IWGP Jr. heavyweight Tag Team Championship league concludes in Sendai
For the first time in 2020, NJPW heads to Sendai Sun Plaza on September 9 for night five of the New Japan Road tour. The third of three junior tag league evenings will see the finalists set for Friday in Korakuen Hall, and there’s much more besides to come on an unmissable event, including the announcement of the G1 Climax 30 lineup!
After the third match of the evening, the full lineup and A and B block breakouts will be announced. Who will be the wrestlers striving to Be the One in wrestling’s greatest tournament?
Main event: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) (2-0) vs Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) (1-1)
Suzuki-Gun need to win, or have Gedo and Ishimori beat Wato and Taguchi
The main event of the evening sees the last of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship matches, and effectively another must win scenario for El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. After suffering an upset to Master Wato and Ryusuke Taguchi, the short league format put Suzuki-Gun instantly on the bubble, and while they got a win back over Taiji Ishimori and Gedo Sunday, the only way they can ensure a straightforward tag team final Friday will be to beat Hiromu and BUSHI tonight.
To their credit, form suggests that they can do it. These two teams were embroiled in multi team matchups in 2018, as well as one straightforward tag team encounter at Road to Dontaku that year; a match that Desperado and Kanermaru won to hold onto the IWGP titles. While the LIJ team are on a roll, could that frustrating record with Despe and Kanemaru mean we see this matchup twice in a 72 hour span, with the stakes even higher on Friday?
5th Match: Master Wato & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Reborn Complete Players (Taiji Ishimori & Gedo)
Wato and Taguchi win puts them in the finals. Ishimori & Gedo need to win, and have LIJ beat Suzuki-Gun.
After two straight losses, Taiji Ishimori and Gedo head into this bout with their backs against the wall. Not only will they need to win tonight, but they also need the main event result to go their way in order to force a three way tie for second in the tag title deciding league. One win for Wato and Taguchi means that things are rather more in their control; a win will put them into Friday’s final albeit with the possibility of contending with a three way tie at the top of the league should Suzuki-Gun also beat LIJ.
While an RPP landed for Wato on Saturday night to give him a much needed confidence boost, one has to wonder whether the words of Hiromu Takahashi, rebuking him for taking a back seat since his return from excursion, are ringing in his ears. Will Wato take the lead, or follow in Sendai, or will that help or hinder he and hometown coach Taguchi’s performance?
4th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi & SANADA) vs BULLET CLUB (EVIL, Duick Togo & Yujiro Takahashi)
Conspicuous by his absence in the early leg of the tour, Dick Togo is back at the side of EVIL in a bid to help spoil LIJ’s evening. With a run of submission victories at the start of New Japan Road, SANADA’s momentum is strong, but immediately following the G1 Climax announcements, EVIL will be keen to show BULLET CLUB’s power heading into the tournament of all tournaments.
3rd Match: Toamoaki Honma, Yuji Nagata, Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Suzuki-Gun (Minoru Suzuki, DOUKI, Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
Suzuki-Gun and hontai continue to clash in the third match of the night. Few can forget last year’s G1 Climax announcements, and Minoru Suzuki being left out of the field, leading to very violent retribution. Now the NEVER Openweight Champion has already made it very clear that there’ll be hell to pay if he isn’t in the tournament; moments before the field is revealed, the King will be making a show of force.
2nd match: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI & Yuya Uemura vs Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, SHO & Gabriel Kidd
Two teams bring a Young Lion each with them for eight man action once more as they count down to a NEVER 6-Man Championship match Friday. A quiet highlight of the New Japan Road tour thus far, these men have all brought the fight in recent weeks, especially SHO, who has been brawling with Ishii any chance he can. Their August 9 title match was memorable for more than providing YOSHI-HASHI’s first career championship; it was a thrilling battle in its own right, and Friday looks to be even better.
1st Match: Satoshi Kojima vs Yota Tsuji
The evening’s action will kick off with Satoshi Kojima facing Yota Tsuji one on one. As the G1 Climax is around the corner, Kojima is hoping to be given one more go-around after injuries and a lack of form forced him out of the last two year’s tournaments. Certainly Kojima has pushed hard and impressed greatly in singles competition this year, but his opponent Yota Tsuji has also made great strides. While a no doubt long and prosperous G1 Climax career is yet to begin for the Young Lion, Tsuji is taking any fight that’s coming to him in the meantime.