Shota Umino, Titán and Dragon Lee v Ren Narita, Jonathan Gresham and Bandido
This was a fun match to kick off the show with everyone getting to hit some big spots and both teams getting smotth triple team spots on their opponents.. Narita managed to hit his bridging suplex pin on Dragon Lee but only got a 2 count on the champion. Lee came back with a hard running knee strike for the win.
Winners by pinfall – Shota Umino, Titán and Dragon Lee
Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori and Robbie Eagles) v Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) and Ryusuke Taguchi
This started off with El Phantasmo making fun of Taguchi, stealing his rugby ball and kicking it into the crowd. Taguchi got his revenge directing a train of clotheslines by Sho and Yoh into Phantasmo. Sho and Yoh threw Phantasmo at Taguchi in the corner, but he stopped himself and then got his thumb stuck in Taguchi’s ass. No, you read that right.
After Phantasmo freed himself, he and Eagles worked well together with double teams and quick tags, keeping Taguchi away from his corner. Phantasmo walked all the way around the ring on the top rope holding Taguchi and knocking Sho and Yoh off the apron as he went, he finished his stroll with a hurricanrana on Taguchi for 2.
Incidentally, Ishimori looked pretty banged up and took it easy in this match, letting Eagles and Phantasmo do the heavy lifting.
After being in for a long time, Taguchi finally tagged in a fresh Yoh who went right on the attack and hit a brilliant spinning forearm on Eagles. Sho came in and we got some great double teams from Roppongi 3K. They tried for 3K but Eagles stopped it, then got in a striking match with Sho. Eagles was able to take Sho down with a series of kicks, but Sho came back to level him with a lariat. They get into another striking contest finishing with the Turbo backpack for 2. Eagles went for a pin but Phantasmo had got a blind tag and jumped in to hit CRII for the win.
There was dissension between Eagles and Phantasmo after the match, with Eagles shoving Phantasmo. Ishimori separated them and Eagles stormed off on his own, saying to Kevin Kelly, “Apparently in Bullet Club there’s an “I” in team!”. I’m enjoying the story they’re building with Eagles getting more and more frustrated with Phantasmo’s heel tactics and him stealing the spotlight. It’ll be interesting to see where they go with it over the next few months
Winners by pinfall – Bullet Club (El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori and Robbie Eagles)
Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, Yano, Tiger Mask and Jyushin Thunder Liger v Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr and Douki)
Taichi taunted Ishii at the start of the match by throwing the NEVER Openweight belt at him. I can’t wait to see Ishii show him some strong style at Dominion!
Douki called in Liger to start the match. It didn’t go well for him as Liger quickly got him with the Romero Special. Kanemaru ran in to break it up. Yano tripped Douki and held him for Liger but Kanemaru pulled him out. Everyone brawled at ringside until Douki dove at all of them. Back in the ring, Douki tried to unmask Liger then tagged in Kanemaru.
Taichi and Ishii were tagged in. Ishii overpowered Taichi, but Taichi raked his eyes then hit a series of kicks to take him down. He went for an x-bomber but Ishii countered with a German suplex.
YOSHI-HASHI and ZSJ were up next, YOSHI-HASHI started out well but ZSJ hooked in an arm lock, YOSHI-HASHI escaped with a suplex but got caught with a bridging suplex by ZSJ for 2.
All of Suzuki-Gun came in for a series of strikes against YOSHI-HASHI in the corner. Douki had been tagged in and got a 2 count.
Douki took YOSHI-HASHI down, then went for Suplex De la Luna but Tiger Mask ran in to stop him with a kick. The match broke down with everyone in the ring.
YOSHI-HASHI went at Douki with stiff chops and a big lariat followed by Karma for the win.
After the match, Suzuki and Liger went at it while Taichi taunted Ishii some more. Liger and Suzuki brawled all the way to the back, would have loved to see them continue the fight backstage.
Winners by pinfall – Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, Yano, Tiger Mask and Jyushin Thunder Liger
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, EVIL, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito) v Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, Toa Henare and Kota Ibushi
The match started with Ibushi and Naito in the ring, they went at it with a sequence of reversals ending in Naito being Tranquilo, this is becoming a staple of their matches.
Bushi and Honma were in next . Honma and Henare double-teamed Bushi, but Bushi dodged a Kokeshi and started choking Honma with his t-shirt. Meanwhile, Naito and Ibushi were fighting out into the crowd.
EVIL came in, absorbed Honma’s chops then knocks him down with his own. SANADA tagged in and traded forearms with Honma and knocked him down with an uppercut. Honma was able to come back and hit SANADA with a kokeshi and tagged in Makabe, who took it to SANADA with clotheslines in the corners and a 10-punch quickly followed by a northern lights suplex for 2. SANADA fought out of a German suplex, tried to tie him up in the Paradise Lock but Makabe escaped.
Ibushi and Naito tagged back in, and Ibushi got the upper hand with a powerslam followed immediately by a moonsault for 2. Ibushi took Naito down with strikes and went for a standing moonsault but Naito got his knees up and hit Ibushi with a dropkick. Ibushi came back with more strikes but Naito hit a big swinging DDT.
EVIL in, Ibushi caught a kick, EVIL raked his eyes to escape but got hit by a dropkick by Ibushi.
Henare came in with big chops to EVIL, dodged clotheslines and knocked EVIL down with a shoulder tackle. He managed to hits a vertical suplex after a bit of struggle. Honma in and he and Henare both hit Kokeshi for 2.
Henare tried to spear EVIL but was blocked, he got in some strikes to EVIL but SANADA and Bushi come for a triple team. EVIL and SANADA finished him with Magic Killer for the win.
After the match, Naito threw Ibushi into the barricade twice, they had words on the apron before Ibushi headed to the back. Their rematch at Dominion is going to be a show-stealer.
Winners by pinfall – Los Ingobernables de Japon (Bushi, EVIL, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito)
Kazuchika Okada and Rocky Romero v Marty Scurll and Brody King
This started with Okada and King. Okada started out in control but King came back with big hits, Okada took him back down. Rocky in, King levelled him with a forearm then tagged in Scurll. Scurll and Romero go at it but then Scurll tagged King back in to soften Rocky up some more. He took out Romero and Okada with a jumping slam from the bottom rope.
Scurll came back in with a Romero Special, dropping it into a pin for 2.
King back in with a big splash for 2. He took Rocky down with a big chop. King and Scurll double teamed Romero. Rocky finally got the tag to Okada who took down Scurll with an elbow. He hit a big DDT for 2. King came in with a big chop, but Okada slammed him onto Scurll! It almost looked like a Hogan/Andre moment.
Scurll came back with an elbow in the corner and a swinging DDT. King back in, good double teams by him and Scurll including a double German suplex. Romero got back in the ring to hit forever clotheslines on both men, King came at him but Romero dodged and he hit Scurll instead. King hit Okada with piledriver for 2. Okada got back up with a dropkick and a diving elbow, then he struck a Rainmaker pose and hit King with the move for the win!
After the match we got a fairly creepy promo from Jericho. Okada looked around in case Jericho was there for an attack, but no sign of him. Okada cuts a promo to respond.
Winners by pinfall – Kazuchika Okada and Rocky Romero
Hiroshi Tanahashi v “Switchblade” Jay White
White had Tana on the outside, the ref almost got to 20 but white pulled him out of the ring so he could do more damage to Tanahashi.
White concentrated a lot of attacks on Tanahashi’s elbow with strikes and holds. Tanahashi started to make a comeback but White took him down again.
White hooked in an arm lock and started twisting it but Tanahashi made it to the ropes.
Tanahashi eventually managed to hit a Dragon Screw using his legs as White had done a number on his elbow, he followed up with two slingblades after countering Blade Runner. Gedo provided a distraction while Tanahashi was on the top rope, allowing White to pull him down. White went for Blade Runner again but Tanahashi reversed it into a straitjacket German for 2.
Tanahashi tried for a dragon suplex but Gedo got in the ring for another distraction. White hit a low blow, tried for Blade Runner but Tanahashi countered and hit his own low blow! He tried to lock in a Cloverleaf but Jay White pulled him into a pin for the win!
I was pretty shocked that White went over here, but it makes a lot of sense since they’re building him as a top heel. This wasn’t a classic but it told a good, simple, story with White targeting the surgically repaired arm and winning because of it.
Winner by pinfall – “Switchblade” Jay White
IWGP United States Championship Match: Juice Robinson(c) v Jon Moxley
Moxley’s in trunks! Juice cut his dreadlocks off!
This was a fight from the outset, Moxley took it out into the crowd and spent some time hitting nasty looking punches and elbows to bust open Robinson’s head. He went for a piledriver but Juice backdropped him on the ramp, Juice climbed up to the big screen and flipped onto Moxley below.
Juice took control and dragged Moxley back towards the ring, but dropped him on a barrier and slammed him into a barricade. He went for a cannonball but Moxley moved and he flew into the barrier instead.
Back in the ring, Moxley burst open the cut on Robinson’s head more with hard punches. Juice got on top and attacked with punches of his own. Juice was pissed off and it showed. He went for the cannonball again but Moxley rolled outside, Juice hits him with a pescado over the top rope.
Back in the ring, Juice hit Juicebox, then climbed to the top but Moxley unceremoniously shoved him off the turnbuckle to the floor. Moxley got a table out and hit Juice with a chair, then hit a classic Foley spot, diving onto Juice with the chair, then suplexed him through the table.
Moxley looked like he was going for a suplex but let go to throw Juice for 2. He wrapped Juice up in a figure 4 around the ring post. He took a chair, trapped Juice’s leg in it and climbed up the turnbuckle, but the referee stopped him from jumping onto the chair. Juice recovered enough to throw a chair in Moxley’s face. He got back in the ring and hit a lariat, went for the cannonball in the corner but Moxley hit him with a huge lariat. They started hitting each other with forearms and then headbutts. They went back and forth with forearms to juice and then jabs to Moxley. Moxley countered the Left Hand of God, he went for a DDT but Juice rammed him out of the ring.
Juice finally hit a cannonball on Moxley against a table but it didn’t break, so he powerbombed him through it instead. Back in the ring Juice hooked in the Boston Crab but Moxley got out and hit a dragon screw followed by a cloverleaf. Robinson twisted around and bit Moxley to force the release then hit Left Hand of God. Moxley countered Pulp Friction, and went for the double-arm DDT but juice reversed into a roll-up for 2.
Moxley hit the double-arm DDT but Juice kicked out at 2! He hit a second one with a lot more lift for the win!
I loved this match, it not only showed us how much Moxley was held back from going all out by WWE, but Juice came out of it looking like a badass too. I would love to see a rematch with these guys!
Winner by pinfall and NEW IWGP US Champion – Jon Moxley
Best of the Super Juniors Final: Shingo Takagi v Will Ospreay
Ospreay enters with a katana, he’s here to slay The Dragon.
The match started slow but built up fast to a series of reversals and an Oscutter attempt that Shingo blocked.
They went back to a tie-up, and Shingo hit Ospreay with a big chop in the corner. He hooked in a cravat but Ospreay battled out and struck him with stiff chops, hit a headscissors takeover then knocked him to the floor. Shingo looked frustrated and threw a cup at the ring, he slowed the pace down by stalling on the outside. When he got back in, Ospreay hits him with kicks, Shingo came back with a chop but Ospreay dropkicked him back out of the ring and hit pescado.
Ospreay tried to throw Shingo into the barrier but he reversed it and threw Ospreay. Ospreay jumped up but Shingo caught him, dropped him on the apron and hit a DDT on the floor.
Shingo tried a DVD on the apron but Ospreay battled out. Shingo dodged Ospreay and flew over the top rope onto Ospreay!
Back in the ring, Shingo jumped on Ospreay with a double foot stomp. He kept at Ospreay with a knee and a shoulder block to knock him back down. Ospreay came back with forearms but Shingo dropped him with one then threw him with a high backdrop. He ran at Ospreay but Ospreay got the boot up, he hit Ospreay with a clothesline then a stiff chop, they went to the other corner and Ospreay got the boot up again then kicked Shingo on the head. Shingo hit a DVD then started going after Ospreay’s neck. Ospreay fought his way out, Shingo knocked him down, and Ospreay was straight back up and hit a jumping forearm. Ospreay hit a 619, missed with a springboard, but knocked Shingo down in the corner and hit him with a dropkick. He got him with a standing shooting star press for 2.
Shingo rolled out of the ring, Ospreay hit him with a Sasuke special on the outside then, back in the ring, he landed Pip Pip Cheerio for 2.
Ospreay tried to get Shingo into Stormbreaker but he powered out. Shingo went for a big punch but got kicked before hitting a stiff clothesline, taking Ospreay down. Ospreay came back with multiple forearms, then went for a kick but Shingo caught his foot and flipped him in the air then hit a low clothesline. He went for No Shigami but Ospreay reversed the attempt into a pin for 2.
Ospreay hit a cutter that landed like a stunner. He hit a yakuza kick in the corner then Cheeky Nandos Kick, Shingo knocked Ospreay off the top with slaps and a headbutt. Then he got Ospreay back up and hit a DVD from the top for 2!
Shingo hit a big clothesline to Ospreay in the corner, but Ospreay came back but a flurry of moves which Shingo ended with No Shigami. Ospreay countered Pumping Bomber with a huge powerbomb for 2.
Ospreay missed the Robinson Special, Shingo grabbed him by the legs and threw him neck first into the corner. Shingo tried to hit No Shigami on the apron but Ospreay battled out and hit an Oscutter on the apron instead!
Shingo made it back in at 19 and Ospreay levelled him with a dropkick, and hit a shooting star press for 2! Not letting up, he hit Shingo with a Robinson Special and finally got him with an Oscutter for 2!
Ospreay tried for Stormbreaker, but Shingo blocked, Ospreay wore him down with strikes. Shingo was on his knees punching Ospreay, Ospreay kicked him in the face. Ospreay got in Shingo’s face then hit more kicks, Shingo got up with a painful sounding headbutt. Shingo hit multiple forearms but Ospreay caught him with a hook kick, then more kicks. He got Shingo up for Stormbreaker but Shingo reversed it into Last of the Dragon for 2! He then hit 2 Pumping bombers for 2! Shingo lifted Ospreay for another Last of the Dragon but but Ospreay reversed it into a nasty-looking reverse rana. They started trading headbutts on the floor, Shingo hit a big lariat, kick by Ospreay and a Spanish Fly for another 2!
Ospreay hit Shingo with a hook kick, Hidden Blade and a massive Oscutter from the top, then Stormbreaker for the win! Ospreay won his second Best of the Super Juniors and slayed The Dragon!
That match was amazing and a fitting finale to the tournament. While he came out of the match looking great, I’m a little disappointed that Shingo was handed his first loss, but Ospreay is one of the best in the world right now and absolutely deserved the victory after having the best run of matches in this year’s BOSJ.
Winner by pinfall – Will Ospreay