More World Tag League action continues tonight in Aichi.
Tonight’s tournament matches include Best Friends (6 points) vs. Killer Elite Squad (4) and Guerillas of Destiny (4) vs. Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka of Suzuki-gun (2). A tournament match featuring EVIL and SANADA of Los Ingobernables de Japon (6) will take on the other Suzuki-gun contingent of Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi (2).
Other tournament matches include Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata (2) vs. Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii (4), Shota Umino and Ayato Yoshida (0) vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Hangman Page (2), Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4) vs. Jeff Cobb and Michael Elgin (0) and Toa Henare and Togi Makabe (2) vs. David Finlay and Juice Robinson (4).
The most high profile match in the undercard includes Kazuchika Okada teaming with Roppongi 3K against LIJ members Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi.
Join us for live coverage this morning starting at 3 a.m. EDT. There will be English commentary.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HANGMAN PAGE DEFEATED SHOTA UMINO & AYATO YOSHIDA (7:54)
A decent opener, but nothing spectacular. Page and Yoshida looked good here.
Page and Umino kicked things off. Page used a fallaway slam on Umino, hit a plancha to Yoshida, then popped back into the ring and hit Umino with a lariat, all seemingly in one fluid motion.
Yujiro got a tag and worked over Umino with a slam and a chinlock. Page tagged back in and asked Umino to show him something. Umino responded with some offense, and hit a dropkick, then tagged Yoshida.
Yoshida hit a knee lift in the corner, a sit-out lariat, and a PK for a nearfall. Page responded with a discus forearm, then tagged Yujiro. Yujiro missed a low dropkick, and ate a knee lift from Yoshida, a forearm from Umino, and a PK from Yoshida.
Yoshida locked on a choke. Page jumped in for the save, but Umino cut him off and applied an armbar. Page broke free, and broke up the submission attempt.
Yujiro hit a fisherman suplex for a nearfall. Yoshida hit a PK, but Page jumped in and hit the buckshot lariat. Yujiro followed with pimp juice for the pin.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: TOMOHIRO ISHII & TORU YANO DEFEATED MANABU NAKANISHI & YUJI NAGATA (8:28)
This was good when Ishii and Nagata were in together.
This broke down into a brawl right away. Nakanishi and Yano started off. Ishii and Nagata jumped in. Nakanishi and Nagata got the upper hand in the ring. The action spilled to the floor, and Ishii and Yano gained control. Yano untied a corner pad, then whipped Nakanishi into the exposed buckle.
Ishii tagged in, and he and Nakanishi had a chop battle. Nakanishi hit Ishii with three headbutts, which Ishii no-sold. Ishii hit one headbutt and Nakanishi went down. Ishii went for the vertical drop brainbuster, but Nakanishi blocked it. Ishii hit the ropes, and Nakanishi hit a spear, then tagged Nagata.
Nagata landed some kicks, Ishii hit a forearm, and Nagata hit a release belly-to-belly. Ishii hit a powerslam, but Nagata hit an exploder, into a double down. Both tagged out.
Nakanishi dropped Yano with a lariat. Ishii jumped in for the save, but Nagata took him out. Nakanishi made a cover, but Ishii jumped back in for a save. Ishii and Yano tried a double suplex on Nakanishi, but he flipped them both over.
Nagata and Nakanishi both hit lariats. Nagata used a Nagata lock on Ishii, while Nakanishi racked Yano. Yano didn't submit. Yano slipped out, hit a low blow on Nakanishi, and got the pin.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: MICHAEL ELGIN & JEFF COBB DEFEATED SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN (12:19)
This was okay. It was also kind of a mess in places. Cobb may be working hurt, and Tenzan is limited at this stage of his career. As a result, they tried to give Kojima and Tenzan a lot of offense, and it was strange to see Elgin selling so much. It's clear that Elgin has studied a lot of Hogan's work, particularly his mannerisms and crowd work, but he's not the seller that Hogan was.
Cobb had his left shoulder heavily taped. Kojima hit a shoulder block early, and Cobb sold the shoulder. Elgin and Tenzan tagged in. They did a couple of power spots where Tenzan realized he was overmatched, so resorted to kicking Elgin in the gut and raking his eyes.
Elgin hit a slam and a slingshot splash. Tenzan hit some Mongolian chops. Kojima tagged in and they hit some together. Kojima hit a slingshot splash, while Tenzan hit an elbow drop at the same time. Kojima got a two count.
Kojima and Tenzan worked over Elgin in their corner. Tenzan hit a corner lariat, then hit a brainbuster for a two count. Elgin hit a DDT. He went for a tag to Cobb, but Kojima cut him off. Elgin made his own comeback, then finally tagged Cobb.
Cobb hit Tenzan and Kojima with belly-to-belly suplexes, then hit a standing moonsault on Tenzan for a nearfall. Kojima tagged in and hit his machine gun chops in the corner on Cobb. Elgin jumped in and cut Kojima off. Cobb and Elgin hit a tandem backbreaker, and Cobb tagged in Elgin.
Kojima fought off Elgin and hit a DDT. They traded strikes. Elgin hit a rolling elbow, and they did a double down. Kojima was first up, but Cobb cut him off. They hit a tandem suplex, and a sandwich lariat. They botched their tandem backstabber move. Hard to say whether that was Kojima's fault for dead-weighting Cobb, or if Elgin just mis-timed the jump.
Kojima went for a lariat on Elgin, but Cobb jumped in and took the hit for him. Elgin hit a lariat, then a tiger driver for a nearfall. Elgin hit a buckle bomb, then hit the Elgin bomb for the pin.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON DEFEATED TOA HENARE & TOGI MAKABE (10:44)
This picked up towards the end. The problem is that Henare is so clearly positioned as an underneath guy. He almost always gets pinned. As a result, his nearfalls don't even get the reaction that the Young Lions get with their nearfalls in the opening match.
Juice and Makabe were in briefly. They traded shoulder blocks, then tagged Finlay and Henare. Henare hit a series of hip tosses. Finlay cut him off with a beautiful dropkick. Finlay and Juice used a series of quick tags, working over Henare's left arm. Finlay hit a suplex for a nearfall.
Juice hit a pair of sentons. Finlay hit one too. Henare hit a back body drop, then tagged Makabe. Makabe ran wild with tackles and corner lariats, then hit ten punches in the corner on Finlay. Makabe used a suplex into a bridge for a nearfall. Finlay ducked a lariat and hit a back elbow, then tagged Juice.
Juice hit a pair of corner lariats, then a sit-out lariat. Juice hit his jabs, then a dropkick, then used a spinebuster for a nearfall. Makabe ducked a leg lariat and hit a lariat, and Juice took a flip bump. Henare got a tag and hit a tackle and a lariat. He fought for a brainbuster, and finally got it, picking up a two count.
Henare hit a big spear for a two count. Finlay made a blind tag, then hit a running boot for a nearfall. makabe made the save. Makabe hit a double lariat on Finlay and Juice. Henare hit a diving tackle off the top for a nearfall on Finlay.
Juice and Makabe brawled to the floor. Henare hit a pop-up Samoan drop for a two count. Finlay slipped out of a uranage, hooked Henare's leg, then cradled him for a three count. That was a great spot.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA, SHO & YOH DEFEATED TETSUYA NAITO, SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI (11:28)
I would liken this to a really fun house show match. Good stuff.
Naito and Okada started off. Naito stalled, ducked an Okada lockup, then knocked SHO and YOH off the apron. LIJ commenced a three-on-one beatdown of Okada, but Okada made his own comeback, hit Naito with a DDT, then tagged SHO.
Naito spit at SHO, hit an inverted atomic drop, then tagged Shingo. SHO and Shingo exchanged strikes. BUSHI jumped in for a double team, but YOH cut him off. Naito and BUSHI jumped back in for a three-on-one on SHO. Naito and Okada brawled to the aisle, and Naito slammed Okada on the ramp, as Shingo continued to work over SHO in the ring.
Shingo hit a brainbuster for a nearfall. BUSHI got a tag. BUSHI and Shingo hit a legdrop senton combo for a two count. Shingo hit a neckbreaker. Naito tagged in and hit a neckbreaker for a nearfall.
Naito went for the combinacion de cabron, but SHO caught him. Naito escaped one deadlift, but SHO then hit a deadlift german. YOH got a tag and ran wild. Shingo tried to hit a dragon screw, but YOH countered into one of his own.
Shingo hit a death valley driver, then tagged BUSHI. BUSHI hit a missile dropkick, and used a DDT for a nearfall. BUSHI hit a backstabber. SHO jumped in for a save, and SHO and YOH hit stereo knees.
Okada got a hot tag and hit a DDT on BUSHI for a two count. He went for a tombstone, but Naito cut him off, and Naito hit him with a dropkick. BUSHI hit an MX for a nearfall.
Everyone jumped in and hit a big move, ending with Okada hitting a dropkick on Naito, and a tombstone on BUSHI. Okada followed with a rainmaker for the pin.
Desperado was shown at ringside doing commentary. After the match, SHO, YOH, and Shingo all approached him and they talked smack.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA DFEATED MINORU SUZUKI & TAKASHI IIZUKA (9:47)
This was a brawl. It was not a particularly good one.
Suzuki and Iizuka jumped the GOD as they made their entrance. They brawled all around the arena. Suzuki used a guardrail as a weapon. Suzuki used a hammer. Tama Tonga and Iizuka were the legal men, but they spent forever brawling about ten rows deep.
Iizuka and Tonga beat the count back inside at 18. Suzuki removed Iizuka's muzzle, and Iizuka bit Tonga. Suzuki got a tag and worked over Tonga in the corner. Suzuki used a boot in the corner and a PK for a two count.
Suzuki went for the Gotch, but Tonga blocked it. Jado hit Suzuki with a kendo stick from the floor. Suzuki rolled outside, and Loa slammed him on the floor. Suzuki went after Jado, but Jado hit him again with the kendo stick, then rolled him back into the ring.
Tonga hit a dropkick, then tagged Loa. Loa used an Angle slam for a nearfall. Tonga got a tag and hit a stinger splash for a two count. Suzuki was able to slap a choke on, and Iizuka made a blind tag. Suzuki took the ref, while Iizuka choked Tonga with a piece of rope. Loa broke up the choke pinfall.
Iizuka avoided a gun stun, then bit Tonga's leg and Loa's head. Jado jumped on the apron and Iizuka bit him as well. The ref took a bump. Loa suplexed Suzuki. Iizuka used the iron glove on Tonga. Jado jumped in and hit Iizuka with the kendo stick, and Tonga followed with the gun stun for the pin.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. & LANCE ARCHER DEFEATED CHUCKIE T & BERETTA (11:04)
You know what you're going to get from these teams, and I mean that as a compliment. The work is going to be very good, but they aren't going to get enough time to kick the match into third gear.
They brawled around ringside for about three minutes before the opening bell. Chuckie and Beretta hit stereo planchas, but Smith and Archer gained control of the fight quickly, with the highlight being Beretta taking a chokeslam on the apron.
Once the match officially began, Smith worked over Chuckie in the ring with stiff strikes. Archer tagged in and the beating continued. Archer missed a charge into the corner. Chuckie went for a tag, but Smith pulled Beretta off the apron. Yes, the beating continued.
Smith hit a suplex for a one count, then used a chinlock. Archer threw Beretta off the apron. Chuckie hit a jawbreaker, but Smith recovered quickly, and, yes, the beating continued.
Chuckie finally got a tag, and Beretta lit Smith up with chops. He hit a clothesline, and Smith rolled outside. Beretta hit a tope, and Chuckie hit a flip dive. Beretta hit a quebrada to the floor. Back inside, Beretta hit a tornado DDT, but then fell victim to a backdrop. Smith hit a fallaway slam into a bridge for a cool nearfall.
Beretta took his flip into the corner. Smith hit two rolling germans, but Beretta escaped before the third. Smith hit a buckle bomb, Beretta popped out into a chokeslam from Archer, but Chuckie broke up the pinfall attempt from Smith.
Archer and Smith went for the killer bomb, but Chuckie tripped Smith from the floor, breaking it up. Archer teased a crucifix drop on Beretta, but Beretta slipped off, hit an elbow, then tagged Chuckie.
Chuckie made a valiant comeback. He kicked out of a killer bomb, then used a crucifix to get a nearfall on Archer. Smith and Archer then hit a second killer bomb, and got the victory.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: TAICHI & ZACK SABRE JR. DEFEATED EVIL & SANADA (16:57)
EVIL and Sabre got into a shoving match before the bell, but we were spared the traditional Suzuki-gun pre-match antics. The bell rang, and EVIL and Sabre started off. Sabre tried to strike with EVIL, but they established that EVIL had the power edge.
SANADA got a tag. He went for the paradise lock, but Sabre didn't allow him to apply it, establishing Sabre as the one guy able to counter that hold. EVIL made a tag and hit a senton for a nearfall. He went for a lariat in the corner, but Sabre trapped his right arm and blocked it. EVIL's right elbow was taped, and he wore a pad over it.
Sabre then used his legs to torque on that arm. The match went to the floor, and turned into a brawl. Taichi and EVIL paired off, while Sabre went with SANADA. Sabre left SANADA laying in the crowd, then assisted Taichi. Taichi posted EVIL's right arm.
Back in the ring, the assault on EVIL's arm continued. Sabre and Taichi tagged in and out and worked EVIL over. Both stomped on the arm. Taichi taunted EVIL with kicks to the back of the head. EVIL took off his elbow pad and tried to throw strikes with the bad arm, but Taichi kicked at it.
EVIL used a mid kick and tagged SANADA. SANADA hit a dropkick in Sabre, a leapfrog dropkick on Taichi, then a pescado to Taichi. That was funny, as it looked as though SANADA didn't trust Taichi to catch him, and, in fact, had he not braced himself on the apron as he landed, it appeared as though Taichi would have dropped him.
Sabre and Taichi cut SANADA off. Taichi removed his pants. SANADA rolled off the ropes and applied skull end. Taichi slipped out and hit a lariat, which SANADA sold big. Taichi went for a last ride, but SANADA slipped out. EVIL jumped in and hit a superkick. SANADA hit a superkick, and got a nearfall.
EVIL called for the magic killer, but Sabre made the save. Sabre got sent outside. EVIL and SANADA then hit the magic killer, but Sabre was able to get back in for the save. While Sabre and EVIL brawled on the floor, SANADA went for a moonsault, but Taichi got his knees up. Taichi used a rollup for a great nearfall.
EVIL and Sabre got tags. Sabre immediately hit a jumping knee, which may have caught EVIL flush, as he was bleeding from the mouth. Sabre used a kimura, but EVIL turned it into a suplex. EVIL hit darkness falls for a nearfall.
EVIL went for everything is EVIL, but Sabre turned it into a pinning combination for a very close nearfall. Sabre used a triangle, but EVIL power bombed out of it.
Sabre escaped everything is EVIL again, but Sabre turned it into the octopus. SANADA jumped in and applied skull end. The referee was distracted. Taichi jumped in with the mic stand and hit EVIL and SANADA.
EVIL recovered and went for everything is EVIL again, but Sabre turned it into a Zack driver. Taichi held off SANADA, while Sabre covered EVIL for the upset win.
CURRENT TAG LEAGUE STANDINGS
EVIL & SANADA 6
Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa 6
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer 6
Beretta & Chuckie T 6
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano 6
David Finlay & Juice Robinson 6
Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi 4
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan 4
Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page 4
Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata 2
Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin 2
Toa Henare & Togi Makabe 2
Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka 2
Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida 0