New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2017: Night 6
November 24th, 2017
Yonago Convention Center Big Ship
Yonago, Tottori, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (2) def. David Finlay & Katsuya Kitamura (0)

Both teams came into this one looking for their first win in the tournament, and to nobody’s surprise, the CHAOS team of Ishii & Yano picked up the victory. With a young lion on the other side, the result was a foregone conclusion, but the match itself was still relatively solid. Finlay & Kitamura got the early advantage when they attacked for the bell, but CHAOS quickly took control after the ensuing brawl. This bout had some good back and forth action throughout, while also serving as a fine showcase for Kitamura. He got to hit Ishii with some his hard chops, no sold being thrown into the exposed turnbuckle by Yano, and even managed to lift Ishii up for a military press!! It’s pretty obvious that this guy has a bright future in New Japan, but right now, he’s still a young lion, which meant that he took the fall after a brainbuster from Ishii. ***

The Guerrillas of Destiny (2) def. Togi Makabe & Henare (0)

This was pretty much a carbon copy of the previous bout, in terms of the situation. Both teams were 0-1 coming in (as each side lost their first tournament match), and a young lion was on one of the two teams. Once again, the result of this one was never in question, but it was also a perfectly fine match for what it was. Henare got the advantage early, and actually dominated Tama Tonga in the first thirty seconds or so of the bout, but G.O.D. soon regained control. The action throughout was solid, and they seemed to wrestle with a sense of urgency, which certainly added to the match. While this wasn’t quite as strong as the showcase that Kitamura got earlier, Henare looked good here. It’ll be interesting to see where he’s positioned, compared to the other young lions, once the tournament ends. Despite his best efforts, much like Kitamura earlier, Henare ultimately got pinned after getting hit with a Samoan Driver from Tanga Loa. This was by no means spectacular, but much like the first tournament bout on this card, it was pretty solid. ***

War Machine (4) def. Best Friends (2)

While the first two tournament bouts on this card featured teams who lost in their first B Block outing, these last two bouts feature teams who won in their first B Block outing. On paper, this particular encounter had the potential to be one of the best in the tournament thus far, and when the dust settled, it definitely was. This was a really good match from start to finish. Since both teams are great, that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It did get off to a slow start (at least, in my view), but the action throughout the rest of the bout certainly made up for it. Even in a smaller setting like this, they still put forth a ton of effort, and the crowd was definitely into it during that second half. War Machine got the win (and looked strong in doing so) to move to 2-0, but Best Friends still looked good, even in defeat. ***3/4

The Killer Elite Squad (4) def. Jeff Cobb & “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin (2)

Here we had another match that had a ton of potential going into it, but unlike the previous contest, this one didn’t quite live up to my expectations. It was definitely a good match, but considering who was involved, I was expecting a little bit better. There was plenty of back and forth action throughout, and there was nothing wrong with the bout when it came to the actual wrestling. It just felt like the match was missing something, and thus, it never really got to that next level. Perhaps it was the slow start that featured Davey Boy Smith Jr. (who’s incorporated more submissions into his arsenal) grappling with Jeff Cobb which contributed to how I perceived the match, but that’s just a guess on my part. Speaking of Cobb, seeing him play the “babyface in peril” role for a decent chunk of this bout was so strange. He eventually made the tag to Elgin, and there was more action in the second half, but again, it just never got up to that next gear. Thankfully, the crowd seemed to be into it, for the most part. In the end, Cobb got pinned after KES hit the Killer Bomb out of nowhere. Perhaps if this was worked more like a sprint, it could’ve been a better match overall. ***1/4

Final Thoughts

NJPW World Tag League 2017 Night 6 was one of the best nights of the tournament thus far. Nothing on this show was bad, and for the most part, all four B Block bouts were relatively easy to watch. If you only have time to watch one match from this event, definitely check out Best Friends vs. War Machine. Even though the other tournament bouts on this card didn’t set the world on fire, it’s further proof that the B Block is clearly the superior block in this year’s tournament.

Finally, here’s a quick update on the block standings, after Night 6:

A Block

  • Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan (2-0) – 4 Points
  • Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (2-0) – 4 Points
  • Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (1-1) – 2 Points
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (1-1) – 2 Points
  • “The Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi (1-1) – 2 Points
  • Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (1-1) – 2 Points
  • EVIL & SANADA (0-2) – 0 Points
  • Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (0-2) – 0 Points

B Block

  • The Killer Elite Squad (2-0) – 4 Points
  • War Machine (2-0) – 4 Points
  • Best Friends (1-1) – 2 Points
  • Jeff Cobb & “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin (1-1) – 2 Points
  • The Guerrillas of Destiny (1-1) – 2 Points
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (1-1) – 2 Points
  • Togi Makabe & Henare (0-2) – 0 Points
  • David Finlay & Katsuya Kitamura (0-2) – 0 Points