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NJPW Best of the Super Juniors 29. Participants announced...

The Natural

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Caught up now from last night's show, some quick thoughts and recommendations for those cherry picking below. I'll put it in spoilers as it is quite long (I don't think I have spoiled anything though).


Day 5 (Akita)
- Was possibly my overall favourite show at that point - Eagles/DOUKI, Lindaman/TJP & ELP/Titan were all a lot of fun
- Desperado vs Yuta was really good and was fighting it out for my match of the tournament at Day 5. Yuta has struggled to get the same traction as Zayne & Austin, but his matches have been really good and I hope this performance has won over more fans for him. 

Day 6 (Korakuen)
- Really happy to see a packed Korakuen, I don't really have a lot of time to watch other promotions so I really just watch NJPW, GLEAT & AJPW so I haven't seen the Dragon Gate/Joshi shows that have had near or full Korakuen shows. 
- Alex Zayne & Ace Austin are extremely over, lots of signs and the crowd love them. Their social media game is immense and I'd love to see them as Jr. Tag champs.
- 10 singles matches...oh lordy, but the show didn't feel long. Mostly everything was in that 8-12 minute time outside the main event that went 15. The main event (Desperado/Lindaman) was the obvious stand out but I also really enjoyed Eagles/Wato, DOUKI/ELP (stage dives are back!), Titan/TJP & Zayne/Akira
- For the other matches, Austin I think got YOH's best match at the point of Day 6, and Taguchi/Connors was the best Taguchi match as Taguchi is morphing into the Yano of the juniors. Hiromu/Uncle Nobu was mostly an angle to set up Hiromu's ark for the rest of the tournament, Ishimori/SHO I guess depends on how you feel about BC shenanigans, but I actually enjoyed it, it was fine for what it was. 

Day 7 (Korakuen)
- A bit smaller crowd, but looked mostly full. Matches were similar to the night before in length, besides 1 match mostly being an angle and the semi & main both being a bit longer
- For the undercard, Austin/Zayne was a fun spot opener, Akira/Connors was quite good and the BUSHI/DOUKI match might have been the first BUSHI match I've really enjoyed so far. DOUKI is having a hell of a tournament and is really filling the old Desperado spot of under rated junior that always shows up. 
- Eagles/TJP - the battle for the love of Manny Pacquiao - was a really good, fluid, technical match. Eagles is one of the most consistently good juniors in the world and TJP has had a great tournament too. 
- The main event is up for consideration in my top 5, but it might just miss out. Hiromu is so good, but YOH just doesn't stand out in any way and it is hard to emotionally get into his matches. I think he is someone that needs crowd noise perhaps?

An actual spoiler:


I did like that YOH acknowledged his lack of personality for the lack of a better word in his post match promo. I hope this all leads to him finding one as he isn't a bad wrestler and as I've said previously, I WANT to like him.

And thats it! Apologies for going long. Excited for tonight, main should be a banger. 

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10 hours ago, Horangi said:


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I did like that YOH acknowledged his lack of personality for the lack of a better word in his post match promo. I hope this all leads to him finding one as he isn't a bad wrestler and as I've said previously, I WANT to like him.

Knowing NJPW that will just be him joining United Empire or something.

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Yeah, that was absolutely wild.  I love how the crowd started out with polite, borderline tepid applause when the match graphic came up, but were collectively losing their minds (sans yelling) by the end.  

I always listen to the Japanese commentators, so it was amusing to catch Charlton's frantic, bellowing voice wafting through the air near the end.  Hey, I get it, though.  



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All caught up again, right before the final night of group matches, thoughts and lay of the land in spoilers:


26/5 - Korakuen
- Obviously the previously mentioned MOTYC between Eagles/ELP. Long-term story telling at its finest, and two guys at the top of their game. 
- Ace Austin & Ishimori had a really good match too, I'd say Ishimori's best at this point. 
- If time permits you, Despy/BUSHI, Yuta/Lindaman & YOH/Akira were all fun matches too. 
- SHO/Hiromu on the other hand...blah, old school HOT shit including EVIL turning out the lights and getting involved. No thanks...

27/5 - Makuhari Messe
- Yay! The giant escalator hall!
- I did really enjoy the main event and really thought DOUKI was going to pull it off at one point. Desperado may have my favourite moveset in all of wrestling at the moment, I fucking love the Numero Dos. 
- Outside of the main event, the second half of the show is worth a look - Hiromu/Zayne, Eagles/Lindaman and ELP/TJP are all good 10-15 minute sprints. 

29/5 - Ota
- Looked like a strong crowd at Ota, biggest for NJPW since the pandemic I think. 
- Main event was awesome, Robbie Eagles is having a hell of a tournament, as is El Desperado. They've done an awesome job establishing Robbie as a top junior through this tournament. I did prefer the ELP match, but this is a close second for match of the tournament. 
- Ishimori/Akira, ELP/Yuta and Hiromu/Connors were all really good as well. Connors brought the fire in front of coach Shibata. 

With all that said and done, only Ishimori & Hiromu are really left alive in Block A, Hiromu needs to win while Ishimori can take a draw our double countout and go through. Ace Austin is still mathematically a possibility, but he would need to beat Francesco Akira and have Ishimori & Hiromu to end in a double countout. Block B, ELP has the most control of his fate with a win guaranteeing him progress. Desperado needs to win and Robbie Eagles to lose while Robbie needs to beat Titan and ELP to lose. Should be a good last block night tonight, gut feeling says they'll go safe with Despy/Hiromu final but my heart really wants Robbie to go through! 

I did a set of my top 5 highly recommended pre-Korakuen matches, so I'll add to the list with a top 5 from Korakuen to Ota
- Robbie Eagles vs El Phantasmo 26/5
- El Desperado vs Robbie Eagles 29/5
- El Desperado vs DOUKI 28/5
- Hiromu Takahashi vs YOH 25/5
- El Desperado vs El Lindaman 24/5

Plenty of other really good matches to watch from these dates, it was tough to cut it down to 5 and just noticed they're all the main events. Its been a great tournament for sure. 

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Hiromu beats Despy in just over 30 minutes. Their usual quality match.

Ace Austin is in the Bullet Club now.

Both KENTA and SANADA made non-wrestling appearances. SANADA said he's challenging for the US Belt at Dominion. Current champ Juice was out tonight.




Edited by lostinube
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The final was really really good, to be expected from the guys involved. I did prefer their 2019 final but this was the perfect way to cap off an exciting tournament that has reignited my spark for wrestling that was waning and left me wanting to see more of the new competitors. I have the finals ranked either 2nd or 3rd in my best matches of the tournament - behind Eagles/ELP for sure, competing with Eagles/Desperado for number 2. 


Probably not a spoiler now that Dominion and other cards are out now - saw a fair few complaints on Twitter than Ishimori v Hiromu isn't on Dominion...in a sense I am fine with the idea that having it as a Korakuen main getting good time is better than instead of rushing in the undercard at Dominion but the Toyama match between the two was fairly disappointing compared to what it could be. Hoping they can channel their 2018 BoSJ final in the title match instead of the Toyama match.

Not quite sure who wins though, leaning towards Hiromu to FINALLY get the run that multiple injuries/COVID have halted. However, the recent change to Ishimori (though recent booking of other titles shows this really isn't a factor) along with the match being at a smaller venue does put some doubt in my guess though. 


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  • 7 months later...
On 1/10/2023 at 1:01 AM, sevendaughters said:

just doing a bit of a recap of 2022 in my spare time, what BOSJ matches were must see?

If I had a top 5 to watch, I'd go with:
- Robbie Eagles vs El Phantasmo - 26/5/22
- El Desperado vs Robbie Eagles - 29/5/22
- El Desperado vs El Lindaman - 24/5/22
- Hiromu Takahashi vs YOH - 25/5/22
- El Desperado vs DOUKI - 28/5/22

And of course the final. Block B was stacked with the good match ups compared to Block A. 

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