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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Fukushima Review 9.10.17

September 10, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Fukushima Review 9.10.17  

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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Fukushima Review 9.10.17

– Yuji Nagata and Hirai Kawato vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Shota Umino @ 5:51 via pin [**]
– Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Tomoyuki Oka and Katsuya Kitamura @ 7:35 via pin [**½]
– Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens defeated Baretta and Jado @ 7:39 via pin [**]
– Juice Robinson and David Finlay defeated Leo Tonga and Bad Luck Fale @ 5:00 via pin []
– Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet vs. Takashi Iizuka, TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taichi @ 11:06 via pin [**¾]
IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Champions War Machine defeated Guerillas of Destiny and Killer Elite Squad @ 11:5 via pin [**½]
– Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi defeated Tomohiro Ishii and Will Ospreay @ 12:04 via pin [***]
NEVER Openweight Six-Man Title Match: Champions EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano and Rocky Romero @ 14:04 via pin [***½]
NEVER Openweight Title Lumberjack Match: Champion Minoru Suzuki defeated Michael Elgin @ 19:22 via pin [DUD]

Yuji Nagata and Hirai Kawato vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Shota Umino: We start off with the dads taking the kids to work day. Nagata and Nakanishi kick things off, with both still being surly with each other. They don’t last long, as Kawato and Umino quickly tag in and work some basic back and forth. Kawato takes control, tags Nagata in and he immediately kicks Nakanishi to he floor. That’s a reoccurring tactic in their tag matches; Nagata is always a dick to Nakanishi. Nagata lights up Nakanishi with kicks, they trade strikes and slaps leading to Nakanishi doing his little dance. The lariat connects and he covers for 2. Nagata escapes the torture rack, and Kawato hits the missile dropkick. Umino dumps him and works over Nagata, but Nagata quickly turns the tide, hits the XLODER and taps him out with the crossface. Yuji Nagata and Hirai Kawato vs. Manabu Nakanishi and Shota Umino @ 5:51 via pin [**] This was a perfectly servable little opener.

Tomoyuki Oka and Katsuya Kitamura vs. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI: HOSS LIONS vs. CHAOS. Kitamura and HASHI to begin. HASHI tries to ground the powerhouse, and then foolishly tries to go power for power with him. Kitamura takes control, sending Goto to the floor and then working over HASHI. Goto returns as HASHI takes Kitamura to the floor, back in HASHI tags in Goto and he takes control, smartly grounding Kitamura. CHAOS works quick tags, isolating Kitamura in their half of the ring. They drape Kitamura over the ropes, and HASHI hits the dropkick. HASHI knocks Oka to the floor, as Goto looks for a suplex. Kitamura fights him off, hits a suplex and tags in Oka. Oka works over Goto in the corner, beating him down with forearms. He knocks HASHI to the floor, Kitamura back in and hits the spear on Goto, and Oka covers for 2. Kitamura and HASHI brawl on the floor, and Goto hits the lariat on Oka. HASHI isolates Kitamura, allowing Goto to hit a Saito suplex for 2. He locks in the crab, Oka fights and makes the ropes. Oka fires up with strikes, but Goto lays in kicks and that’s enough to up the win. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Tomoyuki Oka and Katsuya Kitamura @ 7:35 via pin [**½] This was an overall average match, with a flat finish. Not bad at all, and fine for its spot on the card.

Baretta and Jado vs. Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens: Baretta and Yujiro have been trading wins as of late, seemingly setting up Baretta for his first official heavyweight feud. Owens and Jado in to begin; they play around a bit with Jado scoring with cheap shots. Jado goes to the ropes, but Owens gets the boot up and Jado stumbles around before Flair flopping. Owens then lays in chops and wooooos. Yujiro tags in, knocks Baretta to the floor and ten tags Owens back in. They work double teams on Jado until Jado manages to cut off Owens. Baretta gets the tag, and runs wild on Yujiro. He then fights off Owens as well, and sends both to the floor. Baretta wipes them out with the big tope, and then heads up top but gets crotched by Yujiro. Yujiro hits a face buster, covering for 2. Baretta hits the tornado DDT and tags in Jado, and they work double teams on Yujro until Owens makes the save. Jado looks for the draping DDT, but Yujiro avoids it and it breaks down into Yujiro and Baretta. Baretta sent to the floor, and Yujiro hits the fisherman’s buster on Jado; pimp juice finishes it. Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens defeated Baretta and Jado @ 7:39 via pin [**] This was a match that existed, it wasn’t that it was bad, but it was slow and just lacked any real excitement. Yujiro picks up another win.

Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs. Leo Tonga and Bad Luck Fale: In case you missed it, Omega is off the tour (so that he can face Juice next week) due to a knee injury. Leo Tonga (a son of Haku and NJPW dojo student) has been replacing him on the tour, getting some valuable experience. Fale attacks Finlay as Leo works over Juice to begin. The giants hit a bunch of slams, and then choke out their opponents on the corner. It’s basically Fale does a big man spot and Leo follows, repeating the same spot like Fale has instructed him to “just watch me and learn kid.” After a brief brawl on the floor, they return and before Juice can get anything rolling, he gets cut off. Leo accidentally kicks Fale, allowing Juice and Finlay to take out Fale and send him to the floor. Juice hits a cannonball on Leo, but Leo hits the big boot, covering for 2. Finlay saves Juice from the chokeslam, and hits a stunner; Juice hits pulp friction and win. Juice Robinson and David Finlay defeated Leo Tonga and Bad Luck Fale @ 5:00 via pin [*¾] This was very safe and basic, but also unfortunately very boring. Juice picks up another win to keep his momentum going ahead of his big match with Omega.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet vs. Takashi Iizuka, TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taichi: You guys are going to be shocked, but Suzuki-gun attacked before the bell and we started off with a big brawl. Taguchi Japan fought back right away, and everyone worked over Iizuka, except for Taguchi, who Iizuka kept cutting off. He even bit his ass to cut off that attack. Desperado then tagged on, continuing the heat by working over Taguchi’s ass. KUSHIDA cut off Desperado and started to attack the arm, setting up for the hover board lock. Desperado countered into the stretch muffler, but KUSHIDA made the ropes. KUSHIDA tosses TAKA to the floor, and then tags on Ricochet who hits the missile dropkick and then runs wild until Taichi & Kanemaru cut him off. Ricochet tosses Taichi and picks up the pace again, essentially getting all of his shit in on Suzuki-gun and looking great. Iizuka trips up Tanahashi, allowing Taichi to get the bell hammer and Suzuki-gun to take control. It’s the same shit every match; isolate Tanahashi, stick the hammer up his nose, rip off his arm wrap, have Iizuka bite his arm until Tanahashi mounts the comeback and tags out. Makabe gets the tag, he strolls sort of wildly making sure to take no bumps, and leveling Iizuka with the lariat. Taguchi tags in, fires up but Iizuka immediately cuts him off. TAKA looks to take control, but Taguchi hits an ass attack, It completely breaks down again, Suzuki-gun clears the ring and works over Taguchi until Makabe makes the save. Taichi gets the mic stand, tosses down the ref, and in the confusion Ricochet attacks allowing Taguchi to get an eye poke and roll up for the win. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi and Ricochet vs. Takashi Iizuka, TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taichi @ 11:06 via pin [**¾] This was more set up for KUSHIDA vs. Desperado & Taguchi and Ricochet vs. Taichi and Desperado. It did a solid job of that, but it was essentially the same match we’ve been seeing from this group, and that’s not a good thing as it felt lazy, too predictable and completely lacked any excitement or drama.

– Everyone poses with their belts, except for Makabe. KUSHIDA could have done him a solid and let him hold the ROH TV title.

IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Champions War Machine (Hanson & Rowe) vs. Guerillas of Destiny (Tonga & Loa) vs. Killer Elite Squad (Smith & Archer): Loa has a new singlet with fake musculature (like a Joel Schumacher Batman costume) on it. This is the first of three, three-ways between these teams over the next three events. Yup. Tonga tries to attack at the bell, but opts to tag out to Hanson. He and Archer shove each other and collide like a pair of rams repeatedly. War machine then take control, double-teaming Archer but Smith tags in and they clear the ring, but the Guerrillas attack them from behind. KES take them out and we now get the big floor brawl. Back in and KES look to double team Hanson, but he fights them off and hits forever clotheslines until they cut him off with a high/low, covering for 2. Smith takes control, working the heat on Hanson. The leg drop follows and then a chinlock to ground the big man. Archer tags in, Hanson tries to fight back but Smith cuts him off. Hanson hits a slow motion back handspring elbow and tags in Rowe. He and Loa toss each other around, Rowe works over the Guerrillas, Hanson in as well and the two teams brawl. The Guerrillas start to work double teams on Rowe, they hit Guerrilla warfare, but Smith makes the save. He hits a reverse DDT on Tonga, Archer returns and they hit a double team powerbomb. Hanson flies in off the top and wipes out KES, fallout connects on Loa and War Machine retains. Champions War Machine defeated Guerillas of Destiny and Killer Elite Squad @ 11:5 via pin [**½] This was average at best, with the action being slow, clumsy and the layout being really poor. And we still get two more of these. I am glad that they didn’t go for a title change for the sake of doing a title change.

Tomohiro Ishii and Will Ospreay vs. Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi: Takahashi and Ospreay waste no time getting right to the action. They work a fast paced opening stretch, Naito in to help and Ospreay hits a dropkick on both as Ishii & Naito brawl to the floor. Ishii is pissed and looks like he’s trying to straight up murder Naito by slamming him to the barricades. Back in, Ishii starts to punish Takahashi, working him over with chops. Takahashi tries to fire up with strikes, Naito distracts Ishii and Takahashi attacks the wrapped up knee of Ishii to finally take control. Naito tags in to pick the bones, going right after the knee and keeping Ishii grounded. Naito starts to fire back on both, but gets cut off and double-teamed again. Takahashi covers for 2 as Naito holds of Ospreay. Ishii hits a dead lift suplex to cut off Takahashi and tags in Ospreay. Ospreay runs wild on Takahashi and Naito, and the running shooting star press gets 2 on Takahashi. Takahashi hits the overhead suplex to the buckles, finally cutting off Ospreay. Naito and Ishii tag back in, Ishii works his power game, laying in chops in the corner. Naito hits the atomic drop and corner dropkick combo to the knee of Ishii, and he then starts to target the knee. Ishii is slowed, but managed to fire up enough to hit a lariat. Takahashi in and dropkicks the knee, Ospreay makes the save and tags himself in. Ospreay goes it alone for now, going back and forth with Naito and hitting the standing Spanish fly for a near fall. Naito counters the oscutter, Ishii and Takahashi back in and it breaks down. The pace picks up, Naito hits a pop up low blow on Ospreay and hits destino for the win. Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi defeated Tomohiro Ishii and Will Ospreay @ 12:04 via pin [***] This was more set up for the upcoming Ishii vs. Naito match, and another step in setting up the Ospreay vs. Takahashi feud, which has slowly been building. The knee of Ishii has been wrapped up all tour, and with Naito putting in some work here, it feels that it will be a main target when they face off, similar to what he did against Elgin, slowly breaking him down, working the injury and taking advantage when they finally face off. This was a good match, with a good sense of urgency and playing into the feuds well. While it’s not saying a lot, this was the best thing on the show so far.

NEVER Openweight Six-Man Title Match: Champions EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI vs. Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano and Rocky Romero: We start with the big brawl, but with CHAOS taking the fight to LIJ right away. They triple team EVIL, taking immediate control of things as they work quick tags. EVIL tosses Romero to the floor, and now everyone spills to the floor and they brawl. EVIL & Okada pair off, as BUSHI works over Romero in the ring. BUSHI goes to the shirt choke, leading to LIJ kicking the shit out of Romero and then hitting rapid-fire offense to maintain control. Romero hits a desperation knee strike and fights off EVIL and gets the hot tag to Okada. Okada hits the flapjack and locks in red ink, but BUSHI makes the save. Okada maintains control, but as he heads up top, SANADA cuts him off. EVIL hits the side slam to take control back, and hits the fisherman’s suplex for 2. SANADA tags in, but Okada immediately cuts him off and hits the neck breaker for the double down, he tags in Yano, he removes the buckle pad and SANADA rolls him around the ring and finally into a cradle for 2. The paradise lock is avoided by Yano, SANADA grabs his hair and then Yano grabs his hair. SANADA escapes and hits a dropkick, tags in BUSHI and he hits a missile dropkick. Yano cuts him off by pulling at the mask, Romero tags in and hits a RANA. He fights off EVIL and BUSHI, and hits forever clotheslines on BUSHI. BUSHI counters sliced bread, it breaks down, Yano low blows SANADA and BUSHI hits EVIL by accident. Romero hits sliced bread on BUSHI for 2. LIJ work attacks on Romero, picking up a near fall. BUSHI to the ropes, hits MX and Okada makes the save. LIJ clear out the ring, SANADA picks up Romero, but Yano cuts off BUSHI. SANADA kicks the ropes into Yano’s balls, locks him in the paradise lock as Okada and EVIL work back and forth; EVIL hits the STO on Okada, MX on Romero again and LIJ retain. Champions EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano and Rocky Romero @ 14:04 via pin [***½] I am starting to wonder if SANADA is injured, because he’s done very little on the tour in the ring, which is odd for him. While not at the level of the usual LIJ tags, which can often be great, this ended up being a very good match with a great final third, including some good twists, turns and teases as we built to the finish.

– Post match, SANADA locked Gedo in the paradise lock as LIJ stood tall. They are now officially the most successful NEVER 6 man champions in history with three title defenses.

NEVER Openweight Title Lumberjack Match: Champion Minoru Suzuki vs. Michael Elgin: They only made this a lumberjack match so that al of the usual Suzuki-gun shenanigans are legal. Nagata said as much on commentary; I appreciate his honesty. Tanahashi, KUSHIDA, Ricochet, Taguchi, Desperado, Taichi, Kanemaru, and TAKA are out as the lumberjacks. Elgin beat Suzuki during the G1 to earn this title shot. They dick around forever before finally ringing the bell. They actually start off working a regular match, not that Suzuki-gun bullshit brawl on the floor right away bullshit. The lumberjacks even do their jobs early on, just rolling guys back in without any extra curricular activities. Elgin takes early control, using a mix of strikes and the power game. Suzuki takes a powder to the floor, as his guys surround and protect him. Elgin foolishly chases Suzuki to the floor, gets jumped and Suzuki then attacks and drags him deep into the crowd so that he can kick his ass. They brawl back to ringside and then back into the ring. Suzuki rakes at the eyes, and dumps Elgin to the floor. He gets beat on as the lumberjacks then fight it out. Elgin tries to climb back in but Suzuki locks in a hanging arm bar in the ropes. Suzuki then tosses him back to the floor, Suzuki-gun beats on him and then the lumberjacks brawl. Back in the ring, they trade strikes and kicks, with Suzuki taking Elgin down and picking up a near fall. Suzuki now has a chair and works over Elgin. Elgin gets the chair and tosses it away, and then lays in big time strikes and chops on Suzuki. Elgin finally starts to put together some sustained offense, hitting a blockbuster and German for 2. Elgin starts to lay in lariats on Suzuki, but Suzuki fires up with rapid-fire strikes and the PK, covering for 2. Suzuki lays in kicks to the chest, which only pisses off Elgin and he now lays in rapid-fire strikes. Desperado takes the ref, allowing Taichi, Despy and Kanemaru to hit the ring and attack Elgin, Elgin makes his own comeback since his friends are rather shit or taking a nap. He then does the deal, covering for 2. Suzuki counters out of the Elgin bomb, but Elgin hits a corner clothesline. We then get a ref bump, Suzuki-gun hits the ring for the big beat down. Taguchi Japan finally gets involved to help Large Michael, Elgin then press slams TAKA onto the pile of bodies on the floor. Ricochet hits a Sasuke special onto the pile. Elgin hits the buckle bomb, but Suzuki locks in a sleeper, Elgin escapes, backfist, Elgin bomb an Suzuki-gun pulls out the ref. KES now hits the ring, and then War Machine because why the fuck not? And now fucking Iizuka and his iron fingers stumbles to the ring like a 1940s movie monster. He hits Elgin, Gotch piledriver by Suzuki and Elgin is done. Champion Minoru Suzuki defeated Michael Elgin @ 19:22 via pin [DUD] This was bad, New Japan should feel bad for booking this, Suzuki-gun sucks and makes things worse on a consistent basis. Why put on a great match when you can just overbook the fuck out of things? It wasn’t good, the crowd didn’t even get into it like they do at times, and it got worse the longer it went on. This was just a load of horseshit and almost a perfect way to end an extremely disappointing show.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Poor
The 411
The NJPW Road to Destruction had been rather average, but solid, I had hoped by the time we got to NJPW Destruction (the first major show after the G1) that things would be clicking. Unfortunately, we got possibly the laziest, most lifeless show the promotion has put on all year. This felt closer to a “road to” show than one on the main Destruction shows. There is nothing must see, and the main event was an embarrassment that some will continue to defend as “heels being heels,’ but it’s simply lazy as fuck and hurts the shows.