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By Mike Johnson on 2017-05-17 09:36:00

I watched this morning's New Japan Pro Wrestling Best of Super Juniors tour opener from Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.  Quick results and thoughts from the opening night of the annual round-robin tournament:

*TAKA Michinoku pinned Jushin Liger in a solid match.  A bit more brawling than you would think for a Liger match.  In the end, Liger scored a two count with the Liger Bomb but TAKA raked his face and rolled him up for the pin.  The story here is that this is going to be Liger's final tournament, so this may be a way to start him off having to try and "come from behind" to win.

*Volador Jr. defeated Tiger Mask with a Spanish Fly.  Good stuff here with Volador whipping out a sweet looking tope con hilo.  The story here was Tiger's wrestling vs. Volador's speed.

*King Ricochet pinned Taichi with a shooting star press.   Taichi was in full mode stalling heel early on.  Like, Larry Zbyszko style.  He cheated and worked over Ricochet for a long time to set up the big comeback with all the big moves.  A little more shenanigans than most would expect.

*ACH pinned BUSHI with a Falcon Arrow.  This reminded me, of all things, of a Sabu match from the early 1990s, minus the tables or maybe young Rey Mysterio Jr. in AAA.  ACH was pulling out all of this great dazzling stuff that just made you go "Whoa" the same way Sabu used to blow me away back in the day before injuries caught up to him.  Just a big sizzle reel of hot moves.  BUSHI looked very good as a heel and hit some good looking dives.  Another good match.

*El Desperado pinned KUSHIDA.   The finish here made sense as they needed an upset early on to make people think Desperado has a chance and it puts KUSHIDA into a situation where he has to fight from behind.  Another good match.  They actually did a ref bump so that KUSHIDA could lock in a Kimura but not get the submission even though Desperado tapped. 

*Marty Scurll pinned Will Ospreay.  If you like fast-paced, aerial wrestling, this was just batsh** crazy great with all sorts of insane back and forth stuff.  The last 5-8 minutes of this was all mind-blowing stuff.  The finish was Ospreay go for the Oscutter but get caught in mid-air and trapped in the chicken wing.  Of all the matches on the show, this is the one that is going to be the one fans online are most buzzing about/Rip Rogers will hate.  The fans live were going nuts for this.

*Rysuke Taguchi pinned Yoshinobu Kanemaru in a decent match after a rollup.  They were in a hard position having the follow the Ospreay deal.   There was some comedy here where Kanemura was focusing his offense on Taguchi's rear end.

*Dragon Lee pinned IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ Hiromu Takahashi with a Phoenixplex in a great match to close the show and put yet another stalwart behind the game in the tournament.  These two have had awesome matches in ROH, Mexico and in NJPW and this was no exception to that, chopping the hell out of each other and Lee nailing a rana to the floor and a big flip dive.    They were smart to close out with this, although Ospreay vs. Scurll was the best thing on the show from just the perspective of blow-away action.

A really good show with some great wrestling.  New Japan put this show out for free on their New Japan World streaming service and is well worth taking the time to check it out.  I don't know how many of these shows I'll be watching live but this was worth getting up at 5:30 AM for, it was that good.

I believe Matthew Macklin will be checking in with his thoughts on the show later today as well.

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