[NJPW 9/23/12 Event Preview]
Tomorrow will mark New Japan Pro Wrestling’s DESTRUCTION 2012 show. The event will feature two IWGP title matches and the rest of the card being pretty built around grudge matches.
The main event of the show will see Hiroshi Tanahashi defending his IWGP Heavyweight belt, for his 3rd defense, against Pro Wrestling NOAH’s Naomichi Marufuji. This match is a rematch from the August 5th G1 CLIMAX 22 show when Maurfuji pinned the champion and in turn gave him his first lose in the tournament. As soon as Marufuji won the match he instantly called out for a shot at the belt and following the conclusion of the tournament, with the winner of the tournament in Okada vying to hold off his title opportunity until the Tokyo Dome on January 4th, the title was soon set to take place on September 23. Marufuji has proven that he has the skill to beat Tanahashi, but will it turn to a completely different level with Tana knowing that the top prize is on the line?
The match at this time easily points to going either way, and it has been on a lot of people’s minds since the announcement.
Then depending on who wins, both Minoru Suzuki and Yujiro Takahashi have made their claims to be the next contenders. Suzuki for beating Tanahashi in the G1, and Yujro who just recently pinned Tana on September 17th.
You might also be thinking why Karl Anderson is not among those two, and that is because he is aiming to go after Kazuchika Okada and Okada’s Tokyo Dome Title match contract. The semi-final match will see 6 wrestlers who can easily call themselves contenders for the IWGP Heavyweight belt. Each showing hunger of one day being given the opportunity, but a lot attention will be placed upon Anderson and Okada and the the contract. Okada might own the right at this moment, but much like the President of New Japan said Okada will have to defend the right much like the IWGP Heavyweight champion must defend his right. Will we see Naito, Goto, or Anderson get the win over Okada, or will Nakamura, Yujiro and or Okada himself keep the power sway amongst themselves?
The IWGP Jr. Heavy belt will be defended first in the night as the reigning champion DDT’s Kota Ibushi is set to go up against Ryusuke Taguchi. These two have had a rivaled past in singles matches with most notably from the BOSJ XVIII when Ibushi beat Taguchi in the finals of the tournament. Taguchi would then face Ibushi once again a few months later in a losing effort for the IWGP Jr. belt. It is a year later and Taguchi was successful in winning the BOSJ back in early June. He had a set back yet again in trying to win the IWGP Jr. belt from Low Ki, and has been building himself back up to be in the title hunt to where he is at now. Will the 3rd time prove to be in Taguchi’s favor? Or will Ibushi prove yet again that he is the top Junior Heavyweight in Japan today?
Kazushi Sakuraba and Katsuyori Shibata made their surprise return to NJPW during the finals of the G1 CLIMAX on August 12th and have asked to for any team to come before them. The call was answered by Wataru Inoue who spent much time with Shibata in the New Japan Dojo in the early 00’s. Inoue aims to rekindle the old battles they had as well as a test to where they have both reached today. 9/23 will mark the first time in over 16 years that Sakuraba has competed in the NJPW ring and he aims to bring the fight to the New Japan “wrestlers”. It seems an odd mix to have the young lion Hiromu Takahashi in the match, but the young talent does have a lot to show and could prove to hold his own for the most part. Will the Wrestlers turned MMA fighters prove to be too much for the Pro Wrestlers?
KAIENTAI DOJO’s Kengo Mashimo as he has painted a huge target on Togi Makabe. Mashimo appeared earlier this month out of nowhere, showed his alliance to be with Suzuki-gun, delivered not one but two big brainbusters to Makabe, and that was enough to get Makabe’s attention which led this feud to a singles encounter on September 23. Now one may wonder why Mashimo has pointed out Makabe as his target, but a good fact to know is that these two were both training partners in Puerto Rico in 2001. It has been 11 years since the two have even been in the ring together, but whatever may be the real case, Mashimo seems to have a bone to pick with Makabe. The battle will come full force on 9/23 and I can only bet that this will be the beginning of so much more.
Then I do not want to make you guys read too much more at this time, but I would like to point out the potential IWGP Tag belt matches that should be on the horizon. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima have found themselves on the wrong side of Lance Archer & Harry Smith for this month and it is odd that a title match was not set for this weekend. Though they will still be against each other in a 6 man tag. Regardless of what happens you can be guaranteed that they will be the match set for the belts, but tomorrow could hold the spot for the early sway in momentum for either team.
Rocky Romero & Alex Koslov, the reigning Jr. Tag Champions, will more than likely meet up against the team of KUSHIDA & Alex Shelley sooner than later. KUSHIDA & Shelley have proven that they can work very well together and have set themselves in line as the next contenders for the belts. As with the previously mentioned tag match, the match on 9/23 should be an early key victory for the winning team.
Below is the full card for the show!
NJPW “NJPW 40th Anniversary DESTRUCTION” 9/23/2012 [Sun] 16:00 @ Kobe World Memorial Hall in Hyogo
(1) Captain New Japan & Tama Tonga vs. Takashi Iizuka & Tomohiro Ishii
(2) KUSHIDA, Alex Shelley & BUSHI vs. Rocky Romero, Alex Koslov & Gedo
(3) Low Ki vs. Daisuke Sasaki [DDT]
(4) Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs. Minoru Suzuki [Pancrase MISSION], Lance Archer & Harry Smith
(5) Togi Makabe vs. Kengo Mashimo [K-DOJO]
(6) Wataru Inoue & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata
(7) IWGP Junior Heavy Championship Match: [64th Champion] Kota Ibushi [DDT] vs. [Challenger] Ryusuke Taguchi
~ 2nd Defense.
(8) Hirooki Goto, Tetsuya Naito & “The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson vs. Shinsuke Nakamura, Kazuchika Okada & Yujiro Takahashi
(9) IWGP Heavyweight Championship Match: [58th Champion] Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. [Challenger] Naomichi Marufuji (NOAH)
~ 3rd Defense.