With the Best of Super Juniors this past May being a stand-out event for NJPW and really showcasing it’s Junior Heavyweight talent, this year’s Super J Cup in the US set to do the same. Set over three days with two brackets and 16 competitors, it collected some of the best talent across the world and pitted them against each other.
Night one of the Super J Cup in Seattle, Washington saw all 16 competitors fighting in their respective first rounds and we had some amazing first-time match ups after a tag match between Young Lions Ren Narita and Shota Umino who lost against the legend that is Jushin Thunder Liger and LA Dojo Lion, Karl Fredericks.
In bracket one, we saw TJP unsurprisingly beat the LA Dojo Young Lion Clark Connors with his Pinoy stretch in 11 minutes 56 seconds. Sho from Roppongi 3K got retribution in his first match by beating Taiji Ishimori with his Shock Arrow in little over 17 minutes avenging his lost in the BOSJ.
We then had another match with a lot of history and animosity as Robbie Eagles and El Phantasmo went to war. With a good old School Boy, El Phantasmo got the win over his former Bullet Club brother but this is far from the end of their rivalry. However, the match of this bracket and the main event of the night was the IWGP Heavyweight champion Will Ospreay v the veteran Amazing Red. In a match that some people have called match of the night, lasting almost 30 minutes, Ospreay hit Red with the Storm Breaker to get the pin.
On the other side of the bracket, we had some equally good matches. In a battle of the masks, CMLL’s Caristico surprisingly got the pin over LIJ’s Bushi with a Top Rope Spanish Fly and this was followed by another shocker. The Funky Weapon himself managed to beat the Octopus Jonathan Gresham with an inside cradle ruining a lot of people’s brackets.
Then, after his amazing BOSJ run, Roppongi 3K’s Rocky Romero failed to defeat CMLL’s Soberano Jr who beat the tag team great with a Tornillo. Former IWGP Champion Dragon Lee then went against the Silver Standard of Roppongi 3K Yoh and managed to grab another win from the faction with the beautiful Desnucadora.
These matches all led to the Super J Cup quarter final in San Francisco, California where we saw the final 8 battle for a spot in the final. In the battle for CMLL, Caristico beat his fellow Luchadore in under 10 minutes with his patented Top Rope Spanish Fly. Again in under 10 minutes, TJP lost to El Phantasmo with another School Boy which is odd for the high flying show off.
Dragon Lee then beat the Funky Weapon Taguchi with a Rodilla Dragon to secure his place in the final. This night ended with an all Chaos match between IWGP Jr champ Ospreay and Sho. In a match that went over 30 minutes, Sho got caught in the Storm Breaker and got pinned. It was setting up for an amazing night the next day.
Going into the final, we had 2 more matches to determine who would be the final two and what a great set of matches we had. NJPW gave us another CMLL battle with Caristico being pinned by Dragon Lee with the Desnucadora. Then, in a match between enemies Will Ospreay and ELP, ELP finally hit the CR2 to pin the champ. Not only did it get him to the finals, but also a title shot no matter what the main event brought.
With Dragon Lee and El Phantasmo set for the main event, it was going to be a battle of the daring and it was going to be a hard task after fighting not only for the last two nights but also once that night.