Best of the Super Juniors Final card revealed! Full preview!

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After an intense three weeks of action, the Best of the Super Juniors finally reaches its conclusion on Wednesday June 5. The venue? Ryogoku Sumo Hall, which will bring with it the largest crowd for a junior heavyweight main event in two decades.

Yet it isn’t just the Best of the Super Junior final that the crowds will be flocking to see. A huge return and an even bigger debut highlight a huge night of action. Let’s take a look.


At the top of the card, Shingo Takagi and Will Ospreay will meet to determine the 26th Best of the Super Juniors. Takagi started the tournament undefeated in NJPW, and has ended block action still with a flawless record, stacking up win after win over tough opposition. Ospreay though, is perhaps a different breed to anybody Shingo has faced in New Japan. While Takagi has aspirations to be openweight and face both juniors and heavyweights, Ospreay has actually practised what he’s preached in singles action this year. The Briton has toppled giants like Bad Luck Fale and Lance Archer already in 2019; while it might be a couple of months late for Saint George’s Day, can Ospreay slay the dragon in Ryogoku?

If he can, Ospreay would become a two time BOSJ winner, making history as a British wrestler in the tournament. History is beckoning for Takagi, too; a win would make him the first in history to enter and exit the tournament undefeated. For both, personal stakes are high; both are main eventing in Ryogoku for the first time in their careers. For Ospreay meanwhile, immense respect for Takagi, a man he paid to watch when the Essex lad was just 14 years old. More than the culmination of a grueling tournament, this is a key turning point for both men in their long career journeys.  


The IWGP United States Championship will be at stake in the semi main event when Jon Moxley challenges champion Juice Robinson. 

On May 3 at Dontaku, a video message played after Juice’s match depicting a mysterious figure hunched over a bar, carving a strange symbol into the counter. ‘Time’s Up’ read the message to Juice, prompting weeks of speculation. Everyone from global freelancers to Juice’s best friend David Finlay was rumoured; the truth however, shocked the world. Last Monday, Jon Moxley revealed himself as the Juice’s challenger, and the match was made soon after. 

Ever since leaving WWE, the former Dean Ambrose has had the wrestling world’s attention, and the buzz around the first match since his ’emancipation’ is intense. Yet Juice is not happy to let Moxley steal all the headlines. A different man from the one Moxley knew in WWE developmental, Robinson gambled on himself in 2015. He signed with NJPW and willingly started from scratch to earn his spot as a champion and beloved figure among the New Japan faithful. Robinson will look to defend company honour and elevate the United States Championship in the process on Wednesday. 

Also on June 5, Hiroshi Tanahashi returns to the ring to take on Jay White. On May 4, Tanahashi made his first appearance since receiving elbow surgery, the result of damage dealt by Zack Sabre Junior in Madison Square Garden. In his address to the fans in Fukuoka, Tanahashi explained how his career had experienced waves of momentum of late; that losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and being injured soon after had seen him at his deepest valley, but that he planned to ascend to heights hitherto unseen.

This angered White, the man who had taken Tanahashi’s IWGP title in February and wrestled a near perfect match in the main event of MSG moments after Tanahashi was hurt. When White returned from excursion as the Switchblade in January 2018, Tanahashi was the bar he had to clear. Now, roles were reversed, and Tanahashi would have to beat Jay White if he wanted to call himself worthy of contention. 

The last time these two met in Ryogoku, Tanahashi defeated White, but was the victim of a heinous assault by Bullet Club moments later. Weeks after his elbow went under the surgeon’s knife, will he be stabbed by a Switchblade instead? Or can Aces reign high once more?

In tag team action, Rocky Romero will team up with IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada to face Brody King and Marty Scurll. Okada will no doubt be looking past this tag match to Sunday, and his defence of the IWGP Championship against Chris Jericho. In the opposite corner, though a huge opportunity for a Brody King who has been very impressive in tag matches throughout the BOSJ tour, and a chance for Scurll to right perceived wrongs from his singles loss to Okada in Chicago last summer. 

A Los Ingobernables De Japon quartet of Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, BUSHI and SANADA will be facing Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe and Kota Ibushi. The LIJ team will be supporting Takagi in the main event in spirit,but in the meantime, Naito will be looking to make a mark on Kota Ibushi in person. Ibushi has missed the bulk of the Best of the Super Juniors tour, drawing considerable ire from El Ingobernable. Things could get violent before their Intercontinental Championship clash Sunday.

In ten man tag action, a full Suzuki Gun squad of DOUKI, Taichi, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Junior and Minoru Suzuki will be facing Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI, Jyushin Thunder Liger and Tiger Mask. Of interest is a pair of very personal feuds in this ten man; Ishii and Taichi will eagerly throw down with one another as the countdown to their NEVER Openweight Championship match reaches zero. Meanwhile, Liger and Suzuki were at each other’s throats through the Road to Dontaku tour, and as both are angling for a singles match against one another, their differences are a long way from being resolved.

SHO, YOH and Ryusuke Taguchi will face Robbie Eagles, El Phantasmo, and Taiji Ishimori in the second match of the night. Roppongi 3K are united once more, but with different coaching staff; since Romero will be appearing later on in the evening, NJPW co-head coach Taguchi will be captaining the squad. They face a Bullet Club trio that includes Taiji Ishimori, who is back after a shoulder injury took him out of action Monday, and El Phantasmo and Robbie Eagles; a team with no small amount of tension lingering after communication issues throughout the Best of the Super Juniors. 

In the opening bout, Shota Umino, Titan and Dragon Lee will face Ren Narita, Jonathan Gresham and Bandido. This could be a chance for the Young Lions in the match, particularly Narita who is reeling from the disappointment of a zero point record in BOSJ. Expect to see the luchadores take to the air in a match that should kick off the BOSJ final with a bang.