New Japan Pro Wrestling
Destruction in Hiroshima 2016
September 22, 2016
Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall

Watch: NJPW World

New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Destruction tour marches on with NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima 2016 highlighted by Kenny Omega vs. YOSHI-HASHI!

Meet our previewers

  • Rich Kraetsch: Co-host of the Voices of Wrestling flagship podcast, one of the primary owners of this here website, managing editor, technical support, forum moderator, etc, etc. Follow him on Twitter (@VoicesWrestling)
  • Dylan Noah: That one Brother Yasshi fan which is apparently the most important thing he can put in his bio since it’s always there. Away playing Pokemon because he has to get ready for Sun & Moon but you can follow him on Twitter (@jimmysusumu) and poke him about wrestling things from time to time. Writes about DDT for VoW, his true passion in life.
  • John Carroll: They are quickly running out of things to say in these group previews, because they do them a lot. Follow their twitter (@toshanshuinla) if you like bad things. Co-host of Open the Voice Gate, which is actually going to record a new episode this weekend! Shocking, right?

Captain New Japan, Teruaki Kanemitsu, Togi Makabe and Yoshitatsu vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Matt Sydal, Ricochet and Satoshi Kojima

Rich Kraetsch: Let’s all give a warm welcome to Teruaki Kanemitsu! The young Kanemitsu is making his “opening match young lion that takes the fall” debut here teaming with New Japan veteran Togi Makabe and the miserable Hunter Club team. Kanemitsu popped up on a recent Road to Destruction show and has been apart of New Japan auxiliary promotions Lion’s Gate and We Are Suzuki-Gun but has not made a splash on New Japan’s main roster since debuting earlier this year. It’s great to see him finally becoming part of the roster as there’s nothing we love more on this website than young lions. That he’s been so protected has me cautious but we’ve been so spoiled as of late, it may be a nice change of pace to get an in-over-their-head young lion mucking up the early part of the card. I’m absolutely in love with the dynamic of Satoshi Kojima introducing his young, hip friends (Sydal & Ricochet) to his old porch drinking, friends since high school BFF Tenzan. Prediction: TenKoji & Ricochet & Sydal

Dylan Noah: I don’t even know what to think about this match because this is a random little assortment of wrestlers on one side, and then Kojima is introducing Tenzan to their newly adopted sons, Ricochet and Matt Sydal, because those three are NEVER champions still (right?). And then there’s… Well, there’s the Bullet Club Hunters, where Yoshitatsu is still being a prick to CNJ who has only ever done his best to entertain and win the hearts of millions with his fun little act. Togi Makabe, which is fine, because this is a position I would prefer him to be in as it is, and Kanemitsu, one of the new Young Lions. That’s actually very exciting, because we haven’t gotten to see them very much lately, and I am absolutely craving to see more of these kids. There is a giant gaping hole now that Shohei and Jay are gone, and no offense to Finlay and Henare, but I need more to fill it. I want to see these new kids go. Prediction: TenKoji & Ricochet & Sydal

John Carroll: Hey, it’s a non-Henare young lion sighting! Given how much they’ve shielded the latest crop of kids from our eyes so far, that’s a pretty rare thing (and I think is only happening because of them pulling Shibata from this show, but don’t hold me to that). One of these teams is pretty normal- TenKoji plus Kojima’s NEVER six-man partners Sydal & Ricochet (hey, remember those belts?)- but the other is, uh, kind of weird. You have the Unchained King Kong himself Togi Makabe, the Bullet Club Hunters (who barely ever wrestle the Bullet Club of late), and then the young lion. Weird match! Kanemitsu is getting pinned of course. Prediction: TenKoji & Ricochet & Sydal

Bobby Fish, David Finlay, Kyle O’Reilly and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honma and Yuji Nagata

Rich Kraetsch: I’m into this match way more than I probably should be. No longer young boy David Finlay moves up to the second match on the card, Bobby Fish & Taguchi interactions that can’t help but be amazing and look at how grumpy that other team is! Tiger Mask will undoubtedly get pissed at Fish and start stretching him. Nagata and O’Reilly exchanging arm bars, Nakanishi with enough people in the match to pull off one of his yearly dives from the top rope. I can’t wait. Prediction: Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honma and Yuji Nagata

Dylan Noah: Yet again, this is about where I would want a guy like Honma to be considering his skillset, so I’m fine with him being here. Nakanishi has been fun lately, and I always love watching him and Nagata work together, so all is well. And Tiger Mask is cool, too, I love the older men of New Japan. On the other side you have one of the most entertaining juniors in the world in Taguchi, reDRagon, and David Finlay and his ring gear. This should be a fun match. Prediction: The Old Guard & Honma

John Carroll: This is one of those sneaky eight-mans that should be more fun that you might expect at first. reDRagon, the Funky Weapon, and David Finlay are an awesome team, and I’m really looking forward to some possible interactions between O’Reilly and Yuji Nagata. Would assume it’s Finlay eating the pin here. Prediction: Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask, Tomoaki Honma and Yuji Nagata

Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) vs. Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero)

Rich Kraetsch: Meh. Roppongi Vice, as much as I want to like them, never seem to connect with me on any level in New Japan. Once their entrance song is over, my enjoyment level sinks and they do little to recover that in the context of their matches. That’s not to say they don’t impress because they often do… depending on who is on the other side of the ring. In this case, it’s arguably wrestling’s worst and most over pushed tag team, Guerrillas of Destiny. Let’s all hope & pray for a quick match. Prediction: Roppongi Vice

Dylan Noah: GoD are one of my favorite tag teams and it has very little to do with the quality of their wrestling so if that is something you are a stickler on, feel free to not read very far into that statement. I genuinely just like the guys in the group and their family bonds, and I think it’s cute. Roppongi Vice are… Look, I like Rocky Romero, but Trent outside of maybe PWG doesn’t appeal to me very much, and I like him more with Chuck Taylor than I do just about anyone else. I like Rocky and Tama a lot though, so I’m sure this match will be one I can enjoy myself. I assume GoD win, even though both teams are never really pushed, because at least GoD got pushed longer. Prediction: Guerrillas of Destiny

John Carroll: I’ve heard people talking about GoD being better lately and, uh, sure? I guess they’ve gone from borderline-unwatchable to just plain ‘ol boring and uninteresting, but let’s be frank: if they were really improving that much, they would be back in the tag title mix, which doesn’t seem to be happening. Have you ever seen a tag team fall from being pushed to nothing that fast? They just aren’t very good and the crowd does not care about them at all, so I kind of wish they would cut bait on Loa and let Tonga try to go as a single again. Anyway, this will just be a match. I assume GoD win since they’re heavyweights and their opponents are juniors, but would it shock me that much if they didn’t? Nope. Prediction: Roppongi Vice

Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. Chaos (Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii)

Rich Kraetsch: Your personal opinion on Chase Owens will likely drive your excitement level for this match. If you’re into “The Crown Jewel” you may find this match super appealing, if not, it’s another boring Bullet Club/CHAOS inconsequential tag match. However, when one of the participants name is Tomohiro Ishii, I’m always going to be pumped. I truly think that has the chance to be really good, even with the drain that is Yujiro Takahashi. CHAOS wins easily. Prediction: Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii

Dylan Noah: Chase Owens was Kenny’s fall partner during the junior tag league one year and Milano was nice enough to put him over on Twitter once, and those collectively are probably the most interesting things to have happened to him during his run with the Bullet Club. He’s okay. He’s not really someone who leaves an impact but he’s also not unbearable to watch. Yujiro’s gimmick is something else, which is hardly surprising. Goto and Ishii are, however, really great wrestlers and an even better team, and I’ve enjoyed their matches together as partners. Prediction: Chaos

John Carroll: Speaking of “just a match”, uh, there’s this thing. Chase Owens is fine, Yujiro is bad (and his pimp gimmick is somehow much grosser than when he was just bringing one lady to the ring with him; was anyone really clamoring for a Japanese Godfather here in the year of our lord 2016???), and Goto & Ishii are both great but I dunno if they’re gonna be able to work a miracle here. Honestly, if you were gonna skip anything on this show, I would say skip these two tag matches before you skipped the opening two eight-mans, which will probably be a lot more fun. Prediction: Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA and Michael Elgin vs. Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA and Tetsuya Naito)

Rich Kraetsch: One of the most interesting dynamics of the three Destruction shows is the card placement of Hiroshi Tanahashi. He’s just a guy on these cards. That, of course, is by design as New Japan gambles on a few names (namely KUSHIDA, Shibata and Elgin) to see if they can handle main event/drawing duties on their own. Surely, Tanahashi will be back in the mix by the end of the year but the break is great for both his health, the health of the company (who could create a few bonafide drawing stars in his absence) and the health of people who watch each and every New Japan show and have tired of Tanahashi always being an integral part of the shows. Again, this is only temporary and he will be back but it’s a welcome change and adds a dynamic of freshness to this entire tour. Now to the match at hand, just look at this… it has no chance of being anything less than great. Juice is improving rapidly and no longer is the defacto fall man (except, well, in this match where he’ll definitely take the fall). KUSHIDA looks to gain some revenge on the man who beat him for the Junior title BUSHI while Elgin and Naito continue to build to their massive main event. I’m really looking forward to this one. Prediction: Los Ingobernables de Japon

Dylan Noah: This is an interesting match if you believe the truth that will be Tanahashi vs. Naito at the Dome, which I do, because that’s the money match. We have a chance here to build more heat between them, which I’m sure will happen even though the match currently is Elgin/Naito. NJ does the longterm booking so it would be wise to start here. You also have Kushida and Bushi squaring off after Bushi beat Kushida for the Junior Heavyweight Title in what was an okay match. Juice is here to prove yet again that he absolutely does belong in this promotion and it’s going to be fun to see him squaring off with the likes of Sanada and especially Evil. I love Evil. He’s my favorite in Los after catching my eye way back when in ROH, and I’m glad to see him getting so far. Los wins this, because they’re on a roll. Prediction: Los Ingobernables de Japon

John Carroll: Okay, now that you’ve skipped past those two blah tag matches, you’re in luck, because we’re hitting the good part of the card now. LIJ multi-man tags have been a highlight of New Japan’s undercards/B-shows all year long, and I doubt this one will be any different. You’ve got KUSHIDA here looking for revenge on BUSHI after he took his junior title last weekend in Tokyo, Elgin and Naito in their final build to their Intercontinental title match this weekend in Kobe, and then a hell of a supporting cast around them too with Tanahashi & JUICE~ on one side and EVIL & SANADA on the other. This is going to be a hell of a lot of fun, even if it’s pretty obvious who is getting pinned. Prediction: Los Ingobernables de Japon

IWGP Tag Team Championship
The Briscoe Brothers (Jay Briscoe and Mark Briscoe) (c) vs. The Young Bucks (Matt Jackson and Nick Jackson)

Rich Kraetsch: The Young Bucks, 35-time (didn’t fact check this) IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champions, are going for the IWGP Tag Team Championship. Most may look at the match header and ask, “So what?” The Bucks are a junior team. The Briscoes are not. The blending of the tag divisions, whether leading to a unification of the titles or simply removing the embargo for fresher match-ups moving forward, this is a step in the right direction. No longer confined to heavyweight teams, the fledgeling IWGP Heavyweight Tag Titles can finally get an injection of energy while junior teams, stuck with multi-team, early card spot fests in perpetuity, finally get to spread their wings and go in a different path. The real story will come with the result. Was this match booked simply to show that junior teams CAN go for the main tag title now or are they really serious about a junior team winning? If the Bucks do pull this out, we will look back at this match and this show as a monumental changing of the guard for the division — that alone has my interest level on this match through the roof. Prediction: The Briscoe Brothers

Dylan Noah: I’ve seen this match a lot in ROH. I’m not really overly fond of either team. I’m also just not overly fond of seeing them together. They just don’t appeal to me. People are using this match to say the tag team divisions are going to be combined, something else I don’t really expect to happen at this point, and I can’t say I’m overly excited about that prospect if it just means getting rematches of rematches I’ve already seen in Ring of Honor. Prediction: The Briscoes Brothers

John Carroll: One of the cooler things about 2016 is going to an ROH show in Brooklyn and watching them shoot an angle for an IWGP Tag Title match in Hiroshima. That’s the kind of connected booking that is going to make NJPW fans like me pay more attention to ROH than they have in the past few years, so hopefully they keep doing more of it. Anyway, this match has a very real chance to steal the show. I suspect both teams are going to let it all hang out here, and they’re both certainly capable of putting on ****+ matches. Picking a winner is actually pretty tough because I could easily see them letting the Bucks get the win and their first heavyweight tag title, but ultimately I think the Briscoes pull this out and retain. Prediction: The Briscoe Brothers

ROH World Championship
Adam Cole © vs. Will Ospreay

Rich Kraetsch: Adam Cole has never really done it for me. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is, or why he doesn’t connect with me the same way he does for many others. Still, I’m excited to see his run as ROH World Champion and hope he can turn the corner for me in the coming months. This right here is a great start. Facing off with one of my favorite wrestlers in the world, the always-dynamic, always-exciting Will Ospreay is a hell of a way to kick off this reign in Japan. If Cole aims to do the opposite of Jay Lethal while defending this title in Japan, legitimately great things can come from this relationship. Imagine how cool it would be to see a high-level ROH World Title match on Wrestle Kingdom? Cole and Ospreay can set the standard here and leave the deep dark past of Lethal’s morose title defenses in the past. I’m ready for the flips and the super kicks, bay-bay! Prediction: Adam Cole

Dylan Noah: I like Adam Cole a lot. He’s very charismatic, I like his wrestling. I don’t know how I feel about him being in Bullet Club, so I’m just going to put blinders on and pretend that isn’t happening. Will Ospreay is also here. It’s good to see Adam finally getting to come to New Japan, and I hope he gets to impress here. His buddies, the Kingdom, definitely did not, but neither Matt Taven nor Michael Bennett have ever come close to having anything on Cole. He retains, obviously. Prediction: Adam Cole

John Carroll: Months after he was originally supposed to come to Japan for the Honor Rising shows (but had to pull out at the last minute), Cole joins the Destruction tour to put his ROH World title on the line against Will Ospreay. While the outcome isn’t exactly in doubt here, this is another match where both wrestlers will likely be looking to put on a memorable performance. Honestly, the top of this card is the deepest of any of these Destruction shows, and it’s mostly thanks to the ROH crossover guys here. Think of what a nothing card this would be without these last two title matches! Prediction: Adam Cole

Bad Luck Fale vs. Kazuchika Okada

Rich Kraetsch: Debating ad nauseum a few weeks ago on the VOW Flagship podcast, this match doesn’t make a lot of sense. This should be a title match. Fale earned that right. But there’s no use crying over spilt milk, it’s not a title match, so let’s enjoy it for what it is. 2016 is the year I’ve definitely turned the corner on Fale. To me, he’s finally harnessing the monster potential most saw in him. He’s working a stronger, more fierce style. He’s getting bigger by the day and finally appears comfortable in his world as the Bullet Club muscle. He’s had fun matches with Okada in the past but this has the potential to be their best yet. Okada never takes a night off so look for him to want to steal the show from the semi main event. Fale has another title match coming up in New Zealand, could that be foreshadowing another upset win by Fale? I wouldn’t bet on it but I say the chances are certainly higher than 0%. Prediction: Kazuchika Okada

Dylan Noah: This match annoys me. This match is one of those matches that absolutely does not need to be happening again because we already got it once and it already determined that Fale should get a title shot against Okada, since beating the champion in the G1 is grounds for a shot and always has been in the past. But for some reason, they’re going to contend that here, and I just don’t get that. Just give Fale the title shot, give Okada something to do building up to WK, and be done with it. Fale has been excellent in his matches with Okada, and people have genuinely thought they were good, so maybe we just have to accept this as another good match between the two of them. Which really doesn’t change the fact that Fale should be getting a shot, but this is New Japan, so I can’t say I’m really that surprised. Maru is going to get his title shot free and clear, but whatever. Anyway, I hope Fale wins somehow, because a title shot in New Zealand would be cool, but this is New Japan, and I know better than to bet against Okada. Prediction: Kazuchika Okada

John Carroll: So Fale beat Okada during the G1 (not his first singles win over the Rainmaker, either….) and, for some reason, he has to beat him in a non-title match AGAIN here to earn an IWGP Heavyweight title shot? Uh, why? I will admit it’s fairly interesting that Fale claims he’ll take his title shot in his homeland of New Zealand if he wins here, but the booking just doesn’t make any sense. Marufuji beat Okada during the G1 too and yet he’s getting a title shot immediately at King of Pro Wrestling, rather than having to win a second non-title match, so I really have no idea what the explanation here is. Is the NJPW front office, in kayfabe, like, racist? That’s as good an explanation as any for that double standard, right? Anyway, nonsensical booking aside this match will be good, as Okada and Fale have always had good chemistry together and Okada does some of his best work as an underdog working from underneath anyway. I would expect Okada to win this, which means no title shot for the big man in New Zealand, unfortunately. Prediction: Kazuchika Okada

IWGP Heavyweight Championship Challenge Right Certificate
Kenny Omega vs. YOSHI-HASHI

Rich Kraetsch: Imagine. Just imagine telling someone when the ball dropped and the year 2016 began that by September, Kenny Omega and YOSHI-HASHI would be in the main event of a fairly large New Japan show. You would’ve thought half the company left to form their own shadow organization and Omega/YOSHI were there to pick up the scraps. Instead, both men have been elevated to unpredictably large heights, in particular YOSHI-HASHI who, unlike Omega, never seemed destined for this type of push. The master of the Loose Explosion seemed to settle into a CHAOS middle-man tag worker over the past few years, a role that fit him perfectly. Fast forward and a fantastic feud with SANADA and Los Ingobernables has lit a fire under YOSHI-HASHI. Even those who never saw the potential in him (my hand is raised) are eating their words. Omega’s rise was more predictable but certainly expedited by AJ Styles leaving the company at the beginning of the year. Just when it seemed the push had fizzled out and NJPW was no longer interested in Omega being a top star, he wins the G1, has one of the greatest weekends in wrestling history and now seems himself as a main event and arguably the most important member of the NJPW roster. In ring, both of these competitors have had awesome years with Omega even toeing the Wrestler of the Year/Most Outstanding line. This will get time and has every chance to get a full five stars. You don’t want to miss this match. Prediction: Kenny Omega

Dylan Noah: Yoshi-Hashi has been one of the best things about New Japan this year and I say that without making a joke about it, because he has just been incredible. Who could have guessed that giving a wrestler the motivation to be great and putting him in a place where he can finally show himself off and shine could be good for his moral and push him to be more than you ever thought he could be? Actually, all of us, because that is something damn near everyone has been saying about select members of this roster for a long time. Yoshi has proven he absolutely deserves to be here in this spot, as he had a great match with Kenny Omega in the G1 and WON on top of that, which is pretty major considering Kenny went on to win. He had a fun feud with Sanada and now he gets this, and so far he’s proven that he really can rise to the occasion. I expect this to be better than their G1 encounter as they’ll both kick it up in this final stretch. Prediction: Kenny Omega

John Carroll: One of the best things about 2016 has been the YEAR OF LOOSE EXPLOSIONS, as YOSHI-HASHI has risen up from CHAOS loss post to serious threat. First he submitted SANADA to win their brief feud, and then he entered his first G1 and went 3-6, more than respectable for someone who was lucky to win three falls over non-young lions in an entire year before. Perhaps his biggest win in that G1 was over BULLET CLUB leader Kenny Omega, as the two had a really great match at Korakuen Hall that saw YOSHI hit his new Karma finisher on him for the shocking pinfall win. Of course, Omega would go on to win the entire G1 tournament, and after his victory he nominated YOSHI-HASHI as his first challenger for the IWGP Heavyweight Title shot at Wrestle Kingdom. Once again the result is not exactly in doubt here, but the two showed great chemistry together at Korakuen and I would expect them to follow it up with another strong match here. Both have been on fire of late so anything less than a **** match would probably have to be considered a disappointment. Prediction: Kenny Omega