NJPW World Tag League (2/12/19) Review

Ishii being Ishii. Credit: NJPW

I think we can say we’re into the home stretch of World Tag League? I want to say that because it makes it seem like it’s almost over. Please let it almost be over.

Double Rampage (Shingo Takagi and El Terrible) (6-6) defeated Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (1-11)

Shingo chopped a bit of fire out of Yuji Nagata and with those two sharing the ring, this was never going to be a disaster. However, you’d struggle to call it a good match as there was too much Nakanishi and Terrible for that. Still, the fans were into it, and Shingo is the boy.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

The Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale) (4-7) defeated Mad Muscle Men (Jeff Cobb and Mikey Nicholls) (7-6)

What a nothing match. It perked up a bit after a Nicholls hot tag, but for the vast majority of it, it just happened. I think it was summed up by a moment when Fale stood half in, half out of the ring, lingering in the ropes as Nicholls held Chase up in a Delayed Suplex, seemingly deciding whether he could be arsed to save his partner or not. It might not surprise you to hear that he chose not to bother.

Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars

The Bullet Club (KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi) (6-5) defeated Toru Yano and Colt Cabana (8-4)

KENTA became the latest serious wrestler to join in with Colt and Yano’s antics happily. Perhaps that should be less surprising with his current habit of cutting horny backstage promos. Anyway, this was fun enough. The Osaka crowd has been pretty hot, which is more than this show has deserved so far.

Verdict; Three Stars

Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr) (2-9) defeated Hirooki Goto and Karl Fredericks (6-6)

This might have been my favourite Fredericks’ performances of the tournament, as Osaka certainly appreciated it. Not only did he get twisty with Zack, but he stiffed it out with Taichi at the end, defiantly battling for as long as he could. Throw in a bit of ZSJ and Goto, and this was an easy match to enjoy.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) (9-2) defeated HenarAce (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare) (2-10)

As GOD matches go, this wasn’t too bad. Tanahashi and Henare are a decent wee team, and the big man was in there enough to sprinkle some of his magic over proceedings. Throw in a crowd who were happy to enjoy themselves and it’s hard to be too grumpy. I still didn’t come away wanting to see more, but I also didn’t cry.

Verdict: Two And A Half Stars

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and EVIL) (10-1) defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer) (7-4)

MiSu and SANADA worked a lot of this match, and it turns out they have pretty great chemistry. Suzuki seemed determined to beat the shit out of the younger man, but SANADA would ultimately outsmart him, sneaking into a flash pin to steal the three. I can’t remember ever seeing them face-off, but off the back of this, it could be pretty great.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

FinJuice (David Finlay and Juice Robinson) (9-2) defeated CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI) (8-3)

Here’s a match I didn’t know I wanted: David Finlay vs Tomohiro Ishii. I mean, I probably should have, Ishii is good with everyone, but Dave was brilliant here. The way he unsteadily leaned into Ishii was fantastic, inviting him to hit him while simultaneously looking like he’d taken a beating. I’ve always liked Finlay, and think he’s deserving of a push, but he’s come back from injury even better than he went away. He was key to a good main event, with FinJuice continuing to prove my shout for them to win this thing wasn’t ridiculous. Well done me.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

Overall Show

That was alright. Tag League’s secret is that it’s nowhere near as bad as people make it out to be. It’s just an okay tour with a handful of good matches. There’s nothing sexy about it, but it works.

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

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