NJPW “Wrestling World 2024” results (4/14): Vetter’s review of the four team tournament to crown new Never Openweight Six-Man Tag Champions


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

New Japan Pro Wrestling “Wrestling World 2024”
April 14, 2024 in Taipei, Taiwan at Zepp New Taipei
Streamed live on New Japan World

This show features a four-team tournament to crown the new Never Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions. The prior champions, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Tomohiro Ishii, vacated the belts. This is a large theatre/concert hall, with the ring on the stage, so the fans are all seated below the hard camera. (And I do mean ON the stage; they teased tossing people off the stage to the seating area six or so feet below.) It appears to be several hundreds, if not a thousand, in attendance.

1. Touyuu defeated Axe Wang at 8:53. My first time seeing these two. Touyoo has Shingo Takagi’s haircut — shaved on the sides with a long mullet, and he wore a colorful robe. Wang has black hair that reaches his shoulders and wore a bandana; he may intentionally look like Liu Kang from Mortal Kombat. Basic reversals early and they switched to forearm strikes at 2:30. Wang grounded him with a rear-naked choke, and he hit a dropkick for a nearfall at 4:30. Touyuu hit a superkick and a stunner for a nearfall. Wang hit a top-rope crossbody block for a nearfall at 7:00. Touyuu hit an enzuigiri. Wang hit a German Suplex with a bridge for a believable nearfall. He missed a top-rope elbow drop. Touyuu hit an Air Raid Crash for the pin. I liked what I saw from both men.

2. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Toru Yano, and Boltin Oleg defeated “United Empire” Francesco Akira, Callum Newman, and Great-O-Khan in a first-round tournament match at 10:58. I am fairly certain this is Hiroshi’s first match since he injured a foot against Matt Riddle. Tanahashi and Newman opened, and Tanahashi hit a second-rope crossbody block. Yano and Akira entered at 1:30. Oleg tagged in and hit a double shoulder tackle. O-Khan hit a belly-to-belly slam on Oleg and his Mongolian Chops.

Newman hit a dropkick on Oleg, and Akira hit an assisted moonsault at 4:30. Oleg hit a dropkick on O-Khan. Tanahashi made the hot tag at 6:30 and he hit Dragonscrew Legwhips on each of UE. Newman hit his running Mafia Kick on Yano at 8:30. The UE took turns hitting moves on Yano in a corner. Tanahashi hit a basement dropkick on Newman. Oleg whipped Akira around in his arms. Yano got a rollup on Newman out of nowhere for the pin.

3. “House of Torture” EVIL, Sho, and and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated “Los Ingobernobles de Japon” Bushi, Shingo Takagi, and Yota Tsuji in a first-round tournament match at 9:54. They all brawled at the bell. Yuta hit some forearms on Kanemaru. The HoT worked over Tsuji in their corner. Shingo got a hot tag at 5:00 but he missed a senton on EVIL. He hit a double clothesline on the other two. He hit some elbow strikes to the side of EVIL’s head, and a DDT on Sho at 7:00. Bushi got a hot tag and hit a DDT on Sho for a nearfall. Bushi applied a modified Figure Four on Sho, but Kanemaru sprayed whiskey in Bushi’s eyes! It allowed Sho to nail the Shock Arrow cross-armed piledriver for the pin.

4. Tiger Mask and Satoshi Kojima defeated El Desperado and Shoma Kato at 11:08. Desperado and Tiger Mask opened. Kojima hit a standing neckbreaker on Kato at 2:30 and a bodyslam. TM re-entered and tied Shoma in a Camel Clutch, and they kept Kato in their corner. Kato hit a dropkick on Satoshi. Desperado got the hot tag at 5:30 and he hit some shoulder tackles on Kojima. Satoshi hit his rapid-fire chops on Desperado. TM hit some Yes Kicks on Desperado but he couldn’t hit a Tiger Driver.

Desperado hit a spinebuster on Tiger Mask. Shoma applied a Boston Crab on Tiger Mask at 9:00. Shoma hit a dropkick and a flying forearm for a nearfall. Tiger Mask hit a butterfly suplex for a nearfall. He hit a buzzsaw kick for a believable nearfall. He then hit the Tiger Driver/butterfly powerbomb for the pin.

5. Starlight Kid defeated Hanako at 11:33. I don’t follow Stardom and I don’t think I’ve seen Hanako before; she wore a blue top and bottom and she has really short, brown hair. Starlight Kid wears a Tiger Mask-style hood and is dressed in black; I’ve seen her a few times. They stood toe-to-toe and Hanako is more than a foot taller! A quick internet search says SK is only 4’11” and 108 pounds, and Hanako is listed at 5’11” and 165 pounds. They brawled on the floor early on. Back in the ring, Starlight Kid kept her grounded. Hanako hit a bodyslam for a nearfall at 4:00. She put SK in a Torture Rack and really bent her backward!

Starlight Kid hit a dropkick, then a top-rope crossbody block, then a standing moonsault for a nearfall. She applied a Stretch Muffler leglock, but Hanako reached the ropes at 6:00. Starlight Kid hit some forearms and a chop that dropped Hanako. She went back to the Stretch Muffler, but Hanako again reached the ropes at 8:30. Starlight Kid hit a top-rope twisting frogsplash for a nearfall, but she missed a moonsault. Hanako hit a hard kick to the chest, then a delayed vertical suplex for a nearfall at 10:30, then a German Suplex for a nearfall. Starlight Kid got a huracanrana out of nowhere for the pin. That was really good and best of the show so far.

6. Douki defeated Kosei Fujita at 12:32. Both of these guys are in Best of Super Juniors, so with them competing here, I’m hoping they are in different Blocks in the tournament. Fujita hit a flip dive to the floor and a slingshot senton for a nearfall in the first minute. Douki hit a DDT on the floor. In the ring, Douki hit a standing neckbreaker for a nearfall at 2:30. Fujita hit a suplex for a nearfall. Douki applied the Douki Chokey triangle choke at 6:00. Douki tied Fujita along his back, and he again applied the Douki Chokey at 9:00.

Fujita hit a German Suplex and they were both down. Douki hit an enzuigiri. Fujita hit a roundhouse kick to the jaw. He hit a running kick to the back of the head and another German Suplex for a nearfall at 12:00. Douki tied him in a Gory Special and got a backslide for a nearfall. Douki then hit a Dragon Suplex with a bridge for the pin. Good action.

* Sho attacked Douki from behind and they brawled. Douki left with Sho’s IWGP Juniors Title.

7. “Bishamon” Yoshi-Hashi and Hirooki Goto defeated “Just 5 Guys” Sanada and Yuya Uemura to retain the IWGP Tag Team Titles at 20:01. Yuya and Yoshi-Hashi opened. Bishamon hit some team moves on Sanada. Yoshi-Hashi and Yuya traded chops on the floor, right along the edge of the stage. In the ring, Yoshi-Hashi hit a Headhunter flipping neckbreaker on Sanada at 8:30. Goto finally got a hot tag and hit running clotheslines in the corner on each opponent. Yuya tagged in and hit a back suplex on Goto for a nearfall at 11:00.

Goto hit a clothesline and they were both. Goto hit a neckbreaker over his knee on Yuya at 14:30. They set up for Shoto but Sanada made the save. Yoshi-Hashi hit a superkick on Sanada. Sanada hit a Shining Wizard. Yuya hit a top-rope flying crossbody block on Yoshi-Hashi for a nearfall at 16:30. Yuya hit a Pele Kick on Yoshi-Hashi. They traded forearm strikes and punches. Goto hit a clothesine on Yuya, then Yoshi-Hashi rolled up Uemura for the flash pin.

8. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Boltin Oleg, and Toru Yano defeated “House of Torture” EVIL, Sho, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru to win the Never Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Titles at 16:14. The HoT attacked at the bell and they hog-tied Yano on the floor. They stomped on Tanahashi in the ring. EVIL choked Yano in the ring and got a nearfall at 7:00, and they worked over Yano. Oleg got a hot tag and hit a double suplex at 10:30. He tossed Kanemaru around in his arms before hitting a gut-wrench suplex. He hit a belly-to-belly suplex on EVIL for a nearfall. EVIL hit a low blow on Oleg.

HIroshi entered at 13:30 and hit a flying forearm, then a second-rope summersault senton on EVIL for a nearfall. Sho grabbed his wrench, but Tanahashi avoided being hit by it. Yano hit double low blow uppercuts! Tanahashi hit a Sling Blade clothesline on Sho. Oleg hit a forward Finlay Roll! Tanahashi then hit a High Fly Flow frogsplash for the pin on Sho!

Final Thoughts: An okay show with certainly a surprising winner to the mini-tournament, as I would have put Tanahashi’s team as the most unlikely of the four squads to win it. Seeing Oleg, who is still a Young Lion, with a title belt is a bit surreal, and Yano’s juvenile antics are more “miss” than “hit” with me over the years. But of course, no one wanted to see House of Torture win those belts.

A typical Bishamon tag match, meaning the first half had very little describable action, but it picked up a bit at the end. They got a clean win, but hardly a decisive one. Between Windy City Riot and the match here, it is clear NJPW is wise to mix in some women’s matches onto shows; I want to see more of that. Maybe it’s because it was new to me, but that was the standout match tonight. Obviously, half of the NJPW roster was in Chicago this weekend, so that limited who was available. So, it’s notable that Yoh (who appeared to dislocate his shoulder a week ago) and Henare (severe cut on his head in a cage match a month ago) were not in action.


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