The final days of the World Tag League are upon us as the tournament heads to Yamagata for the fifteenth day of events.
Scheduled for tonight's card is Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata vs. Jeff Cobb and Michael Elgin, Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page vs. Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer, David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, SANADA and EVIL vs. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka and Best Friends vs. The Guerrillas of Destiny.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada will team up in the main event, pairing with KUSHIDA and Rocky Romero to take on Jay White, Back Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori and Gedo.
At this point in the tournament, the Guerillas of Destiny are in the lead, commanding eighteen points in first place. EVIL & SANADA, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano and the Killer Elite Squad are not too far behind with sixteen points. It’s still anyone’s game.
English commentary will return on tonight’s show, which will feature Kevin Kelly and the debuting Excalibur. The show begins at 4:30 a.m. EST.
TORU YANO & TOMOHIRO ISHII DEFEATED SHOTA UMINO & AYATO YOSHIDA (7:50)
This was a fun sprint. They heavily teased an upset, and the crowd loved the false finishes.
Umino and Yoshida jumped Yano and Ishii before the bell, looking to gain the early edge. Yano and Ishii recovered quickly. Ishii and Umino had an intense exchange, and Umino dropped Ishii to one knee, but Ishii took him down with a shoulder tackle.
Yano untied a corner pad. Umino missed a charge into the corner, and ran into the exposed buckle. Umino hit a missile dropkick, then tagged Yoshida. Yoshida landed a PK for a nearfall. Umino hit a second missile dropkick after a tag.
Yano tagged Ishii, who applied a crab to Umino. Umino made the ropes. Ishii went for a second crab, but Yoshida jumped in and kicked him in the back, and he collapsed into a cradle by Umino for a close nearfall.
Umino hit a beautiful bridging german on Ishii for a nearfall. Ishii hit a brainbuster Umino used a la magistral cradle for a nearfall. Ishii applied another crab and got the tapout.
JEFF COBB & MICHAEL ELGIN DEFEATED MANABU NAKANISHI & YUJI NAGATA (8:58)
Not bad. Lots of power stuff with Cobb and Nakanishi.
Nagata and Elgin grappled to a stalemate, then tagged Nakanishi and Cobb. They did a knuckle lock, and Nakanishi won that battle. Nakanishi hit a tackle, but Cobb scoop slammed him, then tagged Elgin. Elgin delivered some punishment, then tagged Cobb.
Cobb and Nakanishi exchanged headbutts. Elgin and Cobb used a series of quick tags, working over Nakanishi's back and neck. Nakanishi hit a lariat, then tagged Nagata, who went to work on Elgin with kicks. Nagata hit a boot in the corner and an exploder for a nearfall.
Nagata applied a crossface, but Cobb jumped in to break it up. Elgin hit a superkick and a falcon arrow into a double down. Cobb and Nakanishi tagged in. Nakanishi hit a pair of strikes to the throat and hit a short lariat for two.
Nakanishi used a torture rack on Cobb, while Nagata put a Nagata lock on Elgin, but they escaped. Elgin hit Nagata with an enziguri. Cobb and Elgin hit a double suplex on Nakanishi, but Nagata broke up the pinfall.
Cobb used an Angle slam into a standing moonsault on Nakanishi, and pinned him.
LANCE ARCHER & DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. DEFEATED YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HANGMAN PAGE (10:41)
This picked up near the end, really when Page tagged in.
Smith went nuts on Page with suplexes at the outset. Killer Elite Squad tried to take the fight to the floor, but that backfired. Yujiro and Page hit stereo suicide dives. Smith and Archer came back with a Hart attack.
Smith and Archer worked over Yujiro, both scoring nearfalls on him. Smith used a chinlock. Archer beat on Yujiro with forearms and palm strikes to the chest. Yujiro finally got to his corner and tagged Page. Page hit a pescado on Smith. He went to the top for a moonsault. He teased one from the post to the floor, but Smith cut him off. Page fought off Smith and hit Archer with a moonsault in the ring.
Yujiro hit a sliding dropkick to Archer, and Page hit a standing shooting star for two. Page hit the ropes, but right into a pounce from Archer. I love the pounce.
Smith and Yujiro got tags. Yujiro hit a bulldog and a low dropkick to Smith's leg. Yujiro went for a fisherman buster, but Smith countered into a low dropkick. Yujiro and Page hit stereo dropkicks, then Yujiro got the fisherman buster for a two count.
Page hit a buckshot lariat. Archer and Smith hit an assisted splash and an assisted powerslam for a nearfall, then hit the killer bomb on Yujiro for the pin.
ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI DEFEATED DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON (9:23)
Sabre and Taichi jumped Fin Juice before the bell. Juice and Finlay recovered, and both hit planchas. Juice missed a cannonball on Sabre. Sabre started stretching Juice in the ring, while Taichi and Finlay fought in the crowd. Taichi used a chair to attack Finlay. Sabre took Juice to the outside, and Taichi hit him with a chair.
Back in the ring, Sabre and Taichi worked Juice over. Sabre used a guillotine and an octopus. Juice escaped and hit a Juice box, then tagged Finlay. Finlay hit a pair of back elbows on the mat, then a diving uppercut off the second rope on Taichi.
Sabre and Taichi used a series of kicks on Finlay, and Taichi picked up a nearfall. Taichi removed his slacks, then hit an axe bomber for a nearfall. Juice took Sabre to the floor. TAKA took the ref while Taichi went for the mic stand. Taichi missed with the stand, and Juice and Finlay made a comeback.
The ref took a bump, allowing Taichi to hit a low blow and use a Gedo clutch on Finlay for the pin.
HIROYOSHI TENZAN & SATOSHI KOJIMA DEFEATED TOGI MAKABE & TOA HENARE (9:58)
This was okay. Everyone worked hard. Tenzan was moving a little bit better than he has of late.
Tenzan and Makabe kicked things off. Tenzan was doing well until he attepted a kokeshi, which he missed. Both tagged out. Kojima hit a DDT on Henare, then tagged Tenzan. TenKoji worked over Henare. Tenzan hit a headbutt for a nearfall, then a leg lariat for another.
Kojima tagged in and used a neckbreaker for a series of nearfalls. Henare finally got a tag to Makabe. Tenzan hit him with a brainbuster for a nearfall. Tenzan and Makabe dropped each other with simultaneous lariats, then tagged out.
Henare and Kojima exchanged machine gun chops in the corner. Henare hit a Samoan drop for a nearfall. Henare hit the slowest, gentlest spear I've ever seen. Kojima popped up and hit a cutter. Tenzan jumped in and they hit the TenKoji cutter for a nearfall, but Makabe broke up the pin.
Makabe hit a double lariat. Henare hit a diving tackle off the turnbuckle for two. Tenzan and Makabe brawled to the floor, while Henare and Kojima went at it in the ring. Kojima hit a big lariat, and picked up the pin.
EVIL & SANADA DEFEATED TAKASHI IIZUKA & MINORU SUZUKI (10:53)
The last minute of the bout, when everyone jumped in and broke up finishers, was excellent. The preceding ten minutes was kind of a mindless brawl.
Suzuki and Iizuka jumped EVIL and SANADA before the bell. Iizuka used a chair on SANADA from the floor to the ring, allowing Suzuki-gun to gain the edge. They fought into the crowd, and Suzuki hit SANADA with a half dozen chairs. SANADA beat the count back in at 19.
Suzuki removed Iizuka's muzzle, and Iizuka bit everyone. Suzuki hit SANADA with a chair on the floor. Red Shoes refused to count an Iizuka pin on SANADA due to the chair shot. SANADA took a flip into the corner, went over the ropes, then hit a springboard attack on Iizuka. SANADA used a dragon screw on Suzuki.
EVIL got a hot tag and ran wild. He hit a neckbreaker and a senton on Suzuki for a nearfall. Suzuki hit a boot in the corner and a PK for a nearfall. EVIL and Suzuki exchanged chops and forearms. Suzuki hit a pair of short elbows. EVIL hit a fisherman buster into a double down.
SANADA got a tag. Suzuki used a choke to get to his corner, then tagged Iizuka. Suzuki hit a PK, and Iizuka covered for a nearfall. Iizuka choked SANADA with a rope, and got a nearfall. Iizuka grabbed the iron glove, but SANADA ducked it and applied skull end. Suzuki grabbed him with a choke and went for the Gotch, but EVIL broke it up.
Iizuka bit EVIL and SANADA, but then fell victim to a magic killer. SANADA applied skull end while EVIL held Suzuki at bay, and Iizuka tapped out.
CHUCKIE T & BERETTA DEFEATED TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA (17:02)
A really good match. Beretta is an awesome worker. He always goes all out, and did even more so here in a semi-main spot.
The Best Friends hit stereo enziguris, but missed with stereo planchas. It looked as if the Guerillas of Destiny might take over, but Beretta hit an Asai moonsault, and his team remained in control in the early going.
Beretta hit the ropes, but Jado nailed him with a kendo stick from the floor, as the Guerillas took over. Jado continued to attack Beretta with the stick on the floor. Loa hit Beretta with an attitude adjustment on the apron.
Tonga sent Beretta into the corner, then hit him with a dropkick on the way out. Tonga and Loa continued their assault on Beretta's back. Beretta hit Loa with a running knee out of the corner, and was able to tag Chuckie.
Chuckie hit a tope con hilo, then avoided a kendo stick strike. Chuckie hit a double stomp off the top rope for a nearfall on Tonga, as Loa broke up the pin. Tonga hit a spear out of nowhere, then tagged Loa.
Tonga hit a gun stun, and Loa hit an elbow drop for a nearfall. Chuckie hit soul food, then tagged Beretta.
Beretta hit a high cross off the top on Loa, then a diving lariat. He hit a back elbow in the corner and went for a tornado DDT, but Loa blocked it and dropped him on the top rope. Loa hit a blue thunder bomb, but did not attempt a cover.
Beretta escaped a death valley driver, turning it into a tornado DDT. Loa and Beretta traded strikes. Beretta flipped out of a german attempt, then got sent into the referee. The ref also took shots in the corner from Tonga and Loa, and rolled to the floor.
Jado jumped in and used the kendo stick on Beretta. Tonga and Loa continued to beat down Beretta, using a double neckbreaker. Chuckie jumped in and went crazy with chair shots on Tonga and Loa. He threw the chair into Loa's head twice, and Loa got caught and started bleeding from the forehead.
Chuckie walked through a kendo stick shot, and laid out Tonga on the floor. In the ring, Beretta used a rollup on Loa, and pinned him.
SWITCHBLADE JAY WHITE, BAD LUCK FALE, TAIJI ISHIMORI & GEDO DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KUSHIDA & ROCKY ROMERO (16:40)
The Bullet Club found themselves overwhelmed at the opening bell. All but Gedo bailed to the floor, and everyone teamed up on Gedo. Tana hit him with a kokeshi. KUSHIDA and Rocky hit him with clotheslines in the corner. Okada used an elbow drop. Gedo finally avoided a corner clothesline from Rocky, and his teammates jumped back in to take control of the match.
White took Okada into the aisle and choked him with a banner. Gedo used the ring bell hammer on Tana. Rocky just beat a count back inside at 19. The Bullet Club worked over Rocky. They cut the ring in half, isolating Rocky.
Tana finally got a tag and went after Fale. He used a low dropkick to chop the big man down. He tried repeatedly to slam him, but eventually settled for twist and shout. Fale blocked a slingblade and tagged White.
White hit Tana with an uppercut in the corner. Tana blocked a dragon screw and hit one of his own, then tagged Okada. Okada nailed White with right hands and a back elbow. White escaped a flapjack, but Okada hit him with an air raid crash. Okada went for a tombstone, but White turned it into a Saito suplex. Okada escaped a brainbuster attempt, and hit a flapjack into a double down.
Ishimori and KUSHIDA got tags. KUSHIDA hit a buzzsaw kick and used a cross armbreaker. Ishimori used a crucifix for a nearfall, then a rollup for a nearfall. Ishimori hit a handspring elbow. Rocky jumped in and hit ranas on Ishimori and Gedo.
The match broke down, and everyone jumped in. Okada hit Fale with a dropkick. Tana hit White with a slingblade. Tana and Okada hit planchas. KUSHIDA ducked a brass knuckles shot from Gedo, then hit a back elbow. White jumped in and hit KUSHIDA with a blade runner. Ishimori hit KUSHIDA with a bloody cross for the pin.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE STANDINGS
EVIL & SANADA (9-3, 18 Points)
LANCE ARCHER & DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. (9-3, 18 Points)
(Winner of EVIL & SANADA vs. Archer & Smith on Friday advances to the final on Sunday)
TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA (9-3, 18 Points)
TORU YANO & TOMOHIRO ISHII (9-3, 18 Points)
(Winner of Tonga & Loa vs. Yano & Ishii on Friday advances to the final on Sunday)
JEFF COBB & MICHAEL ELGIN (8-4, 16 Points)
CHUCKIE T & BERETTA (7-5, 14 Points)
ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI (7-5, 14 Points)
DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON (7-5, 14 Points)
TAKASHI IIZUKA & MINORU SUZUKI (5-7, 10 Points)
YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HANGMAN PAGE (4-8, 8 Points)
HIROYOSHI TENZAN & SATOSHI KOJIMA (4-8, 8 Points)
TOGI MAKABE & TOA HENARE (4-8, 8 Points)
MANABU NAKANISHI & YUJI NAGATA (2-10, 4 Points)
SHOTA UMINO & AYATO YOSHIDA (0-12, 0 Points)