Full supercard revealed
The full card has been revealed for All Star Junior Festival 2023! With over 20 different promotions represented, it’s a loaded lineup, as history gets made in Korakuen Hall.
*Match order determined by entrance music on the night*
*Additional Special Present Matches from 5:40 PM local time!*
Support Shinjiro Otani Match: Tatsuhito Takaiwa (Free), Yoshinobu Kanemaru (NJPW), Jun Kasai (FREEDOMS), Minoru Tanaka (GLEAT) & TAKA Michinoku(JTO) vs MUSASHI (Michinoku Pro) Shoki Kitamura (Zero1), LEONA (DRADITION), Chicharito Shoki (2AW) & Kota Sekifuda (BJW)
With a portion of the proceeds from the All Star Junior Festival going to support Shinjiro Otani in his ongoing recovery and attempts to walk once again, ten man tag team action will recognise the influence Otani has had on junior heavyweight wrestling. In one corner will be veteran figures who have all had their runins with Otani, from long time partner Tatsuhito Takaiwa to one of his opponents in the very first Best of the Super Jr. tournament, TAKA Michinoku. In the other corner will be some of the brightest young stars of junior heavyweight divisions in Michinoku Pro, DRADITION, 2AW, BJW and Otani’s own promotion of Zero1.
Isami Kodaka (BASARA) & Mao (DDT) vs SHO (NJPW) & Onryo (666)
A wild tag team battle will see the hardcore leaning Isami Kodaka and spectacular DDT representative Mao will take on a strange pairing of SHO and Triple 6’s Onryo. A former Super J-Cup entrant, Onryo is technically the lightest member of tonight’s card, being a spiritual being that has zero mass, but carries a lot of power that SHO is set to use for evil means.
Master Wato (NJPW) vs Atsuki Aoyagi (AJPW)
Among of a loaded card full of wrestlers from Japan and beyond, it’s All Japan versus New Japan in a big singles clash, and a chance for both 23 year old Atsuki Aoyagi and 25 year old Master Wato to show why they are the future of their field. Aoyagi is the recently deposed former AJPW World Junior Heavyweight Champion, having lost his gold to Naruki Doi mere days ago, but a victory over Wato would instantly fire him back into the mix for any title in Japan he so desires. For Wato meanwhile, the pressure of New Japan’s hopes will lie on the would be Grand Master’s shoulders, and this is a huge opportunity to show he can shoulder the weight.
Five Way Match: Taiji Ishimori (NJPW) vs Soberano Jr (CMLL) vs Shun Skywalker (Dragon Gate) vs Ninja Mack (NOAH) vs YO-HEY (NOAH)
This entire card is not short on spectacle, but may find its peak in this five way battle that will prove very hard indeed to officiate. After Taiji Ishimori lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom, a chance for five way revenge tonight, and his opposition represent his prior homes of Dragon gate and Pro-Wrestling NOAH to boot.
NOAH vs Dragon Gate has been a running theme for several months, and the high flying American ninja Ninja Mack has been on the forefront as recently as Keiji Muto’s retirement event on February 21. There he faced Shun Skywalker in six man tag team action, but here, it’s every man for himself, and any alliance Mack may make with YO-HEY will be fleeting at best. Meanwhile Soberano Jr. may just steal the entire show on his own for CMLL- in short this chaotic match is not one to look away from the screen for.
Three Way Tag Team Match: El Desperado (NJPW) & Volador Jr. (CMLL) vs El Lindaman (GLEAT) & Yuuki Ueno (DDT) vs Los Japoneses Del Mal (DOUKI (NJPW) & HANAOKA (SECRET BASE)
Three way tag team action will see two somewhat strange bedfellow pairings and one reunited after a long time apart. El Desperado and CMLL’s Skywalker Volador Jr. will make for a unique pairing, while El Lindaman and DDT’s much lauded young star Yuki Ueno have never been on the same side of tag action before. Yet DOUKI and HANAOKA are much more familiar with one another. When DOUKI was working his way up through the grueling environment of the Mexican independent scene, he and HANAOKA were part of the same Japoneses Del Mal faction. While HANAOKA has continued to be an independent in SECRET BASE and DOUKI has landed in NJPW, they will be looking to pick up right where they left off tonight to seize this three way affair.
Ryusuke Taguchi (NJPW), Hikaru Sato (PANCRASE MISSION) & Yumehito Imanari (Ganbare Pro) vs Great Sasuke (Michinoku Pro), Tigers Mask (Osaka Pro) & Batten Burabura (Kyushu Pro)
A special pay per view presentation of the All Star Junior Festival means the boundaries might be pushed a little further than normal, and it means that the incredibly dangerous combination of Ryusuke Taguchi, the ‘hentai without borders’ Hikaru Sato and member of the notorious Pheromones faction Yumehito Imanari all together in the same corner. As effective as all three can be in the ring, they might be more dangerous when it comes to pushing the envelope of good taste. Thankfully arbiter of just such things, Batten Burabura will be in the opposite corner to hold up the X for ‘no’ should things go too far. The legendary Great Sasuke is used to pushing boundaries of his own in his life and in ring style, and this should be a memorable bout… for better or for worse.
Eight Man Masked Tag: Mistico (CMLL), Billy Ken Kid (Osaka Pro), Alejandro (NOAH) & Gurukun Mask (Ryukyu Dragon) vs Dragon Kid (Dragon Gate), BUSHI (NJPW), Atlantis Jr. (CMLL) & Black Mensore (AJPW)
A Masked Man Tag Team eight man match will see iconic masks from the world over. Mistico is the iconic face of CMLL, but Atlantis Jr.’s lucha libre lineage is perhaps the strongest of all. On a smaller basis, Gurukun Mask has come to be the ultimate ambassador of professional wrestling to the tropical island region of Okinawa through his work with the Ryukyu Dragon promotion, but will be targeted by AJPW’s Black Mensore tonight. Mensore is an Okinawan dialect word for ‘welcome,’ and the masked man was once another ambassador for Okinawa, before changing to more devious ways.
North of Okinawa but west of Tokyo, veterans Billy Ken Kid and Dragon Kid have been wowing audiences in the Kansai region and beyond for decades representing Osaka Pro and Dragon gate respectively, while Alejandro and BUSHI will be picking up NJPW vs NOAH promotional battles as well.
Hiromu Takahashi (NJPW) Fujita ‘Jr.’ Hayato (Michinoku) & AMAKUSA (NOAH) vs HAYATA (NOAH) YAMATO (Dragon Gate) & Kazuki Hashimoto (BJW)
An incredible trio of Hiromu Takahashi, Fujita Jr. Hayato and AMAKUSA will certainly set an incredible pace and emotional tone to this card. Opponents in the Tokyo Dome, IWGP Junior Heavyweight and GHC Junior Heavyweight Champions AMAKUSA and Hiromu Takahashi once lived together in the UK during their respective excuirsions, a point in both careers that Hiromu wanted to remind AMAKUSA of in their bout. After the match ended in a show of mutual respect, Takahashi invited AMAKUSA into Los Ingobernables De Japon, and though we don’t know whether AMAKUSA has gone that far, the two promotional champions will be on the same side tonight.
When AMAKUSA went to the UK and met Hiromu, it was for the Michinoku Pro promotion that Fujita Jr. Hayato represents. Fujita himself is an inspirational story of triumph and talent over adversity. Having had to take two years away from the ring as he dealt with a spinal tumor, Fujita motivated himself with the potential of a match against Hiromu Takahashi; now the underrated junior phenom is on the same side as the Time Bomb. With NOAH’s HAYATA, Dragon Gate’s YAMATO and Kazuki Hashimoto of BJW on the opposite side, this is going to be a spectacular trios bout.