The second night of A Block action in Best of the Super Juniors 26 saw Dragon Lee and SHO push each other to the limit.
Their main event showdown nearly went to the 30-minute time limit, before Lee was finally able to put SHO away, earning his first victory of the tournament.
Here are full results and match recaps:
ROBBIE EAGLES & JADO DEFEATED REN NARITA & YUYA UEMURA
This was a very good opener. Narita and Uemura both hit nice double underhook suplexes. Jado used a kendo stick shot to turn the tide in Bullet Club’s favor. Eagles won with a backpack stunner on Uemura.
TAICHI & DOUKI DEFEATED RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & SHOTA UMINO
This was a Suzuki-gun showcase. They used an attack before the opening bell to take control. They turned the match into a crowd brawl. Back inside, they worked over Taguchi.
Umino got a hot tag and the crowd was hyped for his offense. Taichi won after hitting an Axe Bomber for a near fall, then using a stretch plum for the submission. Douki continues to disappoint me. He used a pipe to attack Taguchi after the match.
JUICE ROBINSON, BANDIDO & WILL OSPREAY DEFEATED YOH, ROCKY ROMERO & TOA HENARE
YOH and Bandido paired off at the start. Bandido hit a gorilla press slam on YOH, which also took out Rocky. Juice and his team worked over YOH.
Rocky and Ospreay paired off for an excellent sequence. The closing section saw Juice and Henare go back and forth. Juice won after a Left Hand of God and Pulp Friction.
After the match, they played the same Time’s Up video that plays in every Juice segment.
TETSUYA NAITO & BUSHI DEFEATED EL PHANTASMO & GEDO
Phantasmo teased shaking hands with BUSHI at the outset, but flipped him off and kicked him in the gut instead. Phantasmo and Gedo went to work on BUSHI. Gedo went for brass knuckles, but Naito jumped in and stopped him.
Naito hit the combinacion de cabron, and BUSHI hit an MX, then pinned Gedo.
A BLOCK MATCH: JONATHAN GRESHAM DEFEATED TAKA MICHINOKU
A nice little grappling battle here. Gresham is a great technician, and TAKA went hold for hold with him. The match didn’t have a lot of heat, but it was fun.
Gresham used a variation of a finger break spot to take control of the bout. He worked over TAKA’s left arm. TAKA used an eye poke and a chinlock. TAKA slapped on a headscissors on the mat, but Gresham powered out.
TAKA maintained control of the bout with two knee strikes. He used another headscissors, but Gresham slipped out and worked on TAKA’s left arm some more. He used a magistral cradle for a two count.
Gresham tried for an octopus hold, but TAKA made it to the ropes. TAKA briefly applied the Just Facelock, but Gresham reached the ropes. TAKA applied the hold again, and again Gresham forced a rope break.
Gresham hit a quebrada, then used a backslide for a near fall. Gresham got another quick near fall, then went back to the octopus hold before TAKA tapped out.
A BLOCK MATCH: TIGER MASK IV DEFEATED YOSHINOBU KANEMARU
Tiger attacked Kanemaru before the bell. Tiger hit some kicks on the floor. He went for a kick with his bad right leg, and Kanemaru caught it and posted it. Kanemaru worked over Tiger’s leg as the pace slowed.
Kanemaru went to the top for Deep Impact, but Tiger cut him off, hitting an arm drag off the top. Tiger hit a tombstone, then a Tiger Driver, picking up a near fall. Kanemaru got back to his feet and hit Deep Impact, but Tiger kicked out.
Kanemaru used a figure four, but Tiger forced a break. Tiger hit a flying wheel kick. Kanemaru tried to go back to the figure four, but Tiger used a small package and got the pin. Kanemaru unmasked Tiger after the bell.
Considering Tiger’s limitations, this was okay. He really needs to pick his spots in a long tournament like this, so I’m okay with some shortcut matches like this.
A BLOCK MATCH: SHINGO TAKAGI DEFEATED TITAN
Titan teased a tope con hilo early, but settled for a flying headscissors on the floor. Back inside, he went for a top rope rana. Shingo dropped Titan across the top rope, then clotheslined him over the top.
Titan came back, hitting a kick that sent Shingo outside. Titan hit a suicide dive that went about three rows deep into the crowd. Titan got a near fall, then hit a springboard splash for another. Shingo went for a Pumping Bomber, but Titan ducked it.
Titan used La Mistica to set up a rolling pinning combination for a near fall. He went for the same combination again, but Shingo escaped.
Shingo hit Noshigami, the Pumping Bomber, then Last of the Dragon, and got the pin. Good match.
A BLOCK MATCH: TAIJI ISHIMORI DEFEATED MARTY SCURLL
Ishimori worked a wristlock at the outset. Scurll was frustrated, as he would set up an escape but Ishimori always found a way back to the wristlock. Scurll finally found an escape and stomped on Ishimori’s left arm.
Scurll hit a superplex. Ishimori rolled outside and avoided Scurll’s superkick on the apron. Ishimori followed with a Golden Triangle off the post. Back inside, Ishimori used a chinlock and focused on attacking Scurll’s neck.
Ishimori hit a sliding German for a near fall. Ishimori hit some strikes, and Scurll asked him to hit him again. Scurll hit a tornado DDT, then a series of strikes in the corner. Scurll hit a superkick on the apron.
Scurll hit a stomp off the second rope. He blocked a handspring kick, then hit a powerbomb for a near fall. Scurll went for the Black Plague, but Ishimori turned it into a cradle. They traded a series of cradles for near falls.
Ishimori hit a shotgun dropkick, then used double knees in the corner for a two count. Scurll stomped away at Ishimori’s left arm, trying to set up the chicken wing. Ishimori hit a handspring kick into a double down.
Scurll went for a tombstone. Ishimori tried to reverse it into one of his own, but he stumbled, dropped Scurll on his head, and may have knocked himself out tripping and hitting the second rope. Everyone was okay, but this was scary.
Ishimori hit a lungblower for a near fall. Scurll escaped a Bloody Cross attempt and applied the chicken wing. Ishimori refused to tap, so Scurll decided to try for a pin instead, but Ishimori kicked out.
Ishimori used La Mistica to set up a Yes Lock. Scurll slid out of the hold and used a Yes Lock to transition back to the chicken wing, before hitting a half-and-half suplex. Scurll hit a lariat for a two count, then a package driver for another.
Ishimori avoided the Black Plague and hit a rebound lariat for a near fall. Ishimori then hit Bloody Cross to pick up the win.
Some scary moments after the botched tombstone spot, and the crowd was in and out of it, but a very good match.
A BLOCK MATCH: DRAGON LEE DEFEATED SHO
They began with an intense striking battle in the center of the ring. The pace slowed, but they continued to trade strikes. SHO sent Lee to the floor. SHO tried for a lariat on the floor, but Lee ducked, and SHO posted his own right arm.
Lee went for a headscissors off the apron, but SHO caught him and hit a powerbomb on the apron. SHO used a crucifix hold to try for a submission, but Lee made it to the ropes. Lee sent SHO to the floor, then hit a crazy suicide dive.
Back inside, Lee used a Fujiwara armbar on the right arm, but SHO made it to the ropes. SHO kicked at Lee’s right arm. Both sold their right arms. They clotheslined each other over the top rope. They teased a double countout, but both made it back in at 19.
They traded strikes. SHO hit a lariat, then hit a deadlift German into a bridge for a near fall. SHO hit two rolling Germans, but Lee forced a rope break before the third could connect. SHO kicked at Lee’s right arm again.
Lee used a Fujiwara armbar, but SHO forced a rope break. They fought on the top rope, and Lee hit a double stomp. Lee picked up a near fall.
Lee went for Desnucadora, but SHO turned it into a backstabber, then a cross armbreaker, but Lee made it to the bottom rope.
SHO went for Shock Arrow, and he finally got it after a series of counters. Lee kicked out of Shock Arrow at two. They traded jumping knee strikes. Lee hit a poison rana, but SHO no-sold it and hit a clothesline.
They traded forearm strikes from their knees. Back on their feet, they exchanged again. SHO got the better of it, and he ended the exchange with a clothesline. SHO hit a lungblower on his knees, then a powerbomb on the knees. He made a cover, but Lee kicked out.
SHO went for Shock Arrow again. Lee slipped out and hit a jumping knee strike at the 25-minute mark. Lee went for Desnucadora, but SHO slipped out and applied an armbar. Lee made the ropes initially, but SHO maintained the hold.
Lee powerbombed out of the armbar, then hit a pair of knee strikes for a near fall. Lee hit Desnucadora to win.
The match really picked up in the last 10 minutes and was a fine main event.
A BLOCK STANDINGS
Shingo Takagi 2-0
Taiji Ishimori 2-0
Tiger Mask 2-0
Dragon Lee 1-1
Marty Scurll 1-1
Jonathan Gresham 1-1
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 0-2
TAKA Michinoku 0-2