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By Matthew Macklin on 2017-05-18 18:06:00

Best of the Super Juniors Day 2, May 18, Korakuen Hall:

Hirai Kawato, Tomoyuki Oka & Tiger Mask IV defeated Tetsuhiro Yagi, Shota Umino & Katsuya Kitamura
This was young lion mania, with five on display here including Yagi, a debutant. NJPW have so many great prospects coming through at the minute with Henare & Kanemitsu both out with injury too. Umino had his best showing yet getting in a big slam on Oka and a beauty of a dropkick. Kanemitsu continued to look like a monster. Yagi was clearly way behind everyone else, and Tiger thought so too, so he nailed him with a stiff kick to the chest. The finish saw Kawato make Yagi submit with the young lion special, the Boston Crab.

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated ACH & Volador Jr
Pretty good match here. Suzuki-Gun grounded Volador until he got the tag to ACH. ACH was the standout of the match when he got the tag.  He looked incredible and the crowd got behind everything he did.  His charisma is really getting him over in NJPW.  The finish saw Kanemaru hit ACH with a weapon before Desperado rolled him up.

Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi defeated David Finlay, Ray Rowe & Hanson
Nothing spectacular with this one, just a match to build to the tag title match at Dominion. Finlay wore matching face paint with War Machine.  War Machine vs GOD has all the makings of an all out war if this and their previous matches are anything to go by.  There was a big flurry of moves that ended with Hanson taking them all out with a suicide dive. Finlay went for an uppercut, but was caught by Tonga in a Gun Stun to get the win for Bullet Club.

BUSHI, SANADA, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito defeated KUSHIDA, Satoshi Kojima, Juice Robinson & Ryusuke Taguchi
Kojima replaced the injured Tanahashi here, and even pulled out a guitar pose on tribute to him. Naito tried to destroy the IWGP IC title on the way to the ring by smashing it on the steps.  Really good action in this, with too much to recap.  SANADA looked great when he pulled KUSHIDA out of an armbar into a Skull End.  Juice almost beheaded EVIL with a lariat.  The finish saw BUSHI pin KUSHIDA with a BUSHI Roll to continue KUSHIDA's slump. Naito then threw the title at the ringpost, bending the top of it, which led to the young lions trying to straighten it with a hammer. It was equally as funny as it was symbolic.

Block A
Taichi defeated TAKA Michinoku
This Suzuki-Gun collision saw the entire match revolve around them trying to out cheat each other. There was hardly one wrestling move. They'd kick the rope when one would get back into the ring, there were exposed buckles and Taichi feigning an injury to distract the referee. Taichi won with a low blow and a Gedo Clutch. This might have been the peak of Taichi's career.

Dragon Lee defeated Marty Scurll
This was fantastic. Scurll is so over already, which is amazing because he hasn't even been with ROH that long, so this crowd is obviously familiar with his work in the UK.  This had so many fun exchanges and some great wrestling. Scurll is just oozing charisma, and knows exactly how to get the crowd to react. He tied Lee's mask to the ropes and went after him, which got him the most heat he's had so far.  Lee hit one big dive, but was very toned down after yesterday. The crowd love Scurlls finger snap and even shush themselves to hear it. Lots of nice near falls at the end with a great finishing sequence. Scurll snapped Lee's fingers on the top turnbuckle, but was head butted into the tree of woe and caught with a double stomp. Lee goes 2-0 in the tournament.

Hiromu Takahashi defeated Jushin Thunder Liger
This was special and one of those matches that reminds you why Korakuen Hall is so special. This was Ligers 24th and final BOSJ match in Korakuen and the atmosphere for this was insane. This started with a Shotei, a cannonball and a Brainbuster on the floor and from there the place was electric. Hiromu got back into it with a powerbomb on the apron and controlled the legend, who soon got back into it with another Shotei and a Liger Bomb. Liger popped up out of a German suplex and hit a Brainbuster for an incredible near fall. The young champion got the better of the veteran in the end when he hit the Time Bomb to win the match. After the match Liger said he would win his remaining matches and go on to win the tournament before bowing before the crowd in what was a really great moment.

Will Ospreay defeated Ricochet
This was absurdly great. Last year these two had a classic that literally had the entire wrestling world talking, they had another in OTT that to me was even better, but this topped them both. This wasn't just an aerial display, this was a fight. It was very clear that these two went out to prove a point in the midst of the insufferable online debate over dives and indie wrestling.  From the first lock up this was all about winning and it had all the intensity in the world. We had all the insane athletic displays, but we also had hard hitting strikes, drama, great near falls and lots of selling, to the point where by the end of the match neither guy could barely stay on their feet.  There were some ridiculous moves here, where they'd play off previous matches, but add a new spin or counter to it.  This was so well laid out, and it just kept building into some incredible near falls at the end when they both hit each other's finisher. Ospreay hit one of the most spectacular Dragon-Rana's I think I've ever seen for an amazing near fall. Ospreay won in the end after an OsCutter, but my words aren't gonna do the magic of this justice. Go and watch it.

After the match Ospreay cut an impassioned promo, talking about the reaction to last years match, he put over Ricochet and he said that he would become a back to back winner of the tournament. Ospreay has it all. It's absurd how polished he is at every aspect of pro wrestling even at his young age.

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