Jesus Christ, there’d better be something good here because I’m almost bored of flips… is exactly what I am hoping that I won’t be saying after today’s show. Luckily for me, we’ve got some tantalising match-ups today, including our BOSJ intro gif poster boy Hiromu taking on his dojo sensei, Desperado…
BOSJ Tournament Match: Chris Sabin vs Marty Scurll
So my first thought with this match was ‘How have we never had a Motor City Machine Guns-Leaders of the New School match?’, my second thought was ‘well this is a little bit good isn’t it?’ In their first match since 2015’s 16 Carat tournament, Scurll and Sabin, both Ring of Honor natives, worked well together, with the kind of chemistry most people kill for, what kept the pace up was that both men had clearly studied the tapes as this match was reversal heavy and I loved it. In many ways, this felt like the Sabin of old was back for one match as the two men tried to outsmart one another but couldn’t find a way to get the upper hand. There will be a lot who don’t enjoy this match as it had that PWG selling-light, sprint-heavy feel to it but it was a great way to kick off the tournament action for the day. Scurll got a pinfall victory off the Black Plague inverted suplex. More of this please.
Winner: Marty Scurll
BOSJ Tournament Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs KUSHIDA
HAHAHAHA! The two Taguchi Japan teammates started off fast, throwing in as much butt as you can in a minute till KUSHI went where he’s happiest, to working the arm, after a series of rolling pin attempts, KUSHIDA went back to the arm but Taguchi got one more roll-up for the pin and his first win in this year’s tournament. Not every match has to be an epic and this was a nice surprise because it tells the story of Taguchi teaching his teammate a lesson about being prepared for anything plus you had them doing dueling butt-bumps, a move that I will never call the hip attack because let’s face it, it’s a butt bump.
Winner: Ryusuke Taguchi
BOSJ Tournament Match: SHO vs El Desperado
This was a simple story, well-told. Desperado, fresh off a win against Takahashi in the new Junior Match of the Year leader, was underestimating the recently Young Lion Sho and as a result, took him far too lightly and Yoh took. him. out. Where over in Block A, Kanemaru is happy coasting off once being the Junior Ace of Noah, Desperado is trying more than anyone in this tournament to make a statement of intent and it’s paying off. Now, don’t be surprised if the fallout of this match is Sho beating Kanemaru aswell to put the Roppongi boys back in line for the Junior tag titles but really, at this point, I’d be all in for Sho vs Yoh in the finals, even though we all know it’s going to be Dragon Lee vs Tiger Mask IV. This was good stuff but it didn’t feel like they showed everything here which makes me hopeful for an encounter further down the road. Yoh got the pin of a Deep Shock package piledriver.
BOSJ Tournament Match: Hiromu Takahashi vs Dragon Lee
It’s official, these two never have and never will have a bad match. Starting off quickly, they went back-and-forth for twenty minutes of pure joy that played off previous encounters well but also found room for invention and addition while never resorting to formula. What’s fascinating is that many of their previous encounters have had very clean cut hero-villain dynamics where here, crowd support was split, if not leaning more towards Takahashi who, for very deserving reasons, has become a real fan favourite. Early on, there was a slap exchange between these two that lasted for about two minutes and I would have been happy if it had been just that but luckily it wasn’t as otherwise we would have missed such glorious nonsense as Dragon Lee hitting a missile dropkick to the outside leaping over the turnbuckle. Almost the only problem with this match is that it sets such a breakneck pace that even the faintest of cooldown periods feel like they get magnified and with it starting so strong, it struggled to really make a standout finishing sequence, mostly hitting a high note and holding it instead of building but really, minor quibbles. Lee got the pin off the Dragon Driver which makes me so damn happy.
Winner: Dragon Lee
Pardon my young ‘un slang but Block B is so damn lit. Every show they have four match-ups that never fail to deliver and also never feel like there’s any repetition as they keep it consistently fresh. If Block A were as good as Block B, this might well be the best BOSJ ever.