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New Japan’s Best of the Super Juniors tournament gets an unexpected final

The semi-finals of New Japan’s 30th Best of the Super Juniors tournament went down today (May 26) in Tokyo.

After two weeks of round robin action, Impact Wrestling’s “Speedball” Mike Bailey and El Desperado won their respective blocks. In the semis, they faced off with the second place finishers from the other group: Bailey took on Master Wato, while Despy got CMLL’s Titan.

The first semi pitted Speedball, a former X-Division champion and reigning PWG Battle of Los Angeles winner in his first BOSJ, against Wato, a talented young Japanese cruiserweight working a weird/bad martial arts gimmick. Both finished block action with identical 7-2 records, but Bailey felt like the buzzier pick. It was not to be, however, as Wato pinned him after a Tsutenkaku German to move on to Sunday’s final.

In Friday’s main event, Desperado took on Titan. Despy is a two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion who was trying to win his first BoSJ in his seventh attempt. He’s made the finals twice before losing to his chief rival, reigning Jr. Heavyweight champ Hiromu Takahashi. It felt like it might finally be his year, especially going up against someone like Titan, who while undeniably talented has commitments to his home promotion in Mexico that make it seem unlikely he’d extend his run in Japan much further than the length of a tournament.

Despite all that, and the fact Desperado finished with a better block record than Titan (7-2 vs 6-3), CMLL will be represented in Sunday’s BOSJ final after a Llave Inmortal allowed Titan to pin Despy.

The winner of May 28’s Titan vs. Master Wato final earns a shot at Takahashi and the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight crown.

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