NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 2020 – Night 6

Howdy!

Tonight, Hiromu Takahashi is back in the main event facing off against Robbie Eagles! We’ve only got 4 nights left before the Final, so things are starting to get closer to the end.

Let’s watch some wrestling, shall we?

Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd

Kojima goes for the lariat and….Kidd ducks! I repeat, KIDD DUCKS! THIS IS NOT A DRILL! KIDD IS GONNA WIN THIS ONE!

Nah, just kidding. Kojima with a second lariat for the pin. (Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma over Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd, pinfall, 7:53)

THOUGHTS: **

     

Ryusuke Taguchi (6 Points) vs Yuya Uemura (0 Points) – BOSJ Match

C’mon Taguchi, this is just a kid tonight. Let’s not resort to your, ahem, secret ‘weapon’ that you’ve been using all tournament.

They go to the ropes off a lockup and Uemura takes the chance to double-leg him. Taguchi seems shocked at this brazen display by Yuya. Back in and lots of matwork follows, as both guys do a good job going back and forth for a bit. Taguchi grabs the anklelock, Yuya makes the ropes and Taguchi hangs on all the way through five, then grinds Yuya against the ropes. Me thinks Ryusuke has decided to play heel on this day.

Uemura with some elbows and a running dropkick in the corner. Taguchi regains control, but the anklelock gets reversed into a Boston Crab! Slick, Yuya! Taguchi makes the ropes and goes through some standing switches before hitting an inverted DDT for two. 3 Amigos hits for Taguchi, gets two. Armdrag by Yuya gets turned into the anklelock by Taguchi, but Uemura rolls through it into a cross-armbreaker! Taguchi makes the ropes, but Yuya is fired up!

They slug it out and Yuya catches a Taguchi hip attack and turns it into a bridging German for two. Suplex attempt is countered by a Taguchi roll through into the anklelock again. Dodon and Yuya rolls through, but Taguchi counters back into the anklelock, and this time Uemura is out of places to go. (Ryusuke Taguchi over Yuya Uemura, submission, 11:27)

THOUGHTS: **3/4. This got a bit repetitive as Taguchi spammed anklelocks like SANADA spams Dragon Sleepers, but overall it was pretty good. Uemura really has been bringing the goods and making the most of his tournament this time out. It wasn’t groundbreaking or anything, just a solid wrestling match.

     

El Desperado (6 Points) vs DOUKI (0 Points) – BOSJ Match

I wonder if it’s worth recapping the match when I could probably describe the entire thing by recapping the cheating. Nah, they wouldn’t do that to each other, they’re from the same faction! I’m sure that Suzuki-Gun will wrestle a completely honorable match against each other.

They actually do some pretty nifty mat work to start, with escapes and counters. DOUKI sends Despy to the floor and El Desperado tries to entice the dive by ducking, but they’re watching the tapes in the Suzuki-Gun locker room and DOUKi doesn’t fall for it. Desperado taunts DOUKI, so DOUKI goes out and let’s get this party started.

Desperado pokes DOUKI in the eye and tosses the ref, then grabs DOUKI’s metal stick, but he loses control and it’s DOUKI with the chokin’. Ref comes back and takes the stick away, so DOUKI sends Despy the railing. Back in the ring and Despy tries a comeback, so DOUKI goes to the eyes and steps on his face. See, I don’t mind this at all. Both guys are dickhead heels, let them be dickheads to each other. Makes total sense. Comeback by Despy and he goes for the knee with a dropkick and a dragon-screw, DOUKI makes the ropes after Despy slaps on the Stretch Muffler. Despy rakes the eyes of DOUKI with the boot because FUCK YOU, DOUKI.

Spinebuster and it’s back to the Muffler and, after some struggle, back to the ropes for DOUKI. More leg punishment from Desperado, but he goes for the Muffler again and DOUKI rolls into the Italian Stretch. Now it’s Despy who has to make the ropes, which he does. They fight out to the apron and DOUKI hits a Monkey Flip, sending Despy crashing into the edge of the ring and then to the floor. Neato. DOUKI goes up, senton off the top onto Despy on the floor! Back in and it’s DOUKI with a slingshot DDT, 1, 2, NO! DOUKI tries to finish, but Desperado rolls through it into the Muffler, and rolls through the counter by DOUKI to bring him back to the center and trap both arms. That’ll do it and bring an official end to DOUKI’s chances in the BOSJ. (El Desperado over DOUKI, submission, 15:24)

THOUGHTS: ***1/2. Really good, I gotta say that DOUKI has put together one hell of a tournament here. I’m not sure that it’s on par with the craziness that was the YOSHI-HASHI G-1 run this year, but it’s not really that far off from a guy I expected nothing from. Desperado was his usual reliable self here, and I hope there’s more on the horizon for him in 2021.

Intermission!

     

Master Wato (w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (8 Points) vs SHO (6 Points) – BOSJ Match

I hope SHO whups his ass.

Bit of back and forth to start us off, as they’re cautious. Wato with strikes, but he gets elevated to the apron, where SHO sweeps his legs and dropkicks him to the floor before hitting the arm of Wato with a PK. Back in and it’s more arm work, with a hammerlock into a double wristlock from SHO, then a stomp. Back to the wristlock and SHO cranks on it, forcing Wato to the ropes.

Wato finally gets a bit of offense with a boot on a blind charge, then a ‘rana to the floor. Tornado press over the ropes by Wato! Springboard uppercut gets two. Wato gets a kick and comes off the ropes, but SHO changes his direction and gets a spear. Arm work continues but Wato blocks a kick and his selling is just all over the place here. It’s like he remembers that he’s gotta go into these sequences so he stops selling briefly enough to do them, then tries to go back to it unprompted. More punishment to the arm from SHO with kicks as he’s completely dominated the match.

Wato with a dropkick, but SHO goes right back to the arm and it’s a Fujiwara armbar, Wato makes the ropes on that, then ‘ranas SHO for two. Crucifix Bomb gets two for Wato. He goes up, but misses off the top. They slug it out from their knees, won by SHO, spinning back fist by Wato, and he follows that with two straight head kicks. Tombstone Driver time, but SHO escapes and turns Wato inside-out with a lariat. Last Ride Powerbreaker gets two for SHO. Shock Arrow gets three. (SHO over Master Wato, pinfall, 12:59)

THOUGHTS: ***1/4. What a weird match. They just kind of did stuff to each other and jammed bits in here and there. SHO dominated the match and worked the arm over almost the entire time, which didn’t figure into the finish at all. Wato looked nervous as hell out there to me for some reason and got very little offense in, which surprised me. Overall, this one was a bit below my expectations.

     

BUSHI (6 Points) vs Taiji Ishimori (8 Points) – BOSJ Match

BUSHI hits a dropkick before Ishimori even has his mask off, Taiji retaliates by catching a charging BUSHI with a kick to take him down. Ishimori works over BUSHI on the floor from there, focusing on the arm and sending him shoulder-first into the post. Back in and Ishimori takes BUSHI’s shirt off and chokes him with it, because irony can be so ironic sometimes. More arm work by Taiji as he really puts BUSHI through the wringer in there.

Neck crank from Ishimori as BUSHI hasn’t done a thing since the opening bell. More punishment to the arm of BUSHI with an arm snap. Taiji is killing him in there. BUSHI finally gets his comeback going with a boot on a blind charge, then a ‘rana. BUSHI with a missile dropkick, then a tope to Ishimori on the floor. Back in and BUSHI gets a backcracker out of the corner, but the Codebreaker is avoided and Ishimori goes for the crossface, BUSHI makes the ropes. Shoulderbreaker by Ishimori and it’s back to the crossface. BUSHI struggles more this time, but makes the ropes again.

Taiji with a handspring kick to BUSHI, but he ends up straddling the top and BUSHI brings him down with a ‘rana for two. Dropkick and apron fallaway DDT hit for BUSHI. Bicycle kick by Ishimori is answered with a BUSHI enzuigiri, then BUSHI hits a Canadian Destroyer for two. Sure. BUSHI goes for the MX, but gets caught and Taiji hits double knees. BUSHI tries to reverse the Bloody Cross into a backslide, but that just allows Ishimori to roll BUSHI back to the center of the ring into the crossface, and there’s no escape. (Taiji Ishimori over BUSHI, submission, 15:27)

THOUGHTS: ***1/4.  This was all but a squash, which was rather surprising considering it was two vets in there. Regardless, Taiji worked him over and worked him over until he got a chance to get a submission and once he did, he put it on and BUSHI uncled.. Sometimes the story doesn’t need to be complicated.

     

Hiromu Takahashi (8 Points) vs Robbie Eagles (4 Points) – BOSJ Match

As Robbie probably isn’t going to the Finals, this will almost surely be his best chance to leave a lasting impression. Fast sequence to start ends in a stalemate. They continue to go a mile a minute here, with them trading place in and out of the ring before Eagles kills Hiromu with a somersault tope to the railing. Hiromu comes back with a sunset bomb attempt that he turns into an apron bomb. Shotgun dropkick on the floor sends Eagles through the railing now.

Back in and it’s the catapult/double knees from Hiromu and he hooks a camel clutch, mocking Eagles whilst Robbie is in it. Hiromu snaps Eagles neck on the bottom rope, then stomps away. They exchange shots and Eagles ends up on the apron, springing in with a dropkick to the knee, then a 619 and a springboard shot to the back of Takahashi’s head. Running knee to the chest gets two for Eagles. Double knees in the corner from Eagles, that’s good for two.

Hiromu dropkick sends Robbie back to the floor, and a shotgun dropkick off the apron sends him back to the railing, then back in the ring a Falcon Arrow gets two. Robbie catches a kick and after they fight over a Turbo Backpack, Eagles hits a dragon-screw, then a superkick and he goes up. 450 from Eagles hits knees, but that’s fine enough as Hiromu is in pain. They exchange some STIFF shots as Eagles hits a leg lariat to put Takahashi back to the mat. Eagles charges Hiromu in the corner, but Hiromu is able to suplex him into the buckles to buy some time.

Dynamite Plunger gets two for Hiromu. Death Valley Driver into the buckles, but Robbie reverses the Time Bomb into a very close rollup that gets two. Two straight superkicks from Hiromu to regain the edge. He dives at Eagles to try the Sunset bomb again, but Eagles avoids it and Hiromu crashes to the floor. Eagles looks to try Sliced Bread #2 from the apron to the floor, but they hold that off and battle on the apron, Eagles catches a kick, Turbo Backpack to Hiromu on the apron!

Hiromu barely beats the count back in at 19 and Eagles goes up, but Hiromu cuts him off on the top rope, and now it’s Sliced Bread #2 off the top rope! 1, 2, NO!! Eagles up again, 450 hits Hiromu…..in the back. That gets two. Eagles goes for the Ron Miller, but Hiromu rolls him up for two. Another try and now Eagles has it hooked in there. Hiromu scratches and claws and finally, finally makes the ropes after a crazy struggle. Awesome.

Hiromu can barely stand and Eagles goes for Sliced Bread again, Hiromu tries to reverse into a DVD, but his knee gives out and he collapses. Robbie fires away, but comes off the ropes and eats a lariat. Second one gets two for Takahashi. They have an incredible strength battle over trying to hold each other up before Hiromu manages to drop Eagles with a front-facing brainbuster, then a slightly modified Time Bomb as Hiromu steals it. Incredible match. (Hiromu Takahashi over Robbie Eagles, pinfall, 26:02)

THOUGHTS: ****1/2. Sweet Jesus, they murdered each other in there. THIS was the match I was really waiting for from Eagles, as he fed into Hiromu’s tremendous selling with a crazy-great match, even with a bit of an abrupt ending. The pacing in the beginning was fantastic, and then when the match slowed into Hiromu’s selling show, Eagles was more than up to the task of hitting bigger and bigger moves to keep the pressure on. A really great story as Eagles did everything he could, but Hiromu just had a bit more heart and will on this night. This one will be in contention for match of the tournament.

Hiromu does his promo to send us home.

STANDINGS AFTER NIGHT 6:

Hiromu Takahashi:                  10 Points
Taiji Ishimori:                           10 Points
SHO:                                         8 Points
El Desperado:                           8 Points
Master Wato:                            8 Points
BUSHI:                                      6 Points
Ryusuke Taguchi:                      6 Points
Robbie Eagles:                          4 Points
DOUKI:                                      0 Points
Yuya Uemura:                           0 Points

FINAL THOUGHTS: The tournament has come into clearer focus now – Wato has losses to too many key people to be a huge threat despite his point total, and Desperado has to navigate some tricky waters with a good break over Hiromu and a bad loss to Wato on his record. It’s going to come down to some combo of SHO, Ishimori, and Hiromu it looks like, with Wato possibly playing spoiler on the last night to Hiromu and Desperado having an outside chance. Really decent show tonight with a fantastic main event that served as notice that Robbie Eagles is here to stay.

As always, thanks for reading this thing I wrote,

Rick Poehling
@MrSoze on Twitter
[email protected] for email