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New Japan on AXS TV report 8-28-15: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Bad Luck Fale


by Bryan Rose,

Today’s show is another look at the Destruction PPV event from last year, which took place on September 21, 2014 from Kobe Hall.

First match up tonight is Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi of CHAOS taking on Karl Anderson and Doc Gallows of Bullet Club. The tag team division in New Japan consists of the Bullet Club and whoever wants to team up against them that month, so that’s where we get this match. It’s not very exciting, or interesting, but New Japan’s focus isn’t really on heavyweight tags so we get this. Yoshi-Hashi is an interesting case because I think by now he’d be good to go on his own as a singles, but is almost always in tags during the year. He’s better than people think he is. Anderson and Gallows are acceptable as a team, I guess, but them being the mainstays in the division isn’t helping it feel all that hot - they’re fine, but nothing beyond that. The match was pretty good. Yoshi-Hashi’s great in when making a comeback as people are totally into him. Yujiro runs in and attacks YH, leaving him open to a Gallows Poll by Gallows and the Magic Killer to retain the tag team titles.

Okada and Gedo cut a promo after the match, saying that their and Yoshi-Hashi’s goal of winning the titles wasn’t deterred and they’ll be back. Gedo scoffed at their win, saying the Rainmaker will come back and destroy them. Come to think of it, they never have. Most challengers never do. I wonder if anyone actually wants to win the heavyweight tag titles in New Japan at this point.

Nakamura was interviewed about the match beforehand. He was frustrated with his G1 performance and wanted Fale to bring it on. With Fale, Nakamura seems to feel that he garners strength from the audience to gain an advantage, which interests him.

The main event aired. People I talk to are divided about Bad Luck Fale and his monster push. It’s easy to see that he’s very much protected in New Japan booking - hardly anyone kicks out of the Bad Luck Fall and it’s not like he’s pinned all that often. He’s the big gajin heel that they want, and for the role he’s...acceptable. As a worker, he’s sluggish. But New Japan’s booking of him is strong enough that he can have pretty good matches despite this. When I first watched this match, I thought it was really good, and a testament to just how great Shinsuke Nakamura was last year as a main event guy. Looking at this match again, I think there were still periods where it was just kind of dull. Action picked up towards the end that made it a fun, but not great main event. Fale has to be with the right guy to be in main events, and Nakamura is definitely one of those guys. He wins the title for the fourth time by countering Fale and hitting him flush in the face with a boma ye.

After the match Nakamura says he can’t express this win in words, and sure enough gives out a YEAOH. Backstage, he says the championship expresses the winner’s will, and he will do whatever he likes with the title.

Reflecting back, Nakamura says he was one of the more heaviest guys he’s faces. His power can be a destructive force, and felt that during the match. He knew eventually he was running out of gas and a win was not too far away. As far as future title defenses are concerned he doesn’t seem to care; he sees it as a toy. He likes how many people come to challenge for the belt and that's where he has fun with it the most.

Not a terrific episode by any means, but it was solid with a decent main event. For the first time in what seems like weeks, it probably wasn’t the best television show of the week. Then again, you can’t win them all!