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RADICAN’S NJPW “DESTRUCTION IN KOBE” REPORT
OCT. 22, 2019
KOBE WORLD HALL
AIRED LIVE ON NJPW WORLD
Announcers: Kevin Kelly, Gino Gambino, and Chris Charlton.
UNDERCARD RESULTS AND ANALYSIS
(1) Yuji Nagata & Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura beat Michael Richards & Alex Coughlin & Manabu Nakanishi in 10:00.
(2) REN NARITA (10) vs. CLARK CONNORS (6) IN A NJPW YOUNG LIONS CUP MATCH
Connors worked over Narita’s arm for most of the match. They had some nice hard hitting exchanges leading into the finish, which saw Connors win with a Boston Crab. Neither man is in contention to win the Young Lions Cup. The winner will be determined in the next match.
WINNER: Clark Connors (8) via submission in 7:30. (**¾)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a good basic match with some nice hard-hitting mixed in.)
(3) SHOTA UMINO (10) vs. KARL FREDERICKS (10) IN A NJPW YOUNG LIONS CUP MATCH
They went right at it during the early going. Fredericks slowed the pace down with a headlock. Frederick’s shoulder was heavily taped. Umino went after Fredericks’s shoulder. Fredericks fired back and hit a nice Stinger splash in the corner and a big dropkick off the ropes and Umino came up bleeding around the nose. Umino went back after Fredericks’s shoulder and went up top and hit a missile dropkick for a near fall. As soon as Fredericks kicked out, Umino went right for an arm bar, but Fredericks got to the rope with his foot to break the hold. Umino hit a German with a bridge, but Fredericks managed to kick out at two. Umino went to go off the ropes, btu Fredericks dumped him to the mat with a big suplex. He got a single leg crab a short time later. Umino went for the ropes, but Fredericks dragged him back to the middle of the ring. He hit several stomps to Umino’s head and then wrenched back on the hold to get the tapout.
After the match, Fredericks was given the NJPW Young Lions Cup. The announcers said he would take it back to the LA Dojo with him. Fredericks left the ring and Umino sold frustration inside the ring.
WINNER: Karl Fredericks (12) in 7:17 via submission to win the Young Lions Cup. (***¼)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was really good given how short it was. Both men were physical and delivered a fitting finale to the tournament.)
(4) Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi & Bad Luck Fale beat Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe in 8:22.
(5) HIROSHI TANAHASHI & JUSHIN LIGER & TIGER MASK & ROCKY ROMERO vs. SUZUKI-GUN (MINORU SUZUKI & ZACK SABRE JR. & YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & DOUKI)
The announcers talked about how Minoru Suzuki ripped off Liger’s mask in Kagoshima and carried it around in his teeth like a wild animal as Suzuki-Gun made their entrance. Suzuki came out and Liger ambushed him. The rest of Suzuki-Gun quickly turned the tables on LIger until Liger’s partners came out. Everyone brawled on the outside. Suzuki went after Liger with a chair. He tossed a table into the ring. The bell never rang. Suzuki broke a chair over Liger’s head and went after his mask. Liger’s partners tried to make the save, but Suzuki-Gun put them in submissions and brawled back to the floor. Suzuki took the ref down. Liger managed to hit a low blow on Suzuki. Liger removed his mask to reveal Kishin Liger! This is his most furious form. He blew black mist into the eyes of Suzuki and the ref. Liger got a spike and went for Suzuki, but he stabbed the spike right through the table. He then threw the table with the spike at Suzuki.
Liger went to the back after Suzuki. Liger knocked down several Young Lions and even Hiroshi Tanahashi.
WINNER: No Contest
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a great segment to set up Liger vs. Suzuki. The reveal of Kishin Liger was awesome.)
(6) SHO & YOH & Will Ospreay & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI HASHI beat El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori & KENTA & Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga in 9:40. YOH pinned Loa to win the match.
(7) BUSHI & EVIL & SANADA beat Robbie Eagles & Kazuchika Okada & Kota Ibushi in 14:00.
(8) HIROOKI GOTO vs. SHINGO TAKAGI
Shingo beat Goto on the final night of block action during G1 back in August. It didn’t take long for both men to begin trading bombs in the middle of the ring. They traded counters and Goto ducked a sliding lariat and they came to a stalemate. Goto had the upper hand, but Shingo hit two straight rights and a big clothesline to deck him. Goto rolled to the floor and Shingo followed him. Shingo worked over Goto on the outside. Goto tried to spring off the barricade, but Shingo dropped him onto the apron and then hit a big DDT on the floor. Shingo hit a big vertical suplex back inside the ring, but only got a two count. Goto tried to fire back with some big chops to the chest, but Shingo decked him with a double chop. Goto finally avoided a kick and hit a big clothesline to build some momentum. Goto went on the attack and hit a belly to back suplex for a two count. Goto went for Ushigoroshi, but Shingo blocked it right before the 10 minute mark.
Shingo fired back and regained the upper hand. He hit a sliding lariat and followed up with Noshigami for a two count. Shingo went for Made in Japan, but Goto pulled him down across his knee by the back of the head. Shingo fired back and they went up top. Shingo hit a superplex, but Goto got right back up. Goto hit a German, but SHingo got right back up and hit a Saito suplex and both men were down. That was the best exchange of the match. Both men got up and began trading clotheslines at the same time. They continued to ram into each other. Then they went back and forth off the ropes. Goto finally took Shingo down with a big clothesline after taking a straight right hand from Shingo. Goto got a running start and hit another big lariat for a two count. They traded counters and Shingo hit Made in Japan for a near fall. The fans fired up and Shingo hit a big running clothesline in the corner. Goto went for a clothesline, but Shingo caught him with a Pumping Bomber for a near fall. Goto fired back and hit the Ushigoroshi.
Goto hit a reverse GTR, but only got a two count. Goto set up for a big mid kick, but Shingo blocked it and hit a ropes assisted GTR! Shingo then turned Goto inside out with a Pumping Bomber for a super close nearfall. Both men traded counters. Goto blocked Last of the Dragon and hit Shouten Kai! Goto was too exhausted to make the cover and Shingo then rolled away from him. Shingo took a PK, but blocked the GTR. Both men hit headbutts at the same time. Goto then hit a HUGE Ushigoroshi for a nearfall. WOW! Goto then hit a GTR for the win. WOW!
WINNER: Hirooki Goto in 20:30. (****)
(Radican’s Analysis: This was a really good match. The last 10 minutes were excellent after a slow start. I’m surprised Goto went over here, as it seemed Shingo was headed to bigger and better things than Goto. I’m not sure how much upward mobility Goto has on the card. They could always go to one more match between these two now that they’re tied in their series 1-1)
(9) IWGP IC CHAMPION TETSUYA NAITO vs. JAY WHITE (W/GEDO)
White beat Naito to advance to the finals of G1 back in August. Since then they’ve been building up to this match. Naito slowly took his suit off. The bell rang to start the match and the fans fired up and chanted for Naito. This feud has been about who will outwit the other. White bailed to the floor first. He got back in and then Naito went to the floor. White wanted to lock up, but Naito kept backing up. White asked if they’re going to do this. Naito promised to lock up with White, but instead he got a series of pinning combinations for a pair of two counts. They went back and forth and came to a stalemate. Naito then bailed to the floor. White went after him, so Naito rolled back into the ring. Naito told White to hurry up. He rolled back into the ring right into a kick from Naito. Naito got the upper hand and went for his corner dropkick, but Gedo grabbed his leg. This gave White the window he needed and he dragged Naito crotch first into the ringpost. White worked Naito over on the floor and rolled back into the ring and mocked Naito’s pose.
White worked over Naito with a chinlock. He then took him back to the floor and drove him into the barrier several times. White and Naito ended up back inside of the ring and White worked a cravat. White taunted Naito and he fired up and hit a neck breaker. The pace picked up and Naito hit a flurry of offense capped by a dropkick to the back of White’s head. White mounted a comeback a short time later and hit a DDT and both men were down. White went on the attack and hit a series of suplexes. He went for a third suplex, but Naito drove him into the corner. Naito got caught in the ropes and White nailed him with several strikes and then followed up with a big running uppercut. White then hit a draping DDT off the middle rope for a nearfall.
The fifteen minute mark passed with White in control. White said Naito won’t be the first double champion in NJPW. White drove Naito’s head into the corner turnbuckle pad over and over. He made Naito smile using his hands and then nailed him with a big strike. He told Naito he’d help him up, but then White nailed him with a big snap Saito suplex. White tied NAito in the ropes and told him to smile, but Naito fired out of the corner and hit a dropkick. Naito hit a super rana a short time later and the fans fired up. Naito then hit Gloria for a two count. Naito hit a leg sweep on the apron and followed up with his signature slingshot dropkick, but this time he landed it on the apron. They began going back and forth on the apron. White dropped Naito face first onto the apron when he charged at him. White then dragged Naito head first down onto the apron a short time later. Naito blocked a piledriver on the apron and hit a backdrop. White popped up and got under Naito he got him up and hit a running apron bomb! WOW! White hit a big uranagi inside the ring, but Naito kicked out at two.
White went for the Kiwi Crusher, but Naito turned it into a DDT. This time Naito told White to smile as he punched him. White grabbed the ref and Gedo got into the ring and nailed him with a chairshot to the back. White then hit the Kiwi Crusher for a nearfall. Naito fired back and hit a flying forearm and the fans fired up. Naito went for Destino, but White collapsed to block it. Gedo got into the ring. White tried to sneak up from behind him, but Naito hit a swinging DDT that also knocked Gedo off the apron. Naito went for Destino, but White got Sharp Sensations. White then grabbed a sleeper and went for a sleeper suplex, but Naito turned it into a German. Naito went for a big Destino, but White blocked it. White went for Blade Runner, but Naito got out of it. White eventually hit a sleeper suplex. They went back and forth and White hit another sleeper suplex. White went for Blade Runner, but Naito hit a dragon suplex. Naito went for Destino, but White blocked it slightly, but Naito landed it for a near fall. White blocked Destino and they went back and forth. Naito set up for a suplex, but White turned it into Blade Runner for the win! WOW!
WINNER: Jay White in 30:00. (****½)
(Radican’s Analysis: The twists and turns on the road to Wrestle Kingdom continue. This time it’s Jay White that’s in the driver’s seat to be the first double champion after Naito was the first person to broach the idea of someone holding the IWGP Hvt. and IC titles together. This was one heck of a match, especially down the stretch.)
White got on the mic and asked the fans where they were going. He said he told them from the beginning he would beat Naito. He mocked Naito’s usual show closing promo and then he asked Naito to promise him that he’d smile. He then counted off the members of Bullet Club in Spanish to mock Naito. It was hilarious. White said finally the belt has a real prestigious man to carry it around. White called himself the man to sell out MSG. He said he would become the IWGP and IC Champion. He called out Okada and Sanada. Goto came down the ramp. White yelled at Goto on the mic and he punched White right in the face. Gedo bailed from the ring.
The fans chanted for Goto. The title was in the ring. Goto grabbed the title and handed it over to White. White said Goto is not next. Goto said he doesn’t plan on losing to that SOB. He said it felt good to beat him once during G1 and so since there’s nobody else around, it might be time for him to beat him a second time.
Contact Sean at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/sr_torch