Road to World Engine: Tag-Team Aces {2014}

Road to World Engine: Tag-Team Aces {2014}

Over the next few weeks we’ll be releasing some shows from 2014, part of the Road to World Engine series that was aimed at showing off the FRONTLINE roster to a new TV audience.

The first of the series is Tag-Team Aces, an 8 team tag tournament featuring the best of FRONTLINE’s teams, with special guests from FRONTIER and the MWA.

Firstly, here’s the rundown of round one of the tournament, as published for the FRONTLINE TV show of the time. Keep scrolling down for the video of the show itself.

War Tigers (Blood Tiger II & Tiger Beast) vs. Rising Sons (KAITO & Tatsuya Okada)

War Tigers have been one of the most decorated tag-teams in FRONTLINE history. Tiger Beast is the team’s muscle and has been a mainstay alongside the two wrestlers to hold the name Blood Tiger and the team’s former third member Tiger Kid (now known as Tiger Ref), and he currently holds the record for most Tag-Team Championship reigns. Blood Tiger II continues in the legendary footsteps of his namesake, a blood thirsty junior whose entire arsenal is set up to try and make his opponent bleed.

Rising Sons are relatively new on the scene, made up of some young talent trying to break into the upper echelons of the company. Representing the group for this tournament are the extravagant kick boxer KAITO and former MMA star Tatsuya Okada. Both have been summarily dismissed by the established FRONTLINE talent but have quickly won over the fans with their brutal displays in the ring. However their wrestling talent is still a work in progress and any opponent who’s able to avoid their strengths should do well.

G4 (Yuuta Mori & Shinji Watanabe) vs. Blood Circle (Takeshi Genji & OMEGA)

Alongside War Tigers, G4 are the best tag-team specialists in FRONTLINE. But there have been tensions within the team over the years, due mainly to Shinji Watanabe’s desire for a shot at a singles championship. Both are big, powerful men and their team is built on strength. Technically Watanabe may well be the better wrestler, but neither is as strong alone as they are together.

Blood Circle are the most vicious group in FRONTLINE, permanently at war with Gold House and out to get one over their rivals at every available opportunity. Their representatives for this tournament are Takeshi Genji, a young star who has been tempted to join the Blood Circle ranks with offers of cold hard cash from their leader, Kazuki Suzuki. Technically he’s one of the best youngsters in FRONTLINE but his attitude and desire for greatness have not served him well so far. But he has achieved success in part due to his partner, the monstrous OMEGA. OMEGA is one of FRONTLINE’s men of mystery, but he’s shown himself to be one of the most powerful and ruthless wrestlers on the roster.

Tim Worthington & Jackie Sweets vs. Kenta Yamashita & Ren Itou

Worthington and Sweets are both former Millennium Wrestling Alliance World Heavyweight champions, and also MWA Hall of Famers. Both have a fondness for Japan and have often made the trip over to FRONTLINE, and both have been Tokyo Pure Wrestling Heavyweight Champion. The British Worthington and American Sweets are both technically gifted wrestlers, who are more at home as singles competitors than as a team.

Yamashita and Itou are more familiar as a team, but they have not paired up in many years. Together with Masa Abe and Naoki Yoshida they were a part of The Pride, a group of young Tokyo Pure wrestlers looking to make names for themselves… in much the same way as the Rising Sons are doing now. Yamashita went off to the UK to try and grow his global reputation, and that backfired massively. He’s now back in Japan and trying to rediscover the results he had earlier in his career. While Itou has always been a middle of the road wrestler, a consummate professional that has never troubled FRONTLINE’s upper tier. Both men have points to prove, and with their former friendship being rekindled, they could surprise many in this tournament.

Children of Xu (August Joyce & Benjamin Doi) vs. Gold House (Hiroki Kokubun & Ken20)

The CoX, named after their agent Zhen Xu, have been wrestling together for the past 20 years, but have only begun to make a name for themselves in the past 5. “The People’s Choice” August Joyce is a fan favourite and loves to showboat, but has a solid technical background that you’d expect from a Canadian wrestler who trained in Calgary. Doi originates from Nigeria, but grew up in Chicago and changed his surname in honor of his adoptive father, Mr Doi, who was responsible for encouraging his wrestling career. Doi is more of a powerhouse than Joyce but also has the same technical ability, his one weakness being his knees which have troubled him throughout his career.

Gold House are the light to Blood Circle’s dark. Lead by Jun Ikdea they are firm fan favourites, although critics point to the fact that the group is filled by those closest to Ikeda, who may not warrant the opportunities they have been given. In this tournament they are represented by Ken20, Ikeda’s nephew, and Hiroki Kokubun, a longtime friend of Ikeda. Ken20 was once described as the Scrappy Doo of Gold House; he’s energetic and enthusiastic, and thinks he can take on the world singlehandedly. Kokubun used to be a huge star; he holds the record for the longest ever title reign in Tokyo Pure, holding the Super Junior Championship for a stunning 1,309 days. But now the fans think he’s coasting on past glories and nearing retirement.

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