World Tag League 2020 update: night 1

FinJuice, Dangerous Tekkers, EVIL & Yujiro, Yano & Ishii, O-Khan & Cobb top table

World Tag League 2020 got underway on November 15 in Aichi’s Dolphins Arena, alongside Best of the Super Jr. 27 as five league matches took place. 

First on the board in the league were Toru Yano and Tomohiro Ishii, defeating Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens. Fale was in explosive form on his return, and he and Chase were able to impressively control the notoriously uncontrollable Ishii. There as still a little tag team rust, as Fale and Chase were sandwiched by their opponents though, and when Owens was misdirected into splashing Fale, Yano added enough weight on top to pin the Rogue General. Fale brutally attacked Yano post match, but the damage had been done and the first points scored. 

The second match  saw Jeff Cobb join an even more imposing Great-O-Khan with new ring gear as the newest member of The Empire. They would take on a tough team in their own right in Hiroshi Tanahashi and the returning Toa Henare, but Cobb immediately set to work. The match was chaotic from the outset as Cobb and O-Khan attacked the HenarACE side, Henare bringing eight months of pent up aggression as the referee couldn’t gain control of the match. O-Khan quickly took care of Tanahashi with the Eliminator, and assisted Cobb with a Tour of the Islands for a quick victory. 

Tag Team Championship opponents from less than a fortnight prior met in the third WTL match of the evening, with YOSHI-HASHI and Hirooki Goto meeting champs Dangerous Tekkers. Taichi and ZSJ took control of Goto and YOSHI-HASHI respectively with a vicious assault outside of the ring, before isolating Goto in the main. 

The Fierce Warrior managed to fire back with a double lariat, bringing in YOSHI-HASHI, who lit up Taichi and refused to bend to ZSJ. A recovered Goto tried to land GYW, but after Taichi cut Goto off, a roll-up from Sabre got a victory for the tag champs against the run of the match. 

Former back to back World Tag League winners met in opposite corners in the semi main event of the World Tag League side of Aichi’s card, EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi meeting SANADA and Shingo Takagi. Despite typically aggressive tactics from the BULLET CLUB early, SANADA and Shingo had things scouted until EVIL yanked SANADA off the apron and into the ringside guardrail and ring announcer. As BULLET CLUB retained control, SANADA once again tasted the steel back first, and Yujiro tasted SANADA’s hand before Cold Skull fired back with teeth and a basement dropkick of his own. 

Shingo Takagi brought the fire to EVIL, Yujiro and Dick Togo when getting in, preventing signature cheating from EVIL with a Dragon Screw, but he and SANADA both received suplexes from their blackhearted opposition. Shingo cut off more double offense with a Pumping Bomber though, opening the door for Skull End, cut off by Togo. SANADA sent Togo packing but did not prevent a low blow from EVIL, and the EVIL followed for the three. 

Main eventing the World Tag League side of the evening were two teams returning to Japanese action for the first time since February, Guerrillas of Destiny and FinJuice in a 2020 rubber match having exchanged wins and the IWGP Tag titles in January. After an even early exchange, it was FinJuice taking control on Tanga Loa, until a sprawling Loa drove his legs and sent Juice into the corner where Tonga was waiting. 

Loa’s power again came into play when delivering a huge double arm suplex off the top to Finlay and, with a little help from Jado, doing some damaging work on the floor. Finlay’s heart eventually brought him to his waiting partner, but his run of offense too was short lived as the six time tag champions did their work. Guerrilla Warfare connected to both Juice and Finlay, and an attempt at a Hart Attack for FinJuice was cut off by GoD, who landed a Magic Killer to Juice. 

Finlay prevented a Super Powerbomb that was sure to end things though, a superplex to Loa being followed by a top rope Robinson splash. The Dooomsday Device followed up for FinJuice, and the last tag team victors of the night were official.