Just as we finish with one tag team tournament, another begins.
New Japan starts their World Tag League tonight in Kanagawa. Much like the last tournament, blocks have been eliminated for this year’s tag league. Instead, everyone will fight one another, with the top two winners advancing to the finals on December 9.
Tournament matches tonight include The Guerillas of Destiny vs. Togi Makabe and Toa Henare, Chuckie T & Beretta vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Hangman Page, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata and David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino.
A ten man tag team match will headline in the main event. The CHAOS contingent of Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, YOH and SHO will take on Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi.
Join us for live coverage starting 4:30 a.m. EDT. There will be English commentary.
Jeff Cobb and Michael Elgin defeated Yota Tsuji and Yuya Uemura
Good opener. Cobb and Elgin gel well as a team. Both Uemura and Tsuji looked good; the former stood out more in this match than in others I’ve seen him in. Cobb got the win for his team after pinning Tsuji with the Tour of the Islands.
Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi defeated Tomoaki Honma and Ren Narita
Taka Michinoku, who’s in a middle of a scandal in Japan, accompanied Zack Sabre Jr. to the ring and cut his usual promo.
This was very much like the previous match, though this felt longer. Honma’s fine in these tag matches but he comes off as slow at times, which is pretty sad. But it’s also a legit miracle he’s still wrestling after being paralyzed for a short period.Taichi controlled the last few minutes of the match, busting open Narita’s nose. He then struck him with a kick to the temple for the win.
Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka and Desperado defeated Killer Elite Squad and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Both teams brawled to start things off. Iizuka took to bit both Archer and Smith. Archer went to chokeslam Iizuka but he managed to escape by biting Archer’s hand. Kanemaru and Desperado, the current IWGP Jr. tag champions, battled one another as well.
KES had the killer bomb on Suzuki but Iizuka broke it up. Kanemaru came in with an enziguri on Suzuki, but he quickly cut off Kanemaru and pinned him with the Gotch piledriver. This was okay, but only interesting because of the Suzuki-gun interfighting.
World Tag League: David Finlay & Juice Robinson defeated Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida
This was worked like a slightly better version of the opener. The young lions looked great -- Yoshida definitely has something and Umino is the best overall young lion in the promotion right now so they gel well here.
Umino went off on both Finlay and Juice with strikes. The two countered with a double flapjack. Finlay then hit the stunner for the win, right as Juice took out Yoshia with a crossbody off the top rope.
World Tag League: Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Tencozy
I liked this match. These four haven’t been around much this year, so this was a nice highlight reel for them. Nakanishi was thrown into the barricade as Nagata had Kojima in the armbar. He took out the returning Tenzan and speared Kojima. He then connected with the exploder suplex for the win. This was fun.
World Tag League: Best Friends defeated Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi
This was very fun, the best match of the show up to this point. Chuck Taylor and Hangman Page in particular were great here. Beretta was right behind them and Yujiro, well, he was there.
Page powerbombed Chuckie T and tagged in Yujiro, who went for the Tokyo Pimps on Beretta. Chuckie T pushed Hangman off the top rope and the two ended up hitting Roppongi Vice’s old finish, the Strong Zero, for the win.
World Tag League: Guerillas of Destiny defeated Togi Makabe and Toa Henare
This was just...there. It was fine, but it felt like just two teams having a wrestling match for 90% of the bout. The last 10% was at least pretty heated.
Makabe made a comeback and tagged in Henare as they did a double ten count in the corner. Loa fired back and hit a blue thunder bomb. Makabe came in and hit the ropes, which allowed Jado to strike Makabe with the cane. Loa blocked the gun stun and hit a samoan drop. Loa came back with a big lariat and connected with the sitout piledriver for the win.
Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano and Roppongi 3K
This was pretty good, but felt like a shorter version of the usual ten man tag matches they do on these tours. Nothing wrong about it, solid overall, but nothing you need to go out of your way to see.
Sure enough, things get crazy not that far into the match as LIJ quickly takes things to the outside. Once things settled down, LIJ began working over Yano, who was up to his usual antics. Okada came in and ran wild, doing a million things at once and taking out most of LIJ.
SHO and YOH are tagged in and take on BUSHI, then Naito. EVIL takes guard as Naito eventually picks up the win with the Destino on YOH.
All of LIJ cut a promo in the ring, with Naito doing the LIJ roll call (twice, as he forgot to include himself in the first) to close out the show.
Current World Tag League Standings:
David Finlay & Juice Robinson: 2
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi: 2
Best Friends: 2
Guerillas of Destiny: 2
Togi Makabe & Toa Henare: 0
Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi: 0
Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida: 0