Once again, New Japan’s annual Best of the Super Junior tournament was held alongside World Tag League.
With a shot at El Desperado’s IWGP Jr Heavyweight title at Wrestle Kingdom on the line, all the wrestlers put their bodies on the line for this opportunity.
The tournament had twelve very different wrestlers and despite this, they were all fighting for the same reason.
Throughout, each wrestler put everything into each match and produced some bouts praised by viewers worldwide.
Here is a look at seven of the best matches from the Best of the Super Junior 28 tournament.
7. El Phantasmo vs. Taiji Ishimori – Night 5
There’s nothing fans love more than inter-faction matches when it comes to tournaments.
The bout between Bullet Club members and tag team partners El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori was no different.
As it was early in the tournament, neither man was at an advantage but it was a bout that was vital to ensure staying at the top of the field.
After a hesitant start, the cutest tag team in New Japan eventually showcased their quick and athletic offence.
As members of Bullet Club, there was always going to be cheating from nipple twists and back rakes. Yet, they didn’t let their wrestling skills go to waste.
Even with the size difference, they were on equal footing with an offence mixing speed, strength and agility.
Although both men are always willing to fight dirty, Ishimori’s indecisiveness cost him the win.
While setting up for his own “sudden death,” he chose not to win dirty.
This decision gave El Phantasmo time to roll his partner up for the win. It was a fun match that showcased the playfulness of the duo but also the respect they have.
6. Hiromu Takahashi vs. DOUKI – Night 10
DOUKI had been restricted to opening matches for most of the tournament, and it had been the same since he debuted in New Japan.
This main event against Golden Boy Hiromu in the main event was an opportunity he couldn’t miss out on.
Even though fans expected a quick and easy match, they couldn’t have been more wrong.
Knowing how important this match was, DOUKI put everything into the bout. Yet, Hiromu did the same, knowing it is never wise to underestimate your opponent.
Hiromu and DOUKI are the most unpredictable out of all the competitors, and it showed. There wasn’t a second with action from crazy dropkicks to suicide dives.
It took over 20 minutes, but Hiromu finally hit his Time Bomb to win. Although most people expected Hiromu to win, DOUKI proved just how much he’s come on in the past year.
This match also reminded people that despite everything going on, the division is full of so many strong wrestlers, not just Hiromu and El Desperado.