It is tournament season, and NJPW is ready for the 2023 edition of the World Tag League. Participants have been announced, and the field includes a handful of wrestlers from AEW and CMLL.
The NJPW World Tag League is a round-robin format with sixteen tag teams separated in two blocks. The winning team earns a shot at the IWGP Tag Team Championship for Wrestle Kingdom. The competition runs from November 20 to December 10.
Prince Nana announced that the Gates of Agony will be competing in Japan. Toa Liona and Bishop Kaun are ready to open the world’s eyes.
The timetable for the Gates of Agony is interesting to note. Brian Cage, Kaun, and Liona are the current reigning ROH six-man champions, so those belts will be tied up for the next month. Fear not though. The Gates of Agony should be back on US soil in time for the ROH Final Battle PPV on December 15. It doesn’t leave much room for any story buildup, unless ROH runs back the rubber match for the champs versus Hangman Page and the Young Bucks.
Lance Archer will also be wrestling in the NJPW World Tag League. The Murderhawk Monster teams with Alex Zayne. When Jake “The Snake” Roberts’ new army lost to Sting, Darby Allin, and Adam Copeland on Collision last week, I jokingly thought that it must mean Archer is back on his way to Japan. Turns out it isn’t a joke after all. We’ll have to wait and see what Archer’s absence means for the future of Roberts’ army in the meantime.
CMLL is sending a squad to represent lucha libre. Atlantis Jr. and Soberano Jr. aim to make Mexico proud.
ATLANTIS JR. Y SOBERANO JR., PARTICIPANTES DE LA WORLD TAG LEAGUE— Lucha Libre CMLL (@CMLL_OFICIAL) November 13, 2023
New Japan Pro Wrestling ha confirmado que El Heredero de La Atlántida y El Príncipe del Ring sean quienes representen al CMLL en este prestigioso torneo de parejas. pic.twitter.com/m9HSU3Se30
There is one more spot in the tournament which could be open to another wrestler from a different company. Yota Tsuji has a surprise in mind. The World Tag League preview from NJPW provides an explanation:
While Yota Tsuji did have plans to team with Shingo Takagi for the World Tag League, the Dragon’s acquisition of singles gold in the form of the NEVER Openweight Championship changed the direction for Tsuji, and has raised questions of just who he’ll partner up with in the tournament. At a live event in Anjo on November 11, Tsuji intimated that it wouldn’t be an LIJ ‘pareja’, but rather a friend he met on excursion, and that he wasn’t an ‘X’ but a ‘Z’. All will apparently become clear at a live event this weekend in Utsunomiya..
The full list of competitors for the NJPW World Tag League 2023 includes:
- Shota Umino & Ren Narita
- Shane Haste & Mikey Nicholls
- Great-O-Khan & Henare
- Alex Coughlin & Gabe Kidd
- Evil & Yujiro Takahashi
- Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
- Bishop Kaun & Toa Liona
- Kaito Kiyomiya & Ryohei Oiwa
- Hirooki Goto & Yoshi-Hashi
- Minoru Suzuki & Yuji Nagata
- Taichi & Yuya Uemura
- Lance Archer & Alex Zayne
- Bad Luck Fale & Jack Bonza
- Yota Tsuji & surprise partner Z
- Atlantis Jr. & Soberano Jr.
- Hikuleo & El Phantasmo
Who are you picking to win the NJPW World Tag League 2023?