Junior tournament action continues Monday
After an action packed opening on Saturday November 13, Best of the Super Jr. 28 continues Monday night with six more tournament matches, as the early stages of the marathon tournament continue.
Main event El Desperado (0-1) vs Taiji Ishimori (0-1)
Singles record: 2-0 Desperado, BOSJ record: 1-0 Desperado
After in their opening bouts, El Desperado faces Taiji Ishimori in the main event. Ishimori has a lot of pent up frustration against Desperado; last year’s Best of the Super Jr. saw him head into the tournament as champion, but frequently labouring in the semi main event billing with Hiromu Takahashi’s matches on top. One year on and Desperado as champion is at the top of the bill for the second tournament night running, and is doing so with a 2-0 record against the Bone Soldier.
Ishimori’s frustrations with Desperado will only have been exacerbated by his first match in this year’s BOSJ. A countout loss to Despe’s tag team partner Yoshinobu Kanemaru meant the ‘Kanemaru curse’ for Ishimori was back in effect, and will likely throw him off somewhat tonight, as a winnable first match saw him come out with the L. After Ishimori came oh-so-close to the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship during Summer Struggle, he now finds himself desperate to get his first career win over the masked rudo tonight.
Yet Desperado will be carrying a wounded neck and his own wounded pride to the ring Monday, after his opening night main event was marred by HOUSE OF TORTURE interference. As Desperado looks to put that opening night loss behind him, he’ll be bringing extra aggression to the ring this evening.
6th Match: Hiromu Takahashi (1-0) vs SHO (1-0)
Singles record: 2-1 Hiromu BOSJ record: 1-1
Last year’s Best of the Super Jr. saw SHO make tremendous strides. Though not a factor by the final of the tournament, SHO would see his first singles main event during the tournament, and emerged victorious to boot, against Hiromu Takahashi. That would open the door to SHO’s first IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship challenge in Hiroshima this February, a match that saw SHO fall short but push the Time Bomb hard.
Now, a much different SHO faces Takahashi, but it’s a man Hiromu has admitted to always sensing underneath his former fun loving Roppongi 3K persona. The rebooted Murder Machine looks to get another two points after a H.O.T start; the acronym being key as Yujiro Takahashi and Dick Togo both ran in to create SHO’s winning opportunity Saturday. As EVIL and Yujiro are yet to see their first travel days, Hiromu will have that possibility in the back of his mind, as he tries to finish SHO in the same efficicient way he picked off YOH in his own opener in under four minutes.
5th Match: Yoshinobu Kanemaru (1-0) vs El Phantasmo (0-1)
Yoshinobu Kanemaru and El Phantasmo meet for the very first time in singles competition tonight, but the two know one another very well indeed, and especially as far as 2021 is concerned. Kanemaru and ELP first tied up this year at New Year Dash, and a couple of days after Hiromu Takahashi raised questions about Phantasmo’s boot, the Heel Master was first to outright accuse the Headbanga of loading up his Sudden Death superkicks. Since then there has been a constant cycle of accusations, rebuttals and circumstantial evidence.
Will Kanemaru expose Phantasmo tonight in Korakuen, or might he just settle for two points? After picking up a significant win, albeit under shady countout circumstances against Taiji Ishimori in his league opener, confidence will be high for Kanemaru, as Phantasmo seeks to bounce back from a bruising flash pin loss to Master Wato.
4th Match: Master Wato (1-0) vs Robbie Eagles (0-1)
Singles record:1-1 BOSJ record: 1-0 Wato
After scoring a surprise win against the run of play against El Phantasmo Saturday, Master Wato looks to double up against Robbie Eagles tonight. A win for the blue haired prodigy would make it two years in a row for Wato over Eagles in Best of the Super Jr., after picking up a surprise win during last year’s league. Yet Eagles was eager to redress that balance, and did so during the Summer Struggle series this year. Eagles looks to regain control of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship gold in this tournament, but had a rough start to his BOSJ campaign after falling to a Taguchi Dodon on Saturday night. This is a key match for the former champion.
3rd Match: Ryusuke Taguchi (1-0) vs BUSHI (0-1)
Singles record: 3-2 BUSHI
The two most experienced tournament competitors in Best of the Super Jr. clash in the third match of the evening as Ryusuke Taguchi faces BUSHI. Both competitors are strong dark horse picks, and could very well be in the mix come the end of the league in mid-December. A win at this stage of the league could be key in making that happen though, and only one will get their hand raised. Can BUSHI overcome the disappointment of losing the first league match of the year? Can Taguchi build on his phenomenal start against Robbie Eagles?
2nd Match: YOH (0-1) vs DOUKI (1-0)
Singles record: 1-0 YOH
Tournament action kicks off tonight with YOH facing DOUKI. DOUKI has come a long way since his first singles meeting with YOH during his debut BOSJ. That improvement has seen him to two consecutive years of wins over BUSHI, with this year’s victory seeing him to the first two points of the whole league. Yet after a highly motivated YOH brought a ton of energy only to lose in under four minutes against Hiromu Takahashi, a burning desire to rewrite his narrative may make YOH more dangerous than ever, as DOUKI will certainly have his hands full.
1st Match: Ryohei Oiwa (0-0-1 this tour) vs Kosei Fujita ( – – this tour)
Singles record: 0-0-4
Young Lions Oiwa and Fujita face one another one on one for the first time since the Summer Struggle tour and their debut four match stretch. As Oiwa, Fujita and Yuto Nakashima continue to face off against one another in ten minute opening matches through the tour, can one of the three gain an upper hand, and pull off their first win?