NJPW’s Destruction In Kobe, Full Preview (Goto vs Nakamura, Shibata vs Naito, Tanahashi vs Fale)

After Destruction in Okayama, it is now time to look forward at the Destruction in Kobe event, to be held this Sunday (09/27) at the Kobe World Hall.

David Finlay and Jay White vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu:

A welcome change from the usual multi-men tag matches, this one features the 4 most visible Young Lions. I really hope they are given some time, because all 4 are very talented, which should give us an interesting and entertaining match. Tanaka and Komatsu have experience on their side, and, as always when they are clearly not there just to be pinned, speculation might arise as to whether Gedo finally deems them ready to graduate from the Young Lions. Whatever happens this should be fun.

Winner: Tanaka and Komatsu

Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask and Yuji Nagata vs. Captain New Japan, Juice Robinson and Manabu Nakanishi:

Old friends/rivals Tiger Mask IV and Jushin Thunder Liger will soon battle for the NWA Junior Heavyweight Title, so their interaction here will be interesting. Juice Robinson (previously CJ Parker on NXT) has been booked like a Young Lion since he started working for NJPW, this will be his first televised match (if I’m not mistaken). This one seems pretty straightforward. No way Liger, Tiger Mask or Nagata are getting pinned here, so we must look at the other team. Brick Wall Nakanishi will do his thing but he teams up with basically a Young Lion and perpetual loser Captain New Japan, so I don’t like his chances here. I’m guessing Liger  gets the win for his team and we then get a stare-down between him and Tiger Mask IV.

Winner: Liger, Tiger Mask IV and Nagata

CHAOS (Beretta, Rocky Romero, Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI vs. Togi Makabe , Tomoaki Honma, Mascara Dorada and Ryusuke Taguchi:

Obligatory CHAOS vs All The Others match. Ishii, Makabe and Honma will provide the fun brawling, Beretta, Romero, YOSHI-HASHI and Dorada, will provide the high-flying and Taguchi will provide … Something. Makabe and Ishii will again battle for the NEVER title soon afterwards so expect them to seek each-other out. It doesn’t really matter who wins here, it will be fun and nothing else.

Winner: Makabe and friends

Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tetsuya Naito:

Very interesting match-up between two guys who couldn’t be more different. Shibata’s deadly serious demeanor, complete with a kick ass and take no prisners fighting style has made him a log-time crowd favorite in Japan. Naito’s recent heel turn has proven extremely successful. So expect a lot of taunting and mocking by Naito at the start, followed by an enraged Shibata going all out, followed by Naito getting serious and kicking some Shibata ass. Because the winner is not really in doubt here. Naito has a big match against Tanahashi later this year, for Tanahashi’s WK10 contract, so no way he will lose here.

Winner: Naito

BULLET CLUB (AJ Styles, Tama Tonga and Cody Hall) vs. CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano):

Much like the Okayama match, this is about Styles vs Okada at King of Pro Wrestling and nothing else. So expect more of the same, but in a fun way since whenever Styles and Okada get into the ring things get interesting. Chaos won on Wednesday so logic woulds suggest Bullet Club wins here, but AJ Styles teams up with a professional jobber and a Young Lion so the odds are nt in his favor.

Winner: CHAOS

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Title: reDragon (Bobby Fish and Kyle O’Reilly) (c) vs. Time Splitters (Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA):

I’ve already expressed my thoughts about KUSHIDA losing the Junior Heavyweight Title on Wednesday, so no use in repeating myself. Actually this match and the Time Splitters reunion now makes more sense because of that. Whether it’s a good thing or not and what that will accomplish, I do not know, but it seems certain the Time Splitters will win here. The good news is, this will be an awesome match.

Winner: Time Splitters

Hiroshi Tanahashi  vs Bad Luck Fale:

This one is for Tanahashi’s Wrestle Kingdom 10 contract. Since Fale was one of two wrestlers who managed to beat Tanahashi during the G1 (Naito being the other), this match does makes sense, but it’s always a little weird to see the lumbering, untalented and un-charismatic Fale in this spot. Good news is, this should be just a temporary road-block to keep Tanahashi busy, until his match against Naito later this year. NJPW might like Fale, for some reason, but no way they’re sacrificing Okada vs Tanahashi at WK10 for him.

Winner: Tanahashi

IWGP Intercontinental Title Match: Hirooki Goto © vs. Shinsuke Nakamura:

I must admit I have a though time predicting this one, especially after the Okayama show. Nakamura gained this re-match thanks to a win over Goto at this Year’s G1. Logically Goto should retain, on the surface it makes little sense making Nakamura IC champion again, but everybody was expecting KUSHIDA to retain and Ibushi to win on the previous show, because that was what made the most sense. We all know how that ended. So we have to dig a little deeper. It all depends on how NJPW sees Goto. Is he someone they want to push further or just a transitional champion? During the G1, Goto has lost against Nakamura, Anderson and Nagata, so those are his next challengers for the title should he retain here. On the other hand, Goto holds a win over Okada, which entitles him to challenge the World heavyweight champion at some point. Nakamura has lost against Anderson (again), Elgin (via forfeit) and Tanahashi (in the finals) but he also holds a win over Okada. NJPW does not like to trow away champion vs champion matches just like that (unlike certain other promotions), so that also plays a role. But the biggest factor might be the fact there isn’t a big role for Nakamura at WK 10 for te moment, which is something NJPW probably doesn’t like. So a title change becomes very possible all of a sudden, regardless of the fact that will scupper all the progress Goto has made in recent months. Don’t forget, Nakamura is the big star, not Goto. So I really don’t know. It’s 50/50 at this point, but given how the other main event cards are laid out at this point, I’m gonna go with…

Winner: Shinsuke Nakamura



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