NJPW World Tag League, Day 1





NJPW World Tag League, Day 1

By GARZA
From November 18, 2017

NJPW World Tag League, Day 1

Ren Narita & Tetsuhiro Yagi vs Shota Umino & Hirai Kawato - 5/10


Kawato is starting to look like a star next to his Young Lion peers. Perfect opener with young kids, wrestling basics, zero personalities, and a well planned match that lets everyone get something in. Maybe I had missed it before, but Kawato debuted a springbaord dropkick and a spinning kick for a finisher.

Guerrillas of Destiny & Leo Tonga vs War Machine & Tomoyuki Oka - 5/10


We actually got a lot of Leo vs Oka in this match. Oka was the babyface in peril almost from the start, Hanson came in with the hot tag and did his lame ass shtick that we've seen a million times. The match went chaotic for a bit and ended with Loa pinning Oka. Boring match.

CHAOS (Beretta, Chucky T, Toru Yano, & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Michael Elgin, Jeff Cob, David Finlay, & Katsuya Kitamura - 7/10


Kitamura is sporting a knee brace, let's hope he's not injured. Elgin and Yano started the match with a bit of comedy and Elgin getting annoyed. Best Friends worked on Finlay with their usual stuff, it was slightly over, it's new stuff after all. Both tea pairings for their block matches had a chance to fight it off. Chucky T won the match with an ugly looking Awful Waffle, I don't think he could hold the weight of Kitamura. Good match.

The one man that did get over in one night was Jeff Cobb, if there is something that people in Japan love, is seeing a dude toss people around, and surely Cobb has a masters on it. He did an exchange with Ishii that ended with the crowd chanting his name, and I believe the announcers were saying that he may be even stronger than Elgin.

Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Hangman Page, Bad Luck Fale, & Chase Owens) vs TenCozy, Yuji Nagata, & Manabu Nakanishi - 7/10


The sum of the age of the babyface team is 190 yrs and to my surprise, Tenzan is the youngest one of the four, and Nakanishi, which I think looks the youngest, is the oldest. Anyway, Bullet Club had the heat on Nakanishi for a while after he tried to lock in the Torture Rack on Fale and failed, and from that point on, BC controlled the match. Nakanishi had a great comeback and tagged in Nagata who ran wild for a bit. Ending of the match saw Owens get at it with both Tenzan and Kojima, they take him out, Kojima hits the Lariato while Tenzan gets rid of Fale, Kojima picks up the win on Owens. Old timers and all, I really liked this match.

Killer Elite Squad & El Desperado vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, & Henare - 6.5/10


You can tell Tanahashi spent all his morning in the hair dresser this morning. There was a big ovation when Henare was presented, but it was the same time that Tana came out, so I'm not sure who actually took that ovation. Match was slightly planned as a way to re-introduce Henare back to the crowd since he started the match and immediatly became babyface in peril, so they're showcasing them as a fired up guy that won't quick nor back down to huge guys like KES.

Henare got his ass kicked for the longest time, eventually making the hot tag to Makabe who came in and got it in with Archer. At the end, Tanahashi finally came in and fought for a while with Desperado, pinning him with a High Fly Flow. Makabe looked great against KES.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI, & Hiromu Takahashi) vs CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, & Gedo) - 7/10


At first, LIJ got the heat on Gedo for a while. Ospreay came in with the hot tag and worked with Takahashi for a while. Okada and Naito then did their thing for a good while, but again reverted back to Takahashi and Ospreay, and at the end, it was BUSHI that dropped Gedo with the MX for the win. Good match, but nothing special. The match was really over with the crowd.

Post-match - Naito invited Okada into the ring, Okada teased doing it, but didn't and only ended up kicking the briefcase. Then Naito started cutting a promo, but Okada just pulled the mic off his hands and threw it away. Okada looked more like a heel here.

World Tag League 2017 Block A Match
Suzuki-Gun vs CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI) - 7/10


Suzuki and Iizuka jumped Goto and YOSHI at the start of the match, they then proceeded to brawl for a bit outside until Red Shoes decided to start counting and tease the countout loss for the babyfaces. Goto made it in first and got worked on for a while. YOSHI came in for the tag, and after a bit, all four men were battling out in the middle of the ring taking turns. This match really made Suzuki look powerful, mainly because he was pulling in the work for Iizuka, but at the end, Goto pinned Suzuki with the GTR for the win. I'm sure this is how they build the Suzuki v Goto match i'm STILL anticipating for WK12. A better match that I came in expecting, Iizuka worked as best as he could and didn't hurt the match.

World Tag League 2017 Block A Match
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) vs Death Juice (Sami Callihan & Juice Robinson) - 8/10


You know, at least now that you're trying to legitimize EVIL and SANADA as a team, let them come out together. Callihan coming out to Juice's song is so weird, be he surely got himself noticed as he threw a chair in the ring as soon as he came out, so i'm guessing they may play a gimmick here that Callihan is a loose cannon and Juice can't always control him.

As expected, the first thing Callihan did when he got in the ring was spit, why? why does he have to be like this? But I can tell you that spitting on EVIL was a bad idea and he got his ass kicked by him and eventually SANADA too. He was taken out on the outside with EVIL's chair bat spot and so LIJ got the heat on Juice for a while. Callihan eventually made it back to the ring and got his chance to return the offense to EVIL. There was a big spot where SANADA had control over Callihan, but Callihan tells SANADA to fuck off, kisses him and makes an opening for Sami to take out SANADA. Crowd reacted to the kiss. I wanna see him try that in his eventual match with Suzuki-Gun. After a lot of fighting more, finish eventually came when Juice and Callihan dropped EVIL with their finishers for the win.

Even in defeat, LIJ looked dominant and a strong contender to win, but as long as they're the 6-man champs, I don't see them winning it all. Callihan was awesome in his debut, but I could really do without all the spitting and kissing, it's the type of shtick that gets tiresome after a while.

Post-match - Juice is learning Japanese, he cut a promo introducing Sami Callihan, thanking the fans, and the usual, we will win the Block A. Good promo.

OVERALL THOUGHTS


Not a strong start to the tournament in my opinion, the wrestling was good, but ending with Juice and Callihan doesn't feel big enough, I guess it was a feel good moment and since I surely don't think they'll win, may as well do it early.

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