World Tag League update: night 8

 Six lead after night 8 in Beppu

Beppu saw the penultimate night of league action in World Tag League 2020 on December 4, with six teams ending the evening on  ten points and four falling by the wayside.  

In the opening league bout, Fale and Owens went straight on the offensive early, attacking champions Dangerous Tekkers on the floor, and finding an edge on Zack Sabre Jr. Sabre rolled out the way of a charging Fale to bring Taichi in ring, but the Holy Emperor’s strangulation tactics didn’t work, and nor did attempts at the Holy Zack Driver and Black Mephisto. 

Dangerous Tekkers caught a brief advantage when Owens was sent into the corner, but the Crown Jewel remained impressive and in control. ZSJ tying up Fale in a Cobra Twist, both men helped their opponents avoid disaster with a free hand, but Dangerous Tekkers had the upper hand, sending Owens into Fale and eventually hitting the Holy Zack Driver for the win. 

Both in a must win spot, EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi took on Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI in the third match of the evening. YOSHI-HASHI went on the early offensive, and even a trip from Dick Togo didn’t stop a Headhunter on EVIL. He and Goto had the clear edge on all three in the BULLET CLUB corner, Dick Togo included, but they couldn’t out power an unprotected steel turnbuckle, and YOSHI-HASHI and Goto both were forced to endure some heavy metal damage. 

After Goto had enough of EVIL and Yujiro’s antics, a backdrop suplex brought a refreshed and fired up YOSHI-HASHI back in to deal damage of his own. EVIL went to YOSHI-HASHI’s ears to break free of the Butterfly Lock, and a low kick brought Yujiro in, but the Tokyo Pimp’s offense was read by Goto and double team offense followed. GYW was pushed away by Yujiro, and with Togo and EVIL occupying the referee and  YOSHI-HASHI, Yujiro connected with his pipe to Goto for two. 

As the match broke down yet further, Yujiro hit an Inter Collegiate Slam for two, but the CHAOS side fought back into the mix. A GYW gave Goto and YOSHI-HASHI the in, and a further two points to move to 10. 

Toru Yano promised a clean fight when he started for his CHAOS side against Juice Robinson, something that didn’t entirely work out for the master polymath, being worked over in the early stages. Going back to his roots worked far better for Yano, as he pummelled both his opponents with the corner pad before sending Finlay into the exposed corner. 

Finlay was worked over by both Yano and Ishii before a backdrop suplex led to a diving tag to Robinson at the five minute mark. Robinson and Ishii went to hard hitting war, as both refused to stay down from heavy hits, before Juice landed a huge lariat to the Stone Pitbull to leave Yano alone with the 2019 league winners.   

 A left hand and stunner combo almost left Yano open for Pulp Friction until Ishii came back in for the save; in the confusion Yano was nearly able to cradle Finlay for three. With Ishii taken out by a Finlay Irish Curse, Finlay used the Gramby Roll to take Yano down for the three. 

The Guerrillas of Destiny clash with THE EMPIRE started as a test of strength and power between Tanga Loa and Jeff Cobb, neither man giving an inch to the other as the Beppu crowd got behind both men. Loa got a brief edge with a dropkick to Cobb, but after he tagged in brother Tama Tonga, Cobb took over with a big tackle, and Tonga found himself in the wrong corner. 

With Tonga under full control of THE EMPIRE, Loa found himself in the unfamiliar position of trying to save his partner; eventually G.o.D found an opening on the floor as O-Khan and Cobb both tasted the ringside barriers. After a long brawl outside, O-Khan re-entered the ring against his will, and under the thumb of G.o.D at the ten minute mark. Cobb once again was a difference maker as he came back inside, hoisting Loa again for a big suplex, but hitting the mat when both men collided in mid air with a pair of cross bodies. 

With tags made both sides, O-Khan connected with Mongolian chops to Tonga before looking for the Eliminator, Jado making a key save. With Loa’s help, Guerrilla Warfare connected for a two count, but Cobb came back inside, supporting O-Khan with a gutwrench suplex to Tonga and allowing an Iron Claw to squeeze at Tonga’s temples. 

This time Tonga pulled in the referee to stop O-Khan hitting the Eliminator, and Jado used the opening to strike O-Khan from behind. Tonga followed with the Gunstun and moved his team to ten points. 

Prior results left Shingo Takagi and SANADA in a must win position against HenarACE battling for a considerable amount of pride. Tanahashi tested his own pride with an athletic open against SANADA; Henare tagged in and demanded Shingo, but the NEVER champion refused, and the Maori took matters into his own hands, landing blows on the apron until the Dragon got in.

Henare built impressive offense on Shingo, but the Dragon absorbed his blows before landing the Ryukon lariat. Henare was controlled effectively in the LIJ corner, but an impressive amateur takedown brought in Tanahashi. The Ace landed Dragon Screws to both Shingo and SANADA to slow Cold Skull, but SANADA’s grace allowed him to still hit a springboard dropkick and bring Takagi back to action. 

Tanahashi kept right up with Shingo as the two men threw elbows, before the Ace stopped another Ryukon attempt to land Twist and Shout. Back in the fray, Henare battled through an impressive double team combination from the LIJ side to hit a big suplex to Shingo and a Hi-Lo Slingblade, but Takagi denied a Rampage tackle with a DDT and Noshigami. Left alone with both opponents, Henare took SANADA for a loop with a spin kick, leaving himself and Shingo to clash wills. 

Neither man gave to overhand rights and headbutts, but Henare ducked a Pumping Bomber to get two from a spear. Shingo countered Toa Bottom into Made In Japan but Tanahashi made the save; a Pumping Bomber followed but Henare kicked out. Instead, Last of the Dragon connected to get Shingo and SANADA their fifth win.