NJPW’s first joint tournament comes to an end. After long tours full of both World Tag League & Best of The Super Juniors action, the finals are set. Previous year winners FinJuice made the finals of World Tag League alongside Guerrillas of Destiny, who look to take the cup for the first time ever. Meanwhile the BOSJ finals will take place between Hiromu Takahashi & El Desperado, with Takahashi wanting revenge for a brutal beatdown during the tournament. Who would walk away with a ticket to Wrestle Kingdom and with their names etched in history?
Robbie Eagles, SHO & Toru Yano vs. BULLET CLUB (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Taiji Ishimori)
Starting the night off is some BULLET CLUB vs. Chaos action. SHO, Eagles & Yano will take on Fale, Owens & Ishimori. Fale & Owens were subject to Yano hijinks early in World Tag League, while SHO & Eagles had classics with Ishimori in BOSJ. This one should get the fans excited for the rest to come.
This one was just what everyone expected. A fast start with Bad Luck Fale attacking Yano, some great action from Ishimori, SHO, Eagles and Owens, and Bullet Club getting the win after Fale & Owens hit Grenade Launcher to show they’re here to stay in the tag team division. After the match, Yano had his KOPW 2020 trophy stomped by Fale.
Match Rating: 2/5 (**)
Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada & Toa Henare vs. The Empire (Great-O-Khan, Jeff Cobb & Will Ospreay) (w/Bea Priestley)
The Empire is as strong as ever with the addition of Jeff Cobb, and they will be all together for this six man tag. However, they won’t have an easy time as they face a stacked team of Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and the ever improving Henare. Okada meets Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom, and this is another chance to show his former protege how bad of a choice he made with his betrayal.
This was essentially a massacre handled by The Empire. Tanahashi was isolated and destroyed by Great O-Khan, Okada failed to make the save, and Henare was no match for Jeff Cobb. The Empire aren’t playing around on their way into Wrestle Kingdom, but this might give Tanahashi his bath there. O-Khan has a deep and unexplained hatred for Tanahashi, and that might be the match The Ace needs to get back on track, if he recovers from the savage beating from a chair to his leg.
Match Rating: 2.5/5 (** ½)
BULLET CLUB (EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) (w/Dick Togo) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (SANADA & Shingo Takagi)
This time last year, EVIL & SANADA finished World Tag League in second place, falling to FinJuice. Lot’s has changed since then, with EVIL finally living up to this name. With different partners, neither made the finals, but they will now clash once again in a rematch from the World Tag League, which saw SANADA & Shingo Takagi walk away with a loss to start their tournament.
SANADA would be all but removed from the match early on thanks to Dick Togo & EVIL choking him out. Shingo Takagi had a two on one situation briefly, unitl SANADA regained life and we seen a more fired up SANADA than ever. He became unhinged and got violent with his old partner, no longer staying cool.
While SANADA made an attempt on the life of EVIL on the outside, Shingo hit Last of The Dragon to easily beat Yujiro. After the match, SANADA just kept punching EVIL in the head, threw young lions around, and he better save some of this aggression for Wrestle Kingdom.
Match Rating: 3/5 (***)
Kota Ibushi & Master Wato (w/Hiroyoshi Tenzan) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito)
On January 4th under the bright lights of Tokyo Dome, Kota Ibushi will meet Tetsuya Naito for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but tonight he teamed with Master Wato to face Naito & BUSHI. He will look to play with fire like always with Naito, and could light a new fire under Wato who failed to make the finals of Best of Super Juniors in this showcase match.
This was a great intro to anyone who doesn’t know how much Ibushi & Naito hate necks. It wasn’t as great as other encounters due to Wato & BUSHI, but everything between the main two here was fantastic. Naito is tapping more and more into his heel side, and might be vicious come Tokyo Dome. BUSHI was there to take the Kamigoye to end this match, but this won’t be the last time Ibushi & Naito meet on the Road to Tokyo Dome.
Match Rating: 3.5/5 (*** ½)
World Tag League 2020 Final Match: Guerrillas Of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. FinJuice (David Finlay & Juice Robinson)
FinJuice started 2020 with the World Tag League trophy in hand, and faced Guerrillas of Destiny for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions at Wrestle Kingdom, winning one that night. That kicked off a heated rivalry throughout the year, and now we’re back where it all truly began. FinJuice wants to win two in a row, Guerrillas of Destiny just want to finally win this tournament. These teams do not like each other, and that will be shown in this match.
Some early smart moves from FinJuice would see Jado eliminated from ringside, forcing G.O.D to up their game to a higher level with their wildcard gone. They would pull out every trick in their book and wrestled a heel master-class. Any other team would have crumbled, but FinJuice stood their ground and made a huge comeback. While G.O.D are great heels, no one gets a crowd on their side like FinJuice can at this point.
They pulled out moves from tag team legends like The Hart Attack and the Powerplex, but that just wasn’t enough. Jado would find his way back to the ring, and that set up the chaotic finish where KENTA showed up to whack Juice Robinson with the United States Championship briefcase, letting G.O.D nail the super powerbomb for the win. This match was incredible, both teams best match of the year, and a damn good way to close out this tournament. It should be G.O.D vs. Dangerous Tekkers at Tokyo Dome after this, and might have set up Robinson vs. KENTA as well.
Match Rating: 4.5/5 (**** ½)
Best Of The Super Junior XXVII Final Match: El Desperado vs. Hiromu Takahashi
During Best of The Super Juniors, few men were able to figure out how to beat Hiromu Takahashi. Desperado was one of them. His method was to take out the referee, beat the hell out of Hiromus leg with a chair and tap him out. Now they meet again in the final match, the winner getting the trophy and a shot at Taiji Ishimori at Wrestle Kingdom.
There will be no love lost or gained in this one. Hiromu had a message for the two Young Lion proteges, “I knew it all along, I hate your guts.” El Desperado came dressed in white, for the biggest match of his career. He’s always given his all in every single match, and he is now part of the first Junior Heavyweight main event in the legendary Budokan Hall. This means everything to him, but it’ll be even more sweet if he makes it a win. It’s the biggest match ever in the Junior Heavyweight division for this reason, only topped if they main event Tokyo Dome some day.
El Desperado had this match perfectly laid out. He would slow the pace down, not let Hiromu run wild, and destroy the leg. This was a sound plan, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop Takahashi. In full view of Red Shoes Uno, he would beat the leg of Takahashi with a chair once again, and apply the Stretch Muffler. That was not enough this time. Takahashi would fire up, fighting on pure emotion, and choosing to unmask Desperado, and show the world who he truly is.
The final stretch was the type that makes NJPW the best in the industry, emotions and blows flying until Hiromu Takahashi was able to nail a Time Bomb to win. Afterwards, he’d tell Desperado they will fight until they retire, challenge whoever wins tomorrows Super J-Cup at Wrestle Kingdom, and also challenge Taiji Ishimori.
Match Rating: 5/5 (*****)
What was your favorite match of tonight’s show? Let us know what you think in the comment section down below.
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