NJPW World Tag League (3/12/19) Review

Koji dishing out chops for everyone. Credit: NJPW

We’re definitely in the home stretch now. After this, there are only three shows left, and as New Japan have made the interesting decision not to have a final, we’ll know our winner on Sunday. Who is still in contention? Honestly, I don’t have a fucking club, but maybe I’ll try and work it out as we go along.

Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr and Taichi) (7-6) defeated Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi (1-12)

I’m putting this match down as yet more proof that people are far too hard on Nagata and Nakanishi. Listen to the fans in that building as Nakanishi tries to escape Zack’s submissions or as Nagata deals out a kicking. In the ring with two prick heels who they can battle valiantly against, the Dads still have it. They might be a touch slower (okay, a lot slower) than they used to be, but that doesn’t stop it working.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

FinJuice (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) (10-2) defeated Toru Yano and Colt Cabana (8-5)

Juice and Finlay were always going to be one of the teams most into playing Colt and Yano’s games, so it didn’t take long for this to descend into farce. It was utter nonsense from start to finish, and I had a lovely time.

Also, by my maths, this eliminates Colt and Yano from the tournament. You can cross out the two teams from the opener on your wall chart too because they’re done.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

The Bullet Club (KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi) (7-5) defeated GBH (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) (3-10)

To continue the maths, this was a pairing of teams playing for pride. A fact that might explain why it felt like four people going through the motions. I don’t necessarily blame them, but Christ it made for a dull watch, even if crowds continue to be behind Honma.

Verdict: Two Stars

Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer) (8-4) defeated HenarAce (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare) (2-11)

HenarAce are done, but at this point of the night, MiSu and Archer were still in contention. I think so, anyway. They can overtake FinJuice who are top out of all the teams we’ve seen so far.

As for the match, it followed the Suzuki-gun formula of violence and crowd brawling. It’s a style that can be quite fun in its anarchic ways, but by this point in the tour, we’ve seen a lot of it. Tanahashi and Suzuki rekindling their storied rivalry will always be a joy, but outside of that, you won’t be missing much if you skip it.

Verdict: Three Stars

The Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale) (5-7) defeated CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI (8-4)

Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI are in the same position as Suzuki-gun with both facing elimination if GOD and/or LIJ won one more match. They’re up next, so we’ll see if that went down.

In the, well, not here and now, it was the past, but you know what I mean, CHAOS had an alright match with Fale and Chase. While Fale’s had his awful moments on this tour, he’s generally been okay, and Chase is a reliable hand. Owens and YOSHI’s final sequence was pretty good, and I can’t imagine caring enough to hate it.

Verdict: Three Stars

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and EVIL) (11-1) defeated Hirooki Goto and Karl Fredericks (2-10)

No time for promos apparently. Credit: NJPW

LIJ’s victory put both Suzuki-gun and CHAOS out of the tournament. I think. At best, they can draw level with EVIL and SANADA, but LIJ holds the tiebreaker over both of them. Yea, I’m 98% sure I’m right.

Karl Fredericks is being treated more like Toa Henare than a Young Lion. He doesn’t open every show and has been on the winning side twice. In the ring, he still wrestles like a rookie, but I wonder if having come through in LA, he’ll miss out on an excursion? Either way, he was decent enough in a fun match. SANADA is awesome, isn’t he? Imagine being one of those people who doesn’t like SANADA? I feel only pity for them.

Verdict: Three And A Quarter Stars

Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa) (10-2) defeated Temcozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (4-8)

Occasionally, I worry that these Tag League reviews stopped reviewing the matches roughly two-hundred shows ago. Then I wonder if anyone actually cares? People read these, I have the stats, but why? I barely read them, and I write the damn things.

Jesus. Em, this was another GOD match. Even Kojima couldn’t make me care. That counts as a review, yea? They hit some moves. There was a suplex, a DDT and Tenzan missed a Diving Headbutt which seems very irresponsible at his age. I reckon that’s enough to have this qualify as a review.

Verdict: Two And A Quarter Stars

Overall Show

If I’m right, the only teams still in with a chance of winning this tournament are LIJ, FinJuice and GOD. Double Rampage and Mad Muscle Men didn’t wrestle on this show, but I’m 95% certain that they don’t have enough points to compete.

With three night left, it seems early to have the field that stripped down and makes me reasonably certain this is going to come down to LIJ vs FinJuice on the final night. You never know, though, I might have fucked up my maths or Gedo might pull out some magic yet.

Oh, and the show was fine.

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

If you enjoyed this review, please consider contributing to my Ko-fi, even the smallest amount is appreciated.

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