2016 Super J-Cup
Watch: NJPW World
July 20th, 2016
Korakuen Hall – Tokyo, Japan
It is finally here the Super J-Cup 2016! As one of the biggest tournament fans in the world I am so happy to see my all time favorite tournament make it’s return. The 1994 Super J-Cup is one of the best shows I have seen and still holds up to this day. The 2016 version of this tournament is unique because it is using talent from overseas. International talent has worked the J-Cup before but no overseas companies have ever been involved in the prestigious tournament. This year CMLL and ROH respectively have sent performers over. Well CMLL has sent Titan, the ROH representative is Matt Sydal who performs more for NJPW than ROH. I did an entire Super J-Cup preview so check that out before you watch live if possible and enjoy the show.
This is an archived live review that went on at the time of the event.
Matt Sydal vs. Kaji Tomato ***1/4
This is one of my favorite short matches in recent memory. Mainly because fucking Kaji Tomato performed in the Super J-Cup and won over all of wrestling twitter. Kaji Tomato is one of my personal favorites and I wished he went further in the tournament but I knew that the chances of that happening was very bleak. This was a very fun sprint, both guys got there stuff in and looked good in doing so. Tomato being able to do his dance in a sold out Korakuen Hall warmed my heart. Kaji took control early with a head scissors followed by a big plancha. Sydal busted out some very unique submissions that I haven’t seen him use before. Tomato was running so fast the screen was blurry, I am not joking when I say that. Sydal hit his middle rope frankensteiner. Tomato hit his beautiful Tiger suplex. Both men traded near falls that the crowd fell for but in the end Sydal hit the SSP to advance to the second round.
Gurukun Mask vs. Kenoh ***1/2
This was slightly better than the opener and I loved it. Seeing Gurukun perform in a New Japan ring is something I never thought I would see. As the big independent Puro fan I am I pop huge whenever independent workers get a chance on a bigger stage. These guys were feeling each other out with kicks early on until Kenoh took control. Kenoh was actually being a heel in this match but he got zero heat. Hajime Ohara who was Kenoh’s second attacked Mask with a kendo stick. Very stiff kicks from the NOAH representative. Kenoh was really being a dick. Gurukun at the age of 45 hit a crazy tope con something or other. Kenoh is just so slick with all of his offence and especially his ankle locks. There were a small contingent of Gurukun fans. These dudes traded very stiff kicks to one another’s chest. Moonsault from Mask. Crazy flurry of offence from both guys. Dragon suplex followed by a PK from Kenoh. Kenoh advances to the second round with his finisher he calls the ‘Ragou’
Taichi vs. Yuma Aoyagi**1/4
Alright I have been a Taichi apologist in the past but fuck Taichi he was the pits here. His entrance and stalling had to be at least 7 minutes long it was terrible. Taichi sucks man. I like him when his serious but when he doesn’t care he is one of the worst. Yuma Aoyagi was absolutely tremendous here though, he is without a doubt one of the best rookies and carried Taichi here. Taichi used every shitty heel tactic in the book, Despy was even getting in on the action. Aoyagi’s fired up young boy offence is lit, he also used a tornillo plancha. Aoyagi tried a lot of new offence which I give him lots of props for. He even tried a SSP. Aoyagi used a great Fisherman’s suplex hold. Taichi shoot kicked Yuma which was terrible. Taichi sadly won with a last ride and he advances to round 2.
Jushin 'Thunder' Liger vs. Eita***
This was special for many reasons and whilst it lasted it was tremendous. If this got another 5 – 10 minutes it could have been amazing. Eita took the fight right to the veteran Liger showing no respect and hitting a tope con hilo. Liger whipped Eita into the corner post and Eita was busted open from the eye. Brainbuster on the floor from Liger. Trademark offence from Liger including a power-bomb and Romero special. Eita got a lot of his shit in as well, his rolling dropkick is a thing of beauty. Liger escaped a Fujiwara arm bar and then hit a Shotei but then was caught in the Numero-Uno but once again made it to the ropes. Liger fired back with Shotei city then pinned Eita with a Brainbuster. I am stoked Liger won but I thought this match would go longer. Under any circumstance I am happy Eita got this opportunity and that Liger advanced in HIS tournament.
Titan vs. Will Ospreay ***1/2
This was really fucking great but it just didn’t have enough time to get to that next level. Saying that I thought it was the best match on this show thus far. Titan and Ospreay have a weird chemistry that can only be explained if you watched this match. Two similar but very different styles. Both guys have excellent mat techniques and used unique escapes from holds. Titan is incredible, easily one of the most underrated flyers in our business. Ospreay used a SSP plancha off the apron. Ospreay looks like he just did a bag of cocaine, the brother needs a haircut but who cares he is a great wrestler. Titan used a beautiful Quebrada which Korakuen popped huge for. Ospreay used a Sasuke Special which is very special as Sasuke was in the OG 1994 J-Cup. Flurry of Ospreay’s best hits including a Phoenix splash, spinning kick, standing SSP after all that Ospreay finally hit the Os-Cutter to pin the CMLL representative and move on to the second round.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. BUSHI **3/4
BOOOOOOOOOOO WHY THE FUCK DID KANEMARU WIN WHY!!!!! BUSHI WAS THE MOST HYPED AND MY PERSONAL FAVORITE AND HE LOST IN THE FIRST ROUND TO SUZUKI-GUN ANTICS??? GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR DO THIS SHIT IN NOAH NOT IN THE GODDAMN J-CUP. BOOOOOOOOO. I don’t even care what happened in the match I am so angry at the result. BUSHI was very over. He did a plancha off the stair-way. That was the peak of the match after that they lost me and I was bored. It got solid again but nothing good. Small botch then it looked like they went right to the finish. BUSHI distracted the ref and attempted to blow mist but Kanemaru ducked it and kicked BUSHI in the dick then gave him the spinning Brainbuster. GROSS.
Daisuke Harada vs. Rysuke Taguchi ***3/4
Wow! What a match! MOTN thus far with just the main event to go. HAHA at people that think Taguchi sucks, he just had the best match on this show thus far. Taguchi was incredible here as was Daisuke Harada who I PRAY gets more New Japan bookings. Harada is the Jr. Hoss, small guy but very thick. Harada looked so happy to be out of NOAH. Taguchi used the Nakamura reverse power-slam and then went for a Boma-Ye but Harada gave him a dropkick to the ass and the crowd hated that. Very much behind the NJPW representative. Harada was so great, just the definition of a under appreciated talent. He gets lost because he is in NOAH, I sometime just watch NOAH for there Jr. Division but that is still very rare. Taguchi countered the pop up knee into the ankle lock. DEATH VALLEY DRIVER ON THE APRON! BOTH MEN MAKE IT BACK INTO THE RING AT 19! Awesome spot. Harada with a Somato! Trade ankle-locks back and fourth. REALLY EXCELLENT STUFF. Harada kicked out of the Dodon! I lost my shit but he didn’t kick out of the Dodon Throne. Taguchi advances! Great match!
Kushida vs. Taiji Ishimori ***3/4
Besides New Japan World being a tosser and freezing constantly I enjoyed this match a lot. On the same level as the previous match. I am going to be honest I was not as excited for this match as most but no I really enjoyed it. I didn’t write down notes but I remember these two worked really well together and the chemistry was definitely there. Both men hit huge dives, I love Kushida’s front flip senton from the top rope. In the later part of the match Kushida was destroying Ishimori’s arm leading up to the eventual Hover-board lock. Kushida took one out of Rocky Romero’s book with a rolling arm-bar from the top rope. Ishimori hit a goddamn moonsault powerslam off the top! It was the spot of the bout. In the end after lots of awesomeness Kushida advances with his patterned Hover-board lock. Solid main event.
I am not going to say this show was a let down but in a way it sort of was. Everyone and there chicken was hyped for this show and we did get a fun show but nothing great or comparable to J-Cups past. The most recent J-Cup in 2009 had 5 matches above **** in the opening round. All of my favorites were eliminated which sucked. There were no big upsets except Kanemaru over BUSHI which is terrible. I am just happy Liger made it through to the next round. I am hoping for Kushida/Liger final but I am not banking on it the way these results went. But hey I saw Kaji Tomato do his dance in a NJPW ring and that makes me smile. Can someone shoot on Taichi and get him out of round 2 ? Thank you and thank you for reading. I will be back on 7/24 live reviewing BJW Ryogokutan.