REVIEW: NJPW BOSJ 25 Days 11-13

Added by Lloyd Barrett

Day 11 came to us from Aomori and was the penultimate set of matches for Block A,heading in to the day’s proceedings IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay,Flip Gordon,the legendary Tiger Mask and Bullet Club’s newest recruit Taiji Ishimori were all tied on 6 points. The show wasn’t aired live on New Japan World and the 4 tournament contests were aired on delay as single matches on NJPW World,there was an undercard that wasn’t available for video on demand and the results can be found HERE

The opening tournament match of Day 11 was contested between Bushi and Flip Gordon,a win for Gordon would of been huge and would of sent him through to Sunday’s live Korakuen Hall show with a really good chance of making Monday’s final,however Bushi was there to play spoiler and hit MX to pick up the win and put an end to Gordon’s hopes.

The day’s second tournament match came between two former Tag Team partners turned rivals in a contest between AAW Champion ACH and Bullet Club’s newly christened Bone Soldier Taiji Ishimori. Ishimori was victorious over the man he won the 2016 NOAH Global Junior Tag League with and moved on to 8 points to put himself firmly in the driving seat in Block A.

In the third contest of day 11 reigning IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion and 2016 winner of BOSJ Will Ospreay took on former 6 time Jr. Champion and 2 time BOSJ winner Tiger Mask,this was a big match for both men with success would come a chance to make the tournament final on day 13 whilst defeated would end the vanquished competitors hopes of capturing a spot in Monday’s final. With the pressure on Ospreay secured the victory and his 8th points of the tournament hitting the Stormbreaker to pick up an important win.

The day’s main event was contested between Roppongi 3K’s Yoh and Yoshinobu Kanemaru of Suzuki Gun,nothing much other than pride was on the line in this one and it was Yoh who rounded off day 11 with victory.

Day 11 Results
Bushi Defeated Flip Gordon.
Taiji Ishimori Defeated ACH.
Will Ospreay Defeated Tiger Mask.
Yoh Defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru.

Block A Standing After Day 11
Taiji Ishimori 8
Will Ospreay 8
Bushi 6
Flip Gordon 6
Tiger Mask 6
Yoh 6
ACH 4
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 4

Heading in to the final day of Block A action things were pretty straightforward,Ospreay had to defeat Flip Gordon and hope Chaos stablemate Yoh was able to defeat Taiji Ishimori or Ishimori would claim Block A due to his day one victory over the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion.

Day 12 took place in Gunma,this was the final show before we headed to Korakuen Hall for the final day of Block action,Day 12’s action was made up of an undercard not streamed on NJPW World and 4 Block B contests. The results of the matches that weren’t aired can be found here https://www.njpw1972.com/tornament/22411?showResult=1 . Heading in to the day’s action there was a 4 way tie at the top of Block B with Kushida,Hiromu Takahashi,Marty Scurll and Dragon Lee all on 6 points.

The opening tournament match of the day was between Chris Sabin and El Desperado,not much to play for in this one and Sabin picked up with win hitting Cradle Shock and picked up his 6th points in the competition.

Up next was Ryusuke Taguchi and Bullet Club’s Villain Marty Scurll,Scurll was able to pick up the win via a small package and moved on to 8 points and became the first front runner to make a statement of intent on day 12.

Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Hiromu Takahashi took on Roppongi 3K’s Sho in the day’s third contest,Takahashi needed a win in this match to keep his hopes alive after Scurll’s earlier victory. Takahashi was able to secure the win and his 8th points and move in to pole position after an earlier tournament victory of the Villain.

The day’s final contest was between last year’s BOSJ winner and reigning CML World Lightweight Champion Dragon Lee,both me headed in to this on 6 points and victory would keep the winners hopes alive whilst defeat would dash the losers dreams for another year. Kushida was able deliver back to the future and secure his 8th points of the competition and set up a huge day 13 clash with Hiromu Takahashi.

Day 12 results
Chris Sabin Defeated El Desperado.
Marty Scurll Defeated Ryusuke Taguchi.
Hiromu Takahashi Defeated Sho.
Kushida Defeated Dragon Lee.

Block B Standings After Day 12
Hiromu Takahashi 8
Kushida 8
Marty Scurll 8
Dragon Lee 6
Chris Sabin 6
El Desperado 4
Sho 4
Ryusuke Taguchi 4

Heading in to the final day of Block action there were 3 competitors still in with a shot of making the final,Marty Scurll needed a final day win whilst hoping Kushida and Hiromu ended in a draw or no contest. Meanwhile either the time splitter and the ticking time bomb would make the final if either man was able to defeat the other and secure an all important 2 points.

Day 13 was live on NJPW World and was made up of the final 8 matches of this year’s BOSJ Block stage in both Block’s A and B. This was the first of 2 visits to Korakuen Hall in as many days as action will return for the following days final.

The opening match was a Block A contest between ACH and Tiger Mask,not much more than pride on the line in this one and it was ACH who took the spoils after rolling up Tiger Mask after a Tiger Suplex attempt and drew level with Tiger’s total of 6 points. A fun note from this one is that ACH wore a Tiger Mask as part of his entrance as a homage to the junior division legend.

Bushi took on Yoshinobu Kanemaru in the second match of the day in Block A action,despite neither man being able to win the Block these 2 have been embroiled in a Tag Team feud as of late and a win here would still be an important notch for either man’s faction. In the end it was one half of the Jr. Tag Team champions and Suzuki Gun member who took the points and the bragging rights,both men would end the tournament on 6 points each.

The third contest was the first Block B contest of the day,Chris Sabin took on Ryusuke Taguchi. Much like the previous contests there wasn’t any tournament implications in this match and Taguchi was able to pick up the win submitting Sabin with Oh my and Garankle and levelling up with Sabin’s points total in the process moving on to 6.

Suzuki Gun’s El Desperado took on Dragon Lee in the 4th match of the day in Block B action,Desperado has put on some sensation performances in this year’s tournament and Dragon Lee came very close to winning the block but unfortunately heading in to this contest it was only bragging rights up for grabs. Despite the available 2 points not having any major tournament implications both men gave their all and it was Desperado who picked up the win and his sixth points of the tournament,during this match Lee removed the mask of Desperado during the match however following the contest Despy returned the favour. Desperado has been the tournament MVP for me and despite only picking up three wins has really established himself as a top singles competitor in the junior division.

Before the action could continue Tomoaki Honma came to the ring and announced that he would be returning to action on June 23rd at Kizuna Road. Honma was injured in March of 2016 after cervical vertebrae injury that had initially left him paralysed in the arms and legs.

Up next was a contest between Flip Gordon and IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay,Ospreay needed to pick up a win in this match to have any chance of reaching the final. Chaos’ sky king held up his end of the bargain in a fantastic display of athleticism against Gordon,eventually picking up the win after hitting the Stormbreaker. Following this win Ospreay moved on to 10 points and needed to rely on stablemate Yoh to defeat or a force a draw with Taiji Ishimori.

The final match of Block A was between Yoh and Taiji Ishimori,Ishimori needed a win to secure the Block and he did just that submitting Yoh with a cross face,the points and the block. During the match Jr. Heavyweight Champion came to ringside to watch the contest,Ospreay was just a big part of the match as the 2 men in the ring as he watched the Block and a spot in the final slip away from him.

In the penultimate match of the day Marty Scurll took on Sho,Scurll needed a win to keep his hopes alive heading in to the Kushida and Hiromu Takahashi match. However unlike his tag Team partner Sho did play spoiler for a member of Bullet Club and hit Scurll with a shock arrow and picked up a shock win and his sixth points of the tournament and dashing the Villain’s hopes of reaching the final.

In the shows main event and wrapping up Block action for the year was Hiromu Takahashi taking on Kushida,this was a winner take all situation with the victor sealing a spot in the final. It was the ticking time bomb who captured the win,the fifth of the tournament,his tenth points and most importantly the Block by submitting Kushida with D.

Block A Results
ACH Defeated Tiger Mask.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru Defeated Bushi.
Will Ospreay Defeated Flip Gordon.
Taiji Ishimori Defeated Yoh.

Block A Final Standings
Taiji Ishimori 10
Will Ospreay 10
ACH 6
Bushi 6
Flip Gordon 6
Tiger Mask 6
Yoh 6
Yoshinobu Kanemaru 6

Block B Results
Ryusuke Taguchi Defeated Chris Sabin.
El Desperado Defeated Dragon Lee.
Sho Defeated Marty Scurll.
Hiromu Takahashi Defeated Kushida.

Block B Final Standings
Hiromu Takahashi 10
Kushida 8
Marty Scurll 8
Chris Sabin 6
Dragon Lee 6
El Desperado 6
Ryusuke Taguchi 6
Sho 6

So there we have it,after 13 days of fantastic action in the Block stages of the 25th BOSJ we have our finalists,Block A winner Taiji Ishimori and Block B winner Hiromu Takahashi. The final is sure to be a fantastic contest and I’ll be back one last time to cover all the ongoings of the final day of what has been a fantastic tournament.