For the last couple of weeks I have been providing updates on the final tournament of the year in New Japan the World Tag League Tournament. The World Tag League tournament is the way that New Japan determines who will challenge for the IWGP Tag Team Titles at Wrestle Kingdom on January 4. Back in 2017 and 2018 the tournament was won by Los Ingobernables de Japon members Evil and Sanada. These two men also made it to the finals this year, but came up short against the winner David Finlay Jr & Juice Robinson. Now I don't know a lot about this team, but to me this is exactly what New Japan needed to do this year after losing so many stars earlier in the year. This means that on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome the IWGP Champions Guerrilla's of Destiny will fight FinJuice for the Tag Titles.
Another surprise video appeared as the "Painmaker" graced us with his presence further building his match with Hiroshi Tanahashi on Wrestle Kingdom Day 2. For the first time Wrestle Kingdom will be split up over the course of two days with one day being headlined by Kazuchika Okada vs Kota Ibushi and another day being headlined by a match between IWGP Heavyweight Champion and Intercontinental Champion.
* Kazuchika Okada (c) vs Kota Ibushi (IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match)
* Jay White (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito (IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match)
* Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi ( IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Match)
* Lance Archer vs. Jon Moxley (IWGP United States Championship Match)
* The Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Dave Finlay and Juice Robinson (IWGP Tag Team Championship Match)
* YOSHI-HASHI, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii, and Hirooki Goto vs. Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Bad Luck Fale, and KENTA
* BUSHI, Shingo Takagi, EVIL, and SANADA vs. El Desperado, Taichi, Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.
* Jushin Thunder Liger, Tatsumi Fujinami, The Great Sasuke, and Tiger Mask (with El Samurai) vs. Naoki Sano, Shinjiro Otani, Tatsuhito Takaiwa, and Ryusuke Taguchi (with Kuniaki Kobayashi)
IWGP Champion vs. IWGP Intercontinental Champion (Title vs. Title Match)
* Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Chris Jericho
* Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo (c) vs. Roppongi 3K (IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship Match)
* Loser of Okada vs. Ibushi vs. Loser of White vs. Naito
* KENTA (c) vs. Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Championship Match)
* Winner of the Lance Archer/Moxley Match (c) vs. Juice Robinson
* Zack Sabre Jr (c) vs. SANADA (RevPro British Heavyweight Championship Match)
* El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori (c) vs. SHO and YOH (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match)
* Jushin Liger and Naoki Sano vs. Ryu Lee (Dragon Lee) and Hiromu Takahashi (Jushin Liger's Final Wrestling Match)
Around a week ago I was writing a match of the week article and after seeing that the World Tag League was underway I thought why not check that out. I was impressed by David Finlay and Juice Robinson holding the first place in the round robin tournament so far. For those who don't know or are unsure the World Tag League is basically the tag equivalent to the G1 Climax including the winners of the Tag League earning a title shot against the IWGP Tag Team Champions at the following years Wrestle Kingdom. The only way the winners don't receive a title shot is if the champions win the tag league. The teams included earn two points for a win, one point for a draw and zero points for a loss.
The tournament normally runs for about two weeks from the middle of November to the first of second of December depending on when the company wants to run the event. This year the Tag League started on November 16 and will run until December 8 when the finals will be determined. It is all about the rankings in New Japan and the top two teams are the ones that matter on the final day as they will fight for the trophy. Check out the updated standings:
EVIL and SANADA: (20 pts)
* David Finlay and Juice Robinson: (18 pts)
* Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa: (18 pts)
* Toru Yano and Colt Cabana: (16 pts)
* Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI: (16 pts)
* Minoru Suzuki and Lance Archer: (14 pts)
* Jeff Cobb and Mikey Nicholls: (14 pts)
* KENTA and Yujiro Takahashi: (12 pts)
* Shingo Takagi and El Terrible: (12 pts)
* Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi (12 pts)
* Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima: (8 pts)
* Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens: (8 pts)
* Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma: (6 pts)
* Hirooki Goto and Karl Fredericks: (4 pts)
* Hiroshi Tanahashi and Toa Henare: (4 pts)
* Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata: (2 pts)
To check out the cards for the four remaining for shows that include tournament matches click here!
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