Super J-Cup 2009: The Dream Version
The Super Junior Cup is a single-elimination tournament which has been held over 2 nights and has 4 blocks, each block having 8 wrestlers. Usually it’s mostly Japanese junior heavyweights who get the invites (and a few gaijins and luchadores thrown in for flavor.) But in my version it’s a World Cup team-style affair. There will be 4 teams of 2 singles wrestlers and 1 tag team: US, Canada, Japan, and Mexico, plus one alternate in the event of an injury. The only restriction is that no one who has a WWE contract is on the team (no CM Punk, Rey Misterio Jr, and so on.)
Captain: “American Dragon” Bryan Danielson. If you cannot conceive of a Team USA made up of all indy guys where Bryan Danielson is the captain…. Then I'm sorry but it is clear you have not been watching wrestling in recent years. He is, without question, one of the best technicians that independent wrestling has seen in the past 20 years. The technical skill he has shown, and the very fact that he has competed against all of the top stars on the other countries, makes him a perfect captain.
2: Mike Quackenbush. My friend Aaron Glazer at Pulse Wrestling literally became a rabid dog at the mere prospect that Quack would be a no. 2 and not Austin Aries or Roderick Strong from ROH. While a part of this is purely because I didn’t want to make this Team USA an all-ROH affair the main reason is that Quack fits the second-in-command bill to a tee. He’s just a sliver below Bryan Danielson when it comes to being technically sound and he also has a great deal of experience in international style, having worked extensively for WXW out of Germany and numerous federations throughout Mexico including CMLL. While Aries and Strong might be more talented Quack is the better guy to work alongside Bryan Danielson, dissecting the singles participants.
TT (Tag Team): Alex Shelley and Chris Sabin, the Motor City Machine Guns. Again… this pick is based pretty heavily on the concept of finding a unit that fits. Shelley and Sabin have vast international experience as a unit, having faced off against some of Japan’s best tag teams during their stay in Zero-One and their work in UWA Hardcore and Border City Wrestling where they faced off against some of the best Canadians out there and separately (Sabin getting a title shot in All Japan, and Shelley doing the same against Ikuto Hidaka in Zero-One.) In addition… all 4 men on this team have faced the other at one point, meaning they can all provide valuable experience in scouting each other’s strengths and weaknesses during the course of the tournament.
Alternate: Austin Aries. In the event of an injury to anyone on this team, Austin Aries is the alternate. A tremendously explosive wrestler with a vast moveset he is well suited to be a no. 2 or even a captain of Team USA. The only strike against him is that he is not well versed in Lucha Libre, and this could be a strike against him against the stocked team from Mexico.
Captain: Koji Kanemoto. In the long history of New Japan juniors there are few who are nearly as accomplished as Koji Kanemoto. He won a Best of the Super Juniors tournament, was the third man in the Tiger Mask line, and wrestled in Mexico when he was Tiger Mask 3. In addition… Koji also has great leadership experience having marshaled the New Japan forces in a bloody war with Zero-1. While you might not realize it Koji is the perfect leader for a Japanese team that is NOT about to lose this cup without a fight.
No. 2: KENTA. The Japanese team is represented with a wide variety of styles, and here in Koji’s lieutenant we have perhaps the best striker in Japan today. But that’s not the only reason why he is here. KENTA has competed extensively and with great skill for American promotion Ring of Honor, facing off against Team USA captain Bryan Danielson and alternate Austin Aries. His knowledge of the American stars will be valuable for a prideful Japanese unit not in the mood to lose this tournament.
TT: Speed Muscle (Naruki Doi\Masato Yoshino.) When picking this tag team choice the Japanese contingent has many choices from which to pick… Jedo and Gado for instance, the polished duo of Ikuto Hidaka and Minoru Fujita, and the Kaientai DX team of Taka Michinoku and Dick Togo. But when it came down to it Speed Muscle is the best unit. Having teamed extensively against the best teams that the other countries have to offer Speed Muscle also provides a great array of offensive options for Kanemoto to utilize whenever they face the tag team offering from another country.
Alternate: Jushin “Thunder” Liger. If you have to ask refer to this…. http://themajestyofwrestling.blogspot.com/2008/08/japanese-thunder-parable-of-liger.html.
Captain: Ricky Marvin. Unlike Team Japan and Team USA Team Mexico could well be regarded as the dark horse team. Their style is utterly unique from anything else out there, to the point where Team Japan and Team USA picked their teams based on who would be the best adaptable to the Lucha style. And with this in mind… Team Mexico picked the msoit well-rounded wrestler they could find, Ricky Marvin. A long-time star for Pro Wrestling NOAH, and a former prodigy for CMLL who now works for AAA, Marvin is one of the best wrestlers in the world and a worthy captain for Team Mexico.
No 2: Jorge “Skayde” Rivera. This is an interesting problem. Jorge Rivera is a legendary trainer who works very well in the classic Mexican llave style, a fact which will help him as he tries to work with his Mexican pupils. In fact it’s a style that is so unique, so difficult to prepare for, that really when he's on anyone will have a very hard time dealing with him and his ability to isolate a body part and wear it down.
TT: Hell Brothers (Chessman\Charly Manson.) This is the weakest part of the Team Mexico unit. The Hell Brothers are a solid tag team, capable of holding their own against most tag teams. The problem here is that they have not left Mexico in a very long time, and as such might not be accurately prepared for the different styles that they will more than likely to be facing in this tournament. This is a gamble for Team Mexico. One has to question whether it will pay off.
Alternate: Juventud Guerrera. The only reason that Juvy is in this position and not as the no. 2 is because of attitude problems. Simply put… he could reasonably cause 2 or 3 international incidents by the time that he gets there. As pure talent goes, though, Juvy takes a backseat only to the Team Captain Ricky Marvin.
Captain: El Generico. There have been few wrestlers who have become more well-known over the past few years than El Generico. And for Canada, a proud country with a strong wrestling tradition, Generico is the next in a long line to lead his country’s best to win this trophy.
No 2: Christian Cage. You might be asking why it is Team Canada decided to put Christian as the no. 2 and not El Generico. Well that’s because Christian is the perfect second banana in an environment like this. He can get under the skin of his opponents, is an excellent tactician when it comes to finding and exploiting weaknesses, and would be more than comfortable in this position.
TT: Super Smash Brothers (Player Uno\Player Dos.) You might be asking yourself why in the world this team was picked when there are better teams out there (Hart Foundation 2.0 as an example.) Well firstly… Hart Foundation 2.0 is disqualified due to Jack Evans being American. And secondly… Team Canada is looking to surprise the Americans with a tag team that they might not have seen yet. and the Current Chikara Tag Team Champions fit the bill.
Alternate: Teddy Hart. See the Juventud Guerrera page for explanation.
Aaron Glazer of Pulse Wrestling was all too capable to help out with picking these. Each singles match has 1 point, and the tag matches have 2 points.
Team USA beats Team Canada 5-0. Danielson beats Genericon in 45 minutes with a Triangle Choke (USA 1-0), Quackenbush defeats Christian Cage in 25 minutes with the Alligator Clutch (USA 2-0), Danielson beats Christian in 30 minutes with a Crossface Chicken Wing (3-0), Quackenbush defeats El Generico with a top-rope Tiger Bomb in 35 minutes (USA 4-0), and the Motor City Machine Guns beat the Super Smash Brothers in a 30-minute match with a double superkick (USA 5-0).
Team Japan beat Team Mexico 4-2. Kanemoto beats Marvin with a moonsault at 28:25 ( Team Japan 1-0), KENTA beats Skayde with a Go 2 Sleep at 16:35 (Japan 2-0), Kanemoto beats Skayde with a heel hook at 20:00 (Team Japan 3-0), Kenta beats Marvin with a Go 2 Sleep at 28:45 (Team Japan 4-0), and the Hell Brothers beat Speed Muscle with a spear\moonsault for Mexico’s only victory in the tournament (Team Japan 4-2).
Finals: Team Japan beats Team USA 4-3, Japan winning an 8-man tag as the tiebreaker . Kanemoto beats Danielson with a heel hook in 40 minutes (Japan 1-0), Quackenbush loses to KENTA with the Go 2 Sleep in 35 minutes (Japan 2-0), Kenta loses to Danielson with a small package in 45 minutes (Japan 2-1), Quackenbush loses to Kanemoto with a Falcon Arrow in 30 minutes (Japan 3-1), MCMG beats Speed Muscle with a double enzuigiri in 45 minutes (Tied 3-3). KENTA is the sole survivor for team Japan, last pinning Bryan Danielson with a Go to Sleep at 75 minutes (Japan wins 4-3.)