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NJPW ‘World Tag League 2018’ (12.2.18) Results & Review

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Night twelve of the 2018 World Tag League is another show featuring Japanese commentary and the full camera treatment. All fourteen teams have a tournament match and the dream team of Tanahashi and Okada tag again. Let’s get started!

World Tag League Tournament Match
Killer Elite Squad (5-3) def. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida (0-8) @ 4:12 via Killer Bomb on Yoshida – **

Outside of a quick flurry of flash pins early on by Umino, this was complete domination by K.E.S. Smith’s form on his deadlift Germans is beautiful. I’d really like to see him get more singles opportunities in New Japan Cup format.

World Tag League Tournament Match
EVIL & SANADA (6-2) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-7) @ 9:00 via SANADA Moonsault on Nakanishi – **1/4

EVIL and SANADA heeled it up on the legends early, grinding them down on the outside. Nagata and EVIL had a fun suplex exchange and Nakanishi landed a crossbody off the top. Nakanishi took a Magic Killer but Nagata broke it up, eating an EVIL for his troubles. SANADA put Nakanishi away with a moonsault. Workboots Nakanishi doing dives is always a good time and the short but sweet Nagata/EVIL exchange was fun.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Juice Robinson & David Finlay (5-3) def. Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi (3-5) @ 7:15 via Juice Pulp Friction on Page – **1/4

Fast-paced and several fun sequences. All four traded positions on planchas, leading to the others hitting topes. Juice caught a Buckshot lariat and turned it into position for Pulp Friction. Page turned that into a backslide but when he got up, ate Prima Nocta from Finlay, leading to Pulp Friction and a sixth win for FinJuice.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Togi Makabe & Toa Henare (3-5) def. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (4-4) @ 11:45 via Makabe King Kong Knee Drop on Iizuka – **1/2

This was a statement win of sorts for Henare. He had a good showing, hung in there with Suzuki, got him good with some chops and was able to keep him on the outside while Makabe finished Iizuka with the King Kong Knee Drop. Post-match Henare was shocked to have won the match and Suzuki attacked young lions in frustration.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin (4-4) def. Beretta & Chuckie T. (5-3) @ 11:48 via Disqualification – ***

Chuckie T. snapped again! This was a rematch of last year’s tournament’s best match. Super high workrate, everyone was killing it until Chuckie threw a chair at Elgin. He did the same to Cobb and continued to beat them down. Beretta went to stop him, Chuckie reared back with a forearm but stopped himself and hugged Beretta instead. The post-match makes this a more noteworthy match but the actual match itself was a lot of fun. These guys work hard to prove themselves and it’s appreciated.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (6-2) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (3-5) @ 10:56 via Yano Schoolboy on Tenzan – **3/4

Another workboots match. It’s fun watching Ishii work with these two because you never know how many more times we’ll get to see it. The current landscape of the company and with the age of Tencozy, it’s not looking like they’ll be around many more years. Really strong exchanges between both members of Tencozy and Ishii. Heavy doses of forearms, lariats and headbutts. Yano rolled away from a Tenzan moonsault, Ishii laid Kojima out, Yano got the low blow and roll up on Tenzan for the win.

World Tag League Tournament Match
Guerrillas of Destiny (6-2) def. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (5-3) @ 9:44 via Super Powerbomb on Taichi – **1/4

Match started with Jado cutting off TAKA’s speech with a Singapore cane shot. Taichi retaliated with a shot by the mic stand and the match was underway. Big brawl for the first half until the referee finally breaks down and starts the twenty count. TAKA distracts the referee to allow Taichi time to use the mic stand. Jado does the same for the cane. G.O.D. use their new Super Powerbomb to put Taichi away. A lot of bells and whistles but they kept the pace up. Fine match.

Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, Taiji Ishimori & Gedo def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, KUSHIDA & Rocky Romero @ 14:38 via Ishimori Bloody Cross on Romero – ***1/4
Tanahashi and Okada shared a pose and Dragon Screw spot. Okada got more offense in on White and caught Gedo with a DDT. There was more focus on the KUSHIDA/Ishimori feud. They had several smooth exchanges. Rocky opened and closed the match on fire but White put his fire out and Ishimori finished him with the Bloody Cross. Post-match, White gloats being 3-0 over the dream team.

The notable takeaways from the show are the main event and Chuckie T’s repeat breakdown. Okada and White mixed it up a little bit more, creating more interest in their Wrestle Kingdom match. Mostly a skippable show but I’ve been enjoying these dream team tags so I recommend continuing to follow those.

Recommended Matches
Dream Team Tag

Predictions
Tournament: 42/63
Overall: 49/76

Standings
EVIL & SANADA (7-2)
Ishii & Yano (7-2)
Guerrillas of Destiny (7-2)
Killer Elite Squad (6-3)
FinJuice (6-3)
Sabre & Taichi (5-4)
Best Friends (5-4)
Cobb & Elgin (5-4)
Makabe & Henare (4-5)
Suzuki & Iizuka (4-5)
Page & Yujiro (3-6)
Tencozy (3-6)
Nagata & Nakanishi (1-8)
Umino & Yoshida (0-9)

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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