Previously on NJPW: A space pirate prince was born, Miho Abe became a two-time NEVER Openweight Champion, and everything was Ishii.
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And now, the best and worst of the first two shows of Best of the Super Juniors 26 from May 13-14, 2019, in Miyagi.
Preliminary Best: Bite-Sized Video Packages
I wrote a real preview and a dumb listicle “preview” for this tournament for With Spandex, but I will openly admit that I think it was, in fact, NJPW who put out the best preview material for BOSJ 26 with their one-minute video packages for each of the entrants. Making wrestlers feel motivated in a high-stakes tournament is pretty easy because they all have a clear overall goal plus a clear goal for every match. In-character tweaks make wrestlers’ motivations their own and make everything more interesting to follow, and the videos tell us about these in a way that’s easy to process for both casual and more hardcore followers of NJPW. I like the one that’s just about Kanemaru’s drinking problem.
But really, all of these pale next to the reminders that HIROMU TAKAHASHI IS STILL THE [UNCROWNED] KING OF THIS SHIT because he’s not even wrestling and he still took the time to make preview books for both A and B Block. GET WELL SOON, HIROMU, and thank you for the perfect nickname of “Respectable Octopus” for Jonathan Gresham.