I have reviewed every match of every New Japan tournament this year, and because of that, I’m going to review every match of World Tag League. Why do I hate myself, you ask? That’s for my therapist and me to discuss. So, if you know a good one, get in touch. This tournament rarely, if ever, gets above average, so it’s going to be a long one, but you never know, maybe it will surprise me.
As is the norm, I won’t be reviewing non-tournament matches.
For the first time since announcing New Japan of America, NJPW has made the trip over the pond, rocking up in San Jose for some fun. It was a show packed with star power that featured a lot of tags backed-up by a couple of interesting title shots. How would it go? Well, now is the time to find out.
It feels only right to start this review with a shout out to those in Japan who were affected by the typhoon over the weekend, and I hope everyone looks after themselves. It feels a bit cheap to go from that to talk of card changes, as in the grand scheme of things it’s not that big a deal, but it did leave Jon Moxley and Zack Sabre Jr unable to travel. Mox was the bigger loss of the two as his absence forced New Japan to strip the US Title from him and give the match to Lance Archer instead. Amazingly, that’s caused some conspiracy chat, which seems oblivious to the actual typhoon which makes cancelled flights seem perfectly reasonable. Anyway, that silliness aside, this was a hella stacked card, so let’s see what went down.
For once, my round-up of the last month’s best matches isn’t actually that late. I mean, it’s a little bit late, but by my standards, that’s pretty good. Sadly, my wrestling watching from September was restricted to the promotions I never miss, so it’s a pretty predictable list. However, they’re all gems, and you may well have missed something! Plus, it means that if anyone knows of some great matches, you can tell me in the comments. I’m always happy to check out something new.
New Japan’s trip to the Hammerstein Ballroom led to an interesting old night for the Japanese company. Apparently, someone had called earlier in the day, cancelling the ambulance that is required to be on hand for wrestling shows. That led to a delay that stretched over an hour and whispers online about sabotage. Whether that was the case or not, New Japan needed to deliver a show worthy of the time the fans spent sitting around waiting for it to start.
Destruction is a long old tour that generally delivers a shitload of mediocrity elevated by the occasional great match, and that is exactly what we’ve received in 2019. The final night is in Kobe and let’s hope we finish up with more of the great than the mediocre.
New Japan took the scenic route to their first Destruction show, but they’ve finally rocked up in Beppu with a solid card. There are a lot of tags on here, but the Young Lion Cup and a brace of title matches make sure that proceedings shouldn’t be too dragged down by the splitting of this tour into multiple dates. Any show with Tanahashi vs Sabre is alright by me.
We are getting very close to the end of this G1, aren’t we? There are two shows left, including this one, and it’s time to find out who will be going on to face Kota Ibushi for the right to main event Wrestle Kingdom. Goto, White, Naito and Moxley are all still in the mix, but we’ve all got our fingers crossed for the Naito Express, right? Come on, my son, bring it home.
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations are Tomohiro Ishii vs Taichi and Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto.
I think I nailed my G1 maths for A Block yesterday, so let’s see if I can do the same for B. On the block’s penultimate night, Jon Moxley, Tetsuya Naito, Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Juice Robinson, Hirooki Goto, Taichi and Jeff Cobb all still had a chance to reach the final. Now I’ve written all that down I’ve realised this would be the longest intro of all time if I tried to figure it out, so let’s leave it for the end.
My must-see spoiler-free recommendations are Tetsuya Naito vs Jeff Cobb and Shingo Takagi vs Tomohiro Ishii.
The Naito comeback express is picking up speed and with the B Block in Osaka he needed Moxley to lose to Jay White before he faced off against his stablemate, Shingo, in the main event. Just that alone sounds like a shitload of fun, so let’s not hang around – onto the wrestling!
My spoiler-free must-see recommendations are Tomohiro Ishii vs Toru Yano, Jay White vs Jon Moxley and Shingo Takagi vs Tetsuya Naito.