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NJPW ‘World Tag League 2018’ (11.25.18) Results & Review

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The seventh night of the 2018 World Tag League sees the return of the full camera treatment! All fourteen teams have their fourth tournament match with an LIJ vs Chaos match thrown in the middle to even out the card. Let’s get started!

World Tag League Tournament Match
Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi (1-2) def. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida (0-3) @ 7:54 via Yujiro Pimp Juice on Yoshida – **

Both Page and Umino have been tournament standouts but neither had a big performance tonight. Page landed a plancha and a Buckshot lariat. Umino locked in a rolling cross armbreaker for a second. There wasn’t anything bad here but nothing to really sink your teeth into either. No big false finish for the lions, it was a pretty quick in and out match.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (2-1) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-2) @ 8:28 via Yano Schoolboy on Nakanishi – **1/2

Nakanishi isn’t the easiest to watch but he tries his hardest. He has the strength of a horse, tossing Yano around with ease and laying in louder chops than Ishii. The exchanges between Nagata and Ishii were the standout moments of the match. They traded various throws and suplexes. Ishii hit a lariat on Nakanishi, causing him to stumble and get rolled up. It’s sad to watch Nakanishi struggle but endearing that he tries as hard as he does.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin (0-3) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (2-1) @ 12:19 via Elgin Bomb on Kojima – **1/2

Nice strongman match but there were some obvious miscues that were hard to watch. Rather than work around the errors, they doubled down and things got cringeworthy for a second. The legends are obviously broken down and couldn’t go at the pace of the usual Cobb and Elgin match. There were some nice strikes exchanged, everyone slugged it out but this could’ve clicked better.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Juice Robinson & David Finlay (2-1) def. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare (1-2) @ 10:45 via Finlay Roll Up on Henare – **1/4

Makabe showed up to hit his signature spots, including the corner punches into the northern lights. He assisted Henare with a few lariats but the rest was up to Henare. He held his own the best he could but his over eagerness to put an end to Finlay got him trapped into a pin he couldn’t escape. This was a perfectly fine match but didn’t deliver anything memorable either. It was just there.

Kazuchika Okada, YOH & SHO def. Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI @ 11:27 via Okada Rainmaker on BUSHI – ***
We got the good ‘ol fashioned heel version of LIJ. They triple teamed Okada off the jump, slammed him on the ramp and grinded on the juniors. YOH and SHO battled back, SHO catching Naito in a German suplex. They fought until Okada was ready to get back in the match and then helped him clear the ring for a one on one with BUSHI and that was that. Post-match, YOH and SHO make trouble with Desperado on commentary. Shingo joins in on the shoving and jaw jacking. While nothing major, this is the clear highlight of the show to this point.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Guerrillas of Destiny (2-1) def. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (1-2) @ 9:47 via Tama Gun Stun on Iizuka – **3/4

Despite the brawling style never being something I’m excited to see, this was done really well. Suzuki-Gun jumped G.O.D. on the ramp and they brawled into the crowd for the majority of the match. There was a sense of realism. Everyone laid into each other and didn’t stop swinging even after the match ended. This had the classic Suzuki-Gun vs Bullet Club feel.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Killer Elite Squad (2-1) def. Beretta & Chuckie T. (3-0) @ 11:04 via Killer Bomb on Chuckie – **3/4

Second match in a row, Suzuki-Gun jumps before the bell. They repeatedly threw Best Friends into the rails, grinding them down outside before finally bringing them in. Best Friends flurried with a tope con hilo and Asai Moonsault, capitalizing on their agility but it wasn’t enough. Archer repeatedly pulled Beretta off the apron, isolated Chuckie and finished him off with the Killer Bomb. Really good aggression from K.E.S. as they rebound from the loss to Ishii and Yano.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (1-2) def. EVIL & SANADA (3-0) @ 16:57 via Zack Driver on EVIL – ***1/2

They played off Sabre’s encounters with both EVIL and SANADA throughout the year. Sabre worked on EVIL’s arm and Taichi got in on the fun as well. They grinded on EVIL throughout, isolating him the best they could. SANADA played the x-factor by evening the score when Sabre was too much for EVIL. Taichi was the ultimate x-factor, leveling SANADA with the mic stand and superkicking EVIL on the back of the head while Sabre dropped him with the Zack Driver. This was a great match and easily the best of the tournament so far.

While the first half left a lot to be desired, the second half of the show picked up and it ended with the tournament’s best match to date. Sabre has made me enjoy watching matches involving Taichi. Their team has been the biggest surprise of the tournament. Overall the show was a fine, not much to see outside of the main event.

Recommended Match
Sabre & Taichi vs EVIL & SANADA

Predictions
Tournament: 18/28
Overall: 25/38

Standings
Best Friends (3-1)
EVIL & SANADA (3-1)
Guerrillas of Destiny (3-1)
Killer Elite Squad (3-1)
FinJuice (3-1)
Ishii & Yano (3-1)
Tencozy (2-2)
Page & Yujiro (2-2)
Sabre & Taichi (2-2)
Makabe & Henare (1-3)
Nagata & Nakanishi (1-3)
Suzuki & Iizuka (1-3)
Cobb & Elgin (1-3)
Umino & Yoshida (0-4)

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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