(06/21) Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima © vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer)

Osaka Bodymaker Colosseum (Osaka, Japan)
NWA World Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 

New Japan has a clog in its talent roster in some serious need of draining.  Look no farther than this match for a perfect example of that.

I am not suggesting that these four guys should be flushed down the toilet and removed from the roster all together.  They are not necessarily unwanted or unneeded as much as they are stuck in a position and not moving forward.  These two teams have wrestled on many, many occasions over the last two years.  They’ve wrestled for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag titles and the NWA Heavyweight Tag titles.  They have wrestled each other in six, eight, and ten-man tag team matches.  They have occasionally taken breaks to wrestle other teams, but have always remained in relatively the same lower card tag team position.  It is time for a change and to find something else to do with these four guys and a host of others that are clogging up the New Japan roster.

Davey Boy Smith – as he demonstrates with his work in this match – is the one of the four most deserving of a bigger role in New Japan.  He is not featured in this match much at all but he makes good use of his opportunities and looks like the best guy in the match when he is in.  He uses his simple but varied offense including suplexes, slams, and effective holds.  Given his grappling and MMA training background, he is foreign wrestler who I think could conceivably make it in New Japan main events if he is able to escape the label of low-card tag team wrestler.

Kojima worked most the match for his side.  Kojima always works hard.  He has worked more than enough against Smith and Archer that they click pretty well these days.  Archer was fine here and he also tries really hard, but he has less upside then Smith.  Tenzan is firmly in the – if he wasn’t already – “holding on too long” stage of his career.  The idea that he is expected to work 10 matches in the G-1 next month is frightening.  Tenzan should probably take a step back or retire altogether.  Kojima possesses some value as a sometimes tag, sometimes singles worker akin to Yugi Nagata.  Archer wouldn’t be missed if New Japan got rid of him, but he’d also probably be fine finding another tag partner and at least spicing things up a bit.

This was a fun match given its spot on the card, but it is time for all four of these wrestlers to move onto something different.

Japan Tag | Common | Quality

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