This is the first show of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s world famous Best of the Super Jr. tournament 26. The tournament will conclude after fifteen shows, on June 5th. You can watch the entire tournament, with English commentary on njpwworld.
The participants for this tournament are;
(A Block) Taka Michinoku, Titan, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Marty Scurll, Jonathan Gresham, SHO, Shingo Takagi, Dragon Lee, Taiji Ishimori, Tiger Mask.
(B Block) Robbie Eagles,
Flip Gordon Ren Narita, El Desperado DOUKI, Bandido, El Phantasmo, Will Ospreay, BUSHI, Ryusuke Taguchi, YOH, Rocky Romero.
El Desperado has had to withdraw from the tournament by doctor’s orders due to receiving a broken jaw in a match against Jun Kasai. Flip has had to withdraw due to Visa issues. Flip has been replaced by Young Lion, Ren Narita and El Desperado has been replaced by DOUKI.
2 points for a win, 1 point each for a time limit draw, 0 points for a no contest and 0 points for a loss.
Our commentary team for this show is; Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton and Caprice Coleman.
DOUKI & Taichi vs Yota Tsuji & Ren Narita
- Chris Charlton explains that DOUKI was trained by Taichi and has been waiting for the opportunity. This match sets up a singles match on the following show with DOUKI and Ren Narita being in the tournament now. Taichi and Tsuji start the match. The finish for this match came when DOUKI gives Tsuji his version of the Dragon Suplex with a bridge fro the pin fall. Winners: DOUKI and Taichi in 8:43.
Robbie Eagles, Jado & El Phantasmo vs Yuya Uemura, Rocky Romero & Bandido
- El Phantasmo looks great in his entrance, I’m excited to see his developments in New Japan in the future. Bandido is a 24 year old marvel in wrestling today, this guy is amazing. ELP and Bandido kick this one off. The finish of this match was Robbie Eagles pinning Uemura with a backpack suplex style move to win. Good match to build two tournament matches. Winners: El Phantasmo, Robbie Eagles and Jado in 10:34.
Shota Umino & YOH vs Ryusuke Taguchi & Juice Robinson
- Taguchi and YOH kick this match off, these two will meet in the main event of tomorrow’s(May 14th) show. This doesn’t start with shenanigans, but rather some good chain wrestling. This match ended when Juice had Shota Umino in a high angle Boston Crab and Shota tapped out. After the match the same video played that had been playing after Juice’s matches on the Dontaku tour. Winners: Juice Robinson and Taguchi in 10:19.
Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI vs Toa Henare & Will Ospreay
- Ospreay and BUSHI kick this one off and Will looks great at the moment and the commentators mention it too. Even with Ospreay gaining size, he moves just as quick as ever. Naito won this match with a Destino as he pins Toa Henare immediately after Opsreay takes a DDT on the apron. Good match, not great but definitely fun. Winners: Tetsuya Naito and BUSHI in 10:50.
Best of the Super Jr. tournament matches
Taka Michinoku vs Tiger Mask
- Taka targets the knee of Tiger Mask because Tiger Mask injured it a few days ago. It is pointed out that these two have only met twice in singles action in New Japan and they are one-and-one. After a long stretch of heat on Tiger Mask, he comes back with a spinning tombstone but rolls over in pain, holding his knee. Tiger Mask gets a really good near fall with a Tiger bomb, then moments later tiger Mask gets the pinfall victory with a Tiger suplex and a bridge. Winner: with two points, Tiger Mask in 10:59.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs Titan
- Titan is a CMLL luchador that was last in this tournament in 2014. Kanemaru gets the jump start on Titan, puts him on the top rope facing out, ties his hands with his ring jacket and trys to remove the mask of Titan. Kanemaru gets the heat for the first few minutes but when Titan makes a comeback, the fans get excited for his athletic offense. Titan rolls up Kanemaru with an incredible hold for the win. Titan has the legs and arms tied up in what looks like a credible submission but then rolls him back into a pin and Kanemaru cannot escape. Winner: with his first two points, Titan in 11:01.
Jonathan Gresham vs Marty Scurll W/ Brody King
- Brody King will be competing in Tag matches with Marty on this tour and will hopefully be making more regular appearances for New Japan. This was a really good match with plenty of chain wrestling. Marty won this without interference or breaking too many rules. The finish of this was a Black Plague by Marty Scurll. Winner: with two points, Marty Scurll in 12:23.
SHO vs Shingo Takagi
- This is a match that has been built for a long time, as they have fought for the IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championships recently, and SHO has been determined to beat Shingo in the Best of the Super Jr. tournament. SHO came out to new music, seemingly separating himself from his tag partner and team mates, YOH and Rocky Romero. SHO also has dyed his hair black and has new ring gear. The finish for this match was, after everything they had, SHO kicks out of another pumping bomber but Shingo Takagi pins SHO after a Last of the Dragons. SHO is helped out but looks devastated. This match was excellent, just amazing. They gave everything and kicked out of almost everything. The match and feud had built for a long time and had to stand up to the hype, and it did just that. Winner: with two points, Shingo Takagi in 25:07.
Taiji Ishimori vs Dragon Lee
- It is pointed out by Kevin Kelly that as champion, if Dragon Lee wins this tournament then Lee can pick his opponent for Dominion in June. This was another match with plenty of backstory as Taiji Ishimori lost the title to Dragon Lee at MSG and lost the rematch, so Ishimori has alot to prove. The finish was a Bloody Cross by Ishimori to pick up the win, and two points. This was probably the most athletically impressive match on the card, falling behind the SHO/Shingo match in overall impact and reaction from the crowd. Winner: with his first two points, Taiji Ishimori in 18:32.
This was a fun show, I will be covering the entire tournament here on altprowrestling. You can subscribe via free email updates with links below.
Current BOSJ Standings
- Taka Michinoku – 0
- Titan – 2
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru – 0
- Marty Scurll – 2
- Jonathan Gresham – 0
- SHO – 0
- Shingo Takagi – 2
- Dragon Lee – 0
- Taiji Ishimori – 2
- Tiger Mask – 2
- Robbie Eagles –
- Ren Narita –
- DOUKI –
- Bandido –
- El Phantasmo –
- Will Ospreay –
- BUSHI –
- Ryusuke Taguchi –
- YOH –
- Rocky Romero –
The Best of the Super Jr. tournament 26 will continue on May 14th in the Miyagi, Sendai Sun Plaza.
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