New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2016 – Finals
December 10, 2016
Sekisui Heim Super Arena
Watch: NJPW World
It’s finally over. After 16 long nights, the end is finally here. The 2016 World Tag League Finals are upon us.
Now, this tournament received undue grief each year but for the wrong reasons. The in-ring is largely okay with most matches ending up as solid. The issue is just the length of the tournament and for completists or websites like us, reviewing each and every night is an absolute grind.
Look at it this way, we all get tired of the G1 Climax in its final days and that’s the best tournament in wrestling with blow away matches on a nightly basis. For the World Tag League, you’re really just hoping and praying to get a ***1/2 match. Now, that’s a grind.
World Tag League 2016 Finals
Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)
In a surprise to many, current IWGP Tag Team Championships Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) are in the finals. They will face the equally surprising B Block champion Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe), last year’s tournament winners.
You’d expect Great Bash Heel to win Tag League for the second consecutive year and face Guerillas of Destiny once again at Wrestle Kingdom 11.
If this scenario does play out, Great Bash Heel will become the first back-to-back World Tag League champions and join Antonio Inoki & Hulk Hogan, Tatsumi Fujinami & Kengo Kimura, Hiroshi Hase & Keiji Mutoh and Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan as the only multiple-time World Tag League winners.
Of course, after seeing the previous two Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Great Bash Heel matches from April and May, you won’t find many clamouring to see these two go toe-to-toe again.
The scenario does exist in which Guerillas of Destiny win the tournament as champions and face another team at Wrestle Kingdom. While that would be a more desirable solution in-ring; stories and potential Wrestle Kingdom matches are becoming more clear by the day and the amount of teams ready for the title shot are slim.
Worse yet, only Kojima & Tenzan were able to knock off Guerillas of Destiny during the World Tag League so other than a TenKoji vs. GOD, it’s hard to dream up any other possible combinations.
What about Goto & Ishii?
A favorite going in, Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii, disappointed with only 8 points. Many thought with those two seemingly on the outside looking in at Wrestle Kingdom, that a Goto/Ishii vs. GOD match seemed too perfect a scenario.
With the booking of Goto and new partner YOSHI-HASHI vs. NEVER Openweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson on this show, the plans for one team member (Goto) of the team may be clear. Goto and Shibata barked at one another during the World Tag League and interactions between the two tomorrow will make the booking of Shibata vs. Goto for the NEVER title at Wrestle Kingdom quite clear.
Wrestle Kingdom 11 Previews
The card fills out with a number of Wrestle Kingdom previews as Hiroshi Tanahashi teams with KUSHDIA to take on Tanahashi’s Wrestle Kingdom opponent Tetsuya Naito & CMLL import Rush.
Kazuchika Okada teams with Goto’s tag league partner Ishii to battle Hangman Page and Okada’s IWGP Heavyweight Title challenger Kenny Omega.
A full listing of the card can be found below:
- Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay
- Manabu Nakanishi & Henare vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi)
- Hunter Club (Yoshitatsu & Billy Gunn) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Bone Soldier)
- War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe) vs. World League Wrestling (Brian Breaker & Leland Race)
- Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI)
- Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson vs. CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI)
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & KUSHIDA vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (Tetsuya Naito & Rush)
- CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Bullet Club (Kenny Omega & Hangman Page)
- World Tag League 2016 Final: Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)