After a few weeks off, New Japan returns with a busy month ahead, as we not only have three big shows this month, but a few smaller shows in between. Tonight’s Road to Destruction show in Korakuen Hall would fall into the latter category, headlined by a big elimination match. Here are the results:
Shota Umino and Tetsuhiro Yagi went to a time limit draw
This was a solid opener, but not a lot of heat. It was a basic match they just did mat wrestling, with Umino dominating for most of the match. You can tell Umino added some size in between tours as he looked much bigger than Yagi. Yagi started to make a comeback towards the end of the match, but Umino cut him off. He had him in the Boston crab, but Yagi managed to gut it out until the bell rang.
Yuji Nagata & Katsuya Kitamura defeated Manabu Nakanishi & Tomoyuki Oka
Mainly a battle between the two elder NJPW wrestlers and the young lions. Everyone looked pretty decent, though it is clear Kitamura has a lot of charisma and will go far once he gets the push. Nagata picked up the win with a backdrop driver on Oka in a solid match.
Killer Elite Squad, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi & Taka Michinoku defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Ricochet, Togi Makabe, David Finlay & Hirai Kawato
A lot of the start was KES dominating, looking good in their return match. Ricochet came in for a hot tag and looked great. Kawato came in for the hot tag, but was eventually singled out by Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, who sprayed Taguchi with the whiskey. Kanemaru pinned Kawato with the deep impact DDT.
Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens defeated Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI & Baretta
Heels worked on YOSHI-HASHI for a lot of the match. Fale threw him into some chairs on the outside. Goto came in for the hot tag but Fale blocked a lariat. Everyone came in at one point, with it eventually coming down to Baretta and Yujiro Takahashi. Baretta went for the strong zero but Takahashi countered and planted the pimp juice DDT on Baretta for the win.
Yujiro told Baretta not to mess with the NJPW heavyweights after the match.
After intermission, the vignette that aired at the G1 finals aired once again.
Juice Robinson & War Machine defeated Guerrillas of Destiny & Leo Tonga
Leo Tonga was protected well, never staying in long and did big power spots when in. Heels worked on Hanson until Rowe came in to clear house. GoD and Leo focused on Juice towards the end. Leo hit a big suplex but War Machine came in to help Juice, chopping down the big guy. Robinson took out Tama Tonga, then pinned Leo Tonga with the pulp friction for the win.
Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Takashi Iizuka defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin & KUSHIDA
For those wondering, yes, Tanahashi still has the weird short hair for his movie role. Between this and Go Ace still a thing, I'm pretty conflicted.
Elgin and Suzuki wasted no time in zeroing in on one another, brawling around the ring. Suzuki took an umbrella and choked Elgin with it. Meanwhile, Desperado took out KUSHIDA and brawled around the area. KUSHIDA was the one worked on for a bit before the hot tag to Tanahashi.
It went back between Elgin and Suzuki. With the ref conveniently taken out, Suzuki continued to pelt Elgin with steel chair shots. Elgin started to no sell, then grabbed the steel chair and wrecked havoc upon anyone that came his way, taking out everyone in the match and even the other members of Suzuki-gun on the outside. The ref came back into the match and told Elgin to drop the weapon, and after shoving him twice the referee called for the DQ. Weak finish to a solid brawl.
Suzuki suggested to Elgin after the match that they have a lumberjack death match on 9/10. Elgin said it was fine, because it doesn’t matter who you bring in because the NEVER title will be his. Suzuki said a few more words before leaving, destroying a young lion with the chair on the way out.
EVIL, Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, BUSHI & SANADA defeated Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, Rocky Romero, Toru Yano & Will Ospreay in a ten-man elimination tag match
Everyone’s rival squared off with one another to kick things off- Ishii/Naito, Okada/EVIL, Ospreay/Takahashi, SANADA/Yano and BUSHI/Romero. Ishii and Naito wrestled each other a lot; this made the match pretty heated since Naito was by far the most over wrestler on the show. Naito took Ishii to the apron and hit a running dropkick, but Ishii held on. Naito then eliminated himself by hitting a neckbreaker and landing with his feet on the floor, but also eliminated Ishii in the process.
Yano took apart the turnbuckle as comedy ensued. He managed to low blow both SANADA and BUSHI, then rolled up SANADA for the win. BUSHI misted Yano in response and with his shirt threw Yano to the floor to eliminate him. After a short back and forth, Ospreay picked up another win for his team, pinning BUSHI after an Ozcutter.
Takahashi replaced BUSHI as he went on defensive. Ospreay cut him off, but Takahashi stunned him regardless and eliminated Ospreay with the sunset flip bomb off the middle rope, thus saving himself but not Ospreay.
Okada came in and managed to thwart off both remaining members of LIJ, hitting both with dropkicks and eventually pinning Takahashi with the rainmaker, leaving it between him. Rocky Romero and EVIL. They went to the apron where Okada went for the tombstone, but EVIL cut him off and hit a roaring elbow, eliminating him in a shock.
Romero immediately tried to roll up EVIL, but no dice. After some nice back and forth, EVIL picks up the win with the STO on Romero. This was a pretty fun main event, though I kind of wish most of the finishes didn't all happen under what felt like a two minute period.
EVIL ended the show with a promo, saying “Welcome to the darkness world” and finishing with his “Everything is evil” catchphrase.