The Super Junior Tag League’s wooden spoon match is our only offering today from Aichi.
The long-winded Toyohashi City General Gymnasium The Second Gymnasium in Aichi is the venue as Kevin Kelly and Gino Gambino (who came for Hallowe’en as Bad Luck Fale) are on the call.
Super Junior Tag League 2019 – TJP & Clark Connors vs. Tiger Mask & Yuya Uemura
Loser finishes bottom of the league, unless there’s a time limit draw…
Connors and Uemura get us going, as a headlock takedown’s easily escaped by Uemura, who earned himself some chops from that… which he of course returned in kind. Tags bring in TJP and Tiger Mask, but TJP slides in and traps Tiger Mask in a Muta lock, forcing the veteran into the ropes as the young lads had a scrap on the outside. Connors tags in and charges his shoulder into Tiger Mask in the corner, but a rear spin kick stops the American, who proceeded to get kicked to pieces. Uemura returns, but just got slammed repeatedly, with TJP coming in to capitalise. Yep, there’s another slam as TJP lands a slingshot senton for a near-fall, before my feed drops out.
It recovers as Tiger Mask and Clark Connors come in, with the latter scoring a near-fall with a scoop slam. Tiger Mask fights back, then hands off Connors to Uemura for a suplex… getting a two-count before Tiger Mask rolled Connors into a Kimura, with Uemura doing a damn good job of keeping TJP at bay. TJP eventually broke free to break up the hold, before he landed a springboard forearm to take down Tiger Mask. There’s a Saito suplex to Uemura too, as Tiger ends up in the ropes for a slingshot triangle dropkick, but a missile dropkick’s swatted away by Tiger Mask, who followed in quickly with a Tiger bomb for a near-fall.
A butterfly superplex dumps TJP to the mat as Tiger Mask then looked to get the win with a cross armbreaker. Connors makes a save, but Uemura evened it up before TJP caught Tiger Mask with a thrust kick… Uemura’s on the apron, demanding a tag, and he gets it as he proceeded to go wild with shoulder tackles. Uemura misses a charge into the corner, and ends up getting caught with a Hart Attack blockbuster for a near-fall.
Uemura avoids a pop-up, but couldn’t avoid Connors’ spear, as the Young Lion badly needed a tag out. He doesn’t get it, instead focusing on TJP with a Boston crab, dragging TJP away from the ropes in search for the submission… but Connors tries to chop it apart. There’s resistance from Uemura, until an uppercut from Connors undid the hold, but Uemura tries to respond with forearms to both men as the ring filled.
Uemura keeps the momentum going, but he loses a slam on TJP as another Connors spear drew a near-fall. He’s right back as he escaped a Detonation kick to start a series of flash pin attempts, only to get caught with the kick in the end as TJP finally got the win. A little weird towards the end, but this was a keenly-fought, if not scrappy encounter that lived up to its billing. ***½
After the match, Tiger Mask took the mic and put over Uemura’s resilience – saying that “tagging with him is my responsibility… I swear I will bring him to the top!” (thanks to Chris Charlton for the translation on Twitter – his real time stuff was missed here!)
1. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori) (5-1; 10pts)
2. Birds of Prey (Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles); Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi; Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH); Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (4-2; 8pts)
6. Volador Jr. & Titan (3-3; 6pts)
7. TJP & Clark Connors (1-6; 2pts)
8. Tiger Mask & Yuya Uemura (0-7; 0pts)
Friday in Osaka sees the remaining six teams compete – Titan and Volador Jr. can spoil Rocky Romero and Ryusuke Taguchi’s chances of making Sunday’s final. Commentary’s mentioned recently that there’s a shot that this’ll be more than a straight-up tag match, so don’t be shocked if we’ve got a four-way on Sunday. That particular permutation will arise if Romero and Taguchi AND Roppongi 3K win, with the winners of the Birds of Prey vs. Suzuki-gun being the fourth team in the match – no tie-breakers here!