New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2018 Night 9
November 28, 2018
Mito Municipal Gymnasium
Ibaraki, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

EVIL & SANADA (10) Def. Ayato Yoshida & Shota Umino (0)

This was at least a bit different to the other Young Lion league matches, this match felt like the 1 seed versus the bottom seed (sports reference). I think Yoshida has finally won me over, I like him now. The crowd seemed hotter for this match than the others, that might be because it was the opener or because of the EVIL/SANADA/LIJ effect. Gentleman’s three, for sort of bucking the trend. ***

Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (8) Def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (2)

Holy moly this was boring. The team of ‘Dangerous Tekkers’ – whom have been one of the best teams in this tournament couldn’t save this from the boring abyss. Nakanishi is so immobile; he can’t even sell properly anymore. Nagata can still go, but I can totally understand why the 50-year-old legend maybe didn’t bring his best effort to this random house show, 9 nights into a tour. **1/4

Beretta & Chuckie T (8) Def. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (4)

Ooohhhhhh a bad night for the New Japan dads. The Best Friends – another pretty strong team this tournament couldn’t save this one either. I’ll give this one half a star higher than the one before it because the worst wrestler in this match isn’t as bad as the worst wrestler in the previous one. **1/2

Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (6) Def. Juice Robinson & David Finlay (6)

Yikes, this really was a bad night for the ‘over 45 division’ three bad matches in a row. Surprise, surprise Iizuka sucks and an unmotivated Suzuki isn’t so good either. I spent a lot of this match just watching what Juice does on the apron and his mannerisms and great, just adds to his whole pro wrestling package. **1/2

Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb (6) Def. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare (2)

Hey, a good match! Nice! Seriously though Henare is so great and I felt this match was really about him. Yes, yes he ate the pin but this is the strongest he’s looked in defeat. Unfortunately he’s the victim of a bloated roster. ***1/4

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (10) Def. Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi (6)

Another pretty good match! You’ll notice a trend in these reviews that every half decent Yano match is light on comedy and this was the same. The comedy for the most part was gotten out of the way quickly and that gets the Harley tick of approval. Hangman has been putting together some really nice offensive sequences this tournament and Ishii and Yano did some cool double-team combos as well. Yujiro has been putting in a higher than usual effort so far but it just makes me wonder how good some of these Hangman matches would be of he was teaming with Chase Owens. ***1/4

Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (8) Def. Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (8)

I said a few days ago G.O.D are best at crazy brawls, then they had a brawl-styled match and it was sloppy and it stunk. This match however, was just what I was talking about. Not breaking into any best matches of the tournament lists but the best match of the show. K.E.S are a really good team and it really helped the match that they waited for their opponents literally at the entrance curtain, it added some intensity to what are usually pretty hollow crowd brawls. Archer has an underrated choke slam and Tama did a really cool looking pounce counter into the gun stun. ***1/2

Final Thoughts:

A bit of a rough watch, it picks up in the last three matches but a completely skipable show. I think the lay out of the tournament can hurt nights like this. Last year there might’ve been two tournament matches on the show and if they’re both bad its only 15-20 minutes you wasted. Seven matches on a show like this can really drag if you get a few stinkers in a row. Next two nights are live shows at Korakuen; so you can assume they’ll both be better than night 9s showing.