NJPW World Tag League (24/11/19) Review

The totally fresh match-up that we’ve all been screaming for. Credit: NJPW

Tag League trundled on into Aichi with FinJuice, CHAOS and LIJ proving themselves the early contenders. I don’t think there are any surprises there? GOD dropping a couple of falls is a slight shock, but even that doesn’t blow my mind. The champs don’t need to win, do they? Anyway, as I explained in my previous review, unless something incredible happens (in this use of the word, incredible means a good match) I’m keeping these short.

Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer) (3-3) defeated Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (1-6)

Yuji Nagata and Minoru Suzuki have a long old history of beating each other up, and this match came to life when they were allowed to do so again. It was two hard old bastards laying into their strikes and trying to find out who was the toughest, a situation I’m sure we can all enjoy. Outside of that, Archer and Nakanishi wasn’t old Manabu’s worst pairing of the tournament and getting Lance up for the Argentine Backbreaker was impressive.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

The Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale) (2-4) defeated GBH (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) (3-4)

Nothing like a bit of Bad Luck Fale to take the shine off an enjoyable start to the show. The big man and Makabe had an incredibly lazy opening section while later on in the match he had to stop Honma making a hot tag and do you think he ran across the ring? Nope, he strolled like he was on a Sunday morning walk. The only thing keeping this match alive was the fact that crowds still love Honma, despite his deficiencies.

Verdict: Two Stars

Toru Yano and Colt Cabana (4-2) defeated HenarAce (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare) (2-4)

Like Honma, Colt and Yano were over with the Aichi crowd which lapped up their antics. There is something beautiful about a man as distinguished as Hiroshi Tanahashi being quite happy to play their games. He doesn’t care that he’s one of the greatest wrestlers of all time, he’ll quite happily let Colt Cabana weave his comedic spell around him. It led to a fun match, nothing we haven’t seen from these two before, but I smiled all the same.

Verdict: Three Stars

CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI) (5-1) defeated Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (3-4)

Something had fired these fuckers up. I went into this fully expecting Kojima and Ishii to go to war, but YOSHI-HASHI chopping the shit out of Tenzan? That was a shock. These four decided to keep it simple, and beat each other up, with Ishii and Tenzan even exchanging headbutts at one point. It was a hard-hitting slugfest of a match and easily the best thing on this show so far.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Double Rampage (Shingo Takagi and El Terrible) (3-4) defeated The Bullet Club (KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi) (3-3)

If you have even an inkling of my taste in wrestling, you’ll know what I wanted from this, Shingo vs KENTA. Quite frankly, Terrible and Yujiro could fuck off for all I care, as every time they stepped in the ring, it was preventing my favourites from being there. Sadly, my wishes weren’t respected, and their interactions were limited, leaving this as another perfectly utterly mediocre match.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

Mad Muscle Men (Jeff Cobb and Mikey Nicholls) (4-3) defeated Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr and Taichi) (2-5)

There was a moment in this match where ZSJ slapped Nicholls, so Mikey smacked the life out of him in return. It was the best thing I’ve ever seen him do, and the fans seemed to agree, coming alive for Nicholls for the first time. More of that, please. Outside of stiff hands, this was decent as Taichi and Zack attacked Cobb’s leg, but couldn’t keep the big man down. Both of these teams have had good tournaments and would be welcome permanent additions to the heavyweight tag division.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and EVIL) (5-0) defeated Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) (3-2)

How many times have we seen this match? I don’t care what the actual number is because the answer is obvious: too many. During last year’s Tag League, I was fed up of this feud, and it hasn’t stopped since. It’s got to the point where I think that keeping it going should be considered a minor crime. Actually, fuck that, a major one. Honestly, they could have had a five-star match (they didn’t), and I wouldn’t have given a shit. They’ve burned me out, and I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

Verdict: Two Stars

Overall Show

Even with the main event featuring the most overexposed feud in wrestling, this was a step up from the previous two nights. We got a few decent matches rather than just one, and only two of them shat the bed. I still wouldn’t recommend you watch it, but you might not hate yourself if you do.

Watch New Japan: https://njpwworld.com/

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