World Tag League night 16 preview

Kumamoto sees penultimate night of World Tag League action

With the end of the World Tag League in sight, Kumamoto will see teams vie for valuable points heading into Hiroshima on Sunday.

Ticket information 

Watch all the action LIVE and in English on NJPW World!

Main event: Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI (9-4) 4th vs Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer (8-5) =5th

A second consecutive main event for Suzuki and Archer headlines in Kumamoto, as the Suzuki-Gun tandem seek to end strong and destructively into the final night Sunday in Hiroshima. Suzuki and Ishii’s intense battles over the British Heavyweight Championship made for one of the most compelling, and gut-wrenchingly violent, narratives of 2018, and now the two will be locked in battle again, while YOSHI-HASHI will look to show his unwavering heart against the giant US Champion Archer. 

7th Match: Toru Yano & Colt Cabana (8-5) =5th vs Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Junior & Taichi) (8-6) 8th

There’s an attractive symmetry to this match that makes it one of the standouts in Kumamoto on paper. In some respects, Colt Cabana and Toru Yano represent a comedic ying to ZSJ and Taichi’s sadistic yang; Cabana and Sabre’s influence from the greats of Europe and the UK, though Cabana is more wisecracks than Wigan, more Catweazle than Billy Robinson. Yano and Taichi share similar lack of regard for rules, though there’s something about Yano’s affable nature that makes it more easy to forgive, if not forget his turnbuckle based transgressions. 

Ultimately though, funny has made money for Yano and Cabana, as they have backed up their mind games with mat acumen. While ZSJ and Taichi have struggled, Yano and Cabana have strung up high profile wins and with another Friday, they may be able to throw their names in the tag title hat later into 2020.

6th Match: CHAOS (SHO, YOH & Kazuchika Okada) vs Tiger Mask, Jyushin Thunder Liger & Kota Ibushi

Time is ticking down in Kumamoto December 6. Jyushin Thunder Liger is only seven matches from retirement, SHO & YOH are less than a month away from facing El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight tag Team Championships on night two of Wrestle Kingdom, and Kazuchika Okada and Kota Ibushi are just four weeks out from their January 4 main event for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship and the first step in the Double Gold Dash. As time runs out, who will make the most of their limited minutes?

5th Match: FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson) (11-2) =2nd  vs KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi (8-5) =5th

FinJuice have a lot on the line in this penultimate World Tag League match. Last night in Fukuoka, their match with Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki ended with a narrow but crucial victory, keeping them in the hunt at the crowded top of the table, and in the knowledge that they face top contenders EVIL & SANADA on the final night in Hiroshima Sunday. 

KENTA and Yujiro don’t have skin in the game when it comes to World Tag League points and trophy contention, but could this devious duo play spoiler, and put a stop to FinJuice’s chances before December 8? 

4th Match: TenCozy (Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan) (4-9) 12th vs EVIL & SANADA (12-1) 1st

TenCozy’s negative record in the World Tag League is sure to be disappointing to the third generation veterans, but their penultimate league match sees a chance for the biggest two points of their campaign. If the record holding former six time IWGP Tag Team Champions can defeat the back to back World Tag League winners, and spoil their hopes of a hat trick in the process, they’ll be rightly propelled to the fore of conversation in the tag ranks once again. EVIL and SANADA meanwhile, could be coasting to success with a little luck tonight; a win for the LIJ team and a loss for FinJuice secures the league with one event still to go. 

3rd Match: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (11-2) =2nd vs Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-12) 16th

After a poor performance against the World Tag League’s top flight this year, Nagata and Nakanishi have only a couple of chances left to improve on their two point standing. The IWGP Tag Team Champions would be a huge team to score that win over, especially as it could see GoD spiral out of contention. Tonga and Loa will stand more than ready to crush a fairytale victory for Nagata and Nakanishi, but the two veterans will not give up hope until the very last moment. 

For GoD a tricky points scenario, one win behind the pace of EVIL and SANADA, who face joint second place players FinJuice on December 8 in Hiroshima. Tonga and Loa will want to win this one, and then, ideally, see E & S fall to TenCozy tonight; otherwise, the best GoD can hope for is a tricky three way tie with the other top two teams. 

2nd Match: Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) (3-11) 13th vs Shingo Takagi & Terrible (6-7) =10th

When it comes to four men with a rough and hard hitting style, there are few that match up as well as this tag team pairing, and we may be seeing a sleeper favourite match of the tournament in Kumamoto. Both teams may be out of the running when it comes to World Tag League, but an old school penchant for violence that these men all share should make for one to watch. 

1st Match: Hirooki Goto & Karl Fredericks (2-11)=14th vs Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (6-7) =10th

The night kicks off with Hirooki Goto and Karl Fredericks facing BULLET CLUB’s Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens. For all of Owens and Fale’s continuing ‘struggle’ against a ‘conspiracy’ that they vow to get to the bottom of by tour’s end, Goto will have to keep eyes in the back of his head for a potential BULLET CLUB conspiracy against him; after all, the last time he and Fredericks faced a BULLET CLUB team, it was GoD, and it was KENTA jumping ‘HIRO’ from behind post match. Still, with Fale and Owens on impressive form of late, they may not need any help to deliver significant damage to Goto and Fredericks.