Day 3, May 20
Well, this is weird. Today’s matches took place at a house show, so we’ve got hard-cam only. It’s an interesting perspective, sort of like being in the crowd due to the lack of camera cuts and slick presentation. Also, the venue looks like the sort that turns up on Botchamania. Just waiting for a guy to land on his head attempting a moonsault off the stage.
Match of the day goes to Bushi and El Desperado. I’m really enjoying Desperado so far, guy is just an unapologetic dickhead, easy to see why he’s Minoru Suzuki’s right-hand man. Desperado is such a prick that manages to get sympathy for Bushi, who’s normally spitting poison mist in people’s faces. He steals the win by ripping off Bushi’s mask and smothering him with a pin. Cue the Young Lions whipping off their shirts to cover Bushi’s head, guys couldn’t get in there quick enough. A luchador ripping off another luchador’s mask, I feel like there would be something in the code of conduct against that. Pam in HR is probably going apeshit. Desperado signs off by flipping off the crowd, what a man.
Elsewhere, ACH was beaten by Yoshinobu Kanemaru, the most notable moment being when Aceyaitchy was hilariously manhandled to the back by the huge Young Lion. Ryusuke Taguchi chanelled the spirit of Shinsuke Nakamura to defeat Volador Jr, hitting a Bomaye/Kinshasa en route to another win. He even did the pose. Finally, Kushida continued his one-man mission to blow my bracket as he lost to Tiger Mask. I suppose I should be thankful the tournament is throwing up surprises.
NXT Takeover Chicago tonight. Why is all the good wrestling happening at once?
Day 4, May 21
How am I supposed to do this after what happened in Chicago last night? Tommaso Ciampa tore out our collective hearts and gave them a Project Ciampa through a table. How could you destroy something so beautiful, Tommaso?
On the plus side, I am so ready for the #DIY blood feud, complete with Johnny Gargano as the scrappiest babyface that ever scrapped. On the whole, Takeover was a hell of a show right up until Tommaso Bastard Fuckface took a shit on my feelings. Tyler Bate and Pete Dunne put on an extraordinary performance while Hideo Itami v. Bobby Roode was excellent, too.
I think the only true friendship left in wrestling is Hiromu Takahashi and Mr. Belt.
Speaking of Hiromu, he’s lost his way. Unbeaten since returning to NJPW at the start of BOSJ, but he’s suffered two losses in three matches. The curse of being backed by me. Ricochet beat him this time with Kings Landing, avenging his loss from their cracker at Sakura Genesis. This one wasn’t quite at that level, as you’d expect from a house show, but it’s still the good stuff Ricochet and Hiromu are capable of.
Judging by the crowd’s reaction to Taka Michinoku v. Will Ospreay, we were in Japan’s smark town. They were loving Taka’s methods of poking eyes and there was a big laugh for his attempt to nick a countout win by keeping Ospreay in a facelock, miles outside the ring, then running back to beat the count. It was Ospreay who got the points though, thanks to an Oscutter.
NJPW World translates Jushin to Beast God, so Marty Scurll had a challenge on his hands against Beast God Thunder Liger. I thought it was a really impressive showing by Scurll, and making a legend like Liger tap to the Chickenwing is a hell of a statement. Liger’s in trouble now, with three straight defeats. Thought he might bow out strongly considering it’s supposed to be his last BOSJ, but it looks like the young’uns have surpassed him.
Finally, Taichi tore off those pants and powerbombed Dragon Lee into oblivion. Taichimania is running wild, brother!