The World Tag League and Best of the Super Junior finalists were determined on a busy final night in Fukuoka!

Quick Results
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Robbie Eagles submitted Yuya Uemura in 7:30 (***¼)
World Tag League 2020 – Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale pinned Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL in 3:33 (½*)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Ryusuke Taguchi pinned DOUKI in 8:12 (***)
World Tag League 2020 – Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa submitted Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare in 3:45 (**)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Hiromu Takahashi pinned Master Wato in 10:16 (***½)
World Tag League 2020 – Jeff Cobb & Great-O-Khan pinned Shingo Takagi & SANADA in 11:47 (***½)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – Taiji Ishimori pinned SHO in 12:10 (****)
World Tag League 2020 – Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. pinned Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano in 10:36 (***½)
Best of the Super Junior 27 – El Desperado submitted BUSHI in 12:53 (***½)
World Tag League 2020 – Juice Robinson & David Finlay pinned Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI in 15:50 (***¾)

We’re at the Fukuoka Convention Center for this, with live English commentary from Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton and Gino Gambino. Remember, the top two in each league face off next Friday at Tokyo’s Budokan Hall in the actual tournament finals…

Best of the Super Junior 27 – Yuya Uemura vs. Robbie Eagles
Uemura shoots out of the corner at the bell as he charges down Eagles, but the armdrag attempts almost lead to a Turbo Backpack, until Uemura rolled Eagles to the mat for a cross armbar.

That quickly breaks in the ropes as Eagles chopped back ahead of a wacky around-the-back springboard armdrag and a tijeras… which Uemura barely blocked as he turned it into a Boston crab, but again, a minute in and Eagles can get to the ropes. Eagles manages to get back in with some kicks, with a diving leg lariat getting a two-count, before a slam and a knee drop led to Eagles heading up top for the 450 splash. It’s rolled through as Uemura then escaped the double knees, before dropkicking away Eagles’ springboard attempt.

Uemura pushes on with elbows in the corner, then with a running dropkick into the corner as Eagles looked to have lost all of that momentum. A Boston crab followed from Uemura, pulling Eagles away from the ropes, before the hold was fought out of. Eagles tries to kick back into the match, but Uemura caught it then teased a Kanuki suplex, as Eagles backed into the ropes. Eagles kicks back though, landing a gamengiri on the apron ahead if the springboard dropkick to the knee. Attempts at the Ron Miller Special are countered with roll-ups, before a running elbow off the ropes from Uemura got him back on course, but that Kanuki suplex made an opening for a hooked-arm roll-up that nearly got the upset.

A Turbo Backpack gets Eagles back in though, almost winning him the match, before the Ron Miller Special eventually forces the submission. Condensed, but a really good opener with Uemura getting plenty of offence in before falling short. ***¼

World Tag League 2020 – Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) vs. Bullet Club (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)
At the bell, Yujiro grabs the mic and tells Chase Owens that Pieter’s coming… of course that distracts Chase, who’s rolled up for a two-count.

Yujiro repeats the trick, laying down for Chase before another roll-up seemed to go against team orders. Handshakes from Yujiro let down Owens’ guard, as he’s kicked in the gut before Yujiro threw him into a conveniently-exposed corner. Fale’s had enough and throws Yujiro into the same corner, before EVIL put on the brakes and suckered Fale in for a charge there too. EVIL distracts the referee as Yujiro and Chase throw each other the Pimp Cane… Yujiro plays Eddie Guerrero, then rolled up Owens for a two-count. Dick Togo trips Owens, then gets knocked off the apron as Owens then rolled up Yujiro for the pin. With his feet on the ropes. Mercifully short and a little entertaining. EVIL and Fale didn’t even tag in, as the English commentary surmised that this was setting up fresh strife in Bullet Club. Uh-huh. ½*

Best of the Super Junior 27 – DOUKI vs. Ryusuke Taguchi
DOUKI’s straightened out his pipe after last night, and he swats Taguchi in the gut with it before the bell – so perfectly legal!

They head outside with DOUKI throwing Taguchi into the guard rails, before crotching him in the ring post. Back inside, a slam and a running stomp keeps up the offence on Taguchi’s midsection for a two-count, before a hip attack was countered into an atomic drop. He finally finds a way through, taking DOUKI outside for a tope con giro, before a springboard hip attack back inside gets a near-fall. Taguchi keeps going with the Three Amigos, but the third one’s stopped with an eye rake as DOUKI goes in for a sunset flip… but Taguchi pulls down his trunks and sits down on DOUKI for a near-fall. He’s been watching his Danshoku Dieno tapes. DOUKI comes back with backsliding Widow’s Peak for a near-fall, before the Daybreak DDT’s countered with a gourdbuster.

Taguchi sets up for a Bummer-Ye, but DOUKI rolls him through into the DOUKI Chokie, but Taguchi got to the ropes. The Daybreak DDT follows for a near-fall, but the Suplex de la Luna gets rolled through into Oh My Garankle, before he countered a Dodon by rolling through back into the DOUKI Chokie. This time the Italian Stretch #32 lasts a little longer, but Taguchi rolled back into the ankle lock, hanging on before he pulled DOUKI into Dodon for the win. A pretty solid match, but otherwise meaningless to the overall tournament at this point. ***

World Tag League 2020 – Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
The Guerrillas have a very feint chance of making the final, and they capitalise by attacking Tanahashi and Henare in the entrance way.

Making it to the ring, Tama Tonga DDT’s Tanahashi’s knee ahead of a Sharpshooter, but Henare comes in to try and break it up. Tama spits at him, so Henare kicks his head off, which prompted Tanga Loa in to trade elbows with him as the referee checked on Tanahashi’s knee. Dualling headbutts see Henare and Tanga Loa clonk each other, with a leaping enziguiri from Tanga earning him a Samoan drop from Henare. Tama’s back, but gets taken down for an elbow drop/chop combo before a leg sweep/Slingblade combo left him in some trouble.

A Dragon screw from Tanahashi keeps him down as the Cloverleaf followed, but Jado has the referee distracted, allowing Tanga Loa to hit Tanahashi in the knee with a Kendo stick… Tama reapplies the Sharpshooter, and there’s the quick submission. Very squashy, and it’s very telling that this is the first fall Tanahashi’s taken on the tour, as fresh doubt’s placed on his standing… and his knee, as they taped ice packs to it before carting him off. **

Best of the Super Junior 27 – Master Wato vs. Hiromu Takahashi
On paper this should be a win for Hiromu, but losses to Desperado and SHO so far put him at a disadvantage as far as making the finals.

Wato storms out of the corner with a dropkick at the bell, following up with kicks to the front and back. Hiromu hits back with a Sunset Bomb that Wato tried to block, before he threw Wato into the guard rails, with a shotgun dropkick completing the set. Back inside, Wato takes another dropkick for a two-count, before he’s taken into the corner for a clothesline… but a rear spin kick stops Hiromu back in the middle of the ring. A dropkick from Wato takes Hiromu outside for tornillo, catching Hiromu in the head it seemed, before they went back inside for a springboard uppercut that gets a near-fall. Hiromu blocks Recientemente, but couldn’t avoid a high kick as Wato had him on his knees ahead of Recientemente for a near-fall.

Hiromu catches Wato as he climbed the buckles, but he floats over and Alley Oops Hiromu for a near-fall. He crashes and burns on RPP, but recovers with an attempt at the Tenzan Tombstone Driver… which Hiromu escaped, coming back with a superkick only for Wato to block a clothesline attempt. There’s better luck with the second lariat, then the third, which almost wins the match, before eventually following up with Victory Royal for a near-fall. A corner death valley driver keeps Wato on the back foot, but a Time Bomb gets countered as Wato almost stole one with a roll-up. Hiromu gets back up and pulls Wato up for Time Bomb 2, and that’s all folks! Hiromu’s done his part, and he’ll be hoping that either Taiji Ishimori or BUSHI do him a favour as he needs at least one of those two to win to make the finals. A pretty good match, but Master Wato infuriatingly continues to blow hot and cold – he’ll find consistency one day. ***½

Announcement time: Wrestling Dontaku returns to Fukuoka on May 3 and May 4 in 2021 – of course, 2020’s shows were scrapped because of the pandemic.

World Tag League 2020 – The Empire (Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Shingo Takagi)
We’ve a jump start as Cobb and O-Khan charge at LIJ, taking them into the corners before an attempt to throw them into each other backfired.

A dropkick takes down O-Khan, while Cobb’s knocked down for elbows and a back senton. O-Khan gets knocked outside with a low dropkick as Shingo stays on Cobb, but an overhead belly-to-belly from Cobb resets things. O-Khan tags in to put the boots to Shingo, following up with a grounded head and arm choke as Shingo had to squirm into the ropes to force the break. Shingo’s taken to the corner as O-Khan sat on him for the double armbar, before Shingo tried to fight back with chops. A Mongolian chop rocks Shingo though, before he hit back with some of his own ahead of a jab and a suplex. SANADA tags in, but is instantly cornered as the Empire tried to double-team… Cobb’s taken out with a low dropkick while O-Khan’s tied up in a Paradise Lock.

There’s a plancha for Cobb too before SANADA untied O-Khan with a low dropkick, but O-Khan comes right back with Mongolian chops before a backflip out of the corner allowed SANADA to trap O-Khan in a Dragon sleeper. Shingo’s got one too for Cobb, before a dropkick-assisted back suplex gets SANADA a near-fall. A whip takes SANADA into the corner, before a Judo throw took him down, with O-Khan tagging in Cobb to try and build new momentum.

A powerbomb from Cobb’s countered with headscissors, as Shingo returned to look for an Exploder. He has more luck with a back elbow and a clothesline, but a sliding lariat’s caught as Cobb stands up and lands that Exploder. The Empire toy with Shingo, throwing him around with gutwrench suplexes before a gutwrench powerbomb from Cobb drew a near-fall. Shingo boots Cobb before a springboard dropkick from SANADA started a Parade of Moves… including an Eliminator from O-Khan and a Pumping Bomber from Shingo, as things boiled down to Cobb and Shingo lighting each other up. A headbutt from Cobb staggers Shingo, as does a rebound German suplex as O-Khan returned to boot Shingo ahead of a Tour of the Islands as the Empire knock out LIJ! Cobb grabs Shingo’s NEVER title after the match, and there’s your real big story – Cobb/Shingo at the Dome? There’s worse ideas… ***½

Best of the Super Junior 27 – SHO vs. Taiji Ishimori
It’s pretty much “win and make the finals” for these two, and it’s SHO who starts out hot, charging down Ishimori early on… but Ishimori goes to the misdirection tricks in the corner to try and catch out SHO, only to get lifted onto then knocked off the apron.

SHO tries for an apron PK, but gets swept down before Ishimori flipped out of a German suplex on the apron… then spiked SHO with a piledriver. Holy hell. Ishimori rolls him back inside to apply the Yes Lock, but SHO got a foot to the rope to save himself. Elbows from Ishimori target the neck, as does a front kick, but SHO’s able to retaliate with a spear that looked to do equal damage to him and Ishimori. A barrage of kicks from SHO keeps Ishimori down, before SHO looked to work Ishimori’s arm, yanking it over the shoulder. SHO misses a punt kick to the arm, but had more luck the second time around as he kicked away a handspring attempt. Ishimori’s back to take SHO into the corner for the running knees, but a Mistica attempt was blocked as SHO rolls him in for a Key lock. SHO tries to roll it into a Shock Arrow, but Ishimori back body drops his way free, as the pair resorted to back-and-forth elbows.

Kicks and clotheslines follow, with a Code Red and a rebound German suplex leaving both men laying. SHO’s staggering back to his feet as they continue to strike, but a lariat dumps Ishimori ahead of a Power Breaker for a near-fall. Shock Arrow’s attempted again, but SHO has more luck with a cross armbar, which Ishimori countered out as he rolled into a Bone Lock. SHO gets free and finds a way in with a strait-jacket piledriver for a near-fall, before a Shock Arrow was again countered, this time into a guillotine choke. A counter’s countered into an reverse Bloody Cross, which just looked nasty, but SHO stays alive as a regular Bloody Cross ends SHO’s dreams. An absolute banger of a sprint – give me this rematch at “Korakuen main event” lengths and we’ll be seeing a match of the year calibre outing, that’s for sure! ****

World Tag League 2020 – Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano vs. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
Whoever wins this makes it to the finals…

Yano’s impatient and undoes the turnbuckle pads before the bell, whacking Taichi with it before accidentally getting Ishii too. A spate of flash pins follows with Yano and Sabre, before they hopped around a Cobra twist, which Yano hiptosses out of before Taichi tripped Yano, allowing Sabre to get a quick two-count. Ishii strikes Sabre in the ropes for a two-count as the breathless pace finally abated. Sabre tries to throw Yano to the exposed corner, but we’re still looking a the flash pins as an errant clothesline from Ishii took Yano into a backslide for a near-fall. They head outside, which may be a bad idea as Yano takes Sabre to the railings, then tried to wrap him in the ring apron…. Sabre escapes and steals the idea, only for Ishii to throw Yano back inside, ring apron and all.

They unravel Yano as some boot choking follows in the corner, before Sabre yanks Yano’s ears. Eventually Yano hit back with an atomic drop, then pulled Sabre by the hair. Tags bring in Ishii and Taichi to have a scrap, trading kicks and shoulder tackles before Ishii switched it up with chops. Chop. Kick. They eventually send Ishii into the ropes, but a trip from Yano has Taichi down as the tag champions had to recover. Double-teaming knocks down Ishii, with a Sabre PK and a head kick from Taichi following. Yano runs in to knock Taichi into the corner as Ishii recovered with a double clothesline. A rebound belly-to-belly from Yano and a sliding lariat almost gets the win, as Sabre dove in in time.

In the background, we hear someone getting thrown into the railings as Taichi and Ishii went at it anew. A headbutt from Ishii sinks Taichi, with a lariat following for a two-count, as Sabre returned to save Taichi from the brainbuster. Yano’s back too to go for a low blow as all hell broke loose, leading to a Zack Driver on Ishii, before Zack Mephisto got the win to book the tag champions’ place in Fridays’ final. This was certainly different, with the flash pins in the opening minutes teasing one thing, but in the end it was a fairly dominant outing as we face a possible three-way tie in the finals. ***½

Best of the Super Junior 27 – El Desperado vs. BUSHI
A win for Desperado books his spot in the final, while a loss means it’ll be Ishimori facing Takahashi on Friday.

Neither man’s in a hurry to start, but when they do, Desperado kicks BUSHI in the gut before a low bridge took Despy outside… but he ducks to avoid a tope. Instead, BUSHI slingshots out for a ‘rana, before Desperado was used to rearrange the ringside furniture. Back inside, a t-shirt choke from BUSHI gets him a telling off, but Desperado baseball slides to avoid an overhead kick and takes BUSHI outside and into the railings. Desperado nicks a pen from ringside and tries to stab BUSHI in the eye with it, but BUSHI’s able to make it back inside. A knee breaker stops him as Desperado begins to soften the left leg for an eventual Numero Dos submission (you’d think). Despy leaps onto the leg in the ropes, then trapped BUSHI with a leg spreader until a rope break was forced… and of course, Desperado suddenly can’t untie himself, then “staggers” into a knee drop as he trips his way out of the hold.

BUSHI manages to find a way back in with a DDT, before a missile dropkick out of the corner looked to offer little trouble to the BUSH-knee. The see-saw DDT plants Desperado onto the apron, with the momentum continuing as he sailed to the floor, with a pair of topes suicida knocking Desperado into the railings. Desperado just about makes it back inside, but he snaps back in with Numero Dos, pulling BUSHI away from the ropes before BUSHI rolled out. A dropkick dumps Desperado in the ropes, before a Mouse Trap pin from Desperado nearly shut the door on BUSHI… but BUSHI hits back with a Codebreaker and a Destroyer for a near-fall to keep him in it. From there, BUSHI heads up for the MX, but Desperado counters deftly into a spinebuster, then into Numero Dos… and that’s enough to force the stoppage. Another decent sprint as Desperado books a final with Hiromu – knowing that a repeat of his win earlier in the tournament will earn him a junior title shot at the Dome next month. ***½

Post-match, Desperado got the mic and invited Hiromu Takahashi out for a brief interaction to set up the final…

World Tag League 2020 – Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Fin-Juice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson)
A win for Fin-Juice makes it a Fin-Juice/Guerrillas final – if Goto/YOSHI-HASHI win, that means we’ll get a three-way final.

We start with Finlay taking Goto to the ropes, but Goto and YOSHI-HASHI quickly combine as YOSHI-HASHI gets hiptossed onto Finlay ahead of some clubbering. Juice gets some too as he tries to make a save, before they had more luck with Finlay’s uppercut and a splash as last year’s winners nearly ended this one quickly. Juice goes for a stalling suplex on YOSHI-HASHI, dropping him for another two-count, before back elbows led to a two-count for Finlay. A double sledge off the top from Juice lands on YOSHI-HASHI’s arm, with a back suplex and a back senton keeping YOSHI-HASHI down. YOSHI-HASHI tries to elbow his way back in, but a double sledge from Finlay targeted the arm ahead of double-team facebuster for a near-fall.

A battle of chops sees Finlay take down YOSHI-HASHI ahead of a suplex… but that’s blocked and reversed. Eventually, YOSHI-HASHI manages to tag out, but so does Finlay as we get Juice and Goto… but Goto just suplexes Finlay onto Juice as the former NEVER champion built up a head of steam. The spinning heel kick and bulldog gets Goto a near-fall, before a headbutt from Juice led to double clotheslines… which saw them clonk in the middle of the ring. They wash, rinse and repeat to a similar sickening thud, before a third clothesline left both men down. Tags get us back to Finlay and YOSHI-HASHI, who tee off on each other with elbows but it’s an uppercut off the ropes that puts Finlay ahead. A chop from YOSHI-HASHI forces his way back in, ahead of a neckbreaker for a near-fall.

Finlay looks for a Prima Nocta, but YOSHI-HASHI blocks and teased Karma, before Finlay spiked him with a DDT. Juice comes in, but gets cannonballed into Finlay as last year’s winners end up on the back foot, with a Head Hunter/side Russian legsweep combo almost getting the win. YOSHI-HASHI and Goto land a GYR on Finlay, before a superkick set up Juice for an ushigoroshi, which drew another two-count. From there, Juice is planted with a GYW for a two-count as Finlay makes the save, clearing the ring with a uranage backbreaker as all four men were down, with Gabriel Kidd geeing up the crowd by slapping the mat. Finlay dumps Goto with the Trash Panda over-the-knee brainbuster, before taking Goto up for a superplex – as Juice followed up with the big splash portion of the Power Plex for another near-fall!

Fin-Juice then go back to their 90s tag finisher book with a Doomsday Device, but Goto knocks Juice into Finlay, who took a nasty spill. YOSHI-HASHI makes a save with a superkick as a roll-up from Goto gets a near-fall, following up with another headbutt. Finlay saves Juice from Shouten-kai, before a Pulp Friction leaves Goto down and out, with YOSHI-HASHI not making the save in time. Another helluva sprint, as we get last year’s league winners taking on the Guerrillas in next week’s finals. ***¾

Of course, post-match we get the staredown… but it came after the Guerrilas of Destiny ran out to attack Fin-Juice. A Gun Stun from Tama leaves Juice laying as Tanga Loa went after Finlay, as the Guerrilas used a Sharpshooter and an OJK to leave their opponents next week laying.

Final Standings
World Tag League 2020
Juice Robinson & David Finlay; Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.; Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (6-3; 12pts)
Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb; Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI; SANADA & Shingo Takagi; Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (5-4; 10pts)
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens; EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi (3-6; 6pts)
Toa Henare & Hiroshi Tanahashi (1-8; 2pts)
– Juice Robinson & David Finlay and Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa make the finals on tie-breakers

Best of the Super Junior 27
El Desperado, Taiji Ishimori, Hiromu Takahashi (7-2; 14pts)
SHO (6-3; 12pts)
BUSHI, Robbie Eagles, Ryusuke Taguchi, Master Wato (4-5; 8pts)
DOUKI (2-7; 4pts)
Yuya Uemura (0-9; 0pts)
– El Desperado and Hiromu Takahashi make the finals on tie-breakers

We’re back next Friday for the tournament finals – with a full undercard as well as New Japan really hit the home straight for WrestleKingdom.

While the “final night” of this part of the tour was all about results, it’s worth looking at how the results came around if you’re looking at the future. A quick submission defeat to Hiroshi Tanahashi… Jeff Cobb pinnining Shingo Takagi… they made the most of this to set up things for the future, and the fact that only the main event on this show went over 15 minutes makes this a very easy watch!