New Japan Pro Wrestling's final tournament of the year started this morning as World Tag League kicked off at Korakuen Hall, with the winners very likely getting a shot at the heavyweight tag titles at WrestleKingdom 11. Here are prelim results and recaps of the main tournament matches:
Teruaki Kanemitsu defeated Hirai Kawato by submission with a Boston crab. Kanemitsu showed pretty good fire. Solid match overall.
Yoshitatsu, Billy Gunn, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Jushin Liger & David Finlay when Billy Gunn pinned Finlay with the famouser. They teased a Makabe/Gunn showdown after the match since their respective teams are facing off soon.
SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI defeated Tiger Mask, Yuji Nagata & Katsuyori Shibata when SANADA submitted Tiger Mask with the Skull End. It looked like SANADA was injured early after botching a leapfrog on Nagata, but he finished the match just fine.
Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Bone Soldier when YOSHI-HASHI pinned Owens with Karma. The match got a ton of heat toward the end when Okada and Omega were in.
War Machine defeated Henare & Manabu Nakanishi
This was better than you’d think. War Machine are pretty good. Henare shows a lot of potential and Nakanishi didn’t look nearly as bad as he usually does. Henare kicked out of an aided powerslam and Nakanishi broke up a pin to save him. War Machine isolated Henare again then pinned him with Fallout (belly-to-back suplex/legdrop from the top rope combo).
Brian Breaker & Leland Race defeated Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page
Decent match. Page worked a lot of it. Breaker and Race looked fine but don’t really stand out. Page looks good while Yujiro is, well, Yujiro. Breaker comes off as a big powerhouse type and works well with that style.
Yujiro and Page were looking to finish it but Page was shoved to the floor. Breaker did a big dropkick that sent Yujiro to the corner, then Race pinned him with an assisted standing sliced bread.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima defeated Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa)
This was a pretty solid match throughout, but nothing interesting. GoD are coming off as a more polished team, and will probably be even more polished when this tournament is all over. It seems like Tencozy haven’t actually been a team in forever even though they are in eight and six-man tags all the time. Kojima hit the cutter on Roa, gave him a lariat to the back of the head, then one more to the throat for the win.
Tetsuya Naito came to the ring, wearing a white suit. BUSHI followed, then EVIL, and of course SANADA followed. The ref wanted answers. After a minute or so, another man came out wearing the Ingobernables hood. He revealed himself to be none other than original Ingobernables member, Rush from CMLL.
Tetsuya Naito & Rush defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson
This was just okay, but it picked up toward the end. Crowd was into Rush and were very into the main event. Rush’s offense looks (and probably is) super stiff and he spent a lot of the match beating up Juice Robinson. Rush drilled Tanahashi with the Rush Driver and Naito followed suit with the Destino on Robinson to score the win.
Naito cut a promo on Tanahashi after the match and reaffirmed Rush’s standing in the group to close out the show.
A solid show overall. Nothing blow away, but this tour isn’t going to have a lot of out of this world matches anyway. Everything’s being set up for WrestleKingdom.