▪️WORLD TAG LEAGUE 2017 Tour Schedule & Full card each of event▶︎ https://www.njpw1972.com/schedule/
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— So, to continue our look at your World Tag League opponents, on November 25, you face Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens.
EVIL: Hm. Last year we beat Fale in the World Tag League. My question is will the monster inside Fale be awake or will he stay dormant? He still hasn’t shown what he’s truly capable of.
— He’s teaming with a dirty fighter in Chase Owens.
SANADA: They’re a dark horse team, capable of a few upsets I think. We’ll be fine but if the other teams aren’t careful they’ll be on the losing end. Owens is quite the technician, a rough diamond. We’ll be taking care though, it won’t be a problem.
–Taking them lightly would be a dangerous thing to do. What do you think of Fale, then?
SANADA: His size is intimidating, he’s certainly visibly impressive. There’s just not a lot to latch onto with him.
EVIL: Maybe if Chase took the lead and made Fale a real ‘underboss’ it might light a fire in him. Right now they’re just not impressive enough to face us.
–November 28, it’s Hangman Page and Yujiro Takahashi.
EVIL: Those two were in the NEVER 6 man gauntlet match with us in the Tokyo Dome.
SANADA: Well, Page is the most handsome in the block. If Yujiro brings his girls, I reckon they must fall in love with him. He’s young too, 26. Apart from that though I don’t have much to say about him. Yujiro, I had a match with him at All Together (a cross promotional card at the Budokan in August 2011).
–That show had Tetsuya Naito, Shuhei Taniguchi and Seiya Sanada against Yujiro Takahashi, Mohammed Yone and Manabu Soya. You got the win as well.
SANADA: After that, just the gauntlet match. Well, I’d be lying if I said I knew nothing about him. We have the same hometown as well.
–Ah, Yujiro is from Niigata, too.
EVIL: Look, Yujiro has a few effective moves. Page, for his size, is very fast. But they aren’t on our level.
— After that, December 1 in Toyohashi. Nagata and Nakanishi, two third generation wrestlers who just celebrated their 25th anniversaries.
EVIL: I saw that anniversary match in Togane. That should have been their retirement match, right? That’s what it felt like. To be honest, I don’t even consider them active wrestlers anymore.
–That’s a pretty big declaration.
EVIL: I just really think they should hang it up. Nagata in particular, he wrestled his last G1 and then said he wasn’t going to retire, but it sure felt like he has. We don’t need them here. Or if they’re going to keep trotting out, maybe we should end this whole World Tag League thing.
SANADA: At the start of the year, Nakanishi was with Taguchi Japan, and they won the NEVER 6 man tag belts, so we’ve wrestled a lot. Nagata.. when we were both in All Japan, we had a match in the Champion Carnival. But he’s not the same man now. I won’t know what he’s going through without being 50 myself, but everything seems tough for him.
–The years are catching up to the third generation?
SANADA: I don’t mean anything mean by it, but if I was 50, I’d find things tough, too. It is what it is.
–That’s a kinder way of looking at it than EVIL.
SANADA: (laughs) There’s no doubt that they’ve passed their peaks. Wrestlers fight with ambition and emotion. They have both, but ambition and emotion has a limit. We’ll show how different the levels we operate on are in our match.
–On December 3, the legendary Tenzan and Kojima team. Thoughts on Tencozy?
EVIL: They’re such an accomplished tag team that I definitely feel I want to take on ‘the great Tencozy’. But Kojima as a wrestler, I have issues with. He’s a guy who goes around so positively all the time. He has nothing but nice things to say about everyone, even his opponents after his matches. Does he really want to fight? He’s soft. Just like the G1, I plan to polish him off without getting so much as a scratch.
SANADA: At the end of the day, it’s just another group match. Had this been Tencozy vs SANADA and EVIL, for the IWGP Tag Team Championships, I might feel something, it might mean more. I’d want to face them in their peaks, when they were fighting tooth and nail for those belts.
–You don’t think they have it anymore?
SANADA: I don’t. Like EVIL said, Kojima’s too soft. Where’s the cool, tough senpai?
— You’re both pretty harsh toward Kojima.
SANADA: He’s just too nice to be a pro wrestler. That’s the kind of guy he is I suppose. That’s… fine.
–Finally on December 8 in Hiroshima you face Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI. Last year your last group match was against Goto and Ishii.
EVIL: Goto and YOSHI-HASHI, they both lost something at some point. You just have no idea what they actually want. They might turn it on in the ring, but I don’t feel they have any drive, any fire. They’re just there, just baggage tagging along with CHAOS.
–They both have great matches..
EVIL: I wrestled Goto, feuded with him a couple of years ago, but now I feel he’s way beneath us.
SANADA: I think with Goto, that lack of fire, I almost think it’s deliberate, that it’s for show. I think he can be dangerous.
–You think he’s playing possum?
SANADA: He might be thinking that if he appears to be on a downward spiral, he can pick himself up and shoot to the top. That’s all I can think of, that it’s premeditated.
–Meanwhile, your issues with YOSHI-HASHI are well documented.
SANADA: He’s.. persistent. Irritating. He’ll keep tapping away and snapping at your heels. But I’ll say this, I think Goto and YOSHI-HASHI are really compatible. I think they’ll work as a team really well.
–Apparently they get along very well outside the ring.
SANADA: The question is how that translates to the ring. There are great friends who work well as a team together, but there are guys who hate each other and still team well.
–So how well do you and EVIL get along outside the ring?
SANADA: Get along..? Well I think we actually communicate relatively well.
–Taking a look at B block, is there any team that you’d like to see win and face you in the finals?
EVIL: Before that, is Honma not in B block?
— He couldn’t rehab completely in time. You both must have revenge in mind for being beaten in the World Tag League last year by GBH. Will Makabe and Henare be enough?
EVIL: This is Henare’s comeback? Maybe Makabe and Henare get along, maybe they have a mentor and progeny thing going, but should they really be in the World Tag League? I don’t know.
EVIL: Think about it, those two share a block with the three teams that have wrestled all those three ways this year. War Machine, GoD, KES. They share a block with the tag champions… KES, is it? Damn, I really need to remember that.
SANADA: Personally, I can see Hanson and Rowe, War Machine going through. The champions, KES, I don’t want to face them.
SANADA: First of all, they’re huge. Then, Dave Boy Smith Junior.. I’ve never wrestled him, but looking at the man he just seems.. greasy. Like, covered in oil. I can just imagine trying to wrestle him and slipping all over the place.
–OK. So, your final thoughts on the group matches.
EVIL: This tournament is ours. It belongs to us. If any other team has a problem with that, the. They can try us.
SANADA: What you are going to see this tour is the birth of the coolest damn tag team that there’s ever been in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling. I’ve said it and we’re going to back it up.
EVIL: We’re going to create a new era in tag team wrestling.