The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) (c) vs Taguchi Japan (Ryusuke Taguchi & Ricochet)
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Ryogoku Kokugikan, Tokyo, Japan
(reviewed 08/13/2017) Surprisingly solid little tag match here. Most of the aspects of Bucks matches that I hate are toned down or shoved off onto someone else here, and with the relatively reliable quality of Ricochet and Taguchi combining with the exciting action of a Bucks match, there’s a lot to enjoy here. The champs go after Ricochet’s knee to provide the greater narrative, and aside from one or two moments of melodramatic overselling (a staple of the Bucks), he sells it very well, highlighted by a moment early on where it’s clear that his knee isn’t bad enough to prevent him from his usual highflying, but it’s bad enough to stop him from hitting his strength-based moves. It’s a nice touch. What’s more, the most melodramatic moment of the match comes pretty damn close to matching Ricochet’s over-the-top screaming into the camera, as it’s a nasty little Sharpshooter spot spiced up by the Bucks’ tag team virtuosity. As to be expected, there’s some shtick and some antics here, but aside from some stuff right at the beginning it mostly serves to further the story, in which Ricochet and Taguchi double down and use the Bucks’ cocky personalities against them. Along the way there’s lots of rock-solid tag team goodness that manages to be thrilling without being overwhelming or ludicrous and Sumo Hall eats it up. Lovely stuff. Might be worth a watch even if you’re usually not a fan of these four.