Preview by Joseph Currier
This year's World Tag League tournament comes to a close in Miyagi tonight at one of New Japan Pro Wrestling's last stops before the Tokyo Dome.
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In the show's main event, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma will face IWGP Tag Team Champions Guerrillas of Destiny in the finals of this year's tournament. Makabe and Honma will likely challenge for the titles on January 4th if they defeat the champions.
Perhaps the most hyped thing on the show is the reveal of a new member of the Bullet Club. We will also likely get more announcements for the Tokyo Dome either here or in the next couple days.
The undercard of the show will feature tag matches that will build to the top Dome bouts, with Kazuchika Okada teaming with Tomohiro Ishii against Kenny Omega and Hangman Page. And Hiroshi Tanahashi and KUSHIDA will take on Tetsuya Naito and Rush.
Our live coverage kicks off at 3 a.m. ET.
JUSHIN LIGER & TIGER MASK VS. RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & DAVID FINLAY
Basic match, with Liger and Taguchi doing their usual stuff. About what you'd expect with it seeming like Liger & Tiger Mask were about to win when out of nowhere Finlay pinned Liger with a cradle. Liger first complained about a fast count but then shook Finlay's hand and raised his hand and all four raised each others' hands.
YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & BAD LUCK FALE VS. MANABU NAKANISHI & HENARE
Pretty bad, but at least it was short. You haven't lived until you've seen Nakanishi vs. Fale. Nakanishi & Henare did double Mil Mascaras & Dos Caras style cross chops on both guys, which is about the only time they would be compared to Mascaras & Caras. Yujiro pinned Henare after a fisherman buster and a DDT, which is called pimp juice.
YOSHITATSU & BILLY GUNN VS. BONE SOLDIER & CHASE OWENS
Another short match with not much to it. Mostly Gunn and Owens doing moves to each other and swearing at each other. Yoshitatsu laid out Owens with a plancha and Billy pinned Bone with a famouser. Billy found a guy in the crowd with a DX shirt and posed with him after. Very rare to have two straight New Japan matches like this, but not a surprise.
WAR MACHINE VS. LELAND RACE & BRIAN BREAKER
War Machine won of course when Hanson came off the top rope with a leg drop while Rowe had Race up in the air. The crowd liked War Machine but this wasn't the best showcase for them. The highlight was a spot where Rowe missed a tope, nailing a rookie. Race & Breaker were working on him when Hanson did a flip plancha off the top rope to the floor on all three.
SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN & YUJI NAGATA VS. SEIYA SANADA & EVIL & BUSHI
Best match so far,but still nothing speical. Kojima hit the diamond cutter on Evil after hitting the 3-D on Sanada. Bushi blew mist in Kojima's eyes as the ref was distrated and then Evil got a near fall with the darkness fall on Kojima and then got the pin with the STO, which is called Evil. No angle or anything coming out of this.
The entire Bullet Club is coming out for the big announcement right now. Kenny Omega has a t-shirt that reads "Best bout machine." Omega is he leader. He said Bone Soldier was an intergallactic disaster. He said it was Ry, and then stopped and said he will not speak Japanese. He said he's brought a video. A vdieo was shown of Cody Rhodes smoking a cigar in a room full of candles. He's Cody the American Nightmare.
Omega said it was Cody Rhodes, so he used the name. Omega said you may be cheering, you may wish it was someone else but things will change and phase two of the Bullet Club's Global takeover begins.
KATSUYORI SHIBATA & JUICE ROBINSON VS. HIROOKI GOTO & YOSHI-HASHI
The stuff with Goto vs Shibata was good, but not great. Shibata had Goto beaten twice but Yoshi-Hashi saved him each time. Yoshi-Hashi then gave Shibata running double knees and Goto used the GTR and pinned Shbata. Goto then grabbed the belt, so we'll have Shibata vs. Goto for the Never Open Weight title at the Tokyo Dome. They were best friends from high school wrestlng and have had great matches in the past but it feels like somethig done before.
HIROSHI TANAHASHI & KUSHIDA VS. TETSUYA NAITO & RUSH
They were having the best match on the show with Tanahashi laying Naito out with a planha and Kushida having Rush in the hoverboard lock. Hiromu Takahashi (Kamaitachi) came out and distrated Kushida. Takahashi threw Tanahashi into the ref who went down. Naito kicked Tanahashi low and Takahashi laid out Kushida with a TKO live move. Rush then used the Rush driver to pin Kushida. After the match Naito offered Takahashi a Los Ingobernables baseball cap. Takahashi put it on for a pretty big pop. That's probably the most newsworthy thing to the crowd so far.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA & TOMOHIRO ISHII VS. KENNY OMEGA & HANGMAN PAGE
This was pretty good. Lots of hot action with Okada vs. Omega. They'll have a great match at the Dome but that goes without saying. Omega kept escaping rainmaker attempts and Okada got escaping One winged angel attempts. A lot of good action with Ishii vs. Omega. Okada used a tombstone piledriver and rainmaker to pin Page. After the match when Okada was celebrating, Omega hit the one winged angel. Gedo yelled at Omega to leave. Of course Omega laid out Gedo with a running knee. Omega then gave Gedo the one winged angel. He put Gedo on top of Omega and put his foot on Gedo's chest and celebrated. Heat wasn't super for it but it was the basic angle you'd do in this situation. Omega said I just killed Okada and his father. Okada had to be helped out.
TOMOAKI HONMA & TOGI MAKABE VS. TAMA TONGA & TANGA ROA IN THE 2016 TAG TEAM TOURNAMENT FINAL
Excellent match. They went about 27 minutes teasing all kinds of twists and turns and near falls. There were a few scary spots such as when Tonga used a gunstun on Makabe as he came off the top rope for the kneedroip and it wasn't exactly perfect. Easily the best Tonga & Roa match I've seen and Tonga really performed at the toip guy main event level here. At another point Honma was power bombed off the apron through a table by Roa. They destroyed Makabe including giving him the Magic killer but Honma made the last second save. The finish saw Tonga go for he gun stun on Honma on the apron but Honma got out of it and nailed Tonga with a kokeshi, knocking him off the apron. In the ring, Makabe put Roa on his shoulders and Honma came off with a head-butt spear, the kokeshi impact, then Honma used a diving head-butt on Roa and Makabe followed with a kneedrop off the top the pin.
Of course Makabe & Honma said they wanted a tag team title match after this. This is one where the quality of this match made the tag title match feel a lot bigger than it looked on paper.