wrestling / TV Reports

Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe Review

September 25, 2014 | Posted by Larry Csonka

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As a reminder, this will not be another traditional recap, but instead it will be a mash up of the Rs, Instant Analysis and my usual Twitter ramblings I would do during the shows; completely uncensored and as the ideas flow unfiltered to the old keyboard. Remember, this is a review; and I am here to review the show. As always, I encourage discussion and even disagreement, just do so in a respectful manner. I will be doing the review for Raw and most PPVs and iPPVs going forward.

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NJPW Destruction in Kobe


  • Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson (7:51) when Romero pinned Nick after the Contract Killer. [***]
  • Alex Shelley, Maximo & BUSHI defeated TAKA Michinoku Kaientai Dojo, El Desperado & Taichi (2:43) when Taichi was DQ’d. [NR]
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tomoaki Honma defeated Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan (5:22) when Honma used the Kokeshi on Captain. [***]
  • Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano defeated Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka (11:34. [**¾]
  • IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match: Ryusuke Taguchi defeated KUSHIDA (c) (14:55) with an ankle hold to become the 69th champion. [****]
  • Tetsuya Naito & Kota Ibushi defeated AJ Styles & Tama Tonga (12:57) when Ibushi used a Phoenix splash on Tonga. [***¾]
  • IWGP Tag Team Title Match: Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (c) defeated Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI (11:42) when Gallows pinned YOSHI-HASHI after the Magic Killer (6th defense). [***½]
  • Togi Makabe defeated Hirooki Goto (14:38) with a King Kong kneedrop. [****]
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Katsuyori Shibata (17:57) with the High Fly Flow. [****¾]
  • IWGP Intercontinental Title Match: Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Bad Luck Fale (c) (19:13) with the Boma Ye to become the 10th champion. [***¾]

    Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson This was a good juniors opener, and a good way to kick off the show overall. I always feel you need a match to kick off the show in a positive way, but at the same time you can’t do too much to set the bar too high. This featured good wrestling, and a fun finish that leaves things open for future matches in different ways between the guys featured.

    Alex Shelley, Maximo & BUSHI defeated TAKA Michinoku Kaientai Dojo, El Desperado & Taichi This was really more of a brawl than a match with the heels running wild on the faces, and particularly beating on Shelley. The feeling I got was that they were building to a Timesplitters vs. Taka and Taichi match. That is all well and good, but the crowd pretty much shit on this.

    Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tomoaki Honma defeated Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Tiger Mask & Captain New Japan This was the typical mid-card New Japan match. We had good quality wrestling, and I felt they did a good job of getting the crowd back after the disappointment of the second match. The crowd is so behind Honma, and loved when he scored the win here. There was nothing amazing here, but Honma getting the win was the right call because you have to give the crowd a reason to card about him. He’s the big underdog, but that can only go so far. So the good wrestling and Honma win worked here for me.

    Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano defeated Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka This was another well worked, mid-card match that came across as another fun match. The focus was on Sakuraba and Suzuki, as after the pin Sakuraba kept the heel hook on Suzuki after the match until he had to be pulled off. The crowd was really hot for this, almost unbelievable so, but it worked. Suzuki’s selling of the leg post match was awesome, and one of those things that are way too often overlooked in wrestling in 2014. The show’s been fine so far, but nothing amazing.

    Ryusuke Taguchi defeated KUSHIDA to win the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title We finally got our first very good match of the evening. The juniors delivered and finally made the show feel important. These two worked so well together, with Taguchi working the knee and KUSHIDA working the arm. They broke out some tremendous mat work, near falls and submissions that took this match to a higher level than the previous matches. They did a ton of submission reversals late, going from arm bars to ankle locks; eventually Taguchi got one final ankle lock and scored what was to me a surprise victory. Tremendous work, great in ring psychology, and the finish came off as a complete surprise in a good way. This show is looking up.

    Tetsuya Naito & Kota Ibushi defeated AJ Styles & Tama Tonga The hits keep on coming, and while not as good as the previous match, this was better than anything else on the show. They just worked a really good and clean tag team match, and then stepped it up as they were getting some great heat from the crowd. They went into a frantic final few minutes, tons of big moves and the crowd reacting to it all big time. Ibushi kicked Tonga in the head and then hit the Phoenix splash to score the win. This was just a ton of fun, and the near 13-minutes just flew by.

    >Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows (c) defeated Kazuchika Okada & YOSHI-HASHI While a step down from the last match, this was another good tag match on a tag heavy show. I love tag team wrestling, so I am fine with this. The crowd was into Okada & YOSHI-HASHI big time, especially reacting big to YOSHI-HASHI. YOSHI-HASHI looked like he was going to score the win for his team, but Yujiro Takahashi ran in and pulled the ref out. This led to Anderson and Gallows using the double team magic killer on YOSHI-HASHI to get the win. While I am not wild about the run in, it does make sense in that YOSHI-HASHI and Takahashi are feuding. Good work, great crowd and overall another fun and easy to watch match.

    Togi Makabe defeated Hirooki Goto I know that a lot of people felt that the match was odd and served no purpose, but I have more faith in NJPW than I do in say, WWE or TNA, and know that the winner will move onto something bigger. Goto worked the jaw of Makabe, which was broken during the G1. I appreciate the psychology and continuity there. This was hard-hitting, they had a great crowd and again the match flew by and never felt slow. Good wrestling is good wrestling, and when the crowd is hot it only makes it better. Makabe went wild at the end, destroying Goto by slamming his head into the post twice, hitting a German superplex and then connecting the King Kong kneedrop off the top rope to finish him off. This was on the level of Taguchi vs. KUSHIDA, giving us our second **** match of the show.

    Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Katsuyori Shibata These two had an awesome, MOTY candidate, during night four of the G1, and I was really excited for their rematch. This was every bit as awesome as their G1 match, in my opinion. They worked this match with so much skill, a feeling of hate and a feeling that they were literally trying to prove who was the best. Sometimes a match is so good that you almost don’t know what to say, and this was that kind of match. I love when wrestling is just presented in its pure form of two men battling to see who is better. While some have felt that Tanahashi was slowing down, I would have to greatly disagree. The fact that he’s on my top PPV matches list (**** and up) 14 times prior to this match tells me he can still deliver. If you’re a pro wrestling fan, this is required viewing. Go watch! They even shook hands post match, and the crowd went wild for that. This was not just because of a reaction to a great match, but because these guys have had legit heat for years and seemingly came to an understanding after a true MOTY candidate.

    Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Bad Luck Fale to regain the NJPW IC Title I really wish that they would have had Tanahashi vs. Shibata main event. On name alone that could have done it, but I also understand that they wanted the IC Title to main event as they are trying to position that title as important. I thought that this couldn’t follow Tanahashi vs. Shibata going in, and after they delivered the match that they did, I knew that they couldn’t. That being said, Nakamura knows how to work with Fale, works to his strengths and gets good matches out of him. So while not a great main event, it was a really good match and Nakamura got the title back, which I felt was the right call. The story was Nakamura constantly avoiding the Bad Luck Fall, which people buy as the finish because he previously destroyed Nakamura with it. But Nakamura’s Boma Ye was the deciding factor, and he reigns again as the champion.

  • End scene.
  • Thanks for reading.

    The Tirade

    Overall this was another great show from NJPW. We had three great matches, one of them a MOTY candidate, and outside of the quick heel attack/not really a match, every thing was either good or very good. We had an overall great crowd, and the show simply felt easy to watch due to the high quality of matches. In my opinion, NJPW keeps delivering in 2014, and I am grateful for that.

    We’re heading to the King of Pro Wrestling show, with Okada vs. Naito and Styles vs. Tanahashi headlining as we build to the big show in January.

    What You Need to See: Tanahashi vs. Shibata, Makabe vs. Goto, Taguchi vs. KUSHIDA

    Show Rating: 8.9

    As a reminder, I will be going by the 411 scale…

    0 – 0.9: Torture
    1 – 1.9: Extremely Horrendous
    2 – 2.9: Very Bad
    3 – 3.9: Bad
    4 – 4.9: Poor
    5 – 5.9: Not So Good
    6 – 6.9: Average
    7 – 7.9: Good
    8 – 8.9:Very Good
    9 – 9.9: Amazing
    10: Virtually Perfect

    As a reminder, this is not a basic “how good was the show” number like a TV show, as I have always felt that a PPV is very different from a regular show. I have always judged PPV on how they built to a match, the match quality, crowd reactions to matches and angles, the overall booking, how the PPV leads into the future, PPV price and so on and so forth. I have added this in here for an explanation since so many have asked, and I have previously discussed it on podcasts. I understand that this may seem different, but that is how I grade. Obviously your criteria may be different.

    Have you checked out the Csonka Podcasting Network? If you haven’t, you should We run anywhere from 15-20 shows a month, discussing pro wrestling, the world of MMA, the NBA, general sports, popular TV series of the past, bad movies, battle rap, interviews, MMA & Wrestling conference calls and more! Around 10 different personalities take part in the various shows, which all have a different feel; so you’ll likely find something you like. All of the broadcasts are free, so go ahead and give a show a try and share the link with your friends on the Twitter Machine and other social media outlets! Running since May of 2011, there are currently over 500 shows in the archive for you to listen to.

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    Larry Csonka is a Pisces and enjoys rolling at jiu jitsu class with Hotty McBrownbelt, cooking, long walks on the beach, Slingo and the occasional trip to Jack in the Box. He is married to a soulless ginger and has two beautiful daughters who are thankfully not soulless gingers; and is legally allowed to marry people in 35 states. He has been a wrestling fan since 1982 and has been writing for 411 since May 24th, 2004; contributing over 3,000 columns, TV reports and video reviews to the site.

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