NJPW: World Tag League 2020 Opening Night (11.15.20)

NOVEMBER 15, 2020

AICHI PREFECTURAL GYMNASIUM

– It’s the opening night of the Best of Super Juniors Tournament, in conjunction with the opening night of the 2020 edition of World Tag League.  Rick Poehling will be handling the Juniors portion each night.   I will be your concierge for the World Tag League portion over the next month.  Let me show you to your room. 

WORLD TAG LEAGUE #1

Chase Owens & Bad Luck Fale (0 points) vs. Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii (0 points)

– Been a while since I’ve seen Owens or Fale.  Owens starts with Ishii and both are victims of outside interference at the get-go.  Match breaks down literally 13 seconds in.  Why does New Japan even employ referees?  Somehow Fale is legal with Ishii, but i never saw a tag.  Maybe there was?  Yano argues with the ref while Owens double teams Ishii.  Owens misses a knee and Ishii lands the high German sulpex.  Yano tags in and takes off the corner pad immediately.  Here comes Fale, misses a charge, Yano attempts a slam.  Fale reverses and dumps him hard.  Ishii and Yano both thrown into the exposed corner.  Fale and Owen miss the charge, Fale goes for the slam, Ishii pushes Yano on top.  Owens attempts a splash but misses.  Yano and Ishii dog pile on top for the win @ 5:35.  (What a useless opener.  Yano has been very entertaining as of late with his thwarted G1 run and his KOPW trophy.  But even this wasn’t up to his usual par. And Ishii can usually put on a half assed great match in his sleep.  But this wasn’t it.  DUD.)

 

WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH #2

Toa Henare & Hiroshi Tanahashi (0 points) vs. Great O-Khan & ??? (0 points)

– So Khan has a mystery partner that would be revealed to be Jeff Cobb.  That is about guess number 822 from my list of potential candidates.  Khan and Cobb attack before the bell.  Tour of the Islands on Toa and THANKS…FOR…COMING!  Khan and Cobb win it @ 2:28.  (Well.  Why does Tanahashi team with this guy every year?  Does he just wanna take November off?  DUD.)

 

WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH #3

Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (0 points) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi (0 points)

– Goto and YOSHI actually control the early going on Taichi.  Goto fires up and completely obliterates Taichi in the corner.  Thus, we have to have a ZSJ run-in.  YOSHI hot tags it in and he’s a house ‘o fire!  Low dropkick to the face of Taichi gets 2.  YOSHI attempts a suplex and Taichi battles out.  Axe Bomber drops YOSHI and ZSJ tags in.  Hard elbow in the corner by ZSJ is no-sold and YOSHI is not taking any shit!  ZSJ attempts the front facelock submission and YOSHI powers him up into a delayed suplex!  Goto in to run interference and YOSHI gets a 2.  Taichi in and gets grabbed for a double goozle.  Taichi breaks free.  Attempted suplex on YOSHI is broken up by Goto.  ZSJ back in, rolls up YOSHI for the win @ 10:29!  (I’m never one to give props to YOSHI-HASHI, but he looked fucking incredible in this match.  Showed some fire and the crowd got into it.  Exciting match with a finish that didn’t hurt anyone losing.  B-.)

 

WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH #4

EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi (0 points) vs. SANADA & Shingo Takagi (0 points)

– A quick Too Sweeeeeeet with Dick Togo and the bad guys attack before the bell.  Shingo is wise to these tactics and suplexes EVIL down.  SANADA tags in for a quick cover for 2.  EVIL tries to boot SANADA but gets grounded and almost tied in a Paradise Lock.  EVIL escapes outside and tosses SANADA into the guardrail.  EVIL chokes SANADA with a cord on the floor as the referee half-asses a break.  Dick Togo slowly tries to tie up the ref after the fact.  SANADA thrown back in as Yujiro tags in with legdrops and elbows.  EVIL comes back in just to toss SANADA outside so Togo can beat on him some more.  Yujiro tags back in to exchange suplex attempts with SANADA only to bite free.  SANADA gives him a bite of his own and dropkicks him low.  HOT TAG for Shingo and he wants EVIL.  EVIL comes in illegally and Shingo beats them both on corner charges.  SANADA and EVIL now legal.  Double fisherman busters on LIJ.  EVIL with a fireman’s carry into a layout for 2.  Everything is EVIL countered with a go-behind and Shingo drops EVIL.  Togo is on the apron with the ref so here comes some fuckery.  SANADA with a TKO for 2.  He swings EVIL on the Dragon Sleeper.  Yujiro comes in to distract the ref while Togo tries to choke him with the cable.  SANADA breaks out and rolls up EVIL for 2.  Yujiro jumps in as SANADA scoops him up but EVIL hits a blind low blow.  EVERYTHING IS EVIL wins it @ 12:20.  (These guys are working a very quick pace on night one.  Usual BC bullshit to protect LIJ but it’s getting a little unoriginal.  SANADA and EVIL carried the work load here.  Just an average match.  C.)

WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH #5

Guerillas of Destiny (0 points) vs. David Finlay & Juice Robinson (0 points)

– GOD goes with a double Too Sweeeeeeet before the bell.  Old Man Jado is in their corner.  A fresh-faced, shaven, un-painted Tama Tonga to start with Juice.  Some tight chain wrestling to begin with Tama getting the advantage with a deep headlock.  Finlay blind tags in and elbows Tama down.  Loa tags in but gets trapped in the corner as Juice comes back in the work the arm.  Quick in and out tags for Fin-Juice.  Juice gets backed in the corner as Tama comes back in to give Juice some stiff business.  Loa back in with a cobra clutch to wear down Juice at the 5 minute mark.  Juice is able to break free and dive for the tag to Finlay.  Finlay is all over the place, even taking out Tama on the outside.  Loa meets Finlay on the top rope for  butterfly suplex to the mat.  He tosses Finlay outside as we all wait for Jado to get involved on the floor.  He teases but no payoff yet.  Tama back in to assist a HIGH double back body drop.  GOD tags in and out, making it look flawless.  Almost as if they are bored with how good they are.  Finlay fires up and drops Loa to make the hot tag to Juice.  Juice is handing out spinebusters like its Atlanta on a Saturday night!  Juice wastes time playing to the crowd as he meets Loa with a series of rights and a dropkick.  Old Man Jado grabs Juices leg and gets a dive for his troubles.  Back inside and Loa meets him with an enziguiri.  Michinoku Driver on Juice as both men lay out.  A fresh Tama comes in and just slugs Juice in the face.  Finlay is back in fighting both men but gets caught in an inverted Magic Killer.  Juice fights both off and lands a double flapjack on Tama.  Russin Legsweep into a Diving kick gets 2 on Tama.  Loa breaks up the pin and they hit a second Magic Killer on Juice for 2.99999999!  Juice fights both men until Finlay meets Loa with a top ropes superplex inot a splash from Juice.  LEFT HAND OF GOD ON JADO!  Juice lifts Tama for a DOOMSDAY DEVICE FOR THE WIN @ 16:43!  (Holy shit, what an upset!  I realize they won the thing last year, but GOD doing the honors on the first night stunned me.  GOD really slowed the pace down for the majority in an old school fashion.  I liked it.  Fin-Juice made up for all that in the last 4 minutes with a lot of flashy shit.  C+.)

 

Final Thoughts…

– From what I saw of the Junior matches, they were a lot more exciting than the tags.  Taichi and ZSJ vs. YOSHI and Goto was surprisingly very good.  Plus any GOD match is going to deliver.  If you are looking to just see the best of the opening night.  Go with those two.