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New Japan’s World Tag League & Best of Super Juniors finals set

NJPW1972.com

After weeks of action in both tournaments, the finals are set for New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors (BOSJ) and World Tag League. They’ll each be settled on Weds., Dec. 15 at Ryōgoku Kokugikan in Toyko during one of NJPW’s last big shows before Wrestle Kingdom 16 the first week of 2022.

Hiromu Takahashi vs. YOH will main event Wednesdays show in the Best of the Super Juniors final. Takahashi is the reigning BOSJ winner, and he’ll be gunning for his third trophy from the tourney. YOH is looking for his first. In addition to that prize, the winner will challenge for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title at Wrestle Kingdom. That belt is now in the possession of El Desperado.

CHAOS’ Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI and EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi of Bullet Club’s House of Torture sub-faction finished as the top two teams in block action, and will battle in the World Tag League finals. Both Goto and EVIL have won World Tag League before, albeit with different partners. The winners will get an IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team championship match in the Tokyo Dome on Jan. 4 or 5. New Japan’s top tag belts are currently held by the Dangerous Tekkers team of Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.

The other key selling point of Wednesday’s show is a “Major Announcement” from Katsuyori Shibata. The Wrestler’s career was thought to be over after he needed emergency surgery for a subdural hematoma suffered in a 2017 match with Kazuchika Okada (and almost certainly the result of years of Strong Style action). Shibata has been coaching at New Japan’s Los Angeles Dojo since 2018, but had an in-ring angle with KENTA in 2019 that was followed by reports he was working to cleared for a return. Then in October of this year, he wrestled Sabre Jr. in a five-minute UWF rules exhibition match (an MMA-style worked shoot; ZSJ and Shibata’s focused on grappling technique) at the G1 Climax finals.

It’s expected he’ll announce a more formal comeback of some sort.

The other match of note on the card is a Wrestle Kingdom preview of sorts. IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi teams with BUSHI for a match against Okada & Robbie Eagles. Okada and Shingo will main event on Jan. 4, 2022, with the winner defending the IWGP title against Will Ospreay on Night Two.

Sound like a good reason to stay up late/get up early in the middle of the week?