Tetsuya Naito welcomes (?) us to the show this week, which features highlights from last year’s Destruction in Kobe show that took place on September 27th.
IWGP Intercontinental Champion Hirooki Goto vs. Shinsuke Nakamura
This is one of those matches that I initially didn’t mind at all, because these two are great and ended up having a good match, but it was actually better than I remembered. Nakamura is just so great in his style and how he applies it to each match.
But beyond match quality, I wasn’t a fan of the actual result as it felt stale and tired. I don’t think Nakamura winning the title back added anything to him, whereas Goto winning the title meant a breath of fresh air. It felt like a step backward more than a step forward. Nakamura won back the title with the Bomaye.
Karl Anderson comes out and challenges Nakamura for a title shot, even using Nakamura’s “Yeaoh” catchphrase. Nakamura does the catchphrase the right way, making it seem like the match is on.
Nakamura says that it seems the next challenger has been decided. The only thing to do is to continue fighting.
Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tetsuya Naito
Naito says ever since the G1, he’s been making up for the loss. He mentioned how Shibata called him out. He thought it would be the right time to finish this once and for all. He doesn’t hate Shibata but he’s on a different path. Shibata is really straightforward, while he is not, as he keeps his cool. He gradually had more fun teasing him.
I liked the story behind this match as it was Naito teasing Shibata and looking to avenge a loss he suffered at the G1 just a month prior. The match itself was pretty good, though I think the previous match was a lot better. I think this got the better slot as Nakamura isn’t with the company any longer.
Naito won the match after two low blows and the Destino. Makes sense as they’re trying to get Naito’s new character over.
Naito asks who is the winner here and says Shibata is the uncontrollable one. He’s happy for him, he got to show off those gleaming eyes of his. Shibata, as well as the rest of the crowd, should thank him. The G1 is over, he beat the most bothersome guy in the tournament.
When mentioned that Tanahashi wants to challenge him, he says if he wants to face him he should challenge him face-to-face.
In his reflective interview, Naito says he had fun. Everyone watching Shibata in that match should thank him, and Shibata should thank him for getting that glistening feel from three years ago.
Nice, solid show this week. Watch the first match if you can.