New Japan Pro-Wrestling presented “Destruction in Hiroshima” earlier today. 3 title matches took place on the card, including Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his IWGP Intercontinental championship against Zack Sabre Jr.
NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima
Jado, Yoshi-Hashi and Hirooki Goto (CHAOS) defeated Tiger Mask, Jushin Liger, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
- Jado took a moment early in the match to raise Jushin Liger’s hand and give the crowd a chance to applaud the legend.
- Yoshi-Hashi made Tiger Mask submit to a Butterfly Lock to win the match for CHAOS.
- Kevin Kelly mentioned on commentary that Yoshi-Hashi was upset with how he did during the G1, where he only won 2 matches. In 2016 he won 3. Perhaps he is looking to amend for his poor performance.
David Finlay & Juice “Balls Deep” Robinson defeated Leo Tonga & Bad Luck Fale (Bullet Club)
- Kelly stated Leo Tonga and Bad Luck Fale are the tallest and heaviest wrestlers in the promotion respectively.
- With Kenny Omega out with a knee injury, it has given Leo Tonga a chance to fill in on the tour until Kobe.
- Both Robinson and Finlay were wearing “Taguchi Japan” jackets so that stable looks to be somewhat official now.
- Juice Robinson will challenge Kenny Omega in Kobe on the 24th and he got the pin on Leo Tonga here after Pulp Friction.
- Bullet Club really were not able to soften up Juice much at all, but they have a few “Road to Destruction” shows this week leading up to Sunday’s title match.
- Kevin Kelly speculated that Finlay and Juice could be thinking about teaming together in the World Tag League later this year.
Roppongi Vice’s Final Match
Roppongi Vice (CHAOS) defeated Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi (Bullet Club)
- Takahashi has been berating Baretta lately for his decision to move up to heavyweight.
- Baretta pinned Owens after Strong Zero.
- After the match, Takahashi got on the mic and told Baretta to go back to junior heavyweight and Rocky Romero or he would beat him in a single’s match.
- Roppongi Vice celebrated in the ring for a short while then bowed to each other and the fans
Kota Ibushi, Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe defeated Taka Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-Gun)
- Ibushi defeated Suzuki during the G1, so some have speculated he could be next to challenge for the NEVER Openweight title, though Ibushi also defeated Tanahashi in the G1 and could be in line for an Intercontinental title shot down the line as well.
- Elgin got a mild measure of revenge on Iizuka here, by knocking the Iron glove off his hand. If he had been able to do that last weekend he might not have lost to Suzuki.
- Ibushi pinned Iizuka with his Kamigoye knee strike.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Ricochet & Ryusuke Taguchi (Taguchi Japan)(c) defeated Taichi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Taguchi was doing a lot of “coaching” to Richochet during this match, as he is the coach of Taguchi Japan. Sometimes this seemed to involve coaching him like a base coach sending a runner home in baseball.
- Taguchi made Kanemaru tap out to the ankle lock in a match which involved rotating comedy and Ricochet doing spectacular moves.
- After the match, Rocky Romero left the announce position and said, “Roppongi 3K” is coming soon and they are coming after Taguchi Japan’s championships. We don’t know who his partner is, however.
IWGP Tag Team Championship 3-Way Match
War Machine (c) defeated the Guerillas of Destiny (Bullet Club) vs. the Killer Elite Squad (Suzuki-Gun)
- This was the 2nd of 3 of these matches which will take place this month. The next will take place in Kobe.
- War Machine hit Fall Out on Davey Boy Smith Jr. for the win.
- The win for War Machine was the 3rd of this title reign, and 4th all time. They originally won the belts in April at Sakura Genesis from Kojima and Tenzan. They then lost the belts to the Guerillas of Destiny at Dominion only to gain them back less than 3 weeks later at the G1 Special in Los Angeles.
- War Machine has won a total of 6 IWGP Tag Team championship matches, the Killer Elite Squad has won 7 (2 title reigns between 2012-2014), and the Guerillas of Destiny have won 5 (3 title reigns and 2 title defenses between 2016-2017)
Hiromu Takahashi, Bushi, Sanada, EVIL, & Tetsuya Naito (LIJ) defeated Gedo, Will Ospreay, Toru Yano, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada (CHAOS)
- This match was a preview for EVIL vs. Okada and Naito vs. Ishii at King of Pro-Wrestling next month.
- EVIL will challenge Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship as a result of defeating him during the G1 round-robin. He also slammed him on a pile of chairs and injured him (in storyline) enough that he would fail to win another match all tournament (he had previously been undefeated up until that point).
- Bushi picked up the win on Gedo, but EVIL hit his STO finisher on Okada as well.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
Kushida (c) defeated El Desperado (Suzuki-Gun)
- This match was basically Desparado doing every cheap dastardly bad guy tactic you can think of (including trying to convince the risk that Kushida had unmasked him).
- Kushida would prevail in the end, he transitioned from his hoverboard armlock into the Back to the Future for the win.
- After the match, Will Ospreay came out and talked about all the times he’s lost to Kushida. Then he challenged him to another match on October 9th. Hiromu Takahashi came out and appeared as though he was also going to challenge Kushida, but Ospreay clocked him and knocked him out with one shot. We’re left not knowing if Takahashi is also involved in the championship picture here or not.
- This was Kushida’s 2nd title defense since winning the belt back from Hiromu Takahashi at Dominion. He’s held the title 5x and defended it 8x.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) defeated Zack Sabre Jr. (Suzuki-Gun)
- Suzuki-Gun would once again attempt to use outside interference to win a title match here, but it was all for not.
- Minoru Suzuki attempted to interfere but Michael Elgin made the save, which may indicate their rivalry is not yet finished. Or it could simply be that Elgin made the save because he and Tanahashi are sometimes tag partners.
- Tanahashi and his new haircut picked up the win after the High Fly Flow.
- This was Tanahashi’s 2nd title defense of his current reign and 3rd all-time.