Having originally been scheduled for May, New Japan’s annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament is now slated to run in conjunction with World Tag League over the course of November and December.
Participants of the tournament have now been announced, with a more streamlined roster and a single block, owing to the lack of gaijin (or overseas) talent able to make the event.
Entrants are as follows:
- Taiji Ishimori (current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion)
- El Desperado (current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion)
- Yoshinobu Kanemaru (current IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champion)
- Hiromu Takahashi
- Ryusuke Taguchi
- Master Wato
- Robbie Eagles
This domestically focused line up features just two previous BOSJ winners in Hiromu (2018) and Taguchi (2012).
With the exception of first time entrant Master Wato, each of the other entrants have participated in at least one Super Juniors tournament previously.
From a faction perspective, Suzuki-Gun leads the way with three entrants (Desperado, Kanemaru and DOUKI) with Los Ingobernables de Japon and Chaos each fielding two competitors respectively (Hiromu and Bushi for LIJ, SHO and Eagles for Chaos).
Australian Robbie Eagles makes his long awaiting return to New Japan, having been blighted by travel restrictions throughout the pandemic. It will be interesting to see if Eagles takes a view on ‘Birds of Prey’ tag team partner Will Ospreay and his recent change of attitude towards Chaos.
The tournament is due to conclude on December 11th in a combined final with World Tag League at the Nippon Budokan.
A day later, the tournament’s US companion, the Super J Cup, is set to begin, with the entrants having also been announced by New Japan.