Hiromu Takahashi wants some changes for the next Best of the Super Jr. tournament.
The current IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion, a former BOSJ tournament winner in his own right, recently spoke with NJPW and talked some ideas about what the next tournament could be like. Obviously, there was no tournament this year due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and Takahashi believes NJPW could work around that in regards to filling out a roster of wrestlers.
Normally, wrestlers from other promotions outside of Japan would have some representation in the Best of the Super Jr. such as Ring of Honor and CMLL, but those promotions are outside Japan. Takahashi believes that it will be harder to get promotions outside of Japan to make it to the country and so, he proposes the tournament field be filled with wrestlers from other Japanese promotions.
“So let’s say this whole thing calms down. Even if we can have Best of the Super Jr. after all. It’ll be pretty hard to bring in wrestlers from overseas. So suppose they say, ‘We’ll do BOSJ with the wrestlers in Japan.’ It would be a small field and I don’t think it’d be right. If it was just the NJPW wrestlers in Japan, the fans wouldn’t accept it. LIke, there’d be a big asterisk next to the winner’s name. That’s how I’ve been feeling lately. So what if we had wrestlers from other Japanese promotions? We haven’t done that for a long time. If there’s guys around that make the grade, I think it’d be pretty cool. It would stop the Japanese NJPW guys from getting complacent, and taking their BOSJ entry for granted. I’m sure nobody takes anything for granted, but that competition will keep everyone on their toes,” Takahashi said.
In addition, Takahashi proposed that a semifinal round be re-introduced into the tournament. The current format, which has been in place since 2015, features two blocks of wrestlers with those two groups competing in a round-robin format with the top winner of each group advancing to the finals. Takahashi wants the format to be altered in one of two different ways: the top two of both groups advance to the semifinals, something that was done from 2005 to 2014, or four groups with the winner of each advancing to the semifinals.
“I want to see semifinals again. I want to know what that’s like. The top two in each block in a single elimination. Or you could have four blocks with the top guy in each going through. That’s the kind of thing I’m thinking about,” Takahashi said.
But perhaps the most interesting idea is having the tournament be done at the same time as the G1 Climax tournament.
“This one’s kinda wild, but fans will be happy enough just to have live events with people in the crowd again. But to really get everyone hyped up, how about Best of the G1 Climax? We don’t know when we’ll get started again, but it’s possible we could have the G1 Climax with fans in September, October. If we do, what if we did G1 Climax and BOSJ at the same time? So five G1 matches and five BOSJ each night. Then when it comes to the card for the final day, after we find out the finalists, they should announce a poll to decide which is the main event. I think I would win that. I’ve said before, if I win BOSJ and [Tetsuya] Naito wins the G1, they’d have to make me and Naito the Tokyo Dome main event [at Wrestle Kingdom]. Well, if we do Best of the G1 Climax, and me and Naito both win, they can make the Tokyo Dome main event right there. Then I win that match [for both the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship],” Takahashi said.
Takahashi was actually supposed to face Naito in a champion vs. champion match with no titles on the line at the NJPW Anniversary show that was set for earlier this year, but that event has since been canceled.
The full interview can be seen at this link.