NJPW World Tag League live results: Tanahashi & Okada team up
World Tag League action heads to Korakuen Hall this morning, but a much more interesting match will be taking place outside of the tournament.
For what may be the first time since Okada’s return from excursion, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada will join forces in a tag team match, partnering with KUSHIDA to take on the Bullet Club team of Jay White, Bad Luck Fale and Taiji Ishimori. Tanahashi, Okada and KUSHIDA all have their reasons for wanting to their hands on the Bullet Club, who have gained strength under Jay White.
As far as the World Tag League goes, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano (10) will take on SANADA & EVIL (10) in the co-main event. Other tournament matches include Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (6) vs. Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi (8) in a battle of Suzuki-gun members, Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page (6) vs. Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga (8), Toa Henare & Togi Makabe (2) vs. Best Friends (8), Killer Elite Squad (8) vs. Tencozy (4), Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi (2) vs. David Finlay and Juice Robinson (6) and the team of Michael Elgin and Jeff Cobb (6) vs. Shota Umino and Ayato Yoshida (0).
Join us this morning starting at 4:30 a.m. PT. There will not be English commentary.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: JEFF COBB & MICHAEL ELGIN DEFEATED SHOTA UMINO & AYATO YOSHIDA (8:00)
A solid opener, everyone worked hard.
Elgin and Umino pushed each other before the match. Those two began the match as the legal men. Elgin did some power stuff, and Umino came back with a back elbow. Cobb jumped in for a double backbreaker on Umino.
Elgin and Cobb did their handoff delayed vertical suplex spot, into a standing moonsault from Cobb for a two count. Umino hit Cobb with a dropkick, but Cobb didn’t go down, bracing himself against the ropes.
Umino came off the top with a dropkick, taking out both Cobb and Elgin. Yoshida got a tag and wet for a slam, but couldn’t get it. Cobb took a Bret Hart front turnbuckle bump, and this time Yoshida got the slam.
Yoshida used a guillotine on Cobb, while Umino locked Elgin in an armbar. Cobb and Elgin powered out, slamming Umino and Yoshida into each other. Umino hit the ropes, and ran right into a superkick from Elgin. Yoshida used a rollup on Cobb for a nearfall.
Elgin hit an enziguri, and Elgin and Cobb hit their double team backstabber for a nearfall. Cobb then hit the tour of the islands on Yoshida, and pinned him.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: DAVID FINLAY & JUICE ROBINSON DEFEATED MANABU NAKANISHI & YUJI NAGATA (9:15)
It’s tough to have a good match with Nakanishi, but these guys tried. Nakanishi works hard, but he moves in slow motion.
Finlay and Nagata started off. Juice jumped in to try to double team Nagata, but Nagata used his wisdom and experience to thwart their efforts, hitting a low dropkick to their legs.
Juice and Nakanishi got tags. Nakanishi hit some chops, but missed a knee drop and sold his leg. Juice hit a suplex and a senton. Juice and Finlay worked over Nakanishi’s left arm. Nakanishi avoided a double bulldog, then suplexed both Juice and Finlay at the same time.
Nagata tagged in and ran wild on Finlay with kicks. He hit a boot in the corner, followed by an exploder for a nearfall. Finlay hit a back elbow, then tagged Juice. Juice missed a cannonball, and Nagata was able to tag out.
Nakanishi hit a lariat, knocked Finlay off the apron, then hit a double sledge. Juice reversed an irish whip, and placed Nakanishi on the top rope. He called for a brainbuster. Finlay jumped in, but Nakanishi kicked both of them off, and hit a high cross off the top.
Nagata put Finlay in a Nagata lock, while Nakanishi used the rack on Juice. Nagata hit a boot, Nakanishi hit a spear, Nagata hit another boot, and Nakanishi covered Juice for a nearfall.
Nakanishi hit throat punches to Juice and Finlay, but then ran into a double dropkick. Finlay hit a cutter, and Juice hit pulp friction for the win.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: HIROYOSHI TENZAN & SATOSHI KOJIMA DEFEATED DAVEY BOY SMITH JR. & LANCE ARCHER (11:01)
Smith and Archer took most of the match, and looked like killers in doing so. The fans loved the finish, and everyone sold this as an upset.
Smith and Kojima began the match. Kojima couldn’t handle Smith’s power, and tagged out. Archer and Tenzan entered. Archer mocked Kojima’s chops in the corner and Tenzan’s mongolian chops.
Smith used a crab on Tenzan, then just gave up the hold. Archer and Smith continued to work Tenzan over. Tenzan hit what was supposed to be a spinning wheel kick, and tagged Kojima. Kojima hit both Smith and Archer with the machine gun chops.
Kojima went up top, but got backdropped off. Archer hit a splash off the second for a nearfall. Smith went for a powerbomb, but Kojima hit a Koji cutter, then tagged Tenzan.
Tenzan hit Smith with some chops, then called for a brainbuster. Smith blocked it, but Tenzan hit a suplex for a nearfall. Smith and Archer hit Tenzan with a Hart attack out of nowhere. Smith hit a chop block and got a two count.
They teased a killer bomb, but Kojima broke it up, then low-bridged Archer over the top to the floor. Tenzan and Kojima hit a double team cutter, but Archer broke up the pin.
Tenzan went up top, and hit Smith with a moonsault. He made a cover, and got the pin.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: TOA HENARE & TOGI MAKABE DEFEATED CHUCKIE T & BERETTA BY DQ (11:18)
Kind of a weird place on the card to do an angle for a company that doesn’t shoot a lot of angles, but here we are.
Makabe beat on Chuckie at the outset. Henare tagged in, and aside from a brief flurry of hip tosses, he didn’t fare very well. Beretta hit a superkick, and Henare sold it incredibly well. All of Henare’s selling was good here, actually.
Beretta hit a top rope rana for a nearfall, and a bridging suplex for another. Chuckie tagged in and Henare hit him with a brainbuster, then tagged Makabe.
Makabe hit ten punches in the corner, and dropped Chuckie with a lariat for a two count. Makabe hit both Best Friends with a double clothesline, then tagged Henare. Henare hit a corner lariat, then blocked a tornado DDT attempt, countering it with a brainbuster.
Henare and Beretta traded lariats and release germans. Beretta hit a dropkick, then tagged Chuckie. Chuckie threw Henare into the crowd, hit him with chairs, then slammed him twice on a pile of chairs.
Chuckie was selling like he snapped, and threw a pile of chairs and a table into the ring. He threw a chair at Henare’s head, and the ref called for a DQ.
Chuckie continued his attack after the match. Beretta tried to stop him, but Chuckie punched him in the face.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: TAMA TONGA & TANGA LOA DEFEATED YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & HANGMAN PAGE (10:57)
Really good action. Everyone had their working shoes on.
Tama Tonga and Page started off with a great sequence of reversals and teases that the crowd went nuts for. Yujiro and Loa tagged in. Loa and Tonga double teamed and taunted Yujiro for a while. Yujiro hit a suicide dive, which also got a big reaction.
Yujiro teased a second dive, but as he hit the ropes, Jado hit him with a kendo stick. Loa worked over Page and Yujiro on the floor, while Tonga stood in the ring, being cool. Tonga and Loa worked over Yujiro forever, and taunted him with two sweets.
Tonga missed a corner splash, and Yujiro hit a fisherman’s suplex. Page got a tag and went nuts. He might have the best hot tag in the business right now. He went nuts with dives, and hit Tonga with a discus lariat for a two count.
Page went to the top rope, but Loa cut him off, and hit a shoulder breaker on the apron. Loa hit a blue thunder bomb for a two count. Yujiro jumped in and clotheslined Tonga on the top rope, then hit Loa with a low dropkick.
Page flew in with the buckshot lariat on Loa for a two count. Jado hit Yujiro with the stick on the floor. Page escaped a gun stun, but fell victim to a Tongan twist, and Loa pinned him.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: ZACK SABRE JR. & TAICHI DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI & TAKASHI IIZUKA (14:19)
I loved this match. It featured both incredible and terrible wrestling. It showcased the realest of real wrestlers, and two absolute cartoon characters. Nine stars.
Suzuki and Sabre started out, and it was awesome. Suzuki had counters for Sabre’s submissions, Sabre had counters for those, and then Suzuki countered those. Sabre used a backslide for a two count. Suzuki used a kimura, then an armbar, but Sabre reached the ropes, and the place went nuts for the exchange.
Then their cartoon character tag partners tagged in. Taichi tried to convince Iizuka to bite Suzuki as he took his muzzle off, but of course Iizuka bit everyone but Suzuki. This quickly turned into a crazy brawl all around the arena.
They finally got back in the ring. Taichi took his pants off. Iizuka kicked out of a PK from Sabre. Sabre kicked out of a PK. Iizuka broke out the iron glove. Taichi brought in the mic stand. Sabre used a bridge to cover Iizuka, but Iizuka reversed it into a sleeper, while Suzuki applied a sleeper to Taichi.
Sabre kicked out of the sleeper, then used a double wrist clutch to flip into a bridge for the pin on Iizuka.
WORLD TAG LEAGUE MATCH: SANADA & EVIL DEFEATED TORU YANO & TOMOHIRO ISHII (14:21)
This was a lot of fun. SANADA didn’t do a lot of his trademark flying stuff, but the match didn’t really call for it.
SANADA and Yano did some comedy spots. SANADA tied Yano in the paradise lock around the bottom rope, then left him there, while EVIL And Ishii brawled all around the building. EVIL worked Ishii over in the ring, then tagged SANADA.
SANADA hit a standing moonsault for a nearfall. SANADA went for skull end, but Ishii blocked it, then hit a brainbuster. Yano got a tag and untied a corner pad. Yano hit SANADA with the pad, and SANADA sold it like he was dead.
Yano tried to apply the paradise lock to SANADA, but SANADA popped up and used the hold on Yano, then hit him in the butt with the corner pad.
Ishii and EVIL tagged in and ran at each other full force, repeatedly. Ishii used a tackle and a suplex for a nearfall. SANADA came in, and provided EVIL the chance to hit Ishii with a lariat for a nearfall.
EVIL and SANADA went for the magic killer, but Ishii slipped out. EVIL hit Ishii with a lariat for a two count. SANADA hit a springboard dropkick, and EVIL hit darkness falls for a two count. SANADA hit a pescado to Yano, while Ishii dropped EVIL with a regular lariat, then a sliding lariat.
Ishii got a nearfall off the lariats. EVIL and Ishii teased hitting their finishers, then hit simultaneous headbutts, into a double down.
SANADA and Yano got tags. Yano ran into an exposed buckle, then sent SANADA into the buckle. Ishii hit a lariat, and Yano used a rollup for a pin attempt, but EVIL broke it up. EVIL sent Yano into the exposed buckle. Ishii broke up the magic killer.
SANADA avoided several low blow attempts, then used an O’Connor roll for the pin on Yano.
JAY WHITE, BAD LUCK FALE & TAIJI ISHIMORI DEFEATED HIROSHI TANAHASHI, KAZUCHIKA OKADA & KUSHIDA (12:44)
This felt rushed. They seem pretty intent on ending these Tag League shows at exactly two and a half hours, which is fine, but it hurt this match here.
The Bullet Club jumped Okada before Tanahashi and KUSHIDA made their entrance. Okada’s partners ran in for the save, and they cleared the ring. Tana and Okada hit a double team back elbow on White, which got a big reaction, as the match started off hot.
Okada hit the ropes, but Gedo tripped him, allowing White to suplex him over the top to the floor. The pace slowed as Ishimori, Fale and White took over. They fought around ringside, with the Bullet Club in full control.
KUSHIDA jumped in for a save, but Ishimori fought him off. Fale worked over Okada with body slams. White tagged in to try to steal a quick pin, but Okada kicked out. White escaped a flapjack and hit a Saito suplex for two.
Fale tagged in, and promptly ate an Okada DDT. Okada tagged Tanahashi, who got a huge reaction. Tana cleared the apron, hit Fale with a low dropkick, then hit slingblade. Fale caught Tana coming off the ropes and went for the grenade, but Tana blocked it.
Tana went for a slam, but Fale blocked it. Fale went for a suplex, but Tana blocked it and hit a dragon screw. Tana went for a sunset flip, but Fale sat down on his chest. Both tagged out.
Ishimori and KUSHIDA entered and put on an incredible exhibition. KUSHIDA hit a handspring elbow on an interfering White, and a cartwheel dropkick. Ishimori hit a handspring kick and a sliding german.
As White continued to work on Okada on the floor, KUSHIDA hit a springboard, right into Fale’s arms. Tana stopped Fale from hitting the grenade, and hit him with a dragon screw. Okada jumped in and hit a dragon screw on White.
KUSHIDA went for back to the future, but Ishimori countered into a lung blower. Gedo took the ref, while Ishimori swung a weapon at KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA ducked, and applied the hoverboard lock.
White came in for the save and hit the blade runner on KUSHIDA. Ishimori followed with a bloody cross, and pinned KUSHIDA.
After the match, the Bullet club left the faces laying. White hit Okada and Tanahashi with blade runners, then cut a promo running down Okada and Tanahashi. He said that neither man can beat him, not even when they team up. White says this is the cutthroat era of the Bullet Club.
CURRENT WORLD TAG LEAGUE STANDINGS
SANADA & EVIL 12
Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi 10
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii 10
Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa 10
Jeff Cobb & Michael Elgin 8
Beretta & Chuckie T 8
David Finlay & Juice Robinson 8
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer 8
Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka 6
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima 6
Yujiro Takahashi & Hangman Page 6
Togi Makabe & Toa Henare 4
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi 2
Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida 0