New Japan Pro Wrestling
World Tag League 2020: Night 6
November 28th, 2020
Fujisawa City Akibadai Cultural Gymnasium
Fujisawa, Kanagawa, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Satoshi Kojima & Tomoaki Honma def. Yuji Nagata & Yota Tsuji

On English Commentary, it was noted by Kevin Kelly that this was the first time that New Japan had ever been to this venue. The opening contest on this card was the same opening match from the previous World Tag League show, with the exact same result, as Satoshi Kojima pinned Yota Tsuji following a lariat. It was a little better than their bout from a few days ago, but what was pretty cool about it was that they completed reversed roles. After Tsuji played the role of the babyface in peril in that match from Night 5, it was Honma who was in that role on this show, with Tsuji and Yuji Nagata working him over before he made the eventual hot tag to Kojima. It’s nice to see them give Tsuji experience with different roles in tag team matches, and at the end of the day, that’s their value. As always, the result was never in question, but it served its purpose well. ***

World Tag League 2020
Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (8) def. The Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb (6)

The first tournament match of the night featured a meeting between two teams who had the chance to jump to 8 Points. When the dust settled, it would be the CHAOS duo of Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano reaching that point total, as they managed to defeat The Empire team of Jeff Cobb and The Great O-Khan. This was a pretty enjoyable tag team contest. It wasn’t amazing by any means, but there was solid action throughout, and the typical Yano shenanigans were kept to a minimum. While Yano did try to use the turnbuckle pad early, Cobb just brushed it off, and for the most part, Yano was pretty much dominated any time he was in the ring. Once Ishii was able to get in, he did have some fun exchanges with Cobb (of course, those two have had great bouts in the G1 Climax the last two years), and kept his team in the fight single-handedly. Yano finally got some sustained offense towards the end, and he did get the win for his side after he rolled up O-Khan following a low blow. This was third loss for The Empire in this tournament, and it’s pretty clear at this point that Cobb is ahead of O-Khan in the pecking order of this stable. Now it was a loss to Yano, which I wouldn’t look much into (it’s Yano), but it still is something to make note of as this tournament continues. ***1/4

World Tag League 2020
Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens (4) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare (2)

These two teams picked up their first wins of the tournament on Night 5, and since both of them needed to win out in order to stay in contention, the loser would be the first team to be officially eliminated. Going into this show, I expected Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens to be the team that got eliminated, but that wasn’t the case, as they actually managed to score the victory here over Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare. While I was never expecting Tanahashi and Henare to go all the way, I didn’t think they’d be the first team mathematically eliminated. The match itself was actually relatively decent for what it was. It only went ten minutes or so, and much like the bout against FinJuice, we saw almost no Bullet Club-style shenanigans from Fale and Owens. In fact, I thought Owens had some very solid exchanges with Tanahashi at a couple of points. I wouldn’t mind seeing those two face off in the New Japan Cup next year. Henare ended up eating the pin following The Grenade Launcher, which marks the second straight victory for this new tag team finisher. Perhaps Fale and Owens won because they want to further establish this move? Other than that, I can’t see why you would have them be the team that barely stays in the hunt over Tanahashi and Henare. ***

World Tag League 2020
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Dangerous Tekkers (8) def. EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi (6)

Just like the Dangerous Tekkers/Guerrillas Of Destiny match from a couple of shows ago, Taichi came out to the ring by himself, and got jumped by the Bullet Club team before Zack Sabre Jr. came running down to even the odds. I can sort of get doing that once, but a second time? You would think Sabre and Taichi would’ve learned their lesson after that first time. Anyway, this was another decent tag team bout on this show. Dangerous Tekkers picked up the win in just under fourteen minutes after hitting Yujiro with the Zack Mephisto. After losing that initial exchange with Taichi and Sabre, the Bullet Club side gained the edge using the same exposed turnbuckle tactic they’ve used on previous shows. Speaking of which, it’s silly that they’re using the “remove the turnbuckle pad” spot as heel heat for EVIL and Yujiro when Yano does the same thing in all of his matches, and he’s considered a babyface. This match saw a ton of shenanigans throughout, which definitely took it down a notch or two (it wasn’t unexpected, since both of these are heels), but there were still some solid moments throughout. In particular, I thought Sabre and Yujiro actually had a number of fine exchanges (again, another bout I wouldn’t mind as an opening round New Japan Cup match). After going 3-1 in their first four matches, EVIL and Yujiro have lost two straight, and have started to fall a bit behind in the overall standings, which isn’t a total surprise. On the other side of things, it’s not a surprise at all that Dangerous Tekkers have now started to creep back towards the top of the standings. They are the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, and they should be in contention going into the final block night. ***

World Tag League 2020
David Finlay & Juice Robinson (6) def. NEVER Openweight Champion Shingo Takagi & SANADA (8)

This was a very crucial match for FinJuice. While a loss to LIJ here wouldn’t eliminate them outright, it was essentially a must-win situation after the defending tournament winners got upset by Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens on Night 5. Fortunately, they came through in a big way, and kept themselves in the hunt after defeating the team that came into this show with the lead in the tournament standings. This was by far the best match of the night, and one of the best bouts of the entire tournament for sure. Really good action from start to finish, with all four guys getting moments to shine throughout. After having the early edge, FinJuice lost the advantage when Shingo and SANADA started working over Finlay. Once Juice was able to get back in, it became a more back-and-forth affair, with both teams trading some big moves (LIJ doing the Noshigami/TKO combo, FinJuice doing the Power and Glory finisher for a particularly good nearfall). FinJuice just continue to get better as a team, while Shingo and SANADA continue to be a very strong pairing. After hitting Shingo with a couple of their finishers, Juice took out SANADA on the outside, and that allowed Finlay to hit his running-up-the-ropes stunner (don’t know what he calls that move) onto Shingo for the win. Not only was that a big result for the team, with regards to the tournament, but it was also a huge win for David Finlay. He got a clean pinfall victory over the current NEVER Openweight Champion, which I have to assume puts him in line for a future title shot at some point. I don’t know when that title shot would occur, but regardless, it’s a big moment for Finlay for sure. ****



World Tag League 2020
Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (6) def. The Guerrillas Of Destiny (6)

For the second straight World Tag League show on this tour, the CHAOS team of Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI were slotted in the main event. However, unlike the previous show (which saw them come up short against LIJ), they managed to score a big victory here over Guerrillas Of Destiny after YOSHI-HASHI successfully countered a Gun Stun attempt from Tama Tonga into a pin. While this wasn’t nearly as good as the previous bout with FinJuice and LIJ, these two teams still ended up having a very good main event. I’ve really enjoyed this pairing of Goto and YOSHI-HASHI over the last few months. They’ve established a number of tag team moves in their arsenal, and have really just gelled together as a duo. As for G.O.D., they more than held up their own here, even with the inevitable outside interference from Jado with the kendo stick (I’ll never like this type of interference, but when it’s limited, and doesn’t lead to the finish, I can somewhat tolerate it). Goto and YOSHI-HASHI both had some really solid exchanges with both G.O.D. members and YOSHI-HASHI managed to survive a couple of big double teams right before the finish. This win kept Goto and YOSHI-HASHI in the hunt, while G.O.D. have now lost their second match in a row (both to CHAOS teams) after going on a three match winning streak. They’ll certainly be contenders before this tournament ends, but this loss was definitely a setback. ***1/2

Final Thoughts

A pretty good World Tag League show from top to bottom. Not only was every single match decent (at a bare minimum), but nothing overstayed its welcome. While the opening match with the young lion was the shortest thing on the show (like it usually is), there wasn’t a single tournament match that went over sixteen minutes. That definitely helped the show as a whole. FinJuice vs. LIJ is the only match from this show that I would say is must-watch, but if you’ve got nothing else going on, this was a relatively easy show to sit through.

Here are the World Tag League Standings after Night 6. With LIJ losing, and a couple of the 6 Point teams getting wins to move up to 8 Points, the top half of the standings is extremely tight, with a ton of teams still left with realistic shots to win the whole tournament. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare are mathematically eliminated, and while Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens are technically still alive, they need A LOT of help if they want to get to the Finals.

  • Dangerous Tekkers – 8 Points
  • SANADA & Shingo Takagi – 8 Points
  • Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano – 8 Points
  • David Finlay & Juice Robinson – 6 Points
  • The Guerrillas Of Destiny – 6 Points
  • EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi – 6 Points
  • Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI – 6 Points
  • The Great O-Khan & Jeff Cobb – 6 Points
  • Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens – 4 Points
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare – 2 Points
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