El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori capture IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles

Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2021/01/23/el-phantasmo-taiji-ishimori-capture-iwgp-jr-heavyweight-tag-titles/

Headlining today’s NJPW Road to New Beginning show in Tokyo, Japan was El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru defending the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships against El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori. At the conclusion of the match, it was Phantasmo and Ishimori holding up the title belts as they became Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions for a second time together.

Below is a write-up of the finish by way of NJPW1972.com:

The challengers attempted to capitalize by using the title belts, only to have their plan backfire, but there was no referee to make a clear three count. When a substitute referee was wiped out to boot, there was no control of the final moments of the match, belt shots flying from both teams before Phantasmo scored a low blow and a shot from Kanemaru’s whiskey bottle as Marty Asami gained some form of consciousness. Phantasmo loaded the superkick boot again, and again it was the referee catching the kick. As Kenta Sato became the third referee of the match to enter the ring, Kanemaru landed a schoolboy and Moonsault for two each, and got even closer with Touch Out. Deep Impact was stopped with a low blow, and Phantasmo landed the loaded superkick to crown new champions.




★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/IP0hEMaMie#njpw #njnbg pic.twitter.com/4VG0bbXoCq

— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) January 23, 2021

El Desperado and Kanemaru first captured the titles in September of 2020 during a New Japan Road show and after five months as champions, that reign has ended. Desperado and Kanemaru defeated Ryusuke Taguchi and Master Wato at Wrestle Kingdom 15.

New Japan’s next show is scheduled for 1/24 and they are moving towards The New Beginning in Nagoya show on 1/30 that will be headlined by Shingo Takagi defending the NEVER Openweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi.

So I just got around to catching up to most of these shows, and I’m thoroughly glad Andrew put in the write up of the finish because it was one of the most overbooked endings I’ve seen in a while. But it also kind of made it super fun?

It’s like they don’t want to straight-forward acknowledge the babyface twinge Suzuki-gun has at this point, so they went with both sides playing up heel tactics, but it still wound up with a situation where you’re fully rooting for Kanemaru and Despy to out-cheat Bullet Club and ultimately, I come out of this with very few reasons to hate Suzuki-gun anymore. Even Taichi is coming out to make the save at the end. Basically Suzuki is the only one who hasn’t been given a full reason to be babyfaced yet, but if anything, he’s already been the one with begrudging respect from fans.

It’s a very interesting situation for NJPW now. I guess you can never have too many over faces in a company, but the balance with just Bullet Club and the United Empire seems to have the atmosphere still begging for a re-alignment of stables.