NJPW Destruction in Kobe (21/9/14) Review

Added by Marc Goldberg

New Japan Pro Wrestling hosted Destruction in Kobe on the 21st September 2014 via UStream. This might be the last time a NJPW event was to be hosted on UStream due to UStream no longer streaming iPPVs and since no plan has been put in place to make streaming these events a possibility to people like me in the UK, but I hope they sort something out soon, at least before the next Wrestle Kingdom. Of course the event experienced numerous streaming problems and I wasn’t able to actually watch it until nearly 2 hours into the event despite paying for it weeks back. Anyway, time for the review.

The Young Bucks and Yujiro Takahashi vs Forever Hooligans and Tomohiro Ishii

Early in the match, the Bucks are working on the injured shoulder of Koslov. Ishii gets tagged in and head butts Yujiro, Yujiro comes in and starts throwing everyone around like a rag doll, the crowd are popping huge for this guy. The Bucks come in and do a bunch of double team offence on Romero and Matt powerbombs him into the corner and they set up for the Meltzer Driver but Koslov grabs Nick’s leg from the floor to prevent it. Koslov holds up Nick and Romero hit the Contract Killer and they pin Nick for the win.

Winners: Forever Hooligans and Tomohiro Ishii
Match Rating: 3/5

Good opening match, quite a bit of high flying and Ishii and Koslov sold their injuries really well.

Alex Shelley & Bushi & Maximo vs El Desperado & Taichi & Taka Michinoku

Before the match started, the heels (Michinoku’s team) attacked the faces in the aisle before the match begins. Things did not last long and there wasn’t much to say about this match until Taichi hit Shelley with a chair to the back from the floor. Desperado places a chair onto Shelley and uses another chair to attack him over and over and the DQ.

Winners: Alex Shelley & Bushi &Maximo (Via DQ)
Match Rating: 1/5

The match wasn’t long at all so I can’t give it a high rating but what this match did achieve is gaining my interest in seeing where NJPW go with this, I liked how the heels went after Shelley’s already hurt shoulder and did further damage to it possibly teasing a match which could be Timesplitters vs Taka/Taichi.

Tomoaki Honma, Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Captain New Japan, Tiger Mask, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata

Kojima and Nagata start the match to a lot of heat, Kojima hits his chops in the corner and calls for the top rope elbow but Nagata hits him with a running boot. Kojima and Tenzan double team Nakanishi and but then Nakanishi jumped off the ropes and speared both of them. Kojima came back in the ring with a Koji cutter to Captain New Japan and Nagata applies the Fujiwara armbar to Kojima after a suplex. The ring is cleared and it’s down to Captain New Japan and Honma, Captain misses a head butt off the top to Honma and the crowd is cheering for Honma and the crowd is going wild for Honma and he hits a diving head butt as Captain comes off the ropes for a massive pop and then he went up to the top rope to hit a diving head butt off the top and Honma pins Captain New Japan.

Winners: Tomoaki Honma, Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Match Rating: 2.5/5

Surprised that Honma won mainly because the fans showed respect to him with giving it his all but never coming out on top and I assumed that when he finally would win, it would be in a bigger, singles match. The match itself wasn’t anything special but it was nice to finally see Honma win.

Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano vs Takashi Iizuka and Minoru Suzuki

Suzuki and Sakuraba begin with a grappling exchange as Sakuraba attempts an armbar off his back and Suzuki attempts a heel hook and Sakuraba escapes. Suzuki spat in the direction of Sakuraba in his corner and then he is tagged in and goes for a guillotine on Suzuki but Suzuki slams him to the mat and breaks it. Sakuraba rolls into a kimura but makes it to the rope and they fight on the floor.

Iizuka is back to choking Yano with the referee trying to force him off, but he shoves the referee away. Suzuki apples an armbar in the ropes to Yano and the referee is grabbed by Suzuki, Iizuka attacks Yano with a chair and gets the Iron Fingers but misses and Yano hits a low blow and cradles Iizuka for the win.
Winners: Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano
Match Rating 2.75/5

Wasn’t a bad match but should have been way shorter but the focus was mainly Sakuraba and Suzuki, the crowd were really hot for this match especially for Suzuki and liked how he kept selling his injury.

IWJP Jr. weightclass Championship: KUSHIDA (Champion) vs Ryusuke Taguchi (Challenger)

They go to the floor and Taguchi attacks the left leg and applies a figure-four back in the ring and eventually gets the rope break. Kushida goes for a springboard, lands on the leg and favors it.  Kushida then goes after the left arm and attempts a kimura and then gets the armbar but Taguchi gets to the rope.

Kushida rolls through on a Tiger suplex attempt but Taguchi manages to counter into an ankle lock and they keep going back and forth with roll up attempts. Kushida starts kicking at the arm but Taguchi responds by kicking the bad knee of Kushida. Kushida turns a tilt-a-whirl into top position and applies the kimura, but Taguchi escapes and locks in the ankle lock, he starts driving it repeatedly into the mat while keeping the submission locked in. Taguchi hits the Dodon and then locks the ankle lock back on and eventually Kushida taps out so Taguchi gets the win to become the new champion.

Winner and new IWJP Jr. Heavyweight Champion Ryusuke Taguchi
Match Rating 4.25/5

Great match and really made the show and the title feel important, with Tagucki working over KUSHIDA’s knee and KUSHIDA working over the arm it really was a hard one to call. The match had some great mat and submission wrestling with a lot of reversals for some great in ring psychology. I was surprised by the finish and I’m not sure NJPW decided to have the belts switch hands but I’m just glad that this means there’ll be a rematch between the two.

Taicihi, El Desperado and Taka Michinoku attack both after the match with Alex Shelley running in for the save and Desperado poses with the junior heavyweight title.

Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito vs The Bullet Club (Tama Tonga & AJ Styles)

Styles and Ibushi start the match and go back and forth with forearms, Tonga holds Ibushi on the floor as Styles hits a baseball slide and then Naito hits a pescado to Styles and Tonga. Naito is tagged in and hits a missile dropkick to Styles. AJ manages to make a comeback and goes for the Styles Clash but he blocks it but Styles hits a Pele kick and both are down.

Styles hits a springboard forearm to Naito, Ibushi springboard dropkick to Styles and then takes out Tonga and gets a near fall. Naito clotheslines Styles to the floor and Tonga gets a near fall off a top rope crossbody to Ibushi, Ibushi manages to eventually connect with a head kick to Tonga and goes to the top and hits the Phoenix splash for the win.

Winners: Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito
Match Rating: 3.75/5

Match was pretty decent, Styles was protected with this loss as he never took the pinfall but Naito has now defeated Styles twice so it does look like he’ll be challenging for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship very soon.

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchika Okada (Challengers) vs Doc Gallows & “The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson (Champions)

Anderson and Okada fight up the aisle and he hits Okada with the guard rail while Gallows leaves Yoshi-Hashi on the floor at ringside and they start the count but they make it back in the ring before the count out. Anderson manages to take out Okada so he and Gallows start double teaming YOSHI-HASHI, they hit a double team neck breaker to Yoshi-Hashi and Okada makes the save. They go for the Magic Killer and Okada stops them and hits both with dropkicks.

Hashi hits a blockbuster to Gallows for a two-count, he then hits a lariat and gets a near fall on Gallows again. Hashi finally hits a swanton and it looks like we’ll have new champions but Yujiro pulls the referee to the floor and attacks Hashi in the ring. Anderson then hits a Gun Stun on Okada and then Gallows hits choke bomb to Hashi followed by the Magic Killer for the three count.

Winners and still IWGP World Tag Team Champions Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows
Match Rating 3.75/5

This match was better than I expected, I knew the tag titles wouldn’t change hands but YOSHI really stood out in this match and the I was actually buying into the idea of him pinning one of them to win the gold, and even though Okada lost, he was still protected since he was never pinned and Bullet Club looked as impressive as ever.

Togi Makabe vs Hirooki Goto

They start off the match with tons of forearms back and forth. On the floor, Goto sends Makabe into the guard rail and then the ring post. Goto hits a spinning heel kick in the corner and Makabe is holding his jaw and teasing that he may have broken it again. Goto stomps him in the face and then applies a leg scissors.

Makabe take down Goto with a lariat, he then hits a stack powerbomb but only gets a two-count. Makabe climbs to the top but Goto stops him and puts Makabe on his shoulders and hits the Ushikoroshi. Makabe manages to come back and goes for the Spider suplex off the top after sending Goto into the steel post, he hits it and follows with the King Kong knee drop for the win.
Winner: Togi Makabe
Match Rating: 4/5

This was a great hard hitting match with some sick spots, Makabe gets his revenge for the injury that occurred and I can’t wait to see these guys wrestle again.

Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Katsuyori Shibata

They break on the ropes with Tanahashi slapping Shibata on the break and leads to some forearms back and forth. They go to the floor and exchange forearms as the count is running and both run back into the ring at the count of 19. Shibata goes after the right knee and applies a figure-four but Tanahashi manages to get out of it and he starts to make a comes back with a somersault senton off the second turnbuckle, heads to the corner and Shibata runs at him with a big boot and then starts hitting Tanahashi hard in the chest.

Tanahashi comes back and hits a dragon screw leg whip in the ropes as Shibata is favoring his right knee, they exchange suplexes with each popping up and then Shibata nails him with a kick and both are down. Shibata lifts him on his shoulders and Tanahashi counters into a slingblade in mid-air, hits another off the ropes and goes for the High Fly Flow with Shibata getting his knees up and Shibata grabs his right knee immediately after.

They have a big exchange ending with Shibata being slapped and going down, he manages to get back up and hits a spinning back chop to drop Tanahashi. Shibata goes for the GTS but Tanahashi manages to block the GTS from Shibata and he hits a dragon screw leg whip on Shibata, he then hits a running dropkick, top rope crossbody and the High Fly Flow for the win.
Winner: Hiroshi Tanahashi
Match Rating: 4.5/5

Fantastic match, both guys looked equal and this may have topped their match in the G1 tournament. Was surprised by the outcome as I felt Shibata could of used the win to make himself a challenger for the IWGP World title but if this means they have a rubber match then I’m all for Tanahashi winning this one.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Bad Luck Fale (Champion) vs Shinsuke Nakamura (Challenger)

Fale has a long head lock applied. Nakamura comes back with knees in the corner but misses with a running knee into the corner. Nakamura makes his comeback and hits a back stabber and attempts an overhead suplex but Fale blocks and hits Nakamura with a vertical suplex and then lifts for the Sammartino style back breaker.

Nakamura makes a comeback and hits a Bom A Ye from behind to the back of the head, rallies the crowd and hits the overhead suplex, goes for another Bom A Ye but Fale hits him with a spear and then goes for the Grenade and Nakamura knees him in mid-air, hits the Bom A Ye off the turnbuckle twice for a two-count.

Fale climbs to the top and misses a splash, but Fale gets back up lifts up Nakamura for the torture rack and into a back breaker and hits the Grenade for a two count. Nakamura manages to come back and he knocks him down to one leg and hits a final Bom A Ye for the win and regains the title.

Winner and new IWGP Intercontinental Champion Shinsuke Nakamura
Match Rating: 4/5

Good main event, Bad Luck Fale looked very strong throughout the G1 touranment and throughout this match and this match seemed to be better than the others, really happy that Nakamura won the belt and interested to see where this leads.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Good event despite the streaming issues, had a couple of dud matches in the first half but once it was time for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match the event shot straight up in terms of quality and delivered a couple of great matches. Thanks for reading and feel free to follow me on twitter @MarcGoldberg1

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