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NJPW ‘World Tag League 2017 Night 8′ 11.26.17 Results & Review

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Samurai! TV presents New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s World Tag League 2017 live at the Aichi Prefectural Gymnasium in front of 4,089. Multiple camera angles, commentary and every match in its entirety.

Kawato & Umino def. Yagi & Narita @ 6:58
This was a decent young lion match. Narita and Yagi showed some great fire, making them de facto heels and I think they succeed in that role. Everyone got a good spot but Kawato, as usual, was given the most shine. He hit his springboard dropkick, followed by the spinning roundhouse to win the match.

Fale, Yujiro, Page, Owens & Leo def. Tenzan, Nagata, Kojima, Nakanishi & Oka @ 8:25
Another standard but fine match. The surprise was Chase Owens, usually the fall guy for Bullet Club, picked up the win on Oka (not a surprise) when he hit the package piledriver. Inoffensive but not something out of the ordinary.

Goto, Yoshi-Hashi & Gedo def. Suzuki, Iizuka & Desperado @ 11:27
A motivated Suzuki made this match fun. With the show being broadcast live you could tell he was more motivated than he has been on this tour. He was super aggressive with Gedo, who was also looking like he was having fun. Yoshi-Hashi lent a hand to Goto, connecting with the GTR onto Desperado. This was better than the average New Japan opening match.

Death Juice & Tanahashi def. Evil, Sanada, Bushi @ 9:33
Like Suzuki in the previous match, there was a bunch of motivation here. During this tour both Death Juice and Evil & Sanada have been the most fun to watch and that continued on this show. Callihan smooched two dudes in the span of five minutes. Sanada got one during the match and Tanahashi took Callihan’s kiss post-match. A dejected Tanahashi looked so ashamed of himself afterwards. Everyone visibly having fun really helps these undercard tag matches be more enjoyable. Death Juice scored the win after their shoulder buster + Pulp Friction combo they’ve been displaying all tour.

World Tag League Match
Elgin & Cobb def. Finlay & Kitamura @ 8:27

On paper this looked like a good hoss fight. Finlay is deceptively very large and the other three are impressive on first glance. Unfortunately, Kitamura just isn’t there yet. He nearly broke Elgin’s neck, unable to keep him up for a body press. Very scary. You could see the disappointment in his eyes and it was nice that Elgin tried his best to keep Kitamura from being down. This was the perfect chance for Cobb to show off his strength but the crowd didn’t get into him as much as I hoped. He took Kitamura on a Tour of the Islands to secure the win.

World Tag League Match
Best Friends def. Makabe & Henare @ 9:24

One of the better tag league matches so far in the tournament. They worked around the story of Henare’s injured ankle which really helped everyone get invested in the match. Makabe is known for taking two or less bumps a match. He stepped up and took Beretta’s tornado DDT and Chucky T hit a few dives. These moments helped the match feel significant. Best Friends hit a Strong Zero variation onto Henare and pick up the win. Multiple camera angles, crowd involvement and story helped my investment in the match. This has been missing in most the tag league to this point.

World Tag League Match
Killer Elite Squad def. Ishii & Yano @ 12:49

Said a million times over but it bears being repeated: a motivated Ishii is a world-class performer. When that man is at his best, not many are better. K.E.S. are by far the best gaijin tag team in all of Japan. After years of tagging, they’ve really carved out what makes a good match for them. They scored the pin on Ishii with the Killer Bomb. Recommend checking this one out definitely. All four were on point, including Yano. Everything worked out extremely well.

World Tag League Match
Guerrillas of Destiny def. War Machine @ 14:05

G.O.D. debut a new finish and establish that they aren’t playing around anymore. The reaction wasn’t the best, the crowds usually sound indifferent to G.O.D. but the surprise kick out of Fall Out and new finish was really cool. Not a great match but there were several good moments. I wish G.O.D. were better, their look is great but can’t manage to get over the hump. They won with a referee stoppage after Rowe was unable to escape Tama Tonga’s hold.

Naito & Hiromu def. Okada & Ospreay @ 14:57
These four are next level. The types of wrestlers who can put on the same match every night and it wouldn’t get boring. They’re all so tapped into their characters and know exactly what to do each and every night. They’re a straight up pleasure to watch. I won’t lie to you and say this is must-see but I definitely recommend watching if you have the time. They’re just all so good, so smart, always giving the crowd a show. Naito hit a pair of Destinos on Ospreay and sent the crowd home happy after a post-match speech.

Samurai! TV’s edition of Word Tag League night eight was a pleasant change of pace. The added camera angles, addition of commentary and a big crowd helped make the show feel more special than it was in reality. Everyone seemed more motivated being in front of 4,000+ people and a camera crew so the action wasn’t nearly as mundane. I’d call four of the nine matches good and strongly recommend one. All in all a fine show from start to finish but not one that should be considered life changing.

Recommended Matches

Killer Elite Squad vs Ishii & Yano
Naito & Hiromu vs Okada & Ospreay

Standings

Killer Elite Squad (3-0)
Guerrillas of Destiny (2-1)
War Machine (2-1)
Best Friends (2-1)
Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb (2-1)
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (1-2)
Togi Makabe & Henare (0-3)
David Finlay & Katsuya Kitamura (0-3)

Robert McCauley is an NJPW enthusiast who has seen every show live since Jan. 4, 2015

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