New Japan’s Next Star: Flip Gordon

New Japan Pro Wrestling kicked off their Best of the Super Juniors tournament last night. The companies tournament held every year between May and June that culminates with the winner receiving a match for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship. What’s unique about this tournament is that it doesn’t only feature wrestlers signed to NJPW. It has Jr’s from all over the world. This year features guys from Ring of Honor like Marty Scurll, CMLL native Dragon Lee, and even independent wrestler ACH.

There were some extremely compelling matches on the card. The tag match with Marty Scurll and Chase Owens vs Hiromu Takahashi and EVIL was one of my favorites of the entire night. Hell, the main event featuring current IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay taking on the newly reborn Bone Soldier as Taiji Ishimori was my second favorite of the show.

My top match of the night went down earlier in the night, and that was ACH vs Flip Gordon.

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ACH is making a return from competing in his first tournament last year. Flip didn’t seem worried, as he was winning the crowd over before his entrance music even stopped playing. Running to the corner and performing a backflip off the top turnbuckle and ripping off his pants mid-air to reveal his signature trunks.

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The match started off strong. Some energetic lock-ups and strikes. Flip whipped ACH to the ropes and ACH tried taking down with a shoulder tackle, but it didn’t affect him, as he just kipped right back up. ACH kept trying to knock Flip down but every time he tried, he would kip-up. Over and over again. Those in attendance at Korakuen Hall had a lot of fun with it and gave him a lot of love.

The two went on to steal the show, but Flip stole the match.

He had me screaming at my screen numerous times. From the double springboard front flip, to the ascent to the top of the hall where Flip dove off the top of the stairwell, I knew we were witnessing a new top daredevil in NJPW.

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It seemed like he had the match in the palm of his hands, but the tide turned when he went for what looked like a reverse spiral-tap, but ended up missing. ACH took advantage and hit him with a few strikes, and then his finisher.

This definitely isn’t the end of the road for Flip yet. Since it’s a point-based tournament, there are at least 7 matches left in the tournament for him. He could come back and win every single match and still end the tournament with enough points to win his block. I particularly can’t wait to see his match with the Aerial Assassin, Will Ospreay. With his military schedule having just ended, I hope we get to see him a lot more in Japan going forward. And I hope Japan realizes the star they have flying up the ranks.

Braden Jackson – @Dembrae

Image provided by Flip Gordon’s Twitter account – @TheFlipGordon

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