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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe Review 9.24.17

September 24, 2017 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW Destruction in Kobe
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Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe Review 9.24.17  

Csonka’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe Review 9.24.17

– Hirai Kawato and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Katsuya Kitamura and Tomoyuki Oka @ 6:00 via pin [**]
– Jushin Thunder Liger, Ricochet, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, and Togi Makabe defeated Suzuki-gun @ 7:30 via pin [**¼]
– Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens @ 5:16 via pin [**¼]
– Beretta defeated Yujiro Takahashi @ 13:37 via pin [***]
IWGP Tag Team Title Tornado Rules Match: Killer Elite Squad defeated Champions War Machine & Guerrillas of Destiny @ 13:30 via pin [***½]
– Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin defeated David Finlay and Kota Ibushi @ 11:58 via pin [***]
– Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii, and Toru Yano defeated BUSHI, SANADA, and Tetsuya Naito @ 12:07 via pin [***½]
– Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay vs. EVIL and Hiromu Takahashi @ 12:05 via pin [***½]
IWGP United States Heavyweight Match: Champion Kenny Omega defeated Juice Robinson @ 33:30 via pin [****½]

Hirai Kawato and Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Monster Rage (Katsuya Kitamura and Tomoyuki Oka): I see it was Tenzan’s turn to drive the young lions carpool today. Oka and Kawato started off, Oka quickly took control, sent Tenzan to the floor and tagged in Kitamura. Kawato kept fighting, and survived long enough to tag in Tenzan, he laid in Mongolian chops and head butts on Kitamura. Kitamura finally cut him off with a spear; Oka tagged in and hit a corner attack and belly to belly suplex for 3. Tenzan fought back, looked to go for a mountain bomb but they blew the spot. It breaks down, Kawato flies in with a missile dropkick, allowing Tenzan to hit a falling kokeshi and lock in the anaconda vice for the win. Hirai Kawato and Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Katsuya Kitamura and Tomoyuki Oka @ 6:00 via pin [**] This was ok, but the blown spot and general lack of energy was obvious here. Even Kawato felt as if he had the volume turned down, and that little dude is always fired the fuck up.

Jushin Thunder Liger, Ricochet, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, and Togi Makabe vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi, Taka Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru): In a move that will absolutely shock you, Suzuki-gun attacked before the bell leading to a floor brawl. Taguchi and friends quickly fought back, isolating Iizuka, who fought back, biting Taguchi’s as. Desperado then used Iizuka’s leash to whip Taguchi, and then Taichi used the ring bell hammer to continue his attack. He shoved it up Taguchi’s ass, and then Taguchi shoved it up Taichi’s ass for some good old-fashioned sodomy based offense. Ricochet got the hot tag, ran wild and worked over Kanemaru. He then fought off Taka, tagging in Makabe. Makabe strolled mildly, but Suzuki-gun cut him off and beat him down. He actually took a bump as it broke down. Iizuka got the iron fingers, but Taguchi cut him off with an ass attack as Ricochet wiped everyone out with a dive. Makabe put Taka away with the king kong knee drop. Jushin Thunder Liger, Ricochet, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, and Togi Makabe defeated Suzuki-gun @ 7:30 via pin [**¼] This was a fine little match, they kept it moving and the crowd was interested as the guys largely played the hits.

Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens vs. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI: Fale tried to bully Goto around to begin, but Goto fought him off until Owens got involved, allowing Fale to take control, grounding Goto. Owens tagged in, they double teamed Goto and started to work over his knee a bit. Owens hit a rapid-fire series of strikes, but Goto hit a suplex and tagged in HASHI. He started to run wild, but got cut off almost immediately and Goto had to save him. Goto fought off Fale, sent him to the floor, but Owens hit a neck breaker and near fall on HASHI. HASHI countered out of the package piledriver, hit a lariat and karma for the win. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI defeated Bad Luck Fale and Chase Owens @ 5:16 via pin [**¼] This was ok, but it felt as if Chase Owens was the only one that got the memo that they were scheduled to have a match tonight. To say that the others exerted minimum effort may be an understatement.

Beretta vs. Yujiro Takahashi: They brawl at the bell, Beretta starts to take control but Yujiro pulls the hair and cuts him off. He follows by stunning him off the ropes and then hitting a sloppy stun gun. They brawl on the floor a bit, and then quickly back in as Yujiro continues the heat. It’s not a good or interesting heat, the crowd really doesn’t care and Yujiro is getting in way too much offense overall. Yujiro finally misses a charge, allowing Beretta to hit a lariat. The enziguri follows, and then a corner attack and tornado DDT for 2. Yujiro cuts off the running knee, hits a reverse DDT and running kick. They have issues with the cactus clothesline, Beretta gets it on the second try. Yujiro hits Beretta with his pimp cane to cut off a plancha. He follows with the fisherman buster on the ramp. Beretta betas the count, but Yujiro continues his attack. Beretta fights off the powerbomb, but Yujiro hits the running boot and sets him up top. Beretta fights him off, but gets crotched. Yujiro hits a superplex for 2. Yujiro then hits the Miami shine for 2. Beretta hits a desperation piledriver, covering for 2. They trade strikes, Beretta comes back with the suplex and running knee; the dudebuster connects for the win. Beretta defeated Yujiro Takahashi @ 13:37 via pin [***] As a wrestling match, it was good and the best thing on the show so far. But as a showcase for Beretta, in his first singles match at heavyweight, I think it failed. It was way too much about Yujiro, as they worked the cliché heel dominates 95% of the match to tease the other guy doesn’t belong story. Yujiro is a fine foil, but also a boring one; this never felt like it was about Beretta.

IWGP Tag Team Title Tornado Rules Match: Champions War Machine vs. Guerrillas of Destiny vs. Killer Elite Squad: It’s tornado rules to spice up this three match series of triple threat tags. Everyone fights everyone on the floor to begin. Thy kick the shit out of each other, they get tables out which could be really bad for these guys knowing the reputation of Japanese tables. At about 3-minutes in, KES finally take the fight into the ring and work over Rowe. The Guerrillas join the fight, Hanson is also back and attack the Guerrillas. KES cuts them off, and starts working over Rowe with double teams. It breaks back down into mass brawling, Hanson hits forever clotheslines until Smith cuts him off. Hanson up top, and Archer cuts him off before he could dive to the floor. Archer looks for old school, walks the ropes and hits a dive onto the pile. The Guerrillas take out Archer on the ramp with Guerrilla warfare as Rowe slams Hanson onto Smith (laying on a table on the floor) from the apron. War Machine and the Guerrillas brawl back in the ring, with War Machine hitting the pop up powerslam for 2. The Guerrillas cut that off, hitting suplexes, a top rope head butt and top rope splash for 2. Hanson cuts off Guerrilla warfare, and hit fallout for the near fall as Archer showed he was still alive and made the save. He sends Hanson through a table, he and Smith start to run wild, hitting Rowe with chokeslams and powerbombs, and the killer bomb finally puts him away. Killer Elite Squad defeated Champions War Machine & Guerrillas of Destiny @ 13:30 via pin [***½] With War Machine winning the first two matches, you had the feeling a title change was coming here. I was really hoping that War Machine would sweep and that a new team would be introduced. On the good side they didn’t go right back to the Guerrillas, and KES with the titles is fresh. But with that comes the Suzuki-gun bullshit. I thought that this was a very good match, the best of the three, as the stipulation allowed for a lot of fun and chaos, as well as good drama in the final minutes.

David Finlay and Kota Ibushi vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin: Ibushi and Tanahashi in to begin, they work back and forth and then tag out to Finlay and Elgin. Finlay sends Elgin to the floor, follows with a plancha, but back in Elgin cuts him off with a pop up cutter. Tanahashi tags back in, continues the heat on Finlay, picking up a near fall an then working double teams with Elgin. Ibushi tries to make the save, Elgin cuts him off but he then gets the tag in and trades strikes with Tanahashi. Tanahashi looks to start attacking the leg, but Ibushi hits a German and high kick. Elgin cuts off the knee strike, allowing Tanahashi to hit sling blade. Elgin in now, and Ibushi work some fun back and forth; Ibushi hits the dropkick and tags out to Finlay. He runs wild a bit, but large Michael has had enough of that and does the deal with the falcon arrow. He presses Tanahashi put of the ring onto Ibushi, allowing Elgin to hit the lariat, buckle bomb and Elgin bomb to put Finlay away. Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin defeated David Finlay and Kota Ibushi @ 11:58 via pin [***] This was good, everyone worked well together and they added to the build to Tanahashi vs. Ibushi.

Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii, and Toru Yano vs. BUSHI, SANADA, and Tetsuya Naito: Naito is as asshole to begin, trying to piss off Ishii. Ishii no sells BUSHI, Naito tries to sneak attic, and has succeeded in pissing off Ishii. Ishii takes him to the floor and kicks the shit out of him. This allows SANADA and Yano in, they continue their odd feud as Yano yells a lot before SANADA rolls him around and makes his dizzy. Rocky and BUSHI in now, he works over BUSHI, and then hits forever clotheslines on BUSHI & Naito. It breaks down into a floor brawl, with Naito attacking the knee of Ishii. Back in the ring, BUSHI works his traditional shirt choke. SANADA ties up Yano in the paradise lock. Rocky then takes out BUSHI and tags in Ishii. Ishii and Naito brawl, Ishii is pissed and just no selling and running through Naito. The suplex connects for 2. LIJ then rush in and triple team Ishii, again making sure to focus on the knee. Ishii is a tough bastard and keeps battling back against Naito. SANADA & BUSHi work double teams, as Rocky & Yano make the save. BUSHI hits a code breaker, goes for MX but Ishii avoids and Yano sends SANADA to the floor. Ishii then murders Naito with an apron lariat. Rocky takes out SANADA with a dive, BUSHI eats a brainbuster and Ishii picks up the win. Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii, and Toru Yano defeated BUSHI, SANADA, and Tetsuya Naito @ 12:07 via pin [***½]

Once again, LIJ & CHAOS deliver a very good tag match. I love watching the two factions work these multi-man tags, it’s just fun and entertaining. I’m also really enjoying Romero getting a more regular spot in these matches, he’s so very good. LIJ continued with the Kazon gambit, which they have been working all tour, attacking Ishii’s knee to soften him up for Naito on October 9th. It’s almost exactly the same thing they did last year to Elgin prior to Naito winning the IC Title. They’ve done a great job of making the two look like they are trying to kill each other.

Post match, Naito and Ishii brawl.

Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay vs. EVIL and Hiromu Takahashi: Okada and EVIL in to begin. Okada’s neck and shoulders are still taped up, they trade strikes right away and then tag in Opspreay and Takahashi. They immediately pick up the pace, working a bunch of fun and familiar counters. Ospreay teased a dive, posed and EVIL attacked and then sent Okada to the floor, where he attacked the injured neck. That allowed Takahashi to take the heat on Ospreay, EVIL and Takahashi worked quick tags, isolating Ospreay and keeping Okada on the floor. Ospreay fights back, crawls for the tag but there is no Okada to tag. Okada finally drags himself onto the apron and tags in. he fires up and puts some offense together, dropkicking EVIL to the floor. Okada follows, works him over and looks for the running high cross, but EVIL just throws a fucking chair in his face. Back in and EVIL hits the fisherman’s buster, covering for 2. Darkness falls then gets 2. Okada fights back, hitting the dropkick and tagging in Ospreay. He and Takahashi work back and forth, Ospreay fires up and hits the springboard forearm for 2. Takahashi cuts him off with the XPLODER into the corner, and hits the Dynamite Plunger for the near fall. Ospreay then runs wild with kicks, it breaks down as Okada takes out EVIL and Ospreay puts Takahashi away with the OsCutter. Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay vs. EVIL and Hiromu Takahashi [***½] This was another very good tag match, with familiar opponents working very well together and EVIL &Okada doing good work to setup their upcoming title match.

IWGP United States Heavyweight Match: Champion Kenny Omega vs. Juice Robinson: Omega is about 18-days post knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus, and is jumping right back into main event action. They work back and forth early, with Juice taking things to the floor. Omega looked to be favoring his leg, but quickly attacked and back in the ring hit the Kataru cutter, and taking control. Omega hit the Finlay roll, but is favoring the knee, allowing Juice to cut off the moonsault, hitting a spinebuster. The full nelson slam follows, and Juice then hits a corner clothesline. The cannonball follows, Juice heads up top and hits a high cross for 2. Omega hits the RANA, sending Juice to the floor. The big tope follows, but Omega is slowed as he checks on his knee. Back in and Omega up top, and hits the missile dropkick. The neck breaker over the knee follows, but Juice hits a spin kick and jackhammer for 2. He looks for pulp friction, but Omega counters with a V trigger and reverse RANA for 2. V trigger connects again, and now looks for the one winged angel, but Juice gets a victory roll for 2. Omega goes for it again, but Juice escapes and chop blocks the knee. Juice continues his assault on the knee, and locks in a half crab. Omega with a great fight spot to escape, but Juice goes back to the knee, slamming it off the post. The posted figure four follows, Omega finally escapes, kicking Juice to the barricade. But he misses the plancha, allowing Juice to hit a reverse DDT. Back in and Juice covers for 2. Juice slams Omega’s legs off the ropes and hits a top rope head butt to the knee, covering for 2. Juice then hits a big lariat, Omega rolls to the apron, they trade strikes but Juice cuts him off with a rolling kick. They work to the apron, big chops by Omega follow and he then suplexes Juice to the floor. Omega makes it back into the ring, and Juice barely beats the count. Omega hits a snapdragon suplex, and another. Juice looks dead. A third follows, and Omega is firing up. V trigger follows, and then another. Omega keeps trying to walk off the knee damage, hits another knee strike and another, he’s just murdering poor Juice here. But Juice isn’t done, counters a reverse RANA into an electric chair drop but Omega counters pulp friction. Omega hits another big V trigger in the corner, and follows with a Jay driller but Juice kicks out! They battle back and fourth, soul food connects for Juice and the big lariat turns Omega inside out and he covers for 2. The powerbomb follows and both are down and exhausted. Juice hits the bug right and hits a tiger suplex! The crowd is now rallying behind Juice, big lefts follow and then he SPIKE Omega with a SICK pulp friction, but Omega just barely kicks out! They workup top now, Juice looks for a super pulp friction, but Omega hits a SUPER one winged angel and it’s goodnight sweet Juice. Champion Kenny Omega defeated Juice Robinson @ 33:30 via pin [****½] This was an absolutely awesome main event, with excellent work from booth guys. The odds of Omega losing were extremely slim, but they told a great story that allowed the crowd to become invested and believe that Juice had a real chance of winning, and that was the key here. Omega is a great performer, and gave Juice a lot here, making him look like a legit and credible challenger. I cannot say enough about the growth, evolution and maturity of Juice Robinson as an in ring performer. He’s such a great babyface, is awesome at conveying emotion and has busted his ass, made the most of big chances, and in his second big main event of the year (first with Naito) and now with Omega, he looks like he belongs. There is no hesitation, no doubt; Juice has become a player and flat out delivered here.

– Post match, YOSHI-HASHI’s bad hair arrives and challenges Omega to a title match. Omega agrees, calling him Gedo’s little bitch and noting that he’ll give HASHI his first good match of the year.

– End scene.

– Thanks for reading.

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

The final score: review Good
The 411
Once you get past the fist three matches, which were fine but really offered nothing, the NJPW Destruction in Kobe Review really got into a groove and delivered a good and strong inuring show, building to future matches, and giving us a great and must see main event. If short on time, skip those first three matches and watch the rest, especially the main event.