New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2018 Night 15
December 6, 2018
Yamagata Big Wing
Yamagata, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (18) Def. Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida (0)

What would have been cool and different is if the CHAOS boys blasted the Young Lions out of the water in like 3 minutes.  They need to win to stay alive in the tournament and since we’re on the home stretch a focused Ishii bulldozing over Young Lions makes sense. Instead, it was the standard opener of the tournament that wasn’t bad but I have now seen 12 times. **3/4

Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb (16) Def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (4)

I think next year, teaming Nagata with a Young Lion might be the way to go, that way you can cut the fat a bit. **1/2

Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. (18) Def. Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi (8)

A nice little match here! Hangman is low key a really good hot tag, I hope the AEW fellas don’t stop working New Japan because I think Hangman can really be something here, I thankfully doubt they don’ stop working NJPW though. I feel like a broken record, but K.E.S is such a great big ol’ bully tag team. ***1/4

Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (14) Def. Juice Robinson & David Finlay (14)

Zack and Taichi should really tag more regularly. They’ve got some cool combos and there’s a strangely likeable charm about them. The Finjuice loss officially eliminates them from the tournament. This was a good match, nothing special by any means but when the last few shows good matches didn’t happen until the last few matches of the show, a few good ones at the start of the show feels like a godsend. ***1/4

Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (8) Def. Togi Makabe & Toa Henare (8)

I’ll give this bad boy the ol gentleman three. Maybe I’ve overrated but the joy Kojima shows after winning is so infectious. Anyone stealing the machine gun chop spot gets an easy pop and sets up Kojima to hit them right back. A fun match, however, nothing to go out of your way to see. ***

EVIL & SANADA (18) Def. Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (10)

Another good, solid wrestling match. I must say that I don’t think that the LIJ heavyweights play good underneath guys and everyone is an underneath in a Suzuki match, but the flat heat spot was made up for by a decent closing stretch. ***1/4

Beretta & Chuckie T (14) Def. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa (18)

What is wrong with Tanga Loa? Why would he lead with his head into chair shots? The second chair shot cut him open and cut him bad. Before all this, this match was really good. There was a ref bump but I it wasn’t a bad one because it added to the climax of the match. Again Chuckie snapped and attack G.O.D with a chair but this was more to save Beretta from the super powerbomb.  He then chased Jado to the back allowing Beretta to roll up the bloody Tanga Loa. A very good match and added an extra wrinkle to the Chuckie story. ***3/4

Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale & Gedo Def. Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, KUSHIDA & Rocky Romero

*Insert every other version of this match from the tour here* Jay White is a great heel and the best part of these matches are his post-match promos, but I’m struggling to care about this feud yet…actually, my interest in it has waned since these 8 man tags have started. I suppose this was a pretty good match though. ***1/4

Final Thoughts:

A pretty enjoyable show, there have been better matches on this tour but still laps the last few shows by miles. The only match I’d really recommend is the last tournament match. If you really like some of the guys in the ***1/4 star matches, watch those too. With one more block night and only 4 teams eligible (LIJ, G.O.D, K.E.S and Ishii/Yano) It’s looking like the final will be LIJ vs. G.O.D with the Young Bucks walking down to make the WrestleKingdom match a three way. Sigh.