Aussie Open defeat Bishamon to share the top spot
It was night two of the World Tag League in Fujisawa on November 26, the ten teams looking to bounce back from opening defeat, or build on night one victories.
The main event saw a battle of two of World Tag League’s top seeded teams, Bishamon taking on Aussie Open as each sought to reach four points. Mark Davis and Kyle Fletcher were quick to set the pace against the WTL 2021 winners, but YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto quickly turned the tables, the war drums ringing off Australian backs. Yet it was Bishamon’s backs that would be tortured soon after, Goto and YOSHI-HASHI carried around the ring for a back to back collision.
Goto would find himself rooted in the United Empire side of the ring before a lariat brought YOSHI-HASHI to his aid. With the Headhunter’s support, Goto was energised to deliver a bulldog to Davis and look for Ushigoroshi; a diving Headhunter connected for the CHAOS side, but after a counter to Shoto, a Fletcher brainbuster would lead to Aussie Open scoring the Dental Plan on Goto and putting the former winners back on the back foot.
A desperation Ushigoroshi would see another tag to YOSHI-HASHI, who traded with a wobbled Davis before being rocked with a huge enzuigiri. Quick to capitalize, Fletcher called the play for Corealis, but this time it was Goto making the save; still the less damaged Fletcher had the drive to dispose of Goto and hone in on the Headhunter. After a boot off the apron, colliding elbows and then the Corealis connected to move Aussie Open to the top.
Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki also headed to Fujisawa with a 1-0 record that they sought to maintain against the Be-Bop Tag combination of Toru Yano and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Yano would poke a particularly vicious bear in Minoru Suzuki moments into the match, and the attempt to gain advantage in the game of mental chess was rather less than effective, leading to Toru tortured until a much needed Manhattan Drop brought partner Hiroshi inside.
Tanahashi battled his way into the match with typical flair, and dropped Suzuki with a Dragon Screw, but was stopped by the King, who brought Archer back inside after a big boot. The Murderhawk Monster looked for the Blackout on the Ace, but after Tanahashi escaped, Yano would send the big man into an exposed corner. As the match broke down, Yano tried for a low blow assisted backslide on Archer, but Suzuki would stop the attempt, and Blackout scored on Yano for the win.
As HOUSE OF TORTURE have struggled in the early stages of both tag leagues this year, it was no surprise that Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens were cautious heading into their BULLET CLUB derby with EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi. They had every right to be, as a Dick Togo distraction allowed the H.O.T pair to take control of Chase Owens by hook and crook. Owens would be in the unfamiliar position of having the crowd behind him, and used the momentum to strike free and tag in Fale, but it would be the referee feeling the brunt of his superheavyweight power when Yujiro shoved the official in the big man’s path.
That brought SHO into the ring, but the Murder Machine was quickly victim to a C-Trigger and then the Grenade Launcher. Dick Togo’s steel wire and Yujiro’s cane left their mark, but some low blows to EVIL, and the Grenade on Yujiro saw the three count rendered by a recovered referee.
Also looking to bounce back after a night one loss were Aaron Henare and Great-O-Khan, in the face of difficult opposition in TMDK’s Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls. Keen to make up for his poisonous Korakuen Hall error earlier in the week, he was key in keeping Shane Haste in the wrong corner until a full Nelson bomb brought Nicholls inside. O-Khan made use of the Sheep Killer, and the United Empire side prepped for the Imperial Drop; though Nicholls escaped once, a second attempt got the team on the board.
The first of the night’s league matches saw Gabriel Kidd and Alex Coughlin face Tetsuya Naito and SANADA. Kidd had no shortage of attitude in the early moments of the match opposite Naito, while Coughlin both outpowered and outwrestled SANADA until he accidentally chopped Kidd to allow Cold Skull to get free. Despite avoiding the Paradise Lock in the early going, the Android found his limb units tied up in the hold, but after powering free Kidd brought the fight to the LIJ members. The LA Dojo were brutal as they were effective on offense, but a momentary space let Naito strike Coughlin with Destino for the win.