BoSJ 28 update: night 1

Tournament underway in Korakuen

Best of the Super Jr. 28 saw its first league matches on November 13 in Korakuen Hall, with six bouts splitting the 12 entrants into the haves and have nots by the end of the night. 

The main event of the evening saw House of Torture’s SHO face El Desperado. SHO refused to engage Desperado at the bell, and drew the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion into an unforced error, scoring the first knockdown of the match and then targeting the eyes before the arm of the masked man. Sweeping Desperado near the ropes, SHO looked to continue to build momentum, but the champion’s ring awareness came through, and Desperado evaded a follow up punt to take out SHO at the knees. 

Desperado followed up with heavy offense on the floor, but SHO would respond with a punt down the apron line, and wrapped the champion’s arm around the ring post and then the guardrail. Taking full control of the pace, SHO refused to move far from the left arm, a bodyslam counter giving SHO a double wrist lock, and as Desperado rolled to the outside, the Murder Machine found a chair to deal further damage and flirt with disqualification. 

Referee Unno allowed the match to continue though, and Desperado fought fire with fire, landing a low blow as SHO got back in the ring and then dealing his own chair shots to SHO’s knee after a tope con giro. With an inverted Dragon Screw, Desperado had the door open for a Stretch Muffler, and used every millisecond of the referee’s five count to continue the torture. 

With the one good knee though, SHO would rally with a strike to the jaw, and went back to the double wrist lock as Desperado screamed in pain. A break for the champion was only momentary as SHO landed a spear, but El Es Clero got two for Desperado, and a spinebuster was followed by Guitarra Del Angel, but SHO would go back to the arm for a takedown, and then a kimura was transitioned into Snake Bite, Desperado just barely getting a foot to the bottom strand.   

Frustrated, SHO wanted to end the match with Shock Arrow, but was met with a headbutt instead. Desperado hoisted SHO into Guitarra De La Muerte for another two. Now with his investment in danger, Dick Togo headed to the ring as SHO found a wrench, but would be popped with a fist instead. Desperado transitioned into Numero Dos for a sure tapout win, but Yujiro now came to ringside, and Togo applied the Spoiler’s Choke. The wrench now clocked Desperado, who was easy pickings for a Shock Arrow as the crowd sat in a furious silence. 

In his first match in over two months, YOH was not going to stand on ceremony, and didn’t wait for Hiromu Takahashi to complete his ring entrance, striking him off the apron and landing a tope con giro. Back inside, YOH picked up two from a Falcon Arrow, but Hiromu quickly regained his senses, striking back with thrust kicks and a German suplex. A corner DVD followed, and Hiromu looked for an early finish, but would be countered into a Direct Drive attempt. Hiromu flipped to land on his feet and then cradled YOH for a sudden victory at 3 minutes 55 seconds. 


Master Wato would take on El Phantasmo having gained some mass and power since his first BOSJ, but would find himself controlled early by El Phantasmo’s combination of strength and speed. Wato would connect with strikes and a tijeras that bowled ELP to the floor, and brought some painful kicks, but Phantasmo picked up steam and then dropped the allegedly loaded boot across the fingers of his foe to send Wato screaming in pain to the floor. 

Phantasmo worked on Wato’s fingers and raked the back of the blue haired prodigy to add insult to injury. As the match passed the ten minute mark, Wato created a break with a triangle dropkick and then a tornillo to the floor, before a plancha to the outside and Recientemente got two. The increasdingly frantic Phantasmo cut off Wato with the loaded boot to the gut, and set up for the One Winged Angel, but Wato countered with a jackknife pin for a surprise victory.

Robbie Eagles and Ryusuke Taguchi were eager to have a sportsmanlike contest, though Taguchi would seek to frustrate Eagles with his antics before being taken down and having his leg worked over by the Sniper of the Skies. The recently deposed IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion was relentless in his pursuit of Taguchi’s knee until a hip attack opened the door to a triangle plancha and then the Three Amigos. 

2012’s BOSJ winner kept up the pressure, briefly finding an Ankle Lock before another Hip Attack wildly missed its target. A springboard dropkick took out the knee of Taguchi, but the King of Coach stayed in the fight, absorbing Eagles’ enzuigiri and scoring with one of his own. The veteran would connect with the buns of steel and connected with Dodon To The Throne, picking up a nearfall, but Bummer Ye would be countered, and Eagles landed an Asai DDT for two. Eagles wanted the Turbo Backpack, but Dodon connected in response, and Taguchi secured his first two points.   

Yoshinobu Kanemaru would get his match with Taiji Ishimori off to a fast start, attacking Bone Soldier on his entrance, but finding himself dropped across the guardrail as Ishimori adapted. The 2018 BOSJ finalist targeted Kanemaru’s shoulder and locked in the Yes Lock, before drilling the Heel Master with Cipher Utaki, but Kanemaru bailied from the ring to avoid a 450, and after battling Ishimori on the floor, used a Young Lion to stop Ishimori from getting back to the ring, picking up two points via countout. 

Starting off the evening, DOUKI defeated BUSHI. BUSHI landed the first dive of the BoSJ with a slingshot Frankensteiner and took control on the floor until DOUKI repsonded in high-risk kind with a quebrada. Daybreak would be countered by BUSHI though, and a boot to the back of the head seemed to create enough distance for the Codebreaker, before DOUKI countered into the Italian Stretch #32/’DOUKI Chokey’. Daybreak scored on the second try for two, but DOUKI couldn’t get Suplex De La Luna initially, but after landing the Marushiten, the move landed on a second try to give DOUKI the first points of the league.