On Saturday, September 15th and Monday, September 17th, New Japan Pro Wrestling will present its Destruction in Hiroshima and Destruction in Beppu events, respectively.
While a series of smaller events called 'The Road to Destruction' will take place prior to those dates, it is these two separate events that are the most notable cards on the New Japan schedule since the G1 Climax 28 culminated in August.
While we won't go into great length about all of the matches on the two cards, we will acknowledge the undercard matches before giving greater attention to the more prominent ones.
Here are what fans can anticipate at the Destruction in Hiroshima and Destruction in Beppu events.
Destruction in Hiroshima
The first of the major Destruction events takes place in Hiroshima on the 15th and will have a couple of matches that fans will need to keep an eye on, but also feature a couple of non-title matches where tensions could flare up and rivalries between different factions could completely boil over.
Matches fans could look forward to include the team of Kushida, Tiger Mask and Jushin 'Thunder' Liger against the team of Roppongi 3K, SHO, YOH, and their mentor Rocky Romero. In a one-on-one match, Toa Henare will take on Bad Luck Fale in a rematch from the G1 Climax Final's undercard.
The duo of Michael Elgin and Ayato Yoshida take on the Killer Elite Squad, Lance Archer and Davey Boy Smith Jr. Best Friends, Chuckie T and Beretta, team up with the Aerial Assassin Will Ospreay to face-off against members of Bullet Club and the Golden Elite in Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi and Kota Ibushi.
This is followed up by a match up involving CHAOS' Gedo, Toru Yano and Hirooki Goto taking on Suzuki-Guns Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Taichi.
Los Ingobernables de Japon
In a match that puts two of New Japan Pro Wrestling's most notable factions against each other, Los Ingobernables de Japon, led by Tetsuya Naito take on Suzuki-Gun, led by Minoru Suzuki. Both sides have had great success winning championships, indicative of the individual success of those involved. While the remaining members will of course be involved, the focus will unquestionably be on Suzuki and Naito.
This match intrigues me not necessarily because of whom I anticipate being successful. It is rather whether or not there is any animosity between CHAOS' leader, former IWGP Heavyweight champion, Okada, and his fellow faction member Jay White. The slightest bit of dissension amongst CHAOS members will create an opportunity for the team of Grand Bash Heel and Tanahashi.
NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-MAN TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP
BC Firing Squad ©
After recently defeating former allies the Young Bucks and Marty Scurll, for the NEVER OPENWEIGHT 6-man tag team championship, BC 'Firing Squad' appears primed to win again. While individually the likes of Robinson, Finlay and Taguchi are formidable, the unity amongst Firing Squad members may be too much for them. Unless the former champions were to somehow get involved it appears unlikely that new champions will be crowned.
IWGP Heavyweight Champion
Kenny Omega ©
After winning the G1 Climax 28, Hiroshi Tanahashi is in line to face the IWGP Heavyweight champion at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in January. But it isn't a given that he will face Omega as he is in for an incredible battle against the thick, stiff and tough Tomohiro Ishii. This will be a case where Omega will have to demonstrate durability and capitalize when the opportunity presents itself.
A couple of days later on Monday September 17th, the next Destruction event will be in Beppu. The match card is slightly lighter and could see some fallout from the previous event and build on what was achieved. During this event the matches include; Yota Tsuji, Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan take on Yuua Uemura, Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata, in a battle featuring young boys and legendary veterans. In tag team action, Ren Narita and David Finlay take on vs. Shota Umino, and Toa Henare.
Destruction in Beppu
The undercard will also feature a singles match involving Ayato Yoshida squaring off against Takashi Iizuka. In an uncommon 8-man tag team match will see Will Ospreay and Roppongi 3K battling Kushida, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi and the legendary Jushin 'Thunder' Liger. The Best Friends once again team up, only this time they will face the challenge of the Killer Elite Squad. In a second consecutive battle, Los Ingobernables de Japon face-off with Suzuki-Gun members in six-man tag action. In eight man tag action, Juice Robinson, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe and Hiroshi Tanahashi face CHAOS, led by Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, Toru Yano and Yoshi-Hashi. Will there still be issues between White and Okada?
NEVER OPENWEIGHT Championship
Hirooki Goto ©
This is the only championship match slated for the evening as Goto defends his NEVER Openweight championship. These men are no strangers to one another, as they battled previously at this year’s Dominion event, in a triple threat that also involved Michael Elgin, a match that did get a mixed response. Will Taichi and Goto have the same chemistry facing each other one on one as Goto and Elgin did? This match could be an opportunity to prove all the critics wrong provide a match worth highlighting.
A couple of days prior these two men were part of an eight-man tag that saw their factions face each other. In this match it is leader against leader as LIJ and Suzuki-Gun face each other once again. These men are all too familiar with one another, and certain things can be anticipated: Suzuki will attempt to intimidate Naito and hit him with an array of strikes. Naito will need to remain mobile and light on his feet in order to get the better of his opponent. This match could have major championship implications down the line. Will both factions get involved in this match? While it is unlikely, it isn’t ever out of the realm of possibility. Anticipate this being the biggest match of the night at Destruction in Beppu.
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As a wrestling enthusiast for over 30 years, my fondness for professional wrestling explores the irrational in a rational way. I will explore the details inside and outside the ring and hopefully have a laugh with you in the process. I've had the fortune to interview wrestlers from Lucha Underground, TNA, Ring of Honor, GFW, and former WWE talent as well. Feel free to follow me on Twitter and Instagram and feel free to visit my website Pro Wrestling Post.