A Block kick off in Nagoya
Best of the Super Jr. finally kicks off this Sunday in Nagoya, as A Block start their three week journey toward the Nippon Budokan.
Main event: YOH (0-0) vs Taiji Ishimori (0-0)
Singles record: 1-1
YOH and Taiji Ishimori couldn’t have ended their evening on May 1 at Dontaku in more diverse positions. Ishimori came away from a hard fought victory over El Desperado with his third IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, having wrestled third from the top in the Fukuoka PayPay Dome. YOH was nursing a second match loss to Hiromu Takahashi, Hiromu having staunchly criticised YOH’s lack of motivation and results, and arguably being proven correct.
Ishimori was a key opponent to YOH back in 2021’s tournament, a win over the Bone Soldier helping solidify what would go on to be a seven match winning streak that put him in the tournament finals. Will the same be true in the 2022 kick off? Or might another defeat give a shaky start to a tournament that could determine the fate of YOH’s career?
7th Match: Ryusuke Taguchi vs Hiromu Takahashi
Singles record: 5-2 Hiromu BOSJ record 3-1 Hiromu
The five two record in this matchup bears with it the asterisk that Hiromu Taguchi is undefeated against Ryusuke Taguchi since returning from excursion, and that each of his three BOSJ victories over the Coach has played a key role in ultimately winning the tournament in 2018, 2020 and 2021. The unique style that Taguchi brings has brought the best out of the Time Bomb in each of their encounter, making this match definitely one to circle not just tonight, but through the whole tournament. Long ago, Taguchi was instrumental in bringing Hiromu through his tryouts and into the Dojo; will he be instrumental in a historic trophy win for the Time Bomb, or could he finally defuse the explosive star?
6th Match: Francesco Akira vs SHO
Francesco Akira makes his NJPW debut against SHO in Nagoya. The Nova Fireball has been the recipient of a lot of hype, and Will Ospreay’s own personal endorsement, making the Italian’s debut the center of a lot of attention here tonight. Against SHO, every aspect of Akira’s game will be tested, the Murder Machine not only dangerous between the ropes, but on the outside as well. Who gets the first two points?
5th Match: Alex Zayne (0-0) vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (0-0)
After drawing eyes in the US, including on NJPW STRONG, Alex Zayne makes his first NJPW appearance in Japan opposite Yoshinobu Kanemaru. A styles clash defined, Zayne will bring a wildly innovative and athletic style against the precision and unparalleled fundamental abilities of the Heel Master. After starting his 2021 BOSJ campaign with an impressive four win streak, can Kanemaru get another fast start in BOSJ 29, or will it be ‘The Sauce’ getting his first two points?
4th Match: Clark Connors (0-0) vs Ace Austin (0-0)
IMPACT’s X Division Champion faces La Dojo representative Clark Connors in the first BOSJ 29 matchup. The first match of the tournament will see both wrestlers setting the pace for the matches to come, and is all the more important as both Austin and Connors are making their BOSJ debuts. As X Division Champion fresh off a hard fought defence at the Under Siege event this weekend against trey Miguel, ‘The Inevitable’ will have a sizable target on his back; will Connors be able to hit the mark?
3rd Match: Jado, El Lindaman & Titan vs Suzuki-Gun (TAKA Michinoku, DOUKI & El Desperado)
El Lindaman and El Desperado’s Korakuen hall clash later in the tournament is one of the key matches fans have circled before BOSJ gets underway, and fans will get a preview here in this bout. Yet Titan and DOUKI will be looking to make their own statements, facing Desperado and Lindaman respectively first on May 17. This is set to be a hectic trios bout in the third match of the evening.
2nd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi & BUSHI) vs BULLET CLUB (Dick Togo & El Phantasmo)
On May 17, El Phantasmo will start his Best of the Super Jr. campaign looking to avenge a loss in last year’s tournament against BUSHI. LIJ’s masked man will want to start his own BOSJ with a win, and has heavy hitting backup in the form of KOPW 2022 holder Shingo Takagi, who will be more than happy to take the fight to ELP, and especially HOUSE OF TORTURE’s Dick Togo.
1st Match: Tiger Mask, Hiroyoshi tenzan, Master Wato & Robbie Eagles vs Kosei Fujita, Ryohei Oiwa, Yuto Nakashima & Wheeler Yuta
The night will kick off with the former IWGP Junior Tag Team Champion team of Flying Tigers combine forces with Master Wato and Hiroyoshi Tenzan to face a Young Lion trio of Yuto Nakashima, Kosei Fujita and Ryohei Oiwa, along with Wheeler Yuta. ROH Pure Champion Yuta is undergoing his own trials and tribulations in the harsh learning environment of AEW’s Blackpool Combat Club, and will make a fine leader to the Noge trio tonight, but Robbie Eagles will look to set the pace ahead of their May 17 meeting with twists and turns in CHAOS allegiances also involved.