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NJPW ‘Best of the Super Juniors 26’ Five Most Anticipated A Block Matches



We’ve done things backwards by first discussing the matches that looked to sneak under the radar but now let’s take a look at the big matches to expect from the A Block. There’s very little doubt that this is the stronger of the two blocks but with 45 matches to choose from, here are the five I feel will receive the most buzz.

1. Shingo Takagi vs SHO
Everyone and their mother has this as their number one most anticipated match of the tournament. The fact that it’s not receiving the main event treatment is insane when you consider how long we’ve been watching the build. Shingo and SHO have been attached to the hip ever since Shingo’s New Japan debut eight months ago and they were the highlight of the entire Wrestling Dontaku tour. This has been the best build we’ve seen from New Japan over the last year and we’re getting it on the first day. Hallelujah.

2. Shingo Takagi vs Taiji Ishimori
When you see this match on paper you’re positive it’s going to be great. When you see that this match will be taking place on the final day of the A Block, and you conclude it’s likely going to be the block decider, you’re positive this will be one of the best matches of the year. The term ‘dream match’ is thrown around too lightly but this certainly one fits the billing; NOAH vs Dragon Gate. Both these guys left their longtime promotions after each having served for over a decade and are now being treated with a potential block decider in the Best of the Super Juniors. This is exciting.

3. Shingo Takagi vs Dragon Lee
Two of the most exciting junior heavyweights in the world with two completely different styles makes for something that will be truly unique. Both men use speed and quickness to their advantage but while Lee uses it for misdirection, Shingo uses his speed for head-on collisions. The pace will be scary fast with huge shots from Shingo that Lee will have to find a way to counter. Slotted in the main event at Korakuen Hall, this match has just as strong a chance of stealing the tournament as the two matches discussed above.

4. Jonathan Gresham vs SHO
These two have the opportunity to give the fans something no other pair in their block is capable of; a mat classic. One of SHO’s standout matches last year was a grappling encounter with KUSHIDA and if there’s one wrestler in this tournament who loves grappling as much as KUSHIDA, it’s Gresham. Junior wrestling has an outdated expectation of needing to be fast paced feature high-flying. Gresham and SHO will be able to showcase their style of junior heavyweight wrestling on the final night of the A Block.

5. Taiji Ishimori vs Titán
Just last week we saw what happens when you pair Ishimori with a luchador; magic. Now he’ll have another chance to show that side of himself when he meets up with Titán. Expect another silky smooth encounter with a high-level luchador in his prime. Unfortunately they’re not being given the main event but this is a match that’s fully capable of stealing the show and shouldn’t be go overlooked.

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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