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NJPW World Tag League 11-21: Michael Elgin and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi


Mascara Dorada and David Finlay defeat Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka. The usual solid match these four have against one another. Not much to write home about but well worked. Dorada wins with the Dorada Screwdriver, pinning Komatsu.

The Addiction (Frankie Kazarian and Christopher Daniels) defeated Juice Robinson and Tiger Mask IV. Robinson is steadily improving, adapting well to the New Japan style and has shown great strides since starting out. Daniels and Kazarian were in control until Robinson started a comeback. Daniels cut off Robinson with a boot and was pinned after Rehab (belly to back suplex into a facebuster). Was fine for what it was.

The Kingdom and Gedo defeated Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi and Kushida. Captain New Japan was fixated on Maria throughout the entire match. Well, actually, most of the opposition was. Fine six man tag, the usual fare. Captain New Japan was gaining momentum when, of course, Maria went to the top rope and acted interested in CNJ. He went over and took off his belt because...uhh….I don’t know, which led to the Kingdom cutting him off and pinning him with a spike tombstone.

AJ Styles, Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Cody Hall and Yujiro Takahashi defeated Jay White, Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan. I would say Yujiro Takahashi is unrecognizable without his blond hair, but I can recognize that sloppy work anywhere. Pretty good match as everyone worked hard and the crowd got into it. Nagata worked a big part of the match and did great. Manabu Nakanishi and Fale traded big guy moves, culminating with a big suplex by Nakanishi. White was tagged in and made a hot comeback, including taking out Tama Tonga but Yujiro came back and planted him with the Miami Shine, pinning him.

Block A: Toru Yano and Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe

Good for what it was, but pretty short. Honma went for a kokeshi but Sakuraba grabbed him and put him in a submission in a good spot. He and Sakuraba have pretty good chemistry. Yano shoved Honma into the ref, nearly missed, but Yano low blowed him. Sakuraba followed with a kick and Yano rolled him up for the win.

There was an angle before the next match. Tetsuya Naito’s music played as who we thought was Naito came out, complete in the suit and mask we’ve seen him in before. But when the person took off his mask, it wasn’t Naito but none other than the returning Bushi, who was removed from this card a few days ago due to another injury...or so we thought. He stood on the outside, stoic as the next match began.

Block B: Evil and Tetsuya Natio vs. Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows

They brawled around the ring and into the stands. Anderson teased a powerbomb in the stands but Naito escaped, only to be thrown through the arena exit. Evil grabbed a chair, put it through Anderson’s head and posted his throat into the turnbuckle. That used to put people out for months back in the day. Turned into a long match. Wasn’t bad, just solid work, nothing more. Evil distracted the referee which allowed Bushi to go to the apron. Doc went after him and Bushi sprayed him with what looked like purple mist. Naito followed that with Destino for the win.

Block B: Katsuyori Shibata and Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii

Very good match, the best up to this point thanks to the hot crowd. Both Shibata and Goto battled it out against Ishii, doing their usual super stiff back and forth, the crowd eating it all up as Ishii stood tall over his opponents. Goto and Shibata had both of their opponents in double abdominal stretches at one point. Both teams acted like they were, well, regular teams and did some cool tandem offense in places. Crowd ate it up like you wouldn’t believe near the end when Ishii and Shibata were trading offense. Goto came in and took down Ishii, allowing Shibata to hit the penalty kick, scoring the win for his team.

A Block: Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin vs. Yoshi Hashi and Kazuchika Okada

Okada and Tanahashi shoved each other before the match. The buildup towards their Tokyo Dome match is that this is more personal than their previous battles, so this is a nice touch. #BigMike is just as over as he was during the G1 as the crowd was very much into his offense, doing all of the stuff that got him over on the last tour, including the falcon arrow from the top rope and the double fallaway slam.If he does that delayed suplex spot on every show he’s going to be over no matter what. Okada and Tanahashi had some good back and forth towards the end.  Yoshi Hashi avoided the buckle bomb and at one point laid out Elgin with a reverse DDT. Elgin dodged the swanton bomb. He took Tanahashi and gorilla press slammed him to the floor, wiping out Okada in the process. He grabbed Yoshi-Hashi and gave him the buckle bomb, then pinned him after a spiral bomb. Very good back and forth main event.
Overall a strong show, highlighted by two pretty great matches towards the end. Nothing here’s going to resonate as far as year end awards go but it was a fun few hours.