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NJPW ‘Super Jr. Tag League 2019’ (11.1.19) Results & Review

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Three tournament matches for the final night of block action in the 2019 Super Junior Tag League. This is the last stop before Power Struggle where the leaders after tonight will compete in the tournament final. Let’s get started!

Volador Jr. & Titán (4-3) def. Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi (4-3) @ 13:57 via Titán Springboard Double Stomp on Romero – ***
Terrible comedy early negates the match from receiving a recommendation despite a fantastic second half. The comedy in the early portion of the match was embarrassing and some of the worst of the tournament. Two Taguchi pass out spots, a grundle stomp and butt play. This was such a shame because you know these guys are Volador and Titán’s best opponents in terms of style and it was on full display in the closing stretch. Volador came to play for the final night and had silky smooth exchanges with Taguchi. There is a whole lot to enjoy in this match but you have to get through some horrifically played out and bad comedy in the first five minutes to get to the good stuff.

El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (5-2) def. Birds of Prey (4-3) @ 16:24 via Desperado El Es Clero on Eagles – ***
I made a statement on Twitter a couple of days ago saying the problem with Ospreay in the junior division is he works best fighting from underneath but he’s above everyone in the division so they dynamic is off. When he wrestles on top he’s not nearly as exciting as when he’s coming back. Here there isn’t that problem because the Suzuki-Gun attack makes him fight from underneath and the comeback feels deserved.

This was a match that played to everyone’s strengths but did get a little overdramatic with an extended Ron Miller Special hold that went just a little too long. Taichi and BUSHI both getting involved to cause the loss made sense for both stories and puts Ospreay behind the 8-ball. I won’t recommend the match because it wasn’t the most exciting but in terms of the stories there are several key moments that get you invested.

Coming out of the match we have the BUSHI challenge for Power Struggle which hopefully is planting the seeds for Hiromu’s return at Wrestle Kingdom. Also an interesting continuation on the story between Ospreay and Taichi.

Roppongi 3K (5-2) def. El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori (5-2) @ 17:28 via SHO Shock Arrow on ELP – *
Now for a match that played to no one’s strengths. SHO must be the worst seller in New Japan. The guy’s selling is over the top that it’s on par with Johnny Gargano in NXT. The entire match revolved around going after his back until he overcame with the Shock Arrow. The finish came out of nowhere and there was little reaction to him hitting it because the crowd had no idea the direction the match was trying to go. You want to goon on SHO for the comeback meaning we see absolutely nothing of note from Ishimori, everything about this was either bad or boring. Terrible ending to the block section of the tournament and an absolutely flat finish.

3K advance to the final and get attacked by their Power Struggle opponents, Desperado and Kanemaru. Hopefully we don’t see more of this terrible dynamic we got from 3K on Monday but that’s where it looks to be headed.

There were pieces to the show that were great but as a whole there’s nothing to recommend. Romero and Taguchi went too comedy heavy for their finale despite picking it up into something great in the final stages. The Birds of Prey match made sense but lacked anything really big to put it over the top. The main event was a mess. SHO is awful at selling and is embarrassing to watch in these situations.

Final Standings
El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru (5-2)
Roppongi 3K (5-2)
El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori (5-2)
Birds of Prey (4-3)
Volador Jr. & Titán (4-3)
Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi (4-3)
TJP & Clark Connors (1-6)
Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura (0-7)

Along with providing show reviews from across Japan, Robert McCauley is also an editor for FightboothPW.

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