FEEDBACK: NJPW Destruction in Kobe 2019

Leave us your feedback to Sunday’s NJPW Destruction in Kobe event from earlier today.

Wai Ting and I will be doing a POST Show late tonight for members of the POST Wrestling Café.

Rate today’s show:

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0 voters

Brandon from Oshawa

I did not watch the show. I actually haven’t watched any show between the G1 final and KOPW, since joining NJPW World 4 years ago. Are there any numbers for these shows that tell us what other viewers are doing? I feel like after so many G1 matches, I have zero interest until KOPW. Maybe they should consider having 1 big show in September, instead of several smaller shows. I’m not sure, maybe I’m in the minority here.

Also what is going on with Naito? I’m not his biggest fan, but he seems like one of, if not the most over guy in Japan? They don’t seem to ever want to go all in with him.

Scott from Toronto

Overall, thought this was a good show and it sets up a lot of things in the lead up to King of Pro Wrestling.

The Young Lion Cup final was great. Fredericks looks like a beast. Really like how they put over the LA Dojo in such a big way.

Kishin Liger was a great surprise. Sort of feel like it was a bit wasted on a Destruction-level show vs. KoPW where it would have received more prominence, but the fact he’s only ever done this three times before really shows how NJPW understand how to make things feel special. It felt like a big deal and looked awesome. Jericho should take notes re: his clown makeup.

Death, Taxes, and the IWGP Intercontinental Championship changing hands at Destruction in Kobe! Thought White and Naito’s build to this was great except for how much they enjoyed spitting on each other. Gross.

Can’t tell if / when Jay White is being handed his own stories at this point and not just playing the role of Kenny Omega’s stand-in. I like Jay White well enough but I feel like this is one instance where Gedo’s booking well in advance has backfired. Set him free!

Not really sure what to think about Naito’s booking this year. Feels like it’s been all over the place. Hotshotting the IC title around has been okay, but it still doesn’t feel like they’re utilizing him to his best potential.

JAN - Wins IWGP IC Titles off Jericho at WK13. The next time, proceeds to get the crap beat out of him by Taichi and his eyeball looks like it exploded.

FEB - Defends IC Title against Taichi.

APR - Drops IC title to Ibushi at MSG.

JUN - Wins IC title back from Ibushi at Dominion.

JUL/AUG - Horrendous start to the G1, in contention on the final night of block matches

SEP - Drops IC title to Jay White.

It’s frustrating. I’m a big Naito supporter and it feels like they’re doing nothing with him. Maybe this’ll all work out for him on Jan 5 with the tournament but given his 2019 booking I’m not putting a lot of stock into it.

MJ -

So Liger is retiring, hasn’t had a featured match all year, and now an unlockabke feature in a video game shows up for Suzuki? They could have been better served giving him 3/4 wins over the last 7 months before this moment. Still, it was cool. Has to be watched in Japanese, the announcers were losing it.

As for White/Naito. I’m not going to guess why Naito has been handled this way since 2017. He’s had decent feuds, but he is on a mission to be a double champ and is derailed at every turn. It’s not like a figure head is stacking the deck. He flat out loses - and Gedo doing Gedo things as this point doesn’t count as interference which is a whole different topic. At what point does he just feel mid-level on the score board. He’s super popular and one of my personal favorites and I’m even tired of waiting on the ascend to the mountain top. Because at this point, even IF he does I am concerned conditioned for him to lose soon after.

On the flip side. And I know it will annoy some people - WH - I love what they’ve done with White from a booking perspective. He said in his backstage that he has winning records over Okada, Tanahashi, Naito, and if we want to throw in Omega, him too. He then went on to say he also has one over Goto but Goto isn’t special so why would he add him to the list of notables. AEW should take note that this is how you make Wins and Losses matter over YEARS, which is not easy and masterful job in New Japan. It generally makes me understandable of every feud even when a guy like White makes me say “oh no, this guy again”.

As for going forward - I do enjoy that unlikely outcomes in New Japan can logically be booked. For example: will Sanada and Evil really main event Jan 4 after beating the IWGP champ and G1 challenger. Of Course not! BUT, wouldn’t it be something if both partners / LIJ members did win and that leaves Naito, the leader of the faction, on the outside. You can see how even the place holder matches could be twisted into logical booking - which is what keeps me interested during these secondary shows. And that’s kudos to long term booking, taking chances to elevate performers, and having a track record of pulling the tigger on guys in the right spots that do tell a story.

Lastly, (if you get thru this far), Bullet Club is in too many stories. Which I guess just makes New Japan a victim of their own success. Bullet Club the brand is still popular and forces them to push these guys, patciularly when it’s international talent serving their expansion efforts. But still. They are involved in every title sans US. And.does New Japan have one of the weakest tag divisions EVER?It makes the B Team and Ryder-Hawkins seem world beating. Who is there to challenge GoD and keep things interesting, who are the other defined teams not linked loosely via a faction. Real teams, and not the Rock’n’Roll express


Jalen from Pickering,

Solid show with the Semi-main being my MOTN and the main event being behind it. I’m a mega Naito mark, and I agree with the general sentiment that they’ve booked him haphazardly, seemingly because they know he’ll still be popular. However I expected him to lose tonight as I am dangerously optimistic that he’s going to walk out the Dome with both titles.
Kishin Liger was super cool to see, and I think it would be pretty cool if he beat Suzuki and KOPW and then brought Kishin Liger again against a returning Hiromu for the Dome.
This hasn’t been a great year creatively for NJPW, and I really feel it during these slower months. But I think the Dome shows - especially if Naito wins - will give us a great reset where anything is possible, and where guys they’ve spent this year elevating in Shingo, SANADA, and Ospreay can continue to climb the ranks.