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Pantoja’s NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League Review 11.30.22

December 1, 2022 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
NJPW World Tag League Image Credit: NJPW
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Pantoja’s NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League Review 11.30.22  

NJPW World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League Night 8

November 30th, 2022 | Twin Messe Shizuoka in Suruga Ward, Shizuoka | Attendance: 498

Hey, I’ve got the chance to actually catch up today with no 12/1 show.

Alex Coughlin and Gabriel Kidd [0] vs. Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens [2]

One of the best teams in the tournament against some former IWGP Tag Champions. Again, Coughlin and Kidd were impressive while the Bullet Club team kind of just existed. You can almost always tell who is going to deliver on these shows and the Young Lions are among them, while you can expect minimal stuff from Fale and co. This was a basic match with nothing special happening until commentary popped hard for Coughlin getting Fale up for a slam. Fale is the closest thing the company has to a consistent monster so that’ll always get a reaction. That was followed by Owens planting Coughlin with Package Piledriver in 10:05. Inoffensive. [**]

Aaron Henare and The Great-O-Khan [4] vs. Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki [4]

On paper, this feels like it should’ve been the main event, especially over what we got. Both teams have a shot at finishing second to Aussie Open. They delivered the hard hitting match I was hoping for. It was intriguing to see Suzuki as the guy taking the heat for a while. He doesn’t usually get beaten up but GOK and Henare are guys tough enough to do it. Archer coming in hot is a move that always works though. The Sheepkiller nearly ended Archer to the point where I believed in a near fall. Archer rallied and hit the Blackout on Henare to secure the win in 13:34. A stiff battle between two tough ass teams that was just what I wanted from them. [***½]

Aussie Open [6] vs. EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi [0]

We got the top of the tournament against the bottom of the standings. You know how this goes for me. I don’t put in much effort for House of Torture matches and this was no different. Dick Togo and SHO got involved and you’d think the stable would stop cheating since they’re 0-the tournaments doing so. Gideon Grey helped combat them and Aussie Open won after Korealis on Yujiro in 11:20. EVIL and Yujiro bring out the worst in everyone. [*½]

SANADA and Tetsuya Naito [4] vs. TMDK [4]

Another match I would’ve put on last instead of what we’re getting. I mentioned it before but TMDK is ideal for New Japan because they have good matches but are kind of bland. That’s how New Japan operates a lot of the time. We got some brawling outside in the early goings before Nicholls got isolated a bit and had his arm worked over. Haste got the hot tag about halfway through the bout and busted out things like a Saito suplex. The back half of this match saw bigger moves like tandem neckbreakers, DDTs, and TMDK cutting off Destino for double team offense. With Naito taken out by that, TMDK dropped SANADA with the Tankbuster to pick up a pretty big upset at the 12:02 mark. I kind of wish that got closer to 15 minutes because it was pretty good down the stretch. [***¼]

Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI [4] vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano [2]

After the banger that Goto and Tanahashi had in the G1, I don’t mind seeing them face off though the majority of their outings haven’t worked for me. Here, Tanahashi handled most of the action, which is usually what you want for a match to be good. They kept the Yano antics to a minimum but there were enough there for me to chuckle a few times. I would’ve expected Tanahashi to get the hot tag here but they isolated Goto and it was YOSHI-HASHI who got the tag instead. It’s not as good when it’s him getting it as he’s better at getting his ass kicked. Goto cut off a High Fly Flow attempt, saving HASHI but then Yano hit him with a low blow. A powerbomb and High Fly Flow on HASHI ended this in 13:44. That was a perfectly acceptable main event. [***]

The final score: review Average
The 411
It’s a World Tag League show. There’s not much else I need to say about it. Watch the Archer/Suzuki vs. United Empire match and nothing else is must see but you won’t have a bad time with the main event or LIJ/TMDK.