We’re off to Kuki in Saitama as the third round of World Tag League matches wrapped up!

World Tag League: Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) vs. The Elite (Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi)
Oh yay, we start with Yujiro and Taichi! Both men try to out-do each other on eye rakes and the like, before Yujiro started to bite. The usual stuff.

A clothesline puts Taichi down, before things picked up with Sabre and Page in the ring. Their feeling out process gained some steam when Page scored with a shoulder tackle, which led to Yujiro returning as the Elite pair worked some good double-teams en route to a standing shooting star from Page for a near-fall. Sabre fought back, trapping Page in a cross armbreaker as Taichi and Yujiro wandered into the crowd, where Taichi used a chair to try and choke Yujiro on the floor. That left Page alone for a spell as Taichi, then Sabre attacked him behind the ref’s back.The cheating doesn’t even get the crowd screaming in disgust, it’s just largely silence.

Page finally gets a tag out to Yujiro, who boots Sabre in the face before hanging him up in the ropes… and there’s some for Taichi too, as his interference earns him a leg sweep and a low dropkick. A suplex on Sabre’s good for a near-fall, but Zack hits back quickly with a neck twist before Taichi comes back to slow down the already-pedestrian pace. Page comes back in and tries to throw with Taichi, but kicks to the head outdo forearms, as Page quickly learns as he met a head kick with a big boot. Sabre provides a distraction, but Taichi accidentally runs into him before getting caught with a fallaway slam, as Page goes hog wild with planchas and topes.

A big bridging German suplex from Page is good for a near-fall, but Sabre turns it around as he help double-team Page en route to a near-fall.Off come Taichi’s trousers as he follows in with an Axe Bomber to Page for a near-fall. Yujiro tries to get involved, but Taichi whacks him with the mic stand to the gut… Page outsmarts that, and after getting lifted onto the apron, he slingshots back in with a Buckshot lariat for a near-fall on Taichi.

Taichi thought he’d rolled out of the Rites of Passage, but he ends up having to grab the ropes to save himself as Page hangs on… before Page ran into the referee to distract from a cane shot from Yujiro as the Rites of Passage ended up getting the win. I felt like I aged a LOT watching this. There was nothing wrong with the bout, but it just felt so gosh-darned slow and lacking any sort of urgency. **½

World Tag League: Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
Kojima and Tanga Loa get us going, starting with headlocks and switching through to the usual tussle of shoulder tackles.

Tanga clubs away with forearms, but Kojima hit the ropes and scores with a shoulder tackle… then gets one of his own before we get tags out and a similar go around, with Tama Tonga clubbing down Tenzan. Tama mocks the Mongolian chop/headbutt shtick, but the headbutt hurts and Tenzan replies with the real deal instead, while getting a little help from Kojima… before a Kendo stick shot from Jado on the outside stopped the double-teaming in its tracks.

We head outside as Kojima and Tenzan become acquainted with the guard rails, allowing the tag champions an easy way back in as they looked to focus on Tenzan back in the ring. Body blows from Tama trap Tenzan in the corner, as do clotheslines, which left Tenzan slumped on the mat.

Tanga Loa takes a more direct route after tagging in, as he just chokes away on Tenzan, who eventually got free to tag in Kojima, who goes to town with machine gun chops to both members of the GOD in the same corner. Jado provides another distraction, but this time it’s Tanga Loa who throws down Kojima who then takes some more double-teaming as a flying neckbreaker and a legdrop earn a near-fall.

Those double-teams quickly backfire as Tanga Loa runs into a TenKoji Cutter for a near-fall as all four men landed up in the ring. Tama Tonga gets a version of the 3D too, before Jado’s Kendo stick gets involved again, cracking Kojima in the back as Tanga Loa looked to turn it around again. An attempt at Apeshit just leads to a ref bump thanks to Kojima’s trailing legs, before a Koji Cutter left Tanga down… but with no ref, it was for nought. Jado again gets involved, tripping Kojima as he goes for a Cozy Lariat, but things backfire as Tanga Loa runs into Jado on the apron, before the Cozy Lariat connects for the win. A good “bad guys get outsmarted” win, but this was another match that lacked any kind of urgency. **¼

World Tag League: Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
Yeah, we had a jump start as the KES tried to go after Yano early… but Yano’s own trickery came in useful as he held back Archer by his own tied-up handkerchiefs… only for it to backfire again as Smith came back to help clear the ring.

On the outside, everyone looks to end up in the crowd as Archer throws Ishii into the wall at the back of the venue, while Yano somehow managed to stay on the right side of the barriers. It didn’t help him though, as he was left isolated as Ishii dragged himself back to the ring, meaning that the match remained pretty one-sided against Yano for a while.

With Archer taking Ishii into the guard rails, the bad guys did the assisted double-team abdominal stretch, before a simple lariat from Archer puts Ishii down. There’s no pinning attempt as the KES want to keep up the beatdown, with Archer suplexing Yano around the ring for fun as Ishii got more and more agitated on the apron. A side headlock from Smith on the mat ends with Yano scooting into the ropes, before an atomic drop finally stemmed the tide. Archer tries to stop a tag out, but Yano goes all amateur with a takedown on Smith, and finally in comes Ishii with some forearms! Smith responds with a big boot, before Ishii goes to shoulder tackles that barely budge as the Canadian scored with one of his own.

Smith follows up with a nice suplex, almost like a pumphandle fallaway slam, but Ishii kicked out at two from it, and manages to counter a powerbomb with a back body drop. Eventually, a German suplex followed after Ishii sends Smith into the ropes, but the KES stay on top with a big boot before Archer returns… and eventually sees Ishii slip out of a suplex too. More big boots eventually put Ishii down, but Archer takes too long and gets suplexed right as Yano popped back up onto the apron.

In comes Yano, and he goes right to the turnbuckle pads. Archer slaps him away before getting pulled down by the hair. There’s a pounce right as Yano looked to think about building up steam, before Smith and Archer combine for a big splash/sidewalk slam attempt that almost ends the match. Ishii returns to break up a Killer Bomb, before he’s tossed outside… but KES avoid a double low blow and respond with a Hart Attack to Yano. One Killer Bomb later, and Yano would have been done for, had Ishii not made the save.

Ishii fights out of a powerbomb, then a Killer Bomb as he finally gets some offence in, clotheslining Smith to the outside, before an Ishii enziguiri and a Yano low blow led to the unsighted Archer getting rolled-up for the win. Eh. It was what it was. One-sided until the finish and very skippable. **

1. Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) (3-0; 6pts)
1. Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) (3-0; 6pts)
3. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (2-1; 4pts)
3. Killer Elite Squad (Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr.) (2-1; 4pts)
3. Juice Robinson & David Finlay (2-1; 4pts)
3. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (2-1; 4pts)
3. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2-1; 4pts)
8. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-2; 2pts)
8. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) (1-2; 2pts)
8. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare (1-2; 2pts)
8. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka) (1-2; 2pts)
8. The Elite (Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi) (1-2; 2pts)
13. Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb (0-3; 0pts)
13. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino (0-3; 0pts)

So after three matches for everyone, we’ve got two teams with unbeaten runs, and two teams yet to get off the bench going into the Sunday show from Aichi when everyone was in action – the start of a run of shows where it’s all tag league bouts. Yay. Six shows in… you’d think we’d have had at least one good match by now… but nope. It is what it is. Although I hear rumblings things improve…