New Japan All Star Junior Festival USA 2023: Mike Bailey earns IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title shot

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2023/08/19/new-japan-all-star-junior-festival-usa-2023-mike-bailey-earns-iwgp-junior-heavyweight-title-shot/

On Saturday night, the 2300 Arena in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania hosted some of the finest junior heavyweight talent from around the world.

They had gathered for the All Star Junior Festival USA 2023, organized by NJPW of America in cooperation with many other promotions.

The main event was the All Star Junior Festival USA Tournament finals.

‘Speedball’ Mike Bailey defeated Kevin Knight after both men won their semifinals earlier in the evening.

.@Jet2Flyy "Flamingo Driver"

BUY:https://t.co/jltG6EbSzD#NJPW #ASJF2023 #njpwworld pic.twitter.com/ZovenRhcNW

— njpwworld (@njpwworld) August 20, 2023

Due to his win, Bailey has earned an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title match against Hiromu Takahashi.

The All Star Junior Festival USA came five months after the Japan-based version of the event, which took place at Korakuen Hall, Tokyo.

The show was organized by New Japan Pro Wrestling, but featured talent from multiple promotions including AEW, CMLL, IMPACT, DDT, and GCW.

The event was organized by Rocky Romero, working alongside Hiromu Takahashi.

Full results from the 2300 Arena, Philadelphia, PA

  • Preshow: Goldy def. Vinny Pacifio
  • YOH & Matt Sydal def. Shun Skywalker & Bushi
  • All Star Jr. Festival Tournament Semifinal: Kevin Knight def. Clark Connors
  • All Star Jr. Festival Tournament Semifinal: Mike Bailey def. Francesco Akira
  • Six-man Tag Match: Ryusuke Taguchi, Rich Swann & The DKC def. Real1, Jack Cartwheel & Starboy Charlie
  • Lucky Dip Eight-Man Tag Match: Kosei Fujita, Robbie Eagles, Alex Shelley & Chris Bey def. Cheeseburger, TJP, Ace Austin & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Fatal Five-Way Match: Soberano Jr. def. Lio Rush, Fugaz, Dragon Kid & KC Navarro
  • MAO & El Desperado def. Nick Wayne & Jordan Oliver
  • Philly Cheesesteak Cup Three-Way Tag Team Ladder Match: DOUKI & Low Rider def. Blake Christian & Master Wato and Hiromu Takahashi & Rocky Romero
  • All Star Jr. Festival Tournament Final: Mike Bailey def. Kevin Knight

I was there, and I thought this was a very fun show. My favorite matches were the three tournament matches, and MAO & El Desperado vs. The East West Express, for which the crowd got very hot.

Bailey put over Knight afterward, saying he’s well on his way to being one of the best in the world. He spoke of how Junior Heavyweight wrestling used to be thought of as lesser than, but between New Japan’s Jr. Heavyweight Division and Impact’s X Division, they’re some of the best in the world. He invited out Hiromu and said he’s looking forward to teaming with him tomorrow, but also wants to challenge him, to which Hiromu said “Of course.” Then most of the show’s roster came out for a group photo and signed the ring canvas.

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Great color detail, Brian! Seems like it was a very fun show to attend.

Also, what a great pic. Glad you enjoyed it :saluting_face:

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Thanks Neal! If not for the people in front of me (I was in the fifth row), I would have been able to get Rocky Romero more clearly in the bottom.

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