New Japan Pro Wrestling
Destruction in Kobe
September 22, 2019
Kobe World Hall
Hyogo, Japan

Watch: NJPW World

Yuji Nagata, Yota Tsuji & Yuyu Uemura Def. Manabu Nakanishi, Alex Coughlin & Michael Richards

This, like all the other Young Lion/New Japan dad multi man tags this tour was rock solid. The dads stayed out of it for the most part and allowed the young guys to go at it. Thought this was one of Tsujis best performances. ***

Young Lion Cup Match
Clark Connors Def. Ren Narita

This might have been a victim of expectation but I thought this was bitterly disappointing. I had visions of this one being one of the best matches of the tournament and while technically good it just lacked the fire a lot of these young lion cup matches usually have. Connors knocks off Narita spoiling his chances of winning the trophy. ***

Young Lion Cup Match
Karl Fredericks Def. Shota Umino

Now this what I’m talking about! Fire, passion, accidental blood. Not sure if this was the ‘best’ match of the tournament but the overall presentation of this was great. The two best guys in their respective dojos battling it out. Fredericks eventually wins and lifts the cup over his head, while Umino crawls to him not wanting it to be over. Really good stuff here. ***1/2

Chase Owens, Bad Luck Fale & Yujiro Takahashi Def. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare

This was so boring. Went 8 minutes but it felt like an eternity. The only stars it gets is because of Henare sold the Package Piledriver. After the match, Owens challenged The Rock ‘n’ Roll Express for the American tour coming up next week. ** (For Henares selling)

Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki Def. Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Tiger Mask & Rocky Romero

This was a three-minute brawl that ended in disqualification. Now, this may sound awful but my word this was an incredible angle. The return of KISHIN LIGER!!! The feud is peaking, I know there has been a theory about this being ligers dome/retirement match but lets do this on the next big show I can’t wait anymore!! I haven’t done this justice, just go watch it yourself/ N/A match **** angle

Tomohiro Ishii, Will Ospreay, SHO, YOH & YOSHI-HASHI Def. KENTA, Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa

The highlight of the match was YOH rolling up Tanga Loa to pin a Guerilla of Destiny for the second straight show. Roppongi 3K going for the heavyweight tag belts is a breath of fresh air and I’m honestly kind of excited for it. ***

 SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi & Robbie Eagles

Usually, I wouldn’t be looking forward to seeing two guys wrestle for the fourth time in 6 months, even if it is two guys I really like but the crowd reactions and the work has pulled me through. The chant off at the start just shows how over SANADA is becoming and Okada is Okada. The match also did a good job at building anticipation for the upcoming but not officially announced Ibushi/EVIL contract defense. Overall another solid multi-man tag on a show that building very nicely. ***1/4

Hirooki Goto Def. Shingo Takagi

This was two mean, meat men running at each other and unsurprisingly it rocked. A little slow to get going but that can be excused when you saw the super colliding they were going to do to each other. The clotheslines, the slams, the fire, the passion and the sweat flying everywhere, it was all just so great. The obvious thought was Goto getting his win back and then challenging for the NEVER title but as well see later that was only half right. Absolutely go watch this match. ****1/4

IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Jay White Def. Tetsuya Naito ©

I was the high man on the G1 match between these two and this match blew that one out of the water.

Naito is having a low-key fantastic year with the Jericho match, the series with Ibushi, his G1 and now this. People who say Naito is losing it are either out to lunch or want to push an anti-New Japan/Gedo ‘missed the boat on Naito’ agenda. Jay might not have the best G1 but he has knocked it out of the park, scored a touchdown and slam-dunked every big match and main event he has had this year.

These two are the best wrestlers at wrestling to their gimmick in the company and maybe even the world. This had a big match feel and they’ve done a great job at building the stakes to the probable double title match at the second night at the dome. Clean enough finish to make Jay look strong but enough shenanigans for him to still be a P.O.S coward. Sets up Naito getting revenge on the first night of the dome perfectly. Jay cut a great promo (something else he doesn’t get enough credit for) and Goto came down to challenge him next – most likely at Power Struggle in November. ****1/2

Final Thoughts

Far and away the best show of the tour, the top two matches were fantastic and the rest of the card did a great job of building anticipation to existing feuds. A great conclusion to a really fun Young Lion Cup as well. Gets the big two thumbs up go watch this show from me, an accurate opinion haver.