The 2015 NJPW World Tag League kicked off this Saturday. I’ll review as much as I can, in a fashion similar to what I did for the G1 Climax, reviews of the tournament matches + results for the other matches with here and there a note if something special happens. Big first day so let’s get started:
World Tag League Block A
Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano defeated Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in 7:22 via pinfall:
Solid match and pretty much what you’d expect from those four. Interestingly, Sakuraba had Honma well scouted out and used his MMA style offense to keep him grounded and prevent him from using his kokeshi’s, so that was a touch that I liked. Not great but fun as most of Yano’s and Honma’s matches tend to be. A Yano low blow (of course) on Honma ended this one. On a side note, why is it every-time I proclaim someone to be the favorite, that same person ends up losing? Do I have the reverse Midas touch or something?
World Tag League Block B
EVIL and Tetsuya Naito defeated Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson in 12:06 via pinfall:
A couple of weeks before the event, NJPW had announced the return of BUSHI who had been sidelined with injuries for over a year. BUSHI was originally supposed to team up with Mascara Dorada on the under-card, but, without much explanation, NJPW suddenly announced on Friday that BUSHI wouldn’t be on the show. This all turned out to be a swerve as the masked man accompanying EVIL turned out to be BUSHI. A masked Naito would then casually stroll towards the ring and be instantly recognizable by the fact he attacked a cameraman just for the hell of it. Another solid match with an interesting heel vs heel dynamic. Both teams basically tried to outdo each-other in dirty heel tactics. Quite fun to watch. The deciding factor turned out to be BUSHI who sprayed the dreaded green mist all over Doc Gallows, allowing Naito to hit his Destino finisher. Post-math Naito destroyed the referee because that’s what he does, and what he does is awesome. Big win for the growing Los Ingobernables stable who will most definitely become a major force in 2016.
World Tag League Block B
Meiyu Tag (Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata) defeated Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii in 12:48 via pinfall:
For the fans of tag team wrestling out there, seek this one out, this might very well have been one of the better tag matches of 2015. Which should come as no surprise given who was involved. The history between Nakamura and Goto is, of course, well known by now, but Shibata seemed to be really focused on Ishii at times, which might herald a program between those two in the future and I’m all for that. Excellent teamwork also from both teams, which added to the feeling you were really watching a great tag matches and not just some wrestlers who where thrown together for the sake of the tournament. Shibata scored the pin on Ishii after a PK, which might mean that Shibata will be Ishii’s challenger for the NEVER title at WK 10. Great stuff from all involved.
World Tag League Block B
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin defeated Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI in 17:10 via pinfall:
Nowadays, everytime NJPW puts Okada and Tanahashi in the ring together, you just know there’s gonna be fireworks. Don’t get me wrong, both Elgin and YOSHI HASHI played their role very well, but this was also about Tanahashi and Okada and their upcoming WK10 match. Awesome moment when Elgin, after dominating YOSHI-HASHI tagged in Tanahashi for the first time, who immediately trowed the hapless YOSHI HASHI in Okada’s corner and demanded that the champ tagged in. Okada obliged and what ensued was a fantastic brawl that spilled outside the ring and send officials, photographers, cameraman and even spectators scurrying for cover. Elgin was also very impressive, still mega over with the Japanese crowd and proved without a shadow of a doubt his place is in NJPW right now. They even did the High Fly Mike (a Elgin assisted High Fly Flow from Tanahashi) which was awesome. Elgin picked up the win for his team after a buckle bomb and sitout powerbomb on YOSHI HASHI. Another intense stare-down between Tanahashi and Okada post-match. That Wrestle Kingdom 10 main event is going to be something else. Fantsatic main event too close down the show.
Standings (first number is the number of matches, second number is the points each team collected:
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin (1-2
Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano (1-2)
Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma (1-0)
Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi (1-0)
Tama Tonga and Bad Luck Fale
Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian
Yuji Nagata and Manabu Nakanishi
Tetsuya Naito and Evil (1-2)
Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata (1-2)
Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii (1-0)
Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson (1-0)
A.J. Styles and Yujiro Takahashi
Michael Bennett and Matt Taven
Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
In other results:
David Finlay and Mascara Dorada defeated Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu in 5:36 via pinfall – Dorada pinned Komatsu with the Dorada Screwdriver.
The Addiction def. Juice Robinson and Tiger Mask IV in 7:41 via pinfall – Robinson got pinned after a Celebrity rehab.
Gedo and the Kingdom with Maria Kanellis defeated Captain New Japan, KUSHIDA and Ryusuke Taguchi in 8:58 via pinfall – Captain New japan got pinned after Maria worked her “magic” on him. Amusingly, only KUSHIDA seemd immune to Maria’s “special powers” and he was easily the star of this match.
AJ Styles, Bad Luck Fale, Cody Hall, Tama Tonga and Yujiro Takahashi def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Jay White, Manabu Nakanishi, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata in 11:25 – Takahashi pinned White
Tags: doc gallows, EVIL, GBH, hiroshi tanahashi, Karl Anderson, kazuchika okada, Kazushi Sakuraba, Meiyu Tag, Michael Elgin, njpw, shinsuke nakamura, Tetsuya Naito, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, World Tag League, Yoshi Hashi