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New Japan Pro Wrestling Destruction in Hiroshima 2018 match recommendations: A life embossed

NJPW World

For full results for Destruction in Hiroshima, you can check right here, but otherwise, on with the show!

As always, I’ve got a very simple five point scale laid out where a 1 is total skip, 2 you can probably skip unless you love one of the folks in it, 3 is a match that’s worth watching but not necessarily worth making time for, a 4 is a solid recommendation to make time for if you can, and a 5 is a must-watch.

Mind you, these are not star ratings. They’re not meant to be absolute ratings in any sense, but rather a simple (and hopefully sensible) way to determine if a match is worth your time. A one is not necessarily a bad match, but rather just one I feel like you’re best off skipping. I have my biases, of course, but hopefully I can make it easy for you to adjust for them.

Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, & Tiger Mask IV vs. Roppongi 3K (Rocky Romero, SHO, & YOH) (3): A bit different from your average opening tag, built around a more southern approach of RPG3K isolating Liger and beating him down through the early goings and Rocky’s boys show off that real tight teamwork of theirs. KUSHIDA gets the tag, refusing to get isolated and having some nice grappling exchanges with SHO before Tiger Dad comes in. He seems likely to get isolated, but we’re into the final stretch so the match breaks down a bit and it becomes a question of if his teammate’s intervention is enough to get him the win or not.

Nothing essential here, but a good solid fun match that rises above the average opener. Watch accordingly.

Bad Luck Fale vs. Toa Henare (2): Henare on the offensive from the jump, catching Fale off-guard and taking him to his knees in short order. Bad Luck stiffens up but Toa stays on him, keeps ducking his shots and at last takes him off his feet with a shoulder block! Of course, the rally soon comes to end and it becomes a question of if Fale will finish him off with ease again or if Henare can just keep fighting long enough to end it.

Fun match, with a lot of brain chops, but nothing essential here and easily skipped.

Ayato Yoshida & Michael Elgin vs. Killer Elite Squad (Davey Boy Smith, Jr. & Lance Archer) (1): Chaos early as neither team is able to isolate one of the other at first but soon enough KES have Yoshida on the back foot. Extended beatdown, Elgin hot tag, a hoss fight with Archer ensues but neither man can dominate so we get tags and Yoshida rallies against DBS before the match breaks down and we head to the finish. Ayato’s rally is fun, but other than that there’s really nothing here. Pass.

Bullet Club (Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi) & Kota Ibushi vs. Chaos (Beretta, Chuckie T, & Will Ospreay) (2): Best Friends rolling hot in the early goings, Ospreay trying to integrate himself into their game plan with mixed results, and a bite of the fingers gets the Bullet Club team back into things. Working Taylor over, eventually Will gets the tag and we get him against Ibushi! Pyrotechnics ensue, we cycle to Beretta on Owens, and in short order the match breaks down as we head towards our finish.

Pretty standard undercard tag stuff here-- the Ibushi/Ospreay stuff is hype as hell and some of Ospreay’s interactions with Best Friends are cute, but other than that there’s not a whole lot here.

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) (4): Ishimori and Taguchi to start, Annoying Butt Man taking a quick, aggressive lead but Bone Soldier uses his speed to counter. Cycling to Robinson and Loa, getting the tag to Finlay, they work him over at length until Tanga can take things to the floor. The tide turned, it’s Juice that gets worked over until Taguchi comes in with a bit of help from his totally legal rugby helmet, butt bumps for everybody, the match breaks down, everybody does something cool, and it’s a question of who lands the last and biggest shot to end it.

Good stuff, not an instant classic or anything, but certainly worth watching.

Chaos (Gedo, Hirooki Goto, & Toru Yano) vs. Suzuki-gun (Taichi, Takashi Iizuka, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) (1): Chaos before the bell in the long Suzuki-gun tradition, things settle down with Yano working Iizuka over before breaking down immediately again. This is a swirling morass of endless interference and pointlessness from there and I just wasn’t into it at all. Hard pass.

Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, & Zack Sabre, Jr.) (4): Again, Suzuki-gun with the Chaos at the bell, but LIJ are able to give back as good as they get and as things settle down they’re in control. And thank Kidani, things stay settled down as they work Desperado over. Suzuki comes to the aid of his man, he and Naito brawl out up the ramp and back in the ring with the odd detour here and there. All the while BUSHI is taking the brunt of SZKG’s assault, Sabre absolutely wrecking his leg, but EVIL cycles in and he and Zack have a fun set of exchanges. Both teams take turns controlling things while Minoru chokes Tetsuya out on the floor and we head to a finish.

As a tag match, this is kind of a letdown, but as a Suzuki/Naito brawl with a bunch of other dudes hanging around, it’s great fun and worth tossing onto the pile for sure.

Chaos (“Switchblade” Jay White, Kazuchika Okada, & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) & Hiroshi Tanahashi (3): Disfunction in Chaos early, as White tags himself in over Okada to start against Tanahashi. The 1/100 Ace starts strong and cycles to Honma before Switchblade can get one over on him. The Kokeshi off the ropes misses and Chaos strike, Jay brutalizing Hiroshi on the floor to the Rainmaker’s visible dismay before heading back to continue dominating Tomoaki.

The torpedo Kokeshi out of the corner lands true and Makabe comes in hot but Switchblade decides discretion is the better part of valor and tags a fatigued Okada in. From there finally into a Tanahashi/Okada sequence, Tacos plays reliever and White tries to get him to use a chair but he refuses and that plays right into our finish.

Solid match, more storytelling beats than highspots as the White/Okada and Tanahashi/Okada stories are advance, good stuff but not necessarily worth putting at the top of your list.

Kenny Omega (c) vs. Tomohiro Ishii (IWGP Heavyweight Championship) (5): Playing Ishii’s game to start, bull moose strength testing, but when Omega turns up the speed Tom is game to meet him and they stalemate! Kenny pulls ahead, targeting the neck and taking things to the floor, where inevitably he goes a bit overboard with a springboard double stomp through a floor to the table. But Ishii finds the will to fire up after he recovers and takes control, hitting a huge spot of his own in the form of a superplex.

More back and forth from there, big nearfalls and close calls (including, holy hell, an avalanche Frankensteiner from the Stone Pitbull!) and let’s face it, I don’t really need to sell this one that hard, folks. It’s Omega and Ishii, in the main event, for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Y’all really think they weren’t gonna deliver? It’s a bit “bigger” than their G1 match in some ways that aren’t necessarily always positive and I think I’d take that one over this one, but it’s a fantastic match either way.

Watch it!

There you have it, folks

Agree? Disagree? Feel free to toss in your two cents below, Cagesiders.

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