New Japan announce Best of the Super Juniors Line-Up
Block A is packed with some of the biggest talent in NJPW | Photo Source: Wrestling Observer

New Japan Pro Wrestling have revealed the participants for this years’ Best of the Super Juniors tournament. The tournament, which is scheduled to take place between May 17th and June 3rd, pitting some of the best junior heavyweights from around the world against each other.

The tournament was first formed in 1988 and has been an annual occurrence for the past 25 years with stars such as Tiger Mask, Prince Devitt (Finn Balor), Kota Ibushi, Ricochet and Will Ospreay having their hand raised in triumph in years gone by. 

The Format

The tournament is set up much like New Japan’s another famous tournament the G1 Climax. Sixteen wrestlers are split up into two blocks of 8 and then they compete in a round-robin style tournament to determine the winner of each block. The two winners then go on to compete against each other to be crowned as the best junior heavyweight in the world.

The Blocks

Block A Block B
Jushin Thunder Liger Tiger Mask
Ricochet Ryusuke Taguchi
Dragon Lee KUSHIDA
Will Ospreay Volador Jr.
Marty Scurll ACH
Taichi Yoshinobu Kanemaru
TAKA Michinoku El Desperado
Hiromu Takahashi Bushi

A few returning winners will compete in this year’s tournament with reigning champion Will Ospreay joining three-time winner Jushin Thunder Liger and 2014 winner Ricochet in Block A as well as current Junior Heavyweight champion Hiromu Takahashi.

Group B, however, features a number of stars for the future and it could be a chance to give some of the less exposed talents a chance. It looks like KUSHIDA could be the big name from this group alongside ACH and Bushi.

Matches to watch out for

Ospreay fought Ricochet in last year's tournament with the Brit coming out on top | Photo Source: NJPW
Ospreay fought Ricochet in last year's tournament with the Brit coming out on top | Photo Source: NJPW

Fans of well-choreographed and acrobatic matches will be glad to see that a rematch between Ricochet and Will Ospreay could be on the cards after last year’s match in this very same tournament, which had wrestling fans all over the world debating over their style. Expect to see more of the same from the two and go even further with their acrobatic displays.

We will also see a rematch between Ricochet and Takahashi after their first match at the end of April had talk of the Match of the Year around it following Hiromu’s win.

It is undeniable that this year’s tournament will throw out some great matches that we have never seen before and with Marty Scurll making his official NJPW debut a battle of the Brits between him and Ospreay could provide some fantastic entertainment.