There was lots of news coming out of the New Japan show at Ryōgoku Kokugikan today (Dec. 15). From in-ring action, that news came from the two tournament finals taking place in the iconic Tokyo venue.
CHAOS’ Hiroko Goto & YOSHI-HASHI survived the usual Bullet Club (House of Torture variant EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi) shenanigans to win World Tag League. It took the involvement of Tomohiro Ishii to finally counteract Dick Togo’s interference and allow CHAOS to hit a tandem neckbreaker on Takahashi for the pin.
Goto has now won this tourney three times with three different partners. It’s YOSHI-HASHI’s first win in any NJPW tournament. Traditionally, the WTL winners get a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Tag belts at Wrestle Kingdom in the Tokyo Dome. New Japan hasn’t booked a match for CHAOS against current champs Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) for Wrestle Kingdom 16 on Jan. 4 - 5, but word of that should be coming soon.
【12.15両国大会・第7試合】— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) December 15, 2021
『WORLD TAG LEAGUE 2021』優勝決定戦！
後藤＆YOSHI-HASHI vs EVIL＆裕二郎！
★試合の詳細は新日本プロレス・スマホサイトで速報中！https://t.co/CjWnjnJIqO#njpw #njbosj #njwtl pic.twitter.com/3SFav14vx6
In the main event of the night, Hiromu Takahashi defeated YOH to win Best of the Super Juniors 28. House of Torture played a role here, too, with YOH’s former Roppongi 3K tag partner SHO attacking both men. SHO declared the match a no contest, but referee Red Shoes Unno refused to call it. Each of the finalists had faction-mates come out to chase off the invader & encourage them to continue (in Hiromu’s case, Los Ingobernables de Japón’s Tetsuya Naito & reigning IWGP Heavyweight champion Shingo Takagi; in YOH’s, the WTL winners from CHAOS).
Takahashi eventually hit Timebomb 2 to claim his second BOSJ trophy in as many years, and his third in the last four. He should be getting a Wrestle Kingdom shot at current IWGP Junior Heavyweight champ El Desperado, and his post-match promo definitely indicated that will be the case.
The Tag and Junior Heavyweight title clashes should join the two-night saga of New Japan’s top belt at Wrestle Kingdom 16, as Kazuchika Okada and Shingo main event on Jan. 4, 2022, with the winner defending the IWGP Heavyweight title against Will Ospreay on Night Two.
Plus, a pretty exciting return that was announced on today’s show. More on that here.