Bullet Point Guide to NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors 2019

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It’s the biggest BOSJ to date, and for the first time ever, every show will be broadcast live with English commentary. If this is your first one, you’ve picked a potential all-time best. Here is everything you need to know about NJPW’s Best of the Super Juniors 2019.

 

Contents:

  • History
  • Why you should watch
  • Competitors in each block
  • Full schedule with dates, regional start times, and analysis of significant matches
  • BOSJ debuters
  • How to watch
  • Avoiding streaming issues
  • Sampling NJPW for free
  • What to watch after BOSJ
  • Recommended matches with links and English commentary

 

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History

  • Best of the Super Juniors is a tournament that was established in 1994 to replace the Top of the Super Juniors tournament.
  • It’s a multiple week round robin tourney that celebrates the best junior heavyweight wrestlers from New Japan and beyond.
  • The IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion takes part in the tournament, which this year is Dragon Lee.
  • The winner of the tournament gets a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Dominion in June. If the champion wins, he gets to choose his opponent.
  • It’s featured some of the greatest junior wrestlers of all time over the years, including Jushin Thunder Liger, Eddie Guerrero, El Samurai, Dean Malenko, Chris Jericho, Ultimo Dragon and more.

 

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Why You Should Watch

  • This is one of the most impressive Best of the Super Juniors lineups of recent years, featuring talents from NJPW, ROH, and CMLL.
  • It’s the biggest line-up ever at twenty competitors, meaning more shows and more matches.
  • There are bound to be some incredible matches based on who is involved and the history they have with each other.
  • Several dates during the tour will feature both blocks, so that means you get ten high quality singles matches in one show.
  • Tournaments like this make for interesting matches we wouldn’t normally see between members of the same faction.
  • I cannot see a single bad match happening in this tournament.
  • BOSJ will mark the debut of the newest Bullet Club member, El Phantasmo, an amazing talent that will be a big deal in NJPW.
  • For the first time, every show will air live with English commentary.
  • Jonathan Gresham is in it.
  • ROH’s Brody King will be competing in non-tournament matches throughout the tour

 

Blocks

The twenty competitors are split into two blocks of ten. Each wrestler will face all nine other men in his respective block, with two points being awarded for victories and one a piece for draws. The man with the most points in each block at the end of the tournament will face each other in the finals.

If two people have the same number of points in their respective block, the winner of the match they had against each other will advance to the final (e.g. Ospreay and ELP finish with the same points, but ELP beat Ospreay earlier in the tournament, so ELP advances to the finals).

 

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A Block

TAKA Michinoku

Titan

Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Marty Scurll

Jonathan Gresham

SHO

Shingo Takagi

Dragon Lee

Taiji Ishimori

Tiger Mask

 

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B Block

Robbie Eagles

Ren Narita (Replacing Flip Gordon)

DOUKI (Replacing El Desperado)

Bandido

El Phantasmo

Will Ospreay

BUSHI

Ryusuke Taguchi

YOH

Rocky Romero

 

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Full Schedule, Significant Match Run-Downs and Live Start Times

Weekend shows are in red as they are the ones most people will be able to watch live, and all shows have English Commentary. Matches I think are particularly interesting are in bold. Shows that feature both blocks are underlined.

There will be non-tournament tag team matches throughout the tournament, in which Marty Scurll’s tag team partner Brody King will be appearing

 

Monday May 13th A Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Tiger Mask vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • Titan vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

 

  • Marty Scurll vs. Jonathan Gresham – Gresham is one of the best technical wrestlers in the world, making him a great matchup for Marty Scurll, and a good performance against one of the most popular wrestlers in the tournament will do wonders for Gresham.
  • SHO vs. Shingo Takagi – SHO has made it public knowledge that he wanted to meet Shingo Takagi in the finals: instead, he meets him on the first night. SHO and Takagi are arguably the two strongest members of the junior division, making this an interesting battle of similar styles for strongman supremacy. Plus, Takagi has yet to be pinned or submitted in NJPW, so he is definitely one to keep an eye on throughout the tournament.
  • Dragon Lee vs. Taiji Ishimori  – The current and former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion clash again on the first night of the tournament, and if their recent match at Dontaku is anything to go by, it should be a fantastic, fast-paced main event.

 

Tuesday May 14th B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Rocky Romero vs. Robbie Eagles
  • Ren Narita vs. DOUKI
  • Will Ospreay vs. BUSHI
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. YOH

 

  • Bandido vs. El Phantasmo – Two of the best high-flyers in the world debuting in BOSJ looking to make a big impact. If you can keep up with the flips and ridiculous moves in this one, it should be incredible.

 

Wednesday May 15th A Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Jonathan Gresham vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • Tiger Mask vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Titan vs. Shingo Takagi
  • Dragon Lee vs. SHO

 

  • Marty Scurll vs. Taiji Ishimori – Former Bullet Club member, now Elite member, vs. current Bullet Club member. There’s bound to be some bad blood in this one.

 

Thursday May 16th B Block: 3am (PT) 6am (ET) 11am (UK):

  • YOH vs. Bandido
  • BUSHI vs. El Phantasmo
  • Will Ospreay vs. Rocky Romero
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. DOUKI
  • Ren Narita vs. Robbie Eagles

 

Saturday May 18th A Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • SHO vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • Tiger Mask vs. Marty Scurll
  • Titan vs. Taiji Ishimori
  • Dragon Lee vs. Jonathan Gresham
  • Shingo Takagi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

 

Sunday May 19th B Block: 12am (PT) 3am (ET) 8am (UK):

  • Rocky Romero vs. Ren Narita
  • Bandido vs. DOUKI
  • Will Ospreay vs. YOH
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. BUSHI

 

  • El Phantasmo vs. Robbie Eagles – Two Bullet Club members being made to compete against each other in their first BOSJ tournament. That’s the beauty of these tournaments in New Japan: we get to see bouts that would never normally happen. How will each man react when their new stablemate stands across the ring from them? I can’t wait to find out.

 

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Wednesday May 22nd A and B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Taiji Ishimori vs. Taka Michinoku
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. Robbie Eagles
  • Titan vs. Jonathan Gresham
  • Rocky Romero vs. YOH
  • Tiger Mask vs. Dragon Lee
  • BUSHI vs. DOUKI
  • SHO vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Bandido vs. Ren Narita
  • Marty Scurll vs. Shingo Takagi

 

  • Will Ospreay vs. El Phantasmo – In his debut NJPW match, El Phantasmo made a major statement by pinning Will Ospreay clean in a tag team match in very impressive fashion. It instantly put ELP on the map in the junior division and bubbled up some bad blood between the two, so this may just be the most anticipated match of the tournament. The main event of the first of three Korakuen shows is going to be something special.

 

Thursday May 23rd A and B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. Rocky Romero
  • Titan vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • BUSHI vs. Robbie Eagles
  • Tiger Mask vs. Jonathan Gresham
  • YOH vs. DOUKI
  • SHO vs. Marty Scurll
  • Ren Narita vs. El Phantasmo

 

  • Taiji Ishimori vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru – These two had a great match in last year’s tournament, so this could be the dark horse of the tournament.
  • Will Ospreay vs. Bandido – During WrestleMania weekend, these two put on an instant classic that had all that watched it absolutely buzzing. I’m sure that with the insane levels of talent both men possess, they will be able to recapture that same magic inside of an NJPW ring.

 

Friday May 24th A and B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Tiger Mask vs. SHO
  • Robbie Eagles vs. DOUKI
  • Marty Scurll vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. Bandido
  • Shingo Takagi vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • YOH vs. BUSHI
  • Rocky Romero vs. El Phantasmo
  • Will Ospreay vs. Ren Narita

 

  • Dragon Lee vs. Titan – High quality lucha action is guaranteed in this one. Titan and Dragon Lee have teamed together regularly over the years, they even competed in the 2017 Super Jr. Tag League together, so given how familiar they are with each other, it should make for some interesting counter wrestling.
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Taiji Ishimori – Two technically gifted, agile, smooth grapplers that match up with each other perfectly both in terms of size and ability. This could easily be in the top three bouts of the tournament.

 

Sunday May 26th A and B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Rocky Romero vs. DOUKI
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Bandido vs. BUSHI
  • Titan vs. Marty Scurll
  • YOH vs. El Phantasmo
  • Tiger Mask vs. Shingo Takagi
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. Ren Narita
  • Dragon Lee vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • SHO vs. Taiji Ishimori

 

Will Ospreay vs. Robbie Eagles – The match that really got people talking about Robbie Eagles, and helped him branch out of the Australian independent scene, was a bout against Will Ospreay in 2017. The match was so good, it made Will Ospreay want to travel back to Australia more to help build their wrestling scene, and has even considered moving there. This one-on-one match will be Eagles’ biggest opportunity to date to show the world what he can do, and it will be spectacular.

 

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Wednesday May 29th A Block: 2:00am (PT) 5:00am (ET) 10:00am (UK):

  • Marty Scurll vs. TAKA Michinoku
  • SHO vs. Titan
  • Tiger Mask vs. Taiji Ishimori
  • Jonathan Gresham vs. Shingo Takagi
  • Dragon Lee vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru

 

Thursday May 30th B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Bandido vs. Robbie Eagles
  • YOH vs. Ren Narita
  • Rocky Romero vs. BUSHI
  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. El Phantasmo
  • Will Ospreay vs. DOUKI

 

Friday May 31st A Block: 3am (PT) 6am (ET) 11am (UK):

  • Tiger Mask vs. Titan
  • Dragon Lee vs. Marty Scurll
  • SHO vs. Jonathan Gresham
  • Shingo Takagi vs. Taiji Ishimori

 

  • Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. TAKA Michinoku – Two veterans of Suzuki-Gun facing off against each other, a rarity in the group. Kanemaru and TAKA will try every trick in their books to outsmart the other, but as two crafty, experienced villains, they probably already know exactly what is up the other man’s sleeve.

 

Monday June 3rd B Block: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK):

  • Rysuke Taguchi vs. Will Ospreay
  • Rocky Romero vs. Bandido
  • YOH vs. Robbie Eagles
  • Ren Narita vs. BUSHI
  • El Phantasmo vs. DOUKI

 

Wednesday June 5th Finals: 2:30am (PT) 5:30am (ET) 10:30am (UK)

  • BOSJ Finals
  • Jay White vs. Hiroshi Tanahshi
  • Juice Robinson’s mystery challenger is revealed

 

 

BOSJ Debuters

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El Phantasmo

He’s one of the best talents on the UK scene. He’s the reigning British J Cup winner. And he’s about to be a huge deal in New Japan Pro Wrestling. ELP’s involvement in NJPW was revealed in February when vignettes were aired throughout the New Japan Cup. As he has been locked into competing in his native Canada and Europe pretty much exclusively throughout his career due to travel issues, ELP is still a rather unknown name on a global scale, but the world is about to be blown away by him during BOSJ.

To have your vignette air during every show of the New Japan Cup, and be immediately thrown into Bullet Club, one of the most popular groups in modern pro wrestling, that right there shows you just how much faith the company has in him. His talent is immense inside and outside of the ring (he even edited his own hype video don’t you know), and I have no doubt whatsoever that he is going to be a massive success in NJPW. (Also, he’s practically the reason why my friend is now a fan of pro wrestling, and he’s my nephew’s favourite wrestler so you better like him or else.)

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EL PHANTASMO

 

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Shingo Takagi

In the six months since his debut, Shingo Takagi has not been pinned or submitted in NJPW, making him a serious threat in this tournament. Without question he is the largest member of the company’s junior division, so he will look to overpower the nine other men in his block to get to the finals. As he’s been in a tag team since he arrived as a member of LIJ, this will be the perfect chance for Shingo to finally show just how good of a singles wrestler he is.

 

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Bandido

Bandido has been making a serious name for himself over the last year. After being introduced to fans all around the world thanks to All In, Bandido amazed many with his innovative moves and staggering speed, which led to him getting signed by Ring of Honor. Thanks to this major acquisition and ROH’s partnership with New Japan, we now get to have our minds blown on a regular basis when he goes up against the likes of ELP, Ospreay and Ishimori.

 

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Jonathan Gresham

The fact it has taken this long for Jonathan Gresham to make his way over to New Japan is a crime. In my opinion, he’s one of the best technicians in the world today that can adapt to any style. Skilled in mat-based grappling, fast-paced action, and even a fantastic comedy wrestler, Gresham can do it all, which is why I think by the end of this tournament and after a long string of great matches, Gresham will be a new favourite amongst Japanese fans.

 

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Robbie Eagles

Robbie Eagles is one of Australia’s biggest up-and-coming stars. His high-flying moves and reputation for having solid matches has allowed him to face some of the world’s biggest stars. Back in October, Eagles’ talents caught the attention of Bullet Club, who recruited him for the Super Jr. Tag League. Now, The Sniper of the Skies finally gets a spotlight in front of the world to shine on his own, and based on the matches he’s had in PWG and his native Australia, Eagles has a good chance of being one of BOSJ 2019’s MVP’s.

 

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Ren Narita

Replacing Flip Gordon who had to pull out due to visa issues is one of the most promising young lions NJPW have. Full of fire and looking to make an impression, expect a good showing from this rookie, and an easy win for the rest of B block.

CLICK HERE FOR MY GUIDE TO NJPW’S YOUNG LIONS

 

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DOUKI

DOUKI is brand new to New Japan Pro Wrestling. He’s been competing in Japanese and Mexican independent promotions since he debuted eight years ago with very little opportunities under major spotlights, but thanks to an unfortunate injury to El Desperado, DOUKI will be making his NJPW debut in BOSJ 2019 as a pseudo member of Suzuki-Gun.

DOUKI’s in-ring style is heavily influenced by lucha much like El Desperado’s, making him a suitable replacement. It’ll be interesting to see how much he takes this golden opportunity and runs with it – here’s hoping his efforts to impress will result in some great matches, and who knows, maybe even a permanent spot in Suzuki-Gun.

 

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How to Watch

  • The only way to watch all of these shows is through the company’s streaming service – NJPW World. – CLICK HERE FOR MY GUIDE ON USING AND GETTING THE MOST OUT OF NJPW WORLD
  • NJPW World can be accessed through an official app on Amazon Fire Sticks, as well as through njpwworld.com on the Xbox One browser, laptops, phones and tablets with Chromecast support.
  • Do not use the iOS/Android app. Just use your browser if watching on your phone or tablet.
  • Not only does it work out at slightly cheaper than WWE Network every month, it offers regular live shows, as well as access to previous events from decades past, matches from select indie promotions such as Ring of Honor and RevPro, and exclusive documentaries that follow the lives of both their Japanese and English speaking roster members.
  • Please note that there is no free trial period available, so you will need to purchase the service in order to watch.
  • Regardless of when you sign up, the billing date for NJPW World is the first day of every month for every user (so you could be charged 2 days in a row if you signed up on the last day of a month) – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON SIGNING UP, DO IT AS CLOSE TO THE BEGINNING OF THE MONTH AS POSSIBLE.
  • Once you cancel your subscription, you immediately cannot use your account, even if you have weeks left until your next billing date – IF YOU ARE PLANNING ON CANCELLING, DO IT AS CLOSE TO THE END OF THE MONTH AS POSSIBLE.
  • Live shows are available to watch in full usually within thirty minutes after they’ve been broadcast.

 

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  • IF YOU HAVE AXS TV ­- The channel will be showing a selection of matches from the tournament in the coming weeks following the events, so if you’re unsure of whether you want to subscribe or not, watching on AXS TV first could be a good way of testing the waters first.
  • Personally I’d recommend watching on NJPW World in order to enjoy the excitement of the full show without having to wait or watching edited versions of matches (editing is bound to happen with longer matches).

CLICK HERE TO SEE THE SCHEDULE FOR UPCOMING NJPW SHOWS

 

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How to Avoid Streaming Issues

  • Although not many users experience these anymore, NJPW World has been known in the past for having some streaming issues
  • Streaming issues are very uncommon these days
  • BEST WAY TO AVOID ISSUES: NJPW World has two different servers for streaming – one for Fire TV and browsers, and one for mobile and tablet devices. The Fire TV and browser stream is the one that’s known to experience issues, so if you are having troubles, I would recommend switching to watching on a mobile or tablet device

LEARN MORE WITH MY GUIDE ON USING AND GETTING THE MOST OUT OF NJPW WORLD

 

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What if I want to Sample Some NJPW Matches First for Free?

  • Check out New Japan’s English language YouTube channel. They regularly upload past matches featuring full English commentary, including world title matches. They upload a new free match every Monday that has some sort of connection to an upcoming show.
  • Also, they upload press conferences, interviews, promos and sometimes documentaries with English subtitles.
  • If you have AXS TV, you can watch their New Japan highlight show every Friday night, however the shows aren’t covered until several weeks after they’ve aired live.

 

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Where Do I Go From After BOSJ?

  • Just days after BOSJ ends, NJPW will hold their second biggest show of the year, Dominion. It will feature Chris Jericho vs. Kazuchika Okada, Tetsuya Naito vs. Kota Ibushi, Taichi vs. Tomohiro Ishii, the BOSJ finals, and more.
  • Following that, we will get a series of shows during the Kizuna Road tour in June, followed by a tour in Australia.
  • The heavyweight equivalent of BOSJ, called G1 Climax, will begin in July and last until August. It is known for featuring some of the best matches of the year.

 

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Recommended Matches with Links

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