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New Japan announce full cards for Destruction tour, first matches for Fighting Spirit Unleashed

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With G1 Climax 28 in our rear view mirror and Hiroshi Tanahashi holding the right to challenge for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 13, it’s time to move on to New Japan Pro Wrestling’s first wave of fall shows to start seeing how the rest of the annual supercard will shake out. So without further ado, we’ll list ‘em out and break ‘em down!

NJPW Destruction in Hiroshima (Sept. 15, 5AM Eastern / 2AM Pacific)

  • Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH)
  • Bad Luck Fale vs. Toa Henare
  • Ayato Yoshida & Michael Elgin vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer)
  • Chaos (Beretta, Chuckie T, & Will Ospreay) vs. Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) & Kota Ibushi
  • Firing Squad (Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, & Tanga Loa) (c) vs. Taguchi Japan (David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Ryusuke Taguchi) (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship)
  • Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, & Toru Yano) vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
  • Chaos (“Switchblade” Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) & Hiroshi Tanahashi
  • Kenny Omega (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (IWGP Heavyweight Championship)

NJPW Destruction in Beppu (Sept. 17, 5AM Eastern / 2AM Pacific)

  • Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, & Yuya Uemura vs. TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima) & Yota Tsuji
  • David Finlay & Ren Narita vs. Shota Umino & Toa Henare
  • Ayato Yoshida vs. Takashi Iizuka
  • Chaos (Rocky Romero, SHO, Will Ospreay, & YOH) vs. Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, Ryusuke Taguchi, & Tiger Mask IV
  • Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer)
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, & SANADA) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
  • Chaos (“Switchblade” Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), Hiroshi Tanahashi, & Juice Robinson
  • Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Taichi (NEVER Openweight Championship)
  • Minoru Suzuki vs. Tetsuya Naito

NJPW Destruction in Kobe (Sept. 23, 3AM Eastern / 12AM Pacific)

  • Yota Tsuji vs. Yuya Uemura
  • Ren Narita & Shota Umino vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH)
  • Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)
  • Ayato Yoshida, Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma), & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Manabu Nakanishi, TenCozy (Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima), & Yuji Nagata
  • Best Friends (Beretta & Chuckie T) vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer)
  • Chaos (“Switchblade” Jay White, Will Ospreay, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. David Finlay, Juice Robinson, & Toa Henare
  • Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, & Zack Sabre, Jr.)
  • BUSHI vs. KUSHIDA (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match)
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada (G1 Climax 28 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Challenger’s Briefcase)

NJPW Fighting Spirit Unleashed (Sept. 30, 8PM Eastern, 5PM Pacific)

  • Cody Rhodes vs. Juice Robinson (c) (IWGP United States Championship)
  • Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Young Bucks (Matt & Nick Jackson) (c) (IWGP Tag Team Championship)
  • Marty Scurll vs. Will Ospreay (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship Tournament Semifinal Match)

Starting with the big one, since Hiromu Takahashi will not be able to defend the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship within the six-month contractual window required by the International Wrestling Grand Prix, he’s been forced to vacate the title. New Japan’s solution to the situation is to put the last four champs into a single-elimination tournament, with semifinals at Destruction in Kobe and Fighting Spirit Unleashed and the winners of those matches to meet at King of Pro-Wrestling on October 8.

In terms of big singles matches on the Destruction tour, Tomohiro Ishii’s victory over Kenny Omega in one of the best matches of the G1 Climax has earned him a rematch with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship on the line, so that’ll rule, Tetsuya Naito and Minoru Suzuki clash in a special challenge match that hopefully will be better than the match they had at Wrestling Hi no Kuni back in April, and to try and move on from their draw, Hiroshi Tanahashi will put his Wrestle Kingdom 13 main event spot on the line against Kazuchika Okada to close the tour out in Kobe.

Plus, we have two more title matches set for Fighting Spirit Unleashed, with the Young Bucks defending the IWGP Tag Team Championship against the Guerrillas of Destiny and Juice Robinson set to defend the IWGP United States Championship against Cody Rhodes following their encounter at the G1 Climax 28 Finals, and those should both provide some good drama for New Japan’s United States return.

Rounding up odds and ends from the Destruction shows before I get out of your hair, folks, we’ve got a NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship match with Taguchi Japan looking to take the belts from three guys who don’t even want them, Taichi getting a somewhat inexplicable shot at Hirooki Goto’s NEVER Openweight Championship (Yes, I know it was set up in their tag at the finals, but like, c’mon, Goto lost to Sabre, Ibushi, Naito, and Ishii in the G1 and not one of those guys is getting the shot?), the dads stand united in full complement as Satoshi Kojima finally returns from injury, and Kaientai Dojo breakout Ayato Yoshida is along for the ride with a singles match against Takashi Iizuka of all people.

There you have it, folks

New Japan’s September slate is mostly filled out, and while Destruction suffers from some of the usual issues inherent in NJPW stretching their schedule out, there’s some real good stuff on the docket all the same. Excited to wake up at butt o’clock for some of this action, Cagesiders?

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