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9/17 NEW JAPAN ROAD TO DESTRUCTION IN TOKYO REPORT

By Matthew Macklin & Paul Crockett on 2016-09-17 18:50:00

NJPW Destruction in Tokyo, September 17:

Beretta & Rocky Romero defeated Henare & David Finlay

Finlay showed his newfound aggressiveness again here. He held things together for his team as Henare was noticeably nervous in his big show debut. He has potential,  but at the minute he's very raw.  RPG Vice picked up the win when Beretta hit Henare with the Dudebuster. It's strange to see Finlay change his attire before he goes on excursion.

Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi defeated Captain New Japan & Yoshitatsu

Somebody really needs to put an end to the atrocity that is Hunter Club. Tatsu took a Twitter vote to see if Captain should be allowed to stay in "Hunter Club". The vote decided that he should go, yet we're still being forced to sit though this misery.  Nagata did his best and had a few good exchanges with Tatsu. Amazingly the crowd still buy into Captains near falls despite the fact that he hasn't won a match in about a decade.  Nagata pinned Captain after a wrist clutch exploder.

Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe & Tiger Mask IV defeated Jushin Thunder Liger, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

This was a fun match between six veterans that we are used to seeing teaming with each other, especially Liger & Tiger.  This was back and forth with everyone getting in their trademark moves.  Makabe & Tenzan had a brawl that involved a lot of shouting.  It came down to Honma vs Liger. Liger caught Honma in the throat with a Shotei, but Honma fired back with three different Kokeshi's to score the win for his team.

Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto & Gedo defeated Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Chase Owens

Ishii & Goto again showed great potential as a tag team and once again had good chemistry with The Guerrillas of Destiny. Low was able to play the hoss while Tonga used his quickness. He had a great exchange with Goto late in the match. There was some fun chaotic back and forth at the end before Ishii pinned Loa with a Brainbuster. Loa eating a pin in a match that features Owens & Gedo probably isn't a great sign for him tough.  Ishii & Goto could have a great run as a tag team and could have a hell of a match with The Briscoes.

Kyle O'Reilly defeated Juice Robinson

This was an incredible showcase for O'Reilly, who had gained weight as he looks to move up to heavyweight in NJPW. This match shows us that NJPW have plans for him. O'Reilly was a machine here as he picked apart the arm of Robinson and put on a fantastic all round technical display. Robinson hit hard turning the match into a strike battle towards the end.  O'Reilly won after a Brainbuster and a transition into an armbar. He grabbed the leg to ensure the submission. This was a great match and a major statement from O'Reilly.

YOSHI-HASHI, Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay defeated Yujiro Takahashi, Kenny Omega & Bad Luck Fale

Bullet Club took control of Okada early here and worked him over for a large portion of the match. He managed to slam Fale and make the tag to Ospreay, which led to a mesmerising sequence between him and Omega which really has to be seen.  Ospreay tore it up here.  YOSHI got the upper hand on Omega. Omega & Okada were wisely kept apart here. The finish saw YOSHI pin Yujiro after he hit Made in Japan.  After the match Fale tried to hit the Bad Luck Fall on Okada on the floor, but he was stopped by officials and young lions. This was good stuff to build to the two top matches at the next Destruction show on the 22nd.

SANADA, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Michael Elgin & Hiroshi Tanahashi

This match saw Elgin fight off all three members of LIJ for a time on his own before the numbers got the better of him. Tanahashi was the recipient of the eventual hot tag.  He took it to all three guys, particularly SANADA. Some Tana/Elgin double team failed, which led to the downfall of the babyface team. Taguchi came to the ring wearing a SANADA-like mask and a red baseball bat. This sort of mockery didn't sit well with LIJ as he was triple teamed before he submitted to Skull End. After the match Naito put Elgin in a leg lock, making a point ahead of their IC title match on the 25th.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata defeated Bobby Fish

This was absolutely great. It made for a huge change from the strong style battles we have been seeing for the NEVER title.  Although this was insanely physical and stiff at times, it was more of a mat based technical match.  Fish targeted the neck playing off the very real spinal injury of Shibata. It was different seeing Shibata sell so much for someone. Shibata rallied back with strikes and a flurry of moves ending in a PK, but he couldn't make the cover. Shibata used an abdominal stretch and Fish used the Fish Hook, which Shibata sold so well that the fans thought he was going to tap. The finish saw Shibata head butt Fish so hard that he split himself opened. He locked on a sleeper and hit a PK to retain the title. Fish really stepped up here in his biggest NJPW match to date.

After the match Kyle O'Reilly stepped up to make the challenge to Shibata, so the O'Reilly push is well and truly underway. Shibata needs to stop doing that head butt. It is beyond disgusting to look at.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Champion IBUSHI defeated KUSHIDA

We have a new IWGP Junior Heavyweight champion in Los Ingobernables De Japon's BUSHI. This was a worthy main event.  BUSHI was accompanied to the ring the the mysterious masked LIJ member that appeared in Korakuen Hall a few days ago. BUSHI looked the part as he wore all white.  Things got crazy here when the referee was knocked down. KUSHIDA was black misted and Naito got involved. Michael Elgin made the save and brought it back to a one on one match, although the masked man did get involved. KUSHIDA was the underdog from here as he tried to survive with a face full of mist. He tried his best to mount an attack on the arm, but he was met with a Canadian Destroyer, a Codebreaker and a second rope diving Codebreaker, all of which he kicked out of. We had some fantastic near falls from roll ups until BUSHI dove off the top rope with a Codebreaker to score the win and his first ever Jr heavyweight title.

This could be the start of a huge couple of weeks for LIJ as we have a potential Naito title win and a possible new member to add to this title win. BUSHI has been superb ever since he joined LIJ late last year, so his win is much deserved.

This wasn't a must-see show, but everything was solid. The two title matches are absolutely worth your time. The show is available now at NJPWWorld.com

The second of the three Destruction shows takes place on September 22nd.

Click Page 2 for Paul Crockett's Report.


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