When New Japan Pro-Wrestling announced the line-up for their annual Best of the Super Jr. tournament, there was a lot of excitement surrounding the matches. With a single block format, the stakes were even higher.
There was an added pressure for the Junior Heavyweights as this tour was alongside the World Tag League. These wrestlers had something to prove by ensuring that their matches were at the same, if not a higher standard. For many, this was achieved by consistently sublime bouts from the participants throughout the tour.
Here is a look at the top matches from the 2020 Best of the Super Jr. 27 tournament.
9. Taiji Ishimori vs. Hiromu Takahashi – November 15, 2020
The first night of the World Tag League and Best of the Super Jr. tournament ended with a match between Taiji Ishimori and Hiromu Takahashi. Both men have a long history with each other.
This match was another to add to that list of fantastic bouts. From the minute the bell rang, the pace was fast, dynamic. Hiromu was trying to get revenge on the man who took his title in Jingu. It was a speed that suited both men who are known for their athleticism and effortless speed when moving around the ring.
Yet, once the pace slowed down with an exchange of chops, this was Ishimori’s chance to shine. He was able to showcase his hybrid style that focuses a lot more on power and strength. There was an extremely nasty spot where Ishimori hit Hiromu with a piledriver on the ring apron. Yet, this just proved how important this match was. Neither man showed any regard for the health of themselves or their opponent.
In the end, despite being locked in the Yes Lock, Hiromu managed to find a renewed sense of energy. Throwing Ishimori around the ring to gain momentum, Hiromu hit a beautiful Time Bomb for the victory. It was a match that cemented the fact that Ishimori and Hiromu are two of the best in the world.
8. Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Hiromu Takahashi – December 5, 2020
Going into this match, nobody knew what to expect from two men with different tournament experiences. Hiromu had been on a roll winning the majority of his matches. On the other hand, Taguchi was scraping wins when he could. This match showed that both men, despite what stage they are in their career, are standard-bearers for the division.
The match started with a bit of fun with them dancing around the ring and then endlessly running the ropes. We got to see some personality from two of the craziest members of the New Japan roster. Taguchi then got his Funky Weapon stuck in the ropes, playing some mind games on the Ticking Time Bomb.
However, with one slap from Hiromu, suddenly the fun ended. Big Match Taguchi suddenly came out. We saw a different side of the Coach. This was the real Master of the Drop Kick. Even when his pants fell, again, he shook it off. It was the start of some great wrestling. The submission skills of Taguchi went against the unpredictability of Hiromu.
As the clock went past the 25-minute mark, it was anyone’s game.
At one point, everyone thought it was over after Taguchi hit his patented Dodon. However, with adrenaline surging through his body, his attempt to imitate Hiromu’s Time Bomb backfired. Just as Hiromu hit the mat, he managed to turn around and roll up Taguchi for the win. It was a match cementing two very different wrestlers’ talent in the Junior division.
7. SHO vs. DOUKI – November 18, 2020
Despite being the ‘fall man’ many times since making his New Japan debut, his bout against SHO showed just how good DOUKI is as a wrestler. Throughout this tournament, he has shined. But, this match stood out the most.
DOUKI knew straight away that SHO would have the advantage and attacked before the bell rang. To start with, we saw him take the fight outside using the barricades and his steel pipe to get the momentum. It seemed as if the match was going to be over quickly. However, this all changed in a second when SHO started to gain some momentum using his power, size and strength advantage.
Once this happened, it became a match combining traditional Japanese Strong Style and Mexican Lucha Libre. Both men have more in common than expected as much of the match stayed on the mat. DOUKI was in control for the majority whether it was weakening SHO with the Italian Stretch 32 or Daybreak. In the end, SHO found a way to counter DOUKI’s Suplex de la Luna with his suplex followed by the Shock Arrow.
Despite a few attempts at cheating and not picking up the win, DOUKI showed just how good a wrestler he is. On the other hand, SHO reiterated his dominance in the division with another stand-out performance.
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