Best of the Super Jr. 27 night 5 preview

Night five of the junior tournament hits Niigata

Best of the Super Jr. 27 hits its midway point on November 25 in Niigata. who will stand out as we enter the second half?


Main event: SHO (3-1) vs El Desperado (2-2)

BoSJ record: 1-0 SHO

Our main event sees SHO take on El Desperado for the second time in Best of the Super Jr. competition, but with a record stretching back to several tag battles with partners Yoshinobu Kanemaru and YOH, and some harsh lessons taught by Despe to SHO in his Young Lion days. In this year’s tournament, SHO’s sole blemish so far has come at the hands of CHAOS teammate Robbie Eagles, but fresh off a Shock Arrow to Ryusuke Taguchi in Gunma, his momentum remains strong tonight.

In contrast El Desperado, caught by Ryusuke Taguchi on night one, suffered a humiliating flash pin loss to Master Wato Monday night. His defeat came after Desperado ran down his opponent in the press, a fate SHO is more than famiiar with when it comes to the acerbic rudo. Can SHO repeat Wato’s achievement tonight? 

5th Match: Robbie Eagles (2-2) vs Taiji Ishimori (3-1)

The semi main event sees Robbie Eagles go head to head with his former tag team partner and current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag team Champion Taiji Ishimori. Eagles came into NJPW under BULLET CLUB colours as Ishimori’s tag team partner for the Super Jr. Tag League in 2018, and made a formidable combination as Ihsimori took Eagles under his wing. Barely six months later though, Ishimori would instead align himself with El Phanrtasmo in tag competition, as Eagles found himself edged out of BULLET CLUB before flipping to CHAOS.

Eagles has been vocal about Ishimori’s shady tactics en route to championship victory, and indeed in the BoSJ tournament thus far where he has not always fought honourably on the way to his six points, including some less than fair play against DOUKI, and a handful of tights to get past Ryusuke Taguchi. Still, nice guys rarely finish first, and Eagles’ own approach, while all on the up and up has put him two points off the lead. Will this be a clean fight between two former partners? Or will one or the other take any means necessary to get to, or stay at, the top?

4th Match: Ryusuke Taguchi (2-2) vs BUSHI (2-2)

BoSJ record: 2-2

Ryusuke Taguchi goes face to face with BUSHI for their respective fifth matches in the tournament. An even record between the two men in tournament competition matches a similar approach, albeit very different attitudes between them; two tactical masterminds who aren’t afraid to get their hands (or butts) dirty. So far this year, it’s been a mixed record for both men, with two wins apiece. BUSHI most recently scored a hard fought win over Robbie Eagles against the run of the match, but Taguchi fell to a Shock Arrow against SHO in Gunma. Both competitors badly want a win to stay on pace with the top of the table, but only one can get it. 

3rd Match: Master Wato (3-1) vs DOUKI (0-4)

Singles record 1-0

Master Wato takes on DOUKI in a rematch from Wato’s first singles appearance at the New Japan Cup finals in Osaka Jo Hall this year. It was on Wato’s debut that DOUKI attacked the newcomer from behind; to DOUKI, Wato represents the ‘hipster lucha’ receiving preferential treatment on excursion while independent talents have to toil far harder for little return. This year’s BoSJ has seen returns lacking for DOUKI too, as he sits at zero points, but a series of gripping bouts has seen Japones Del Mal step up in a huge way during the league, and this match comes just days after he pushed Hiromu Takahashi to the very limit. 

The returns and points have been more forthcoming for Wato, who pinned Desperado out of nowhere in Gunma Monday to score his third win of the tournament. Damage done to Desperado on the young master’s knee however may be the deciding factor here, and DOUKI will do all he can to exploit that damage tonight. 

2nd Match: Hiromu Takahashi (3-1) vs Yuya Uemura (0-4) 

Tournaent action kicks off with Yuya Uemura facing Hiromu Takahashi. Before finally entering the tournament as an alternate for injured Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Uemura was driven to enter BoSJ for the very chance to face Hiromu one on one. Now this dream match for Uemura is in place, and despite a hurt shoulder, Uemura can carry the confidence and pride that comes from taking Ishimori past 11 minutes in Gunma. Who will come out on top?

1st Match: Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd

Familiar tag action starts off the evening. Gabriel Kidd has been inching himself upward when teaming with Yuji Nagata in recent nights, going from a quick lariat loss, to countering one swing from Kojima, to almost rolling Kojima up Monday in Gunma. Can Kidd move even closer to victory tonight?