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NJPW ‘World Tag League 2018’ (11.29.18) Results & Review

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Night ten of the 2018 World Tag League comes from Korakuen Hall completed with Japanese commentary and the full camera treatment. All fourteen teams have a tournament match and the main event features Tanahashi and Okada teaming for the first time since Okada’s days as a young lion. There’s a lot happening so let’s get started!

World Tag League Tournament Match
Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin (3-3) def. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida (0-6) @ 7:59 via Cobb Tour of the Islands on Yoshida – **1/2

Tournament star, Shota Umino, started the match off with Elgin. He took the first five minutes, dished out the heat and delivered a dropkick off the top to give him space to make the tag to Yoshida. Only managing to stagger Cobb with a kick to the jaw, Yoshida was taken on a Tour of the Islands for a Cobb and Elgin win. There was a weird pacing moment where Yoshida was taken down by a double shoulder tackle and within ten seconds was already up on the apron ready for the tag. Really bizarre moment that took me out of what was an otherwise fire-filled match.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Juice Robinson & David Finlay (3-3) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-5) @ 9:14 via Juice Pulp Friction on Nakanishi – **1/2

Workboots Nakanishi made an appearance! Not only did Nakanishi take a rare backdrop suplex, he also landed a crossbody off the top. Potty mouth Nakanishi also made an appearance. On a series of second rope double sledges, he let out some “F***”s on impact that were hilarious. More fun moments with Finlay taunting Nagata with the Blue Justice salute and Juice selling death after giving Nakanishi a suplex. All around good time.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (2-4) def. Killer Elite Squad (4-2) @ 10:56 via Tenzan Moonsault on Smith – **1/2

With how long K.E.S. have been wrestling in Japan, they can do these matches in their sleep. You can tell how comfortable they are wrestling the legends. Tenzan bust out the moonsault for the big surprise win but he had some awkward moments sprinkled throughout that were tough to watch, the toughest being a blown pounce he tried to block with a spinning heel kick. Kojima, as always, was on his A game. Good finish, but definitely some blown spots.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Togi Makabe & Toa Henare (1-5) def. Beretta & Chuckie T. (4-2) @ 11:18 via Disqualification – **3/4

The shock of the night. No one saw this coming. Chuckie T. has snapped. Best Friends started the match by clowning on Henare, pie facing him and calling him a young lion. Henare turned Chuckie’s brainbuster into one of his own and next thing we know, Chuckie is taking Henare to the outside and bashing him with chairs. He throws more chairs into the ring and continues the beatdown. Beretta tries to stop him so Chuckie throws a forearm and walks off by himself, leaving Beretta alone in the ring.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Guerrillas of Destiny (4-2) def. Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi (3-3) @ 10:58 via Magic Killer on Page – ***1/4

Fiery match. Great intensity throughout. Big babyface Yujiro landed a dive, the second cut off by Jado. Big babyface Page had his flurry of throws and dives. Great chemistry between Page and Tama. Page has been showing glimpses of chemistry with several guys which has me hopeful he’s going to stay around longer so we can get the singles matches. G.O.D. finished off their ex-BC mates with a symbolic Magic Killer. One of the tournament’s best matches to date.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (4-2) def. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (3-3) @ 14:19 via Sabre European Clutch on Iizuka – ***3/4

This is must-see for the Suzuki-Gun historical impact. Sabre and Suzuki started the match off with five minutes of pure mat wrestling. They traded holds, went back and forth, neither man able to come out with a decisive edge. They eventually tagged out and the match turned into an outside brawl for the next five minutes. Choking, eye gouging, real kinky stuff. When they came back, one of the craziest moments of the year happened. The crowd rallied behind Iizuka. Huge chants for the madman when he locked in the sleeper on Sabre but he managed to escape and win off the European Clutch. Several great and memorable moments scattered throughout the match. Best of the tournament. Absolutely must-see.

World Tag League Tournament Match
EVIL & SANADA (5-1) def. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (5-1) @ 14:21 via SANADA O’Connor Roll on Yano – ***1/2

These teams complete each other. SANADA can mix it up nicely with the wackiness of Yano while Ishii and EVIL beat the hell out of each other. That’s exactly what happened. Some great back and forth sequences between Ishii and EVIL with SANADA tying up Yano in the ropes. Wacky hijync mixed with great intensity between the big guys. Yano charged for the ropes, hoping to escape SANADA but he held on and rolled Yano up for the win.

Jay White, Bad Luck Fale & Taiji Ishimori def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & KUSHIDA @ 12:44 via Ishimori Bloody Cross on KUSHIDA – ***1/4
Nonstop intensity from the jump. Bullet Club were introduced first while the other three were scheduled for separate entrances. Okada came out first for his team and wasted no time getting the jump on White, causing Tanahashi and KUSHIDA to rush out to even the numbers. The biggest moments were the tag between Okada and Tanahashi followed by Okada hitting the Dragon Screw Legwhip. White helped Ishimori get KUSHIDA down with a Blade Runner and Ishimori finished it with the Bloody Cross. Post-match, White dished out more Blade Runners and mocked beating the dream team. He declared there’s only one Bullet Club and this is the Cutthroat Era.

What a great show. Starting with fiery young lions to cursing Nakanishi, moonsault Tenzan, the Chuckie T. turn, Bullet Club vs Elite heat, Suzuki vs Sabre, Ishii vs EVIL and the dream team tag. Every match had something uniquely fun going for it and everything from the Chuckie turn and on is absolutely must-see.

Recommended Matches
Suzuki-Gun vs Suzuki-Gun
EVIL & SANADA vs Ishii & Yano
Bullet Club vs Elite
Dream Team Tag

Predictions
Tournament: 32/49
Overall: 39/60

Standings
EVIL & SANADA (6-1)
Ishii & Yano (5-2)
Guerrillas of Destiny (5-2)
Sabre & Taichi (5-2)
Killer Elite Squad (4-3)
Best Friends (4-3)
FinJuice (4-3)
Cobb & Elgin (4-3)
Page & Yujiro (3-4)
Suzuki & Iizuka (3-4)
Tencozy (3-4)
Makabe & Henare (2-5)
Nagata & Nakanishi (1-6)
Umino & Yoshida (0-7)

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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