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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima Review 9.16.17

September 16, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima
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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima Review 9.16.17  

Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima Review 9.16.17

– Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV @ 7:30 via submission [**½]
– Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Bad Luck Fale & Leo Tonga @ 4:40 via pin []
– Beretta & Rocky Romero defeated Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi @ 6:57 via pin [**¾]
– Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Kota Ibushi defeated Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka & TAKA Michinoku @ 8:26 via pin [**½]
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Champions Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi @ 15:40 via submission [***½]
IWGP Tag Team Championship: Champions War Machine defeated Guerrillas of Destiny and Killer Elite Squad @ 11:12 via pin [***]
– Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Will Ospreay & Gedo @ 12:17 via pin [***½]
IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Champion KUSHIDA defeated El Desperado @ 16:57 via pin [***¼]
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr @ 27:53 via pin [****]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado: Jado heels it up, HASHI sneaks in and they attack. Liger battles back with shoteis as it breaks down with floor brawling. CHAOS takes the heat on Liger, using quick tags, but Liger fights back and hits the superplex on Goto. Tenzan gets the tag, he strolls mildly and works over Goto. Tenzan lays in chops and heat butts, but Goto cuts him off with a lariat. HASHI tags in but runs into the mountain bomb. Tiger Mask gets the tag, hits a high cross and action spills to the floor as Tiger Mask hits the tiger bomb for a near fall. HASHI kicks out, hits a lariat and locks in the butterfly lock; Tiger Mask taps. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Jado defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV @ 7:30 via submission [**½] This was a nice little opener, with HASHI walking away with a win. Solid stuff all around, but not as energetic as most openers they run.

Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Bad Luck Fale & Leo Tonga: This is a rematch from the last show. Juice & Finlay attack right away, and the action quickly spills to the floor. The giants beat them down for a count out tease. Back in and Leo & Fale work the heat on Juice. Finlay rushes in and makes the save, Juice battles back against Leo; Finlay hits a stunner, Juice hits pulp friction and Leo is done. Juice Robinson & David Finlay defeated Bad Luck Fale & Leo Tonga @ 4:40 via pin [*¾] Like the last meeting, it was extremely basic and designed to give Juice another win ahead of his upcoming title match. Leo continues to gain experience and take the young boy losses.

Beretta & Rocky Romero vs. Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi: This is Roppongi Vice’s final tag match in NJPW. Bullet Club attacks before the bell, sending Romero to the floor and isolating Beretta. They work quick tags, keeping Beretta grounded. He finally fires up, hits the tornado DDT and tags in Romero. Romero is fired up, hits a RANA and high cross. Forever clotheslines follow, but they cut him off . Beretta returns, it breaks down as Owens gets tossed to the floor and they work over Yujiro. Owens cuts off strong zero, dumps Romero and they work double teams on Beretta until Romero makes the save. Beretta fights off the package piledriver, Roppongi wipes out Owens with double knees; strong zero finishes Owens. Beretta & Rocky Romero defeated Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi @ 6:57 via pin [**¾] This was pretty good, but I was hoping for more in Roppongi Vice’s final match in Japan.

– Post match, Yujiro tells Beretta to go back to the juniors with Rocky before challenging him to a match.

Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Kota Ibushi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka & TAKA Michinoku: In a shocking development, never seen before, Suzuki-gun attacks before the bell and we get a floor brawl with some various weaponry involved. Back in the ring, Iizuka works the heat on Ibushi, Suzuki tags in and beats on Ibushi and then quick tags to TAKA follow. Ibushi hits a desperation dropkick, and Makabe tags in. Makabe runs mild, working over Suzuki and hitting a northern lights for 2. Suzuki battles back, Makabe takes his first bump, likely in weeks, and then the two trade strikes. Makabe hits the big lariat and tags in Ibushi. Iizuka cuts him off, Suzuki-gun triple teams Ibushi. It breaks down, Iizuka gets the iron fingers but Elgin makes the save. Ibushi battles back, hits a standing moonsault and knee strike to put Iizuka away. Togi Makabe, Michael Elgin & Kota Ibushi defeated Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka & TAKA Michinoku @ 8:26 via pin [**½] Thankfully the Suzuki-gun shenanigans were dialed back, but like the rest of the undercard, it was solid but missing something.

-Suzuki mauls some young lions post match.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Champions Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi: The champs tease attacking, but Suzuki-gun bails to the floor. The match finally stars, Taguchi runs wild with ass attacks and then Ricochet follows with corner attacks on Taichi. Taichi battles back and slams Ricochet into Taguchi’s ass, Suzuki-gun then corners Taguchi and kicks the shit out of him. We now get the customary Suzuki-gun floor brawl, where Taichi gets the bell hammer. He works over Taguchi, including sticking it up his ass to counter an attack. Kanemaru tags in, and he continues the heat until Taguchi hits a desperation ass attack. Taichi attacks Ricochet to stop the tag, but Ricochet makes it back up and finally gets tagged in and he runs wild. The 619 and springboard uppercut connect, and then the northern lights into a dead lift suplex gets 2. That was a really spectacular 30-second flurry by Ricochet. The challengers battle back, Taichi fires up with kicks and rips off his pants, but Ricochet cuts him off. Ricochet up top and the shooting star press eats knees. Kanemaru mists Ricochet, and Taichi uses a Gedo clutch for the near fall. Taichi looks for the last ride, Ricochet escapes and hits a springboard dropkick. Taguchi gets the hot tag, misses the ass attack allowing Kanemaru to score a near fall. Kanemaru hits deep impact, but Taguchi kicks out. Taguchi locks in the ankle lock, Ricochet takes out Taichi, but as he goes to the floor gets posted. Taichi brings in the mic stand, attacks Taguchi and then forces Taguchi to drink some whiskey. The powerbomb and moonsault connect, but Taguchi kicks out. Kanemaru up top, Taichi almost drops Taguchi on his head, Ricochet back in an hits a super RANA and benadryller. The double team code breaker connects, but Taichi makes the save. Ricochet takes out Taichi, hits the suicide dive and Taguchi locks in the ankle lock on Kanemaru. Kanemaru fights, but Ricochet flies in with a 450 to stop Kanemaru from getting the ropes, and takes out Taichi with a dive Kanemaru has to tap. Champions Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi @ 15:40 via submission [***½] Even with the usual Suzuki-gun shenanigans, this was easily the best thing on the show. It was fun, had a good energy, some good near falls down the stretch and also had a good sense of urgency.

– Post match, Romero announces that he’s bringing in “Roppongi 3k” to challenge for the titles. It’ll be interesting to see if it’s a new team, returning team (Tempura Boys) or if it’s he & Ospreay.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Champions War Machine vs. Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Killer Elite Squad: This is the second of three times they are running this same match on the tour. Yup. Hanson and Archer in to begin and it’s big lads running into each other right away. The Guerrilla then pull Rowe and Smith to the floor and then attack Hanson and Archer. War Machine quickly fights back, Hanson hits forever clotheslines until Archer hits the pounce to cut that off. It breaks down into mass brawling, Archer works over Hanson back in the ring and shoves the ref around. KES hit a high/low on Hanson as they continue to work the heat. The Guerrillas tag in and they continue working over Hanson, who has become our face in peril. Hanson hits a back handspring elbow and finally gets the tag to Rowe, he runs wild with suplexes and knee strikes. The XPLODER follows to Smith, but KES cuts off the Hart attack variation and work over Rowe as the Guerrillas return. They take control on KES, talk shit and then work over Rowe; they hit Guerrilla warfare, but they were not legal and the ref doesn’t count. Archer returns, hits a chokeslam on Tonga as it breaks down. Smith hits a DDT on Rowe, Loa cuts off the killer bomb but Smith tosses the Guerrillas. Hanson hits a dive and then fallout connects on Smith and that’s that. Champions War Machine defeated Guerrillas of Destiny and Killer Elite Squad @ 11:12 via pin [***] This was good, better than the first triple threat they worked, with the right team winning. I also liked the tease of the Guerrillas winning, keeping that going. The three face again next Sunday.

Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Will Ospreay & Gedo vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI: Daryl is reportedly in the UK, getting some much needed R&R; possibly on excursion. It’s Ospreay and Takahashi to begin, working a crazy pace and ending in a stand off. Yano and SANADA in, Yano confuses SANADA with his break spot, so SANADA rolls him around the ring as the rest brawl on the floor. Yano is dizzy and SANADA locks him in the paradise lock, and dropkicks Yano in the ass as the rest brawl. BUSHI is in to choke out Yano with his shirt, and then Takahashi returns and they lay the boots to Yano. Naito tags in, but Yano rakes the eyes and exposes the buckle. Naito cuts him off, but Ishii tags in and hits a big shoulder block. He follows with corner strikes, the suplex follows for 2. They trade strikes center ring, head butts by Ishii follows but Naito cuts him off. he hits the corner dropkick combo as it breaks down, Naito and BUSHI double team Ishii and he picks up a near fall. Ishii looks for a powerbomb, Naito escapes and Ishii plants him with the Saito suplex, covering for 2. Wholesale changes to Okada & EVIL now, they trade strikes and Okada picks up the pace, hits the back elbow and neck breaker. Okada heads up top and hits the elbow drop. EVIL counters the rainmaker and hits the fisherman buster. EVIL hits the big lariat for a near fall. Okada counters darkness falls, and hits the dropkick. The flapjack to BUSHI follows and Gedo tags in, works jabs and takes out BUSHI and Takahashi. BUSHI hits the missile dropkick, it breaks down and Ishii kills Naito with a lariat. LIJ works over Gedo. Okada makes the save, but EVIL hits everything is EVIL. MX to Gedo and that’s that. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Toru Yano, Will Ospreay & Gedo @ 12:17 via pin [***½] In many ways, and it’s a good thing, this was your typical CHAOS vs. LIJ tag match and it was very good, also adding to the build to Naito vs. Ishii & EVIL vs. Okada.

– Post match, Naito attacks the knee of Ishii as EVIL hits darkness falls onto Okada on a stack of chairs. Naito continues to attack the knee of Ishii, locking in a figure four. LIJ stands tall. Okada is helped to the back.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: Champion KUSHIDA vs. El Desperado: They work a slow start, with KUSHIDA looking to ground the action and work the arm. Desperado plays defense, looks to pick up the pace and sends KUSHIDA to the floor and kills him with a great looking suicide dive. TAKA is ringside with Desperado and Desperado drags KUSHIDA into the crowd and works the stretch muffler. Desperado heads back to the ring and waits on KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA back in and Desperado attacks the leg right away. He then works an Indian death lock, grounding KUSHIDA. Desperado gets his guitar, and the ref takes it. That allows him to grab Iizuka’s leash and beats on KUSHIDA with it. Back to the floor as the beating continues. Back in the ring they go, as things have drastically slowed. KUSHIDA manages to hit the cartwheel and dropkick, and the DDT follows. Desperado rakes the eyes, KUSHIDA fights back with the same and attacks the arm. KUSHIDA up top and gets cut off. Desperado follows him up, but KUSHIDA locks in a kimura and slams Desperado to the mat. He then stomps away at him, looks for the hover board lock, but Desperado counters out, they trade submissions and Desperado gets the stretch muffler center ring. KUSHIDA struggles and finally makes the ropes. The trainer checks on KUSHIDA as Desperado wedges a chair in the corner. KUSHIDA fights back and whips Desperado in the corner, attacks the arm and they work into a series of counters. Desperado takes off his mask and tosses it to KUSHIDA. The ref admonishes KUSHIDA, but that allows Desperado to hit a low blow and cradle for 2. Desperado hits Guitarra de la Muerte for 2. KUSHIDA counters out of Guitarra de Angel, hits the PELE and looks for back to the future, but Desperado escapes. KUSHIDA gets sent into the chair, they battle up top and KUSHIDA hits the hover board lock off the ropes and rolls center ring, and then into back to the future to retain. Champion KUSHIDA defeated El Desperado @ 16:57 via pin [***¼] Good match overall, with some good work, but at no point did the crowd buy into Desperado winning, even with his shenanigans. And without that drama, it peaked at good.

– Post match, Will Ospreay arrives. Ospreay talks about KUSHIDA repeatedly owning him repeatedly. He will not give up because he wants to change wrestling, and challenges KUSHIDA on October 9th. Takahashi arrives, and Ospreay KOs him. Ok, I like Ospreay vs. KUSHIDA matches, but other than being owned in great matches and acting like a cat, why is he getting a title shot?

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Zack Sabre Jr: It’s all mat wrestling early, as Sabre looks to work the arm which led to his G1 victory and this match. Sabre’s attacks are so smooth and come across as so effortless, Tanahashi starts to battle back and tries to keep the injured arm away from Sabre. But Sabre is too slick and finds his way to the right arm, working a stranglehold. Tanahashi with a slick escape, and Sabre is pissed now. Back in and Tanahashi grounds the action, working the legs of Sabre to setup for the dragon screw leg whips and cloverleaf. Sabre had enough of that bullshit, escapes and really starts to focus his attack on the injured arm of Tanahashi. Sabre even mocks Tanahashi’s air guitar as he works submissions. Tanahashi manages to send Sabre to the floor, but as he looks for a plancha, Sabre catches him in an arm bar. Back in the ring they go and Sabre immediately grounds things, just twisting Tanahashi up like a pretzel. Tanahashi starts to fire back, looks to drape Sabre over the ropes but lost him and Sabre took a bad landing. Tanahashi follows with clotheslines and forearms, the dragon screw leg whip connects and looks for the cloverleaf, but Sabre fights it off. They work into a series of pinning attempts, but Sabre attacks the arm, cutting off Tanahashi. Sabre aggressively attacks the arm, locks in a triangle now, but Tanahashi counters out and into the cloverleaf. Sabre escapes back into the triangle, but Tanahashi makes the ropes. Sabre lays in kicks now, Tanahashi tries to fire up but Sabre counters sling blade into the octopus hold. Tanahashi struggles and manages to make the ropes. Tanahashi then hits a dragon screw in the ropes and gets some separation from Sabre. Sabre to the floor, Tanahashi up top and hits the high fly flow cross body to the floor. Back in and he hits another! Tanahashi back up top and here comes Suzuki to attack Tanahashi. This leads to the ref bump, Suzuki locks in the sleeper and Sabre hits the PK, covering for a great near fall. Suzuki has a chair, but large Michael is here to stop him. They brawl to the back. Tanahashi and Sabre trade strikes, Tanahashi hits sling blade and covers for 2. Tanahashi takes out TAKA, but the high fly flow eats knees and Sabre immediately locks in a submission, ripping off the tape on Tanahashi’s arm. Tanahashi escapes, but Sabre gets a European clutch for 2. Tanahashi fights out of the hanging guillotine, hits a trio of neck breakers and sling blade. The high fly flow finally puts Sabre away. Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Zack Sabre Jr @ 27:53 via pin [****] This was an overall great main event, playing well off of their G1 match, but the Suzuki run in wasn’t needed. Other than the one great near fall, it largely added nothing to the match. As their G1 match showed, it didn’t need it at all. It was only there to give the hero another obstacle to over come, but he was already injured and was fighting a guy who had his number, there was enough story there to work with.

– Post match, Tanahashi calls out the next logical challenger, according to G1 booking, Kota Ibushi.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima wasn’t a great show, but it was closer to the company getting back to form after the bad Destruction in Fukushima event. The wrestling was better and they also setup Tanahashi vs. Ibushi, Ospreay vs. KUSHIDA and Roppongi 3K vs. Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi, all for October 9th’s King of Pro Wrestling event. While not great (too much Suzuki-gun shit, Ospreay’s highly questionable title shot), this was a positive step on the road to King of Pro Wrestling.