Catch 2/2 streak ends in Gunma
Gunma saw night three of the Super Junior Tag League on November 25, as the ten junior heavyweight teams battled for control with the league heading into its middle third.
The main event of the evening saw a rematch of November 5 in Osaka as Los Ingobernables De Japon’s BUSHI and Titan took on TJP and Francesco Akira. Titan would start with TJP, who quickly looked to take his foe’s mask, only to be cut off with a spectacular handspring, and some slick combination offense with BUSHI. The LIJ advantage didn’t last long though, as Catch 2/2 caught the masked men with stereo tarantulas and then took over on BUSHI.
A boot out of the corner and tijeras brought in Titan, who flew to the champions as Gideon Grey sweated at ringside. With expert timing, TJP was able to handspring to avoid taking damage on Titan’s DDT’s though, instead misdirecting Titan into a springboard DDT of his own before an elevated frankensteiner for Akira followed by a Mamba Splash got two. Titan was in a bad way until a desperation gordbuster led to a tag to BUSHI.
The masked men put together double team combinations to force the champions into position for Angel Innmortal, but found the finisher countered. Still BUSHI in turn escaped the Leaning Tower, and despite an Alley Oop scoring on BUSHI, Titan was there to support with a tope suicida. Akira tried to capitalise on the chaos but was suddenly dropped with a Codebreaker, and held in place for Angel Inmortal, Catch 2/2 being handed their first loss in the league and as a team.
The undefeated BULLET CLUB combination of Ace Austin and Chris Bey took on a HOUSE OF TORTURE duo in SHO and Dick Togo on the opposite end of the ledger in Gunma. As a result, and even against BULLET CLUB allies though, the two would double down on their dispicable antics, using exposed turnbuckles and illegal interference to take down first Chris Bey and then Ace Austin.
As the IMPACT duo fired back, the ABC double team that leads to the Art of the Finesse would see the referee in the crossfire, and EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi would head to the ring right on cue. Once again, their presence would prove to be the team’s undoing. A handpsring kick from Austin and tope con giro from Bey led to the 1,2,3 Fold on Togo and six points for the pair.
DOUKI and Yoshinobu Kanemaru also headed into their match winless as they took on the Flying Tiger combo of Tiger Mask and Robbie Eagles. Determined to break their streak, the two effectively controlled Tiger Mask for a significant part of the match, and when Eagles finally got inside at the five minute mark, pent up aggression led to a huge tope con giro to Kanemaru. As the match broke down, Kanemaru scored a gorgeous Moonsault receipt for two, but as the Heel Master pursued victory, a flash rollup got the three for Eagles.
Wild Hips continued their journey in cultural exchange in the second league match of the night, Connors again bringing beer to the ring, which earned a World Cup themed yellow card from the Coach. Sufficiently chastened, Connors still took early control along with Taguchi as they kept Lindaman in place with some unique offence. When Zayne was introduced in the match, the Sauce’s size meant trouble for Taguchi; even more so when Zayne took a bite out of the Coach’s behind. Connors would launch a spear through a SAUCEHEARTS double team though, and set for a double Bummer Ye, before the match took an unexpected turn.
Lindaman and Zayne disrupted the double team and Zayne primed for the Cinnamon Twist. Connors was able to distract Zayne by suddenly producing a taco, leaving Lindaman to fare for himself as Connors and Taguchi primed for victory. They didn’t count on Zayne’s escalated appetite however, as the Sauce devoured the Mexican delicacy before forcing Connors into Taguchi’s rear end in the corner and following with the Taco Driver.
First of the league matches saw Kevin Knight and KUSHIDA taking on Lio Rush and YOH with both teams looking to get to four points. The Japanese members would battle for mat control while their American teammates brought an escalated pace. For a moment it seemed as if Rush would be isolated by the LA residents, but the CHAOS duo turned the tables, separating Knight from KUSHIDA until a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker brought the veteran in. Double submissions pressured Rush and YOH, but after a momentary hesitation on a double team, CHAOS took over, leading to DNV from YOH and then the Final Hour splash from Rush.