Welcome to Ryogoku Sumo Hall, the setting for this year’s BOSJ finals. In the titular match this year is the A Block winner and Undefeated junior, Shingo Takagi taking on the former winner and fan favourite Brit, Will Ospreay. Alongside this we get Jon Moxley’s NJPW debut against US Champion Juice Robinson and Tanahashi’s return match against the Switchblade. Plus there’s the usual slew of undercard tag matches giving the juniors one final chance to fight on this tour and provided the return of many of the usual heavyweights. Let’s get into the action.
Dragon Lee, Titan & Shota Umino defeated Ren Narita, Jonathan Gresham & Bandido via Running Knee to Narita
Robbie Eagles, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo defeated SHO, YOH & Ryusuke Taguchi via CR II to SHO
Tiger Mask, Jyushin Thunder Liger, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr, Minoru Suzuki & Taichi via Karma to DOUKI
Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, SANADA & EVIL defeated Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe & Kota Ibushi via Magic Killer to Henare
Rocky Romero & Kazuchika Okada defeated Brody King & Marty Scurll via Rainmaker to King
After the match we get another video package from Jericho ahead of their title match at Dominion. Okada responds mocking Jericho’s Painmaker nickname.
Jay White defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi via Roll Up
So this was meant to be Tanahashi’s fairy tale return. The Ace had had to take time off to get surgery following an elbow injury at G1 Supercard. Unfortunately for him, his opponent would be an all too familiar foe, Jay White. Jay had beaten Tanahashi on multiple occasions and even took the IWGP Heavyweight title from him. White attacked instantly and went straight after the arm. He would target it with Hammerlocks, Arm Bars and slamming it into as many things as possible. If he could injure the arm, it would be done. Not to mention he had Gedo interfering on his behalf throughout the match.
Tana wouldn’t slouch as he came back to fight through the pain and had White on the ropes several times. He would target the knee through Dragon Screws and used Sling Blades and Twist and Shouts to try and put Switchblade down. Neither man could hit a finisher as White knocked Tana off the turnbuckle during High Fly Flow and Tana was able to reverse the Blade Runner multiple times. In the end after duel Low Blows, White was able to lock in a Roll Up and steal the win in Tana’s return match. He continued his heelish actions by gloating after the match at Liger.
White continues to be one of NJPW’s best heels as he once again ruined the happiness of the Ace of New Japan. It may not have been a convincing victory but once again the conniving White managed to use wits and cunning to steal a win and give the audience the middle finger once again.
Jon Moxley defeated Juice Robinson via Double Arm DDT (Super Dirty Deeds)
When Jon Moxley was revealed to be the mastermind behind the times up video, the wrestling world erupted. Now it’s in shock as Moxley has taken the IWGP US Championship in his debut match. No one was expecting a clean match between these two but I don’t think anyone was quite prepared for the fight these two had. It started fast, they fought on the outside with Juice doing a Cannonball off the scaffolding and ended with weapon spots and limb targeting. Moxley and Juice had a personal rivalry emanating from their time in FCW. Now both are free of WWE and ready to kick the hell out of each other over a title.
Juice injured his back and knee missing a Cannonball giving Moxley a target, whilst Juice seemed content to batter, kick and bruise every part of Moxley’s anatomy. Both men fought, scratched, clawed and even bit each other to achieve victory with Moxley going over in the end with a more devastating form of his old Dirty Deeds finisher. This was a full-on brawl from start to finish with the odd Suplex, submission or Juice Box thrown in for the fun of it. Both men were more than happy to pummel each other into oblivion until one could not get up again.
The Death Rider stood tall over a bloody, dreadlock less Juice holding the title Juice worked so hard to win. Nothing can be taken away from Juice though as he left unassisted after all the punishment he had taken. But for now, let’s focus on how Moxley is just getting started in NJPW and I can’t wait to see what he does next.
Will Ospreay defeated Shingo Takagi via Stormbreaker
He only bloody went and did it didn’t he? Ospreay has slain the dragon. The winning streak has been broken and Shingo has finally fallen in singles competition. It wasn’t an easy fight for Ospreay as despite his considerable mass, Shingo was still stronger. There were new moves, new variations of moves and extreme feats of flight as both men had to kill each other to get the win. We saw Ospreay fly, Shingo fly, Ospreay strike, Shingo strike and so on and so forth. It was competitive, fast, furious and completely off the rails at times.
There were ugly spots, flashy spots, brutal spots and totally mad spots as we saw top rope Oscutters, top rope DVD’s and more as the final match of the tournament looked to break the record for the most dramatic and the most over the top. Both men were out at times, both men were in control at times and it all ended with a Stormbreaker after a 30+ minute war of attrition. Will has won his second tournament in four years and ended the tournament with the announcement he is moving to Japan to carry the company on his back.
I am very conflicted here. I didn’t actually expect Will to win this match and I certainly didn’t expect him to be the one to end Shingo’s streak but he did. It is a massive boost for Will but where does this leave the likes of SHO who had such emotional investment in that story and Shingo going forward? Does he make the jump up to heavyweight? It’s a confusing win but I am definitely proud he won and couldn’t be happier to hear he is making the leap to actually live in Japan. Congratulations on Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi for making this tournament one of the best. It may split the internet but two of the best juniors ever were in that final and Will was able to stand tall against the Dragon. Now all he has to do is beat Dragon Lee at Dominion. But that will not be an easy task.
So there you have it, Best of the Super Juniors is over. Will Ospreay stands tall, Bullet Club is seeing some inner turmoil as it looks like Robbie Eagles has had enough of ELP’s shenanigans and Taichi is really p*ssing off Ishii. Dominion is only days away and it’s going to be exciting to watch. We know that there are three title matches confirmed and after Ospreay’s war with Shingo, just how will he be able to best Dragon Lee? Throw in the fact that Jon Moxley is now US Champ and Tanahashi’s return match was ruined, it’ll be interesting to see how NJPW moves forward. We must continue onwards towards Dominion and the next big tournament on the horizon, the G1 Climax.
(All images courtesy of njpw1972.com)