New Japan announces the teams for the World Tag League

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New Japan’s annual World Tag League tournament will begin later this month with the company announcing the teams and cards for the tour.

The notable absences from the Tag League are IWGP heavyweight champion Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi, Intercontinental champion Jay White, and Tetsuya Naito. The winners of the Tag League will receive an IWGP tag title match on one of the Tokyo Dome cards and all four are scheduled for matches both nights.

Will Ospreay is also not included in the Tag League, which ends a remarkable year of tournaments that included the New Japan Cup, Best of the Super Juniors, the G-1 Climax, and the Super J-Cup.

The following teams will make up the field:

Guerrillas of Destiny (IWGP tag champions)

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare

EVIL & Sanada

Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi

Shingo Takagi & El Terrible

Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer

KENTA & Yujiro

Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma

Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi

Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Hirooki Goto & Karl Fredericks

Colt Cabana & Toru Yano

Jeff Cobb & Mikey Nicholls

Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens

The World Tag League begins on Saturday, November 16th in Kanagawa followed by back-to-back nights at Korakuen Hall. The Tag League finals will take place on Sunday, December 8th in Hiroshima.

Below are the tournament matches for the opening night:
*Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
*Hiroshi Tanahashi & Toa Henare vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma
*Minoru Suzuki & Lance Archer vs. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens
*KENTA & Yujiro vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi
*Shingo Takagi & El Terrible vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima
*Jeff Cobb & Mikey Nicholls vs. Colt Cabana & Toru Yano
*Hirooki Goto & Karl Fredericks vs. Juice Robinson & David Finlay

Colt Cabana & Toru Yano

Back to 16 teams, eh? I guess there are a couple of interesting fresh combos in here, but watching all of these is gonna be an ask. I like the idea of Suzuki and Archer bashing heads together, but then again getting away from largely meaningless tag matches is part of what’s made Archer’s 2019 so great. Also, making Nakanishi participate in a round robin tourney, even if Nagata’ll be eating most of the time, just seems cruel at this point.

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I hope they’ll work an angle out of the all Suzuki-gun match. Sabre-gun 2020

Not hopeful but I’m cheering for Ishii / YOSHI-HASHI because if this results in the zillionth edition of GOD vs EVil/SANADA at WK I’m going to scream.