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Pantoja’s NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League Review 11.25.22

November 26, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW Super Jr.Tag League Night 3 Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League Review 11.25.22  

NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League 2022 Night 4

November 25th, 2022 | Kiryu Civic Gymnasium in Kiryu, Gumma | Attendance: 581

Kevin Knight and KUSHIDA [2] vs. Lio Rush and YOH [2]

If you know me then you should know that I liked this. Knight has been impressive so far and the other three are among my favorites in the entire tournament. KUSHIDA and YOH had a grounded exchange here before he and Lio worked at a ridiculously quick pace. KUSHIDA’s versatility is clear as he did that here and had the kick battle with SHO on the previous event. He and Knight have started to show better tandem offense and they make it work despite Knight having a limited moveset. Down the stretch, it came down to Knight in the ring against YOH and as always, the Young Lion didn’t really stand a chance. YOH hit him with a Brainbuster and tagged in Lio to end it with the Frog Splash in 9:43. A really fun and exciting way to start the show. [***½]

Alex Zayne and El Lindaman [2] vs. Clark Connors and Ryusuke Taguchi [2]

Taguchi has already cemented himself as the goof of this year’s tournament. I don’t think we’re getting BIG MATCH TAGUCHI and honestly, that’s okay. Connors joined him on the fun by downing a beer before the bell. Once this got started, it featured the kind of solid action we saw from these four in the BOSJ. Connors’ size was a key factor here as he was clearly bigger than everyone else and used it to his advantage, especially against Lindaman. I liked how Lindaman never backed down and even threw him with a T-Bone at one point. Taguchi brought the comedy like having his pants pulled down. It didn’t work much for me here. In the end, Zayne put down Connors with the Taco Driver after 10:41. The action was fine but the bad comedy dragged it down. [**]

DOUKI and Yoshinobu Kanemaru [0] vs. Robbie Eagles and Tiger Mask IV [2]

This suffered like the last match but for different reasons. There weren’t any comedic aspects to hold it back but it was instead the action that lacked here. Kanemaru continues to not bring anything interesting to the tournament while Tiger Mask IV is kind of just there. DOUKI and Eagles had decent exchanges but never pulled me in and I forgot almost everything about this match as soon as it ended. Eagles beat Kanemaru with a rollup in 8:37 to end an inoffensive but dull affair. [**¼]

Ace Austin and Chris Bey [4] vs. Dick Togo and SHO [0]

These guys are all from the same table but not really. House of Torture is the nWo B-Team if they spent more time on TV while Bullet Club are the focal point. Togo and SHO refused the “too sweet” gesture and attacked because that’s what they do. What saved this was SHO just being SHO. When he’s not bogged down by bad booking, he can still have quality interactions with guys like Bey and Austin. Togo is one of the New Japan Dads who doesn’t bring much to the table. It was going okay until EVIL and Yujiro strolled out for some shenanigans. Bey and Austin withstood their offense and then hit The Fold combo on Togo to win in 9:32. Another lackluster outing. [**]

BUSHI and Titán [2] vs. Francesco Akira and TJP [4]

I said it on the last show but I feel like Akira and TJP were either going unbeaten for the entire tournament or losing just before the ending. These teams met at Battle Autumn for the titles (***¼) and this was about on par with that. I still feel like BUSHI and Titán are finding their groove but aren’t quite there yet the way some other teams are. Akira and TJP continued to show off some sweet tag team offense and look like the smoothest team in the division. What I liked here was that it wasn’t totally tag formula. We got a mild tag after about five minutes but following that, this was pretty even. It was just two teams trading relatively big moves and that worked for it. Plus, it had drama because while I didn’t expect Catch 22’s streak to end, it wasn’t to the point where I didn’t buy into LIJ. Titán took out TJP and then hit the double stomp on Akira, allowing BUSHI to secure the pin in 14:40. The United Empire boys are three for three in really good main events. [***½]

The final score: review Average
The 411
A show bookended by two very good matches. Watch those (even though they aren’t at the top of the list of must-see matches this month) and skip the middle as it’s all mediocre there.