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NJPW ‘Super Jr. Tag League 2018’ (11.1.18) Results & Review

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The final stop before Power Struggle sees a night featuring English commentary and full camera treatment. Roppongi 3K look to force a three way tie on top of the block, putting KUSHIDA and Sabin into the role of spoiler. Several interesting young lion matchups to see here as well. Let’s get started!

Robbie Eagles def. Yota Tsuji @ 4:41 via Turbo Back Pack – **
An injury to Ishimori caused a change in the card and gave us a rare singles match. A heavyweight young lion against a graduated junior. You don’t seem matches like these often so this was a fun surprise. While the actual match wasn’t anything spectacular this is a rare type of match that made the show feel different right out the gates. Tsuji held his own with good strikes and a nice dropkick but Eagles put him down with relative ease.

Liger, Tiger & Honma def. Volador, Soberano & Narita @ 10:30 via Honma STF on Narita – **
Fairly standard but Narita was the clear highlight. He was on fire, putting in some angry behind his strikes and even landing a brainbuster on Honma. The legends wound up putting him in his place with a nasty STF from Honma but there was nice spirit. Team CMLL have had an up and down tournament. Some nights it was good, others it was off a bit. I’d like if they did more tours so that there was more familiarity because they’re very good but the communication and chemistry isn’t there on a consistent basis.

Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado def. ACH & Shota Umino @ 10:10 via Desperado Numero Dos on Umino – **1/4
Another match that highlighted the young lion. Umino looked great, he kept up with Kanemaru early on and had to be ganged up on in order for Suzuki-Gun to take advantage. ACH had his hot tag flurry consisting of the double stomp, plancha, discuss lariat and hip attack. Umino nearly caught Desperado in two different pins but Desperado recovered quick and put him away with Numero Dos. I’m going to miss ACH. He works well with Taguchi but it’d be nice if he had a more serious teammate for tournaments.

BUSHI & Shingo Takagi def. Ryusuke Taguchi & Ayato Yoshida @ 10:18 via Shingo Pumping Bomber on Yoshida – **
Nice exchanges between Shingo and Yoshida. Both were fired up, trading forearms and lariats. Taguchi was kept in relative check by BUSHI and Shingo put Yoshida away with the Pumping Bomber. Hopefully we see more interactions between these two.

Tomohiro Ishii & Rocky Romero def. Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku @ 11:51 via Romero La Magistral on TAKA – **1/4
More interactions between Ishii and Suzuki leading up to this weekend. Suzuki grounded Ishii on the outside and came back to help TAKA grind down Romero. He locked in the armbreaker over the top but Ishii came back to break the hold. They came back into the ring and traded strikes while screaming at one another. They went all out until they collapsed and had to tag out. TAKA put the breaks on a rana, turned it into a crossface but Romero turned the hold into a pin and scored the win. Ishii and Suzuki have a pull apart brawl afterwards. This has turned into one of the hottest matches on the tour.

Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare @ 12:47 via Owens Package Piledriver on Henare – **
The match started off with a lot o hair pulling and Owens mocking Tanahashi every chance he got. Henare came in hot with flying shoulder tackles and spears. Tanahashi comes in with a corner dropkick for the assist, Henare takes off the top for a successful shoulder tackle but Owens cuts off the spear, receives help from Yujiro and puts Henare down with the package piledriver. Tanahashi looked disappointed after the match.

Super Jr. Tag League Match
YOH & SHO def. KUSHIDA & Chris Sabin @ 15:18 via 3K on Sabin – ***

KUSHIDA and SHO start off by grappling. Neither are able to find an opening so they tag out. Sabin and KUSHIDA double team YOH before he picks up too much steam and attack the arm. SHO comes in to help but is met by the same gameplan as Time Machine go after his arm as well. They grind SHO on the outside and force him to work to break his own count out. SHO manages to side step an attack in the corner, tags YOH who lands a flurry of dragon screw leg whips and bring SHO back in for a series of corner strikes and a lungblower + single leg dropkick combo. They look for 3K but Sabin fights out and turns it into an enziguri + satellite DDT combo, KUSHIDA coming in with a DDT of his own, Sabin with a PK from the apron and they land a doomsday dropkick back inside the ring. SHO cuts off Outatime and takes a chinlock dropkick for his troubles. He cuts off a second Outatime and YOH is able to backslide Sabin which is countered into one from Sabin in return but SHO comes in with a German suplex to break it up. Time Machine use the referee to help them elevate YOH for more attacks on the arm, attempt Outatime again but YOH escapes, hits a superkick and gets SHO’s help on a powerslam and double knees. Sabin shoves SHO into YOH but YOH rebounds back into the ring and they catch Sabin running in for the 3K.

The result leads to a three way tie on top of the block. The other two teams come out from the back and the officials announce it’ll be a three-way match at Power Struggle to determine the tournament winner.

White, Fale, Tama, Tanga & Gedo def. Okada, Goto, Yano, Beretta & Chuckie @ 16:20 via White Blade Runner on Chuckie – ***
This was more of the same we’ve seen throughout the tour. White refuses to start off with Okada but they would soon brawl on the outside. The BCOG would isolate Beretta until he finally got the tag to Okada who, for the big spot of the night, hits a dragon screw on Fale. This bond between Okada and Tanahashi seems to be growing. Chuck had a comeback flurry but once again was cut off by Gedo and turned into Blade Runner for a BCOG win. Okada charged White after the match and they had to be pulled apart and that’s how we ended the show.

While it definitely wasn’t must-see, it was fun to see this type of show. You don’t normally see the young lions in these types of matches unless you’re at a house show so it felt special in that respect. I wouldn’t say anything here was great but the top two matches were strong closers. The tournament finals being in a three way is a fun swerve. Okada’s involvement with Tanahashi is really interesting and we saw him hit the dragon screw today. Nothing you need to rush out to watch but if you’ve been following the tournament that match is of course a must.

Standings
Kanemaru & Desperado (5-2)
BUSHI & Shingo (5-2)
YOH & SHO (5-2)
KUSHIDA & Sabin (3-4)
Ishimori & Eagles (3-4)
ACH & Taguchi (3-4)
Liger & Tiger (2-5)
Volador Jr. & Soberano jr. (2-5)

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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