New Japan Pro Wrestling‘s long and grueling World Tag League tour came to its conclusion on December 9 in Iwate. The top-two point scorers in the one block, fourteen-team, round-robin tournament, Evil and Sanada of Los Ingobernables de Japon and IWGP Tag Team Champions the Guerillas of Destiny, faced off in the league’s final match.
This was the third-ever match between these duos, the first the 2017 WTL final (winner: L.I.J.), the second their league match earlier on the tour (winner: G.o.D.) Evil and Sanada won the match after Darkness Falls followed by a moonsault to become two-time tag league winners and seemingly set up a rematch with G.o.D., this time with titles on the line, at Wrestle Kingdom 13. However, though the official heavyweight tag title match at the Tokyo Dome has yet to be announced, what happened next made it seem like that won’t be the case.
As Evil began to call out Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa regarding their championship match, the Young Bucks, Matt and Nick Jackson, entered the ring. The Young Bucks had wrestled in an eight-man tag team match alongside Kenny Omega and Marty Scurll against a Taguchi Japan team earlier in the show, their first appearance in NJPW since a Bullet Club OGs vs. Elite multi-man tag at King of Pro Wrestling on October 8.
Matt Jackson got on the mic to deliver a promo to Evil and Sanada, who they defeated to win the tag championships on June 9.
“Wow, I can already see people at home tweeting about this. I can see your guys’ faces, their faces. What are the Young Bucks doing out here? The audacity. No Young Bucks on World Tag League, why? One month, one month grueling tour, but no Young Bucks. But here we are in the ring, right?
Well, I would say that everybody’s probably got a point, right? If it weren’t for the fact that my brother and I have been on a fifteen year long never-ending grueling tour. And congratulations, guys. Evil, Sanada, best tag team in the tournament. But boys, the Young Bucks are the best tag team in the world.”
Turning to the Guerillas of Destiny, Jackson continued, “So, my suggestion is this. After we lost those championship belts, we never got a rematch. So, I think Young Bucks, next challengers for the IWPG Heavyweight Tag Team Belt.” G.o.D. defeated the Bucks to win their titles at Fighting Spirit Unleashed on September 30, but the possibility of a rematch had not been notably discussed on NJPW programming as a plot point before this promo.
After G.o.D., then the Young Bucks exited, Evil again took the microphone and said (in Japanese, as interpreted by the translator at the English commentary table), “Why don’t we three fight at the same time?” He reiterated this triple threat challenge backstage, so fans can expect these three teams to face off at the Tokyo Dome on January 4.
Nick Jackson seemed to respond to the backlash his team received for not appearing on World Tag League soon after the show, tweeting “Crazy to see the amount of heat we got for wanting to spend quality time at home with our wives and kids.”