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NJPW ‘Super Jr. Tag League 2018’ (10.16.18) Results & Review

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The 2018 Super Jr. Tag League opened in front of 1,632 fans at Korakuen Hall. Main evented by the LIJ team of BUSHI and Shingo taking on Roppongi 3K, the tournament also sees the debut of the newest member of the Bullet Club OG, Robbie Eagles. There’s a lot to talk about and even more to be excited about so let’s get started.

Henare, Umino & Narita def. Yoshida, Tsuji & Uemura @ 11:32 via Narita Boston Crab on Uemura – **3/4
The show opened up with some extreme fire from all six of these guys. The younger young lions started a shoving match before the bell and the intensity just kept building from there. Henare and Tsuji traded shoulder tackles all while non-stop screaming at each other. Yoshida and Umino went back and forth with forearms and kicks. And Uemura locked in a Boston Crab on Narita, which the crowd bit hard on. Narita got the ropes, hit his dropkick, belly-to-belly and finished Uemura with a Boston Crab of his own. This received a shocking amount of time and didn’t let up for a second. Insanely hot start to the show.

Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma def. Ibushi, Yujiro & Owens @ 12:52 via Tanahashi High Fly Flow on Owens – **1/4
Ibushi and Tanahashi open up the match but tag out quickly. The majority of the match saw Honma get beat down. Owens taunted Tanahashi with the air guitar and teased a Package Piledriver on Honma. Yujiro wasn’t able to keep Honma down on his turn resulting in a tag to Makabe, who cleaned house. Tanahashi and Ibushi came in for another exchange but Ibushi was quick to tag out again. Tanahashi made quick work of Owens and allowed Honma to hit the Kokeshi before finishing with the High Fly Flow. Post-match, Tanahashi signals for Ibushi to join his team but Ibushi refuses the invitation.

White, Fale, Tama & Tanga def. Okada, Yano, Beretta & Chuckie @ 10:33 via White Blade Runner on Chuckie – **1/2
Jado is first to come out, entering with an airhorn and Singapore cane. This was White’s BCOG debut but still came out to his own theme rather than the traditional Bullet Club theme. Okada wants a piece of White early and doesn’t accept anything else. He’s able to singlehandedly take care of all four members of BCOG, it’s Jado who puts an end to his flurry with the Singapore cane. The BCOG gain control there and take Chaos to the outside. They grind down Okada one by one until he sidesteps Tanga into a Flapjack and tags Beretta. Coming in hot with a crossbody from the top, tope con hilo and satellite DDT, Beretta then tags in Chuckie who looks to finish White with a Piledriver but Gedo rushes the ring for a distraction. White hits a low blow with the referee’s back turned and finished Chuckie with the Blade Runner. Jado uses the airhorn in his celebration and Kevin Kelly has to hold Rocky Romero back from attacking Tama Tonga.

Super Jr. Tag League Match
Taiji Ishimori & Robbie Eagles def. Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger & Tiger Mask IV @ 11:04 via Eagles Ron Miller Special on Liger – ***

Eagles is another BCOG member to debut but Ishimori starts off the match. He gives Liger a clean break but denies Liger of the Romero Special and tags in Eagles. Tiger delivers a backbreaker on Eagles, followed by a sliding dropkick from Liger but once again Ishimori cuts Liger off from the Romero Special. The BCOG begin to target Liger’s knee but Tiger is there to stop further damage. He comes in with a crossbody from the top and takes Ishimori up for an attempted Butterfly Suplex. Eagles cuts it off initially but Tiger transitions to an armdrag off the top instead. Liger turns Eagles inside out with a Shotei. Ishimori helps out his teammate by driving Liger into the corner with double knees and Eagles follows with the same attack. Eagles takes to the top and splashes on Liger’s knee before applying an inverted Figure Four, which NJPW’s website is calling the Ron Miller Special, for the win. This was my first time seeing a full Robbie Eagles match and I was impressed with what I saw. I liked that he subverted typical junior expectations by finishing with a submission rather than a move from the top.

Super Jr. Tag League Match
Volador Jr. & Soberano Jr. def. ACH & Ryusuke Taguchi @ 10:33 via Volador Top Rope Hurricanrana on ACH – **1/2

ACH and Taguchi both come out in rugby helmets and toss a ball around. The majority of the match was them grinding down Volador with hip attacks until an atomic drop gave Volador the separation to make the tag. Soberano came in hot with a top rope crossbody, followed quickly by a Tornillo. Taguchi put an end to his flurry with an atomic drop and both tagged out. ACH and Volador picked up some serious speed off the ropes resulting in a spin kick from Volador. ACH swept the leg, stomped and deadlift German’d Volador for two. Soberano hit Taguchi with a dive to the outside and that distraction allowed Volador to regain composure and finish ACH with a Hurricanrana off the tope. Goofiness in tournaments isn’t my thing but you can’t deny the abilities of ACH and Volador. Their chemistry is so tight.

Super Jr. Tag League Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado def. KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin @ 14:40 via Desperado Pinche Loco on Sabin – ***1/4

To no one’s surprise except KUSHIDA and Sabin, Kanemaru and Desperado attack before the bell. They both hit a simultaneous sunset flip and both KUSHIDA and Sabin roll out, each hitting a Buzzsaw kick and senton off the apron to the outside. They wear down Desperado with arm wringers until Kanemaru pulls Sabin out of the ring and drives him into the post. KUSHIDA continues to flurry, hitting a springboard chop, scoop slam nd handspring back elbow before Desperado too takes him outside. Kanemaru throws KUSHIDA into the crowd and Desperado attacks Sabin’s knee with a chair. Tsuji is slammed on top of KUSHIDA by Kanemaru and once back in, locks the Boston Crab onto KUSHIDA. After battling out, KUSHIDA tags Sabin who lands a crossbody off the top, an apron PK, top rope dropkick, tope suicida and a springboard DDT. He also hits the Cradle Shock but Kanemaru pulls the referee out before three, mists Sabin and Desperado fishes with the Pinche Loco. There were some really great flurries from Sabin and KUSHIDA. Kanemaru and Desperado knew the exact time to cut them off. Great match. Strong recommendation.

Super Jr. Tag League Match
BUSHI & Shingo Takagi def. YOH & SHO @ 21:13 via Shingo Last of the Dragon on YOH – ***1/2

SHO wants Shingo to start off and isn’t having any of Shingo’s mind games. YOH and BUSHI trade forearms and overhand chops. 3K grind BUSHI but SHO’s fixation on Shingo allows BUSHI an opportunity to come back and tag Shingo. He singlehandedly destroys 3K and once BUSHI recovers, they take them both to the outside and drive them headfirst into the east and west signs. They double team SHO back in the ring and Shingo toys with SHO, firing SHO up to hit Shingo with a spear and get the tag to YOH. Four dropkicks and a Dragon Screw a piece to BUSHI and Shingo, YOH is fired up and begins toying with Shingo. YOH realizes his mistake when Shingo catches his boot and delivers a Dragon Screw of his own, tags BUSHI who comes off the top with a dropkick and double Hurricanranas 3K. BUSHI and Shingo are dumped over the top and met immediately with a double tope con hilo. 3K double BUSHI but Shingo is quick to cut them off with a lariat + Saito suplex combo. SHO and BUSHI trade forearms before quickly breaking down into a slap exchange which SHO wins and deadlift Germans BUSHI. YOH attempts a Hurricanrana on Shingo but Shingo puts the brakes on and BUSHI dropkicks YOH in Shingo’s arms. YOH backslides out of one Blood Fall, can’t do it a second time, eats a lariat but kicks out at two. BUSHI drives SHO into the apron, back first. Shingo hypes the crowd up with his chanting before finishing YOH off with the Last of the Dragon.

Post-match, Shingo reassures the crowd that he’s not replacing Hiromu and just as they’re about the fist bump, Naito, SANADA and EVIL make a surprise appearance, coming out from the back. They meet in the middle and all raise their fists to close out the night on a high note for Los Ingobernables de Japon.

There’s a lot to like from this show. The young lions had a killer opening match, Eagles was impressive in his debut and Naito made a suprise appearance by coming out to close the show. This was a strong start to the tournament. The top two matches get my recommendation.

Recommended Matches
BUSHI & Shingo vs YOH & SHO
Kanemaru & Desperado vs KUSHIDA & Sabin

Standings
BUSHI & Shingo (1-0)
Kanemaru & Desperado (1-0)
Volador Jr. & Soberano jr. (1-0)
Ishimori & Eagles (1-0)
YOH & SHO (0-1)
KUSHIDA & Sabin (0-1)
ACH & Taguchi (0-1)
Liger & Tiger (0-1)

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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