The second of three Destruction events takes place tonight in Kagoshima.
Kota Ibushi, the hometown hero, will face KENTA in the main event. KENTA defeated Ibushi at the G1 Opening Day event in Dallas, Texas, and thus is looking to take Ibushi’s IWGP title briefcase that gives him the oppertunity to face the champion at Wrestle Kingdom 14. KENTA’s new stablemates in the Bullet Club will also likely be in his corner.
In the co-main event, IWGP Jr. Tag Team champions El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori will defend against Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles. The teams have been going at one another all tour, and now will finally get to settle things one-on-one here tonight.
The Young Lion Cup will also continue, with Yuya Uemura facing Clark Connors and Ren Narita facing Michael Richards.
Join us for live coverage starting at 5 a.m. EDT. There will be English commentary.
YOUNG LION CUP MATCH: YUYA UEMURA DEFEATED CLARK CONNORS
Uemura went for a takedown at the opening bell, but Connors blocked it. Connrs used a trip takedown and used a series of holds on the mat. Uemura slipped to a headscissors on the mat, but Connors used a handstand escape.
They tied up. Connors refused to break cleanly, and hit a chop. Uemura used a double-leg takedown, and worked over Connors's left arm. It was then Uemura's turn to hit a chop on the break.
After spending the first few minutes trading holds, Connors turned it into a striking battle. They traded elbow strikes, chops, and uppercut forearm blows. Uemura used a bodyslam for a nearfall.
Uemura hit a hip toss, then used a rear chinlock. Connors hit a picture-perfect dropkick, then went for a full Boston crab. He got the hold applied, but Uemura fought to the ropes for a break.
Uemura fired up and hit a palm strike to the chest. They traded a flurry of quick strikes. Uemura hit a deep armdrag, then hit a double underhook belly-to-belly.
Uemura applied a Boston crab in the center of the ring. Connors could not reach the ropes, and tapped out. This was a very good opener.
Connors offered a handshake after the match, but Uemura refused it.
YOUNG LION CUP MATCH: REN NARITA DEFEATED MICHAEL RICHARDS
They teased locking up, and tentatively traded some basic holds. Narita hit a hip toss for a nearfall, then used a side headlock. Richards hit a back suplex, breaking the hold. Richards hit a clothesline in the corner, then a back elbow.
Richards hit a vertical suplex, then covered for a two count. Richards used a single-leg crab, but Narita forced a rope break. Narita went for a belly-to-belly, but Richards fought it off, then hit a clothesline for a nearfall. Gino Gambino said "They used to call me belly-to-belly," on commentary.
Narita hit a dropkick, then used a belly-to-belly into a bridge for the pin. Not as strong as the opener. Richards's work is not up to the level of the others in this Young Lion class, but he has great facial expressions and intensity.
YOUNG LION CUP STANDINGS
- Shota Umino 8
- Ren Narita 8
- Karl Fredericks 8
- Clark Connors 6
- Alex Coughlin 4
- Yota Tsuji 2
- Michael Richards 2
- Yuya Uemura 2
MANABU NAKANISHI, TOA HENARE, KARL FREDERICKS & ALEX COUGHLIN DEFEATED YUJI NAGATA, RYUSUKE TAGUCHI, SHOTA UMINO & YOTA TSUJI
Tsuji hit a dropkick on Coughlin at the opening bell, then fired off strikes in the corner. Both tagged out. Umino and Fredericks tagged in. Fredericks hit a nice crossbody, then a dropkick. Henare tagged in and continued to work over Umino, hitting a chop, then a vertical suplex.
Taguchi broke up a pinfall attempt by Henare on Umino. Coughlin got a tag, knocked Tsuji off the apron, then used a slam on Umino. He made a cover, but Tsuji jumped in to break it up. Nakanishi got a tag and kept up the pressure on Umino.
Fredericks tagged back in. He missed an elbow drop. Umino still could not manage to make a tag. Umino hit a dropkick, then finally tagged Taguchi. Taguchi hit Fredericks with three hip attacks. Coughlin, Henare and Nakanishi jumped in and also got hit with hip attacks.
Nagata got a tag. He tried for an exploder, but Nakanishi blocked it. They traded strikes. Nakanishi blocked an Irish whip attempt, then knocked Taguchi off the apron. Nakanishi hit a short clothesline for a two count.
Nakanishi used an Argentinian backbreaker on Nagata. Nagata slipped out, then used a Nagata Lock. Everyone jumped in and broke it up. While the other six brawled on the outside, Tsuji and Henare tagged in.
Tsuji hit a dropkick, then a slam on Henare. Tsuji used a full crab. Coughlin jumped in and hit Tsuji with chops, but Tsuji no-sold them. Tsuji hit Coughlin with a spear, allowing Henare to get back to his feet.
Henare and Tsuji exchanged strikes. Henare hit a headbutt, then used a tackle for a nearfall, as Nagata broke up the pin. Henare then hit Toa Bottom on Tsuji for the victory.
Tsuji was the star of this match.
TOMOHIRO ISHII, YOSHI-HASHI, SHO & YOH DEFEATED TAMA TONGA, TANGA LOA, CHASE OWENS & BAD LUCK FALE
The finish here was awesome.
The CHAOS team attacked Bullet Club before the opening bell, but their plan backfired. Fale ran over SHO and YOH in the ring, while Tonga, Loa and Owens used their numbers advantage to take care of YH and Ishii on the outside.
SHO ended up the legal man for the CHAOS team, and Bullet Club used a series of quick tags, working him over. He managed a tag to YH, who got some offense on Loa, including a dropkick as he was draped over the ropes.
Tonga jumped in to try to even the odds, but Ishii jumped in to help YH, hitting a back suplex. YOH got a tag, and SHO entered illegally. SHO and YOH hit stereo knees. Tonga and Loa hit a Tongan Twist on YOH for a nearfall.
Tonga and Loa went for a Magic Killer on YOH. SHO broke it up with a spear, and YOH used an inside cradle on Tonga out of nowhere for the pin.
Tonga, Loa and Owens attacked YOH after the bell. They used a kendo stick, and GOD hit a Magic Killer, leaving YOH laying.
They put over strongly on commentary that SHO and YOH had just scored a win over the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions.
JUSHIN LIGER, HIROSHI TANAHASHI, TOGI MAKABE & TOMOAKI HONMA DEFEATED MINORU SUZUKI, ZACK SABRE JR, YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & DOUKI BY DQ
Suzuki-gun used an attack before the bell, but for the second consecutive match, the surprise assault did not benefit the attackers. Honma and Kanemaru ended up the legal men. Suzuki and Liger brawled to the outside.
Honma missed a kokeshi, but came back with a slam. Sabre and Tanahashi got tags. Sabre used a cobra twist, but Tana reversed it into his own cobra twist. Suzuki broke the hold, and this devolved into a wild brawl all around the arena.
Suzuki attacked Liger with a piece of the barricade. Liger and Suzuki faced off with steel chairs. Meanwhile, back inside, Kanemaru worked over Tana. Suzuki tagged and went for a chinlock, but Liger broke it up. Suzuki and Liger again fought to the floor.
Sabre kept up the assault on Tana, while Suzuki, the legal man, attacked Liger on the outside. Suzuki took the referee, allowing DOUKI to use a steel pipe on Tana. Sabre tagged in. Tana missed a low dropkick. Tana caught a PK attempt, then hit a dragon screw.
Makabe and Suzuki tagged in. Makabe hit a northern lights suplex. DOUKI and Kanemaru entered, and Makabe hit them with a double lariat.
Liger got a tag, and the place came unglued. Liger hit a shotei. Suzuki fired back with a palm strike to the chest. They exchanged palm strikes. Suzuki used a misdirection spot, then used a rear naked choke. DOUKI got a tag, and Liger nailed him with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker.
The good guys went 4-on-1 on DOUKI. Liger hit a shotei for a nearfall, as Suzuki-gun jumped in to break it up.
While the other six brawled outside, Liger hit another shotei. He went for a brainbuster, but Suzuki jumped in to break it up. Suzuki then grabbed a chair, and attacked Liger with it for the DQ.
Suzuki ripped Liger's mask off and posed with it on the second rope, as the Young Lions jumped in to cover up Liger.
Liger cut a promo after the match. He covered his face with a t-shirt. He said while this is his last match of the tour, Suzuki crossed a line tonight by humiliating him in front of the fans. He promised to get his revenge on Suzuki.
This was such a simple angle, but because of the decades of equity that Suzuki and Liger have built with the audience, it worked in a big way.
KAZUCHIKA OKADA, HIROOKI GOTO & ROCKY ROMERO DEFEATED SANADA, SHINGO TAKAGI & BUSHI
This was a fun 6-man. Lots of great teases for the upcoming Okada vs. SANADA and Shingo vs. Goto singles matches.
Goto and Shingo started off with a series of hard strikes and lariats. Goto scored the first knockdown with a shoulder tackle, then used a vertical suplex. He tagged Romero. Romero hit a series of strikes.
BUSHI jumped in for an illegal double team, but got sent outside with a headscissors. Romero went for a hurricanrana on Shingo, but SANADA jumped in and hit him with a dropkick. BUSHI then got a tag, and LIJ went to work on Romero.
BUSHI hit a swinging neckbreaker for a nearfall. SANADA got a tag. He put Romero in the Paradise Lock, then broke it with a dropkick. Shingo and Goto brawled outside, while SANADA kept working on Romero.
Romero came back with a hurricanrana, then a rewind kick. Okada got a tag and ran wild. He cleared the opposing apron, then hit SANADA with a back elbow. SANADA blocked a charge into the corner, but Okada then hit him with a flapjack for a two count.
Okada went for a tombstone, but SANADA blocked it. SANADA took a flip bump into and over the buckle. He missed a springboard attack. SANADA got Skull End applied, but Okada reversed into his own Skull End. SANADA fought out of it. SANADA ducked a Rainmaker, then hit a back suplex. This was a very nice exchange.
BUSHI got a tag. He hit a missile dropkick on Okada, a low dropkick to the leg, then used a DDT for a nearfall. Okada escaped a neckbreaker, then missed a charge into the corner. LIJ jumped in for a 3-on-1. Goto and Romero jumped in to put a stop to that.
Romero hit BUSHI with a spear. Shingo hit Romero with an inverted GTR. Shingo and Goto traded shots. Goto dropped Shingo with a lariat. SANADA hit Goto with a dropkick. SANADA hit Okada with a tombstone. He went for a Rainmaker, but BUSHI broke it up.
Okada hit BUSHI with a top rope elbow, then hit a Rainmaker He then used a jackknife cover for the pin.
TETSUYA NAITO & EVIL DEFEATED JAY WHITE & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI
This was an above-average undercard tag match. It was not as strong as the preceding match, but still good.
White and Yujiro's attempt at a sneak attack before the bell failed. Naito hit a forearm and a low dropkick on White, while EVIL took Yujiro to the floor. EVIL got a tag and went for a Scorpion Deathlock on White, but White made it to the ropes.
Naito tagged back in. He went for a combinacion in the corner, but Gedo grabbed his ankle on the apron. White used the distraction to counter, slamming Naito's face on the apron. The four brawled on opposite sides of the building, with White and Yujiro firmly in control of the offense.
They did a long countout tease. Naito was still in the middle of the crowd at the count of 18. He sprinted back to the ring and beat the count. Yujiro tagged in. He hit a series of elbow drops on Naito, and scored a nearfall.
Yujiro tossed Naito to the floor, where White repeatedly sent him into the barricade. White got a tag. He chopped Naito, and used a chinlock. Naito hit a hurricanrana, teasing a hot tag to EVIL. White briefly cut him off. He went for a Blade Buster, but Naito countered into a neckbreaker. This time he made the tag.
EVIL tagged in, while Yujiro entered without a tag. Gedo jumped on the apron, and EVIL dropped him with a right hand. White jumped back in. EVIL hit a seated senton in the corner for a two count.
EVIL went for a fisherman buster, but White blocked it. EVIL went for a misdirection lariat, but White was ready for it, and hit a DDT. Yujiro got a tag. He hit a neckbreaker, a low dropkick, and used a fisherman buster for a two count.
White jumped in. He knocked Naito off the apron, then hit EVIL with a Blade Buster. Yujiro covered, but Naito made the save. Naito and White then fought to the floor.
Yujiro went for Pimp Juice, but EVIL blocked it. Yujiro hit a superkick, then hit a fireman's carry slam for a nearfall.
Yujiro again went for Pimp Juice, but Naito cut him off. White jumped in. Naito hit White with a neckbreaker and a dropkick. Naito hit an enziguri on Yujiro, then an inverted atomic drop. EVIL hit a lariat for a nearfall.
EVIL then hit Everything is EVIL for the pin on Yujiro.
White jumped in after the bell and attacked EVIL. Naito made the save. He went for Destino, but White escaped it. Naito offered White an LIJ fist bump, but White instead hit him with a low blow.
White taunted Naito with the IWGP Intercontinental belt before leaving.
IWGP JR. HEAVYWEIGHT TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: EL PHANTASMO & TAIJI ISHIMORI DEFEATED WILL OSPREAY & ROBBIE EAGLES TO RETAIN THE TITLES (23:11)
This started off slowly, but built into one of the best tag matches of the year.
Ospreay and Ishimori started off as the legal men, but Ospreay demanded that ELP tag in. He did, but Ishimori then attacked Ospreay from behind. Eagles jumped in to aid Ospreay, and they hit Ishimori and ELP with stereo planchas.
Ospreay and Eagles used a series of quick tags, working an arm wringer on ELP's left arm. ELP managed a tag to Ishimori, but Ospreay and Eagles did the same to Ishimori's left arm. Eagles hit a double stomp off the top to the arm.
Ospreay chop-blocked Ishimori, while Eagles hit a dropkick. Ishimori came back with a seated senton off the top rope, then tagged ELP, who hit a back rake off the top to Eagles. ELP used a vertical suplex, then a Vader bomb. Ishimori got a tag and hit a double stomp to the chest for a one count.
ELP hit an elbow off the middle rope for a two count, then used a magistral cradle for another nearfall. ELP tied Eagles to the tree of woe, then Ishimori and Eagles hit their tandem crotch stomp.
ELP used a chinlock on Eagles for a long time. Eagles tried to hit sliced bread to escape the hold, but ELP blocked it. Eagles finally escaped the hold and tagged Ospreay, and the pace quickened considerably.
Ospreay hit a top rope 619, then a DDT to ELP. He followed with a backflip kick on an interfering Ishimori. Ospreay hit a Cheeky Nandos kick to ELP for a nearfall. They did a series of teases and counters, including a Spanish Fly attempt and an airplane spin neckbreaker attempt.
ELP walked on the top rope, then tagged Ishimori. Ishimori hit a sliding German on Ospreay for a nearfall. Ishimmori hit a codebreaker, and ELP then hit a BME on Ospreay for a nearfall.
A crazy sequence saw Ospreay use a standing shooting star for a nearfall, while Eagles hit ELP with a suicide dive. Somewhere in here, Ishimori got the tag and became the legal man.
Ospreay hit a tiger wall kick for another nearfall, as ELP made the save. Ospreay escaped a tower of doom, and Eagles jumped in. He took Ishimori off ELP's shoulders with a rana. Eagles then hit a suicide dive on ELP, while Ospreay hit an insane tope over the top rope to Ishimori.
Back inside, Ospreay and Eagles teased Red WIng, their tandem finisher. ELP cut them off. They teased a stacked superplex spot. Ishimori tried to superplex both, but Eagles and Ospreay landed on their feet.
Ospreay and Eagles hit a tandem Turbo Backpack on Ishimori. Eagles covered, but ELP broke up the pin.
Eagles went for sliced bread on Ishimori, but Ishimori reversed it into a poison rana.
Eagles and Ishimori exchanged strikes. Ospreay hit a Pip Pip Cheerio off the apron on ELP, while Eagles hit a double stomp on Ishimori's leg on the apron.
Back in the ring, Eagles got the Miller Special applied on Ishimori. Ospreay hit a springboard 450 while Eagles went to re-apply the hold.
Eagles re-applied the Miller Special, while Ospreay used an octopus hold on ELP. ELP escaped, then dropped Ospreay on top of Eagles and Ishimori with an F-5.
Eagles hit ELP with chops and kicks in the corner. Eagles missed a meteora in the corner. ELP hit a quebrada on Eagles, then took out Ospreay with a suicide dive. ELP then hit an Asai moonsault from the ring, over the barricade, onto Ospreay.
ELP went for a springboard 450 to Eagles, but Eagles got his knees up. Eagles hit a sliced bread into a DDT for a nearfall.
Eagles hit a 450 off the top to ELP's legs. ELP kicked him off as he tried for the Miller Special, right into a belt shot from Ishimori on the floor. ELP got a nearfall off the interference.
ELP used an airplane spin neckbreaker for a nearfall, as Ospreay saved. ELP and Ishimori hit Ospreay with a tandem Bloody Cross. Ishimori hit Eagles with a Bloody Cross, then ELP hit him with a CR2 for the pin.
KOTA IBUSHI DEFEATED KENTA TO RETAIN THE TOKYO DOME RIGHT TO CHALLENGE CERTIFICATE (26:23)
KENTA is a step slower than the top NJPW guys. Couple that with the overbooking, the run-ins and ref bumps, and this made for one of the weaker NJPW main events in a long time.
I understand that they felt that people wouldn't buy KENTA as a legitimate contender without all the gaga, but Ibushi is a super worker and could have made the match work without it.
KENTA attacked Ibushi with a Busaiku knee strike before the bell. He then hit Ibushi with the briefcase. He cut a promo on Ibushi and said that he destroyed the case because he wants a Bullet Club case.
They teased a no contest, but Ibushi was able to start. KENTA hit another Busaiku knee at the opening bell, and covered for a quick two count.
KENTA dragged Ibushi outside, and repeatedly sent him into the barricade. They teased a countout, but Ibushi made it back in. KENTA again took Ibushi to the floor. He sent Ibuhsi over the barricade, then hit a DDT on the floor.
Back inside, KENTA hit a draping DDT for a nearfall. Five minutes in, Ibushi was yet to hit a single offensive move.
KENTA used a series of short kicks in the corner. Ibushi fired up and showed a bit of life, but KENTA cut him off again with kicks. KENTA hit a back elbow for a nearfall.
KENTA hit a knee lift, but Ibushi came back with a dropkick. Ibushi hit a powerslam, then a second rope moonsault for a two count. KENTA rolled outside, and Ibushi connected with a pescado.
Back inside, KENTA hit a PK. Ibushi fired back with his own hard kick. They traded forearm strikes. Both missed with wild right hands, but then landed simultaneous high kicks for a double knockdown.
Ibushi dodged a charge into the corner, then hit a snap rana. Ibushi went for a Golden Star off the post, but KENTA cut him off, then posted Ibushi's left leg, repeatedly.
KENTA dropped Ibushi's leg over the barricade, then hit the left leg with a chair. KENTA then dropped Ibushi leg-first onto the English commentary table.
Back inside, KENTA continued working on the left leg. He used a dragon screw, then a heel hook. He hit another dragon screw, then used another heel hook. Ibushi forced a rope break.
Ibushi hit a couple of quick strikes. KENTA hit a yakuza kick. Ibushi fired up and hit his own yakuza kick. Ibushi tried for a Shibata dropkick in the corner, but KENTA caught his legs coming in, and went back to the heel hook.
KENTA hit a series of forearm strikes in the corner, then hit a Shibata dropkick. KENTA hit a double stomp off the top rope for a nearfall.
KENTA called for the GTS. Ibushi blocked it. KENTA hit a dragon screw, then used a figure four. Red Shoes really tried to sell this as a potential finish. Ibushi reversed the figure four, then clawed his way to the ropes for the break.
KENTA hit a knee strike to the back. He went for another Busaiku knee, but Ibushi cut him off with a lariat. Ibushi hit a sit-out powerbomb for a nearfall.
Ibushi called for a Bomaye. KENTA took the ref. Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa ran in, but ate a double backflip kick. Ibushi hit a buzzsaw kick. He covered, but Tonga and Loa pulled the referee to the floor.
Tonga and Loa went for a super powerbomb, but Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI ran in for the save. Ishii hit Loa with a brainbuster off the top rope, and YH hit Tonga with a weak lariat.
The referee was revived. KENTA and Ibushi exchanged strikes from their knees, then continued trading as they got to their feet. KENTA hit a big right hand, then used a PK for a nearfall at the 25 minute mark.
KENTA hit Ibushi with a Kamigoye, but Ibushi kicked out at two.
KENTA went for the GTS, but Ibushi blocked it, then hit a knee strike. Ibushi hit Kamigoye, but KENTA kicked out at two this time.
Ibushi hit a second Kamigoye, and got the win in his hometown.
EVIL came out to the ring after the match, and challenged Ibushi for the certificate at a later date.
Ibushi then cut a promo. He said that last time he was in Kagoshima, he promised to win the G1. This time, he said he promises to bring both the heavyweight and intercontinental titles back to his hometown.