Recap of NJPW AXS TV – March 25, 2016
Kushida welcomes us to the finals of the Best of the Super Junior Tournament XXII held June 7th at the Yoyogi National Gymnasium in Yoyogi Park, Japan. Tonight we will see Kushida vs Kyle O’Reilly in the tournament finals.
Kushida speaks in backstage interview. “Before the tournament started, it reached my ears that I was the favorite to win. If I’m the most probable winner, I had to bring up the energy and be the number one from the start. You know, in terms of content and outcome, I felt responsible for that. As far as O’Reilly, I know he’s popular in Ring of Honor. He first came to New Japan just last year. It was for the G1 IWGP Junior Tag Team matches held at the Tokyo Dome. I faced him a couple of times, so I knew how close he was from those fights. But in Japan, he’s mostly known as a tag specialist. He’s unpredictable as a singles player. As his opponent, a part of me was a bit scared. But I really felt that the crowd got to know them as Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly of reDRagon. They got to grasp what they’re about. Through my match it became more evident. In that sense, the fight was a very worthwhile match. There was an Ring of Honor tour right before in May. I fought in a three-way match against Kyle O’Reilly and Chris Sabin. And from that match, I gained confidence and I was also amazed. If I face them in a singles match, I felt that I could show a new side of me. A new and improved version of Kushida. I felt very excited.”
Kushida vs Kyle O’Reilly – Finals of the Best of the Super Junior Tournament XXII
Jim Ross and Josh Barnett introduce us to commentary. Kyle O’Reilly is out first. JR tells us that O’Reilly is a student of the game, a former rugby player, trained in MMA. Kishida is out next trained at the Takata Dojo in Tokyo, Japan when he was a junior in high school and has wanted to be a wrestler all of his life. While training in Canada, Kushida had to borrow money from his mother to get wrestling training. So far, O’Reilly and Kushina have only lost one match each in the tournament. The announcements are made, the silver winged trophy is shown. And we go to commercial.
After the commercial, O’Reilly extends a handshake to Kushida. The two men size each other up, jockeying for position, they push each other to the ropes. O’Reilly grabs the leg, Kushida on the mat fighting from his back, they exchange mat wrestling maneuvers, now O’Reilly fighting from his back and locks in an armbar. The two men break the hold and are back up. Kushida goes right back to mat, fighting from his backside again, still jockeying for position, Kushida grabs the leg of O’Reilly, forearms, elbows, back-and-forth. O’Reilly pushes Kushida’s shoulders to the mat, count, break, count, break, Kushida counters with a bridge. O’Reilly tries to break the bridge by slamming his legs into Kushida hips. Kushida hooks in a body scissors, O’Reilly reverses, tries for the STF, headlock, Kushida spins out. Kushida does some cartwheels, then spins around O’Reilly back, goes for a kick that misses, the men separate, and the fans applaud.
They lock up again, O’Reilly gets a headlock, really wrenches it in. Kushida fights out, throws O’Reilly off the ropes, shoulder block by O’Reilly. Off the ropes again, O’Reilly grabs ahold of the ropes, then runs up and over Kushida’s back, hooks a backslide, but Kushida kicks out. Inverted atomic drop slows O’Reilly down, Kushida hits a cartwheel off the ropes, and a stomp to the back of the head. Kushida catches O’Reilly in an armbar, O’Reilly trying to reverse by rolling and flipping out, O’Reilly gets a foot on the bottom rope, and the ref breaks the hold. Rolling short-armed scissor, Kushida lands knife-edge chops to O’Reilly, Irish whip into the corner, but Kushida meets a boot. O’Reilly somersaults out, kick kick, drop leg sweep, and Kushida is down. O’Reilly lateral press pin attempt, Kushida kicks out at 1. O’Reilly picks up Kushida, delivers a backbreaker, pin attempt, Kushida kicks out at 2. O’Reilly picks him up, they exchanged forearms, O’Reilly syncs in an arm ringer, then hammer lock takedown on Kushida and Kushida screams in pain at his left arm. O’Reilly continues the attack on the left arm. Arm ringer, hammerlock, Kushida to the mat. O’Reilly delivering elbows, kicks, then a sliding knee to Kushida’s left arm, O’Reilly grabs him by the nose and stretches his face and then syncs in a wrist lock on the other arm. How far can Kushida’s wrist rotate?! O’Reilly hits a cartwheel facebuster DDT and we go to commercial.
As we return, Kushida is on the mat, O’Reilly picks him up by the trunks, goes for a vertical brainbuster, Kushida wiggles out, a series and kicks from Kushida and then an arm rake over the top rope. Kushida spring boards off the top rope with a chop to the head, kick kick kick, off the ropes, reversal and Kushida lands a springboard back elbow. Kushida goes to throw O’Reilly for an Irish whip, but his arm is still in pain. O’Reilly crawls between Kushida’s legs on his hands and knees, Kushida does the same to O’Reilly, then a double wrist lock attempt, transition into a cross armbreaker, another double wrist lock attempt, but O’Reilly counters into the cross armbreaker of his own. Kushida is back up, thunderous swing by O’Reilly, and then catches him with a naked choke and hooks the legs into a full octopus. Kushida has the double wrist lock synced in, they tumble through each other, til they hit the ropes. Kushida is rabid and will not let go of the arm wrench. O’Reilly tries to fight off, but Kushida with a kick to the ribs, Kushida goes to the top rope, looking for the double wrist lock again, but O’Reilly is up with shots to the rib, and then a flying wristlock counter by O’Reilly, knocking Kushida’s head violently to the mat. O’Reilly syncs in an armbar submission, Kushida looks dazed and completely out of it. They spin out, brainbuster attempt, Kushida wiggles out, and then a German suplex by Kushida, but O’Reilly lands on his feet. O’Reilly goes to the turnbuckle rope for a clothesline, but Kushida catches him into a German suplex of his own, and then a double wrist lock DDT from the top rope.
Kushida lands an over-the-shoulder arm ringer, O’Reilly tries to fight back, but gets knocked to the outside. Kushida climbs to the top rope and delivers a shooting star press onto O’Reilly on the floor. Kushida back in the ring and the ref starts the count on O’Reilly. O’Reilly back in and lands a triangle choke, Kushia gets his foot underneath the bottom rope, and the referee calls for the break. O’Reilly sets Kushida up on the top rope, Kushida attacks the arm and knocks O’Reilly off. Kushida tries to get himself off the turnbuckle, O’Reilly pops back up, and follows him up again. Kushida is looking dead on his feet. O’Reilly picks him up and then a belly-to-back suplex off the top rope. Kushida’s eyes are closed. O’Reilly pin attempt, 1-2, kickout, and commercial.
When we return both men are on the canvas. O’Reilly kick to the solar plexus, Kushida tries to fight back, O’Reilly catches him in a suplex, and Kushida kicked out. O’Reilly to his feet first, kick to the back, forearm, Kushida goes down to one knee, stands up and knocks O’Reilly the f*** out. Ref goes lift O’Reilly’s arm and check on him, but O’Reilly screams in pain as his arm is still hurt. Kushida gets caught in an arm wringer, but then delivers a Pele kick. O’Reilly with a running lariat, Kushida off the ropes, O’Reilly with another lariat, clothesline, lateral press Kushida kicks out. Fast offense O’Reilly suplex, armbar, cross armbreaker, chain wrestling maneuvers. Kushida’s arm still hurting, O’Reilly’s arm is still hurting. O’Reilly goes to transition into the omoplata, but Kushida grab the ropes. Fans chant Kushida. Bobby Fish yelling from the outside. O’Reilly nails a kick to the sternum, goes after the left arm again, but Kushida fights out. O’Reilly syncs in a front choke while they’re standing on the apron. Kushida gets out and lands a brainbuster on O’Reilly on the apron. Both men are laid out, the ref (wearing red shoes) counts to 19 before both roll into the ring, and we hit our last commercial break.
When we return, both men are on their knees exchanging forearms. Both men are exhausted, can barely move their arms, Kushida spitting, O’Reilly’s sweating. They make their way to their feet, O’Reilly forearm, Kushida is disoriented and having a hard time staying on his feet. Kushida shakes it off and then delivered a bunch of forearms to O’Reilly, now O’Reilly is staggering, stumbling. They both grab each other by the hair, exchange shots, both men throwing haymakers, punch punch punch, forearm forearm forearm, advantage O’Reilly. Barnett says this has broken down to a hockey fight! O’Reilly connects with a running knee, both men are fighting one-armed. Kushida hits a neck breaker, pin attempt, but O’Reilly kicks out. Kushida climbs to the top rope, corkscrew moonsault, but did not get 100% of it, hooks the legs, 1-2, O’Reilly kicks out. Kushida connects, then spins around, floats over, double wrist Hoverboard lock. O’Reilly reaching for the ropes, but Kushida pulls him back to the middle of the ring, O’Reilly has nowhere to go, and finally taps.
Winner of the Best of the Super Junior Tournament XXII: Kushida (30:45)
Kushida’s teammates from New Japan (including Tiger Mask) join him in the ring to help him celebrate. The ref raises his arm, they give him an ice pack, and Kushida climbs the turnbuckle to pose for the crowd. Bobby Fish is in the ring helping O’Reilly, he’s got the ice pack as well. Both competitors look at each other, Kushida drops to his knees, O’Reilly drops to his knees. They bow to each other, placing their foreheads to the mat. O’Reilly raises his arm, Kushida hugs O’Reilly, and we go to commercial
O’Reilly cuts a promo in the back, “I don’t know what else to say right now, but they say a man admits defeat when a man is defeated. And tonight Kushida was the better man, he beat me at my own game, he tapped me out. But rest assured, I’ve been one of the top Junior Heavyweights in the world the last 3 weeks, and tonight, Kyle O’Reilly is not the best tonight, but give me 365 g*ddamn days, and next year at this exact moment, at this exact place, I will have my hand raised. I will be holding the trophy, and once again Kyle O’Reilly will prove to the entire world, that I am the best of the Super Juniors.”
Kushida stands in the ring holding the trophy, the referee hands him the mic. “Thank you for cheering me on in the Super Junior. For the Super Junior to continue on, for the next centuries to come, please support us again next year. It’s not important where you’re from, it’s important where you’re heading, it’s not about what you’ve done, it’s about what you’re going to do. I will bring a brighter future to New Japan’s Junior. With all of my heart, thank you.”
Streamers fall from the ceiling as Kushida climbs the turnbuckle, hugging the trophy, and holding a check for 5 million yen. Fellow New Japan competitors pose behind Kushida. JR mentions that while there was not a lot of high-risk maneuvers, this was a good wrestling match. Video is shown of Kushida as a child and young man. Kushida walks over with the trophy and shakes the hand of Jushin Thunder Liger. Cut to backstage promo.
Kushida says, “As for myself, I always admired New Japan Junior, now I’m part of it. I wanted to win against O’Reilly. I thought we were the same person. I wanted to move up in New Japan become a regular and become famous. The fight wouldn’t have been so fierce if it wasn’t against O’Reilly. But if it was against Rocky Romero, Bobby Fish, or the Young Bucks, I felt after the match that would be brothers in arms, a type of friendship was formed. I’ve been wanting to bring Super Junior to a much bigger stadium, it’s been my ultimate wish. After the match against Kyle O’Reilly, I feel that the tide is running in our favor. There are more opportunities now to move up. I want to get better, I want to be more specific, I want to fight in a main event match. I want the Junior category to get more attention. It means that the rivalry between O’Reilly and I will continue. There’s also a Ricochet and Matt Sydal and let’s not forget my brother Shelley will return. I can’t wait until next year’s Super Junior.” Jim Ross congratulates Kushida and says so long everybody.