NJPW World Tag League (28/11/19) Review

EVIL takes a second to gloat. Credit: NJPW

The hallowed halls of Korakuen. Damn, it was nice to see Tag League back within its walls. I think we’re over halfway through this thing? With everyone having wrestled a different number of matches, it’s hard to tell, but we have to be, right? It finishes next week, so we better be.

Colt Cabana and Toru Yano (6-3) defeated Hirooki Goto and Karl Fredericks (2-6)

Through the New Japan Cup and Tag League, New Japan has quietly turned Colt into a force to be reckoned with. That Superman Pin beats everyone and is over with the fans. As for the match, it was a lot of fun as Goto and Fredericks failed to deal with the comedy masters’ antics. I’ve been a bit critical of Karl because he hasn’t blown me away, but he is quietly putting out good performances, so it’s not a real complaint.

Verdict: Three Stars

The Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale) (3-5) defeated Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (1-9)

The excruciatingly tedious part of this match wasn’t Nakanishi, nope, it was Fale and Chase working over old Manabu. At some point, Fale decided that standing on people was going to be his primary offensive weapon and someone needs to tell him that it’s not fun to watch. I’ll take Nakanishi lumbering around the ring over that every day of the week (he managed to get Fale into the Argentine Backbreaker which was quite the sight). Thankfully, Chase and Nagata picked things up, but we closed out with Fale back in the ring, so I wasn’t thankful for long.

Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars

The Bullet Club (KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi) (4-4) defeated Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (4-6)

These four were ticking away into obscurity until KENTA and Kojima decided to beat the shit out of each other for a minute. It was just a flash in the closing seconds, but it was a flash that made me want that match. KENTA put on an awesome looking Game Over for the finish too, twisting Kojima up in a gnarly fashion. It wasn’t enough to elevate this to anything special, but I sure appreciated it.

Verdict: Three Stars

Goto attacked KENTA after the match, putting him down with the GTR. They are doing everything they can to get that match over.

Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer) (6-3) defeated GBH (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) (3-7)

For all 2019 Honma’s faults, he still works a crowd like a star. Korakuen was rabid for him as Suzuki stomped on his head, beating the shit out of their underdog hero. Sure, the comebacks are a bit painful to watch, but you can’t deny that connection, it elevates everything he’s involved in.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Double Rampage (Shingo Takagi and El Terrible) (5-5) defeated HenarAce (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Shingo Takagi) (2-7)

I know my Double Rampage reviews are me getting excited about Shingo facing off with various people, but Shingo vs Ace? Yes, please. We’ll get that match in a G1 or New Japan Cup somewhere down the line, and it will be wonderful. Outside of that, Toa Henare continues to work his arse off for little reward, and I respect the fuck out of him. The guy never takes a night off, and he deserves something for it.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) (6-2) defeated Mad Muscle Men (Jeff Cobb and Mikey Nicholls (5-5)

I tried really hard to care about this match. I wanted to sit and give it my full attention, bestowing on GOD another chance to win me over (I’m sure they’re grateful). Did it work? No. I am 100% willing to accept that it is just a thing for me now, and I’m not going to enjoy a GOD match whether it’s good or not. However, I’m also willing to accept that they’re a bit shite, and the evidence certainly points me in that direction.

Verdict: Two Stars

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and EVIL) (7-1) defeated Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr and Taichi) (3-5)

Dangerous Tekkers came up big once again in Korakuen! What a fantastic match this was.

The styles clash at its heart made it, EVIL and Taichi wanted to hit hard while SANADA and ZSJ wanted to slip and slide, dancing through submissions. Smash all four of them into the same pot, and you’ve got magic. Even the crowd brawling was fun, Miho chasing after them, apologising and panicking at the same time, adding a layer of amusement that made it worth a watch.

By the end, they were all on the same wavelength, slipping into a brilliant sequence that ended with a SANADA Moonsault. Put good tag-teams in a Korakuen Hall main event, and you’re going to get something worth watching.

Verdict: Four And A Quarter Stars

Overall Show

Trust in Korakuen and it will deliver. After a whole load of mediocre with the occasional bright spark, we finally hit a bit of magic in the main event of this show. Fingers crossed the second night keeps it up.

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

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