New Japan Best of The Super Jr XXII Preview Block B

Last time, I profiled the Block A competitors. Now it’s time to take a look at the second block. I’ll also include the schedule of matches at the bottom of the article.

Alex Shelley

AlexShelley1    Previous Super Junior appearances: Two. Last year he won Block B but an injury forced him out of the tournament.

Previously profiled: Yes.

Bio: Shelley was forced out of the semi-finals of the BOSJ last year. However, he was able to return to action not long after and, with his partner KUSHIDA as “The Timesplitters”, defeated The Young Bucks for IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles in late June. They were able to hold onto the belts until September, where they lost them to reDRagon. They would receive rematches, including one at the January 2015 Tokyo Dome show, but were unable to regain the titles.

In May, Shelley would try his luck in singles competition. He challenged Kenny Omega for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title, but was unable to put the Champ away. That said, Shelley is a strong contender to make it to the semi-finals this year. This time, he may actually get to compete in them!

 

Bobby Fish

bobbyfish    Previous Super Junior appearances: None.

Previously profiled: No.

Bio: Bobby Fish started his wrestling career in 2002 after being trained by Tony Devito, and wrestled throughout the northeast United States, making a few early appearances for ROH in 2004. As enhancement talent, his biggest exposure would come when he went on his first tour with Pro Wrestling NOAH in May 2006. He would wrestle for NOAH in a few tours a year until signing with New Japan, mostly partnering with Eddie Edwards. He took part in tag tournaments and events with limited success. His last tour with NOAH would be in 2013.

Although initially only a seldom used talent with ROH, Fish eventually worked his way up in the company and, by 2013, had formed a successful tag team with Kyle O’Reilly called “reDRagon” (see Kyle’s profile from yesterday for full details on reDRagon). reDRagon would win their first ROH World Tag Titles in March 2013, and would go on to win the belts two more times. They also ventured over to New Japan, winning the 2014 Super Junior Tag Tournament, and winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles.

Although Fish has mostly focused on tag team work, he has occasionally ventured into singles competition; most recently in an unsuccessful challenge for Jay Briscoe’s ROH World Championship in May 2015. This will be his first major singles work in New Japan and I don’t see him winning the tournament this year.

 

 

KUSHIDA

KUSHIDAbelts    Previous Super Junior appearances: Five. Last year, KUSHIDA won the A Block and went to the Finals before losing to Ricochet.

Previously profiled: Yes.

Bio: KUSHIDA had an even better BOSJ last year than his partner Alex Shelley, not only winning his block, but advancing to the finals of the tournament. Unfortunately, he came up just a hair short against Ricochet. He’d bounce back by winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles with Shelley, as noted above. Briefly, he became a rare double champion when he defeated Kota Ibushi for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in July 2014.

KUSHIDA would lose the singles strap in September, but it’s almost certainly only the first of many future reigns for him. KUSHIDA is another favourite for the tournament, and his match against his partner Shelley on the second to last night of the tournament should be interesting.

 

Máscara Dorada

Doradadive    Previous Super Junior appearances: Two. In 2011 he won half his matches, including wins over Liger and Taguchi.

Previously profiled: Yes.

Bio: Dorada had a disappointing BOSJ in 2014, finishing with three wins (one by forfeit) and four losses, although he picked up a win over the eventual winner of his block KUSHIDA. However, he still impressed New Japan enough that in January they signed him to a one year contract, (New Japan has a partnership with his other promotion, CMLL) and he began working with them during the joint NJPW/CMLL Fantasticamania tour.

He started his run off by winning the 2015 Fantasticamania Tag Tournament with Atlantis, but lost a match with his rival La Sombra. He would receive a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title in April, but Kenny Omega fended him off. Since Dorada lost a title match so recently, I don’t see him winning BOSJ this year, but he’s due for a better performance.

 

Nick Jackson

nickjackson    Previous Super Junior appearances: One. Last year he won half his matches including victories over Liger and TAKA Michinoku.

Previously profiled: Yes in a joint biography with his brother.

Bio: After finishing in the middle of the pack in his first BOSJ, Nick returned to teaming with his brother, but they’d be nowhere near as dominant as in previous periods. The Bucks lost their PWG World Tag Titles in July 2014 and were unable to regain the ROH World Tag belts in several rematches with reDRagon. They would have more success back in New Japan however, where although they lost the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles to The Timesplitters in June 2014, they recovered with a strong performance in Super Junior Tag League, making it to the finals before losing to their rivals reDRagon, who had entered the NJPW ranks.

The Bucks finally regained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles in February, defeating reDRagon and The Timesplitters in a three-way; for extra satisfaction. Although they would drop the belts to Roppongi Vice, they would regain them in May, becoming three-time champions. Nick is probably going to finish in the middle again, and expect lots of Bullet Club shenanigans to help him do so. Also superkicks. Lots and lots of superkicks.

 

Rocky Romero

Romero2015    Previous Super Junior appearances: Six, including appearances under the mask as Black Tiger IV. Romero has never done better than finishing with a 50/50 record, which he’s done twice.

Previously profiled: Yes.

Bio: Romero’s highlight for last year was defeating the eventual winner, Ricochet. Things continued to be a little shaky (dare I say Rocky?) for Romero to start off 2015, as his long time partner Alex Koslov announced his retirement. He was forced to look for a replacement. He eventually found one in Trent Baretta, forming “Roppongi Vice” (see Baretta’s profile in the previous article for full details on that!).

Working in New Japan and ROH, Vice would win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles, (marking the 5th time Romero has held the belts) but lost them in their first defense. Romero is slotted in as a tag team specialist and I don’t seem him doing better than the middle of the pack this year.

 

Tiger Mask (IV)

Tiger_Mask_IV_2    Previous Super Junior appearances: Thirteen. TMIV is the only wrestler to have won the BOSJ in consecutive years, doing so in 2004 and 2005.

Previously profiled: Yes.

Bio: Tiger Mask had a quiet BOSJ last year, winning three of his seven matches. The veteran stuck to mostly preliminary matches this year until his long time ally and rival Jushin Liger, who had won the NWA World Junior Heavyweight Title, nominated him as his next challenger. The two masked warriors faced off in May, but the Liger emerged victorious over the Tiger. Tiger Mask will have a similar performance to last year, his time of dominance is past.

 

David Finlay Jr.

david-finlay-jr-    Previous Super Junior appearances:  None.

Previously profiled: No.

Bio: I don’t have much information about Finlay Jr. He’s the son of the more famous Fit Finlay and is the fourth generation of Finlay to wrestle (they really love to fight). He made his debut in 2012, teaming with his father against Danny Boy Collins and Robbie Brookside. He’s been working the indy circuit since debuting and this will be his most high profile opportunity yet. He’s unlikely to pick up many wins, but he’ll get a chance to work with the best Juniors in New Japan and impress the company and fans, which is even better.

 

The action gets underway on the 22nd and ends on June 7th, with the winner receiving a shot at the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at the Dominion show on July 5th. Here are the BOSJ matches and make sure to join njpwworld.com to watch all of New Japan’s shows!

May 22nd
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Gedo
KUSHIDA vs. Mascara Dorada
Baretta vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Rocky Romero vs. Bobby Fish
Barbaro Cavernario vs. Chase Owens
Alex Shelley vs. David Finlay
Tiger Mask vs. Nick Jackson
Liger vs. Yohei Komatsu

May 23rd
KUSHIDA vs. Nick Jackson
Alex Shelley vs. Rocky Romero
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Barbaro Cavernario
Yohei Komatsu vs. Gedo

May 25th
Liger vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Tiger Mask vs. Bobby Fish
Mascara Dorada vs. David Finlay
Baretta vs. Chase Owens

May 26th
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Baretta
Rocky Romero vs. Nick Jackson
KUSHIDA vs. David Finlay
Gedo vs. Barbaro Cavernario

May 27th
Liger vs. Chase Owens
Tiger Mask vs. Mascara Dorada
Alex Shelley vs. Bobby Fish
Yohei Komatsu vs. Kyle O’Reilly

May 29th
Tiger Mask vs. Rocky Romero
Barbaro Cavernario vs. Baretta
David Finlay vs. Nick Jackson
Yohei Komasu vs. Chase Owens

May 30th
KUSHIDA vs. Bobby Fish
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Liger vs. Gedo
Alex Shelley vs. Mascara Dorada

May 31st
Alex Shelley vs. Nick Jackson
Tiger Mask vs. KUSHIDA
Liger vs. Baretta
Gedo vs. Chase Owens

June 2nd
Mascara Dorada vs. Bobby Fish
Barbaro Cavernario vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yohei Komatsu
David Finlay vs. Rocky Romero

June 3rd
KUSHIDA vs. Rocky Romero
Liger vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
Tiger Mask vs. Alex Shelley
Gedo vs. Baretta

June 4th
Mascara Dorada vs. Nick Jackson
Chase Owens vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Yohei Komatsu vs. Barbaro Cavernario
David Finlay vs. Bobby Fish

June 5th
Bobby Fish vs. Nick Jackson
Mascara Dorada vs. Rocky Romero
KUSHIDA vs. Alex Shelley
Tiger Mask vs. David Finlay
Gedo vs. Kyle O’Reilly
Yohei Komatsu vs. Baretta
Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Chase Owens
Liger vs. Barbaro Cavernario

June 7th
1st place of A-block vs. 1st place of B-block

Written by David Forrister

I'm an Admin on our messageboard http://culturecrossfire.com/forums and I help organize/edit for the site. So blame me.

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