Best match: Nakamura vs. Goto
Another good show. I thought the tag title match came off too rehearsed or choreographed and not like two teams in a fight.
I knew Nakamura won the match when I watched but it was still very good. Had I not known the outcome, many of Goto's near falls would have been very convincing.
The show did a very good job of setting up matches for the near future which is great when you don't have weekly TV to set up big shows.
Below are my thoughts on the Kobe show from this weekend
-Overall I give the show a thumbs up
-Best Match: Goto vs Nakamura
-Worst Match: Juice Robinson, Capt. New Japan, and Nakanishi vs Nagata, Tiger Mask, and Liger
-Kudos to New Japan for setting up feuds for their King of Pro Wrestling Show during Destruction in Kobe. Although the thought of another Ishii/Makabe match is down right infuriating.
Slight thumbs up
Best Match: Nakamura/Goto
Worst Match: Nagata/Liger/Tiger vs Nakanishi/CNJ/Robinson
1) Shohei vs Finlay: Fun opener, not as strong as the young lions have been recently but when you look back at previous young lions from the past decade there is really no reason to complain. (**1/2)
2) Yuji Nagata, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask vs Manabu Nakanishi, Captain New Japan & Juice Robinson: This was just a match. (**)
3) CHAOS B Team vs Great Bash Heel, Mascara Dorada & Ryusuke Taguchi: There was some good stuff here, mostly involving the juniors, but I am not interested in Makabe vs Ishii IV, particularly considering Makabe has already beat him 3 TIMES. (**1/2)
4) TenKoji & Matt Sydal vs Bullet Club: I actually really enjoyed this, mainly because if you'd told me four years ago that Evan Bourne would be teaming with Hiroyoshi Tenzan to face Luke Gallows and Kenny Omega in a New Japan ring I'd question your sanity. Nonetheless, there was some good stuff here and the finishing stretch with the juniors was great. (***1/4)
5) Tetsuya Naito vs Katsuyori Shibata: You put these guys together and it will never be bad, but especially with the awesome build-up and high expectations from their G1 match, this fell a little short. Also, can we be finished with these low blows? Such a waste of a finish every single time. (***1/2)
6) CHAOS vs Bullet Club: Whenever AJ and Okada were in, this was incredible. They turned it up to a level nobody expected, and really made me interested in their 10/12 match. The other stuff was fine but this match's job was to sell me on the King Of Pro Wrestling match and it absolutely succeeded. (***1/4)
7) IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship: reDRagon (c) vs Time Splitters: I thought this was a hell of a match, and was my match of the night to this point, but the crowd just didn't get into it. It's sad to see, because these four guys are incredible talents and this match would have gotten over so big in the US. More straight tag team matches for this junior title, please. (***3/4)
8) IWGP Heavyweight Championship Wrestle Kingdom 9 In Tokyo Dome 1/4/2016 Certificate Gimmick: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Bad Luck Fale: This was the perfect spectacle match. Tanahashi was phenomenal here, and Fale held up his end of the bargain and was the fierce giant he needed to be. While certainly not any sort of match-of-the-year contender, I'm sure this surprised a lot of people and certainly exceeded my expectations. (****)
9) IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hirooki Goto (c) vs Shinsuke Nakamura: This was exactly what you would have expected and maybe a little bit better. That's not a bad thing when these two guys are in my top 10 workers for this year, but we've seen this match before many times. Nonetheless, the finishing stuff was great, Goto adding arm submissions to his arsenal was absolutely fantastic, and the final minute or two delivered in a big way so I can't hate on this match at all. (****1/4)
Overall a really good show but very similar to everything over the last 6 months. I'm sensing that New Japan's main event scene is as strong as ever but the same matchups keep getting repeated, which can only go on for so long. The undercards simply have TOO MANY AMERICANS. So far this year New Japan has debuted: Jay White, David Finlay, Juice Robinson, Beretta, Matt Sydal, Kenny Omega, Michael Elgin and Cody Hall, with The Briscoes & Jay Lethal rumoured to be coming. The crowd doesn't really care about these meaningless introductions 90% of the time, and what's more concerning is that not a single Japanese wrestler has debuted this year. Just something to think about.
Thumbs up. Best match Goto vs. Nakamura
Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka vs. Jay White and David Finlay
I actually like these tag match quite a bit with the younger guys... they're always really good. I can't wait to see what Komastsu and Tanaka look like in couple of years.
IWGP Jr. Tag Team Championship: reDragon vs. Time Splitters
This match was really good but the crowd would have way more into it if was an American crowd.
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
Really good match, but basically the same one we have seen all year.