We’re in Oita for the latest round of the World Tag League, as block B continues to pile up on itself!
World Tag League 2017 – Block B: Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
Either someone’s overdone the lights, or the white balance is off here, as the video projector is barely visible in the building. A win would keep the Best Friends on top here, whilst a draw would put the CHAOS tandem in the mix ahead of their final match on Saturday.
We start with a love-in, as Beretta and Chuckie offer everyone a hug… of course Ishii doesn’t accept, and we start out that way, with Ishii vs. the world (or at least, the Best Friends, who are still hugging… as is Yano, but that just gets him targeted).
Yano tries for a break, but the threat of Chuckie T just stops that and keeps the match in the favour of the Best Friends, as Yano finds himself as far away as possible from a tag out. We get some nice old school tag stuff, with Chuckie holding Yano for a Beretta axehandle smash off the top, before the Americans cheat on an abdominal stretch. Basic, old-school, but it works!
Eventually Yano manages to push away the double-teaming, before getting the tag out to a fired-up Ishii, who goes straight to his wheel-house of shoulder blocks and clotheslines. Beretta tries to come back, but he does a Lykos in calling for – and ending up getting – a brainbuster for his troubles.
They rebound as an assisted tornado DDT on Ishii gets Beretta a near-fall, which fires up the Stone Pitbull once more as he left Beretta and Chuckie laying… before bringing Yano back in. You know the drill by now – ripping off the turnbuckle, and quickly getting double-teamed before his double low blow’s blocked.
Yano gets the turnbuckle pad and plays pass the parcel with it a la Eddie Guerrero with the chair, eventually leaving referee Red Shoes holding it like a newborn child. Rather than grab the pad, Yano just shoves the ref away after Chuckie misses a top rope moonsault, and all we’re left with is a low blow and a roll-up as Yano and Ishii get the points. Not a technical masterpiece, but a solid comedy match with plenty of old-school stuff to keep you interested. **½
World Tag League 2017 – Block B: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb
Let’s just say that it’s been a fairly problematic few days for Michael Elgin, which those of you following the dumpster fire on Twitter will be oh so aware of.
Elgin started off with Tama, as the pair both bared their chests to try and out-Alpha Male each other. Tama quickly tags out to Tanga Loa, who doesn’t go down that route… as he circles the ring and gets tagged out so we really do start with Tama and Big Mike, with the latter threatening to make light work of things early on.
Tama becomes an unwilling participant in the human game of pass the suplex, before slipping out to tag Tanga back in… and Tanga doesn’t have it his own way either, as he manages to knock Cobb down with a shoulder tackle, before turning around into a belly-to-belly suplex. Premature celebrations, eh?
Tama Tonga tries to cheat, but just gets knocked off the apron as Zombie Cobb appears and gets sent onto the apron, eventually getting face-planted there by Tama as we headed outside. Well, we didn’t have this spot in the first match, so we’re due double! Back inside, the Guerrillas start to work over Cobb, decking him with headbutts and isolating him away from a tag.
Eventually Cobb teases a fightback, catching a kick from Tama and turning it into a capture suplex, leaving Cobb in the right place for a tag back out. Elgin comes in and hits a scoop slam to put Tama back in the corner, bringing him out with a Falcon arrow for a near-fall, before a series of clotheslines rocked Tonga.
Some wacky rope running disorientates Elgin, and led to an enziguiri as we had a brief period of double-teaming on Big Mike… ending with a big double suplex as Elgin put the brakes on the Guerrillas. Cobb’s back with a pumphandle fallaway slam to Tanga Loa for a near-fall, but again the Guerrillas turn fire and hit a double-team Tongan Twist to get close to victory.
Tama tries a plancha to the outside, but Elgin catches it as the good guys eventually knock down the Guerrillas, with Elgin taking things back inside for a superplex to Loa. Cobb throws in a standing moonsault, something a guy his size shouldn’t be capable of doing, before Tama Tonga becomes part of another game of pass the human parcel, as Cobb and Elgin show off their strength game, finishing off with Cobb giving Tanga a Tour of the Islands for the win. A perfectly solid match, with another surprising result as the former tag champions picked up another loss here. Ignoring the problematic stuff away from the ring, you can’t help but love two strong guys throwing others around, eh? ***
We’ve now got a four-way tie at the top of block B, and I fully expect that to become a six-way tie after Thursday’s matches in Yamaguchi as the two teams on six points face off against the teams still waiting to score.
EVIL & SANADA (4-2; 8pts)
Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi; Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI; Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (3-2; 6pts)
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens; Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan (3-3; 6pts)
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2-4; 4pts)
Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata (1-4; 2pts)
Beretta & Chuckie T; Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin; Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa; Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (4-2; 8pts)
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer; Hanson & Raymond Rowe; (3-2; 6pts)
Henare & Togi Makabe; Katsuya Kitamura & David Finlay (0-5; 0pts)
Block A took over again in Nagasaki today, with the penultimate matches there wrapping up with YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto against the eliminated Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi, whilst we had Bullet Club vs. Suzuki-gun, with Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka facing Yujiro Takahashi and Hangman Page. Those matches should be up on New Japan World on Thursday…