My previous article focused on the “A” block of the 2018 BOSJ and now it’s time for my preview of the “B” block, and although “A” came out swinging, their counterpart looks poised to have just as good of a showing.
Chris Sabin: Hail Sabin! A great return to action from the former IMPACT star turned ROH regular. Look for him to be a solid hand and put on great performances throughout the block.
Dragon Lee: I’m beyond excited about this selection and as I will cover later, he has one of the most exciting matchups of the entire event. Look for the CMLL star to fling himself all over Japan and really get a chance to shine. He is another can’t miss performer!! And did I mention he’s only 23?! Get in on the ground floor with this guy.
El Desperado: Despy is most likely just here like Kanemaru to cause some destruction with his Suzuki-Gun compadres. Look for some surprises from him, especially against performers like Dragon Lee and Hiromu.
Hiromu Takahashi: Here we go, effectively my Will Ospreay choice of this block. I legitimately cannot say enough good things about the former Kamaitachi, and speaking of that name, I am so freakin pumped to see another match for Hiromu against Dragon Lee, easily a contender for match of the tournament. Anything this kid touches turns to gold, and he’s enjoying a nice upswing after a less than stellar beginning to 2018. Go out of your way to catch this worker in action.
KUSHIDA: What a person to follow up Hiromu with than the one and only Time-splitter himself. Kushi is no longer the “ace” of the juniors, but don’t let him catch you saying that. His match against Ospreay in the 2017 final is a 5* classic that’s still talked about to this day. His matches against Dragon Lee, Hiromu, and Sho have me really excited. He’s not at the top anymore but he’s still got plenty left in the tank.
Marty Scurll: WHOOP WHOOP! The Villain himself is having an amazing 2018 run as the foil to Will Ospreay until he was finally vanquished by will at Sakura Genesis in April. The official junior of the Bullet Club (sorry chase) looks to keep his great run going with a series of amazing matches in this years’ BOSJ, his signature villain style will be a nice change of pace compared to the other workers in his block. He’s a definite sleeper choice as he’s already captured gold in NJPW multiple times.
Ryusuke Taguchi: The “Funky Weapon” is a stalwart of this event now even making the final as recently as 2016. He’s settled into the middle of the pack when it comes to the division, but the leader of Taguchi Japan can always pull out a few wins and may even prove to be a spoiler for some of the other competitors. He’s not lying down for anyone brother. Look for him and KUSHIDA to have a really solid bout.
Sho: If you read my “A” block review than you already know how I’m feeling about Sho as it mirrors the excitement I have for Yoh. I’ve always considered Yoh to be the superior talent amongst the two, but I hope Sho gets out there and proves me wrong. Look for the 3k boys to impress through the tournament.
And that wraps up my preview for this years’ Best of the Super Juniors tournament. As for predictions, it’ll be difficult for anyone to take this from Ospreay so he remains my favorite, but he is the current IWGP Jr Champ and the winner of BOSJ gets a shot at the Jr belt so it wouldn’t make much sense on the booking end for Ospreay to win the whole thing. With that in mind look out for Taji Ishimori to really make a strong case to win it all, with KUSHIDA and Marty Scurll right behind him.
All in all, I can say this has been the best lineup for this tournament in decades and is a can’t miss event from start to finish. If you’re new to the event, you can usually skip the first half of the shows as those are usually just multi-man tags with talent from the opposite block, but the main events of each night are guaranteed to deliver. This will be an event to be talked about and raved upon for years to come. Stay tuned to catch our reviews of each night!