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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima 2018 Preview

September 14, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Destruction

WELCOME back to column time with Larry! Today, I am going to discuss and preview the NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima 2018 event. This is the first of the three main Destruction shows for 2018, and will be headlined by IWGP Champion Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii. Today, I will give my predictions, and break down the show match by match. Feel free to make your picks in the comment section. Thanks for reading! It’s wrestling, we love it and will disagree. The only rules are to “have a take, be respectful, and don’t be a dick.” Thanks for reading.

Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, and KUSHIDA vs. Rocky Romero, SHO, and YOH: This is a hell of an opener on paper. KUSHIDA and the legends are a fun team and the 3k guys are always game. This will likely be a fun and fast-paced opening match with the legends getting in their spots to please the crowd, and KUSHIDA, Romero, Sho, & Yoh bringing a ton of fun action. I am really looking forward to this one. With KUSHIDA being part of the junior title tournament, I expect his team, and likely KUSHIDA himself, to pick up the win here. WINNERS: Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask, and KUSHIDA

Bad Luck Fale vs. Toa Henare: I thought that there was a good shot that Fale would bring Henare into Firing Squad since he’s his former student, and currently has no direction. The last time that these two faced off, Fale destroyed him with ease. It will be interesting to see if Henare gets to put up more of a fight here, but even if he does, I still see him taking the loss here. This feels like part of a long program, where Henare fights for his former teacher’s respect and possibly a win. I still think that Henare joining Firing Squad could be in play down the line, but we’re a long way from that if it happens. WINNER: Bad Luck Fale

Michael Elgin and Ayato Yoshida vs. Killer Elite Squad: Ayato Yoshida is getting more run on the Destruction shows, and think that’s great as he has so much potential as shown on the lion’s gate shows. Elgin is in limbo post G1, so he and Ayato Yoshida are here as Killer Elite Squad are brought back into the fold on the tour, where I expect them to start racking up wins ahead of the WTL so that they look like a legit threat. WINNERS: Killer Elite Squad

Will Ospreay, Chuckie T, and Beretta vs. Kota Ibushi, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens: Trent is healthy and the best Friends are backing NJPW, and likely getting ready for a run in the WTL. They face off with Bullet Club here and a possible WTL rival in Takahashi & Owens. This should be fun, especially for the Ospreay & Ibushi interactions, which should be great. To me, this looks like a really fun trios match. With Ospreay being part of the junior title tournament, I expect his team, and likely Ospreay himself, to pick up the win here. Plus it heats up the Best Friends ahead of the WTL. WINNERS: Will Ospreay, Chuckie T, and Beretta

NEVER Openweight Trios Title Match: Champions Gorillas of Destiny and Taiji Ishimori vs. Juice Robinson, David Finlay, and Ryusuke Taguchi: It’s hard to predict what we’ll get here quality wise. Ishimori is awesome and the challengers are all fun performers. But with that being said, we could be in for a ton of shenanigans from the Gorillas. When they want to, they can put on good and fun matches, but if they slip into their G1 habits, this could be extremely annoying and greatly hurt the match. Lets hope for the best. The Gorillas of Destiny and Taiji Ishimori just won the titles, and while the belts tend to bounce around, I feel it would be a huge mistake to have them lose them on their first defense. The titles need stability and the trios titles are a fine way to give the firing squad some credibility without giving them a main title. WINNERS: Champions Gorillas of Destiny and Taiji Ishimori

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Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano, and Gedo vs. Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Besides the old CHAOS vs. Suzuki-gun war, this match is all about building to the NEVER Champion Hirooki Goto vs. Taichi match on the 17th that I can’t imagine anyone is looking forward too. It really feels like that they are unfortunately going to put the strap on Taichi, which just feels like such a poor move when there are so many other, more qualified, contenders. With Taichi challenging, Suzuki-gun and more specifically, Taichi should pick up a win in this match. WINNERS: Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru

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Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, and BUSHI vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., TAKA Michinoku, and El Desperado: On top of the never-ending LIJ vs. Suzuki-gun war, this is more importantly about building to the Tetsuya Naito vs. Minoru Suzuki rematch on the 17th. Back at the NJPW Wrestling Hi No Kuni event, Tetsuya Naito defeated Minoru Suzuki to win the IWGP IC title in a fascinating match that some loved and some labeled as the worst NJPW main event in years (completely false). Both men are coming off of a disappointing G1, coming up short in their goal to win, and the winner here will look to climb back into title contention. I expect the usual Suzuki-gun pre-match attack, lots of floor brawling, and Suzuki torturing Naito as he tries to rip off a limb. WINNERS: Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., TAKA Michinoku, and El Desperado

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Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, and Tomoaki Honma vs. Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, and Jay White: Tanahashi and friends face off with CHAOS here as we build to Tanahashi vs. Okada on the 23rd. That match will be for Tanahashi’s title shot that he won via winning the G1 Climax. There is a lot of LOLOKADAWINZ out there right now as many feel that he’ll be winning the briefcase from Tanahashi. And I can see why many think that, but I’m just not feeling that is happening. I may be very wrong about this, but keep a look at White’s interactions with Okada here, because I don’t think that his takeover attempts of CHAOS are over just yet. As for this match, I see CHAOS picking up the win with some possible violent Okada/Tanahashi interactions on the floor and a possible tombstone to the old ace to soften him up ahead of the huge rematch. WINNERS: Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, and Jay White

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IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kenny Omega vs. Tomohiro Ishii: Ishii pinned Omega in the G1 to earn this title shot. In the main event of our show, and while I am sure that the undercard will be solid and maybe even good, this is really a one match show. But what a one match it is. Over the past two years these two have faced off at least four times, and if I am correct I went **** ¾ on all four, with an argument being fair that some of them could have been *****. To say that these two men have excellent chemistry may be an understatement at this point. I have no doubts that this will be a great match, they know how to work each other, and are both working at an extremely high level right now. The real key here will be to see if they can get the crowd emotionally invested and believing in a title change. Ishii’s selling is extremely underrated & his offense extremely believable. But he has a history of always coming up short when it counts and it feels too soon for Omega to lose the title. If they can work their usual great and physical match, and get the fans to buy on one or maybe two near falls and show that investment (which is where EVIL vs. Okada failed last year), this could be special. I could retire a happy man if Ishii wins, but I just don’t see it happening when you have Ibushi and Tanahashi ahead for the champion. WINNER: Champion Kenny Omega

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“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”