On 17th May, New Japan Pro Wrestling heads to the famous Korakeun Hall in Japan to kick off the 24th edition of Best of the Super Juniors Tournament. The line-up features sixteen of the very best Lightweight wrestlers from across the globe who will all be vying to be crowned the winner and go on to compete for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title. The tournament has been a great springboard for some of the very best in the World to make a name for themselves and this year’s tournament will be no different.
The tournament may not be as well known in the UK and so the good folks here at Steelchair magazine have compiled a list of information about this year’s tournament, including who is competing, what to look out for and more importantly how you can watch the shows.
Block A – Dragon Lee, Hiromu Takahashi, Jushin Thunder Liger, Marty Scurll, Ricochet, Taichi, Taka Michinoku, Will Ospreay
Block B – ACH, Bushi, El Desperado, Kushida, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask IV, Volador Jr, Yoshinobu Kanemaru
What is BOSJ?
BOSJ (Best of the Super Juniors) is a round robin tournament featuring 16 wrestlers who have been split into two blocks (Block A and B as above). During the tournament, wrestlers will be awarded two points for a win, one for a draw and nothing for a loss. The top two from each block will then go on to meet in the finals. This year’s show will run from 17th May all the way through to the 3rd June and will include 14 shows, which will also include non-tournament bouts. The winner of the tournament will receive a shot at the prestigious IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title on 11th June at the promotions Dominion PPV.
The list of previous winners really is a who’s who of the best Lightweight wrestlers in the World. Jushin Liger, Tiger Mask IV, Pegasus Kid (Chris Benoit), Prince Devitt (Finn Balor), Kota Ibushi, Ricochet, Kushida & Will Ospreay to name but a few. Tiger Mask IV has been the only man to win back to back tournaments, something Britain’s very own Will Ospreay will be looking to emulate this year.
Matches not to miss
Well looking across the list of names there are certainly a few that stand out with a good opportunity to steal the match of the tournament for me. Takahashi and Dragon Lee work together so well and I cannot recall a time in which I have been anything other than blown away watching these two men go head to head. Scurll and Ospreay have also worked together a lot both in the UK and abroad and could lead to some exciting matches. One that will probably be on everyone’s watch list will be the rematch of Ricochet and Ospreay, the pair having stolen the show at last year’s event. Kushida and Tiger Mask will also be one to watch from Block B and likewise Volador is a very exciting high flyer and I am looking forward to seeing him share the ring with Tiger Mask.
How to watch
The show will be broadcast on New Japan World which is the promotions online streaming service and costs 999¥ per month, which works out just under £7 per month based on current conversion rates. Head over to NJPWWorld.com to sign up but make sure that you flip the Google translator on as the site first will appear in Japanese. There is also an option to select English content will which feature commentary from Kevin Kelly & Don Callis.