Before New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s Best of the Super Juniors tournament, a great annual tradition for people who enjoy wrestling matches, there is the BOSJ press conference. This is low-key a great annual tradition for people like me who enjoy both red carpets and learning the answers wrestlers come up with for the question, “What kind of formal clothes would my character wear if my character had to wear formal clothes to a work event?”
Shared interests in wrestling, fashion, and judging people are why Elle Collins and I did Wrestle Kingdom 13 predictions and analysis based only on press conference fashion earlier this year, and for the same reasons, I have now come up with a definitive With Spandex power ranking of every wrestler in Best of the Super Juniors 26 based only on what they wore to the press conference. Wrestlers will be judged on their outfit and what it says about their character’s chances going into the tournament. (There’s also a “real” “more serious” preview of BOSJ here.)
Is There Any Evidence A Strong Performance In The Fashion Gauntlet That Is An NJPW Tournament Press Conference Correlates With A Strong Performance In Its Associated Tournament?
No, there is no evidence of any connection between how well a wrestler does in a tournament and the impression he makes with his outfit at the press conference beforehand!
Wouldn’t A Fashion Expert Be More Qualified To Do This Ranking Than A Wrestling Blogger?
Possibly, so I enlisted my roommate Brea, who is a model, to provide some input on the BOSJ press conference looks. According to Brea, overall, judging from mannerisms as well as outfits, “half of them looked kind of douchey and half of them looked weird as f*ck,” which is a pretty accurate summary of most casts of wrestling characters. Her fashion winners of A-Block were Titán, Dragon Lee, Shingo Takagi, and Marty Scurll, with Taka Michinoku “dead-ass last” and Kanemaru second-to-last. Yoh, Rocky Romero, and El Phantasmo won B-Block, with Taguchi, somewhat appropriately, bringing up the rear.
Okay, now it’s time for my ranking, which is less informed about fashion and more informed about the wrestlers!
20. Ryusuke Taguchi
Taguchi’s black pants, black polo press conference outfit is a step up from his ring gear that could fall apart at any time, but a step down from what almost everyone else in the tournament is wearing. I feel like this man is going to try and sell me a cell phone or maybe washing machine and am not confident his head is in the game for BOSJ 26.
19. Taka Michinoku
Taka Michinoku did not try at all. The only reason he’s not the lowest ranked wrestler on this list is that that fits his character so well and also he did not try so hard that it might be a power move. It’s bad, but you have to respect it in a way.
18. Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Kanemaru looks a lot nicer than one might expect from his character with his navy jacket, matching v-neck, and white-pants, but he still has one of the lowest effort outfits at this press conference. He exceeds expectations, but expectations for the drunk uncle of NJPW are very low!
17. Tiger Mask
With Tiger Mask’s white long-sleeve tee and gray cardigan he looks like he could be the most stylish dad at a farmer’s market, but not like a tournament winner! This is an underwhelming press conference look for the veteran competitor.