Night 11 of Best of the Super Juniors takes place on Wednesday June 29 in Nagoya, with four A block matches. At this stage, it’s a two horse race in A Block, with only Taiji Ishimori and Shingo Takagi still mathematically alive. They collide in the last night of A block action in Ehime on the 31st; however, as we see in our at a glance preview, the block could be wrapped up beforehand. Let’s look at the group matches.
Dragon Lee (5-2) vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru (2-5)
Dragon Lee’s first singles match with Yoshinobu Kanemaru comes at a point where Lee is no longer playing for points, but will be determined not to create extra contenders to his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. For Kanemaru, long since forced out of the finals conversation, a huge chance to earn a future title shot, but a long road to climb for the Suzuki Gun member, who will perhaps become a ‘rudo master’ for one night.
Jonathan Gresham (4-3) vs Shingo Takagi (7-0)
After a slow start to the tournament, Jonathan Gresham has been able to secure an impressive four victories. The chance remains for him to secure the win of a lifetime if he can navigate Takagi into the Octopus hold and submit the Dragon. A Shingo victory though could secure the entire block if Taiji Ishimori falls to Tiger Mask early in the evening. While Takagi has no issue with facing Ishimori for all the marbles, a pressure free night in Ehime may be all the motivation the Dragon needs to flame grill the Octopus early.
Tiger Mask (2-5) vs Taiji Ishimori (6-1)
Taiji Ishimori will look to book his place in the BOSJ final in Ehime, but he must beat Tiger Mask to even reach that point. This is the second singles meeting between the two, after Ishimori beat Tiger last year in BOSJ, but their history together actually stretches back to 2004, and a period where a very young Ishimori teamed with Tiger Mask on several occasions to take on the antagonistic CTU faction. Ishimori is not just eager to get two valuable points here, but also take on a junior heavyweight legend only eclipsed in status by Jyushin Thunder Liger, who Ishimori beat in March.
SHO (3-4) vs Titan (2-5)
It is no secret that both SHO and Titan will be disappointed by their losing records in the BOSJ this year. Titan can only hope for a maximum of eight points, but SHO could end the tournament with a positive win:loss ratio. To do so, he will have to best a man he never met while on excursion to CMLL with YOH; in fact, aside from a six man tag earlier in the tour, the only meeting between these two was during Fantasticamania 2016, when, still Young Lions, SHO and YOH were defeated by Titan and Mascara Dorada.
Previously scheduled for night 11 was a match between Marty Scurll and TAKA Michinoku, which has been cancelled due to an injury to Michinoku’s foot. Scurll will win the match via forfeit, moving to a 5-3 record.