wrestling / TV Reports

Pantoja’s NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League 11.26.22 Review

November 27, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW World Tag League 11-26-2022 Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League 11.26.22 Review  

NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League Night 5

November 26th, 2022 | Akibadai Cultural Gym in Fujisawa, Kanagawa

A plan I had for today got canceled, so there was a chance I can actually get through both the 11/26 and 11/27 shows. However, the Stardom Crossover show is now up for free so I’m looking to get to that one after this. That means this review will be shorter than usual.

Alex Coughlin and Gabriel Kidd [0] vs. SANADA and Tetsuya Naito [2]

I dig this opener on paper. A good LIJ team and the Young Lions who are always looking to impress. Kidd mocking the Tranquilo pose in the early stages really showcased the fact that this was not a team that would be intimidated by their opponents’ star power. At no point did they back down and they surprised me by taking this past the 10-minute mark. Coughlin getting a hot tag to match Naito was pretty great and probably my favorite part of the match. The final few minutes featured great action like a Coughlin near fall on a gutwrench suplex. Ultimately though, Naito put down Coughlin with Destino after 14:17 in my favorite World Tag League match so far. [***¾]

Aaron Henare and The Great-O-Khan [0] vs. TMDK [2]

The possibility of this UE tandem performing better than the GOK/Cobb team is intriguing. TMDK is kind of an ideal team for this division. They can wrestle but always felt bland as characters and just being a duo who wrestles works in New Japan. Haste got worked over by his larger opponents for a while until Nicholls came in hot. From there, things were pretty evenly matched. TMDK nearly took this home with a tandem neckbreaker around 10 minutes in. O-Khan came back and bested Nicholls with the Imperial Drop at 10:13. That was solid enough but very forgettable. [**¾]

Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens [0] vs. EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi [0]

Like the Austin/Bey vs. SHO/Togo match on the previous show, this was Bullet Club proper vs. House of Torture. Unlike that match though, I had nobody here who I was really interested in watching. They all brought the shenanigans like poking each other in the eyes, doing the Eddie Guerrero chair spot, and giving us ref bumps. It was the same tired stuff from this stable that I don’t have time for. That said, at least it was kept relatively short. Fale won with the Grenade on Yujiro in 8:28. It existed. [*½]

Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano [0] vs. Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki [2]

Usually, I’d be all for these guys going at it but I still have bad memories of the Suzuki/Yano rivalry. That’s not the kind of thing you get over easily. Yano messed with Suzuki here, slapping him in the head, running around, and just causing a ruckus. That made him the face in peril soon after though and the hot tag to Tanahashi had the usual Tanahashi goodness attached to it. That man is ageless. Alas, the World Tag League isn’t the G1 Climax. Yano doesn’t get nearly as many upsets here and he fell to Archer’s finisher after a mildly enjoyable 12:44. [**¼]

Aussie Open [2] vs. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI [2]

New Japan wants this to feel like a big deal since Goto and HASHI were recently tag champs but they just don’t really mean anything. Meanwhile, Aussie Open is a breath of fresh air in this division. As much as I don’t care about Goto and HASHI, they are capable of having good matches with quality teams, which is what happened here. It was interesting to see Goto as the guy getting isolated since HASHI isn’t exactly a hot tag dude but it worked out well enough. The better aspect here was just how good Aussie Open continues to be. They are getting their chance to showcase their talents and it is working. They won with Korealis on HASHI in 15:18. I thought that was a good main event though again, the heavyweights aren’t living up to the juniors. [***¼]

The final score: review Average
The 411
I feel like this is going to be my score range for every WTL show. You got a great opener, a good main event, and stuff in the middle that was inoffensive.