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.
Power Struggle is our last big stop before Wrestle Kingdom (no-one counts Tag League), and I expect to come out the back of this show with more of an idea of what to expect on January 4th and 5th. The big question? Is BUSHI challenging Will a sign that Hiromu is returning? Or is my heart going to be hurt once more?
With Power Struggle on Sunday, this is our final stop before the power is fought over. Is that what is happening there? Fuck knows. The point is that we’re wrapping up the Super Junior Tag League with it still being possible for us to have a four-way tie at the top of the block. Fingers crossed that is not the case.
After the best show of the tour, New Japan returned to Korakuen for more Super Junior Tag League action (there is other stuff going on, but as usual, I’m choosing to ignore it). The Super Coaches brought the house down in the previous main event with Roppongi 3K, and had a chance to do so again (on Rocky’s birthday) against Birds of Prey.
After a couple of rough nights attendance-wise for New Japan in Korakuen, they returned after a trip around Japan and, from what I could see, had managed to plug the gaps (although I am an awful judge of these things, so don’t take my word for it). So far the Super Junior Tag League has been a lot of fun, and a night in Korakuen was unlikely to be the place where that changed.
In an attempt to stretch the Road to Power Struggle tour out for the rest of recorded history (which is roughly six months at my estiamate), New Japan is only putting one Super Junior Tag match on certain shows. Honestly, writing a review of a single tag feels a bit silly, so I’m going to do them in groups meaning that these matches come from Akita, Iwate and Fukushima.
With the opening brace of Korakuens out of the way, New Japan has taken the Road to Power Struggle on the, well, road, which means our Junior Tag League have been stripped down to a single camera and minimum production. We shall not complain, though! We shall battle gainfully on and hope there is gold in these here hills. Yea, I don’t know what I’m talking about either.
For the second night in a row, there were a plethora of empty seats in Korakuen Hall which has been a rare sight at New Japan shows in recent years. It’s not a great sign for the Super Junior Tag League as it’s clearly not proving strong enough to draw fans on its own, and it will be interesting to see if New Japan react to that issue in the future.
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.