Okayama saw the final night of Best of the Super Juniors block action on Monday June 3. After Shingo Takagi already punched his ticket to the Ryogoku final, B block all came down to Ryusuke Taguchi and Will Ospreay.
9th Match: Will Ospreay defeated Ryusuke Taguchi via pinfall to advance to the BOSJ 26 final
‘Big Match Taguchi’ showed what he was about early, as an early mat exchange was turned into a criss cross. Ospreay, cocky, would taunt Taguchi, who struck with a hip attack and began to take control. Ospreay showed heavyweight like power though, with a blistering series of chops that took any wind out of Taguchi’s sails.
The difference in strength between the two was furthered when Ospreay elected to target the Coach’s back. Ospreay would follow up with a brutal double arm bar and then a Texas Clover, all of which punishing the lumbar region as well as Taguchi’s limbs.
At the ten minute mark, Taguchi finally found a response with a hip attack, and three Amigos; while Ospreay escaped the third amigo, he didn’t escape a dropkick and triangle plancha to the floor. Taguchi’s flurry was short lived though; the coach tried to rain in a series of B Triggers but was stopped with a handspring overhead kick. When Ospreay followed though, Taguchi was able to lock in Oh My and Garankle over the top rope, creating damage that Ospreay exacerbated himself with a corkscrew moonsault to the floor that found its mark but at marked cost.
The damage would cause a slight pause in Ospreay’s movements as the pace escalated, allowing for a Bummer Ye from Taguchi that reset the two. Taguchi would show incredible resilience as he withstood punishing Kawada kicks, and halted Will with a palm strike to the gut and a Tiger suplex for two.
When Ospreay tried for Stormbreaker, he was countered and caught center ring with Oh My and Garankle. Ospreay rolled through and landed a thunderous Liger Bomb, but couldn’t make a cover as the match passed the 20 minute mark. An OsCutter was again countered by Taguchi, who hit the Dodon and went back to the ankle. Ospreay would look for OsCutter once more but after Taguchi countered again, he knew that strength had to be the key. More vicious kicks led to the Stormbreaker that won him the match.
8th Match: El Phantasmo defeated DOUKI via pinfall.
DOUKI went right after El Phantasmo during his entrance, attacking with a chair before ELP could get in the ring. Phantasmo would prevent a tope suicida though, nailing DOUKI mid flight with the same chair as the bell finally rang.
ELP would slow the pace in ring, but DOUKI found enough breathing room to knock his opponent to the floor, where a tope was followed by the massive DOUKI Bomb from the top rope to the floor. Back in ring, DOUKI stopped an ELP Lionsault with the Italian Stretch, but Phantasmo stood and delivered a crushing stomp to the throat. While DOUKI was able to land his slingshot Daybreak DDT, he was in danger soon after, an ELP Frankensteiner landing him throat first on the top rope. DOUKI was still in the match however, and would counter CR2 with a hurricanrana and another Italian Stretch attempt.
DOUKI found himself in the rare position of having the crowd chanting his name, but it made little difference in the end. A DOUKI flurry of forearms was stopped as ELP ripped his opponent’s mask off and landed CR2 for the victory.
7th Match: YOH defeated Robbie Eagles via pinfall.
As early mat exchanges turned to a quicker pace, Eagles found himself on the wrong end of a rolling senton from the apron by YOH. Back in the ring, however, Eagles would exploit an opening to aggressively target YOH’s knee. As the RPG3K member tried to gain momentum, he looked for Stargazer on Eagles, but was countered to the Ron Miller Special.
As the match went past the ten minute mark, Eagles would hit the Turbo Backpack for a two count, but when looking to follow with a 450, YOH escaped, and Eagles landed badly on his own knee. YOH would capitalize with a German suplex for a two count, and moments later, a Dragon suplex for the full three.
6th Match: Bandido defeated Rocky Romero via pinfall.
Bandido and Romero exchanged in an intricate game of one upmanship early, to the delight of the Okayama crowd. Romero would target Bandido’s arm, but Bandido would manage to muscle out, hitting the West Knee out of a cross armbreaker attempt. As Romero charged at Bandido, the luchador hit a standing Guerrera Moonsault, and followed with the 21 Plex to win.
5th Match: BUSHI defeated Ren Narita via pinfall.
Narita looked to end his BOSJ campaign with a fairytale win, but it wasn’t to be. While Narita brought fire to BUSHI, his high gable grip suplex was still not followed by a bridge, and he couldn’t get a submission with the leglace Boston crab of his. BUSHI would hit MX for a decisive win.
4th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito and Shingo Takagi) defeated Dragon Lee and Titan when Takagi pinned Titan
LIJ cornered Titan early and used their ever impressive team tactics to kill any momentum the luchador could muster. Dragon Lee would launch some impressive offense against Naito and Takagi, but ultimately Titan was left to face Last of the Dragon. Post match, Takagi and Naito took both of their opponents’ masks, as Takagi looked in fine form heading to Wednesday’s final.
3rd Match: Suzuki Gun (Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defeated Shote Umino and Tomohiro Ishii when Kanemaru pinned Umino.
The match turned into a wild brawl from the outset as Ishii and Taichi went at it with chairs and the house mic cable.
Umino was left alone in ring at Suzuki Gun’s mercy but when Ishii did tag in, the Stone Pitbull mauled Taichi with chops and jabs. Taichi cut off Ishii’s offense with a low blow and as they both went to the floor again, Umino was left to face a Deep Impact from Kanemaru. Post match, Taichi and Kanemaru assaulted Ishii with Taichi’s mic stand.
2nd Match: Juice Robinson and Toa Henare defeated Villain Enterprises (Brody King and Marty Scurll) when Robinson pinned King.
Henare was dominated in the early going but powered out with an impressive suplex to Scurll in order to make the tag to Robinson. King showed his speed and strength against Juice but couldn’t escape a Pulp Friction as Juice stood tall going into his title match with Jon Moxley on Wednesday.
1st Match: SHO and Jonathan Gresham defeated Tiger Mask and Yuya Yemura when SHO submitted Uemura.
Uemura did his best as a short notice entrant in the match but couldn’t match power with SHO. He withstood a high angle lung blower but tapped out of the Boston Crab that followed.