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NJPW ‘Destruction in Hiroshima’ (9.15.18) Results & Review

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New Japan visits the Hiroshima Sun Plaza for their first big event since the G1 Climax. They come to Hiroshima with a main event for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship between Kenny Omega and Tomohiro Ishii. The NEVER Openweight 6-Man titles are also featured as well as several returns from key players. Plenty of stories to be told throughout this show. Let’s get started!

Liger, Tiger & KUSHIDA def. Romero, YOH & SHO @ 7:15 via Tiger Suplex on Romero – **1/4
It was nice to see everyone back and eager to make an impact. Liger in particular was fired up, not amused with YOH taking it easy on him. SHO displayed an awesome amount of strength by muscling KUSHIDA into a Gutwrench Facebuster. Romero ate a Shotei from Liger into a Tiger Driver for two, followed immediately into a Tiger Suplex and the veterans pick up the win.

Bad Luck Fale def. Toa Henare @ 2:47 via Grenade – **
A rematch from the final day of the G1. This time Henare went on the attack before Fale could enter the ring. His power wasn’t getting the job done and instead of falling into the same trap as last time, he went for Fale’s knee. This afforded him time to connect with a shoulder tackle from the top but Fale is quick to regroup. He splashes Henare in the corner, can’t quite hit the Bad Luck Fale but turns Henare inside out with a Lariat and finishes him with the Grenade. Henare showed the ability to adapt but Fale had more moves in his arsenal to put him away.

Killer Elite Squad def. Michael Elgin & Ayato Yoshida @ 8:53 via Killer Bomb on Yoshida – **
K.E.S. return after four months away and debut a new entrance. Yoshida wanted to prove himself and what immediately stood out was his size. You got to see him stand next to Davey Boy Smith Jr. and realize the two are nearly identical in height. He countered the power moves of K.E.S. into various submissions and landed an impressive German Suplex. Ultimately it was K.E.S. having the better of him with the Killer Bomb but the crowd rallying behind Yoshida showed some promise.

Beretta, Chuckie T. & Ospreay def. Ibushi, Yujiro & Owens @ 9:50 via Double Stomp Dudebuster on Owens – **1/4
Everyone was buzzing for the inevitable interaction between Ibushi and Ospreay. Ospreay hit him with a standing Shooting Star Press but Ibushi quickly caught him with a Powerslam + second rope Moonsault combination. Ospreay cleaned house by taking out both Ibushi and Yujiro with a Sasuke Special, giving Best Friends time to put away Owens with a double team Dudebuster. Post-match Ibushi and Ospreay stared a hole into one another.

NEVER Openweight Championship
Tama, Tanga & Ishimori (c) def. Juice, Finlay & Taguchi @ 11:28 via Tanga Apeshit on Finlay – **3/4

Team Taguchi Japan coming to the ring in rugby gear was the saving grace to this match. It’s no secret that this match needed something more than we were seeing on paper and Taguchi delivered. He came out wearing a leather helmet which his team used for their benefit. They rammed Taguchi head first, over and over, into their opponents. Tama would go to elbow Taguchi in the head but the helmet would instead hurt Tama. Tanga would headbutt Taguchi but again the helmet delivered the damage. And finally, Ishimori would go on the attack, but the helmet struck back. Tama would finally put an end to the shenanigans by ripping the helmet off, hitting Taguchi with a Gun Stun, leading Tanga to finish Finlay with Apeshit. While Tama gets a lot of grief, his willingness to play along with comedy spots has always been something I’ve appreciated from him. This was a lot better than you’d expect on paper.

Goto, Yano & Gedo def. Taichi, Iizuka & Kanemaru @ 10:43 via Disqualification – **
Taichi attacks Goto before the bell with the microphone stand and the two brawl to the outside. Getting the best of Goto, Taichi comes back to the ring carrying the NEVER title above his head and throwing it to the outside. A busted open Goto would come back and make quick work of Kanemaru but Taichi would rush back in with the microphone stand, beat down Goto and take the DQ. Afterwards he continued the beatdown, delivering a Last Ride and hitting Goto’s pose before making his way to the back. The crowd were very vocal, in a positive nature, for Taichi. I’m still leaning towards go home, personally.

Naito, EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI def. Suzuki, Sabre, Desperado & TAKA @ 12:13 via Magic Killer on TAKA – ***
Suzuki-Gun attacked LIJ with their backs turned and take the match outside. Naito makes quick work of Suzuki, throwing him into the rails and walking back to his corner. Suzuki traps BUSHI with an armbreaker over the top rope and charges after Naito, taking him up the entrance ramp. He attacks Naito with a chair and then sits on the chair, striking a pose in Naito’s direction. Back in the ring, Suzuki smiles his deadly smile at BUSHI who despite his best efforts, couldn’t get Suzuki to flinch. Naito rushed in to save BUSHI but Suzuki was ready for him and they traded forearms on the apron before Naito gets caught in a Sleeper, his legs dangling over the edge. Sabre and EVIL had a back and forth exchange but Sabre caught EVIL in the Octopus, Naito tried to make the save, falling into Suzuki’s trap. Suzuki put Naito into another Sleeper and rolled them both to the outside. This afforded LIJ the chance they needed to pick up the win but post-match, Suzuki still wouldn’t let go of Naito. Officials brought Naito out a stretcher but he refused and was instead helped to the back by his LIJ brothers. This was great intensity by Naito and Suzuki. Definitely a match that should be seen heading into their main event on Monday.

Tanahashi, Makabe & Honma def. Okada, White & Y-H @ 12:14 via Tanahashi Roll Up on Y-H – **3/4
Rather than come out to his own music, White came out alongside Okada and Y-H but that didn’t mean they were going to get along. Tanahashi and Okada looked to start the match but before they could lock up, White blind tagged himself in to a chorus of boos. Okada stared him down but wound up exiting the ring. White was completely destroyed by Tanahashi but instead of tagging out to Okada, he chose to tag Y-H. Okada and Y-H feeling like they had an uphill battle thanks to White, tried working together but it only created more conflict. Y-H held Tana up, Okada went for a boot but Tana ducked, Okada hit Y-H instead and Tana rolled Y-H up for the win. Y-H refused to listen to Okada’s explanation and walked off to the back by himself. White questions Okada’s mistake as well, adding even more fuel to the fire. Okada is left standing in the ring conflicted. Chaos doesn’t seem united at the moment.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kenny Omega (c) def. Tomohiro Ishii @ 30:56 via One-Winged Angel – ****1/4

Because of last year’s Okada/Omega series, the one between Omega and Ishii fell under the radar. That all changed when Ishii was the first one to beat Omega during this year’s G1. Now this feud receives its highest profile match to date. Ishii receives his second ever opportunity to become IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
Omega grinded on the neck early on with forearms, neckbreakers and ultimately standing on top of the neck. Ishii wasn’t impressed. In typical fashion he continued to ask for more, resulting in him being Rana’d out of the ring and driven back down with a Tope con Hilo before he could regroup. Omega stayed on the attack with the Kotaro Krusher but Ishii still wasn’t impressed. Ishii Lariats Omega over the top rope, sends him into the rails and the two have a chop battle on the floor. Omega attempts the Moonsault off the guardrail but Ishii cuts it off and teased a One-Winged Angel of his own but hits a Vertical Suplex instead. Omega lands a Dropkick through the ropes, sending Ishii over the rails and into the announce table. Wasting no time, Omega puts Ishii on rhe table and climbs back into the ring for a Springboard double stomp onto Ishii.
Omega sits up against the ropes, letting the referee make the count which Ishii manages to break at eighteen. Ishii ducks a V-Trigger, hits a Saito Suplex and begins laying into Omega with chops. Omega spits at Ishii but that isn’t going to derail Ishii. He stacks Omega with a Powerbomb for a two count, eats a chop from Omega and cuts him off on his way to the top rope. They battle with Ishii on the mat and Omega on the top rope. Omega landing boots while Ishii lands the chops. Ishii jumps up and headbutts Omega on the chin, climbs up to meet him and takes him to the mat with a Vertical Suplex from the top. Omega flips through a Suplex, drills Ishii with a knee, lands a Discuss forearm + Dragon Suplex + V-Trigger combination. Ishii fights out of One-Winged Angel position but Omega manages to hold on and transition into a Brainbuster for two. Omega continued drilling Ishii in the head with repeated knee strikes and takes him to the top, looking for a Dragon Suplex. Ishii headbutts his way out but Omega charges back with a V-Trigger and looks for the One-Winged Angel off the top.
Ishii then hits what I’ll always remember as the most beautiful Frankensteiner I’ve ever seen. Who would have thought he had that amount of grace in him? Ishii signals for the belt, does Omega’s gun pose and levels him with a V-Trigger followed by a Sliding Lariat for a huge nearfall. Omega slides out of the following Brainbuster, turns it into a Poison Rana, ducks Ishii’s desperation Enziguri and traps him into a Dragon Suplex before he levels him with a V-Trigger. Ishii fights out of the One-Winged Angel but Omega doesn’t let go and instead transitions into Croyt’s Wrath. V-Trigger + Lariat + Piledriver combination for two. Omega charges with anither V-Trigger, connects but his momentum sends him tumbling over the top rope, he charges back in with another and Ishii kicks out at one. Ishii, desperate, attempts an Enziguri but is blocked, eats a double underhook Piledriver, V-Trigger and is finished with the One-Winged Angel.
Post-match, Ibushi helps Omega with his belt and tells Omega he wants to challenge him on his own terms, no one else’s. They celebrate together, the streamers hit and they make their way to the back. That’s how we end the show.

As expected, Omega and Ishii added another amazing match to their series. If I were to rank the five matches this would probably be my least favorite but that’s splitting hairs, every time they’re in the ring together it’s magic. As for the rest of the show, he interaction between Suzuki and Naito should be seen if you’re planning on watching their match on Monday. New wrinkles in the Chaos story as Y-H is beginning to show his frustrations and the NEVER 6-Man match was better than expected. I think everyone knew going in that this was a one match show so I don’t think there’s anything to be disappointed about. This was a very easy show to watch from top to bottom.

Recommended Matches
Omega vs Ishii
LIJ vs Suzuki-Gun

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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