NJPW was active in the States simultaneous to Sapporo!
Strong Style wasn’t just active in Sapporo this past weekend! There was action in the United States, and for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships!
NOTE: NJPW only uploaded two matches from the New Beginning in USA event in Atlanta, Georgia, and this is the match that mattered.
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FinJuice VS Guerrillas of Destiny; Guerrillas of Destiny win and become the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
PLAY BY PLAY
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: FinJuice VS Guerrillas of Destiny!
The Flamboyant One and the Celtic Prince won these titles to start the New Year at WrestleKingdom 14! But that only put targets on their backs, and Bullet Club wants the gold back! Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa are coming for FinJuice, will they end the reign at just under a month?
The introductions are made, the belts are raised, and the American expansion grows stronger as this rematch begins!
Tensions are running high as fans duel. There are many GoD supporters in Atlanta as Juice steps up to start. Tama gives his brother a Low Sweet as he starts against Juice with the bell. They circle as fans for Juice start getting loud. Tama frowns as he and Juice tie up. Juice powers Tama back but Tama turns it around to put Juice on the ropes. The ref counts and Tama lets up at 4. Juice backs away and the two go again. They tie up with knuckle locks, and Tama steps in to get the wristlock and wrench. Tama hammerlocks but Juice slips around to reverse it. Juice shifts to a headlock and takedown but Tama headscissors! Juice pops out and fans cheer as the two stand off.
Fans cheer and duel between the two as Juice and Tama circle again. They tie up, Tama headlocks but Juice throws big body shots. Juice powers out and things speed up. Juice hurdles then arm-drags Tama down! Tama gets up but gets another arm-drag! Juice clamps on with an armlock and fans cheer as Tama endures. Tama moves up and around, Juice wrenches and tags in the hometown hero, Finlay! Finlay gives Tama’s arm double ax handles then a wrench. Tag back to Juice, and he hops up for flying ax handles! Juice keeps his eyes on Loa as he grabs at Tama’s arm. Juice wrenches, tags back to Finlay, and Finlay climbs up. Fans build anticipation for his flying ax handles! Finlay intercepts Loa as he runs in, and Team FinJuice throw hands on GoD. Then lock kicks and double bulldogs!
Fans fire up with FinJuice as GoD bails out. Juice aims at Loa and Finlay at Tama, for DOUBLE Plancha! Fans fire up more and Juice gives out high-fives. Finlay puts Tama in and runs corner to corner for a big European Uppercut! Then he hops up again, for a FLYING EuroUpper! Cover, TWO, but Finlay keeps his cool. Finlay brings Tama up to whip but Tama reverses. Finlay holds ropes but has to dodge and fight off Loa. Tama whips Finlay, Finlay ducks, but Loa trips Finlay up! Loa drags Finlay out to ram into railing! And then fights Juice off as he comes around the way! Loa scoops to snake eyes Juice on the rails! The ref reprimands but Loa scoops and slams Finlay on the floor!
A ring count begins on Finlay while Loa stomps Juice down. The count reaches 7 of 20 before Loa brings Finlay up. Finlay shoves Loa away to get in at 9 of 20, but Tama is right on him. Tama tags in Loa then scoop slams Finlay, Loa senton atomico followed by Tama’s slingshot elbow! Loa covers, TWO! Fans rally and duel again, “G O D!” “SUCKS!” as Loa scoops and carries Finlay around. RUNNING Powerslam! Loa doesn’t cover, he just watches Finlay writhe. Loa drags Finlay up and tags Tama back in for double headbutts! Tama drags Finlay up to whip and run him over with an elbow! Cover, ONE, but Tama is toying with Finlay as he puts on a Half Boston Crab! Finlay reaches and gets the ropebreak! The ref counts, Tama lets go at 4, and drags Finlay back up.
Tama puts Finlay in the GoD corner to fire off punches and stomps! Fans fire up as the ref backs Tama off, but Loa gets his cheap shots in! Fans duel again as Tama tags Loa. GoD drags Finlay up and double whips, for a double back drop! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer but Loa is on Finlay with a chinlock. Loa wraps on tight but fans rally. Finlay fights his way up to arm-drag, but Loa stays locked on! Loa grinds Finlay into the mat, then drags him away from Juice. Finlay endures and fights but Loa clubs away on his face. Cover, TWO! Loa is right back on with the chinlock and leans on Finlay. Tama mocks FinJuice fans as Finlay fights his way up. Finlay punches free with body shots and uppercuts! But Loa pokes the eyes! And sucker punches Juice!
The ref reprimands but the damage is done. Loa drags Finlay up to ram him into the GoD corner! Tama tags in, taunts Juice and hits a big splash on Finlay! Juice protests but Tama taunts Juice more. We pass 10 minutes as Tama turns into Finlay’s fists and forearms! Tama hits back and back suplexes, but Finlay lands on his feet! Finlay back suplexes Tama and drops him! Both men are down and crawling for their corners. Hot tags to Loa and Juice! Juice rallies and runs but can’t knock Loa down. Juice whips, Loa reverses, the leaping lariat takes Loa down! Tama runs in but gets a back elbow and back senton! Juice fires up and gives Loa a SPINE BUSTER! Fans fire up and rally behind Juice as he runs corner to corner.
Juice gives Loa a big corner clothesline, then runs corner to corner again to CANNONBALL! But that’s not all, FULL NELSON SLAM! Cover, TWO!! Loa lives and Juice is frustrated, but Juice won’t let up. Juice looms over Loa and chicken wings. He turns Loa, but no pulp as Loa waistlocks. Juice throws elbows to get free, then runs into a kick and knee. Loa’s enziguri rocks Juice! Loa school boy rolls Juice but Juice rolls to his feet. Juice lunges but Loa gets under the leg lariat. Loa waistlocks and GERMAN SUPLEXES! Both men are down but Loa gets to his corner to tag in Tama. Juice sits up in a corner but Tama runs in, for a BIG corner splash!
Tama coordinates with Loa, and whips Juice at Loa for a body shot and uppercut. Tama leaps but Juice deflects Gun Stun! Loa turns into the LEG LARIAT! Both GoD are down and fans rally with Juice! Juice crawls over, hot tag to Finlay! FinJuice go after Tama with a double whip and double flapjack! Fans rally more as Juice drags Tama up. Finlay runs but Loa grabs at the ref? Because Jado SMACKS Finlay in the back! Tama gives Juice a Complete Shot and Loa grabs Finlay. Loa lifts, POWERBOMB! Tama covers, TWO!? Finlay survives but GoD has more moves to try. Dragon sleeper and lift, SUPER TONGAN TWIST! Cover, TWO!! Finlay survives the inverted Magic Killer and GoD can’t believe it!
Loa has an idea and the brothers coordinate again. Each guerrilla goes to a corner, but Juice shoves Loa down! Tama leaps but FLOPS out of the splash! Juice fireman’s carries, JUICE BOX on Tama! Finlay covers, TWO!! Tama survives and we’re at 15 minutes! FinJuice drag Tama up and Finlay runs, Russian Leg Sweep Shotgun Boot combo! Cover, TWO!! Tama survives and FinJuice grows frustrated. Fans rally and duel again as Finlay drags Tama up. Finlay puts Tama on the top rope and climbs up to join him. Juice climbs another corner but Tama resists. Finlay clubs Tama with forearms, then stands on the very top. SUPERPLEX! JUICE FROG SPLASH! Cover, but Loa breaks it in time! Juice throws Loa out and then PESCADO! But Loa dodges, and double clotheslines take both men out!
Finlay aims at Tama but Tama shoves the ref. Finlay runs in, but his SPEAR is sent into the ref! And this opens the door to another TONGAN TWIST! Both men are down and Jado gets in! The Master Heater has his kendo stick, but Juice blocks it! Juice jabs away on Jado, but Loa gets in. Juice gives Loa the LEFT HAND O’ GOD! But Jado SMACKS Juice, GUN STUN from Tama! Tama drags Finlay up and Jado staggers over, but Finlay sends Tama into Jado first! Tama turns around, into an Irish Curse Backbreaker!
Loa gets in with a belt but Finlay clotheslines him out first! Finlay gets back in and fires up! Atlanta is hot with him, TRASH PANDA BRAIN BUSTER! Cover, TWO!?! Finlay can’t believe it, but he won’t let it slow him down. He cravats and goes up the ropes, but no Acid Drop! The ref is collateral damage again, and Tama uses the BELT! Tama clobbers Finlay, gets the belt out of the ring and covers, GoD WINS!
Winners: Guerrillas of Destiny, by pinfall (NEW IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions)
You can’t spell “gold” without GoD, and that goes for these titles once again! Will the now six-time IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions take these titles to new heights in the New Year?
NJPW sure was busy this weekend with their Sapporo event also happening (and taking priority). That’s really the only thing I have against this is that NJPW only gave us two matches out of an entire weekend. I would’ve loved to have seen Jeff Cobb VS Lance Archer for it being a slug fest of two big men, at the very least. But the IWGP Heavyweight Tag title match was pretty good, and it was unpredictable until the end. The first referee spot was a good fake out but in the end, it was still a referee spot that helped GoD win. I feel like GoD could’ve won without it, but it does help keep FinJuice strong if they’re to stick around in the title scene. I hope that with the US expansion being pushed along, events like this get more play through NJPW World and not just Fite TV, for the sake of all fans.
My Score: 8.5