New Japan on AXS TV Episode 14
May 22, 2015
Commentators: Mauro Ranallo, Josh Barnett
Recap by: Jason Namako of Wrestleview.com

KUSHIDA welcomes us to the show:

“I’m KUSHIDA from New Japan Pro Wrestling. Today, you will watch the June 8, 2014 match held in Yoyogi. Its the final match of Best of the Super Jr. You’re watching World Pro Wrestling Returns. It starts now.”

This week, we will see three matches from the finals of the Best of the Super Juniors tournament from June 8, 2014 in Yoyogi, Japan. First, the two semi-final matches and finally, the finals. Commentary welcomes us to the show and we go to the opening match.

2014 Best of the Super Juniors Semi-Final Match: Taichi w/TAKA vs. KUSHIDA

Taichi lip-synches his entrance song, mic stand and all, as part of his entrance. Taichi is replacing Alex Shelley in the semi-finals, who had to bow out due to injury. Taichi grabs a chair and waits for KUSHIDA on the rampway upon his entrance, nailing him in the ribs with the chair before the bell. Taichi sends KUSHIDA into the ringpost, then face-first off the chair. They head into the ring, with Taichi ripping off KUSHIDA’s ringpost. Another chairshot to the ribs of KUSHIDA, then a chairshot to the head! Alex Shelley comes out to ringside, but TAKA pulls him off the apron and puts the boots to Shelley. Taichi nails Shelley in his injured shoulder with the chair, then wraps Shelley’s injured arm in the chair and pulls at it. Referee Tiger Hattori finally heads out to ringside and the bell sounds to officially start this match.

Taichi quickly covers KUSHIDA for 2. Taichi paintbrushes KUSHIDA in the corner, but KUSHIDA fights back with overhand chops. Taichi rakes the eyes, then hits a corner clothesline. Taichi runs into a backflip kick by KUSHIDA, sending KUSHIDA onto the apron. KUSHIDA with an enziguri from the apron, followed by a springboard tomahawk chop. Running back elbow and a flying forearm sends Taichi to the outside. KUSHIDA with a head of steam, but TAKA swipes at his leg. TAKA gets on the apron, but Shelley pulls him off. KUSHIDA sends Taichi back outside, where Shelley has hold of both Taichi & TAKA. KUSHIDA with another head of steam, FLIP DIVE WIPES THEM OUT!!

Crowd chants for KUSHIDA as we see replay of the dive. Back in, KUSHIDA with a springboard dropkick. Taichi avoids a corner charge and comes back with an enziguri kick. Execution Kick by Taichi, which is one of KUSHIDA’s moves, followed by a Liger Bomb for a close 2. Taichi rips off his tear-away pants and goes for a superkick, but KUSHIDA blocks it and hits a big forearm, followed by a step-up enziguri. Backbreaker by KUSHIDA, then he heads up top and goes for a moonsault, but Taichi gets the knees up, with KUSHIDA’s legs crashing into Taichi’s and making a sickening thud!

TAKA hops up on the apron and distracts referee Hattori as Taichi grabs his mic stand. Shelley gets onto the apron, but Taichi knocks him off with the mic stand. KUSHIDA avoids a mic stand shot, but then Taichi throws it at KUSHIDA and drops down, feigning that he was hit with it as referee Hattori turns around to see KUSHIDA holding the proverbial smoking gun. Referee takes the mic stand and argues with TAKA some more, distraction allows Taichi to low kick KUSHIDA, followed by the Gedo Clutch for another close 2. Taichi can’t believe it! Crowd chants again for KUSHIDA. Taichi goes for the Black Manifisto, but KUSHIDA slips out and hits a basement dropkick. KUSHIDA now goes for the Execution Kick, but Taichi avoids it, then shoves KUSHIDA into referee Hattori, knocking him down. Taichi with a superkick to KUSHIDA as TAKA comes into the ring. Taichi has the mic stand again, while TAKA holds KUSHIDA. Shelley then comes back in and nails Taichi with a superkick, then clotheslines TAKA to the outside! Shelley helps up the ref as KUSHIDA takes down Taichi.

Hoverboard Lock applied by KUSHIDA, Taichi taps!

Winner and advancing to the Finals: KUSHIDA by submission (The Hoverboard Lock)

The Time-Splitters celebrate KUSHIDA’s win afterwards as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial, we go to the next match.

2014 Best of the Super Juniors Semi-Final Match: “The Future of Flight” Ricochet vs. “The Funky Weapon” Ryusuke Taguchi

Ricochet is representing the Dragon Gate promotion as part of this tournament. Crowd chants for Ricochet as the bell sounds. Both men shake hands to start things off. Taguchi avoids an early head kick by Ricochet, hits a shoulder tackle, but Ricochet quickly kips up. Ricochet front flips over Taguchi, rolls through to evade him again, then back handsprings into a headscissors takeover, sending Taguchi outside. Ricochet with a head of steam, Taguchi avoids him, but Ricochet shows off by back handspringing off the ropes and doing two backflips, followed by mocking Taguchi’s funky dancing. Taguchi gets on the apron, but Ricochet knocks him off with a running dropkick. Ricochet with another head of steam and goes for a Space Flying Tiger Drop, but Taguchi gets back on the apron and catches Ricochet off the back handspring with a kick to the back. Taguchi with a springboard dropkick that sends Ricochet outside. Taguchi does his old partner Prince Devitt’s pose in the ring, then gets a head of steam and wipes out Ricochet with Devitt’s classic flip dive! Taguchi fires up as the crowd chants for him.

We go forward in this match as back in, both men exchange strikes, Ricochet gains advantage with a series of uppercuts. Taguchi comes back with a running dropkick in the corner. Taguchi goes for another charge, but Ricochet follows him in with a running dropkick of his own. Ricochet now goes for a charge, but now its Taguchi who follows him in with another running dropkick in the corner! Taguchi stops himself as he sees Ricochet following him in again, Blue Thunder Bomb gets a close 2. Taguchi goes for the Three Amigos, but Ricochet slips out of the third of the Three Amigos and hits a spinning back kick. Ricochet off the ropes, but Taguchi catches him with an enziguri. Sit-Out Gourdbuster by Taguchi gets another close 2. Taguchi goes for the Dodon, but Ricochet counters it with a Wheelbarrow Victory Roll for 2. Ricochet lifts up Taguchi and goes for the Benadryller, but Taguchi avoids it. Taguchi goes for a Tiger, but Ricochet slips out and hits a Superman Punch.

Ricochet lifts up Taguchi again, BENADRYLLER!! 1-2-3!

Winner and advancing to the Finals: “The Future of Flight” Ricochet by pinfall (The Benadryller)

Ricochet celebrates his win as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial, we go to the TV-Asahi studios with KUSHIDA.

About his signature techinque, the Hoverboard Lock:

“I have this move called ‘Hoverboard Lock.’ I started using it in Super Jr. Joining Takada Dojo was the start of my career. And there, I learnt the armlock from Mr. Sakaruba. So, I was eager to make use of that move in a match somehow. It helped me get through the regular season matches. I believe it was the last official match I fought against Jushin Thunder Liger. It was a single match and I won using a Hoverboard Lock. After the match, he told me to become the leader of the Junior league. If I can, that is. To get that kind of encouragement was so touching. In that way, it was a memorable match in my wrestling career. I’ll never forget that match.”

About the finals with Ricochet:

“I have faced Ricochet in the regular season and had won. Again, with the ‘Hoverboard Lock.’ But, I didn’t think that the same move would work on him twice. Obviously, his physical ability was unbeliveably high. It didn’t feel like I was facing a wrestler. He was rather like an Olympic athlete. That’s how it felt, fighting him head-to-head. His quality of muscles are like no other wrestler’s. You can also see from his jumps, in terms of athleticism, he’s something else. I knew that I had to show him something different from last time. That’s what went in my mind.”

Main Event in the Finals of the 2014 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament: “The Future of Flight” Ricochet vs. KUSHIDA w/Alex Shelley

Both men shake hands before the bell. Dueling chants for both men as the bell sounds. Ricochet backs KUSHIDA into the ropes and breaks clean. KUSHIDA takes down Ricochet, but Ricochet gets free and works over KUSHIDA’s arm. KUSHIDA reverses out, then Ricochet takes him down and goes to a front chancery. KUSHIDA gets free, gets no count off a pin attempt, stalemate. Both men go into a knucklelock, Ricochet gets the advantage. KUSHIDA gets free, goes to work on Ricochet’s arm. Ricochet backflips to get free, but KUSHIDA takes him down and locks in an armbar. Ricochet kips up, but KUSHIDA takes him back down and presses his knee against Ricochet’s neck. Ricochet kips up, KUSHIDA takes him back down, Ricochet counters out with a headscissors, KUSHIDA rolls out, another stalemate as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial as both men motion that they almost had the other. Ricochet with a side headlock, but no one goes down off a shoulder tackle. Ricochet starts to go off the ropes, but instead, hits KUSHIDA with a spinning back kick. Series of evasions by both, Ricochet rolls through a clothesline, does a couple back handsprings, but KUSHIDA cartwheels out of a headscissors takeover attempt. KUSHIDA misses a clothesline, but then sends a charging Ricochet over the ropes and to the outside. KUSHIDA goes out after him and drives Ricochet’s arm across the ring apron. KUSHIDA gets back in, grabs Ricochet from the apron and drives the arm across the top rope. KUSHIDA then traps the arm in the ropes and pulls at it. KUSHIDA takes down Ricochet in an armbar. Ricochet tries to armdrag out of it, but KUSHIDA holds on. KUSHIDA presses his foot on the arm of Ricochet and stomps on it. Snapmare by KUSHIDA, followed by the cartwheel dropkick for 2. KUSHIDA takes down Ricochet and goes for the Hoverboard Lock, but Ricochet quickly gets to the ropes. KUSHIDA stomps away, but Ricochet fights back with kicks from underneath. KUSHIDA with a kick to the injured arm, but Ricochet comes back with chops. KUSHIDA with another kick to the arm, but Ricochet catches him off a charge and hits him with a Windmill Kick, sending KUSHIDA outside. Ricochet with a head of steam, SPACE FLYING TIGER DROP WIPES OUT KUSHIDA!! Crowd chants for Ricochet as we see replay of the dive.

Ricochet drives KUSHIDA back-first into the apron, then back into the ring. Ricochet stomps away, followed by a series of chest kicks in the corner, but he is still favoring his arm. Running uppercut by Ricochet in the corner with his good arm, followed by a Victim Kick to the back for 2. More dueling chants by the crowd. Snapmare by Ricochet, then goes onto the apron and hits a Slingshot Kneeling Senton Bomb. Ricochet chokes KUSHIDA in the ropes, then stomps away at him some more. Big uppercut by Ricochet, followed by a big chop. Another snapmare, followed by a basement uppercut to the back of KUSHIDA’s head for another 2. Ricochet tries to get the blood flowing back in his injured arm as he hits more uppercuts to KUSHIDA in the corner. KUSHIDA runs into a boot by Ricochet, then Ricochet goes to the middle rope and hits a flying uppercut for yet another 2. Ricochet kicks at KUSHIDA, then trash talks him, yelling “You’re not taking this from me! I’ve worked my entire life for this!” They exchange strikes, Ricochet gains advantage. Ricochet goes for a handspring move, but KUSHIDA follows him in and hits a basement dropkick to the injured arm of Ricochet as he was upside down! Ricochet goes outside as KUSHIDA heads up top. SOMERSAULT SENTON WIPES OUT RICOCHET!!

KUSHIDA gets back in and poses for the crowd as we see replay of the dive. Referee begins his 20 count on Ricochet, who gets back in at the count of 16, where KUSHIDA greets him with a dropkick. KUSHIDA heads up top, Moonsault gets a close 2 as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial as KUSHIDA measures Ricochet for the Execution Kick, but Ricochet avoids it. KUSHIDA blocks a strike with his boot, then Ricochet blocks being taken down by the arm. Ricochet lifts up KUSHIDA and hits Go 2 Sleepy Hollow, shades of CHIKARA’s Hallowicked, for a close 2. Ricochet charges and connects with a running hestitation dropkick in the corner, then goes out onto the apron. Ricochet goes for a Springboard Shooting Star Press, but KUSHIDA moves out of the way!

Oklahoma Roll by KUSHIDA for a close 2. Another strike exchange, Ricochet gains advantage with forearms, but KUSHIDA goes back to the injured arm with a kick. More kicks to the injured arm by KUSHIDA, followed by a handspring back elbow. KUSHIDA with the tilt-a-whirl, taking Ricochet down, HOVERBOARD LOCK APPLIED!! Ricochet fights it and is able to reach the ropes to force a break. Running kick to the injured arm by KUSHIDA, then this time hits the Execution Kick, but Ricochet kicks out! Dragon by KUSHIDA, but Ricochet KICKS OUT AGAIN!! More dueling chants by the crowd as we see the Best of the Super Juniors trophy sitting at ringside. Backbreaker by KUSHIDA, then he heads back up top and goes for the Midnight Express, but Ricochet moves out of the way!

Ricochet motions for KUSHIDA to bring it and they exchange strikes from their knees. Ricochet with more trash talk with every shot, then they continue to exchange strikes once they get to their feet. Ricochet with a series of uppercuts, but KUSHIDA drives the injured arm across his own shoulder. Ricochet with a spinning back kick, followed by a hook kick to the back of KUSHIDA’s head as he was doubled over and finally, a Superman Punch. Northern Lights/Deadlift Suplex combo by Ricochet for a close 2. Ricochet sets up KUSHIDA, but is having trouble doing so because of the injured arm. Ricochet heads up top for the 630, but KUSHIDA stops him. KUSHIDA heads up top with Ricochet, going for a superplex, but Ricochet blocks it and knocks him off. Ricochet starts to stand on the ropes, but KUSHIDA DRILLS him with a running double Koppo Kick! KUSHIDA heads back up top for a Super Rana, but again Ricochet fights back. Ricochet lifts up KUSHIDA, SUPER GO 2 SLEEPY HOLLOW!!! 1-2….KUSHIDA KICKS OUT!!! Ricochet heads back up top, 630 SENTON!!! 1-2…….KUSHIDA KICKS OUT AGAIN!!! RICOCHET IS IN SHOCK!!! Crowd chants for KUSHIDA as we go to commercial.

Commercial

Back from commercial as Ricochet fires himself up, trying to figure out what to do next to KUSHIDA. Ricochet calls for the end and lifts up KUSHIDA for the Benadryller, but KUSHIDA avoids the kick and hits a step-up enziguri! KUSHIDA goes for another handspring back elbow, but Ricochet catches him in Electric Chair position off the handspring. KUSHIDA tries to fight it, then spin around for a rana, but Ricochet blocks it and lifts up KUSHIDA. Ricochet goes again for the Benadryller, but KUSHIDA counters it by taking Ricochet down, HOVERBOARD LOCK BACK ON!! Referee Red Shoes asks Ricochet if he wants to submit as Ricochet is trying to fight it, but KUSHIDA has it cinched in. Ricochet rolls through and gets back to his feet, lifting KUSHIDA back up for the Benadryller, with KUSHIDA fighting it with elbows to the head. KUSHIDA is able to slip out, but Ricochet DRILLS him with a spinning wheel kick to the head!

Ricochet lifts back up KUSHIDA, BENADRYLLER!!! 1-2-3! WOW!!

Winner of the 2014 Best of the Super Juniors Tournament: “The Future of Flight” Ricochet by pinfall (The Benadryller)

Ricochet celebrates his tournament win afterwards as the New Japan juniors tend to KUSHIDA in the ring.

Backstage, KUSHIDA speaks right after the loss to Ricochet:

“Damn, I lost. I couldn’t do it. What do I lack? Out of the all Junior wrestlers in the New Japan, I believe I’m the strongest. Its not about the length of the match. Its about the quality. Bring it on. I’ll climb back on top, for sure. Just wait for next year’s Super Jr. Thank you, Shelley.”

We go to Ricochet in the ring, holding the Best of the Super Juniors tournament trophy and a mic.

Ricochet on the tournament win:

“To the best of my knowledge, only three other foreign wrestlers have ever won Best of the Super Jr. That being Wild Pegasus (Chris Benoit), Black Tiger II (Eddie Guerrero) & Prince Devitt (Finn Balor). But, ladies and gentlemen, go ahead and add another name to that list because I, King Ricochet, am the 2014 Best of the Super Junior. (Crowd chants for Ricochet) But, this isn’t the last you’ll be seeing my pretty face because Kota Ibushi, I will beat you and become the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.”

IWGP Jr. Champion Kota Ibushi comes out and gets into the ring, grabbing the mic.

Ibushi on Ricochet’s challenge:

“As Kota Ibushi of New Japan Pro Wrestling, I will not lose. Thank you for your support.”

Ibushi & Ricochet stare each other down, then Ibushi leaves as Ricochet continues to celebrate his tournament win.

We go back to the TV-Asahi studios with KUSHIDA.

KUSHIDA reflects back on the loss to Ricochet:

“During the match, I was only thinking about winning, my head was full, I really wanted to win, so it was tough for me to handle the loss. After the official match against Thunder Liger, I could feel that the crowd saw me in a different way, that means they had high hopes for me, as well as criticism towards me, I had to meet their expectations. I’d do anything to elevate the prominence of the Juinor league within the New Japan Pro Wrestling and I’d love to bring the Super Junior and the Super J-Cup back to the Ryogoku Kokugikan arena. We’ve all dreamt of it and I’d like to bring it back. I don’t know if its possible, but I wish to make it a championship, that will be remembered by the audience. Bit by bit, things are heading in the right direction, both in terms of the performance and results, so I’m going to continue to do what I’m doing, I’ll show everyone the future of pro wrestling.”

KUSHIDA thanks us for watching the show as the show closes.