New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2017: Night 15
December 6th, 2017
Sasebo General Ground Gymnasium
Sasebo, Nagasaki, Japan

“The Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi (8) def. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (6)

In one of the most shocking developments of 2017, Red Shoes actually decided to disqualify someone for once. Yes, you read that correctly. This match ended in a DQ, just over five minutes in, after Iizuka used his iron fingers on Page. Out of those five minutes, these two teams spent about four of them brawling in the crowd. Simply put, this was trash. Easily the worst match of the tournament. Don’t waste your time. DUD

Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (8) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (2)

While the New Japan Dads had the opportunity to play spoiler, since they were eliminated from contention in the A Block some time ago, the CHAOS duo ultimately picked up the win here (as I’m sure most people expected). This was a relatively solid tag team encounter, but nothing much else beyond that. There was actually some decent action throughout, particularly in the second half, and the crowd seemed to be into the match at times. Again, this wasn’t outstanding by any means, but those elements I just mentioned helped make it a little more enjoyable to watch. At least we got a proper tournament bout on this event. **3/4

Final Thoughts

Night 15 was easily the worst show of the World Tag League thus far, with one decent match and an absolute DUD. You only really needed to see CHAOS vs. Nagata & Nakanishi if you’re a completist. As for the Bullet Club vs. Suzuki-gun bout, those are five minutes I’m never getting back. Don’t bother watching it. Use those five minutes for something that’s actually useful or productive.

New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2017: Night 16
December 7th, 2017
Refresh Park General Gymnasium
Yamaguchi, Japan

War Machine (8) def. David Finlay & Katsuya Kitamura (0)

While the outcome of this one was never really in question, these two teams still managed to have a pretty decent match, which clocked in at just under eight minutes. War Machine was in control for the majority of this bout, but it was far from a total squash. Finlay & Kitamura did manage to put up a good fight, getting in some offense here and there, but in the end, Hanson & Rowe managed to hit Fallout on Kitamura for the win. Nothing much to say about the match beyond that. While the loss meant that Finlay & Kitamura remained at one giant goose egg, War Machine moved up to 8 Points. **3/4

The Killer Elite Squad (8) def. Togi Makabe & Henare (0)

I think New Japan needs to put in “splash zone” signs (or maybe “spit zone” signs) every time KES is on the show. Archer’s antics with water have gotten to the point where, on this show, he actually chased down a random fan just so he could spit water on him. Anyway, this was another match with a result that was never in doubt. This was a slight notch below War Machine/Finlay & Kitamura, but it was still a perfectly fine tag team contest. The story they told was pretty similar to the one we just saw in the earlier tournament bout. KES dominated the majority of the match (mainly beating up Henare), and even though Makabe & Henare did get some offense in during the second half, they ultimately came up short, as KES hit the Killer Bomb on Henare for the win. **1/2

Final Thoughts

This was probably the most predictable night of the entire tour, in terms of match results, as you had two of the top teams in the heavyweight tag team division (including the current IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions in KES) going up against two teams that had young lions on them. There was no question that KES & War Machine were going to get wins here that would keep them alive in the B Block, but their opponents certainly didn’t go down without a fight. You don’t really need to seek these particular bouts out (unless you’re a completist). The only thing you need to know is who won their respective matches.

There’s no real point in going over all of the scenarios in both Blocks, since the actual finals of the tournament would’ve already been set (by the time you’re reading this), so for record’s sake, I’ll just list the standings as of Night 16:

A Block

EVIL & SANADA (4-2) – 8 Points
“The Hangman” Adam Page & Yujiro Takahashi (4-2) – 8 Points
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (4-2) – 8 Points
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (3-3) – 6 Points
Juice Robinson & Sami Callihan (3-3) – 6 Points
Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (3-3) – 6 Points
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima (2-4) – 4 Points
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (1-5) – 2 Points

B Block

Jeff Cobb & “Unbreakable” Michael Elgin (4-2) – 8 Points
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (4-2) – 8 Points
Best Friends (4-2) – 8 Points
The Guerrillas of Destiny (4-2) – 8 Points
War Machine (4-2) – 8 Points
The Killer Elite Squad (4-2) – 8 Points
Togi Makabe & Henare (0-6) – 0 Points
David Finlay & Katsuya Kitamura (0-6) – 0 Points