World Tag League 2020 update: night 7

Eight teams still alive with two matches left.

World Tag League returned to Korakuen Hall on November 30, as action left two teams out of the running with Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano leading the pack on 10 points. 

In what could turn out to be a must win match for both sides, THE EMPIRE got off to a hot start against EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi as all four men brawled to the floor. In ring, Yujiro was cut off from EVIL and the BULLET CLUB corner, man handled by Cobb and held open for O-Khan’s strikes. A low bridge and stungun though, and the tide turned, EVIL able to take violent steel chair assisted control. 

O-Khan was able to rally with a pump kick to bring in Cobb, who was looking for revenge on Yujiro from being pinned during the G1. Cobb’s powerful moves landed with an added dash of salt. Yujiro responded with an Intercollegiate Slam, and with Dick Togo drawing the referee, struck Cobb with his stick, but Pimp Juice was stopped by an invading O-Khan. As the match broke down, Togo got involved, but was met by a Mongolian Chop sending EVIL into the Spoiler, before O-Khan served Yujiro to a Cobb Tour of the Islands.  

Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens continued a run of must win matches by immediately targeting Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI on their entrance, but were quickly cut off by the motivated CHAOS duo. Fale and Owens found their comfort zone outside the ring though, and after sending Goto into the guardrail, set to work in the ring. 

YOSHI-HASHI showed his fire on a hot tag, and was impressive in taking down the much larger Fale, but a superkick attempt proved too ambitious and he found himself squashed in the corner by Fale, before being flattened by the aggressive Owens. Owens kept up the offensive against Goto too, with Jewel Heist nearly stealing victory, but YOSHI-HASHI prevented the Grenade Launcher from BULLET CLUB. The GYW followed for the win. 

Back from break, Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano looked to extend their lead at the top of the table opposite bottom of the league HenarACE. Toa Henare started by locking horns with Tomohiro Ishii, in a pairing that was initially set to be Henare’s first singles main event back in March before the pandemic descended. HenarACE had the better of the Stone Pitbull early, but after a momentary distraction from Yano, Ishii took over, punishing Henare for battling him into the wrong corner.

A flying shoulder tackle from Henare to Yano brought Tanahashi in to the Maori’s aid, but ever the thorn in the Ace’s side, Yano yanked on Tanahashi’s hair to bring Ishii back into the fray. A high cross from the Ace though, and the fired up Henare was back in to tear into Ishii. High impact offense ensued, but Yano prevented a HenarACE double team, sending Tanahashi crashing to the floor and leaving Henare to fend for himself. 

Henare lived up to the task effectively and sent Yano flying before piling in strikes to Ishii, but a moment’s hesitation led to a near knock out blow from Ishii at the ten minute mark. Tanahashi broke up a powerbomb attempt from Ishii, and put his body on the line to stop Henare meeting the exposed steel buckle, landing a Twist and Shout to the Stone Pitbull. The Hi Lo Slingblade followed, and Henare landed a Rampage tackle to Ishii, who blocked the ensuing Toa Bottom.

As Tanahashi and Yano re-entered the ring, Henare nearly fell to a sliding lariat, the Ace making the save and being taken to the floor for his efforts. Henare ate a lariat and fought hard to avoid a Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Ishii proved just too much in the end as the CHAOS side moved to ten points.   

Before the semi main event took place, Tama Tonga had expressed excitement at wrestling the combination of speed and power that SANADA and Shingo Takagi brought to the table, but found himself the victim of both in the early going, a SANADA dropkick bringing in Shingo to take control. 

Until, that was, the BULLET CLUB numbers game came into play. Elevated over the top rope, SANADA saw a cane swing from Jado coming, but not the charging Tonga, and G.o.D took over on the floor. A SANADA dropkick brought Shingo back into the ring, and the Dragon showed his power as, Jado included, he laid out all three men in the BULLET CLUB corner. Not one to shrink from a hoss fight, Loa gave as good as he got to Shingo with a German suplex, but a double knock down brought SANADA and Tama back in. 

SANADA had control with a Magic Screw on Tonga, but when a Moonsault attempt missed, he paid with a double team backdrop from G.o.D. Guerrilla Warfare followed for two, and a second to Shingo bloodied the Dragon, leaving SANADA alone. A Super Powerbomb was countered into a Hurricanrana, and Cold Skull connected with a TKO; as SANADA looked for Skull End though, Jado made the kendo stick save, and the Gunstun kept G.o.D’s league hopes alive.  

The main event saw 2019’s World Tag League winners meet the current IWGP Tag Team Champions, David Finlay starting for FinJuice opposite Zack Sabre Jr. for Dangerous Tekkers. As has been the case in recent matches, FinJuice had effective control on Taichi early, but one shot to Taichi on the apron brought the Holy Emperor’s rage. Taichi entered to squeeze the throat of Robinson, putting him in the corner, and keeping him under Suzuki-Gun’s command.

A high cross to both tag champions brought Finlay in, but he too struggle to keep momentum going, stopped by a ZSJ arm snap. Dangerous Tekkers continued their work on the surgically repaired shoulder of Finlay until a backdrop suplex brought a fired up Robinson inside; a Spinebuster and Full Nelson slam taking out both Dangerous Tekkers members in one fell swoop. 

Taichi shifted momentum back to champions’ corner momentarily, but Finlay nipped a Holy Zack Driver in the bud, Taichi responding by stopping a Doomsday Device and putting Juice in ZSJ’s Octopus clutches. A Juicebox put Finlay back in the ring, but Sabre went back to the injured shoulder, and Taichi furthered the punishment. The match breaking down, Juice laid out ZSJ with the left hand of God, but Finlay tasted Taichi’s Dangerous Backdrop, as all four men were laid out on the mat, the match passing the 20 minute mark.

Another left hand from Juice and Taichi’s follow up Zack Mephisto was stopped, Finlay and Juice connecting for a brutal series of blows to Dangerous Tekkers. Taichi ate the Pulp Friction from Juice, who repeated the move on ZSJ, while Finlay’s Prima Nocta scored to give his team the win, and keep FinJuice’s back to back trophy wins well alive.