New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2016: Night 3
November 20, 2016
New Sunpia Takasaki – Takasaki, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Bullet Club (Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi) def. Manabu Nakanishi & Henare

Both of these teams lost their matches on Night 1, so each is looking to get points on the board with a victory here. This was an average tag team match, and there isn’t much else to say other than that. Henare, who is twinning with Nakanishi, both in terms of his attire and his in-ring actions, looked relatively solid, and showed some fire at points. He’s obviously got some potential, and I’d like to see what he can do going up against better wrestlers. Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi were fine, and Nakanishi was Nakanishi. I was expecting this to be a bad match, but again, it ended up being just average, so I guess that’s good. The Bullet Club got the win here to get their first points of the tournament. **1/4

Guerrillas of Destiny def. Brian Breaker & Leland Race

The army camouflage attire that Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa are wearing remind me of trying to pick out different colors of camouflage on Call of Duty which, to be fair, is an improvement over whatever Tama Tonga wore for most of the G1 Climax this year. Out of the four tournament matches on this card, my expectations were the lowest for this match, but much like the opener, it exceeded my expectations by being an average match instead of a bad match. Guerrillas of Destiny were just ok, which is better than stinking up the joint like they’ve done in the past, so that’s good. This is only the second time I’ve seen him, but Brian Breaker is growing on me a little bit. He’s fine in his role as the “big man” of the match, and his performances in his first two tournament matches were solid. Leland Race, on the other hand, is incredibly average. He looks like a default create-a-wrestler from a WWE video game, and in the end, took the fall for his team, as The Guerrillas of Destiny got the win. **

War Machine (Hanson & Raymond Rowe) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson

Hanson & Raymond Rowe had what was easily the best match on Night 1 against Manabu Nakanishi & Henare, and they had another good outing on Night 3, as they took on Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson. The action from start to finish was very good, with some solid exchanges throughout, and this was easily the best tournament match on the show, up to this point. What was interesting about this match was that War Machine were working more as heels, though I guess that shouldn’t be a real surprise, as Hiroshi Tanahashi was on the opposite side. To be fair, however, the fans really got behind Juice Robinson, as there were big reactions for him throughout the match. I had a feeling this was going to be good, but it turned out a lot better than I was expecting. War Machine got the win here, but Juice Robinson looked good in defeat. Hanson & Ray Rowe, in a sign of respect, bowed to Tanahashi & Juice after the match. ***1/2

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Rush)

These two teams each won their first match of the tournament in Korakuen Hall on Night 1, and both are looking to stay undefeated with another victory. I thought this was a good match, and I enjoyed it for the most part, but it fell just below the match that came before it, in terms of match quality. Tenzan & Kojima looked solid here, as they always are, and they worked well here against LIJ. Believe or not, I’ve never seen Rush wrestle before, so I’m seeing him for the first time in these first few matches of the tournament. I like what I’ve seen so far from him, but obviously, I’m only getting a glimpse of Rush’s ability in these tag team matches. Again, this was a pretty entertaining match, and in the end, Kojima pinned Rush after a lariat to get the win for his team. This means that Tenzan & Kojima are now tied atop the A Block with War Machine at 4 Points each. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

I feel like this show is a very good indication of what to expect for the rest of the A Block shows. You might a good match, maybe two, but the other stuff is pretty passable. I would say that, if you’re short on time, go check out War Machine vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson. If you’ve got a little more time on your hands, check out the main event. Other than that, the rest of the tournament matches on this show can be skipped.