The Road to Destruction kicked off in Korakuen Hall September 4, with previews of big matches coming soon on the tour, and the start of the Young Lion Cup.
8th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (SANADA & Shingo Takagi) defeated CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto) when SANADA pinned Goto.
It was even going early between the two pairs of rivals in this match, Okada and SANADA taking a scientific approach to feeling one another out, whereas Goto and Takagi simply charged at one another. That aggression would soon see them out on the floor, where Goto found the guardrail, and LIJ found control of the match.
Takagi and SANADA both punished Goto, with a big Shingo suplex proving a highlight, but Goto withstood that punishment and came back with strikes to take both men down and tag in the IWGP Champion. Okada came in with a lot of speed, scoring a massive back elbow. With Goto back legal, an Ushigoroshi would catch Shingo, but SANADA would go for Skull End, Okada making the save, before hitting a shotgun dropkick to Takagi and a full dropkick to Goto.
Goto and SANADA were left in the ring, and both would jockey for position, trying to lock in a Skull End or GTR. SANADA would eventually get waist control on Goto, pushing him to the ropes for an O’Connor Roll, and coming up with a bridge for the three count.
7th Match: Los Ingobernables De Japon (BUSHI, EVIL & Tetsuya Naito) defeated BULLET CLUB (Gedo, Jay White & Bad Luck Fale) when EVIL submitted Gedo.
The BULLET CLUB trio took control of BUSHI in the early goings. Taking BUSHI to the outside and smashing him into the guardrails drew gasps, as did Fale stealing Milano Collection AT’s new EVIL Summoning Circle fan and threatening to break it over BUSHI’s head.
A BUSHI DDT brought Naito into play. While Naito took control on Jay White, White’s masterful ring presence came into play when he rolled out of harm’s way of a potential Naito dorpkick and instantly killed the LIJ momentum. A Death Valley Driver for White followed, but Naito withstood the punishment and landed a swinging DDT to bring in EVIL. EVIL would take control on Gedo, but a surefire quick win was stopped by Fale intervening with a splash. The match broke down soon after, leaving EVIL alone with Gedo; to his credit, the veteran Gedo kicked out of a huge lariat, but had no escape for the Scorpion Deathlock that led to the finish.
6th Match: Ryusuke Taguchi, SHO, YOH & Hiroshi Tanahashi defeated Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Junior & Minoru Suzuki) when Taguchi pinned DOUKI.
While Suzuki-Gun normally control their matches early, it was the Tanahashi led team that had the early control here. a train was run on Yoshinobu Kanemaru in the corner, but before Kanemaru’s head could be put where the sun doesn’t shine on Taguchi, Suzuki put a choke on the Coach.
The match spilled to the outside, where the scene was so chaotic, referee Red Shoes Unno counted out the wrong man in Taguchi when it was SHO that was legal. The Roppongi 3K member could eventually tag in Tanahashi, who went right to ZSJ; the former British Heavyweight Champion punished the new champion’s arm until a Twist and Shout saw the Ace bring Taguchi back in.
Taguchi and DOUKI were legal at the match’s end. DOUKI looked to put away Taguchi with Suplex De La Luna, but the Coach would fight out of the predicament. A hip attack was ducked by DOUKI, but Taguchi smoothly transitioned into a schoolboy for the win.
5th Match: CHAOS (Rocky Romero, YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii) defeated BULLET CLUB (Jado, Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) when YOSHI-HASHI submitted Jado.
BULLET CLUB dictated the pace for the early part of the match, as Romero was isolated and repeated attempts to make it to his corner were denied him. Eventually a rewind kick would bring in Ishii, who would unload on the Guerrillas of Destiny. A Loa spear would appear to cut Ishii off, but a powerslam soon followed, and Ishii tagged in a fired up YOSHI-HASHI.
YOSHI-HASHI seemed to have added focus in his offense as he took on the BULLET CLUB trio. Jado’s kendo stick came in handy and stopped the CHAOS momentum, but Romero flew in to prevent a Jado Green Killer, and would take to the sky with a tope suicida to GoD. Jado was left to submit to a YOSHI-HASHI Butterfly Lock; post match, he and Ishii cleared the ring of GoD and stood tall with the IWGP Tag Team Championships, sending a message to the champions.
4th Match: BULLET CLUB (El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens) defeated Toa Henare, Will Ospreay, Robbie Eagles & Tomoaki Honma when Owens pinned Henare.
BULLET CLUB took control early, but it was the Birds of Prey that would soon dictate the pace, working over Ishimori’s arm. Honma would come in and look to follow with a Kokeshi, but the headbutt would miss, allowing for the BULLET CLUB quartet to take control.
Kokesho would later make the crowd happy however, and Eagles and Ospreay unleashed spectacular tandem offense. Henare would show his awesome power in ring too, but Owens would show he had the Maori Warrior’s number, with the Jewel Heist and then the Package Piledriver.
3rd match: Satoshi Kojima, Karl Fredericks & Michael Richards defeated Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Ren Narita & Yuya Uemura when Kojima pinned Uemura.
The match started unexpectedly with Tenzan and Kojima rather than their young charges. Tenzan would get the upper hand with Mongolian Chops, but it was Narita who was isolated for much of the match, Richards showing impressive vertical leaping ability to come up with elevated stomps while Richards showed strong fundamentals to ground the younger Narita.
A release front suplex by Narita changed the slow of the match, as Tenzan and Uemura would come in. Uemura hit an impressive overhook suplex to Kojima, but the following pinfall was broken up. With Uemura alone against Kojima, he soon fell to a Koji Cutter and then a lariat.
2nd Match: Clark Connors (1-0) defeated Shota Umino (0-1) via submission.
The two went nose to nose early, before starting at a furious pace, with high speed strikes. Umino appeared to take control with a big seated dropkick, but was cut off with an even bigger dropkick by Connors. Connors, in control, angered Umino with blows to his head, leading to Umino going on the offensive, but Connors showed presence beyond his years by taking the offence to Umino’s heavily taped arm.
Umino was able to rally, hitting a dropkick out of the corner, and then a series of strikes to Connors, followed by a big vertical suplex. After an impressive spinebuster, Umino looked to follow up with a missile dropkick to Connors, but the LA Dojo member saw it coming, stepping back and locking in a Boston Crab that Umino eventually succumbed to.
1st Match: Alex Coughlin (1-0) defeated Yota Tsuji (0-1) via submission.
After smooth mat work early, Coughlin came up with the upper hand, taking Tsuji’s arm. When tsuji worked for distance, Coughlin was able to land a huge chop to knock the Japanese Young Lion down.
Chops were on the menu in this match, but while Tsuji’s would open Coughlin’s chest up, the American wasn’t showing any kind of slowing. Instead his strikes only continued to grow harder and more vicious. Tsuji was able to show his power when Coughlin got over eager, meeting him on the run with a huge scoop slam, but he couldn’t follow up for long, the resulting Boston Crab being quickly powered out of. Coughlin applied a half Boston Crab in reponse, and when Tsuji made the ropes, applied the hold deeper to get the first points in the Young Lion Cup.