NJPW World Tag League (5/12/19) Review

Playing with their food. Credit: NJPW

For the last three shows, World Tag League has gone back to being live while Gino and Double K have decided to turn up for the first time. Where were they on the cold night that was show 6,392? Anyway, nice to have them on board as we’re finally heading home.

CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI) (9-4) defeated Hirooki Goto and Karl Fredericks (2-11)

Karl Fredericks decided he was going to pick a fight with Ishii which, to draw from Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, probably counts as a suicide. It led to a situation where the two of them were needling each other all night, and I had a lot of fun with it. Fredericks has been decent all tour, but this was the first time I felt like he asserted his personality on a match. Throw in some Goto vs Ishii, and this was a great opener.

Verdict: Three And A Half Stars

The Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale) (6-7) defeated Tencozy (Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (4-9)

Chase and Fale are a surprisingly competent team. I don’t always find them entertaining (too much standing on people), but they’re pulling off that old-school tag style. It’s not something you’d expect from a wrestler like Fale, and I wouldn’t mind them being a C-rank team going forward. It would certainly be an improvement on the big man turning up in G1s. Throw in Kojima continuing to be brilliant, and this was another strong match. Probably nothing you need to see, but an easy watch.

Verdict: Three Stars

The Bullet Club (KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi) (8-5) Mad Muscle Men (Jeff Cobb and Yujiro Takahashi) (7-7)

It took a while for this match to wake up and get going, but when Cobb was throwing KENTA around, I got into it. Sadly, that was the only part of it that got me excited, as the rest felt like it was just there. While it was all fine, it’s not worth talking about.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr and Taichi) (8-6) defeated HenarAce (Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare) (2-12)

Taichi mocking Henare and Tanahashi’s pre-match pose with his awe-inspiring physique got a laugh out of me. I don’t think I’ve ever turned around on a wrestler quite as much as I have the singing ballbag. The eventual Taichi and Miho babyface run is going to be quite the thing.

In the here and now, Dangerous Tekkers are ripping it up as heels. They were the perfect opponents for the clean as a freshly polished whistle duo that is HenarAce, and their antics elevated this match. Throw in Henare eating one of the sickest Backdrops you’ll see this year from Taichi, and they earned the double thumbs up from me.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA and EVIL) (12-1) defeated GBH (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) (3-11)

As long as Honma can hit Kokeshis, he’s going to be over in New Japan. It’s incredible. The guy can barely walk, and yet fans light up when he slaps his head. Do I enjoy watching him wrestle? No, of course not. But it’s hard to begrudge a guy who went through the injury he did those little moments. It did mean this was a very straightforward match with LIJ picking up a routine win, though. Perfectly watchable, but I wouldn’t spend your time on it.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (11-2) defeated Double Rampage (Shingo Takagi and El Terrible) (6-7)

Having Shingo in the ring made the standard GOD match marginally better. When Shingo only makes your match slightly better, you might have to consider the idea that you’re doing something wrong.

Verdict: Two And Three Quarter Stars

FinJuice (Juice Robinson and David Finlay) (11-2) defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer (8-5)

Gino accidentally pissing off MiSu and diving across Kelly to escape his wrath was a genuine laugh out loud moment. Those two have become a terrific pairing. I can’t think of an English commentary duo that is better (perhaps Riccaboni and Colt? Are they still together? Is anyone watching ROH?).

Anyway, this was a match in which MiSu and Archer beat the shit out of FinJuice. It positioned them as the heroic babyfaces, desperately trying to survive the onslaught. That ain’t complex, but it’s perfect casting, and was a lot of fun to watch. On top of that, it provided the perfect set-up for Finlay to steal a victory from Lance, a Left Hand of God sending the big man into a roll-up and keeping FinJuice’s chances to win this tournament alive.

Verdict: Three And Three Quarter Stars

Overall Show

You know what, that wasn’t bad at all. There is nothing on here that you have to watch, but as we sneak towards the end, this was an easy couplre of hours. More importantly, though, there are only two nights left, and then I’m free! Woop woop.

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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