Semifinal card is set
After a grueling fortnight, the block matches are complete and our final four is set for Best of the Super Jr. 30. Friday May 26 will see our two semifinals to determine Sunday’s Best of the Super Jr. final in Ota.
Main event: Best of the Super Jr. 30 semifinal- El Desperado vs Titan
Singles record: 1-0 Desperado
B Block first placed El Desperado takes on A Block runner up Titan in the main event in Yoyogi. Though only one match on record in NJPW, last year’s B Block opener that saw Desperado victorious on the night, the history between the two runs deeper. When Desperado was on excursion in Mexico, Titan was a friend to Desperado even though in the masked man’s own words he was ‘taking food off (Titan)’s table’. Desperado made note in his backstage comments in Osaka after winning B block that he would never forget titan’s kindness, and that he would always be there for Titan in Japan ‘but never in that ring’.
After twice finding himself in the runner up spot in Best of the Super Junior tournaments, eliminated at the final hurdle by Hiromu Takahashi, Desperado is now in a spot that Hiromu was unable to advance to. Can he reach the final four, or will Titan, making history as the first Mexican to advance out of the block phase in 25 years, be the one to reach the finals in Ota?
7th Match: Best of the Super Jr. semfinal- Master Wato vs Mike Bailey
Our other semifinal sees B Block’s runner up Master Wato face A Block winner Mike Bailey. From his stunning defeat of Hiromu Takahashi on night one of the tournament in Korakuen hall to his final thrilling victory over Lio Rush in Osaka, Bailey has made a very solid case indeed for MVP of the tournament, win or lose in his final two. Yet Master Wato quietly put up an incredible run over in B Block, with the Tsutenkaku German becoming a powerful tool that polished off seven of nine opponents over the last 14 days. At age 26, Wato stands to attack for the next generation of NJPW junior heavyweights, while Bailey seeks to be the first to win on his first try since Will Ospreay in 2016. Who advances to the Ota final?
6th Match: Just 5 Guys (DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & SANADA) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi)
As the heavyweights come out in full force for the last nights of the tour, so too does IWGP World heavyweight Champion SANADA, but conspicuous by his absence is his next challenger. After Yota Tsuji appeared at Dontaku to run through Cold Skull and set up a championship match at Dominion June 4, lots of speculation has swirled over whether Tsuji is part of LIJ or not, as well as the style he will bring to the world heavyweight champion on the most high profile return from excursion in the modern era. Yet the question marks will have to remain a while longer, and in the meantime, SANADA faces his former teammates in LIJ for this eight man semi main event.
5th Match: Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs Shota Umino, Oskar Leube & Boltin Oleg
Non championship action sees the NEVER Six man Championship team of Ishii, Tanahashi and Okada face a new generation combination of Shota Umino and Young Lions Boltin Oleg and Oskar Leube. Okada is angered after his loss to the Blackpool Combat Club in Long Beach at the weekend, and will be in no mood for fun and games after tasting a Death Rider from Umino at Resurgence. Umino and Jon Moxley are both preparing to do battle with Okada in some form at Dominion, but while we await the details of that match June 4, Umino will be bringing the fight with two more young rising stars at his side.
4th Match: CHAOS (Lio Rush, YOH, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi, SHO & Dick Togo)
CHAOS’ very long war with HOUSE OF TORTURE sees yet another installment over the IWGP Tag Team Championships at Dominion. With those titles vacated by Aussie Open, who were scheduled to defend in a three way in Osaka, the hopes of the world will be pinned on Bishamon to become three time IWGP champions by the end of the night June 4, btu before then, eight man action will set the scene.
3rd Match: Ryusuke Taguchi, Kevin Knight & KUSHIDA vs United Empire (Dan Moloney, Francesco Akira & TJP)
While none of the three United Empire members were able to make the BOSJ 30 final four, a combination of heart, technique and brute force made them a joy to watch throughout the tournament, and established Dan Moloney especially as a future threat to the rest of the junior division. Tonight they go head to head with Kevin Knight and a duo in KUSHIDA and Ryusuke Taguchi who leave BOSJ disappointed and reflective, but looking to get back on the winning horse. Does that mean a full moon could rise in Yoyogi?
2nd Match: Tomoaki Honma & Toru Yano vs United Empire (Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan)
On a night when heavyweights return to the mix, nothing says heavyweight power like the combination of Aaron Henare’s strikes and Great-O-Khan’s grappling ability. They take on Honma and Yano tonight, and as G1 Climax 33 announcements loom ever closer, want to get a statement win.
1st Match: TMDK (Kosei Fujita & Robbie Eagles) vs BULLET CLUB (Gedo & Clark Connors)
Clark Connors’ newfound aggression saw him off to a hot start in BOSJ 30, but his rage would sometimes get the best of him, exploited by the more experienced competitors who knew a way out and a roll-up. That’s exactly what happened when Connors faced Robbie Eagles in the tournament- tonight a chance for revenge in tag action as Ichiban Sweet Boy Kosei Fujita joins the fold along with Number One Sour Man, ‘Bloody Hands’ Gedo.