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Kevin’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe 9.27.15 Review

September 28, 2015 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
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Kevin’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe 9.27.15 Review  

Destruction in Kobe
September 27th, 2015 | Kobe World Memorial Hall | Attendance: 6,120

Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu def. Jay White and David Finlay in 5:01
The Young Lions opened the show here and got less time than I expected. As noted during my review of the last Destruction show, I haven’t seen much of these guys. This was a fun little match here, but they didn’t get enough time for it to develop into something really good. From what I’ve seen, I’ve been impressed by both White and Finlay, even though they were on the losing end here. This served it’s purpose and was a solid way to kick things off. **½

Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask and Yuji Nagata def. Captain New Japan, Juice Robinson and Manabu Nakanishi in 8:44
So this was the big event debut for Juice Robinson. He has worked the Road to Destruction tour, though those were basically house shows. For those unaware, Juice is the former CJ Parker from NXT. I liked this match. Juice got his most ring time since he started in New Japan and looked very amped up. He was animated in everything he did, trying to get the crowd behind him. There was a pretty funny running gag where Nakanishi would get kicked off the apron and each time he fell, it looked like I was watching a replay because he sold it the same way each time. In the end, Nagata hit a backdrop on Robinson for the win. Enjoyable match here. **½

Chaos (Baretta, Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi) def. Mascara Dorada, Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma in 7:48
I wish this got just a bit more time. It was a typical New Japan multi-man tag but that isn’t a bad thing. Those can be fun for sure and that’s what I feel like this was. I enjoy at least five of the eight performers here. Baretta and Romero got a fair amount of shine in this one, which surprised me, but became clearer later in the night. It was similar to the multi-man tag most of these guys ran on Okayama, but I preferred that one. They continued to hype the eventual Ishii/Makabe NEVER Title match, but I’m not interested in that again so I think that took away from some of this. Roppongi Vice got the win for their team with Strong Zero. ***

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Matt Sydal and Satoshi Kojima def. The Bullet Club (Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson and Kenny Omega) in 10:52
Another multi-man tag, another fun outing but another match that I wouldn’t consider great. Still, that isn’t really the point of these. It continue on the Bullet Club/Kojima and Tenzan match from Okayama, while hyping the upcoming Omega/Sydal match. Sydal’s first two performances in New Japan were both relatively good. He got the rub of teaming with Tanahashi in a fun match in Okayama before getting a good showing here. Karl Anderson was a highlight here, overselling the hell out of Kojima’s chops in a fun way. Sydal pinned Omega after the Shooting Star Press, giving him a win over the Jr. Heavyweight Champion. It was a good match and cappe a strong first week in NJPW for Sydal. ***

Tetsuya Naito def. Katsuyori Shibata in 11:49
This is the match I was most excited to see coming into this show. The video package they playe beforehand, highlighting Naito’s transformation was great. Naito came out in a new mask, which was magnificent. These two became two of my favorites during the G1 and i loved their match during that tournament. here, I feel like despite being really good, I was a bit let down. I wanted this to be better than their G1 match but it wasn’t. That s not to say that it was bad by any means. Their styles clash in the best possible way. Shibata kicked Naito’s ass and Naito pulled out his best Toru Yano to win. He delivered a low blow behind the official’s back and then hit another, before nailing Destino to win. I expected the result and they put on another really solid match. Naito attacked cameramen after the match, until Shibata caught up to him and they brawled to the back. I thought that meant the feud would continue but later events tell me different. They are capable of more. ***½

Kazuchika Okada, Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano def. AJ Styles, Cody Hall and Tama Tonga in 12:18
Coming out of intermission, we got a preview of an upcoming IWGP Heavyweight Championship match. Again, this was similar to the match we saw in Okayama when Yano and Okada defeated Styles and Hall. Adding Tonga was good, since he’s better than Hall and while Sakuraba is good, he didn’t get to do much here. Yano took a fair amount of the punishment and Okada got the bulk of the offense. His exchanges with Styles were, as usual, breathtaking at times. Sakuraba won by making Tonga tap out in another fun bout. ***

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: reDRagon (c) def. The Time Splitters in 16:17
These are two of my favorite tag teams on the planet and I wanted them to deliver here. I saw their first match during the G1 Finals last year and it was good but they had an excellent one at Power Struggle. I’d say this was about in the middle of those matches. I think the fact that I truly thought the Time Splitters would win made me bite really hard on some near falls. The chemistry these two teams have is pretty great and they worked in some really fun double team moves. reDRagon hit Chasing the Dragon to retain and I’m glad they went with this decision because the revolving door of Jr. Tag Champions is pretty annoying. After the match, Roppongi Vice came out and attacked reDRagon, setting themselves up as the next contenders. Great match and effort from both teams. ****

Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Bad Luck Fale in 16:37
I’ve seen the matches these two have had in the G1 the past two years, both won by Bad Luck Fale. They are up there with the best Fale matches I’ve ever seen. What I liked most about those was that they were kept under 15 minutes. This went a bit over that and it hurt some of the match to me. The early stages ran a bit dull for me, but the final few minutes were damn good. The Bad Luck Fall is a heavily protected finish and the fans bought into the possibility of it ending things twice here. Tanahashi was able to avoid it though and win with the High Fly Flow. I thought this was better than I expected. After the match, Tanahashi called out Naito, who nonchalantly answered. I guess that is the next program for them, as Naito did pin Tanahashi during the G1. ***¼

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura def. Hirooki Goto (c) in 22:56
This would be the fourth match this year between these two. I didn’t catch the first, but enjoyed their match at Dominion and the one during the G1 Climax. I have to say, this one was my favorite. They played off of their past encounters very well, but upped the ante. At one point, Goto hit a top rope Ushigorshi I believe it’s called, but it was fantastic. From there, there were multiple false finishes and near falls. Both guys worked armbars, which is how Nakamura beat Goto in the G1 and it made sense for Goto to use due to Nakamura’s recently injured arm. In the end, a Boma Ye, not the first of the match, was enough to earn Nakamura his fifth Intercontinental Title. Fantastic stuff. After the match, Karl Anderson came out to face off with Nakamura, setting up the next IC Title match. ****¼

The final score: review Good
The 411
I liked this show more than I thought I would. Coming in, the card seemed lackluster, but they delivered. Like the Okayama show, nothing was bad and everything entertained. Go out of your way to see this Goto/Nakamura match and the IWGP Jr. Tag Team Title match as it's probably the best one all year. Solid matches between Naito/Shibata and Tana/Fale round this out into a good show.

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NJPW, Kevin Pantoja