We’re starting to tick off the final matches in this year’s Super Junior Tag League – and we start in Fukushima!
It’s back to the fixed camera stuff for all but the final night of the Road to… portion of the tour.
Super Junior Tag League: Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Yeah, we’ve got a jump start as Liger and Tiger were attacked from behind in the extremely-wide aisle in Fukushima.
We start with some brawling around before Kanemaru catches Tiger Mask in the ring, as it’s seemingly his day to try and unmask someone. Desperado’s in to try and finish the job, but he just lets go and puts the boots to Tiger Mask, as the Suzuki-gun tandem are in the business of isolation – complete with Liger accidentally distracting the referee’s attention.
A knee to the gut from Tiger Mask stems the tide as he’s able to get the tag out, with Liger instantly hitting a tiltawhirl backbreaker before pulling Desperado up into a Romero special. Kanemaru’s swiftly in to break it up though, before we’re back outside with the wider angle showing us almost nothing. Eventually we cut to a mobile camera as Kanemaru posts Liger, as the reigning junior tag champions almost snatched the count-out win… only for Liger to roll back in in the nick of time. A camel clutch followed as Liger was kept at bay, but he’s able to stand up… and the double-teaming resumed as Suzuki-gun remained in firm control.
We’re back to Desperado trying to unhook Liger’s mask, and I’m beyond bored at this point. Even Despy grabbing Liger by the horns is doing nothing, so Kanemaru returns and takes Liger into the corner. Finally there’s a comeback with a Shotei, as Liger tags back out with Tiger Mask crashing in with a crossbody off the top before we’re back to more double-teaming. That backfires as Tiger manages to take Despy outside as he drops Kanemaru with a Tiger Driver for a near-fall.
Kanemaru responds with a low dropkick to Tiger’s knee, but a rear spin kick stops Desperado after he tagged back in… and here’s Liger again. Liger sizes up Desperado for a Shotei in the corner, and gets it, before a top rope ‘rana sent Desperado flying. Kanemaru’s back with a cheeky kick on the apron as Liger has to fight off MORE double teaming, before Liger and Tiger have a go at the double-teaming malarkey for themselves.
It ends with Tiger Mask scoring a butterfly superplex on on Desperado, before a Liger Bomb drew a near-fall, with Kanemaru breaking it up… and getting thrown out. Liger dumps Desperado with a brainbuster, but the referee gets pulled out of the ring by Kanemaru who hits the ring again for EVEN MORE DOUBLE TEAMING. He takes a swig of whisky, which he sprays somehow through Liger’s mask, before a Desperado belt shot and Pinche Loco got the win. Thank God for that. This lacked all of the energy and intensity of their King of Pro Wrestling match a few weeks ago, or even the upset win at Korakuen before that. This was chock full of the Suzuki-gun tropes, and not in a good way. For my money, the worst match of the tournament thus far, and one we could really have seen coming. **¼
Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (5-2; 10pt)
Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Shingo Takagi); Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH); (4-2; 8pts)
ACH & Ryusuke Taguchi; Bullet Club OG (Robbie Eagles & Taiji Ishimori); Chris Sabin & KUSHIDA; (3-3; 6pts)
Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask (2-5; 4pts)
Soberano Jr. & Volador Jr. (1-5; 2pts)
So the reigning IWGP tag team champions finish on ten points – and with a tie-breaker win over BUSHI & Shingo Takagi, you’d have to think that they’re pretty much a lock for Sunday’s finals in Osaka. Next up for their final match are that LIJ team of BUSHI and Shingo, who take on ACH and Ryusuke Taguchi. That match is taking place today (Monday) in Miyagi – we’ll review that after it drops on New Japan World.