Re: NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 26: 5/13/19 - 6/5/19
Diving back into New Japan after stepping away after WK13. Admittedly once Cody, Bucks, Omega and Jericho all left, my interest went down a bit in NJPW. There's some homegrown guys that I really enjoy, especially Ibushi, Suzuki and Ishii, but it wasn't enough to keep me following with WWE having such a massive schedule, Mania season and seeing the construction of AEW.
But when I look at the New Japan roster, I like a lot more of the guys in the Juniors. Love Ospreay, Scurll, SHO and YOH really grew on me over the past year or so. Ishimori and Dragon Lee are super impressive, and Taguchi's always entertained me as well. Bandido joining the field piqued my interest.
The main entrant that has me fully invested in this whole thing is Robbie Eagles. I've sung his praises in my Aussie Indy Wrestling thread, and it seems that NJPW see something in him with how he debuted in the Super Jr. Tag League last year, making Jushin Thunder Liger tap in his debut. Now he's a solo act, and I feel like we're starting to see why Eagles is so highly regarded in Australia. I first started watching Robbie in front of crowds of about 50 people 5 years ago, and I've attended a ton of shows to see him since. He's undefeated so far, and looking pretty damn strong. I don't know if he'll be a finalist considering Ospreay is in his block and they also seem quite high on Phantasmo, but this can still be Robbie Eagles' coming out party. Given how highly Will Ospreay thinks of Eagles, I can see him putting Eagles over.
Exiting Robbie Eagles fanboy mode for a moment- I think SHO vs. Shingo is my favourite match of the tournament so far, and one of the best matches I've seen this year. On tonight's show, Ospreay vs. Romero was a really fun surprise, did not expect Rocky to look that strong. And Taguchi vs. DOUKI was a pretty wild ride as well.
As someone that's ducked in and out of watching NJPW the past couple of years, I was really thrown to see that Taguchi has been the main event for all his matches so far, I've only known him to be a comedy midcard guy. But in having a little browse in the upcoming tournament matches, it seems that they rotate everyone around the card so that everyone gets a shot at main eventing or semi main-eventing at some stage, which is cool to see.
Given how much I've fallen off WWE this last month or so, this Super Juniors tournament might be what it takes for me to sink my teeth fully back into NJPW and not focus so much on the painful shit Vince is doing.