For the past couple weeks, New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s been showcasing what most American feds would call cruiserweights with the 2023 edition of their Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
By this Sunday, we’ll know the winner of the 30th edition of what’s referred to as BoSJ. As of today (May 23), we know the first two semi-finalists for the trophy — and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight title shot that comes with it. We also know that for the first time since 2019’s BoSJ 26 it won’t be Hiromu Takahashi.
That’s because CMLL’s Titan defeated Takahashi as A Block action wrapped up on Tuesday in Osaka. He finishes the round robin portion of the tournament with a 6-3 record and 12 points, the same total as his Los Ingobernables Takahashi and Lio Rush. But since the luchador defeated both head-to-head, he gets the tiebreaker and advances to the semis as A Block’s second place finisher.
No tiebreaker was necessary to determine A Block’s winner. Impact’s “Speedball” Mike Bailey defeated Rush in Osaka to run his record to 7-2, good for 14 points and a top seed in Friday’s semi-final.
#BOSJ30 A Block is complete, and as Hiromu Takahashi's BOSJ streak was ended, Titan and Mike Bailey will advance to semifinal Friday!— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) May 23, 2023
A Block update:https://t.co/6vgkGSaUkS
Watch the replay now!https://t.co/akXLr2Q7AR#njpw pic.twitter.com/Ev5tUrP66l
Bailey will face B Block’s second place finisher, while Titan gets the winner of the other group. B Block wraps up on Wednesday (May 24) with four men still in the running for a spot in the semis. YOH, El Desperado & Master Wato head into the final day of Block matches tied with 12 points, while Robbie Eagles has 10. Eagles & Desperado go one-on-one tomorrow in Osaka, while Wato faces Kevin Knight and YOH battles Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Desperado holds a tiebreaker over Wato, YOH’s beaten Despy and Wato, while Eagles has a win over YOH but lost to Wato.
Place your bets.
The winner of the tournament gets a future shot at the current Junior Heavyweight champ, Takahashi. Had he won, he could have picked his next challenger.