World Tag League enters final stages
Tuesday December 7 sees World tag League truly enter its final stretch, with just over a week to go until the dual Ryogoku finals. Competition for the two top spots will be heated, with just three matches left for each team to wrestle.
Main event: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) (6-2) vs Guerrillas of Destiny (5-3)
Tetsuya Naito and SANADA had vowed, as the World tag League got underway, to not just win the league, but elevate the status of the tag division over the competing Best of the Super Jr. tournament, with the hook of promising an undefeated record. That undefeated record didn’t come, and losses to United Empire and Dangerous Tekkers have created speedbumps for LIJ.
Speedbumps have certainly been in the path for G.o.D as well. The 2020 winners seemed easy 2021 favourites, but far from running away with the league now find themselves one win off the pace of a crowded group at 12 points. Tonight, they will need to draw on their wealth of experience as a team to combat the effective, but still relatively new, duo across the ring from them, and join the mix, or have their back to back hopes effectively snuffed.
6th Match: CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) (6-2) vs BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck fale & Chase Owens) (6-2)
Tag record: 2-0 CHAOS
Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens have perhaps made the biggest year on year growth in the World Tag League, their Yamanashi performance bringing them to 12 points after an emphatic victory over veterans Yuji Nagata and Tiger Mask. That’s put them right alongside Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI after their own win over Minoru Suzuki and TAKA Michinoku at the weekend, making this a key matchup for both teams; one that could easily make the difference between falling by the wayside and making the finals next Wednesday with only two more bouts to follow. Will Fale and Owens make another big stride tonight and score their first win over the CHAOS duo on the third time of asking?
5th Match: TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (-) vs United Empire (Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan) (6-2)
TenCozy are mathematically eliminated
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima play for pride tonight against a team who are very much in the hunt, and one that has been determined to crush their considerable legacy for the whole year to date. New Year Dash on January 6 saw Great-O-Khan put Tenzan on the shelf with a devastating post match TTD, before battling Tenzan in a match with the Mongolian Chops at stake. The ensuing loss would see Tenzan officially unable to use the maneuver, but there will be more than a few ‘Okayama Hammers’ unleashed here tonight, no doubt.
Satoshi Kojima’s own 2021 started with a hardcore streetfight against Will Ospreay that ended in defeat but saw the veteran hang with the Commonwealth Kingpin. Tonight he will be looking to outdo his singles meeting in Yokohama with O-Khan during the G1 series, as well as to teach a lesson to the hard hitting Henare, but with the finals very much in reach with a 6-2 record that has them in the tie for first at 12 points, the United Empire will have other plans in mind.
4th Match: Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe) (1-7) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) (5-3)
Great Bash Heel are mathematically eliminated
After early struggles, EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi have worked and, well, cheated their way to ten points, putting a five win streak together that most recently saw a distinctly tainted win over the IWGP Tag team Champions in Yamanashi. That puts them just win off the pace at ten points, and very much in the hunt. While GBH can only sit by the sidelines in Ryogoku on the 15th, they can still upset the HOUSE OF TORTURE apple cart, something that would see celebration from most in Okayama, and around the world this Tuesday.
3rd Match: Be-Bop Tag League (Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano) (-) vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku) (0-8)
Suzuki-Gun are mathematically eliminated
Long out of the running after a losing streak extended to eight matches, Minoru Suzuki and TAKA Michinoku are now intent on wrecking the league for everyone else. That is certainly going to be the driving factor for Minoru Suzuki opposite both his opponents tonight. Toru Yano has long been a thorn in the King’s side, and Suzuki and Tanahashi have been arch enemies for close to a decade. This will be a wild affair, and one that could see Be-Bop Tag League’s chances, already slim to the extreme after a fourth loss to Guerillas of Destiny at the weekend, completely eliminated if they aren’t careful.
2nd Match: Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask (1-7) vs Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) (6-2)
Tiger Mask and Yuji Nagata are mathematically eliminated
Dangerous Tekkers were in the strongest shape to represent the IWGP Tag Team Championships in the World Tag League finals next week when they headed into Yamanashi Sunday. They were in the driver’s seat against HOUSE OF TORTURE as well, but when Dick Togo and that steel garotte got involved though, a second loss was the result. Now, they’re just one of five teams at 12, with two teams behind still in with a chance at ten, and nothing is certain. Opposite them tonight will be the already eliminated Yuji Nagata and Tiger Mask, two men whose strikes and submission expertise should certainly pose a test to Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr.; a winnable match, but at this stage of the game, nothing is guaranteed.
1st match: Yuto Nakashima (0-0-10 this tour) vs Kosei Fujita (0-0-10 this tour)
Time is running out for one of our Young Lions to secure victory during this tour. Will it be Nakashima or Fujita with their first W tonight?