Back in the days of Tokyo Pure there were many great tag-teams around. The most famous were arguably the Brothers in Arms, Jun Ikeda and Kazuki Suzuki. The Warriors, Kenzo Kikuchi and Daiki Kubo were also one of the better teams in TPW. Both teams had various runs as tag-team champions, but they weren’t the most dominant teams. That honour went to the War Tigers.
The War Tigers original line-up consisted of Blood Tiger, Tiger Beast and Tiger Kid. The three of them, in various line-ups, dominated the tag-team division for many years, until Tiger Kid and Blood Tiger came to blows and Blood Tiger caused his partner a career ending injury. Tiger Kid returned after rehab as Tiger Ref, who became the company’s leading referee, but with the stipulation that he never officiate a match containing either of the remaining War Tigers.
Blood Tiger would soon retire himself, passing his mantle to former Pride member Naoki Yoshida, the new Blood Tiger II. He and Tiger Beast continued to light up the tag-team division and added more championships to the faction’s records. To this day no-one has won more Tokyo Pure or FRONTLINE tag titles as Tiger Beast.
With this new Tiger line-up in FRONTLINE came a new breed of challenger. Gold House, Blood Circle and the team known as G4 were all strong challengers. But it would be Jason Richards and Adam Stryker, known as Go Strong, who would change the tag-team division in FRONTLINE.
At FRONTLINE’s “OPENING NAVIGATION ~ CONCLUSION” event Go Strong defeated the Blood Circle duo of Takeshi Genji and OMEGA to become the first GFC Tag-Team Champions. However their run was short lived, losing the titles to the UK Dragons on a Pro-Wrestling FRONTIER show in the UK six weeks later. But that match turned the titles into the GFC WORLD Tag-Team Championships and a whole new world was about to open up for the FRONTLINE tag-team division.
Or at least that was the plan.
The belts remained in FRONTIER for a year or so until they were won by Jonathan Collins & Chandler Scott, Dangerous Minds. Collins & Scott were not FRONTIER wrestlers; they were signed to EXODUS and refused to defend their new GFC belts outside of EXODUS. While the situation was eventually resolved when the duo were stripped and new belts created, the titles remained in the UK and FRONTLINE were without a tag-team title scene. This led to the split of G4 and the War Tigers.
G4 had always had a rocky relationship. Shinji Watanabe had always harboured ambitions of making it big as a singles wrestler, while Yuuta Mori knew that a team was his best option for success and fame. Without a tag-team title to strive for Watanabe took his chances at setting out solo. Things worked out for him, he rose through the ranks and is arguably the biggest star in FRONTLINE today. Things have not gone as well for Mori, who was persuaded to join Blood Club and now finds himself at odds with his younger brother, Haruto Mori of G.O.L.D.
The War Tigers were a similar story. Blood Tiger II went solo, while Tiger Beast retired. Eventually Naoki Yoshida removed his Tiger mask and has continued his solo career back under his real name, having passed the mantle on again to a younger Blood Tiger III.
The tag-team scene in FRONTLINE never really recovered, but the GFC have recently re-introduced the Tag-Team Championships and the company have brought a new team from the US to help kick-start the tag-team revolution.
Steve Anderson and El Mejor Jr. had won multiple championships in the US and are now looking for their first overseas straps. The arrival of The Pioneers has led to the formation of The New Pride, two young Japanese stars unhappy that FRONTLINE would rely on Gaijin to prop up the tag-team division. Maya Ohno and Daisuke Suzuki are hoping to emulate the original Pride and launch their careers in a major way.