New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) is currently winding up the Road to POWER Struggle ~SUPER Jr. TAG LEAGUE 2019~ which culminates this Sunday, November the 3rd at the sold-out Osaka Prefectural Gym (Edion Arena Osaka).
On October 27th, NJPW’s official English Twitter announced the show was officially sold out, which typically accounts for approximately 5,555 to 5,570 tickets.
Super Junior Tag League
Power Struggle will see the finals of the Super Junior Tag League, which headlined the tours October 27th & 28th events live on NJPW World from the legendary Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan.
Titan [CMLL] & Volador Jr [CMLL] v. El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori co-headlined the 27th festivities along with Mega Coaches, Rocky Romero & Ryusuke Taguchi v. Roppongi 3k, SHO & YOH. Despite lower Korakuen Hall attendance (by NJPW standards) earlier during the tour, these matches led to a No Vacancy (Sell Out) crowd of 1,680.
The 28th show had a slightly lower draw of 1,481, yet the co-headlining tournament matches may have surpassed the previous night’s quality. Roppongi 3k faced Titan & Volador Jr, while Mega Coaches and Birds of Prey (Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles) were in the main event.
NJPW receives critique for not heavily investing in their tag divisions; however, the last two nights of tournament matches highlight how the company wishes to portray tag team wrestling.
Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desparado), Roppongi 3k, Mega Coaches, Birds of Prey, and the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori are still alive for the two finalist spots. The tournament itself will be decided on Sunday at the Power Struggle featured event. Roppongi 3k has won both their Super Junior Tag League entries (2017 & 2018) and could find themselves in a familiar spot this year.
Possible Appearances & Implications
Rumors are swirling around Power Struggle itself after IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay accepted a title challenge for Los Ingobernables de Japon (LIJ) member, Bushi. If Birds of Prey do not qualify for the finals, Bushi will likely challenge Ospreay for his title at the event.
If that is the case, Power Struggle could be the sight of the long-awaited return of LIJ member Hiromu Takahashi who has been out with a neck injury since July of last year. Power Struggle could also see current AEW World Champion Chris Jericho make an appearance. Since his interaction with Hiroshi Tanahashi at DOMINION in June, speculation has swirled around whether the two will face one another on one of the Wrestle Kingdom events in January. With Power Struggle being the last featured event before the Wrestle Kingdom spectacle, Jericho making an appearance would make logical sense.
With ‘Switchblade’ Jay White defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito facing Taichi in a special singles match, and KENTA defending the Never Openweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii it’s likely Wrestle Kingdom’s card will begin to take form days after the event comes to a close; probably beginning with a press conference on November 10th.