Osaka to see critical night of action December 2
As we enter the month of December, Best of the Super Jr. 27 is well into its final week of league matches before the overall finals are set for December 11. With much to fight for, what will happen in Osaka?
Main event: SHO (4-2) vs Hiromu Takahashi (5-1)
BoSJ record: 1-0 Hiromu
SHO heads into the seventh match of his campaign, and his sole main event during the Best of the Super Jr. opposite Hiromu Takahashi. SHO’s 4-2 record puts him in an all-but must-win position in Osaka; falling two wins behind the pace with two matches to go will make things incredibly difficult for the Shock Arrow master.
For Hiromu, few shocks have come in his record, with a 5-1, 10 point standing putting him at the top of the table. He has to work hard indeed to get there however, with more ring time than any of his competitors, and some heavy damage being dealt, particularly to his knees most recently at the hands of SHO’s CHAOS teammate Robbie Eagles. Another win for the Time Bomb, a repeat from the 2018 tournament and a pair of encounters in SHO’s Young Lion days, and Hiromu would be all but free and clear with a space in the Nippon Budokan final.
5th Match: Taiji Ishimori (5-1) vs El Desperado (4-2)
With limited tag team experience opposite one another, and no prior when it comes to singles action, this will be an intriguing semi main event for the Osaka crowd. This fresh matchup with two rule breakers will certainly be exciting to watch, and with very high stakes. Desperado is ill-able to afford a loss to front runner Ishimori, while Ishimori, much like Hiromu in the main event, is looking to book his place in the Budokan December 11, and the potential BoSJ pride, paycheck and ability to call his shots as champion that can come with it. That means that both men will be looking to use any and all means at their disposal to gain victory, and both athletes (and the referee) will need eyes in the backs of their heads.
4th Match: Master Wato (4-2) vs BUSHI (3-3)
BUSHI must win to remain in contention
Master Wato had a lot of hype around his New Japan Cup final debut earlier in the year, and after a problematic start, has more than delivered on that hype in Best of the Super Jr. Now just one win short of a positive win loss record during this tournament, he is also just one win off the pace, and still with Budokan hopes very much alive.
To keep his own hopes of the final alive, BUSHI must beat Wato tonight. Both men in this encounter have had to deal with tough losses this weekend; BUSHI to IWGP Jr. Champion Taiji Ishimori and Wato to SHO. Every loss hurts in this tournament, but at this crucial juncture a loss for BUSHI will be critical, and Wato not much less damaging.
3rd Match: Ryusuke Taguchi (3-3) vs Robbie Eagles (2-4)
Taguchi must win to remain in contention.
Eagles is mathematically eliminated.
In every area but one, Robbie Eagles is a strong contender for MVP in this year’s Best of the Super Jr. Unfortunately for Eagles, that one area is the most important of them all; his scoreline. A fourth loss to Hiromu Takahashi in Korakuen Hall Sunday sealed Eagles’ fate, putting him out of the running for this year’s trophy, but after a run of match of the year contender performances, he’ll want to follow up by winning out, and perhaps garnering a positive win:loss record.
In his way though will be Ryusuke Taguchi, who has it all to play for. The veteran of BoSJ competition, Taguchi is more often than not in the reckoning when it comes to the final nights, and to keep up that streak, he must be victorious over the Australian tonight.
2nd Match: Yuya Uemura (0-6) vs DOUKI (0-6)
Both men are mathematically eliminated
Six straight losses means Yuya Uemura and DOUKI are both playing for pride in the second match of the night; pride that both men already have in spades. DOUKI has opened many an eye over the course of this tournament as to just how good he is, while Uemura, already highly respected as a Young Lion, has had several convinced that he is on the brink of graduation from Dojo status. Someone’s ‘O’ finally must go tonight, but whose will it be?
1st match: Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma vs Yuji Nagata & Gabriel Kidd
These four men have met on every dedicated best of the Super Jr. card this tour, but with a special showcase tag match taking this match’s place in kagoshima Saturday, this is the last time they’ll meet. The last time, then, for Gabriel Kidd to finally find an answer for Kojima and his lariat. Will this be the night?