Hard camera only for the fifth and sixth night of the World Tag League. New Japan edited the show, only providing us with the tournament matches.
Fale & Owens def. Yujiro & Page @ 8:47
The Bullet Club collide in the World Tag League! As per usual, the BC versus BC match was filled with comedy. Both teams hamming it up with their shenanigans of the too sweet and the one sweet. As far as the wrestling is concerned, Page was the highlight of the match. He and Owens had a fun mat wrestling exchange a couple of minutes in and he hit a top rope moonsault to the floor later on. Shenanigan filled finish when Owens rolled Yujiro up from behind to score the win. If you’re a fan of comedy wrestling or BC shenanigans you’ll find yourself enjoying this one.
Tencozy def. Nagata & Nakanishi @ 13:50
Although all four men are past their prime, they remain especially motivated when they face each other. A fiery Kojima is still one of my favorite things in New Japan and he was the highlight here. He managed to hoist big man, Nakanishi, up for a great brainbuster in the closing stretch. Nakanishi fell victim to Kojima’s lariat to end the match. This ended up being better than my expectations. They all worked hard, including Nakanishi, who hit a top rope splash.
Suzuki & Iizuka def. Evil & Sanada @ 13:19
Starts with outside brawling, leads to a Sanada hot tag and ends with Evil being the one pinned. I loved how this match was structured. Sanada has the perfect offense to get the hot tags so hopefully this trend continues. Nothing particularly life changing but very solid and a great closing stretch. Evil ate the Gotch-style piledriver from Suzuki.
Death Juice def. Goto & Yoshi-Hashi @ 12:11
Four hard workers in their prime pulling off a strong tag league main event. Each of these guys are very solid all around and Callihan is getting over nicely because of that work. Yoshi plays a nice bully/older brother role on Juice but at this point it surely feels that they’re at the very least on the same level with the amount of title shots they’ve each received this year. With the unorthodox kiss on the lips to Yoshi, Callihan is able to take Yoshi off his game and that leads to his downfall. He eats the Pulp Friction and Death Juice move to 2-0.
Ishii & Yano def. Finlay & Kitamura @ 8:36
Still exceptionally green, Kitamura has one of his weaker outings in a while. On multiple occasions he found himself out of position and looked a little rough. He delivered a few good chops and took Ishii’s brainbuster great but overall he was a mixed bag, which is to be expected. Finlay had a couple strong dropkicks but this was mainly a showcase for Kitamura. He took the fall via a brainbuster by Ishii.
Guerrillas of Destiny def. Makabe & Henare @ 9:05
The story of Henare’s redemption will be one I keep a close eye on as the tournament progresses. He may end up playing spoiler for a team on a final night. His fire is great and when working with someone as high energy as Tama Tonga, it leads to some good wrestling. Tanga still isn’t there on a consistent basis. Some nights he’s good but most of the time he underwhelms. He’s the one to pin Henare tonight with his newly named Apeshit, an over the shoulder reverse piledriver.
War Machine def. Best Friends @ 14:11
Two of the hardest working wrestlers take on two of the best comedic wrestlers stateside. The Best Friends banter always receives a positive reaction from me. The crowd isn’t as indifferent as they’ve been on the tour but hopefully by the end they find a following. As I’ve said before, War Machine work so hard that even if you’re not into them in the beginning, you will be by the end. They hit Fallout on Chucky T, moving to 2-0. One of the better matches of the tournament so far but not good enough to believe that it’ll be remembered by tournament end.
Killer Elite Squad def. Elgin & Cobb @ 14:36
Speaking of hard-working, all four of these men are incredibly hard working. Like War Machine, all four are capable of wowing any crowd on any night. Plenty of power moves to go around and somewhat surprising was the amount of mat wrestling on display by both Cobb and Smith. Just by the sheer amount of work they out in, this deserves to be recognized as one of the tournaments better matches to date. K.E.S. dropped Cobb with the Killer Bomb to win the match. Cobb continues to impress and all four remain some of the best gaijin wrestlers on the New Japan roster.
Both nights had strong main events worth taking time to seek out. I find it difficult recommending hard camera shows but the strong work was there and if you can get past the single camera angle you’ll enjoy what you see.
Killer Elite Squad vs Elgin & Cobb
Death Juice vs Goto & Yoshi-Hashi
Death Juice (2-0)
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (2-0)
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi (1-1)
Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (1-1)
Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page (1-1)
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (0-2)
Evil & Sanada (0-2)
Killer Elite Squad (2-0)
War Machine (2-0)
Guerrillas of Destiny (1-1)
Best Friends (1-1)
Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb (1-1)
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (1-1)
Togi Makabe & Henare (0-2)
David Finlay & Katsuya Kitamura (0-2)