World Tag League resumes as Dangerous Tekkers take on the Bullet Club pair of Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale in today’s main event.
Ryohei Oiwa & Yuto Nakashima went to a draw in 10:00 (**¾)
World Tag League 2021 – Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga submitted Tiger Mask & Yuji Nagata in 7:01 (**¾)
World Tag League 2021 – YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto pinned Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima in 11:16 (***)
World Tag League 2021 – Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano pinned Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe in 13:01 (***¼)
World Tag League 2021 – Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare pinned Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL in 12:54 (***)
World Tag League 2021 – SANADA & Tetsuya Naito submitted TAKA Michinoku & Minoru Suzuki in 11:08 (***¼)
World Tag League 2021 – Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi pinned Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale in 18:32 (***½)
We’re in Toyama’s Techno Hall West Hall for this leg of the tour… and those house lights are taking their time to switch on. That’ll be fun for EVIL’s entrance later on, I bet!
Ryohei Oiwa vs. Yuto Nakashima
Does the string of draws continue?
As usual, we start with grappling as Oiwa pulled ahead with an armdrag and an armbar, while Nakashima’s attempt to escape with a wristlock saw him on the mat instead. A side headlock from Nakashima’s rolled out of for a two-count, before Oiwa returned the favour, only for Nakashima to get a toe hold in as they continued to go back and forth.
Oiwa gets to the ropes to break the hold, then again as Nakashima stayed on the leg… Oiwa manages to get free and try for a cross armbar, forcing Nakashima to the ropes as that arm’s always going to be a bullseye. A side headlock keeps Nakashima down as we enter the final three minutes of the time limit, with Oiwa transitioning into a Kimura… but that too ends in the ropes.
Nakashima resets with a series of forearms, but Oiwa trades back… only to get taken down in a half crab as time ticked away, with Oiwa holding firm as time once again ran out. The streak continues, with Nakashima slowly finding a way to outlast everyone going after that arm. **¾
World Tag League 2021: Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
This is either a nailed on result, or an “early day banana skin” for the Guerrillas…
We’ve a jump start as the Guerrillas take Nagata and Tiger Mask outside early, before they return to a Tanga Loa senton atomico for a near-fall on Tiger Mask. My feed drops out, recovering with Nagata putting the boots to Tama ahead of an Exploder attempt, but that’s blocked as Tama elbowed him down.
Tanga tags in, but Nagata’s able to hit an overhead belly-to-belly to Tama as Tiger Mask returns with a crossbody and some kicks. A Tiger Driver follows as Tama Tonga just wouldn’t go away, before Tanga Loa’s booted into a crucifix for a two-count. Tiger Mask stays on him with an armbar, but Tanga Loa gets free and quickly puts Tiger Mask away with the OJK crossface. Short, but pretty much what you expected to be happening with Tiger Mask in this tournament. **¾
World Tag League 2021: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
On paper you’d expect Goto and YOSHI-HASHI to win, given their recent championship status, but this early in the tournament this could be a pick’em.
Kojima and Goto start, but it’s Kojima who charges down Goto first, as a tag brings in Tenzan for some early double-teaming. Mongolian chops and headbutts keep Goto down, before YOSHI-HASHI helped turn things back around with some war drumming on Tenzan, as a chinlock proceeded to wear him down.
YOSHI-HASHI tries the same tactic, as the former NEVER trios champions exchanged quick tags, only for Kojima to get in and go after Goto with the Machine Gun chops. Goto hit back quickly, only to get taken down as Kojima manages the top rope elbow drop for a near-fall. YOSHI-HASHI tries to return with a neckbreaker, but Kojima lands it first as Tenzan tagged back in to go back with Mongolian chops.
Tenzan wears down YOSHI-HASHI in the corner, then splashed him as a brainbuster drew a delayed two-count. Goto comes in to help with a double-team neckbreaker that gets a near-fall, before a Butterfly lock on Tenzan was broken up as Tenzan returned with a Mountain bomb for another two-count.
An Anaconda Vise followed on YOSHI-HASHI before Kojima came in and tried to help with a TenKoji Cutter. YOSHI-HASHI breaks it up as Goto returned to try some double-teaming of their own, but that too backfires as Tenzan returned with Mongolian chops. A superkick from YOSHI-HASHI has Tenzan down, before a superkick-assisted ushigoroshi and the double-team Shoto got the win. ***
World Tag League 2021: Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano
Toru Yano volun-tells Tanahashi to start this one…
We start with Tanahashi and Makabe trading headlocks and headscissors on the mat, before the standoff leads to tags with Yano and Honma coming in. Honma doesn’t seem to want Yano’s handshake, instead giving him a kicking before Yano went to the corner pads.
After my feed locks up, Tanahashi comes in to wrap Honma’s leg around the ropes, following up with a leaping elbow drop before Honma found a way out with a Flatliner/DDT combo on Yano and Tanahashi ast the same time. That’s the cue for Makabe to come in and prepare for mounted punches in the corners… eventually settling for just a regular clothesline on Yano for a two-count.
Makabe’s suplex followed for a two-count, before Tanahashi got the tag in, dropping Makabe with a slam and a flip senton out of the corner. A Slingblade’s blocked as Makabe returned with a clothesline as Honma tagged in… chops sting Tanahashi into the corner while a bulldog followed ahead of a Kokeshi. Yes, it actually landed!
Honma’s suplex follows for a two-count, before Makabe had to come in to break up a Cloverleaf that Tanahashi had found his way with… Yano gets rid of Makabe, while Honma caught Tanahashi with a sleeperhold slam. Tanahashi tries to fight back, but takes a clothesline for a near-fall, before Yano broke up a Kokeshi Otoshi attempt as the ring began to fill.
Makabe runs in with a double clothesline to try and keep order, following up with a sandwich lariat to Tanahashi, while a leaping Kokeshi took Tanahashi down for another two-count. Honma struggles to get Tanahashi up for a superplex, before Yano makes the save, pushing the referee aside before he hit some low blows, leading to Tanahashi hitting an Ace’s High, then a High Fly Flow for the win. This was good for what it was, but Tanahashi getting so close to defeat against Honma in 2021 feels really off. ***¼
World Tag League 2021: House of Torture (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare)
We kick off the second half waiting for shenanigans, plunder and garotte wires…
EVIL and O-Khan start us off, but after circling around each other, Yujiro and Henare attack from behind as the Empire looked to outsmart their opponents. O-Khan’s able to subdue EVIL with a head claw, before Mongolian chops and kicks left EVIL down for an early two-count.
O-Khan sits on EVIL in the corner, while Henare tugged at the hair. Some choking from O-Khan followed as he then tried to get EVIL to kiss his foot. Instead, EVIL just bit O-Khan’s shin (the least meaty part of the body), before flinging Henare and O-Khan into a suddenly-exposed corner.
Heading outside, EVIL wipes out the timekeeper with the unexpected help of O-Khan, as the United Empire pair slowly started to take over. When the Empire did look to get back in it, we’ve got cheating as Dick Togo tripped up Henare, who was then met with a suplex and a low dropkick for a two-count. Pimp Juice looks to follow, but Henare pushes Yujiro away before returning with a Rampage spear.
O-Khan tags in and distracts the ref so he could choke Yujiro with rope, but that just brought in Dick Togo and his garotte. O-Khan gets rid of him, then caught EVIL in a head and arm choke that turned into a slam, before Yujiro was caught in a Sheep Killer. Henare adds a leg lace to that submission as Yujiro ends up taking an elbow drop for a near-fall, before Yujrio shoved O-Khan into the ref.
Cue the bullshit. Spoiler Choker. Pimp cane. Henare boots away a chairshot from EVIL, but takes a reverse DDT from Yujiro to stop that, before O-Khan grabbed some wood from under the ring and broke it over Yujiro’s back as a double-team Fireman’s carry neckbreaker – dubbed the Imperial Drop – ends up getting the win. The Empire found a way to neutralise the House of Torture, whose World Tag League campaign is getting off to a rotten start… ***
World Tag League 2021: Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA)
After TAKA spent his Sunday largely getting hazed in the all-Suzuki-gun match, will he fare any better here?
Fed up with how long Naito took to disrobe, Suzuki and TAKA jump before the bell and take things immediately outside, with SANADA and Naito becoming well acquainted with the guard rails. Suzuki tries to stab Naito with a pen, before they took things to the ring, with tags bringing in SANADA as TAKA gets sandwiched between low dropkicks.
TAKA manages to hold his own as Suzuki came in to wear down SANADA’s arms, before TAKA returned to hit some over-the-shoulder armbreakers. Suzuki’s back in to knock down SANADA, then went back to the arm with a Key lock that Naito quickly came in to break up… so Suzuki goes to some headlocks and punches before he grabbed a heel hook.
SANADA gets free and cleared the way with dropkicks, eventually finding a way out to Naito whose elbows and low dropkicks had Suzuki on the ropes. TAKA’s in too and gets similar treatment, while Suzuki takes a neckbreaker as he tried to get back in the game. Combinacion Cabron followed in the corner, before Suzuki and TAKA try to work together… only for Naito to take them outside with a tijeras.
TAKA’s met with a plancha after SANADA tagged in, but TAKA’s able to catch out SANADA with a crossface back inside… which Naito breaks up quickly. SANADA responds with an O’Connor roll, which TAKA rolled through for a near-fall, before Suzuki’s strikes nearly won it for TAKA… who then saw a Michinoku driver countered into a Skull End, with SANADA swinging him around for the submission. TAKA looked decent in his offence here, but you know what his role is in this tournament, and sadly it’s not as a hype man. ***¼
World Tag League 2021: Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens) vs. Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
These teams have met in the last two World Tag Leagues, with Sabre and Taichi winning both times…
Owens wanted to challenge Taichi to a spot of sumo wrestling to start, but Chase was also apparently thirsty, breaking off his preparations for some water before Taichi just tossed him aside with a yorikiri. You remember the strangest parts of watching sumo growing up…
Bad Luck Fale’s in with a more conventional-to-wrestling shoulder block, taking Taichi outside before Sabre came in to try his luck with Chase. Sabre grounds Owens as he cycled through holds, only to get caught with a toe hold… Sabre escaped and pulls Chase into a bow-and-arrow hold, then tagged Taichi back in to hit some kicks to the back.
Sabre’s back, but Owens punches him into the corner before some double-teaming on the outside saw Fale and Owens take their shots at Sabre. Back in the ring, the Bullet Club tandem continued to wear down Sabre with their “Tongan Massage Parlor,” before Fale bounced Sabre off the mat with a bodyslam.
More double-teaming leads to Owens getting a two-count on Sabre, while Fale continued the domination here. Fale telegraphs an elbow drop, allowing Sabre to roll away and tag out to Taichi, who came in with Kawada-ish kicks before he succeeded with another yorikiri style sumo throw on Fale.
Owens is back, but gets taken out… leaving Taichi to try his luck with Axe bombers. Fale doesn’t budge, and returns with clotheslines of his own to take Taichi off his feet. Chase is back with more clotheslines before he nailed a Fireman’s carry gutbuster to leave Taichi laying.
Sabre’s in with an arm whip to Owens, following up with a stomp to the elbow too as my feed crapped out. Great timing! It’s back with Fale and Owens in the ring, sandwiching Sabre into the corner ahead of a stomp-assisted death valley driver for a near-fall. An Axe Bomber from Taichi nearly gets Sabre the win, before Taichi back body dropped Chase away.
A reverse DDT/uranage combo from Chase nearly led to the upset, before Zack went to a cross armbar. Owens rolled his way out of it for a two-count, before Fale charged in to clear house, only to eat a pair of thrust kicks as Taichi then looked for a nodo otoshi on Owens… Sabre helps it out with a back suplex for another near-fall to keep things going.
From there, Sabre looked for a Zack Driver, but instead Taichi hits a head kick, rips off his trousers, then helped with a kick as the assisted Zack Driver gets the tag champions the win. A more competitive match than you’d expect, with Owens and Fale coming close on a few attempts, but in the end it’s the reigning champions who get the clear win – which seemed to cause some discontent with Fale afterwards on the walk back to the locker room. ***½
After two rounds, here’s the current standings in the World Tag League:
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano, Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr., Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa, Tetsuya Naito & SANADA (2-0 / 4pts)
Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto (1-1 / 2pts)
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi, Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku, Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask & Yuji Nagata (0-2 / 0pts)
Thursday’s show is in the Best of the Super Junior, while the World Tag League portion resumes on Friday in Nagano’s Matsumotodaira Regional Park Gymnasium – both of those shows are VOD-only, and won’t have any live streaming, so we’ll have to wait for Friday’s main event of the Guerrillas vs. YOSHI-HASHI/Goto to drop on-demand!
A perfectly decent wrestling show – with everything at or around the same level throughout. The proverbial “Gentleman’s Three” show, even if there’s not much here that you really need to go out of your way to see.