The last Destruction show this year for NJPW: Destruction in Kobe is now in the history books after an amazing main event between Kenny Omega and Juice Robinson!
Below is my review of the whole card PLUS you get some bonus stuff in the end too where I share my predictions for the upcoming King of Pro Wrestling Event!
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Hirai Kawato def. Tomoyuki Oka & Katsuya Kitamura
3 of the best Young Lions along with the legend Hiroyosihi Tenzan opened up the show in what was a standard tag-team match really. Nothing special, Tenzan got the win for him & Kawato by making Oka tap with his patented Anaconda Vice.
Makabe & Friends def. SUZUKI-GUN
You can't have an NJPW event without 10 Man Tags PLAYA! Togi Makabe along with Jushin "Thunder" Liger,Tiger Mask IV,and the IWGP Jr. Tag-Team Champions: Ricochet and Ryusuke Taguchi took on SUZUKI-GUN members: Iizuka,Kanemaru,Taichi,Desperado,and TAKA. Again nothing special, just your standard clusterfuck of a 10 Man Tag.
It's main purpose is to build up the eventual match between Makabe and Minoru Suzuki for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Makabe wins for his team by hitting TAKA Michinoku with his King Kong Knee Drop.
YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto def. Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens
Another tag-team match this time with CHAOS' Hirooki Goto & YOSHI-HASHI (we're definitely gonna be seeing this team in the Tag League) against Bullet Club's Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens. It's just another typical tag-team match, although better than the opener, which was to be expected considering the wrestlers involved here.
YOSHI-HASHI got the win for his team again by pinning Chase Owens. Nothing out of the ordinary though, it is what it is basically.
Berreta def. Yujiro Takahashi
The first singles match of the night we got Berreta making his singles debut on the Heavyweight division as he faces off Bullet Club's resident Tokyo Pimp: Yujiro Takahashi. I'm not usually interested in Yujiro's matches, I find them boring most of the time but if put in with the right opponent, he can deliver a decent match and I think him and Berreta did just that.
Was it one of the greatest matches this year? No, far from it. But it was a pretty good enough singles debut for Berreta, hopefully more good things happen to him as he now moves up a division.
IWGP Tag-Team Championships:
KES def. War Machine,GoD
Next up we got the third installment of the Triple Threat Matches for the IWGP Tag-Team Championships with the usual cast: Guerillas of Destiny,Killer Elite Squad, and of course the defending champions: War Machine. This one in my opinion is the best match that these three teams had, I think the stipulation of No DQ and No Countout definitely helped. Lots of cool (Japanese) table spots and an overall enjoyable slugfest!
My prediction came true with Lance Archer & Davey Boy Smith Jr. winning and capturing the IWGP Tag-Team Championships! More gold for SUZUKI-GUN!
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin def. Kota Ibushi & David Finlay
Another tag-team match coming your way this time Hiroshi Tanahashi teams up with Michael Elgin and they take on the duo of Kota Ibushi and David Finlay. Speaking of Finlay, I apologized for the error I did on my review for the Fukushima & Hiroshima shows, I mentioned Finlay as a 3rd gen wrestler when in fact he is a 4th! Pretty cool, any other 4th generation wrestlers you can think of?
Anyways, it was a good tag-team match as expected from these four workers. It definitely got me hyped for the upcoming bout between Tana and Ibushi for the IWGP IC Title, as if I wasn't hyped already just for the match up alone! In the end Elgin got the win for his team by pinning David Finlay. Who knows where Elgin goes from here though, he should have won the NEVER Openweight Title from Suzuki!
Ishii,Yano,& Romero def. Naito,SANADA,& BUSHI
Who wants some more tag-team matches? This time it's a 6 Man of CHAOS vs LIJ as Tomohiro Ishii,Toru Yano,and Rocky Romero take on Tetsuya Naito,SANADA,and BUSHI. A solid 6 man tag actually, everybody got their shit in and a lot of cool double team maneuvers.
There were some close calls too but Ishii got the win pinning BUSHI. Afterwards him and Naito brawled some more, as if they haven't had enough already, building up their upcoming match at KOPW.
Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay def. EVIL & Hiromu Takahashi
More CHAOS vs LIJ coming your way IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada teams up with his closet feline pal: Will Ospreay against their current rivals: EVIL and Hiromu Takahashi. Okada's neck is all taped up and whenever he takes bumps on that stack of dimes of his, I can't help but to cringe a little!
Ospreay seemed to have brought his A-Game in this match, fantastic showing for him and Hiromu ain't no slouch either! After all the build ups, I simply just cannot wait for Okada vs EVIL, it should be a 5-Star for sure! Anyways the match ends with Ospreay getting the win over his "frienemy" Hiromu. A sidenote, Daryl is nowhere to be seen, guess he's resting up in some cat cafe or something.
IWGP US Heavyweight Championship:
Kenny Omega def. Juice Robinson
Last but not the least we got the main event of the evening: Kenny Omega defends his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship for the first time against Juice Robinson! This match came to be when Juice pulled off an upset victory over Kenny at the G1 Climax. Fresh from rehabbing his injuries, The Cleaner is back and boy what a match!
Both men started the match kinda slow but things started to pace up when Juice started attacking Kenny's injured knee, which is ironic because he has mentioned before that attacking someone's injured body part is a dishonor, well look who's dishonorable now Juice! Anyway this match wasn't going to be like an all-around masterpiece like Omega and Okada had but it's a beautiful showcase of storytelling from both men, with their top notch selling coming into fruitition!
Even though I know Kenny will 100% no way lose this match, there were some instances where I thought Juice might win, and that's how a good match should feel like! After all the shit they've put through one another, it ends with an over the top rope One Winged Angel from Omega to Juice, which not only looked beautiful, but devastating as well! A successful first title defense for the leader of Bullet Club.
This was arguably the best match of the entire Destruction series this year!
Out of all the Destruction shows, I enjoyed Kobe the most! There is only one match heavily advertised for this show and that was Omega vs Juice so props to both men for actually delivering and not leaving us fans disappointed unlike No Mercy, but I digress!
What are the must watch matches? Besides the main event I think you'll enjoy the co-main event tag match and if you're into some grown sweaty men beating the crap out of each other, the IWGP Tag-Team Championship match is for you!
KING OF PRO WRESTLING 2017 PREDICTIONS
But wait there's more! Before we end this blog, I just wanna share my quick predictions & thoughts for the upcoming King of Pro Wrestling event which will take place on October 9th! And boy what a stacked card we got for this event so let's just get right through it!
Hiromu,BUSHI,& SANADA vs Fale,Yujiro,& Leo Tonga
Just your standard 6 man tag-team match to open up the show. There's no way in hell LIJ is losing this one, their faction as a whole is on a roll and they're up against fodder members of Bullet Club so the green giant that is Leo Tonga is gonna eat the pin for sure!
Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. vs Toru Yano & Hirooki Goto
WINNERS: Suzuki & ZSJ
I think it's pretty cool that we got ZSJ and his boss Suzuki team up, can see this as a team in the Tag League? Boy they'll be a deadly pair. I don't think Yano would be able to do his dirty tricks on Suzuki this time, at least I hope so since I predict the heels to win. Oh and Goto is there too, being directionless and all. Poor guy.
IWGP Jr. Tag-Team Championships:
Funky Future (c) vs Roppongi 3K
WINNERS: Roppongi 3K
We got the second title defense for the IWGP Jr. Tag-Team Champions: Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi, Funky Future and they are up against Rocky Romero's new unknown team of Roppongi 3K! Call me crazy but I think whoever this team is, has to be winning the match! The real prediction here though is WHO THE HELL ARE ROPPONGI 3K? People are saying it's gonna be the Tempura Boyz, I feel it should be bigger than that but whatever, I really have no clue.
IWGP Tag-Team Championships:
K.E.S. (c) vs War Machine vs GoD
WINNERS: Killer Elite Squad
I thought we would only get three of these triple threat matches? But I guess not since the Tag-Team Division in NJPW right now is suffering and the teams here involved are literally the only real "tag-teams" right now. K.E.S. just won the titles so they're obviously not losing them just like that, a no brainer really.
Omega,Cody,& Scurll vs Beretta,YOSHI-HASHI,& Jado
WINNERS: Bullet Club
Kenny Omega,Cody Rhodes,and Marty Scurll representatives of the Bullet Club against the "other" guys of CHAOS: Berreta,YOSHI-HASHI,and freaking Jado! What an unfair and one sided team this is! Obviously Jado is there to eat the pin, probably from Marty too. YOSHI-HASHI is also the one next in line for Kenny's US Title so expect a lot of action between those two in this match.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Togi Makabe vs Kota Ibushi & Juice Robinson
WINNERS: Tanahashi & Makabe
Just another tag-team match on the card to build up Tana vs Ibushi at Power Struggle, they are the main event btw. I think Juice is going to have a taste of the ol' King Kong Knee Drop on this one.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship:
KUSHIDA (c) vs Will Ospreay
WINNER: Will Ospreay
A re-match from WCPW's Pro Wrestling World Cup Finals, KUSHIDA defending his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship against a man who is yet to beat him: Will Ospreay! I've already predicted a title change for the Jr. Tags why not do it again but this time for the Jr. Heavyweight belt? I have a feeling that THIS will be the time Ospreay finally beats KUSHIDA, but even if the latter successfully retains I'm not complaining since I know these two will deliver a great match, possibly 5-Stars even!
Tokyo Dome Main Event Contract:
Tetsuya Naito (c) vs Tomohiro Ishii
WINNER: Tetsuya Naito
If my boy Naito loses, I riot! Seriously though, I'm an Ishii myself but Tetsuya Naito is one of the top stars of the company right now and there won't be any history making bullshit of someone losing the Tokyo Dome Main Event Contract for the first time. As Real Neat Puro mentioned, Ishii is the perfect guy to feud with before getting into that main event picture which is what Naito is doing right now. Should be a hellacious match between these two but obviously Tranquilo shall prevail over the Stone Pitbull!
IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs EVIL
WINNER: Kazuchika Okada
Last but not the least the match nobody was expecting at the start of the G1, Kazuchika Okada defending his IWGP Heavyweight Championship for the 8th time against The King of Darkness: EVIL! The latter shocked everybody when he got the win over Okada in the G1 so here we are, EVIL has definitely became the breakout star this year, delivering some great matches in the G1 and just overall became a must watch performer!
Although obviously, I think we can all assure that there's no chance in hell he's beating Okada for the title. The Rainmaker will come through and is gonna main event another Wrestle Kingdom against Tetsuya Naito!
Check out the WWE Hall of Famers Blog, where we take a look at each WWE HOF'er chronologically!
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