This morning marked the beginning of the Best of the Super Jr. 30 tournament, where 20 of the best junior heavyweights in the world will battle to be crowned the best and earn a shot at the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship.

The first show of the tournament was highlighted by the spectacular main event of ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey up against the current IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, Hiromu Takahashi.

Before the match began, Bailey showed his respect to the current champion and then the battle was on. Bailey started with his spectacular kicks at a ridiculous speed, and he then hit a running kick right to the face of Takahashi. But, Takahashi was not going to stay down easy and he then hit Bailey with a running missile dropkick from the ring apron.

Running dropkick. Credit: NJPW

He then dragged Bailey into the stands and dropped him with a suplex on the concrete, before running across the stadium to hit Bailey with another dropkick. Back in the ring, Bailey got back into it with his stiff kicks before hitting a standing shooting star. Bailey then went for a handspring, but Takahashi caught him with a German suplex and then a pop-up powerbomb.

But, Bailey came right back, hitting a PK and then a double-knee moonsault, which is a brutally beautiful move. Bailey knocked Takahashi off the apron with a big boot and followed that with a springboard moonsault. He was then looking for the double-knee moonsault on the apron, but Takahashi rolled out of the way and then hit the sunset flip onto the floor.

Takahashi then turned Bailey inside out with a lariat and was looking for another, but Bailey turned it into a Spanish fly. Bailey then started with his kicks again, and he hit a running spinning roundhouse kick right to the head of Takahashi. He then went to the second rope and hit Ultima Weapon, a shooting star double knee drop, to get the major upset victory over the champ!

Block A Standings

Block B Standings

Best of the Super Jr. 30 Day 1 Results

Kevin Knight vs. Clark Connors — Block B Tournament Match

In the first match of the tournament, Kevin Knight wasted no time attacking Clark Connors before the bell. However, Knight could not retain control and before he knew it he was being run into the ring post by Connors. Knight was close to the win, but he got distracted by Gedo at ringside which allowed Connors to hit a spear. He followed that with his new finisher, No Chaser, to get the first two points of the tournament. After the match, Connors wasn’t done and beat Knight down with a steel chair.

Winner: Clark Connors

Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Taiji Ishimori — Block A Tournament Match

This match started very quickly with Taguchi hitting a springboard crossbody to the outside in the first minute of the bout. Unfortunately for Taguchi, that first minute was all the offence he would get in for the match. Just three minutes into it, Ishimori locked Taguchi into the Bone Lock and he had no choice but to tap out.

Winner: Taiji Ishimori

Bushi vs. Dan Moloney — Block B Tournament Match

This was the Japan debut of Dan Moloney, and he was impressive right from the jump. Bushi did showcase some of his skill as well, hitting a missile dropkick and backstabber at different points in the match. In the end, it would be Moloney hitting a gore and then a Drill Killer to get the win.

Winner: Dan Moloney

Kushida vs. Douki — Block A Tournament Match

This was a very technical match, and it was a back-and-forth of many different holds and reversals. Both men also kept exchanging roll-ups, hoping to steal a win and that is exactly what happened. Douki got Kushida in an arm-trapped roll-up and he got the victory!

Winner: Douki

Master Wato vs. Francesco Akira — Block B Tournament Match

These men were moving very fast, and they both wanted all the same moves at the exact same time. Akira did connect with a beautiful suicide dive and then a 619 directly into the chest of Wato. As Akira was looking for the finish, Wato turned it into a Recientemente and stole the win.

Winner: Master Wato

Lio Rush vs. Sho — Block A Tournament Match

Lio Rush using the wrench. Credit: NJPW

As Lio Rush was making his way to the ring, he was attacked by Sho’s House of Torture stablemate, Evil. After Evil finished choking Rush out, he threw him into the ring. Now Sho began his attack hitting a powerbomb onto his knees and then an arm-trapped piledriver. However, Rush kept kicking out and now Evil tried to interfere again, but this time Rush hit both Evil and Sho with dives through the ropes. Sho then continued his cheating ways by throwing the referee into Rush and then Evil was back in the ring. They tried to hit Rush with the wrench, but instead Rush hit both of them with the wrench. Rush then was able to hit Sho with Final Hour, and despite the interference Rush got the win.

Winner: Lio Rush

Yoh vs. Robbie Eagles — Block B Tournament Match

This match had a ridiculous amount of reversals and for the first few minutes, it felt like nobody got any offence in. Sho got the first big move of the match with a diving crossbody to the outside of the ring. Eagles picked up his offence when it mattered most, as he hit a trio of kicks and then a 450 splash to the leg of Sho. He followed that with a springboard dropkick to the knee and then a vicious knee strike to the head to get the win.

Winner: Robbie Eagles

Titan vs. TJP — Block A Tournament Match

Mamba Splash. Credit: NJPW

Titan is a member of LIJ and mostly competes in Mexico for CMLL, but he is in Japan to hopefully win the title of Best of the Super Juniors. TJP was wrestling very dirty today, going for eye rakes and trying to remove the mask of Titan. However, even with the foul play of TJP, Titan hit a springboard moonsault to the outside. TJP came right back with a Mamba Splash and then a springboard DDT. But, in the end, it was Titan locking TJP into a variation of the Muta Lock to earn his first two points.

Winner: Titan

El Desperado vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru — Block B Tournament Match

Kanemaru got the upper hand in this match by attacking El Desperado before the bell. He was then up to his usual tactics going after the knee of his opponent and driving Desperado’s knee into the floor. However, Desperado started to return the favor and locked Kanemaru into a knee-focused submission of his own. The damage Kanemaru was able to do to Desperado’s knee was already too far gone and he locked Desperado into the figure-four and earned the win.

Winner: Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Hiromu Takahashi vs. ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey — Block A Tournament Match

Winner: ‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey