Wednesday, November 25, 2015

NJPW World Tag League 2015 Nights Two and Three Review

NJPW World Tag League 2015
Nights Two and Three | Aichi, Japan and Mie, Japan

The entire second night is available but I have been very pressed for time and was only able to see the Tag League matches. For night three, the only matches available are the World Tag League ones, so there will be six matches reviewed here. Also, these shows were all single camera shows with no commentary, so they really had a house show feel.

Block A
Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata [2] def. Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma [0] in 10:06

I still expect Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma to win this tournament, but they’re making it hard after two shows. Manabu Nakanishi really struggles when he has to move in the ring but he still can do well when he stands still and just hammers on his opponent. Honma and his headbutts are still absurdly over and it added to the overall feel of the match. The battle between Yuji Nagata and Honma was the highlight. Nagata put him down with a backdrop. This was a solid match but it was nothing special. **¾

Block B
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima [2] def. AJ Styles and Yujiro Takahashi [0] in 11:56

AJ Styles is the person that I honestly believe is the best wrestler in the world currently. Unfortunately, his partner is one of the worst singles wrestlers in New Japan in my eyes, Yujiro Takahashi. This match didn’t feature enough AJ Styles for my liking. Tenzan and Kojima have some of the best chemistry in New Japan since they’ve been together for so long. The best parts involved AJ and the finish came when Yujiro was in. He ate a lariat from Kojima that ended things. Decent at best. **½

Block A
Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI [2] def. Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga [0] in 11:16

Man, the Bullet Club aren’t doing so hot in this are they? This was another pretty good match. I’ve gone on record to state that I’m impressed by Tama Tonga and I think pairing him with Bad Luck Fale allows for him to get more shine, since Fale doesn’t always do a ton. Kazuchika Okada is obviously great and his time in the ring is certainly fun. His back and forth with Tonga was cool and it’s a pairing that I would love to see more of in the future. Tonga has grown past his current role. Anyway, he got hit with the Rainmaker, giving Chaos a .500 record. **¾

Block B
Los Ingobernables [4] def. The Kingdom [0] w/ Maria Kanellis in 9:53

This was the first World Tag League match of night three. It was interesting to see the Kingdom work as faces. They pretty much had to since Tetsuya Naito and EVIL did so well as the heels and, I mean, who really wants to boo Maria Kanellis? They also looked like the polar opposites of their opponents thanks to their incredibly bright attire. The MVP of this thing was Naito. He just absolutely nails this gimmick. Los Ingobernables held serve for the most part, until the Kingdom made their rally. It was a pretty decent rally considering they don’t usually do that part of the match. Maria got on the apron but instead of being smitten, EVIL just tried to attack her. Mist from BUSHI and Destino by Naito gave his guys the two points in an okay bout. **¼

Block A
Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin [4] def. The Addiction [0] in 13:15

I felt like there was some potential in this match when I first looked at it. Unfortunately, something felt off about it. The Addiction have great chemistry and the tandem of Elgin and Tanahashi work exceptionally well together but this was still missing something. While the crowd isn’t into the Addiction yet, they love Tanahashi and Elgin so they were loud for the match. Granted, I’m not saying this was bad, because it absolutely wasn’t. It was just solid, which is fine, but I wanted more. After Tanahashi got rod if Daniels, that left Kazarian as easy pickings for an Elgin powerbomb. **¾ 

Block B
Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata [4] def. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson [0] in 14:43

These teams met in the Tag League last year, at Wrestle Kingdom to start the year and at New Beginnings. They traded the belts during that time. Due to all of those past outings, these are four men who know how to work with each other. While the last match maybe lacked some chemistry and communication, that wasn’t the case here. I genuinely enjoy Gallows and Anderson and have grown to love Meiyu Tag. They played off some old matches and threw in some brawling to give it a different feel. Still, I don’t think this quite reached the level they are capable of. It was the best match of the two nights though. Shibata hit Gallows with the PK to make the champions 0-2. ***

Overall: 5/10. Not a bad six matches by any means but nothing that would kick yourself over if you missed. A very average series of matches and, while not must-see, there are certainly worse wrestling to watch for a little over an hour.