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NJPW Road to DESTRUCTION Recap & Review – Night 3

Event Date: September 8, 2018 (18:30 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Bunkyo, Tokyo, Japan
Venue: Korakuen Hall
Attendance: 1,715

Commentary (Japanese): Shigeki Kiyono, Milano Collection AT
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 4), Makoto Abe (5 – 7)


Matches for the upcoming DESTRUCTION shows are highlighted.


Match 1
Yota Tsuji & Ren Narita vs Yuya Uemura & Shota Umino
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shota Umino forces Yota Tsuji to submit to a Boston crab
Time: 8:58

Match Thoughts
This was a very good young lions opener. The match was going fine, but towards the end Yota Tsuji really stood out. He hit a great dropkick on Shota Umino, and the exchanges between Umino and Tsuji were a lot of fun. Tsuji showed his heart and his ability to get the crowd on his side. I really enjoyed the finish as well. Since the young lions can pretty much only use a Boston crab as a finisher you’d think it could get boring, but seeing someone like Tsuji struggle and fight to survive in a convincing way really exemplifies that it’s not always the moves that make the match. It’s the wrestlers.


Match 2
Ayato Yoshida vs Chase Owens
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Chase Owens wins via pinfall after a package piledriver
Time: 8:34

Match Thoughts
Good match. Yoshida brought some nice technical skills, but Owens used his experience and sheer toughness to weather Yoshida’s storm. It was an entertaining clash of styles and personalities. Yoshida was earnest in attempting to out-wrestle Owens, and Owens was very nonchalant about everything he did. It was good to see Owens do well here in singles competition.


Match 3
Taiji Ishimori & Tanga Loa & Tama Tonga (NEVER Openweight 6 Man Tag Champs) & Bad Luck Fale vs Toa Henare & David Finlay & Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe
(referee: Tiger Hattori)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tama Tonga pins Toa Henare after Gun Stun
Time: 9:10

Match Thoughts
Good match. I thought Ishimori stood out in this match, maybe because he had to work so much harder in the ring with seven men who are mostly all so much bigger than he is. Ishimori looked dangerous, and I liked that. The frantic final moments of the match were fun as well.


Match 4
Yoshinobu Kanemaru (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Taichi vs YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Champ)
(referee: Tiger Hattori)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Goto & YOSHI-HASHI win via DQ when Taichi attacks Goto with his microphone
Time: 10:02

Match Thoughts
Good match. I liked how this continued to build up Goto versus Taichi. It’s clear that Taichi is going to attempt to cheat as much as possible when he challenges for the NEVER Title, and this match showed that if he does it right then he could win.


Match 5
TAKA Michinoku & El Desperado (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki vs BUSHI & SANADA & EVIL & Tetsuya Naito
(referee: Marty Asami; guest commentary: Taichi)

Show/Hide Results

Result: BUSHI pins TAKA Michinoku after MX
Time: 12:36

Match Thoughts
Good match. Similar to the match from the previous night of the tour, this was mostly a brawl with sporadic moments of in-ring wrestling. Suzuki Gun again focused much of their attention on Naito. For his part, Naito didn’t seem to take as much of a beating this time (though he did still take one). Naito’s attitude was even more relaxed tonight which only serves to make Minoru Suzuki even more crazy and violent than he regularly is.


Ring Area
After the match, Naito gets on the mic and calmly asks Suzuki why he’s so angry. Naito tells Suzuki he should come tell everyone how he feels. As Suzuki heads back to the ring, Naito tosses the mic towards him but quickly pulls it out of his reach as if he’s fishing. Furious, Suzuki hits the mic with a chair before storming away (and hitting a few young lions with his chair along the way).


Match 6
Will Ospreay & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii vs Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter & Kota Ibushi & Kenny Omega (IWGP Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami; guest commentary: Taichi)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toru Yano pins Yujiro Takahashi after a low blow
Time: 9:15

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This had the expected confrontations between Ospreay and Ibushi as well as Omega and Ishii, and on top of that it had some fun and humorous moments towards the end. I think the Golden Lovers’ match last night was a better wrestling match, but this one made me smile for slightly different reasons. There was a really funny sequence near the end with a lot of hair pulling and one powerful headbutt from Ishii. That moment led right into a fast finish with a lot of flying and a little bit of cheating. I liked it a lot.


Match 7
Beretta & Kazuchika Okada vs Juice Robinson (IWGP US Champ) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
(referee: Red Shoes Unno; guest commentary: Taichi)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Juice Robinson pins Beretta after Pulp Friction
Time: 21:15

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Even with Tanahashi and Okada in the match, a lot of the focus was put on Robinson and Beretta. So much focus was put on them that the last few minutes was just Robinson and Beretta one on one in the center of the ring.


Ring Area
After the match, Juice Robinson gets on the mic. He attempts a little (very little) Japanese as he talks about his upcoming title defense against Cody. Robinson says he will do his best in his match. Robinson then gives the mic to Tanahashi who says he will defend his title match contract and go on to the Tokyo Dome in January.


Show Impressions
I think night two of this tournament was a little better (even though they were both very similar, but this was still a show worth watching.

Match of the Night
Beretta & Okada vs Robinson & Tanahashi
The six man tag right before the main event was very good as well, but I think the main event delivered a better overall experience.


Official Results: https://www.njpw.co.jp/card_result/161679



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