New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2016: Night 7
November 26, 2016
Kochi Sunpia Chres – Kochi, Japan
Watch: NJPW World
Guerrillas of Destiny def. Manabu Nakanishi & Henare
Matches like this just make the superiority of the B Block even more obvious. To be fair, I didn’t think this match was terrible, but it was incredibly average. Guerrillas of Destiny can have solid matches against good teams, as we’ve seen over the past few months, but Manabu Nakanishi & Henare is certainly not one of those teams. Henare continues to look solid in these matches. He showed some fire here, but he ultimately ate the pin as Guerrillas of Destiny now have 6 Points. Again, this wasn’t the worst match in the world, but there’s absolutely no reason to watch this, unless you’re into Henare’s progression. **
War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima
When the lineups for the blocks were announced, this was probably one of my most anticipated matches in the A Block. I just thought these two teams were going to mesh well together. While the match turned out to be pretty good, I came away from it a little disappointed. Again, I didn’t have any issues with the action we saw during the match itself, but it was expecting a little bit more. Perhaps the fact that the match only went about eight or nine minutes (the shortest of the tournament matches on this card) had something to do with it. If these two teams have a rematch, and are given a few more minutes, I feel like the match could be even better. With all of that being said, don’t let my disappointed dissuade you. This was still a very solid outing from both teams. War Machine getting the victory over such a highly respected team of veterans was a nice surprise, and as I’ve said previously, I hope Hanson & Ray Rowe get more New Japan bookings beyond this tournament. ***1/4
Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & Rush) def. Brian Breaker & Leland Race
One of the bigger stories coming into the World Tag League surrounded who was going to be Naito’s partner. As most people predicted, his partner turned out to be Rush from CMLL. What I find really interesting is that, despite being one of the more hyped up elements going into the tournament, Naito & Rush have been relatively quiet thus far. They’ve failed to stand out thus far as a whole, and I would argue that a number of teams have outshined them in the A Block alone. That being said, LIJ did manage to pick up the victory here over Brian Breaker & Leland Race in a relatively decent match. For Breaker & Race, it was one of their better outings thus far. I’m actually intrigued to see how these two do in the remainder of the tournament, because they’re facing off against some of the best teams in the A Block (TenKoji, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson, and War Machine). Again, this was a fine match, but it was also pretty forgettable. **3/4
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson def. The Bullet Club (“The Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi)
Despite putting on some really good performances in the A Block thus far, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson came into this match with no points on the board. Fortunately, they were able to turn things around in this main event, as they were able to defeat the Bullet Club team of Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi. As a whole, I’d say the match was a good main event. It’s probably one of the better matches were going to see from this Adam Page/Yujiro Takahashi duo. While this was far from their best outing, I think that Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson have been one of the best teams in the A Block thus far. Their matches against War Machine & TenKoji have been the two best matches in the A Block (for me, at least). In particular, Juice Robinson has been having a very strong tour. He’s put on good performances in all of his matches, the crowds have really gotten behind him, especially when he’s kicking out of some big moves towards the end of the match. Those spots have been getting some of the biggest reactions of this entire tour. On top of all of that, Robinson ended up scoring the victory for his team after hitting a Jumping Killswitch (or Unprettier) on Adam Page. It’s pretty obvious that Juice Robinson has not only improved, but he’s slowly but surely moving up the New Japan ladder. ***1/4
In a little side note, Robinson got to join Tanahashi in doing his traditional “post-main event air guitar” celebration, which was pretty cool.
As a whole, this was probably one of the weaker shows of the tournament thus far. However, there were still two matches on this card that were, in my view, good enough to check out, if you’ve got the time. Even though the A Block has clearly been the inferior block in this year’s World Tag League, we’re still getting some solid performances from a number of teams in the block, and even on the weakest of shows, we still manage to get at least a few entertaining matches.