NJPW “DESTRUCTION IN OKAYAMA”
September 23, 2014
We’re back for another round of Destruction! This time, we don’t get it live on iPPV because the first Destruction show was the last Ustream show, who is pulling out of the PPV business. In fact, Samurai TV in Japan didn’t air this live. They opted to air a NOAH card featuring an exploding barbed wire death match. No, I don’t know why NOAH was chosen over New Japan. And no, I have no idea why a exploding barbed wire match featuring Atsushi Onita is headling a NOAH show in the year 2014. But I digress; we have a New Japan show to get to!
Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi and Bushi vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Maximo and Tiger Mask. Maximo/CNJ, Taguchi and Tiger Mask and Bushi and Liger exchanged spots to start things out. I guess Liger and Tiger Mask are buddies again after appearing on opposite sides in their last match. Maximo ends up kissing Bushi for a nearfall. Yes, that was a nearfall spot. Bushi retaliates by hitting a codebreaker, then a second from the top rope for the pinfall. Perfectly fine for what it was, which is a extremely basic New Japan opener with some light comedy. **
Forever Hooligans vs. Young Bucks. Hooligans had control early, but after Koslov did his Russian headgear dance thing, the Bucks jump him and derailed Romero with a superkick. Bucks are in control for a while but Kozlov hot tags Romero who goes wild on Nick. Romero topes Matt on the outside, Nick retaliates with a moonsault off the apron, and Koslov hits a big swanton to the floor that sends everyone reeling. Hooligans hit a doomsday device for a nearfall. Nick and Matt run wild after this, including a buckle bomb on Romero. Spike piledriver on Romero doesn’t do it. They superkick Koslov to the floor which sets up the More Bang for Your Buck on Romero for the pinfall. This was good, but I’ve seen it before. ***
Gedo, Toru Yano and Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka and Taka Michinoku. Iizuka is throwing chairs around as Sakuraba and Suzuki do their MMA striking bit. They do this for a bit, but eventually winds up into the crowd. This leaves Iizuka and Gedo in the ring as the former works over the latter. Yano is tagged in and does his turnbuckle bit to Taka, but Iizuka gets tagged in and looks to use the tag rope, only for Yano to subdue him. He eventually gets the rollup win over Taka as Suzuki wraps himself on Sakuraba’s leg, refusing to let go. Nothing to write home about. *1/4
Suzuki still refuses to break the hold after the match is over. Eventually he’s restrained as Sakuraba is left laying and his tag team partners help him make hi exit. Definitely a slow build towards something, maybe at the Tokyo Dome. Because at King of Pro Wrestling, it’s the same tag match we’ve been getting for months. Again.
IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship: Timesplitters (c) vs. Taichi and Desperado. Taichi works over Shelley’s bad shoulder. He tries to make a tag, but Kushida has been taken out so it’s a 2 on 1 deal for a long while. Finally, after what seems like an eternity, Kushida is tagged in and the heels start getting worked over until Desperado cuts Kushida off. Taichi gets a nearfall with a powerbomb. He goes to use his microphone/cane deal but Shelley plants an enziguri on Taichi and Kushida locks in the kimura as Shelley takes out Desperado. Taichi escapes thanks to a Taka Michinoku distraction on the outside, but they eventually get the win with a double team sliced bread #2. This got a lot better after the Shelley hot tag. ***1/4
After the match, The Young Bucks as well as the Forever Hooligans come in and challenge the Timesplitters. Kushida tells them “you’re already dead” as Shelley cuts a promo in Japanese. Looks like these three teams will be facing each other at King of Pro Wrestling, though that doesn’t make sense as the Hooligans lost and the Young Bucks won their match earlier this evening.
Bruce Tharpe-des is back! He demonstrated his many flashy, colorful outfits. At King of Pro Wrestling, the NWA Jr. heavyweight champion will be in attendance. Chase Owens, the champion, cut a promo after Tharpe, calling himself the crown jewel and issues an open challenge for anyone to accept. He’ll prove why he is the NWA Jr. heavyweight champion. Bushi seems to have answered this challenge as that’s the title match for the iPPV. Of course, this was the best thing on this show so far.
Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga. Ishii and Fale start things off in a big guy battle. Ishii tries a suplex, but ultimately Fale out powers him and gains the advantage. Ishii does finally counter with the suplex and tags in Nakamura, who runs wild. Fale blocks a reverse suplex, but does get hit with an inverted suplex. Tama Tonga is tagged in and actually cuts off Nakamura, sinking in a Boston crab. Faces eventually get the comeback as Ishii eliminates himself and Fale out onto the floor. Nakamura hits the reverse exploder suplex and follows with the boma ye for the pinfall. Basic, short match. **3/4
NWA Tag Team Championship: Tencozy (c) vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata. Nagata and Kojima squared off first, then Nakanishi and Tenzan. Kojima and Tenzan work over Nakanishi for a bit, but Nakanishi eventually isolates Kojima and the both of them work him over. Kojima DDTs Nagata and tags in Tenzan. Nakanishi is tagged in and gives Tenzan a missile dropkick and the lariat for a nearfall. Torture rack times, but Kojima interrupts to no avail. Nagata is tagged but Kojima quickly takes over and does his comeback. Nagata cuts him off and hits the armbar while Nakanishi has Tenzan in the torture rack, but it doesn’t last. Nagata and Nakanishi do the double team move they did to finish the job at the Blue Justice spot show, but Tenzan comes in after and clears house. Tencozy hit the 3D on Nakanishi but when it’s Nagata’s turn he responds with two big exploder suplexes on both of them. Nagata Germans Kojima but he rebounds and lariats Nagata for the pinfall. The last couple of minutes were great, and overall this was pretty good stuff. ***1/2
NEVER Championship – Yujiro Takahashi (c) vs. Yoshi-Hashi: Quickly starts on the outside with YH being the aggressor. Yujiro cuts him off and suplexes him on the entrance ramp. Yujiro works on him a bit until he cuts him off and hits a running dropkick as Yujiro is draped on the ring ropes. Yujiro fires back briefly, but Hashi is in control until Yujiro slingshots him on the ropes. This is the first match I felt the crowd was actually into. Yujiro hits a fireman’s carry for a nearfall. Yujiro goes for a buckle bomb, but YH counters with a back body drop. He follows with a neckbreaker for a nearfall. Powerbomb into a bridge for a nearfall. Yujiro hits a big boot, but YH counters with a lariat. He goes to the top rope but misses the swanton. Yujiro low blows YH after a ref bump and hits the Toyko Pimps for a hot nearfall. Yujiro hits the buckle bomb then the Miami Shine and scores the pinfall. Even the announcers felt bad for Yoshi-Hashi after this one. Good match and was pretty heated. They definitely have something for Yoshi-Hashi; I just hope it’s not more opening eight man tag matches. ***1/2
Yujiro, a scantily clad lady and a little kid celebrated with him after. This was odd. The kid left as Yujiro and Tomohiro Ishii, who was seconding Yoshi-Hashi, started down for a possible rematch for the title. Actually, the possibility is a reality as that is indeed another King of Pro Wrestling match. The crowd liked this a lot. Yujiro then continued to celebrate with the scantily clad lady.
Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata. Shibata and Honma start off and its a back and forth affair. Honma misses his headbutt and tags in Makabe, and Goto follows. Back and forth forearm contest. This lasts a while until Makabe slows down. Back and forth stiffness occurs until Goto hits the knee neckbreaker and the other two in the tag match are tagged in. Honma hits his headbutt and tries to follow with the kokeshi headbutt off the top rope but it misses. Shibata hits the running dropkick in the corner and follows with a butterfly suplex for a nearfall. Shibata hits a sleeper, but Honma soon counters with a lariat and a sitout piledriver for another nearfall. Tries for the kokeshi again but Shibata catches him on the top rope and follows with a botched GTS and a penalty kick that definitely wasn’t botched. This was short, but action packed and the crowd liked it. ***1/2
After the match, Goto and Makabe talked things out then shook hands. Shibata grabbed Honma and threw him out of the ring as Goto and Shibata stood tall.
Tetsuya Naito and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. AJ Styles and Doc Gallows. Styles and Naito start things out. Naito gets the better of him and AJ says tag in Tanahashi. Naito does show, and Styles responds…by tagging in Doc Gallows. He overpowers Tanahashi as he and Styles work Tanahashi over. Tanahashi tags in Naito but the tides quickly turn back to the Bullet Club’s favor. Tanahashi takes Gallows down to his feet, but AJ takes care of him as he continues to work on Naito. AJ is in but Naito starts to mount a comeback with a neckbreaker. Tag to their partners where Tanahashi starts on the offensive against Gallows. AJ is tagged in and goes for the Styles Clash but Tanahashi counters to a back body drop. Tanahashi catches AJ and goes for the Styles Clash (!) but Gallows breaks it up. Assisted brainbuster by Gallows and Styles for a nearfall. Naito tagged, pushes Gallows into Styles as he and Tanahashi work over Gallows. Huge plancha from Tanahashi onto Styles as Naito hits the stardust press on Gallows for the pinfall. Pretty alright, but nothing really special stood out about it. ***1/4
Kazuchika Okada vs. Karl Anderson. This is for Okada’s title match at WrestleKingdom 9. Starts off with some slow mat wrestling. They brawl around the ring until Anderson cuts off Okada with a stiff kick to the shoulder. He gets thrown to the outside where Yujiro jumps him and posts him back first. Anderson works on the shoulder for a while, but Okada fires back with a flapjack to even things out. He lifts Anderson up to the top rope then dropkicks him as he falls all the way to the floor. That’s always an interesting spot to see. Yujiro comes back and posts Okada again. Okada responds by throwing Yujiro and Anderson into the barricade, then flies onto them both with a crossbody through the barricade onto the floor. Ditto for this spot. Okada goes for a move off the top, but Yujiro is back in this and distracts him long enough for Anderson to take control. He charges into the corner but Okada stops him and hits the death valley driver for the nearfall. Rainmaker attempt, but Anderson counters this with an inverted stun gun (think of Shelton Benjamin’s paydirt). He then goes to the top rope and hits a TKO from here for a nearfall. Okada counters and tries to go for red ink but Anderson pushes him into the ref, which allows Anderson to grab a chair and hits Okada with it on his bum shoulder. Sitout piledriver on the chair, but it doesn’t get the job done. Okada blocks a stun gun and counters with a tombstone. From here there’s tons of counters, including one where Karl Anderson goes for the stun gun but Okada flips over him and takes him out. That was so awesome I need a gif of it. Okada hits a German suplex and follows with the rainmaker to retain his title match. A super match with some fun nearfalls and counters, especially towards the last few minutes. ****1/4
After the match, Naito entered the ring and by the looks of things, challenged Okada for the title shot. Okada seems to accept. Okada and Gedo cut promos to close out the show.
A very solid show, though the first Destruction event a couple of days prior to this was way better. Most of the card was solid to good and the main event ended up delivering. It’s always good to use your shows to build towards the next one, and this show accomplished that in great fashion by building a number of intriguing matches for King of Pro Wrestling (Ishii/Yujiro, Tanahashi/Styles, Naito/Okada). Here’s hoping they’re back on Ustream on 10/13!