2. Taiji Ishimori vs. SHO – December 6th
Last year, Ishimori vs. SHO was one of the stand-out matches in the tournament. The two powerhouses of the Jr. division squared off in an outstanding match lasting over 20-minutes and ending with Ishimori victorious. This year should be the same, but the result could be less certain.
Although Ishimori is the current Jr. champion, SHO has grown a lot since last year’s tournament gaining more experience with bigger opponents. Also, with his Roppongi 3K partner YOH injured, will want to capitalize on his chance to pursue a singles run.
Fans can expect speed, high-flying and power. Compared to other matches, you will see more variety and two men very similar in skillset. However, despite SHO’s determination, could Ishimori’s experience be the difference maker in this match?
For many people, SHO and Ishimori are two of the standard-bearers of the Jr. division with their hybrid style combining strength and speed. This match is definitely going to be one to watch out for and could be another bout to make a huge difference in deciding the tournament winner.
1. Hiromu Takahashi vs. El Desperado – November 18th
In the past, we have seen Hiromu Takahashi and El Desperado have some real wars in singles and tag team matches. They are two athletes that have this bizarre and intriguing relationship with each other that blurs the lines between love and hate. Matches between the two produce a mixture of spectacular wrestling and storytelling.
Looking at the two, they are very different people. Hiromu is upbeat, unpredictable and more of your standard high-flier. El Desperado is sadistic, methodical and more of a power and mat-based wrestler. Surprisingly, when the two personalities meet, it creates magic. They are two men who want to beat each other up. They will not let anything get in the way. Fans saw this a few years ago when Desperado’s mask came off, but he continued to fight.
This year, the stakes are even higher and there is not only a possible IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match for the taking. With El Desperado being one half of the Jr. Tag Champions, Hiromu will be out to earn another opportunity to try and take that belt of the Suzuki Gun member.
With all of this in mind, there is no doubt that the two men are going to produce another spectacular match. The only question is, who will be standing tall at the end?