New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2017: Night 11
December 1st, 2017
Toyohashi General Gymnasium – Second Gymnasium
Toyohashi, Aichi, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

“The Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi (6) def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (4)

Visible basketball hoops and massive curtains can be seen as the camera zoomed out during the entrances. As for this opening tournament bout on Night 11, it was relatively good. The first few minutes were a little slow, but as the match progressed, it slowly got better. The second half was particularly solid, with some fun back and forth action between the two teams. Kojima ended up getting pinned after a Buckshot Lariat from Page, followed by a DDT from Yujiro. Again, this was a perfectly fine tag team affair. ***

EVIL & SANADA (6) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (2)

After getting off to an 0-2 start, the LIJ team of EVIL & SANADA extended their winning streak to three after picking up a victory here over the New Japan Dads. This was an average match, at best, but it still had its moments. The second half was much better than the first half, so in that regard, it was pretty similar to the bout we just saw with Bullet Club against TenKoji. Nagata in particular had some solid individual exchanges with both EVIL & SANADA. Towards the end of the match, Nakanishi had SANADA in the Torture Rack, but he got out of it, and immediately went to distract the referee so EVIL could use a chair on Nakanishi. The two then hit him with their neckbreaker/slam combo to secure the win. With that result, Nagata & Nakanishi are officially eliminated from contention in the A Block. **1/2

Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (6) def. Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan (6)

Callihan had the upper part of his left arm all taped up here, so I’m guessing he has a minor injury of some kind. While LIJ has been on an upswing, Death Juice has been on somewhat of a downturn as the tournament has progressed. After winning their first two matchups, they’ve now lost two of their last three, which includes this particular bout where they came up short against Suzuki-gun. This was slightly better than the match Suzuki-gun had with The Bullet Club on Night 9, but it was still relatively bad. Aside from a few moments here and there, Suzuki-gun was firmly in control for the majority of this one. Of course, the first few minutes involved a lot of brawling in the crowd, with El Desperado helping them out when the opportunity presented itself. There was one fun spot where Iizuka bit Callihan’s middle finger after he flipped him off. That was probably one of the lone highlights (if not the only highlight) of this match. Death Juice made a slight comeback, but it simply wasn’t enough. Robinson got pinned after getting hit with the iron fingers from Iizuka, followed by a Gotch Piledriver from Suzuki. Don’t waste your time with this match. *3/4

Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (6) def. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (4)

I’m pretty sure that Bad Luck Fale was wearing sneakers for this one (they stuck out like a sore thumb). The winner would join the growing list of teams at 6 Points, and when the dust settled, that team ended up being CHAOS, who scored the victory after hitting their double team GTR on Chase Owens. This was better than Death Juice/Suzuki-gun, but just a slight notch below LIJ/Nagata & Nakanishi. The first part of the match, which featured another crowd brawl, wasn’t that interesting, but much like some of the earlier tournament bouts on this card, things did improve down the stretch. There was some decent action in the final few minutes (mainly involving Chase Owens, who did a fine job in this one), but aside from that, this barely managed to hover around average. **1/4

Final Thoughts

After a very poor showing on Night 9, the teams of the A Block followed that up with an even worse showing on Night 11. I don’t think I would call this the worst New Japan show of 2017 (simply because only half of the overall card even made tape), but in the context of the World Tag League, it was easily the worst show to date. The first of the four tournament bouts is the only one that you could say was “good”, and even then, it was barely good. The rest of the tournament matches are skippable, and the only things you really need to know from this show is who won and who lost.

Here’s an update on the A Block standings after Night 11. While there was a logjam in the middle of the pack following Night 9, there’s now a logjam at the top of the block, with five teams sitting at 6 Points with 3-2 records. If you throw in the two teams that are still technically in it with 4 Points and 2-3 records, the A Block is truly up for grabs. As I mentioned earlier, Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi are the only team that has officially been eliminated.

  • Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan (3-2) – 6 Points
  • “The Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi (3-2) – 6 Point
  • EVIL & SANADA (3-2) – 6 Points
  • Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (3-2) – 6 Points
  • Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (3-2) – 6 Points
  • Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (2-3) – 4 Points
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (2-3) – 4 Points
  • Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-4) – 2 Points