NJPW “DESTRUCTION in KOBE 2016”, Sunday 9/25/2016 @ Kobe World Memorial Hall in Hyogo.
Due to traveling issues, Matt Sydal could not perform today and the card was changed to reflect his absence.
1) Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask IV & Henare vs. “CHAOS” – Will Ospreay & “Roppongi Vice” Rocky Romero & Trent Barreta.
⚫ Another fun opener to start off another PPV event. Taguchi was the shining star in this match and it was also he, who secured the win (6:57), when he made Romero tap out to the Oh My & Garfunkel Ankle Lock.
After the match there was some dissension within Roppongi Vice, when Barreta blamed Rocky for taking yet another loss and Rocky blamed his partner for not breaking up the submission hold to help him out while he was down. Interesting to see where this goes.
2) Yoshitatsu & Captain New Japan vs. “Bullet Club” Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens.
⚫ Before the match officially started Yoshitatsu stated, that due to the outcome of the fan-poll, he would continue the “Bullet Club Hunters” without Captain NJ. Sick of all the negativity, the Capt. took matters into his own hands and attacked his former partner from behind. Their scheduled opponents Takahashi & Owens decided to join Capt. in the beatdown, which officially started the match. Yujiro nailed the Pimp Juice on Tatsu (0:48) for the win and in, what can be looked at as a real shocking moment thereafter, Captain NJ “too sweeted” the his new allies and laid a Bullet Club flag on the prone body of his former friend and team mate. Captain New Japan is Bullet Club!
3) “Great Bash Heel” Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Teruaki Kanemitsu.
⚫ This tag team battle saw the promising young lion Kanemitsu tear it up with the elder guys and he didn’t disappoint at all. He showed some incredible offensive moves, but took some serious beatings in the process as well. Young Mitsu survived a Boston Crab by Honma, but one Kokeshi and another Boston Crab later proved to be too much, as Honma made him submit (8:29) to take home the win.
4) Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi vs. “reDRagon” Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish.
⚫ reDRagon are in the midst of their heavyweight push and this was just the right match for them at this stage. Nagata and O’Reilly have some great chemistry in that ring and hopefully we get to see more of that soon. Some Nakanishi mishaps aside, this was a great match, that proved Fish & O’Reilly belong in that upper weight class.
The finish came when O’Reilly locked in a Triangle Choke on Nakanishi, then turned it into an Ura-Jujigatame Armbar (9:43) for the win.
5) NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship match: Satoshi Kojima, Ricochet & David Finlay Jr. (subbing for Matt Sydal) vs. “Bullet Club” ROH World Champion Adam Cole & IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions “Young Bucks” Matt & Nick Jackson.
⚫ Before the match, the decision was made by NJPW to strip the reigning champions Kojima, Ricochet & Sydal of their titles, due to Matt Sydal being unable to appear and defend his belt today.
David Finlay Jr., who officially is no young boy anymore, was added to the fray and therefore, the outcome of this match would decide the new champions going forward.
The match itself was absolutely great, with loads of action and spots. Cole & the Bucks did what they do best and I actually lost count on all of the Superkicks. Ricochet & Finlay showed they can really be a good tandem, add the powerfull Kojima and you have an awesome all-round match-up. Excellent performances by all.
The end came, when Kojima took out Cole and Matt with a Double Lariat, which gave Finlay the opportunity to hit a Finlay Roll on Nick. Ricochet followed up by hitting a Shooting Star Press on Nick (14:18) to score the pin-fall and Kojima, Ricochet & Finlay Jr. became the new champions (also marking Finlay’s first NJPW official title win).
After the match Finlay made it known to The Young Bucks, they have something that he and Ricochet want: the Junior tag titles. Apparently that match could be in the works as of today.
Once backstage, the newly crowned NEVER 6-man Champs were confronted by Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero & Trent Barreta, who demanded a shot at the NEVER belts, so it seems they’re headed towards a title match somewhere down the line as well.
6) “CHAOS” – Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii and IWGP World Heavyweight Tag Team Champions “The Briscoes” Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. “Bullet Club” Kenny Omega, Bad Luck Fale & “Guerrillas of Destiny” Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa.
⚫ This was a very intense match, but was basically set to further the ongoing stories towards the next PPV(‘s); Goto is challenging for Omega’s WK11 briefcase and the GOD are gunning for the Briscoes IWGP Tag belts.
Everybody got to show their big moves in one hell of a great sequence, but in the end it was a Gun Stun by Tama Tonga on Mark Briscoe, followed by the Guerrilla Warfare (12:27), that brought Bullet Club the win.
7) Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson & KUSHIDA vs. “Los Ingobernables de Japón” IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion BUSHI, SANADA & EVIL.
⚫ This was a battle. There were lots of double and triple teamings, as both squads wanted to get the upper hand over one another. It was gang warfare, resulting to one point in the match, where Tanahashi, Juice & KUSHIDA all put their opponents into a submission at the same time, which was a great visual.
But, when EVIL took out Juice with a big Lariat, that signalled the end. Robinson fought valiantly, but once SANADA locked him in a second Skull End (12:55) it was too much and L.I.J emerged victorious once again.
8) Special NJPW vs. NOAH 8-man Tag Team match: “CHAOS” IWGP World Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, Jado & Gedo vs. GHC World Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Naomichi Marufuji & Toru Yano and GHC Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions “Momo no Seishun” Daisuke Harada & GHC Jr. Hvwt. Champion Atsushi Kotoge.
⚫ Another match in the ongoing cross-branding NJPW/NOAH saga, this time with CHAOS representing New Japan. Team NOAH came out really impressive with 5(!) championships under their belt, as NJ had only one (Okada). There was so much action, that makes it too hard to call all here, but believe me, this is a match for every wrestling fan. Everybody got their stuff in and it was obvious that this was meant to build more and more towards the upcoming matches on the 10/8 NOAH show (Harada/Kotoge vs. Jado & Gedo and Okada/HASHI vs. Maru/Yano) and the 10/10 King of Pro Wrestling Okada vs. Marufuji IWGP Title match.
The finish saw YOSHI-HASHI pin Harada (14:31) following the Karma and after the match Okada and Marufuji almost coming to blows again, with Toru Yano trying to calm the whole thing down.
9) IWGP Intercontinental Championship match: Michael Elgin (c) vs. Tetsuya Naito.
⚫ This was simply amazing. Naito went after the injured knee of Elgin immediately, but Elgin was able to avoid that in the early goings of the match by countering each attack with his power moves. Once Naito finally got a hold of the leg, he went in like a rabid wolverine and from there the match really took off.
At one point in the match, the referee was KO’d, which gave the rest of Los Ingobernables a chance to interfere and bring some more damage to the bruised and battered IC champion. Out came Tanahashi and KUSHIDA to save their friend from further harm and clear the ring. A revived Elgin powerbombed BUSHI out of the ring onto SANADA and EVIL, but Naito hit him with a Destino while he was distracted. Elgin kicked out and the final sequence saw both guys countering eachother, throwing out their patented moves. This all lead to Naito hitting the Destino for a third time, resulting in a pin (32:00) for the win and to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
After the match Naito celebrated his win and thanked the Kobe Hall crowd, further stating:” I never said I wanted this, but the belt came to me! After January, someone left this company, someone synonymous with this belt. But with me? What will I do with this belt? The answer, of course, Tranquilo!”
He then ended it by tossing the belt into the air in his true L.I.J. fashion.