Night 3 of the Best of the Super Juniors consisted of 5 tournament matches. They were Jonathan Gresham vs Taka Michinoku, Tiger Mask vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Shingo Takagi vs Titan, Taiji Ishimori vs Marty Scurll, and Dragon Lee vs SHO.
Jonathan Gresham vs Taka Michinoku
Taka tried to get in control early on but Gresham buster out some nice moves and took over. Taka used his usual Suzuki-Gun like ways and kept taking at Gresham’s eyes. He also went after the fingers which had been snapped the night before. This was pretty interesting as in the past Marty Scurll’s finger snap(that was used in night one against Gresham) was only sold for about ten seconds.
However, the new snap was detrimental to Gresham’s attempt to win in his first match and was a target of Taka in his second match. Taka kept going for his side face lock submission. The end of the match had a pretty nice exchange which ultimately led to the Octopus tapping out Michinoku with an octopus lock.
Tiger Mask vs Kanemaru
Last night in one of the tag matches Kanemaru has stolen Tiger’s mask. Tiger Mask went after Kanemaru immediately. Taking a page out of Suzuki Gun by attacking before the bell. Kanemaru targetted the injured leg of Tiger Mask throughout the match.
A missed moonsault gave Tiger the opening he needed. He went for a Tiger suplex but Kanemaru got out. Tiger rolled him up for the win. Okay match, like Kevin Kelly always says Kanemaru is criminally underrated and I usually expect better from him.
Shingo Takagi vs Titan
The problem with Takagi facing some of the lower card guys who you don’t expect to go far is that your 99% sure that Takagi is gonna win since they’re not gonna give this first loss to anyone who isn’t a top card guy.
However this match still highlighted Takagi as the number one pick to win the tournament, while making Titan seem like the guy that’s gonna get a shock pin out of nowhere. Takagi pretty much brutalized Titan throughout the entire match. Titan had a nice suicide dive and got a little offense, but it ended in typical Shingo fashion with a Last of the Dragon.
Marty Scurll vs Taiji Ishimori
The next match I’m sad to say heavily disappointed me on multiple aspects. Before I even bring up the actual match quality, I want to talk about the story that could have been told vs the story that was told. The story that was told by commentary was that these two are almost complete strangers with only one encounter in the G1 finals. They didn’t bring up the Bullet Club Civil War at all. No mention of it whatsoever. Why they decided to do this I have no clue. There should have been more animosity due to their faction’s past.
Now moving on to their match. Before I start I would like to say that I love Ishimori and I love Scurll. But in this match, something didn’t click. There were a few botches and awkward moments. For example, the transition into the yes lock was awkward. Ishimori also botched the tombstone. Let’s move on to the last match of the night.
SHO vs Dragon Lee
This was a great match that I enjoyed a lot. There was a long forearm exchange at the start of the match. SHO was looking exceptionally brutal. He targeted the right arm of Dragon Lee at the start. Dragon Lee did the same after.
Dragon Lee and SHO both hit some pretty brutal power moves after. They really brought out the strong style. SHO is gonna be a junior megastar, and then he will be a Heavyweight megastar. Dragon Lee won after Desnucadora.
Overall 5/10 First three matches felt a little average/below average. The fourth match was a disaster and the last match was great.