World Tag League picks up on VOD again, with the Guerrillas of Destiny in the main event.
Ryohei Oiwa & Kosei Fujita went to a draw in 10:00
World Tag League 2021 – Toru Yano & Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask in 8:49 (**½)
World Tag League 2021 – Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare pinned TAKA Michinoku & Minoru Suzuki in 10:17 (**¾)
World Tag League 2021 – Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens pinned Yujiro Takahashi & EVIL in 7:53 (*½)
World Tag League 2021 – Tetsuya Naito & SANADA pinned Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe in 13:01 (**½)
World Tag League 2021 – Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr. pinned Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan in 16:34 (***)
World Tag League 2021 – YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto pinned Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa in 20:02 (***½)
We’re live on tape from Nagano’s Matsumotodaira Regional Park Gymnasium, which means no opening match nor any graphics or commentary…
Ryohei Oiwa vs. Kosei Fujita
Another draw… and it’s not on the VOD!
World Tag League 2021: Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano
This one’s probably going to add to the Nagata/Tiger Mask string of losses…
Nagata and Tanahashi start us off with some grappling on the mat, before tags bring in Tiger Mask and Toru Yano. Yano tried to get a peek through the mask, and gets kicked for it, before Tiger Mask pulled Yano’s shirt over his head so he could get more of a kicking. It’s a bit like playground bullying, at this point… Tanahashi tries to make the save, but to no avail as Nagata stretched Yano on the mat with a simple toe hold. Tiger Mask returns with knee drops, before a neckbreaker from Yano bought him time to bring in Tanahashi. Forearms drop Tiger Mask, while a slam set up for the flip senton out of the corner for a near-fall.
Tiger Mask’s crucifix nearly wins it, before he followed up with a Tiger Driver as Nagata came in to throw some kicks. They’re eventually caught and countered with a Dragon screw, while Yano tagged in and undid a corner pad. Bopping Nagata on the head just makes him angry, as Yano baited him in with a roll-up before he took an enziguiri. Tiger Mask intervenes with a crossbody for a near-fall, before Tanahashi took care of him… which left Nagata free to try his luck with a Backdrop Hold. Yano tries to mule kick out of it, only to get pulled into a Nagata Lock II crossface, then a Rings of Saturn that rolled into a pinning attempt… only for Tanahashi to roll the pin back over as Yano snatched the win. Simple, but it did what it needed to. **½
World Tag League 2021: United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Aaron Henare) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku)
After the United Empire out-evilled EVIL last time out, they’ve got another team today starting at the bottom of the table…
We’ve a jump start as Suzuki takes things outside, while TAKA stayed with Henare in the ring, raking the eyes before Henare fought back with kicks. A suplex gets Henare a two-count, before Suzuki caught Henare with a hanging armbar in the ropes as things go back outside. Henare and O-Khan take things into the rails, while Suzuki grabbed a chair to try and even things up while TAKA had the ref. Henare even gets whacked with the seat off the chair, before we reset with TAKA choking Henare with his shin back inside. Suzuki tags in to stretch Henare, while TAKA returned to corner Henare, with the Suzuki-gun lads clearly focusing on who they thought was the weak link.
A knee in the corner gets TAKA a two-count… Suzuki’s back to grind his fist in Henare’s face, before Henare finally broke free with a Samoan drop. O-Khan tags in and clears house, only to get caught in a rear naked choke as Suzuki dragged things back to their corner. TAKA’s back again as they double-team O-Khan with kicks for a near-fall, with Henare making the save and getting tossed outside for it. A Judo-style takedown has O-Khan back ahead, with the Sheep Killer drawing in Suzuki to mop up for TAKA once more. O-Khan has to kick out of a roll-up as TAKA tries to snatch the win, only to be caught in the Sheep Killer again. This time, Henare breaks free of Suzuki and hits the ring to amp up the submission, before Suzuki got booted outside… from there, the Imperial Drop (formerly the Deep Wounds if you followed O-Khan in Rev Pro) lands, and that’s the win. Yep, TAKA’s definitely the whipping boy on this tour. **¾
World Tag League 2021: House of Torture (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens)
At least this is on a VOD show where I can increase the playback speed, and not that 7am start we have tomorrow morning…
This Bullet Club Bonanza starts with a load of Too Sweeting, except Chase can’t be trusted as he jumped things and took the match outside. Returning to the ring, a single leg dropkick has EVIL down, before he booted EVIL through the ropes… only to get knocked off the apron after interference from Togo and Yujiro. We’ve stomping on the outside as the referee only wanted to stop Fale breaking it up, before EVIL chokes Owens with a t-shirt. He kicks the rope into Fale as he baited him in, while Yujiro tagged in for his leg drop, elbow drop, falling headbutt combo for a two-count.
EVIL holds Owens in the ropes, then came in to accidentally clothesline Yujiro, as a clothesline/bulldog combo put Chase ahead. Fale tags in and goes wild with corner-to-corner splashes, before DIck Togo popped up to try and block a Grenade. He’s just clobbered down as Yujiro then bit the Grenade… Owens runs in to crack Yujiro with a knee strike, before Yujiro grabbed the ref as Fale ran in for a Grenade Launcher. Cue bullshit. Chairs. Garrotes. Pimp Canes. Except Fale’s big so none of this stuff affects him, as he shrugs it off and splashed the House of Torture lads in the corner. After that, we get a rather different take on the Grenade Launcher, with Fale hitting the Grenade after the German suplex, and we’re done. *½
World Tag League 2021: Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA) vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
It must be chilly where they are, as Makabe’s brought a fluffy ring jacket with him today…
Naito and Makabe start us off, heading to the ropes as Makabe and Honma proceeded to double-team Naito with shoulder tackles. SANADA trips up Honma as he teased a Kokeshi, before a drop toe hold from Naito sparked some double-teams. That leaves us with SANADA dropping a knee on Honma’s lower back, then an elbow, before he tagged in Naito – while he was still in the ring. There’s one for all the sticklers. Naito corners Honma but can’t quite vault over for a Combinacion Cabron and after a few strikes, tagged SANADA back in. Honma pushes out of a Paradise Lock, then reverses a suplex before tagging in Makabe to hit some corner-to-corner clotheslines, before a regular clothesline dropped SANADA for a two-count.
A springboard missile dropkick from SANADA turns it back around, while a plancha dropped Makabe on the outside. Back inside, a swivelling lariat has SANADA down as tags bring us back to Honma and Naito, with the latter getting chopped into the corner, then bulldogged out of it ahead of… a missed Kokeshi. Honma struggles over a suplex, only to get elbowed down as a neckbreaker from Naito drew in Makabe to hit Naito after the impact. O-kay? Elbows from Naito have Honma down still, as did a leaping forearm, before the ring filled for a brief Parade of Stuff, including a DDT/Flatliner from Honma.
Sandwiching lariats trap Naito, while Makabe’s kneeling powerbomb and a diving Kokeshi led to a Honma clothesline that got a near-fall. Honma goes for a Kokeshi Otoshi, but Naito escaped, while SANADA slid in to hit a Saito suplex, with Naito rolling up Honma afterwards for the win. This was really rough at points – to the point those concerned that Naito had rushed himself back may well have a case. **½
World Tag League 2021: Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi)
Curiously, the tag champions aren’t main eventing here…
Tenzan and Kojima strike first in a staredown, as they quickly double-teamed Taichi with a slingshot elbow/falling headbutt combo. Things spill outside, with the guard rails coming into use as the tag champions turned it around. Kojima’s cornered and choked on with Sabre’s boot, before Sabre came in with a cravat as Kojima was on all fours. After Kojima got free with a DDT, Tenzan’s in with Mongolian chops and headbutts, before Sabre fought back by catching Tenzan in a guillotine, then rolled him down for a neck twist. Taichi’s in to go for a nodo otoshi chokeslam, but instead he just takes Tenzan into the corner before he ran into a Mountain bomb.
Kojima’s back with the Machine Gun chops to Taichi and Sabre, before Taichi just decided to throttle him. A gamengiri in the corner keeps Kojima down, only for Kojima to duck a buzzsaw kick and return with a Koji cutter for good measure. Following up, Kojima went for a Cozy lariat, but gets caught in a Holy Emperor Cross Mausoleum from Taichi, only for the pair to fall into the ropes. Kawada-style kicks from Taichi are next, but Kojima back body drops away from a powerbomb, only to eat an enziguiri as Sabre came in to look for a Zack Driver. Tenzan breaks it up and helps with a TenKoji Cutter that took Sabre outside, while a second one to Taichi was fought away.
A Kojima brainbuster plants Taichi for a near-fall, before the pair looked to trade clotheslines. Instead, a head kick from Taichi drops Kojima, before a Cozy lariat seemed to win out… Sabre’s back in to help put things back on track, tying up Tenzan in a grounded Octopus before a folding powerbomb from Taichi nearly won it. From there, Taichi pulls up Kojima for the Black Mephisto, and that’s enough to get the win. ***
World Tag League 2021: Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)
Goto and YOSHI-HASHI are 1-1 against the Guerrillas – beating them in World Tag League last year, while losing a tag title shot at Castle Attack earlier this year.
Tama Tonga and Hirooki Goto start us off, grunting and groaning as they tied-up with Goto eventually getting backed into the ropes as Tama took some cheap shots, only to get charged down. Goto stays on Tama with a side headlock, before Tanga Loa came in to get the war drum treatment. YOSHI-HASHI’s in to elbow Tama’s neck, before a distraction saw things get taken outside, with Tanga Loa hurling YOSHI-HASHI into the rails. Hirooki Goto takes the rails too as Tanga Loa chokes YOSHI-HASHI on the floor, looking to get the win via count-out, before YOSHI-HASHI was rolled in for some elbow drops from Tama.
Tanga tags in for a senton atomico that gets a near-fall, before a chinlock grounded YOSHI-HASHI and forced Goto in to break it up. Tama dispatches Goto to the outside again, then returned with a senton atomico of his own for a two-count on YOSHI-HASHI, who’s then choked on in the corner. Goto again goes for the save, but gets speared by Tanga Loa, who then slammed YOSHI-HASHI for a near-fall… with the OJK crossface following. YOSHI-HASHI escapes and returned with a Head Hunter, then tagged in Goto, who tries his luck with clotheslines and eventually took down Tanga.
A bulldog out of the corner gets Goto a two-count, before Tama jumped Goto from behind… and got charged down in return. Double-teaming keeps Goto on the back foot as Tanga threw him across the ring with a capture suplex, before a Blue Thunder Bomb almost won it. Goto recovers to clear house with clotheslines, as YOSHI-HASHI then gets tagged in and tried his luck on Tama Tonga. YOSHI-HASHI eats a Stinger splash in the corner, but again Goto’s in to stem the tide as he helped with a YOSHI-HASHI neckbreaker to Tanga Loa. More double-teaming leads to an assisted GYR, before a Butterfly Lock ended with Tanga Loa breaking it up. All four men stay in the ring for a while as we get a near-fall for Tama on a backdrop/neckbreaker combo, before a swandive headbutt/Supreme Flow splash combo gets a similar result for the Guerrillas.
A Magic Killer can’t keep YOSHI-HASHI down as Goto breaks up the pin… then kicked away a second Magic Killer and dropped Tanga with an ushigoroshi. A Gun Stun took care of Goto as we’re left with Tama and YOSHI-HASHI, with the latter snatching the win with a roll-up out of a Gun Stun attempt. Definitely the best match on the card, and one that keeps the Guerrillas and the CHAOS pair just behind the leaders. ***½
After three rounds, here’s the current standings in the World Tag League:
Tetsuya Naito & SANADA, Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toru Yano (3-0 / 6pts)
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens, Aaron Henare & Great-O-Khan, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto (2-1 / 4pts)
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (1-2 / pts)
EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi, Yuji Nagata & Tiger Mask, Minoru Suzuki & TAKA Michinoku (0-3 / 0pts)
We’re back with live streams as Sunday (7am UK time) is a Best of the Super Junior show – World Tag League returns on Tuesday with a 9am UK start, featuring Yano & Tanahashi against Naito & SANADA in the main event.
This was a below-average night in the Tag League portion of the tournament, and we’re probably going to get a lot more of those. At least this crowd in Nagano were making noise (or perhaps were picked up better on the mics), but these commentary-free shows are still a bad idea in the clap crowd era. We’ve got a couple more of these in early December, but for the most part this tour will have commentary building up to (I assume) remote studio commentary for the live finals.