On August 22nd, 24th, and 25th, New Japan Pro Wrestling hosted the Super J-Cup but this time, this would take place in the United States instead of Japan to give their American audience something to enjoy as El Phantasmo surprised many. We had people from NJPW, ROH, CMLL, and a couple of freelancers like Amazing Red and TJP to participate in this year’s tournament where the winner would get a trophy and a future shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Our sixteen competitors were Amazing Red, TJP, El Phantasmo, SHO, YOH, Robbie Eagles, Caristico, Dragon Lee, Jonathan Gresham, Soberano Jr, Rocky Romero, Taiji Ishimori, BUSHI, Clark Connors, Ryusuke Taguchi, and the champion himself, Will Ospreay.
If you wish to know how those brackets went, be sure to check out the article before this one as no footage is online yet unless you went there in person and if you have, please share clips and photos as I’m sure everyone would love to see them.
During the semi-finals of the tournament on August 25th, Dragon Lee would defeat Caristico (who was my pick to win) and El Phantasmo would pull off the upset by defeating Will Ospreay for a second time as the first time he defeated him was during the Best of the Super Juniors XXVI Tournament in May. Our finals are now set as we have Dragon Lee taking on El Phantasmo and after having a back and forth match for over twenty-five minutes, El Phantasmo would defeat the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion to win this year’s Super J-Cup.
We are sure several people were shocked as well as the majority of the fanbase had Will Ospreay penciled in as the winner of the tournament after his performance during the G1 Climax recently. but it looks like Will needs an opponent to defend his title against and they chose the Bullet Club member and one-half of the IWGP Junior Tag Team Champions, El Phantasmo to do the job which makes sense since he already defeated him twice now, so he should be in line for a title match at a future date.
So what did El Phantasmo do to celebrate his Super J-Cup victory you may ask? Well, let’s just say he did it in a heelish way possible as he would first, Dropkick the Super J-Cup trophy he just won, saying he wants to challenge Jushin Thunder Liger at the Tokyo Dome for his retirement match AND would challenge Will Ospreay by calling him and we quote, ‘The Autistic Assassin’. While saying something like that to get heat is not my personal forte as I feel like there are better ways to get the heel heat without the need to mock a disability, but if his job was to make people hate him then congrats since he has made quite a lot of negative responses for his comments.
While we don’t mind getting heat, there’s usually a limit at how far you go at this day and age unlike how it was in the ’90s where you got away with a lot of things compared to 2019. More or less, be careful with how you wanna get heat this day and age since there’s usually a limit and that was definitely one of them. Now, the only good side about that comment is now people wanna see Will Ospreay beat his ass to retain his title, which we’re sure he will.
So how do we feel about El Phantasmo winning the Super J-Cup? While we are on the fence about him as a performer, we still think it was shocking and someone we didn’t expect to win at all but if they wanted someone different, they definitely got it. We were among the many that believed Will to win but he does need some challengers for his title before WK and was kinda rooting for Caristico as a special showcase match since we think they would do well together, but we digress. Unfortunately, NJPW World won’t be airing it on their service until sometime in September much like their show in the UK, Royal Quest. No official date on when these shows will air, but just be sure to keep an eye around it during that time, probably before the Destruction Tour starts.