As I write this, the World Tag League final is occurring. Meanwhile, I still have three shows, including this one, to catch up on. It’s time to speed things up a bit. Brevity when talking about wrestling is not something I excel at, but hey, one should challenge one’s self. Let’s see how I get on.
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) (9-2) defeated Shota Umino and Ayato Yoshida (0-11)
As we head into the final matches of the tournament the Tongans, and their new Super Powerbomb finisher, are looking dominant. With that in mind, this was precisely what you’d expect. GOD controlled the bulk of the action with the Young Lion hope spots were coming in flurries rather than anything sustained. As usual, Shota and Yoshida looked good, but there was nothing about this that stood out over all the other times they’ve looked good.
Verdict: Two And A Half Stars
Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (2-9) defeated The Elite (Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi (4-7)
Having not tasted victory since their first night of the tour, Nakanishi and Nagata probably felt like they were never going to win again. Well, the streak is broken, as they conclusively put to an end any chance Hangman and Yujiro had of taking home the crown. Sadly, the prospect of points can’t make Nakanishi younger, so the quality of the match wasn’t much improved. He did get a pop from this lively crowd for suplexing both Elite members at the same time while Blue Justice had some sweet moments. Sadly, it wasn’t enough to elevate this past mediocre.
Verdict: Two Stars
Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi) (6-5) defeated Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (3-8)
Is it possible to be a heel wrestling Hiroyoshi Tenzan and not throw in some Mongolian Chops of your own? History suggests not. I enjoyed this one, as Zack and Taichi appeared to have come to the conclusion that their best bet was to be as sneaky and underhanded as possible. It’s a talent they both excel at in different ways as they gave the always over Tencozy two hissable villains to battle. Unfortunately, their adoring fans were left disappointed as Tenzan missed a moonsault, ate a microphone and got locked in a European Clutch for these particular nasties to steal the day.
Verdict: Three Stars
Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer) (8-3) defeated Togi Makabe and Toa Henare (4-7)
On paper, this is an alluring match-up. Four big boys going at it. There were flashes of that too, particularly between Archer and Makabe, but it was surrounded by all the usual guff. From Archer shouting at fans to Makabe turning invisible. While poor Toa Henare continues to be the workhorse of these matches, he’s not enough to generate any interest in them. It’s also worth noting that Davey Boy had his shoulder bandaged up and did seem to take it easy. Hopefully, it’s the wear and tear of the tour rather than a proper injury.
Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars
Jeff Cobb and a piece of shit (7-4) defeated Suzuki-gun (Minori Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka) (5-6)
Verdict: Fuck Michael Elgin
The Best Friends (Chuckie T and Beretta) (6-5) defeated CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano) (8-3)
The Best Friends wanted their CHAOS brethren to join in the pre-match hug. Yano was up for it, but you can guess how Ishii took to the idea. That set up The Master Thief and The Besties for some comedy which I got a few chuckles out of. They’re three funny guys. The real highlight, though, was Beretta and Ishii. Once again, Beretta shone when left alone in the ring with a G1 calibre opponent. If there’s any justice, he’ll get a whole tour to do that next year. In the end, Chuck brought an entertaining encounter to a shocking finish by reversing a Yano backslide into one of his own. Enjoyable stuff all around.
Verdict: Three Stars
Juice Robinson and David Finlay (7-4) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (Sanada and EVIL (8-3)
There’s not much to say about this one, it was an enjoyable back and forth contest, the likes of which LIJ have been putting on all tournament. It even continued the minor theme of the day by ending in an upset.
Sanada and EVIL have become a great team while Finlay and Juice have been a quiet high point of this tournament. NJPW could do worse than get behind them as a duo in 2019, and another good match with two of their top heavyweights won’t do the chances of that happening any harm.
Verdict: Three And A Half Stars
A handful of good matches surrounded by the usual filler. It’s hard to get passionate or angry about these shows. They’re very much just there. Decent, but uninspiring. If you’ve got the time I’d check out the main event, apart from that you’re not missing much.
Watch World Tag League: https://njpwworld.com/