Hard camera only for the seventh night of the World Tag League. New Japan edited the show, only providing us with the tournament matches.
Evil & Sanada def. Fale & Owens @ 9:42
A rare heel versus heel match up that you’ll only see in tournaments. The subtle transformation of turning LIJ into babyfaces has been done beautifully by New Japan. Working against a monster like Fale really got Evil and Sanada the fiery babyface spots in the closing stretch. Watching Evil have to take offense from Owens, the BC fall guy, is a little tough but I appreciated the booking of the 2-0 gaijin team against the native 0-2 team with the natives receiving the baby reaction and picking up the win via the Magic Killer.
Tencozy def. Death Juice @ 12:28
No team has been more fun in the A block than Death Juice. They bring something fresh and don’t feel like a thrown together team of singles competitors unlike a few others in the league. They worked hard for the veterans, who felt as if they were taking the night off. It’s really nice when you see motivated wrestlers in this tournament and Sami Callihan fits the bill. He and Juice have been bright spots for the block. It was Callihan who ate Kojima’s lariat.
Nagata & Nakanishi def. Suzuki & Iizuka @ 12:03
The median age between these four is 50 years old. Expectations for work rate go out the window when you realize that fact. Even still, the chemistry between Nagata and Suzuki is alive and well. Their Wrestle Kingdom series is one of my favorite feuds in somewhat recent New Japan history. I would love if that were to continue at this year’s Wrestle Kingdom and with the victory tonight it remains possible. The work here wasn’t much to discuss. There was a lot of brawling, biting, choking. I thought Thanksgiving was over! Anyway, not much here but sign me up for another Nagata/Suzuki feud. Nagata hit his Backdrop Hold onto Iizuka, giving his team their first win of the tournament.
Yujiro & Page def. Goto & Yoshi-Hashi @ 11:01
Goto and Y-H are beginning to string together some tags moves. That’s great news for anyone who picked them as their A block winners. They have been a fine team to watch so far in the tournament. Page has made a dropkick + moonsault combination a staple of his matches so far and is a welcome addition to his offense. I’d love if he took his apron Shooting Star Press out of his arsenal because nine out of ten times it looks bad. Both Page and Goto have been working hard but are hampered by teammates who aren’t anything special. Team Bullet Club got the win via Rites of Passage onto Y-H.
Unfortunately there isn’t anything to recommend on this night’s show. The teams of Death Juice and Evil & Sanada have been the standout performers of the A block and their match together has been the highlight of the seven nights. Other than that you have guys who show up some days and disappear other days.
Death Juice (2-1)
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (2-1)
Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page (2-1)
Evil & Sanada (1-2)
Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (1-2)
Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi (1-2)
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-2)
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