New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2019 –  Night 1
November 16, 2019
Chichibunomiya Memorial Gymnasium
Kanagawa, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

World Tag League 2019
Juice Robinson & David Finlay (2) def. Hirooki Goto & Karl Fredericks (0)

I actually thought this was a cool way to kick off the tournament – two good teams with pretty over guys in it, I actually found myself a little pumped. The same cannot be said about the crowd, which would be a recurring theme of the night with a few exceptions. The work was simple but good so I can’t complain. Finlay won with the Sliced Bread that he is dubbing the Acid Drop. Good opener. ***

World Tag League 2019
Jeff Cobb & Mikey Nichols (2) def. Toru Yano & Colt Cabana (0)

For a strong portion of this show, Yano was the most over person on the show. Minimal comedy, which was weird in what ended up being a painfully dull match, which could have used something…ANYTHING. Cobb won with the Tour of the Islands. **1/2

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World Tag League 2019
Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan (2) def. Shingo Takagi & Terrible (0)

Kojima is the most likable person on Earth but you already know that. Another disappointingly dull match. There was some Terrible (the wrestler not the quality) walk and brawling for a bit. Kojima did his machine gun chops, which always rules. Um, I don’t really know what you want from here it was just a boring match. It ended pretty out of the blue too with Kojima hitting a big Lariat on Terrible for the win. **1/2

World Tag League 2019
KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi (2) def. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (0)

…I willfully signed up for this. Am I a masochist? Maybe. Was this shit? Yes. I honest to god have no idea what you want me to say here besides Yujiro won with the Pimp Juice DDT. KENTA did nothing, who can blame him. Pieter didn’t show up, who can blame her. **

World Tag League 2019
Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer (2) def. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (0)

Really good match, one of the top two matches of the night. A little crowd brawling, which I usually dislike however this was a breath of fresh compared to boring in-ring work that we got in the last 3 matches. Suzuki and Owens worked most of the match together and it was pretty good stuff. Archer got a good match out of Fale in the G1 and had a decent exchange with him here. Archer eventually got the EBD Claw locked in on Owens, slamming him a few times with it locked in before pinning him. Nothing special, but I recommend it, it’s less than 10 minutes as well. ***1/2

World Tag League 2019
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare (2) def. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma (0) 

To the surprise of no one, crowd woke up for Tanahashi. This was better than I expected which admittedly was **1/2 however I digress. Makabe did more than this then he’s done in the last 6 months combined, which is a good sign for the rest of the tournament. Now I’m no safety freak but Honma did a middle rope Fall Away Slam which worried me as he looks like could break at any moment, now if a middle rope flat back bump is scaring me, sadly I think he should give it up. Tanahashi won with a High Fly Flow…why did he do that? ***

World Tag League 2019
Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI (2) def. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (0)

Firstly this was 11 minutes – thank you. Secondly, can someone please tell Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI that Ishii should not and cannot be the babyface in peril anymore if I have to see one more YOSHI-HASHI moist tag I’m going to lose my mind (I’ll probably lose my mind). The first half of this was boring, but then Taichi took off his pants and had a great exchange with Ishii that got the crowd into it which lead to actually pretty hot closing stretch where Ishii beat Taichi with the Brainbuster. YOSHI-HASHI did the closing promo to send the crowd home happy and to wrap the first night of the World Tag League 2019 in just under a neat 2.5 hours. ***1/2