New Japan Pro Wrestling unveiled the field for their annual World Tag League (running from November 18 to December 10) this morning, and while most of the field is the same mix of established combinations and players in the heavyweight tag scene that we get every year, they’ve managed a few surprises.
The big one is Billy Gunn making his New Japan debut by joining YOSHITATSU’s Hunter Club. Yoshi has adopted a lot of HHH’s style since his return from injury earlier this year, and his crusade against the Bullet Club has been draped in D-Generation X’s black and green color scheme, so it’s only natural that Mr. Ass team up with the winner of the WrestleMania 26 pre-show battle royal. (This sentence brought to you by 2016 Pro Wrestling: Because Why Not?)
But that’s not all, folks. War Machine are visiting from Ring of Honor, as well as the team of Brian Breaker and Leland Race from Harley Race’s World League Wrestling. Young Lion Henare gets a chance to play with the big boys alongside 3rd Generation star Manabu Nakanishi, and Katsuyori Shibata is taking it easy, but not too easy, after losing the NEVER Openweight Championship by teaming with Yuji Nagata.
Perhaps most interesting of all is Los Ingobernables de Japon headman Tetsuya Naito’s decision to bring a mystery partner to the dance. His fellow LIJ heavyweights EVIL and SANADA are teaming in Block B, so the obvious fake-out candidates are off the table. But who, then? Perhaps Rush or La Mascara, his fellow Ingobernables from CMLL? Tag League overlapping Final Battle makes a choice from ROH tricky, but it’s still possible, depending on how that card shakes out.
Enough talk, let’s take a look at the completed blocks, shall we?
- Brian Breaker & Leland Race
- Bullet Club (Hangman Page & Yujiro Takahashi)
- Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa)
- Henare & Manabu Nakanishi
- Hiroshi Tanahashi & Juice Robinson
- TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima)
- Tetsuya Naito & ???
- War Machine (Hanson & Ray Rowe)
- Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & BONE SOLDIER)
- Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Kenny Omega)
- Chaos (Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii)
- Chaos (Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI)
- Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma)
- Hunter Club (Billy Gunn & YOSHITATSU)
- Katsuyori Shibata & Yuji Nagata
- Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL & SANADA)
There you have it, folks
The field is set for the third and final round robin tournament of the New Japan calendar. Like what you see, Cagesiders?