New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2016: Night 14
December 5, 2016
Kyoto Budo Center – Kyoto, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) def. The Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Bone Soldier)

Coming into this match, GBH was still very much alive in the B Block, while the duo of Bad Luck Fale & Bone Soldier were pretty much eliminated before the tournament even began. This wasn’t a very good match. Bullet Club jumped GBH to start, they brawled on the outside for a few minutes, and then they got back in the ring had a pretty boring match. There was (once again) a referee bump which led to Bone Soldier choking Honma with his belt, but it didn’t matter anyway, as Honma eventually pinned the former Captain New Japan to get the victory for his team. I’d put this slightly about the Shibata/Nagata vs. Bad Luck Fale/Bone Soldier match from Night 12, simply because GBH seemed like they were putting in at least some effort, plus the crowd appeared to be into the match at times. **

Los Ingobernables de Japón (EVIL & SANADA) def. The Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Chase Owens)

Here we have a rare meeting between New Japan’s top two heel factions. It’s always interesting to see these two sides clash because, outside of tournament settings, they rarely interact (if at all). While this match didn’t blow me away, it was still pretty solid. The highlights of match, for me, were the interactions between Omega & SANADA. Part of me is hoping that these two are in the same block in the G1 next year, because I would love to see a singles match. There really isn’t much else to add about this tag team match. It went just under ten minutes, and was relatively enjoyable. EVIL got the victory over Owens to keep LIJ alive in the B Block. ***1/4

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI) def. Billy Gunn & Yoshitatsu

I was very much looking forward to this match, just to see the interactions between Billy Gunn and Okada. Outside of that interaction, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this one. In the end, it was a very odd match. I thought the first-half of the match (which included the main interactions between Billy Gunn and Okada) was pretty solid, and included some fun moments as well, including Okada sending a DX chop in Billy Gunn’s direction. The second-half of the match, however, really dragged things down. It basically turned into an extended singles match between Okada and Yoshitatsu, which was boring, and greatly exposed the latter. Yoshitatsu just looked bad. It takes a lot to have a boring match (of any kind) against Okada, but somehow Yoshitatsu managed that. If that second-half had been a little better, I think this could have been a good match. Alas, it was just alright. Another interesting note was that YOSHI-HASHI barely did anything. I can’t remember a single thing he contributed to this match. Anyway, Okada won after hitting Yoshitatsu with the Rainmaker. This was ok, but it could have been a slightly better match if Yoshitatsu didn’t suck so much. **3/4

Katsuyori Shibata & Yuji Nagata def. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii)

It’s pretty obvious that, out of the four tournament matches on the show, this one clearly had the most potential. These two teams put on a very good match that certainly belongs in that upper echelon of matches we’ve seen so far, and continued the trend of the B Block being far superior to the A Block. This was easily the best match on the show, and it wasn’t even close. Goto & Ishii continue to be the standout team in the tournament, in terms of match quality, with Shibata & Nagata being not that far behind (save for their abysmal encounter on Night 12 with Bad Luck Fale & Bone Soldier). While the match was a little slow at times in the first-half of the match, things definitely picked up in the second-half. Considering the guys involved, it would be next to impossible for this match to not be (at the very least) good. Shibata eventually got the win for his team after hitting the PK on Goto. This victory by Shibata & Nagata created a very interesting logjam of teams at the top of the B Block, which (as we will see on Night 16, the final night of B Block matches) led to an unexpected result. ***¾

Final Thoughts

This was basically a one match show, with Goto & Ishii vs. Shibata & Nagata being a very good main event. The rest of the show ranged from solid (Omega & Owens vs. EVIL & SANADA), to ok (Okada & YOSHI-HASHI vs. Billy Gunn & Yoshitatsu) to downright bad (Bad Luck Fale & Bone Soldier & Makabe & Honma). Check out the main event, but you can afford to skip the rest.