Eight shows have thus far encompassed NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament. Sixteen wrestlers divided into two separate blocks have faced each other in round-robin competition where each win is two points, a draw is worth one point, and a loss is zero.
The two top scorers in each block will advance to the finals on June 3, which will air live on New Japan World, where the winner will get an IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match on June 11 at Dominion in Osaka, Japan.
Opening night kicked off with two standout matches. ROH TV Champion Marty Scrull defeated last year’s BOSJ winner Will Ospreay by submission after catching him in mid-air and locked in the chickenwing.
Last year’s Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ) match between Ricochet and Will Ospreay drew highly divisive opinions from the pro wrestling community. Chris Jericho praised the match for its aerial evolution while Vader panned it due its choreographed nature. Fans were equally torn on the matter.
It’s one of my favorite times of the year as New Japan Pro Wrestling will kick off the Best of the Super Juniors 24 (BOSJ) on May 17th at Korakuen Hall. This tournament will span two weeks, which culminates on June 3rd at Yoyogi National Gymnasium.
The winners of Block A and Block B will face off to decide who will get a shot at the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title on June 11th at Dominion. That is of course, if the current champ, Hiromu Takahashi should win the tournament.
The brackets are very interesting. Block A is so stacked that I almost want to skip the Block B matches…Almost.
The match that many have called the greatest of all-time will get its second chapter. Kenny Omega will lockup with Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Title at NJPW Dominion on June 11, at Osaka-Jo Hall.
The match was made on Wednesday at Wrestling Dontaku when Okada called Omega into the ring after defeating Bad Luck Fale. Omega entered the ring for a staredown, looked to the camera and said that Okada is not the champion that people want.
Okada defeated Omega in January at Wrestle Kingdom to retain the championship in a 45-minute classic, which earned an unprecedented six-star rating by famed journalist Dave Meltzer. Those who missed out on their first encounter will no doubt look forward to the sequel.
New Japan Pro Wrestling announced the brackets for this year’s New Japan Cup tournament. This will mark the 13th annual Cup where the winner of this single elimination tournament will earn a title shot at any singles championship they wish to challenge for at Sakura Genesis (formerly Invasion Attack) on April 9th at Sumo Hall.
The first round matches will begin on March 11th (The right side of the brackets) and March 12th (The left side of brackets) the quarterfinal matches will occur on March 13th and March 17. Semifinal action will take place on March 19 and the finals on March 20th. The Wrestling Observer has confirmed that the last two days will air live on New Japan World while the rest of the shows will air on a delay.
These matchups make for some interesting possibilities. I’d expect Hiroshi Tanahashi to at least make it to the finals of his bracket. Besides Toru Yano, who he’ll face in the finals is anyone’s guess.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Minoru Suzuki in the first round is just all sorts of awesome. Booking their match in this position is the right call because placing them anywhere else in the same bracket makes the outcome too predictable.
O Kenny! My Kenny! What do we do with Kenny Omega? “The Cleaner’s” white-hot popularity makes him the easy pick to win the whole enchilada, however, does New Japan plan on having the Okada/Omega II on April 9th?
Any wrestling fan worth his salt knows what January 4th represents. It is the biggest day of the year for Japanese pro wrestling as New Japan Pro Wrestling puts on their annual Wrestle Kingdom event otherwise known as the Tokyo Dome show. The perspective magnitude of this event is equal to WrestleMania and boasts an impressive resume of spectacle and sport.