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.
Backlash was the first SmackDown Live PPV since last month’s “Superstar Shake Up.” The Allstate Arena in Chicago hosted the nine match card. The two main pieces of business were Jinder Mahal vying for the WWE Championship and the WWE in-ring debut of Shinsuke Nakamura. Despite the slower pacing of the matches, was the blue brand able to deliver?
Randy Orton knows how to cause drama of the off-screen variety. In fact, he’s something of an artist at it. Last weekend, Orton retweeted a message from his original trainer in OVW, Rip Rogers, that criticized the current style of independent wrestling.
“Every Indy match now: handshake, drawn out move exchange, this is awesome chant, strike exchange, dive, no sell Indy strongstyle, dive, more strikes, no sells, dive, flippy floppy sequence, dive, hit everyone with each other’s finisher, then Humpty Dumpty, we all fall down. Fight forever chant, rinse and repeat until every move is useless and means nothing, dive, take unsafe shot that looks like shit and hurts like hell then roll-up finish. Handshake and hug after match. Everyone’s hand raised. All these guys chant. Go home and type on social media thanking your opponent and company for the match and telling others they should book these guys…dive.”
The night before the Summer Slam 88, a Mega Powers’ promo hyping their match against the Mega Bucks got me hooked on professional wrestling. The actual matches were ancillary as it was all about the drama and interviews ending in “whatcha gonna do.” Three years later, my wrestling fandom got flipped turned upside down by an amazing match between two all-time greats.
The Intercontinental Title match at Summer Slam 1991 between Mr. Perfect and Bret Hart completely changed how I looked at wrestling. I didn’t know anything about booking or storytelling at the time, however, the match was a masterful display of the art.
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.
- Jushin Thunder Liger
- Will Ospreay
- Taka Michinoku
- Hiromu Takahashi
- Dragon Lee
- Marty Scurll
- Tiger Mask IV
- Ryusuke Taguchi
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- El Desperado
- Volador Jr.
MMA content on my website has been few and far between as of late. I still follow the sport on a regular basis. Still, it’s become difficult to get excited about the fights due to an oversaturation of events that carry a decreasing amount of divisional relevance.
This Saturday will serve as a different story as UFC 211 presents a stellar main card. Two title fights, a welterweight bout that will solidify a #1 contender along with two great pairings will round out what could be the best show in years.
Smashing Pumpkins frontman and former TNA Wrestling President Billy Corgan has purchased National Wrestling Alliance (NWA). PWInsider.com broke the news last week and has confirmed that Corgan owns the name, rights, and trademarks to the NWA as well as the rights and possession of the NWA championship belt.
At one time, the NWA was the governing body of professional wrestling and the NWA championship was the most prestigious belt in the industry. Iconic names such as Lou Thez, Harley Race, Dory Funk, Ric Flair, and others were among its stars.
The group of promoters who governed the NWA and voted on who the champion would be started going out of business by the 1980’s when Vince McMahon’s then-WWF went national, destroying the territory system.
Street Fighter V: Wrestling Special | Writer: Ken Siu-Chong | Artists: Jeffrey Cruz & Hanzo Steinbach | Publisher: Udon Capcom
Another Free Comic Book Day is in the books. Once again, I journeyed to Silver Moon Comics & Collectibles to peruse all of the offerings. One book in particular immediately grabbed my attention and as someone who grew up on WWF and the Street Fighter II video game, this was a must.
Our first of two stories focuses on the over the top master of “strongest style” Dan Hibiki and his professional wrestling debut. Dan is the comic relief of the series and wears a pink gi similar to Ken and Ryu.
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.