11/30 NJPW “World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League 2022” results: Vetter’s review of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano vs. Yoshi-Hashi and Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito and Sanada vs. Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls, Aussie Open vs. Evil and Yujiro Takahashi, Aaron Henare and Great O Khan vs. Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer, and Alex Coughlin and Gabriel Kidd vs. Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens in World Tag League matches

By Chris Vetter, ProWrestling.net Contributor (@chrisvetter73)

New Japan Pro Wrestling “World Tag League & Super Jr. Tag League 2022”
November 30, 2022 in Shizuoka, Japan at Twin Messe Shizuoka North Hall
Streamed live on New Japan World

NJPW is running both the Super Junior and World Tag League simultaneously over 17 shows across a 24-day span. These 10 teams will compete in a round-robin format, so each team has nine matches, with the tournament winners earning a title shot at Wrestle Kingdom. Each win is worth two points. This is the fourth show for World Tag League; this is overall show #8 of 17 in the tournament, as we near the half-way point.

As I write this before watching the show, I’m perplexed that a Toru Yano match is in the main event. That is akin to putting R-Truth, or Danhausen, in the headliner slot. Entering this show, Aussie Open is the final undefeated team at 3-0, but we have several at 2-1. I am expecting the teams of Goto and Yoshi-Hoshi, Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki, and Tetsuya Naito and Sanada, to join Aussie Open and keep separating themselves from the rest of the pack.

To the show! This is another one of the large gyms that NJPW runs shows with maybe 500-700 in attendance, all on the floor. There is only Japanese commentary.

1. Yuto Nakashima and Oskar Leube defeated Tomoaki Honma and Ryohei Oiwa at 8:58. Oiwa and Nakashima started. Honma and Oiwa worked over Leube’s left leg and this is all very basic. Yuto made the hot tag and worked over Honma. Oiwa applied a Boston Crab on Yuto, but Yuto reached the ropes. Nakashima applied a Boston Crab, and Oiwa tapped out! The Young Lions actually won a match against a team with an established roster member (Honma)!

2. El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Douki defeated Clark Connors, Master Wato, and Kosei Fujita at 8:24. Again, Desperado and Wato will meet in a four-way at Wrestle Kingdom on Jan. 4, and that’s the main storyline here, and they opened the match against each other and traded chops. They brawled on the floor. Kanemaru and Douki are off to a 0-5 start in the Super Junior tournament; the heels began taking turns working over Wato. Wato hit a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker over his knee on Douki at 4:30.

Connors made the hot tag and hit a spear in the corner on Douki. Douki fired back with a DDT. Fujita entered for the first time at 6:00 and traded blows with Kanemaru, and Fujita applied a Boston Crab. Connors hit a Pounce on Douki. Kanemaru applied a Figure Four Leglock on Fujita, who tapped out.

3. “Los Ingobernobles de Japon” Shingo Takagi, Bushi, Titan, and Hiromu Takahashi defeated “The Bullet Club” Taiji Ishimori, Gedo, Ace Austin, and Chris Bey at 11:01. Hiromu and Ishimori charged at each other at the bell; they also are in that Jan. 4 four-way match. Both the teams of Titan and Bushi, as well as Austin and Bey, are off to 4-1 starts in the Super Juniors tag tournament. The BC all began working over Hiromu. Hiromu hit a Falcon Arrow on Ishimori at 6:00, and he finally made the hot tag to Titan.

Titan hit his springboard huracanrana on Ace, then a flip dive to the floor on Ace and Bey. Shingo tagged in for the first time at 8:30 and he hit a double clothesline on Ace and Bey. Gedo tagged in for the first time and brawled with Shingo. Shingo hit a DDT for a nearfall. Gedo got some brass knuckles, but Shingo avoided being hit. Each LIJ member hit a clothesline in the corner on Gedo, then Shingo hit his Pumping Bomber decapitating clothesline to pin Gedo. Fun match.

4. “The Bullet Club” Chase Owens and Bad Luck Fale (4) defeated Gabriel Kidd and Alex Coughlin (0) in a tournament match at 9:50. Kidd and Chase opened with basic standing reversals, and the BC worked him over early on. Kidd finally hit a superkick on Fale; he dove for the hot tag at 6:00, but Owens pulled Coughlin off the ring apron. Fale continued to beat down Kidd in the ring, and this has been fairly basic.

Coughlin finally made the hot tag, but he couldn’t pick up Fale for a bodyslam. Fale responded with a shoulder tackle and an elbow drop for a nearfall. Fale clotheslined Kidd while Owens hit a German Suplex; nice team move. Coughlin got Fale up for the bodyslam at 9:30 and the announcers went nuts. However, Owens grabbed Coughlin, hit the Package Piledriver, and scored the pin. At 2-2, the Bullet Club stays in the hunt.

5. Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer (6) defeated “United Empire” Great-O-Khan and Aaron Henare (4) in a tournament match at 13:44. Before the match begins, I am declaring this should have been the main event, as both are 2-1. Suzuki and Archer attacked as they entered the ring, and they all brawled on the floor to start the match. In the ring, the UE worked over Suzuki in their corner. Suzuki applied a cross-armbreaker in the ropes on Henare at 3:30.

Archer tagged in and stood on Henare, and they began working him over. Archer dropped him with a forearm shot. O-Khan got in at 7:30 and he dropped Suzuki with a shoulder tackle. They began trading forearm shots, with GOK putting his arms behind his back allowing Minoru to lay some stiff blows in. Archer re-entered at 9:30; he and GOK each applied a Claw on the other’s face. O-Khan switched to an anklelock on the mat, and Archer scrambled to reach the ropes. Suzuki entered and hit some headbutts.

Archer hit running elbow shots in the corner on each opponent. O-Khan hit his Sheepkiller move over his knee on Archer, with Henare making the cover for a believable nearfall; I thought that was it. Henare hit a running knee in the corner on Archer. However, Archer hit the Blackout flipping Razor’s Edge to pin Henare. That was really, really good, and the Archer/Suzuki team has been a delight here.

6. “Aussie Open” Kyle Fletcher and Mark Davis (w/Gideon Grey) (8) defeated “The House of Torture” EVIL and Yujiro Takahashi (w/Dick Togo, Sho) (0) in a tournament match at 11:32. While AO are 3-0 and HoT are 0-3, I am on ‘upset alert,’ as I think they might cheat to win. HoT attacked at the bell and they all brawled on the floor. In the ring, EVIL and Yujiro began working over Fletcher. Fletcher nailed a Tiger Suplex on EVIL at 5:30 and he made the hot tag.

Davis entered and hit chops and forearm shots, then a double clothesline. The HoT began a basic beatdown of Davis. Yujiro hit a fisherman’s suplex for a nearfall at 8:00. Fletcher hit his Doomsday stunner on Yujiro for a nearfall. Sho hopped on the ring apron to distract the ref, and Togo hopped in the ring and hit the AO with chair shots. Gideon hopped in the ring to make the save, but they attacked him too. Great-O-Khan ran into the ring and beat up Sho and Togo and chased them away. Gideon hit a low blow kick on Yujiro. AO then hit the Korealis swinging slam on Yujiro for the pin. AO remains undefeated, while the House of Torture is now 0-9 between the two tournaments.

7. “The Mighty Don’t Kneel” Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls (6) defeated “Los Ingobernobles de Japon” Tetsuya Naito and Sanada (4) in a tournament match at 12:00 even. This also would have been a better choice for headliner. Naito and Nicholls started. They brawled to the floor, where Naito whipped him into a guardrail at 3:30. In the ring, Sanada began targeting Nicholls’ left arm, and the LIJ stayed in charge. Haste made the hot tag at 6:30 and he hit a Saito Suplex on Sanada, then a reverse suplex, dropping Naito on his stomatch for a nearfall.

Naito nailed a tornado DDT on Haste, and they were both down at 8:30. Sanada hit a plancha to the floor. TMDK hit a team neckbreaker move on Sanada, and Nicholls hit a DDT. Sanada fired back with a stunner on Nicholls, but he missed a moonsault. Naito went for a Destino, but TMDK caught him and hit a team slam. Haste and Nicholls hit a team faceplant move in the corner to pin Sanada. I’ll call this the biggest upset of either tournament so far.

8. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toru Yano (4) defeated Hirooki Goto and Yoshi-Hoshi (4) in a tournament match at 13:40. This is a babyface matchup, with Yano and Goto starting. Yano removed a corner ring pad, and he whipped Goto, then Yoshi-Hoshi, into the exposed corner. Tanahashi got in and worked over Goto’s left knee. Yano and Hiroshi dropped him with a team shoulder tackle at 4:30. Goto hit a clothesline and made the hot tag to Yoshi-Hoshi, who hit a Rude Awakening standing neckbreaker on Hiroshi, and he took control of the offense. They began trading forearm shots.

Goto and Yano re-entered at 7:00, with Goto hitting a spin kick in the corner and a running bulldog for a nearfall. They traded forearm shots, with Hirooki getting the better of the exchange. Yano grabbed his hair and pulled him to the mat. Yano gave Goto a slingshot into the corner, with his head hitting the exposed metal loop. Yoshi-Hoshi made the hot tag and traded more blows with Hiroshi. Yoshi-Hoshi hit a clothesline for a nearfall at 9:30. Tanahashi fired back with a swinging neckbreaker and a sling blade clothesline for a nearfall.

Tanahashi went for the High Fly Flow frogsplash on Yoshi-Hoshi, but YH got his knees up to block it. They traded more forearm shots and the crowd is really into this. YH hit a superkick, and Goto hit his neckbreaker over his knee on Hiroshi. Hiroshi hit another sling blade on Yoshi-Hoshi, and he again went for the High Fly Flow, but Goto cut him off as he climbed the corner. Yano hopped in the ring hit a low blow on Goto, then a powerbomb on Yoshi-Hoshi. Hiroshi immediately hit the High Fly Flow frogsplash to pin Yoshi-Hoshi. I’ll call that an upset, too. Tanahashi addressed the crowd after the match.

Final Thoughts: The main event topped expectations, largely because Tanahashi worked the bulk of the match, and Yano’s comedy was pretty much limited to removing the corner ring pad. That said, it was only the third-best match of the show. I’ll still give Archer-Suzuki best match, with the TMDK-Naito/Sanada match second best, with the surprise win for Haste and Nicholls.

So, Aussie Open remains undefeated in first place at 4-0, Suzuki/Archer and TMDK both at 3-1, and fine other teams in the hunt at 2-2. I am intrigued with what story they are telling with the incredibly flat House of Torture, as EVIL’s squad is 0-4, while Sho and Togo are 0-5. Is it time to break them up? They need to do something. Sho is just too good to be wasted like this.

I have written this in prior reviews, but I think NJPW is doing a great job of rotating roster members who are appearing in the undercard matches, as most of the participants in the Super Juniors tournament had the day off. The tournament has another rare day off on Thursday. Friday is the second “super show” with all 20 teams over both tournaments in action.

SPECIAL EPISODE

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