New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2018 Final
December 9, 2018

Iwate Industrial Cultural Center Apio
Iwate, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi Def. Togi Makabe, Toa Henare, Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida

A match filled with a combination of guys I felt had the weakest World tag League, truly a fitting start to the Final. The match was fine, but more importantly the stage looked pretty cool which is always a big thing for me in my professional wrestling. **1/2

Minoru Suzuki, Lance Archer, Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Takashi Iizuka Def. Beretta, Chuckie T, Michael Elgin & Jeff Cobb

Again, a totally fine match. One could predict that this will end in Chuckie T DQ and so it did. Now, Beretta and Chuckie aren’t on the Road to Tokyo Dome cards so you can expect to get a conclusion to wherever this angle is going at New Years Dash. **3/4

Tomohiro Ishii, SHO & YOH Def. Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru

This was a fun little match! You can also inject Ishii vs. ZSJ directly into my veins. Some of the exchanges between RP3K and Desperado and Kanemaru make me sad we’re not just getting a straight tag title match but it’s not like BUSHI & Shingo are going to make the match worse. ***

Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI & Shingo Takagi Def. Hangman Page, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi

I thought the crowd was a little quiet up until this point but who else then my beautiful LIJ boys to wake them up. A good match but no angle to build to the IC title match at Wrestle Kingdom. Which I don’t think really matters but I was just expecting something. I’ve seen some chatter while surfing the web that Shingo should go up to heavyweight soon and I don’t really think it matters all that much and there are only so many spots on this already bloated roster so him and BUSHI having good run in the Jr. tag division is not the end of the world.  ***

Jay White, Taiji Ishimori, Bad Luck Fale Def. Kazuchika Okada, KUSHIDA & Toru Yano

Absolutely nothing about this match that is noteworthy besides Togi Makabe coming to the aid of his former GBH stable mate Toru Yano during a post match beat down, which now leads to them teaming at one of the Road to the Tokyo Dome shows later this week. **1/2

Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson & Marty Scurll Def. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, David Finlay & Ryusuke Taguchi

A bit too much comedy for my liking for a match involving some guys that are in big matches at Wrestle Kingdom, but I can’t hate on it too much because all the guys are just too talented to have a bad much. I feel like I’m one of the few guys that haven’t turned on Kenny but boy am I cold for this Dome main event. ***

No.1 Contenders Match for the NEVER Openweight Title
Will Ospreay Def. Taichi  

My word was this match good. Will is an idiot, but bell-to-bell is running away with my wrestler of the year vote. If you think he can’t sell or use psychology log off now. Taichi gets shat on heaps but he’s had three four-star matches this year (this included) and he hasn’t been completely carried all those times, heck he has even been good. Match of the night. ****

NEVER Openweight Title Match
Kota Ibushi Def. Hirooki Goto ©

Considering their G1 match earlier in the year this has to be considered a let down. Still a very good match but not what it could’ve been. The biggest take away from this match is that we get our dream match for Wrestle Kingdom and ooooh baby go ahead and inject that into my veins as well. ***3/4

World Tag League 2018 Final
EVIL & SANADA Def. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa

I am the only person in the galaxy that thought last year’s final was great. This was not great. For me, it lacked the drama I felt last years had, it was also so long. The crowd was into this, which you credit to EVIL & SANADA. There was a fantastic spot in this where SANADA countered the super power bomb – a move that has spelt the end for everyone that has been hit with it into a hurricanrana. How good is simple, basic pro wrestling? I can’t knock this match too much, it still was very good but I felt they had a better final last year and a better match earlier in the tournament. Again, during web surfing I’ve seen talk that EVIL and SANADA should go to singles and again I disagree. We know they can be plugged into main event A New Beginning Show or Power Struggle or some G1 shows so I don’t see an issue with being booked as the aces of the tag division and that’s really what they are.  ***3/4

Final Thoughts:

A strangely match focused World Tag League 2018 final show. Not a bad thing, but the Tag League Final is usually very angle heavy to set up the remaining Tokyo Dome matches or to really add some fire to the matches already booked. I guess it did build to some matches but that was done through match stipulations rather than sneak attacks etc. A better World Tag League then anyone expected however still not close to the G1 and Best of the Super Juniors but it doesn’t need to be.