On November 29th New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) presented Best of the Super Juniors 27 (BOSJ 27) from the legendary Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan in front of 696 fans. COVID-19 (Coronavirus, 2019) safety restrictions were responsible for the reduced crowd size, yet the crowd was enthusiastic throughout the event.
The opening series match of the event saw former two-time IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and BOSJ 19 (2012) winner “Funky Weapon” Ryusuke Taguchi against NJPW Noge Dojo Young Lion Yuya Uemura. Coming into the match Taguchi dropped the fall to former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion and Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) member Bushi on November 25th. On the same night, Uemura lost to “Way to the Grand Master” Master Wato.
Despite being the massive underdog, and not expected to win a match throughout his BOSJ 27 campaign, Uemura came out with fire. He gave the veteran some issues early on during the match but didn’t have the experience to string together his offense.
However, Uemura continued to give Taguchi problems throughout; it wasn’t until Taguchi used a clever chain of maneuvers to lock on the Oh My & Garankle that he was truly able to trap the Young Lion. Taguchi gained the submission fall at the 11 minutes and 26 seconds mark.
The victory moved Taguchi to (3-3) [6 points] and kept his BOSJ 27 Finals hopes alive, while Uemura dropped to (0-6) [6 points]. Taguchi would go on to face CHAOS member “Sniper of the Skies” Robbie Eagles on December 2nd, while Uemura faced Suzuki-Gun member Douki on the same night.
While Taguchi is often seen as a light-hearted wrestler, who isn’t focused on winning by western fans of NJPW, his BOSJ 27 performances show he is indeed a serious competitor that can challenge the best Junior Heavyweights around the world.