New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2016: Night 6
November 25, 2016
Hiroshima Green Arena – Hiroshima, Japan
Watch: NJPW World
Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA) def. Billy Gunn & Yoshitatsu
Both teams came into this match undefeated, meaning that the winner would be the first team in the B Block to reach 6 Points. For the most part, this was a decent match. Billy Gunn, once again, put in another good performance. Everything he does in the ring looks solid, and the crowds have been into him. He’s definitely been the better man on his team, though to be fair, I don’t think Yoshitatsu has been completely terrible on this tour (he’s been ok). Even though this wasn’t their best effort, I’m enjoying this EVIL/SANADA team.
If the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions weren’t already heels, they would have been a lock to go to the finals (for me, at least). I could see them becoming top challengers for the titles after the first part of 2017 (if The Guerrillas of Destiny were lose the titles and their subsequent rematch). This match saw EVIL introducing some chairs towards the end of the match, which he used on Yoshitatsu, and ultimately led to a victory for LIJ. While many have becoming annoyed with EVIL using chairs during his matches, at least their was actually a referee bump beforehand. Anyway, with their win, LIJ are the first team in the B Block to reach 6 Points. **1/2
Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens) def. The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Bone Soldier)
A big theme on this show, as far as the tournament matches are concerned, is that teams from the same faction would be facing off against each other. This was the first of those two matches. Interestingly enough, both Bullet Club teams had yet to win a tournament match coming into Night 6. We get shenanigans immediately, as Omega & Owens try to convince Fale to let them win. Everyone seems fine with doing this, except Bone Soldier, who refuses to lie down. Eventually, Fale even decided to fight back, and we got a semblance of a match for about two minutes until Owens pinned Bone Soldier after a package piledriver. I’m not going to rate this, because it was much more of a comedy segment featuring members of The Bullet Club than an actual match. Kenny Omega & Chase Owens finally getting points on the board was the only notable thing to take away from this match. N/R
Katsuyori Shibata & Yuji Nagata def. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)
Despite being one of more interesting teams in the tournament, Shibata & Nagata came into Night 6 with no points on the board. They were finally able to get the proverbial money off their backs by picking up the victory here over GBH. This was a very good match that featuring some solid back & forth action between these two teams, as you expect. The match had a few funny moments as well, particularly involved Honma. At one point in the match, Makabe had to physically drag Honma’s lifeless body to their corner so he could make a tag. Another moment saw Honma literally cover Makabe’s body to protect him from a Shibata/Nagata beating, only to take the beating himself. This match featuring a mix of good wrestling and fun moments that made it, as a whole, very entertaining to watch. ***1/2
CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) def. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii)
The main event of Night 6 features another battle between members of the same faction. Unlike the match earlier in the show between the two teams from The Bullet Club, this battle between teams from CHAOS was much more serious and much more competitive. I thought this was a great match. There was a ton of awesome action throughout, with a number of cool exchanges, and the crowd in Hiroshima was into it. All four guys worked so well together, both as teams and when they individually squared off. Goto & Ishii continue to impress as a team, and (despite this loss) if they do go on to win the tournament, as most people have predicted, I’m very excited to see them face off with The Guerrillas of Destiny at Wrestle Kingdom (I never thought I’d say that I was excited for a match involving The Guerrillas of Destiny). At the same time, I thought Okada & YOSHI-HASHI were great here as well. They’ve been a semi-regular tag team for many years (teaming in the World Tag League for the fifth consecutive year), but now, it seems like they’re better than ever, especially with YOSHI-HASHI having one of his best years, if the best year, of his career. If you put together the great action and the vocal crowd, I would say that this takes the spot for the best match in the tournament thus far. If there was anything to criticize about the match, I would say that (much like the other main events of B Block shows thus far) it was a little too long for my liking, but again, that’s a minor complaint. Okada got the win for his team after pinning Ishii. I’m not sure if that counts as Okada getting his “win back” from the G1 Climax or not, but time will tell. ****
While the first two tournament matches on this show were pretty forgettable, the second half of this bunch was considerably better. Shibata & Nagata vs. GBH was very good, while the battle between CHAOS teams in the main event was legitimately great. Both matches are definitely worth checking out, if you have the time. I feel like a broken record saying this, but in a tournament that really doesn’t garner the attention or buzz from fans of New Japan here in North America, the B Block continues to deliver some quality tag team matches between a number of very strong teams.