Second part of Korakuen double header
The second straight night in Korakuen Hall will see a key turning point in the road to Destruction. With just over a week separating Tokyo from the tour closer in Ryogoku Sumo Hall, title challengers and champions will be looking to make the biggest possible impact ahead of October 9.
Main event: 12 man elimination- Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Hikuleo, El Phantasmo, Kevin Knight & KUSHIDA vs BULLET CLUB (David Finlay, Chase Owens, Alex Coughlin, Gabe Kidd, Drilla Moloney & Clark Connors)
Eliminatio9n tag team matches always make for wild Korakuen hall main events, hectic enough when eight or ten members are involved. Tonight sees a stacked 12 man lineup across two teams of six; the first time Korakuen Hall has seen such a busy affair since 2013. There’s plenty of ill intent between the forces of Hontai/GoD and BULLET CLUB to carry through the chaos however. At Ryogoku on October 9, Hikuleo and El Phantasmo challenge the War Dogs Alex Coughlin and Gabe Kidd for the NJPW STRONG Openweight Tag team Championships, while KUSHIDA and Kevin Knight face Clark Connors and Drilla Moloney for the IWGP Junior Tag belts. David Finlay and Tama Tonga will be meeting over the NEVER Openweight Championship to complete a hat trick of title previews in this main event, while Chase Owens and Tanga Loa’s impending singles match will also be leading to heated exchanges. Eight days before Ryogoku, this is an unpredictable main event not to be missed.
6th Match: Just Four Guys (SANADA, DOUKI, Taichi & TAKA Michinoku) vs HOUSE OF TORTURE (EVIL, SHO, Yujiro Takahashi & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
Things were looking decidedly bleak for IWGP World Heavyweight Champion SANADA and Just Four Guys heading into Korakuen hall action last night, as HOUSE OF TORTURE had a distinct numbers advantage over the beleaguered Just Four Guys. Things would change though when Taichi hit the ring, laying into new KOPW 2023 Champion SHO and only hesitating when now former friend Yoshinobu Kanemaru stepped in. Taichi demanded that changes be made to today’s card, and are now in effect. Just eight days before EVIL and SANADA’s IWGP World Heavyweight Championship Lumberjack Match, can the tide finally be turning?
5th Match: CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Lio Rush & YOSHIHASHI) vs Los Ingobernables De Japon (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)
After an explosive September 30 main event for Lio Rush and Kazuchika Okada opposite Tetsuya Naito and Hiromu Takahashi, YOSHI-HASHI and BUSHI join the mix for six man action here tonight. Just eight days separate Lio and Hiromu from a clash over the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but as the two continue their previews, the X factor remains Speedball Mike Bailey. The third participant in this three way match has yet to show his hand, and will be coming in fresh to the three way October 9; in the meantime, will Rush or Hiromu show theirs?
4th Match: Best of Seven Series: Shota Umino, Yuji Nagata & Master Wato vs Strong Style (Ren Narita, El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki)
Bo7 scores: 1-1-1 (as of September 26)
Match five of the best of seven trios series sees Yuji Nagata, Shota Umino and Master Wato take on Strong Style once more. With the scores even at 1-1-1 going into the weekend, Yuji Nagata and Minoru Suzuki have continued to be the focal points of each match. Will they be the difference makers tonight as well?
3rd Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (Shingo Takagi & Yota Tsuji) vs United Empire (Great-O-Khan & Callum Newman)
As Shingo Takagi and Yota Tsuji prepare for highlighted matches at Royal Quest III in London against Tomohiro Ishii and Luke Jacobs respectively, they take on two men with strong British ties in Callum Newman and Great-O-Khan. O-Khan has had to come to terms with his defeat to Takagi in Kobe- how will he react in tag action tonight?
2nd Match: Yuto Nakashima & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs United Empire (Jeff Cobb & HENARE)
As HENARE continues to await an eventual one on one showdown with Eddie Kingston yet to be made official, he’ll get his hands on the current NJPW STRONG and ROH World Champion in six man action in London October 14. There Kingston will be joined by Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Oku to face HENARE, Cobb and TJP; perhaps a message for Kingston might be delivered by the Face of Fury via furious fists and kicks to the Ace and his Young Lion partner tonight.
1st Match: CHAOS (Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii) vs Oskar Leube & Boltin Oleg
Young Lions kick off in ring action tonight as Boltin Oleg and Oskar Leube form an intimidating if inexperienced combination in the face of Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano. Leube and Boltin might do well in getting a lesson in the cunning arts from Yano if they’re to survive against former IWGP Tag team Champion competition in the future.
As an added bonus before the card begins on Sunday, a challenge issued backstage at live events this week has led to an official sanctioned arm wrestling contest! Despite Loa’s ripped physique and American footballing past, Owens has been as intent at showing his strength to T as he has been at proving his worth as a ‘legit shooter’ to Minoru Suzuki. Loa would have to be the odds on favourite- just who will prove stronger?