by Bryan Rose, WrestlingObserver.com
Yohei Komatsu vs. David Finlay
This only lasted roughly around ten minutes, but this was a fine back and forth match. They traded offense and submissions, including Finlay’s stretch muffler which is always a fun move to see in pro wrestling. Komatsu made a comeback and put him in the half crab, and Finlay submitted.
Tiger Mask & Jushin Liger vs. Jay White & Sho Tanaka
It was what you’d expect out of a veterans vs. young lions match. Lions made a comeback at one point and Tanaka nearly had Tiger Mask submitted with an awesome looking figure four. Liger was able to make the comeback for his team, then Tiger Mask isolated Tanaka with what looked like a half chickenwing.
Liger cut a promo after the match mentioning how Tiger Mask has a NWA Jr. Heavyweight title match coming at at Destruction. He goes with the Mick Foley routine, telling him to win it so he can challenge him at Korakuen. That got a pop, of course.
Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi & Mascara Dorada & Juice Robinson vs. Toru Yano & Yoshi-Hashi & Gedo & Rocky Romero & Baretta
Toru Yano came out with a new song from the CHAOS album. It was…rather interesting. He was introduced as the producer of the album. Typical ten man tag with some good moments. Taguchi and RPG Vice were in there for a while and did some comedy spots. Nagata was in there briefly and beat both of RPG Vice up. It boiled down to Juice Robinson and Yoshi-Hashi. He looked better here than last week, but still feels like he’s a step below the other heavyweights. We’ll find out how he does in time. They had some fine back and forth with Yoshi-Hashi hitting his neckbreaker and pinning Robinson with the swanton bomb.
Kazuchika Okada & Kazushi Sakuraba vs. Tama Tonga & Cody Hall
Another simple match. Not bad, but there was a familiar story. Tonga and Hall had the heat on Sakuraba for a long time. Okada made the hot tag and cleared house. Hall made a comeback and soon both heels were on Okada. Sakuraba came in for the save and took Tonga down as Hall was submitted with the Red Ink by Okada. That’s the first time in a long while someone submitted to that; would be a good idea to use it on guys like Hall in the future to get it over as a finish.
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Kushida vs. Bad Luck Fale & Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Kenny Omega
Good match. This wasn’t like a typical ten man tag where everyone just works against their future opponent; they all worked with one another (though there was focus on their opponents during certian points of the mtach) and the action was good. At one point Doc Gallows had Kojima choked out with a chair and was dragging him backstage. The crowd was also getting into it near the end. Kojima was making his comeback on Anderson but Gallows was involved and was able to take him out with the magic killer, allowing Anderson to score the win for his team.
Togi Makabe & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Kota Ibushi & Tetsuya Naito
Of course the stories here are between Shibata/Naito and Makabe/Ibushi. Shibata did the spot he’s done in other tags against Naito by giving him a huge boot to the face that sends him to the floor. Fans were super into the interactions between Naito and Shibata. Naito’s heel mannerisms are top notch and it’s getting big reactions from the fans. Shibata actually submitted him with a sleeper, which seems to be the theme of the night with getting a lot of submissions over. Shibata destroyed Naito’s Los Ingobernales hat to boot. Ibushi and Makabe brawled after the match and had to be separated a few times before doing so.
Hirooki Goto & Tomoaki Honma vs. Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii
This was a match where the crowd made it better than it was. This was actually a very good match but the crowd made it seem like this awesome main event. I wouldn’t put it at that level but it was very fun. It was what you’d expect, with the four rivals pairing off with one another. Good offense, but it just felt familiar. The fans ate it up regardless . Finish had Honma and Ishii dishing out punishment. Ishii pelted Honma with headbutts but he was no selling them until Ishii headbutted him in the throat and got a nearfall with a lariat. My least favorite place to be headbutted would probably in fact be the throat, ouch. Ishii hit a brainbuster and pinned him.
I’d say watch the two top matches as they built up Destruction really well with those. Overall, a pretty solid card that served its purpose.