After a decent, if unspectacular, Super Junior Tag League, New Japan rolled into their final major show of the year, Power Struggle. They’ve put together one hell of a card too, as it’s one of the strongest collections of matches you’re likely to see without the Heavyweight Title being defended. With a section of the NJPW fanbase in a bit of a grump recently, this might be what they need to turn the mood around.
One of these matches is pivotal in deciding who goes to the final of this tournament and the other means fuck all. Considering the levels of effort put into this tournament when they were still supposedly wrestling for something, I’m a bit worried about what the match for pride will look like. We must treat every New Japan day like it’s Christmas, though. They might surprise me yet.
I’m not going to change my tournament long policy of ignoring the undercard, but it would be remiss to not mention what happened in the final multi-man match of this show. In what has become a common theme, The Firing Squad went after Okada post-match and Tanahashi made the save. This time, rather than rejecting the Ace’s help, Okada embraced in. In fact, Okada and Tanahashi shook hands while Korakuen Hall exploded. I watched that moment spoilt, yet it still gave me goosebumps. It’s so much more than a handshake, it’s the greatest feud in pro-wrestling coming full circle. Okada and Tanahashi gave the Juniors an impossible moment to follow just by clasping hands.
We now live in a world where Lanny Poffo is commentating on New Japan shows. That’s a world I distrust. I’ve got nothing against Lanny Poffo, it’s just fucking weird. Anyway, we’re back in Korakuen which means we’re getting four tournament matches and hopefully a smidge more effort.
New Japan’s Super Junior Tag League has sadly been a bit flat so far. There’s not much about it that I’d describe as bad, and yet, it’s hardly got the blood pumping. It’s been fine with a couple of spots where it’s leapt above that level to good and just the one (back on the first night) where it managed to hit great. Sadly, I doubt this single-camera show will be the moment that changes, but you never know.
Night four of Super Junior Tag League was another pre-tape filmed on a single hard cam with a roaming camera on the floor to catch entrances/dives, so perhaps don’t expect the spectacular. In saying that, these two matches are a bit more attractive than the previous day’s, so you’d be forgiven for expecting something good.
The first night of the Super Junior Tag League gave me comfort ahead of the many reviews I will be writing in the next month as it proved to be a lot of fun. It’s now time to see whether night two can continue the theme. Just a reminder, I’m not bothering with the undercard, but it’s worth noting that Tanahashi saved Okada from a Jay White attack. New Japan is teasing fans with the idea of their two generational Aces putting aside their differences and joining together to take on The Firing Squad.
It’s time for another New Japan tournament which means it’s time to write a shitload of reviews. Much like my G1 coverage, I’m only going to be doing tournament matches. Partly because there’s a lot of shows where that’s all their taping and partly because life is too short. Time to dig into that Junior action.