REVIEW: NJPW BOSJ 25 FINALS

Added by Lloyd Barrett

After 13 days of fantastic action “Best Of The Super Jr. 25” reached its 14th and final day of competition. For the second time in as many days things took place at Korakuen Hall,the card was made up of 7 matches,6 non tournament contests of which 5 of those featured BOSJ 25 competitors and of course the final between Block A winner Taiji Ishimori and Block B winner Hiromu Takahashi.

Kicking things off was was a Tag Team contest one one side of the ring was a team made up of 2 Ring Of Honor roster members Chris Sabin and Flip Gordon and their opponents came in the form of young lion Shota Umino and the legendary Tiger Mask. Gordon picked up the win for his team hitting a Four Flippy Splash on Umino,this was a good way for Gordon to round off his first full tour in New Japan after impressing many with his performances in the tournament.

Up next was the only match of the show not to feature any competitors from this year’s tournament,Suzuki Gun members Taka Michinoku,Takashi Iizuka and their leader Minoru Suzuki took on Chaos faction members Yoshi-Hashi,Toru Yano and Rev Pro British Heavyweight Champion Tomohiro Ishii. It was Yano who picked up the win for his team after low blowing and rolling up Taka. After the match Ishii and Suzuki got in to an altercation,I’d personally love to see them compete over the Rev Pro Championship at some point.

The third contest was another match featuring Suzuki Gun as Taichi,Block A competitor Yoshinobu Kanemaru and tournament stand out El Desperado took on another Chaos trio in Roppongi 3K and Hirooki Goto. Goto and Taichi will meet as part of a 3 way for Goto’s NEVER Openweight Championship this coming Saturday at Dominion which also includes Michael Elgin. The match came to a conclusion when Yoh rolled up Kanemaru with the five star clutch however following the contests climax the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Champions Desperado and Kanemaru attacked Roppongi 3K likely setting up a future championship contest.

Up next was a Tag Team match with bullet club members Yujiro Takahashi and Block B standout Marty Scurll taking on Toa Henare and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Yujiro picked up the win hitting a pimp drop on Henare but arguably the big story came after the match after Scurll and Yujiro we’re beating down on Henare and Tanahashi,Jushin Liger left the commentary position chasing off the Bullet Club members and challenged Scurll to a 6 man teaming alongside Tanahashi and Mysterio.

The 5th match of the final day saw 4 BOSJ competitors Dragon Lee,ACH,Kushida and Ryusuke Taguchi take on the Los Ingobernables de Japon foursome of Bushi,the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Evil and Sanada and IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito. Sanada was the man to pick up the win for LIJ submitting ACH with Skull End. After the match Jericho appeared on screen to cut another promo on Naito telling him that although he went on last at Wrestle Kingdom 12 that he wasn’t the main event that Alpha vs Omega,he went on to say that he’s come for Naito because he’s the best in New Japan and he should be IWGP Champion and that Jericho is going to take Naito to the next level,he adds that Naito will know who he is when he finally takes his title at Dominion this Saturday. When the lights come back up Naito pretended to be sleeping,Naito cut a promo saying it seems like Jericho has way too much time on his hands for a big star and said he is going to shut up Jericho for all the fans.

The penultimate match of the show was between Kota Ibushi and Chase Owens and IWGP Jr.Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay and IWGP Heavyweight Champion just 5 days ahead Of Okada’s 2 out of 3 falls no time limit contest with Ibushi’s Golden Lovers Tag partner Kenny Omega at Dominion. Okada picked up the win for his team after hitting a v trigger and a rainmaker for the victory sending a very obvious message to Kenny Omega.

Closing things out was the final of the 25th BOSJ final between Los Ingobernables de Japon’s Hiromu Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori of Bullet Club. Things got underway with Hiromu the firm fan favourite,both men took their time to feel the other out in the early going of this first time encounter. Hiromu fired the first shot with a shotgun dropkick however Ishimori fire back with a rana,Takahashi attempted a sunset flip bomb to the outside but Ishimori blocked it and the 2 began to brawl through the crowd. Eventually the match made it high up in to the Korakuen Hall bleachers and Hiromu nailed Ishimori with a John Woo much like he did in his classic contest with El Desperado earlier in the tournament. Hiromu then attempted to powerbomb Ishimori down the stairs however this was reversed and Ishimori sent Hiromu tumbling down the flight of concrete steps,Ishimori made his way back to the ring and Takahashi was just able to survive returning to the ring at a count of 19. Upon the action returning to the ring Ishimori remained on top however things soon spilled over to ringside again with Ishimori throwing Takahashi in to the ring post and chairs in the crowd before proceeding to choke Takahashi with a chair. When the action returned back to the confines of the ring Ishimori continued to assert his dominance in the final hitting a sliding german for a very near fall,Ishimori continued to grind down Takahashi at a methodical pace on the mat. Takahashi was eventually able to find an opening after cutting of an Ishimori springboard attempt and nailing a sunset flip bomb to the outside,Ishimori only just beat a count of 19 and Hiromu remained on top of the match with the crowd firmly behind him. Hiromu’s dominant period continued when he locked in a tarantula on Ishimori before following it up with a wheelbarrow to the outside and a shotgun dropkick from the apron sending Ishimori crashing in to the crowd,once the ticking time bomb returned proceedings to the ring he hit a top rope leg lariat which forced a near fall. Ishimori attempted a back spring elbow however Hiromu caught him with a big lariat to the back of the neck,the bone soldier of Bullet Club tried ro roll up Takahashi which was unsuccessful however he was able to transition in to a cross face,a tense Korakuen Hall willed Takahashi to the ropes which he eventually made. Both men traded strikes and Ishimori was able to nail a head scissors and lock on another cross face,once again the crowd firmly behind Takahashi willed him to escape Ishimori’s clutches. Hiromu somehow survived and made the ropes after a long submission onslaught from Ishimori. Both men went back and forth before Hiromu nailed a belly to belly on Ishimori in to the turnbuckle,Takahashi followed up with a huge lariat and a dynamite plunger to force a very near fall. Hiromu took Ishimori up top and delivered a destroyer like move to force yet another close call,Takahashi followed this up with a Death Valley driver in to the corner and attempted to hit a time bomb however evaded this and hit a huge jumping knee before hitting Hiromu with a reverse rana,somehow this had no effect on Takahashi who nailed Ishimori with a reverse rana of his own! Both men struggled to their feet and traded big strikes before Ishimori nailed a big knee followed up by a huge lariat but Takahashi did his best Travis Banks impression and kicked out at one! Ishimori stayed on top and hit a shotgun dropkick in to the corner and followed it up with running double knees before drilling his knees in to the back of Hiromu forcing a near fall. Ishimori went for a bloody cross but Hiromu fought off the attempt however Ishimori was able to hit a pop up powerbomb a near fall but Takahashi was able to transition in to his D triangle choke,Takahashi continued to keep the choke locked in as the 30 minute mark approached however Ishimori managed to fight his way out and deliver a huge power bomb on to the turnbuckle. Ishimori continued on the offensive and hit Hiromu with a uranage before heading up top and attempted a 450,unfortunately for him he came crashing down on the knees of Takahashi,Hiromu then hit a rana on Ishimori before trying to lock in another triangle which was unsuccessful but was able to deliver a devastating piledriver on Ishimori before finally being able to lock on the triangle once again,Ishimori began to fade in the triangle but somehow managed to escape. Both me attempted to hit their finishing move but failed however Takahashi was able to deliver the time bomb and pick up the win and become the best of the super junior 25 winner much to the jubilation of the Korakuen Hall crowd. Hiromu was presented the BOSJ trophy by the president of the Fire World Pro Video Game and he then called out IWGP Jr. Heavyweight champion Will Ospreay. Ospreay headed to the ring and congratulated Takahashi but said that winning BOSJ didn’t mean anything to him as he was the champion and that means he is the best in the junior division,Ospreay added that he is 2-0 against Hiromu and at Dominion he’ll do it again because he is the best junior in the world. Ospreay leaves and Hiromu addresses the fans saying that this is our BOSJ and that his dream is the same as it’s always been to win the heavyweight championship whilst still holding the junior Championship and tells the fans to keep watching while he has more fun with everybody. The rest of Los Ingobernables de Japon come to the ring and Hiromu leads the customary roll call and fist bump,as the show is going off the air Hiromu realises he has broken the trophy which quite frankly I thought was quite fitting for an absolutely insane couple of weeks of wrestling from the premier junior heavyweight division in the world,brought to close by a match that will last long in the memory as one of the all time great NJPW junior contests.

Thanks to everyone who took the time out to read this and any of my other articles covering the tournament,it’s been an absolute pleasure covering BOSJ and I thoroughly look forward to hopefully covering New Japan for the Indy Corner in the not too distant future.