shot for two. Ospreay sends Red out of the ring with a springboard Pele kick and then follows him outside with a Space Flying Tiger Drop (Somersault flip dive) before throwing him back in for the Phenomenal Forearm, which gets two.

Ospreay goes for the Robinson Special (Spinning wheel kick to a downed opponent) but Red dodges that, only to then miss a Standing Shooting Star Press, which allows Ospreay to get one of his own for a one count. Ospreay disrespectfully kicks away at Red and then throws some forearms. Red fires up from those and slaps Ospreay in the face to send him outside, where he follows with an absolutely incredible dive off the ring post down to the floor. Well, they don’t call him “Somewhat Impressive Red” so they? Ospreay goes for an Overcastle back inside, but Ospreay catches that and sends up getting the Saving Grace for two. Ospreay heads up top for the Shooting Star Press, but Red moves. Ospreay lands on his feet, which leds to both men avoiding the others’ kicks and ends with Red getting a ridiculously great satellite DDT for two.

Add “being an excellent base” to all of Ospreay’s other in ring attributes if you didn’t have it on your scorecard already. Red heads up top, but Ospreay stops him and gets a cheeky Nando’s kick (He really needs a move called “Wing Roulette” as well to be honest) which causes Red to roll onto the apron. Both men trade strikes on the apron, which eventually leads to them both throwing stiff chops and kicks. Ospreay eventually gets the Os Cutter (Jumping backwards springboard Diamond Cutter) onto the apron however and both men tumble to the floor. This match has been positively radio rental and they’ve not even done the finish yet! Red manages to break the count back inside, but Ospreay is waiting for him with a coast to coast dropkick for two. A Shooting Star Press gets two, as does another Os Cutter, as Red is doing everything he can to stay alive in this contest.

Ospreay kicks Red in the face as he’s trying to pull himself to his feet and ready’s for The Storm Breaker (Candian backbreaker into a spinning neck breaker) but Red fights that off and eventually turns it into a big rana for two. They didn’t quite get that as smoothly as they would have liked, but the crowd went nuts for it anyway, so it doesn’t really matter. Red gets a crazy flipping DDT from the top rope and then heads up for a Dragonrana, which gets two. This like what a real version of the crazy moves from Def Jam Vendetta would look like. Red heads up for the Sky Twister Press, and Ospreay can only just get his foot on the ropes to stop the count at two. The crowd are almost all standing now following that and it’s incredible to see. Ospreay pulls out a Spanish Fly from nowhere for two and then catches Red with a big elbow to the back of the head before getting a top rope Os Cutter and going to the Storm Breaker to finally put Red away.

WINNER: WILL OSPREAY
RATING: ****1/4

That was an utterly insane collection of spots that also had the added benefit of having the great crowd and the story of Ospreay trying to defeat one of his heroes and getting everything he wanted and more in the pursuit. If you watch nothing else from this show then you definitely need to watch this one. It gave me everything I wanted from it. It might not be for everyone, but if you’re the type of wrestling fan that thinks a match between these two sounds fun then you won’t be disappointed.

Ospreay grabs a mic post-match and tells Red that he just made a 14 year olds dream come true and references a match Red had with Low Ki (I’m guessing it’ll be the “Crouching Tiger” match from ROH?). Ospreay adds that it’s a crime that Red has never been the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and adds that he thinks Red can still do this. He closes by saying that Red is the reason behind Will Ospreay and bows to him, which leads to a hug. Red seems genuinely moved by everything and then leaves to the back as the fans chant “Thank You Red”. That was a really nice moment and I loved how there was no swerve. Ospreay said nice things, Red was moved and they hugged. Lovely, that’s all it should have been.

In Conclusion

The main event makes the show an easy recommendation, but there wasn’t a bad match here and some of the undercard was a lot of fun as well. I look forward to seeing how the tournament progresses in the latter rounds.