Destruction series gets underway free!
Saturday September 8 sees the Road to Destruction get underway in Korakuen Hall. On top of key previews for the series to come, we get the NJPW World TV Championship on the line, and all for free!
Main event: Just 5 Guys (Taichi & SANADA) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL & SANADA)
The main event in Korakuen tonight sees a double preview of title matches coming up in Kobe and Ryogoku. On September 245, Destruction in Kobe will see KOPW 2023 Champion Taichi challenged by SHO. After a tainted, wrench assisted win in Ryogoku, a shot with the belt was the punctuation mark to SHO making his challenge. With the KOPW title seeing champion, challenger or both nominating rules for the title bouts, it seems an inevitability that SHO will choose a ruleset that benefits HOUSE OF TORTURE- tonight might see the first hint as to SHO’s devious designs.
Meanwhile in Ryogoku on October 14, EVIL will challenge IWGP World Heavyweight Champion SANADA. After eliminating SANADA from the G1 Climax 33 quarterfinals, EVIL added insult and injury in Ryogoku when he cuffed and hanged the champion by his injured arm before making away with his title belt. For SANADA, defeat and injury, (a bicep tendon now repaired) has left the champion with somewhat of a crisis of confidence to deal with; as Wrestle Kingdom 18 approaches, he wants to show the world that he is ready willing and able of headlining the biggest event of the year. That all starts in a heated tag bout tonight in our main event.
6th Match: NJPW World TV Championship- Zack Sabre Jr. vs Boltin Oleg
The semi main event will see the NJPW World TV Championship on the line as Zack Sabre Jr. takes on Kazakh amateur standout turned Young Lion Boltin Oleg. Boltin’s title shot came about as a result of him winning the Young Lion Hattrick Challenge for the live audience in Ryogoku on G1 Climax Semifinal Saturday. The fourth in a series of these kickoff bouts, the hattrick challenge involved a Young Lion running the gauntlet of his three contemporaries in a series of five minute singles bouts. The grand prize was a TV title shot and 200,000 Yen of yakkiniku barbecue, only for the individual who beat all three of his opponents.
While Oskar Leube, Ryohei Oiwa and Yuto Nakashima all failed to get one win on the board in their gauntlets, Boltin blew threw all three of his opponents inside of ten minutes total. Certainly that stands him in good stead in a championship environment where the challenger has 15 minutes to get the job done, but there’s a gulf in experience and skill between the Noge Dojo prospects and the NJPW World TV Champion. Zack Sabre Jr. is closing in on nine months holding the TV title, with 11 defences under his belt at the time of writing, and Boltin knows first hand of Sabre’s technical skill. After a pre debut exhibition on January 4 at the Tokyo Dome, Boltin’s full time debut on April 2 this year was in a six man tag opposite TMDK; a match that resulted in a tap out loss to ZSJ. Yet, still developing and rough round some edges as Big Boltin may be, his power and ability to dominate on the mat if given a chance is not in any doubt whatsoever. There are 15 minutes on the clock, but it only takes three seconds to crown a new champion- could it happen tonight?
5th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Shingo Takagi, Yota Tsuji & Hiromu Takahashi) vs Unied Empire (Jeff Cobb, Great-O-Khan, HENARE & Callum Newman)
24 year old Callum Newman makes his Japanese debut along with United Empire in an eight man tag against the forces of Los Ingobernables De Japon tonight. Dubbed the ‘Prince of Pace’, Newman’s high speed footwork and amped up style has been tweaked and honed by Will Ospreay for years, and the Aerial Assassin went on to welcome Callum into United Empire as the group’s young future prospect. He has a tall task ahead of him in eight man action tonight.
Newman could play off well with IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi, who will need the tune up- on October 9 in Ryogoku, Hiromu must defend his junior gold against both Mike Bailey and Lio Rush in a high speed ansd high risk encounter. For his partners tonight, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito have more direct previews with future opposition in Great-O-Khan and Jeff Cobb respectively, with both those matches coming up on September 24 in Kobe. Main eventing that card will be Yota Tsuji and his bid to wrest the IWGP US (UK) Championship from the waist of Will Osprea- before Ospreay returns to action on night two of the tour, a chance to make an impact at HENARE, and the rest of UE’s expense.
4th Match: Yuto Nakashima, Tomohiro Ishii, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada vs Tiger Mask, Togi Makabe, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
On night two of the Road to Destruction on August 30, NEVER Openweight 6 man Champions Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Tomohiro Ishii will put their titles on the line against Togi Makabe, Tiger Mask and Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Before that title bout Saturday however, an eight man preview will see the recent winner of the AJPW Royal Road tournament Satoshi Kojima and Young Lion Yuto Nakashima join the mix. As Nakashima’s contemporaries Kosei Fujita and Ryohei Oiwa both leave the nest on a world tour and to Pro-Wrestling NOAH on loan respectively, what mark will Nakashima look to make in this eight man bout?
3rd Match: CHAOS (Toru Yano, YOSHI-HASHI & Hirooki Goto) vs TMDK (Mikey Nicholls, Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito)
In a preview of Kobe’s IWGP Tag Team Championship bout between Bishamon and Shane Haste and Mikey Nicholls, a six man contest will add Toru Yano and the returning Bad Dude Tito into the mix. Last time Toru Yano and Shane Haste tangled, Haste ended up with a bucket on his head; will Haste be able to see clearly and bring TMDK to victory tonight?
2nd Match: Oskar Leube, Shota Umino, Master Wato & Yuji Nagata vs Tomoaki Honma, Minoru Suzuki, Ren Narita & El Desperado
The Destruction series will play host to a special best of seven series between Strong Style7s team of Ren narita, El Desperado and Minoru Suzuki, and the combination of Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino and Master Wato. While the developing rivalry between would be future aces in Shota Umino and Ren Narita is the crux of this issue, the addition of other fierce rivals in Suzuki and Nagata, and Wato and Desperado has made this a powder keg between the two trios that will explode starting with our main event Sunday September 10 in Togane. With two previews to come before the teams lock horns, what happens in this eight man battle?
1st Match: YOH & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Just 5 Guys (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI)
Junior heavyweight tag team action will kick us off in Korakuen. Super Junior Tag League looms later in October, and DOUKI is carrying a wave of momentum from his victory in the Philly Cheesesteak ladder match from All Star Junior Festival in Philadelphia alongside Low Rider. Can he carry that same momentum with regular partner Kanemaru?