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NJPW Destruction Tour 2018

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YOSHI-HASHI for thirty days and nights! God damn, that's great.

Plus, if there were ever a human being close enough to being bartered off as an inanimate object, it's YOSHI-HASHI. Fucker has the personality of a wet dish cloth. 

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That's.... actually interesting.  Tanahashi get's 30 days to convince YOSHI-HASHI to strike out on his own and become more than, whatever the fuck he's been for the past 5 years.

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2 minutes ago, Raziel said:

That's.... actually interesting.  Tanahashi get's 30 days to convince YOSHI-HASHI to strike out on his own and become more than, whatever the fuck he's been for the past 5 years.

Oh, I agree. But for now, knowing how Gedo likes his wrasslin’, it’s the closest thing we’re getting to a butler angle in New Japan. That makes me really happy.

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I really didn't want Okada to win this, but now I'm even more pumped for Tanahashi victory. Would love to see how whole "Okada gives Yoshi to Tanahashi" ceremony would play out.

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It was all smiles during photo op, but once the match started those kids got slaughtered.

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No more IWGP Heavy title matches in Hiroshima. Ever. They're one of the worst crowds on Earth. That was half the match I'd thought it would be.

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1 hour ago, John E. Dynamite said:

No more IWGP Heavy title matches in Hiroshima. Ever. They're one of the worst crowds on Earth. That was half the match I'd thought it would be.

Dead crowd then?

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A Kenny endorsed translation of some of his promo (it’s a pretty short thread but too much to post here):

Short version: He credits Ibushi with making him the best, and Ibushi looks... some kind of way. Pretty clearly they’re both thinking of a challenge, but Kenny won’t ask for it, and Kota reminds him of their Tokyo Dome promise. It seems they’re continuing the thread of Kenny being almost myopic in his success; he has everything he’s ever wanted, all at once, and doesn’t quite seem to notice that Ibushi doesn’t really feel comfortable being in his shadow. (And Kenny should know how that can be hard.)

As for the match: Yeah, dead crowd. And this was the sort of match that needs a good feedback loop of Ishii and the crowd firing one another up. It’s not the sort of match you appreciate in quiet contemplation. It was, on the other hand, exactly what you’d expect. And I liked it, even if it wasn’t the blow away MOTYC I’d hoped for. Still, cool looking violence is cool.

Though I guess it does say something that, hours later, we aren’t all rushing here to gush, like the G1 match prompted.

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More Ibushi/Ospreay teasing. I'd guess that Ospreay is probably losing to Scurll. Gives fresher match in Kushida/Scurll or even first time ever (if I'm not mistaken) in Bushi/Scurll and Ospreay would have more time to be built up for WK special singles match. On the other hand NJPW were teasing Okada/Ibushi earlier this year as well and it went nowhere, so you never know.

Fale keeps getting strong booking, but it is not really clear where it is all going? There were some theories about him challenging Omega, but he didn't do it here and they might meet again only in USA and by that point it might be a bit too late to set up KoPW main event. And well, doesn't really make sense to drag it out till PS either. So what could he do? Challenging for NEVER title would feel a bit random to me so maybe Juice/Fale at KoPW or PS?

GoD/Ishimori retained their trios belts. Will they beat Bucks in USA? Sounds plausible since Bucks might not be on KoPW and PS shows while NJPW would want those belts defended there, but being double champions causes booking problems as well.

Naito and Suzuki, in my opinion, are building up their match fine, but it is hard for me to get invested. One reason being that their previous match was weird (I don't think that it was bad as some claim, but it had weird, in my opinion, deliberately different structure than what we usually get from NJPW ) and that it is now kinda happening for no real reason. Positive thing would be that it looks like Suzuki is focusing more on arm and neck so likely they won't try to repeat their previous match.

While I have said that Okada really should stop feuding with Tanahashi... their upcoming match is my most anticipated match in this tour (including USA show). It can really go either way and adding Yoshi to the mix made it even more interesting. You kinda have to feel for the guy, on one hand you got old Ace who might be playing mind games or he might be genuine, then you have your friend Okada who never really treated you seriously. And well, if thats not enough you also have Jay White making all of it even worse with his own agenda.

Title match, I wouldn't say that crowd was dead, but it wasn't very hot either. Is it them or is it NJPW delivering predictable match? I mean, this has been the case for past few years from what I remember. For example, if I'm not mistaken KoPW crowd wasn't very hot for Okada/Evil either since outcome was obvious. Destruction shows tend to be a bit of down month for NJPW in terms of excitement and this wasn't any different.

As for the match itself, I liked it a lot. Wasn't as good as their G1 match, but had many callbacks and felt to me like a conclusion to their rivalry. Sure, maybe they'll meet again and deliver another great match, but if they never meet again I won't feel like it was some missed opportunity or some mistake. I wouldn't mind if Ishii got a new dancing partner.

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Is it just me or was that Omega/Ishii match overkill? I think it was the worst match of their series. It was still great but like... The crowd was dead, they never convinced me that Ishii had a chance, there were way too many head-drops and V-Triggers and they just got shrugged off. It was too long and very bloated. The finish was anti-climactic. It was probably like a 4.25 or 4.5 star match, I was very entertained by it but it had A LOT of issues. Compare it to the G1 match and they aren’t even on the same stratosphere. 

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I'm still working my way through the show, a few minutes into the semi-main event, as LFC is always priority #1. I found it surprising to hear the crowd wasn't into the main because they were pretty lively for most everything up to it. 

I didn't think the NJ Cup match between Omega and Ishii from last year was truy great thanks to a generic and plodding first half, so it's not as if they've had nothing but classics with each other. 

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I love Kenny's demeaner in this match. He's obviously no longer taking Ishii lightly but there's a resentment of what Ishii is and represents. The more traditional, colourless puroresu tough guy who is out of shape relative to the Lovers is everything Kenny is not. He used his dynamic offense throughout the match to remain dominant until Ishii's toughness turned the tide. Just brilliant stuff. Add to that, Ishii started going out of his comfort zone to remain on top later on with the top rope rana counter and the V-trigger. 

Beech, you're right though that between the predictable matchmaking and maybe its a failure of the match, they never really captured the crowd into buying Ishii. And while Hiroshima is no Osaka for crowd heat, the outcome is way too predictable this time, as Archibald mentioned. 

Also for as risky as that double stomp was it didn't look nearly as dangerous as I would've hoped. Insanity. Thankfully Ishii sold it like a champ. 

Edit: and ANOTHER THING! No SSD attempt makes me so sad. This could've been Ishii's last IWGP challenge and he kept his ace up his sleeve. Why? Still, while it isn't in the same ballpark as the G1 match, a match I'd argue is top 10 I've ever seen, this was fantastic in its own right and one of their better matches. I'll go with ****1/2.

Edited by Oyaji

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35 minutes ago, Oyaji said:

I love Kenny's demeaner in this match. He's obviously no longer taking Ishii lightly but there's a resentment of what Ishii is and represents. The more traditional, colourless puroresu tough guy who is out of shape relative to the Lovers is everything Kenny is not. He used his dynamic offense throughout the match to remain dominant until Ishii's toughness turned the tide. Just brilliant stuff. Add to that, Ishii started going out of his comfort zone to remain on top later on with the top rope rana counter and the V-trigger. 

Beech, you're right though that between the predictable matchmaking and maybe its a failure of the match, they never really captured the crowd into buying Ishii. And while Hiroshima is no Osaka for crowd heat, the outcome is way too predictable this time, as Archibald mentioned. 

Also for as risky as that double stomp was it didn't look nearly as dangerous as I would've hoped. Insanity. Thankfully Ishii sold it like a champ. 

Edit: and ANOTHER THING! No SSD attempt makes me so sad. This could've been Ishii's last IWGP challenge and he kept his ace up his sleeve. Why? Still, while it isn't in the same ballpark as the G1 match, a match I'd argue is top 10 I've ever seen, this was fantastic in its own right and one of their better matches. I'll go with ****1/2.

How would you rank the 5 Omega/Ishii matches?

I’d go:

1. G1 28

2. G1 Special in USA 2017

3. Wrestling Dontaku 2017

4. New Japan Cup 2017

5. Destruction in Hiroshima 2018

 

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I remember liking Dontaku more than the G1 special and cup matches. I'd say this was in that ballpark but neither the Dontaku or this are close to the G1 match. That felt like perfection to me. This had flaws but was still phenomenal. 

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1 minute ago, Oyaji said:

I remember liking Dontaku more than the G1 special and cup matches. I'd say this was in that ballpark but neither the Dontaku or this are close to the G1 match. That felt like perfection to me. This had flaws but was still phenomenal. 

So will we not see an IWGP Title match at KOPW? Ibushi clarifies that he wasn’t challenging Omega and wanted to do it on his own terms and nobody came out for the challenge. Will they headline with Jericho/EVIL?

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Sounds possible that Jericho/Evil will headline because only other big match left is either Okada/White or Tanahashi/White and I just can't see that being the main event of KoPW and well, KoPW is less than a month away so I don't feel like they have enough time to set up something else. For PS they'd have enough time to set up another title match like Omega/Fale or Zack/Naito or something else entirely that we don't see now.

Also, in post match interviews Kushida makes a point about PS getting a tag line: SUPER Jr. TAG LEAGUE 2018. So he sees it as Juniors doing good work and increasing their profile. For those unaware, this year Jr. tag tournament will be round robin and not single elimination so we are bound to get many jr. tag matches from hard cam later this year.

For Omega/Ishii matches I'd say that their first one was the weakest, but had surprise ending and started Omega/Ishii rivalry, that made it overall better match to me than it technically was. Rematch at Dontaku was better, but lacked drama for me, kinda like this one. So if I'd have to rank them I'd probably say: G1 match, G1 special match, Destruction in Hiroshima match, NJ Cup match and Dontaku match being the last.

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Another Destruction show in the bag.

Yoshida got a DQ win over Iizuka. And he got his own entrance if I'm not mistaken. Point is that he is probably not really considered to be Young Lion and he is closer to Finlay and Henare in terms of status than to young lions.

Ospreay and Kushida got lots of time. I hope that this is a fake out and not a preview of their title match at KoPW. And for some reason Tiger Mask keeps pinning Rocky. I don't understand what is the point of that... Unless... Bushi is going to win Jr. Title and they are going to run Bushi/Tiger Mask title match because Tiger Mask defeated him in BotSJ. I'm probably crazy to even think about this, but I struggle to figure out why else would Tiger Mask be picking up wins when he got guys like Liger, Kushida and Taguchi on his team. Or you know, Ospreay could pick up a win, or even Sho/Yoh. So yeah, either I'm crazy or something is up.

On the other hand I get why KES keep getting wins since they are most likely to be either next challengers or do good in WTL. But then, Trent got pinned by them which I guess is just another example of him not going anywhere outside of midcard filler act.

Zack rolled up Evil, which was weird. I get why Zack would pick up a win, but why it would be over Evil who is likely heading to Jericho/Evil? Either way Evil sold it like a boss. You'd think that they would be going to singles match, but it is not clear how that could happen with Jericho and Naito looming around.

Yoshi-Hashi got robbed again.

Goto/Taichi was old Taichi's match with him doing shitty things and SZGN members interfering. I guess since Taichi won they wanted to protect Goto, but it made the match weaker and I'm not sure how much value is there left in protecting Goto. I expect people to shit on this match, but I think most of the blame should be attributed to Goto and his booking. I mean entire match was structured so that Goto would get crowd behind him, but I'd argue that whenever Taichi did something decent he got bigger reaction than Goto. I'm happy that Taichi won and that Goto's reign is over, but I don't understand why we needed this type of a match for that to happen.

I think people will like this Suzuki/Naito match better because it had a bit more standard structure than their IC title match. And well, Suzuki took a table bump. Biggest Suzuki bump in last X years?

Bonus points for Evil not being there for post match promo, probably still selling his loss to Zack.

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The interesting thing about Taichi winning the NEVER title is that, presumably, he has no obligation to honor the challenges anyone earned by beating Goto in the G1. I guess Naito could still get there, or the belt could become the centerpiece of the teased Ibushi/Ospreay match. I really have no idea, though.

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So, apparently based on what I’m hearing from Twitter and online reviews, Naito/Suzuki sucked...again. And I saw it was 32 minutes. Yeah, I guess I’m skipping this one.

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2 hours ago, FlaeBlazer said:

So, apparently based on what I’m hearing from Twitter and online reviews, Naito/Suzuki sucked...again. And I saw it was 32 minutes. Yeah, I guess I’m skipping this one.

It certainly didn't suck. @Archibald is right that the structure was anything but inventive--the brawling and extended submission sequences you'd expect are present--but it was all angry and hot enough to keep me interested. Ideally, Naito's main events feature someone who can match his methodical, characer-based opens and the sprinted choreography of his finishing runs--Suzuki, obviously, can't do the latter, and his main events tend to strain credulity with how long people sit in various leg-locks without being crippled. So, no classic, but a fine and fitting main event on top of a pretty fun show.  

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42 minutes ago, Beech27 said:

It certainly didn't suck. @Archibald is right that the structure was anything but inventive--the brawling and extended submission sequences you'd expect are present--but it was all angry and hot enough to keep me interested. Ideally, Naito's main events feature someone who can match his methodical, characer-based opens and the sprinted choreography of his finishing runs--Suzuki, obviously, can't do the latter, and his main events tend to strain credulity with how long people sit in various leg-locks without being crippled. So, no classic, but a fine and fitting main event on top of a pretty fun show.  

What is Gedo’s fetish with 30+ minute main events? I swear every single match has to go 30+ regardless of whether they need it or not. More matches are hurt than helped by it. Only matches that should go 30+ minutes are huge matches like Wrestle Kingdom main event, Dominion main event, G1 Final, and maybe Sumo Hall main events, that’s it.

Fucking Beppu doesn’t need a 32 minute main event.

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It's a small sample size to go on, but in the interviews he's done touching on the subject, Kenny's made it sound like New Japan's stars are given a lot of leeway when putting together matches. I'd be pretty surprised if Gedo told Suzuki* or Naito how much time they needed to fill. Certainly, however, there is an expectation that the wrestlers must be aware of, and my preference would be for a little more self-editing and brevity.

*Suzuki's history as a main eventer in All Japan and NOAH would suggest long... slightly tedious singles matches aren't something he needs to be told to do. (And I actually kinda liked his GHC reign of terror.)

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5 hours ago, Archibald said:

Another Destruction show in the bag.

Yoshida got a DQ win over Iizuka. And he got his own entrance if I'm not mistaken. Point is that he is probably not really considered to be Young Lion and he is closer to Finlay and Henare in terms of status than to young lions.

Someone needs to screengrab Yoshida's DOO HOO! face as he's about to get jumped by Iizuka.

If the YOSHI HASHI angle comes to its logical conclusion, I demand vignettes with him working on Tanahashi's ranch, cleaning his dog, etc...

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Well pretty much everyone goes for around 30 minutes main events outside of G1 so I think that might be some sort of requirement set by NJPW. Otherwise it would be a bit of a coincidence that everyone just decide, on their own, that they need 25-35 minutes.

But yeah, I think that Suzuki's match really works only when he wins. Lots of people hate his New Beginning match against Okada, but praised to heavens his match against Tanahashi this year. Whats the main difference? Suzuki won against Tanahashi. I think that Naito tried to sell his leg to the finish in their IC title match and due to that he did absolute minimum of his moves (and some had weird variations), but it didn't really work in the end either because "Naito came back too easy and out of nowhere", well alternatively you have "Naito stopped selling" now just like Okada stopped selling against Suzuki in New Beginning.

Edit: There are obviously some exceptions (like Suzuki/Goto from last WK) and I'm generalizing here a bit.

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