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NJPW BOSJ & World Tag League finals live results: Tournament finals

NJPW's Best of the Super Juniors 28 and World Tag League 2021 tournaments wrap up today in Ryogoku. 

The BOSJ finals will main event, as Hiromu Takahashi faces YOH. Hiromu will be aiming for his third career BOSJ win. YOH rebounded after losing his first four tournament matches to earn a spot in the finals. 

The World Tag League finals will take place in the semi-main, with Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI taking on Bullet Club's EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi. Goto and YOSHI-HASHI finished the tournament at 9-2, while House of Torture made the finals on tiebreakers with an 8-3 record and wins over the other two 8-3 teams. 

A "major announcement" from Katsuyori Shibata has also been advertised for the show. Shibata returned to the ring at the G1 finals on October 21 for a five-minute exhibition match against Zack Sabre Jr., promising that the next time he was in the ring, it would be for a real match. Shibata was forced to retire after suffering a subdural hematoma in an April 2017 IWGP Heavyweight title match against Kazuchika Okada. 

Wrestle Kingdom 16 opponents will be on opposite sides of a tag tonight as well. IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Shingo Takagi will team with BUSHI, facing Okada and Robbie Eagles. Shingo defends the IWGP title against Okada on night one of Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. 

A series of tag matches will fill out the undercard. Tetsuya Naito & SANADA take on Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata face Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens. Toru Yano, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Master Wato take on Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo face Tiger Mask & Ryohei Oiwa. Ryusuke Taguchi, Yuto Nakashima & Kosei Fujita take on Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku & DOUKI in the opener. 

Our live coverage begins at 4:30 a.m. Eastern time. 

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DOUKI, TAKA Michinoku, and Minoru Suzuki defeated Kosei Fujita, Yuta Nakashima, and Rysuke Taguchi 

This was fine and to the point. 

Fujita opened the match against Suzuki and momentarily succeeded in taking control on the mat. On the mat, Suzuki caught Fujita in a crossface, forcing a rope break and a tag. Nakashima tried his luck against Suzuki, but a Suzuki forearm dropped the young lion. 

TAKA tagged in after Suzuki’s success to immediately lose control to Nakashima. Taguchi tagged into the match and continued to advance his team’s lead. The lead continued as the young lions and DOUKI entered the fray. 

A deep Boston crab from Nakashima incited a brawl as team Taguchi attempted to prevent Suzuki-Gun interference; this failed as the struggle spilt into the ring. The struggle favoured DOUKI and company. All three Suzuki-Gun competitors locked in submissions inside the ropes, leading to a tap-out victory. 

El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori defeated Ryohei Oiwa and Tiger Mask

The match itself was extremely brief. It served future ends, setting up more for the junior belts. 

ELP and Ishimori teased Tiger Mask following the opening bell by trading tags before engaging. To their dismay, Tiger Mask gained offensive control and maintained it even as both heels hit the ring. Oiwa tagged into the match and was doing quite well before an ELP superkick broke up a Boston crab, allowing Ishimori to pin Oiwa for an abrupt ending. 

After the match, ELP and Ishimori began to beatdown Tiger Mask. Robbie Eagles hit the ring but failed to save his partner. Rysuke Taguchi then hit the ring and successfully fought off Bullet Club, only to attack Tiger Mask and Eagles after saving the day. Taguchi posed with both junior tag belts before scurrying off after the champions, Eagles and Tiger Mask, regained their footing. 

Taichi, Zack Sabre Jr, El Desperado, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated  Master Wato, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, and Toru Yano

Nothing special in this one. 

The match opened with an eight-way brawl, initiated by Suzuki-Gun. After things calmed down, Wato and Desperado had a typical opening sequence. This lasted for a moment before another brawl restarted the chaos. 

Once the match resumed, ZSJ and Taichi cornered Wato. Once Wato escaped, Makabe tagged in and gained control for his team after running through all of his opponents. A kick from Taichi reset the match. 

Taichi and Makabe traded blows before ZSJ and Honma entered the match. Honma tried and failed at submitting ZSJ, but Makabe prevented ZSJ from even attempting a submission. ZSJ avoided the headbutt, and Taichi flattened Honma. ZSJ then successfully locked in a triangle, forcing the submission. 

After the match, there was a brief scuffle that ended with Suzuki-Gun standing tall. 

Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale, Tanga Loa, and Tama Tonga

This was a bit of a mess, but the matches purpose was fulfilled, I suppose; Owens is a mini-rival for Tanahashi before Tanahashi gets another run at KENTA.

Imagine this — the match opened with a brawl. Kojima and Loa took turns striking each other after the brawling ended. Loa emerged with control, allowing each member of Bullet Club to tag in and beat down Kojima. 

After Kojima finally tagged out, Nagata overwhelmed Tonga to reset momentum momentarily. Tonga was able to withstand the rally, before tagging in Owens, but due to a miscommunication, Nagata regained control. 

Tanahashi tagged into the match to focus down his apparent rival, Owens, but Bullet Club chicanery caused the match to break down into a brawl. After the brawl played out, Owens and Tanahashi were alone once more. Owens avoided High Fly Flow. Two C-triggers (knee strikes) left Tanashi laid out. Owens hesitated, allowing Tanahashi to roll up the Texas Heavyweight Champion to close the match.

After the match, KENTA appeared on the tron to challenge Tanahashi to a rematch. KENTA agreed to the match so long as it was held with no disqualifications. Tanahashi agreed. 

Katsuyori Shibata’s Announcement 

Shibata entered the ring with tears in his eyes. Shibata then announced he had a match on January 4th’s Tokyo Dome show and left the ring. The Wrestler will be back for Wrestle Kingdom. 

SANADA and Tetsuya Naito defeated Jeff Cobb and Great-O-Khan 

This was enjoyable enough for a preview tag. It seems Cobb Naito is the singles match in the making. 

LIJ opened the match by jumping O-Khan and Cobb. SANADA then tied O-Khan up with the paradise lock while pulling on the braid. As SANADA stood the match up, O-Khan found his first opening. After catching a strike from SANADA, O-Khan took control, and the match spilt to the outside. 

Once back inside, Cobb tagged in, slowing the pace as he worked over SANADA. This pace continued as O-Khan tagged back in. 

SANADA caught a Mongolian chop, probably because O-Khan screamed before trying it. SANADA then landed a dropkick before tagging Naito into the match. Cobb, now legal, was on the receiving end of a Naito rally. 

Cobb eventually caught Naito, driving him into the turnbuckle pads to end Naito’s offence. O-Khan then hit the ring, aiding Cobb in turning the match around. SANADA tried saving his partner but fell to O-Khan. SANADA did succeed in buying Naito enough time to catch Cobb with a rana. The rana turned into a pin, leading to the finish.

After the match, Cobb jumped Naito but failed in his attack. Naito left standing tall, with a smile on his face. After Naito made it through the curtain, Cobb tried to jump him again. 

Robbie Eagles and Kazuchika Okada defeated Shingo Takagi and BUSHI

There was a lot to like in this match. It was excellent at teasing the upcoming Shingo/Okada title match without over-exposing the match-to-be. 

This match opened with Shingo and Okada grappling; they traded control multiple times before a ducked rainmaker turned into a failed last of the dragon. Okada and Shingo are equals, at least in this moment. 

BUSHI and Eagles tagged into the match and increased the pace ten-fold. A tope into the barricade left BUSHI in control. BUSHI choked Eagles with a shirt before tagging Shingo back into the match. 

Eagles tried striking down Shingo but fell to one blow from the reigning world champion. Shingo eventually slipped from control as a quick rana allowed Okada to tag back in. Okada succeeded in reversing momentum, at least for a moment. 

Shingo eventually fought to a standing position to trade strikes with Okada. The pair again tried to finish one another but failed to deliver anything substantial. BUSHI tagged back into the match, focusing Okada while Shingo focused Eagles outside the ring. 

Okada withstood the BUSHI attempt at offence, delivering an air raid crash neckbreaker before locking in the money clip. Shingo hit the ring to break up the hold, and Eagles hit the ring to fight off Shingo. Eagles and Okada succeeded in fighting off Shingo, and a dive from Eagles left Okada alone once more with BUSHI. Okada landed the rainmaker and pinned BUSHI to close the match.

World Tag League Finals: YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi 

This match wasn’t good, but seeing YH with a Tag League trophy might be worth enduring the chicanery. 

The match opened with a Bullet Club favoured distraction. YH fought through, however, and gained control. Goto and YH then grabbed the would-be distractor, Dick Togo, and beat him down in an attempt to even the odds. 

EVIL removed a turnbuckle pad while YH and Goto were dealing with Togo. EVIL then succeeded in throwing both of his opponents into the exposed buckles. The match then worked its way outside, where Bullet Club slammed YH and Goto into the barricade and EVIL beat down YH with a chair. Back in the ring, Yujiro and EVIL maintained this momentum. 

A dropkick to the knee of EVIL allowed YH to tag out. Goto connected with some offence but was grabbed by a recovered Togo. Togo and Yujiro slammed Goto into the barricade while EVIL distracted the referee. Back in the ring, EVIL focused the knee of Goto. 

It took YH hitting the ring for EVIL’s momentum to wane. Goto connected with a reverse GTR, yielding a near fall. Then, with his back against the wall, EVIL distracted the referee again, allowing Togo to choke Goto with a rope. Goto fought through this interference and delivered a backdrop suplex to EVIL after escaping. 

YH tagged in, as did Yujro. The pair tried moves but were successful in stopping one another. Finally, a money shot landed, forcing Goto to break up the pin. EVIL then hit the ring and hit Goto with darkness falls. YH tried to claw his way back into the match, but pimp juice left him laying. After a failed pin, Yujiro grabbed his cane, forcing Goto to hit the ring again.

Goto saved YH and fought off EVIL and Togo before he could interfere. YH and Goto hit DYW, but Togo pulled the referee to the outside before he could finish his count. Togo and EVIL then hit the ring with a rope and chair, respectively. This triggered Tomohiro Ishii to hop the barricade, fighting off Togo to even the odds.

YH and Goto fought off Bullet Club again, surviving another referee bump and an attempted low blow, before delivering a tandem move to close the match. 

Best of the Super Jr Finals: Hiromu Takahashi defeated YOH

I loved a lot of this match. SHO’s involvement is a negative, but overall it was a meaningfully-dense outing even with its extended run time. YOH’s determination and ultimate heartbreak were tangible and drove the match into something special. 

This match’s opening sequence consisted of back-and-forth grappling. While Hiromu led most of the exchange, YOH held on. Hiromu and YOH traded strikes, and again, Hiromu maintained a lead, but again YOH stayed focused. This cat-and-mouse game continued for a while, with YOH dawning his new confidence. 

Hiromu eventually landed a dropkick on the outside, seemingly stifling YOH’s persistence for the first time. Back in the ring, YOH was chopped down, his chest turning a blistered red. Even as he wore the effects of substantial striking, he continued to resist. A quick drop toe hold followed by a dropkick grounded Hiromu. A falcon arrow left YOH with a lead for the first time, a lead that became substantial after a dragonscrew. YOH locked in stargazer, his leglock variation. Hiromu climbed into the ropes to force a break.

Hiromu caught YOH before he could follow up with a submission of his own, but YOH survived. YOH then reversed an attempt at offence into a German suplex. YOH chased this opening, landing a knee strike, but Hiromu didn’t fall. Instead, Hiromu caught YOH with a sit-down powerbomb, resetting the match. 

This late reset initiated a back-and-forth sequence of moves that ended with a nasty throw into the corner that laid out YOH. Hiromu then hoisted YOH to his shoulders on the ring’s apron, delivering a brutal death valley driver against the ring corner. YOH managed to make his way to his feet before being counted out. Hiromu attempted to block YOH, but a rana brought him to the floor. YOH followed up with a beautiful dive that left both men laid out. Enter SHO. 

SHO dropped his former partner YOH with a piledriver. This infuriated Hiromu, who stood up to the would-be invader. Hiromu met the same fate; a piledriver to Hiromu also left him lying. SHO then grabbed the microphone and declared the match a no-contest; the referee ignored this declaration, insisting that the match continued. Enter LIJ and CHAOS. The factions ran off SHO, allowing the match to continue. 

YOH was the first to strike once the match began again, but Hiromu responded immediately. A series of quick pin attempts YOH followed, but again, Hiromu was ready, this time with a suplex. YOH and Hirmou slipped in and out of each other’s attempts at a finish before a headbutt sent both men to their knees. A lariat flattened YOH, opening him up for victory royale; YOH kicked out. 

YOH caught Hiromu with a dragonscrew to slow Hiromu down once more. YOH hoisted Hiromu to the top rope and hit a superplex. Hiromu recovered immediately, attempting a rollup. After YOH kicked out, he hit a beautiful thrust kick followed by a dragon suplex. The kick out that followed was as close as possible. Hiromu then caught YOH himself before delivering a timebomb. Not only did YOH survive, but he also connected with a lariat after being on defeat’s door. Hiromu returned the favour with a lariat of his own before hitting a back-to-belly piledriver; YOH held on. Hiromu then lifted YOH and hit him with timebomb 2 to close BOSJ. 

After the match, Hiromu cut a promo. He told YOH to step up and deal with SHO. He also called out Desperado, saying he would win in their title match. Hiromu made it clear he was to be on top, even if it means going through his faction-mates. He then hoisted the BOSJ trophy as he was showered with confetti.