The third NJPW Destruction event takes place today in Kobe.
Tetsuya Naito will defend his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Jay White in the main event. The two last met in a singles match on August 11, when White beat Naito to win the B Block in the 2019 G1 Climax.
The semi-main will feature Shingo Takagi vs. Hirooki Goto. Takagi will be looking for a high profile win over an established heavyweight as he continues to climb towards the top of the card.
The Young Lion Cup will also conclude, with Ren Narita facing Clark Connors, and Shota Umino battling Karl Fredericks in what will likely be the deciding match.
Among the other matches on the show is Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi & Robbie Eagles vs. SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI. Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay, SHO & YOH will also face KENTA, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo.
Join us for live coverage starting at 3 a.m. Eastern time. There will be English commentary.
YUJI NAGATA, YOTA TSUJI & YUYA UEMURA DEFEATED MANABU NAKANISHI, ALEX COUGHLIN & MICHAEL RICHARDS
Nakanishi and Nagata started the show. Nagata kicked at Nakanishi's bad left leg. Richards and Uemura tagged in. They traded chops. Richards got a knockdown off a back elbow, and picked up a nearfall.
Coughlin entered and continued to work over Uemura. Nakanishi tagged in for more of the same. Uemura hit a bodyslam on Nakanishi, then tagged Nagata. Nakanishi hit Nagata with a spear. He went for the Argentinian backbreaker, but Tsuji and Uemura saved.
Coughlin and Tsuji got tags. They traded strikes. Coughlin chops so hard. He hit a slam, then used a full crab on Tsuji. Tsuji reached the ropes for a break.
Coughlin hit some more chops. He hit the ropes, but ran into a spear. Tsuji followed with a powerslam for a nearfall. Tsuji used a giant swing, then applied a full crab. While the other four fought on the floor, Coughlin tapped out.
Coughlin looks better every time I see him. He was the standout in an otherwise unremarkable opener.
YOUNG LION CUP MATCH: CLARK CONNORS DEFEATED REN NARITA
Connors hit a hip toss and worked a wristlock. Narita made it to the ropes, and Connors broke cleanly. Narita got a headscissors takedown. Connors escaped, then worked a side headlock. Narita again made it to the ropes. This time, Connors hit a chop on the break.
They traded hard chops. Connors used a fireman's carry takeover, and another wristlock. He transitioned to a leglock, but Narita scrambled and got an Indian deathlock. Connors escaped. They traded slams, then chops.
Narita hit an overhead belly-to-belly for a nearfall. Narita got double underhooks as he looked to hit it again, but Connors escaped. Connors hit a spear, then used a full crab. Narita sat in the hold for a long time, but couldn't make the ropes, and tapped.
Narita was eliminated from contention with the loss, so the next match will decide the winner.
YOUNG LION CUP MATCH: KARL FREDERICKS DEFEATED SHOTA UMINO TO WIN THE YOUNG LION CUP
Fredericks had his right shoulder taped up, as he has for most of the tour. Umino had a wrap and a pad on his left arm.
They exchanged armdrags and trip takedowns. Umino hit a shoulder block and took the early advantage. Umino used an armbar, a snapmare, then hit a dropkick to the bad shoulder. Fredericks hit a crossbody, as the momentum shifted.
Fredericks hit a big splash in the corner, a hip toss, then used an elbow drop for a nearfall. Umino was able to re-apply the armbar, then hit a missile dropkick. He went right back to the cross armbreaker, but Fredericks rolled to the ropes for a break.
Umino hit a bridging German for a two count. He went for a fisherman suplex, but Fredericks blocked it. Fredericks grabbed the tights, then hit a back suplex. He followed with a spinebuster, then locked in a single-leg crab.
Umino fought for the ropes, but Fredericks pulled him back to the center of the ring. He stomped on Umino's head while maintaining the single-leg crab, and Umino tapped out.
BAD LUCK FALE, YUJIRO TAKAHASHI & CHASE OWENS DEFEATED TOGI MAKABE, TOMOAKI HONMA & TOA HENARE
Not much to this one.
Henare and Yujiro started off. Henare hit a hip toss and a tackle. Honma tagged in for a bulldog and a kokeshi. Yujiro grabbed the tights and tossed Honma to the apron, where Owens and Fale went to work.
Owens tagged in and worked over Honma, while Fale choked Makabe with his own chain on the floor. Fale tagged in. Honma tried to slam Fale, but failed. Honma managed a tag to Makabe, who ran wild on Fale.
Makabe hit ten punches in the corner. He teased a northern lights suplex, but Fale blocked. Fale hit a clothesline, into a double down.
Henare and Owens tagged in. They did a series of teases and reversals. Owens went for a shining wizard, but Henare blocked. Yujiro came in for a double team, but Henare fought him off. Henare hit a series of forever clotheslines on both.
Henare hit a Samoan drop, then hit a chop for a two count. Fale entered, and Makabe and Honma jumped in. Fale was sent to the floor with a clothesline over the top. Owens recovered and hit Henare with a Jewel Heist for a two count.
Owens hit a knee strike, then hit Henare with a package piledriver for the pin.
MINORU SUZUKI, ZACK SABRE JR., YOSHINOBU KANEMARU & DOUKI DEFEATED JUSHIN LIGER, HIROSHI TANAHASHI, TIGER MASK & ROCKY ROMERO
This was crazy. They didn't do a match, but a super-hot angle instead.
Liger jumped Suzuki as he made his entrance. Both men's partners ran down and this became a wild brawl. Suzuki set up a table in the ring. Suzuki hit the ref with a chair, then hit a chair shot to the head of Liger. The chair was gimmicked.
Suzuki went for Liger's mask. Liger hit a low blow, then took his own mask off to reveal his Kishin Liger persona. Liger spit mist in the ref's eyes, then spit mist in Suzuki's eyes.
Liger grabbed a spike and went after Suzuki with it. Suzuki avoided it, and the spike went through the table. Liger then threw the spiked table at Suzuki, who avoided it. Everyone ran to the back with Kishin Liger chasing them.
Officially, the win was given to Suzuki-gun, but this should have been a no contest.
TOMOHIRO ISHII, SHO, YOH, WILL OSPREAY & YOSHI-HASHI DEFEATED TAMA TONGA, TANGA LOA, TAIJI ISHIMORI, EL PHANTASMO & KENTA
SHO and YOH picked up their second win over G.O.D. on this tour, which looks to put them in line for a shot at the IWGP Heavyweight tag belts.
Ishii and Loa started off. YH tagged in, Ishii stayed in for a double team, but Bullet Club all jumped in to cut the good guys off. They brawled around ringside. Bullet Club then used a series of quick tags, working over YH.
YH managed a tag to Ospreay, and ELP tagged in for Bullet Club. ELP went for a vertical suplex, but Ospreay turned it into a cutter. Ospreay hit a Robinson Special. He teased a Hidden Blade, but ELP hit a poison rana instead.
Roppongi 3K and G.O.D. entered. YOH was legal, and he hit Tonga with a dragon screw. SHO and YOH hit Loa with stereo knees, then did the same to Tonga.
Everyone jumped in. ELP and Ishimori took out Roppongi 3K. Ishii took out Ishimori. Ospreay took out ELP with a Sasuke Special. Loa hit Ishii with a spear, then hit a powerslam to YOH.
Tonga and Loa hit Guerilla Warfare on YOH, but YH saved. G.O.D. teased a Magic Killer on YOH, but SHO jumped in to make the save. YOH rolled up Loa, and got the flash pin.
After the bell, Tonga hit SHO with a kendo stick, while Loa hit Apeshit on YOH.
SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI DEFEATED KAZUCHIKA OKADA, KOTA IBUSHI & ROBBIE EAGLES
This was a very good six-man.
Okada and SANADA kicked things off. SANADA went for a Paradise Lock early, but Okada blocked. Okada teased Red Ink, but SANADA blocked. SANADA teased a dive, but flipped back inside.
BUSHI and Eagles tagged in for some spots. While the other four fought outside, BUSHI hit a missile dropkick, and LIJ took over. SANADA tagged in and used the Paradise Lock on Eagles. EVIL got a tag and went for a fisherman buster, but Eagles blocked.
Eagles hit an enziguri, and managed a tag to Ibushi. Ibushi hit an interfering SANADA and BUSHI with a double backflip kick. He then used a standing moonsault on EVIL for a two count.
EVIL came back with a mid kick, then a double sledge to the chest. EVIL hit a seated senton in the corner. He went for Darkness Falls. Ibushi fought it off after a long struggle. EVIL hit a rolling elbow, and Ibushi countered with a high kick.
Okada and SANADA tagged back in. Okada landed a back elbow. After a series of signature teases, Okada hit a shotgun dropkick. Okada went for a tombstone, but SANADA blocked it. SANADA used an O'Connor Roll into Skull End, but Ibushi saved with a high kick.
Okada used the distraction to hit an air raid crash. Eagles tagged in and landed a missile dropkick to SANADA's legs. He followed up with a chop block, then an elbow to the back of the head. Eagles hit double knees, a bottom rope 619, and again hit double knees for a nearfall.
SANADA avoided a sliced bread, and LIJ went 3-on-1 on Eagles. Ibushi entered for the save, but EVIL took him out with a German.
Eagles used a quick cradle for a nearfall. SANADA blocked Turbo Backpack, and used Skull End. Okada saved for Eagles with a dropkick. BUSHI hit a suicide dive to Okada, and SANADA used Skull End on Eagles to earn the submission win.
The post-match was notable. Okada tried to dropkick SANADA after the match, but SANADA avoided it. EVIL slapped Ibushi in the face. Ibushi hit a palm strike, then the two traded strikes to the chest.
HIROOKI GOTO DEFEATED SHINGO TAKAGI
I would call this a puzzling result. I know they like to keep Goto strong so that it means something when he loses, but there is way more upside in Shingo, and it seems counterproductive to beat him in his second big match as a heavyweight.
Shingo attempted a strike on the break after the opening tie-up, but Goto caught the chop. They had an intense striking battle in the center of the ring. Shingo tried an inverted GTR, a regular GTR, and an ushigoroshi, all signature Goto moves, but missed all three.
They traded shoulder tackles. Goto hit a vertical suplex, then used a chinlock. Shingo came back with a big right hand, then a lariat. Goto rolled outside, and Shingo went after him. Shingo posted Goto.
Shingo sent Goto into the barricade, then hit a DDT on the floor. Back inside, he used a vertical suplex for a two count. Shingo used a headlock on the mat, but Goto forced a rope break.
Shingo hit a series of short elbows to the neck, then a knee drop. Goto came back with a lariat, a wheel kick in the corner, then a Saito suplex for a nearfall.
Goto went for an ushigoroshi, but Shingo blocked it. Goto used a sleeper hold. Shingo broke the hold, backing Goto into the corner. Goto went back to the hold, and Shingo again broke it, then hit a sliding lariat. Shingo followed with noshigami for a two count.
Shingo went for Made in Japan. Goto blocked it, and slammed Shingo's head across his knee. They exchanged corner clotheslines. Shingo hit a superplex, but Goto no-sold it. Goto hit a German, but Shingo no-sold it. Shingo hit a German, into a double down.
Both men connected on a series of simultaneous lariats. Goto used a misdirection spot, ate a right hand, but then dropped Shingo with a lariat. Goto scored another knockdown off a lariat. He went for ushigoroshi, but Shingo blocked.
Shingo hit Made in Japan. He covered, but Goto kicked out. Shingo hit a lariat, then hit a Pumping Bomber, but Goto kicked out at two.
Shingo went for Last of the Dragon, but Goto turned it into an ushigoroshi. Goto hit an inverted GTR, but Shingo kicked out.
Shingo caught a mid kick. He hung goto up in the ropes, and hit an elevated GTR. Shingo hit a Pumping Bomber, and Goto took a flip bump. Shingo covered, but Goto again kicked out.
Goto blocked a Last of the Dragon, then connected with Shouten Kai. He could not follow up right away, allowing Shingo recovery time.
Goto hit a big mid kick. He went for a GTR, but Shingo hit a headbutt. They hit simultaneous headbutts. Goto hit an ushigoroshi for a nearfall, then used a GTR for the pin.
IWGP INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH: JAY WHITE DEFEATED TETSUYA NAITO TO WIN THE TITLE
I should stop being surprised when the Switchblade push kicks into high gear again. They are going all the way with White.
Both stalled at the outset, rolling to the outside. White wanted to lock up, but Naito kept backing away from him. Naito used a schoolboy for a quick nearfall, then an inside cradle for another. Naito went for a backslide, but White escaped.
Naito used a snapmare, then a chinlock. Naito teased a combinacion in the corner, but Gedo provided a distraction from the floor. Gedo then grabbed Naito's ankle, allowing White to pull Naito's legs into the post.
On the floor, White sent Naito into the barricade. White continued the attack, sending Naito over the railing into the front row. It looks as though Naito might be reaching the stage of his career where he makes up for a loss of athleticism by taking a beating for real.
Back inside, White used a camel clutch. Naito forced a rope break. White rolled Naito back outside. He slammed him into the barricade, then tossed him back inside.
White went for a Blade Buster, but Naito reversed into a neckbreaker. Naito hit a hurricanrana, an armdrag, then a dropkick to the back. Naito hit an inverted DDT for a nearfall.
Naito hit another inverted DDT, then applied a crucifix hold, but White rolled to the ropes. White slid out of an Irish whip, then hit a DDT. He followed with a running uppercut forearm, then hit two rolling suplexes. Naito blocked a third, but found himself tied up in the ropes, where White hit another running uppercut.
White hit a draping DDT for a two count. Naito went for a flying forearm. White blocked, hit a flatliner, then a back suplex. White slammed the back of Naito's head into the buckle, repeatedly.
White hit a Saito suplex. They teased a ref stoppage. White went for another running uppercut, but Naito countered with a one-legged dropkick.
Naito hit a big spinebuster, then a draping neckbreaker over his knees. Naito hit a top rope frankensteiner, then used Gloria for a two count at the 20 minute mark.
White crawled to the apron. Naito hit a swinging dropkickover the ropes. He went for a neckbreaker on the apron, but White blocked, then used a waistlock to slam Naito on the apron. White went for a piledriver on the apron, but Naito hit a backdrop.
White popped right up, then powerbombed Naito on the apron. Back inside, White hit a uranage. He went for a Kiwi Krusher, but Naito reversed it into a DDT.
Naito hit a series of strikes at the 25 minute mark. White took the referee, allowing Gedo to slide in and hit Naito with a chair. White hit a Kiwi Krusher, but Naito kicked out.
White went for a Blade Runner. Naito fought it off, then hit an enziguri. Naito hit a flying forearm. He went for Destino, but White slid out. Gedo jumped on the apron. Naito hit a swinging DDT, taking out Gedo in the process.
Naito went for Destino, but White blocked it, trapped Naito's head and arms, then hit a series of elbows.
White went for a sleeper suplex. Naito blocked. White blocked a Destino. Naito blocked a Blade Runner. The sequence ended with White hitting a sleeper suplex.
White hit another sleeper suplex. He went for another, but Naito blocked, then hit a dragon suplex. Naito hit a sloppy Destino. White kicked out.
Naito avoided a Blade Runner. White avoided Destino. White then hit Blade Runner, and got the 1-2-3.
White mocked Naito in his post-match promo, and promised to become a double champion.
Hirooki Goto came to the ring. He dropped White with a forearm, then hit some stomps. White rolled outside. Goto said that he won't lose to White again.