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NJPW Destruction in Beppu live results: Tanahashi vs. Sabre

The first of three Destruction events begins this morning in Beppu at Beppu B-Con Plaza.

Hiroshi Tanahashi will once again face Zack Sabre Jr. in the main event. The tables have been turned this time around, as Tanahashi defeated Sabre at last month’s Royal Quest event to win the RPW British Heavyweight title. He will be the champion heading into this match. 

The IWGP Tag Team titles will be on the line in the co-main event. What was originally supposed to be a special tag team match between champions Guerrillas of Destiny and Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI turned into a title match after the latter picked up a victory over GoD in a six man tag team match on the first card of the tour.

The Young Lion Cup will also continue, with Yota Tsuji taking on Karl Fredericks and Shota Umino facing Alex Coughlin.

Join us for live coverage starting at 4 a.m. EDT. There will be English commentary.

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Young Lion Cup: Karl Fredericks defeated Yota Tsuji

Some good wrestling to start things off. Tsuji worked on Frederick’s shoulder, which is all taped up. He took the bulk of the match. Fredericks cut him off with a giant dropkick. He sold the shoulder, but managed to his a spinebuster and a half Boston crab. Tsuji wouldn’t submit, but did once Fredericks elevated him. A solid opener.

Young Lion Cup: Shota Umino defeated Alex Coughlin

After some struggle for control, Umino briefly gets the upper hand but was driven down by elbows from Coughlin. He unleashes some sick chops but Umino meets him back with a big suplex, then soon follows with a big missile dropkick.

Couglin drops Umino with a dropkick and follows that up with a gutwrench suplex. He sets up a Boston crab, but Umino manages to escape and lays out Coughlin with a spinebuster then follows with another missile dropkick. 

A fisherman’s suplex gives him the win. Another solid, very well worked match.

Yuji Nagata, Ryusuke Taguchi, Yuya Uemura and Ren Narita defeated Manabu Nakanishi, Toa Henare, Clark Connors and Michael Richards

The young lions worked mostly against one another. Henare ended up working over Uemura. Nakanishi came in and chopped Uemura in the corner. After hitting a dropkick that had no effect, Uemura straight up bodyslammed Nakanishi to a big pop.

Nagata came in as he and Nakanishi traded offense. Everything Nakanishi does comes off as so slow. Nagata hit an exploder and tagged in Taguchi. Nakanishi polish hammered Taguchi right in the butt. 

It boils down to Richards and Taguchi. Richards gets some brief offense, but Taguchi traps him in the ankle lock and eventually submits. Felt like it was a little too long given who was involved, but this was fine minus the parts where Nakanishi wrestled.

Jushin Thunder Liger, SHO and YOH defeated Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and DOUKI

DOUKI and Sho came in as everyone became busy on the outside. DOUKI attempted a wheelbarrow into a dragon suplex but YOH came in and cleared house. DOUKI tried to even the odds, but couldn’t as he was soon pinned with the 3K.

Suzuki attacked Liger after the bell and continued going after his mask. Young lions attempted to stop him as he eventually let Liger go, but then laid out the young lions. This feud has been going on for months, is this just a house show thing or is it going to lead to something? Tokyo Dome?

Liger grabbed a mic. He said if Suzuki wants to fight right now, they can do it now and the fans in Beppu want to see it. Suzuki headed toward the ring, but then bailed.

KENTA, Bad Luck Fale, Yujiro Takahashi, El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori defeated Kota Ibushi, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe, Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles.

Early part of the match had all of Bullet Club working over Eagles. KENTA and Kota Ibushi came in and their stuff looked great, but it was brief and Honma came in and went for the kokeshi. Didn’t happen.

After some more back and forth, KENTA connected with a backfis. Honma missed a diving kokeshi. KENTA took the opportunity to connect with GTS and pinned Honma for the win. A tag match that highlighted KENTA as he soon faces Ibushi for his IWGP title briefcase.

SANADA, Shingo Takagi and BUSHI defeated Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto and Rocky Romero

As you would expect, this exactly one of those matches where rivals went in with one another as their time came to be tagged in. Goto and Shingo started things off. Okada worked on BUSHI for a good while until the hot tag was made to SANADA, who cleared the ring and zeroed in on Okada.

At one point, everyone came in to work with one another in the ring. Goto laid out Shingo with the ushigiroshi. Rocky and SANDA came back to the ring but SANADA quickly took things over with the cold skull. He took Rocky down and that was it.

Tetsuya Naito and EVIL defeated Jay White and Chase Owens

White and Owens worked over EVIL. White took EVIL to the outside as Owens yelled at Kevin Kelly, blaming him for bringing the Rock ‘n’ Roll Express to the NJPW tour in California. Naito and White were tagged in. White wanted to do the LIJ trademark gesture but instead jumped Naito on the apron.

Naito retaliated by throwing him across the barricades. They went at it until Owens came in. EVIL also came in and laid out White with the darkness falls. EVIL took care of White on the outside as Naito pinned Owens with the Destino.

LIJ attacked Gedo after the match and threw his hat into the crowd. Bullet Club eventually managed to get the hat back. White told the commentary team the fun and games would soon be over.

The Guerrillas of Destiny defeated Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI to retain the IWGP Tag Team titles

Ishii and Tama Tonga had a great opening exchange. YH and Loa come and as all four exchange counters for a bit before going to the outside, where GoD got the advantage by throwing both men into the barricade.

Back in the ring, Tonga had the heat on Ishii, then tagged in Loa who continued to grind. YH is tagged in and lays both GoD on the top rope, then dropkicks them both. YH hit Loa with the headhunter then tagged in Ishii. 

Ishii powered out of a Loa move by giving him a backdrop as both men exchange strikes. Ishii connected with a headbutt but fell to a lariat. YH came in and the two worked over Loa. Ishii got Loa on his feet and hit a clothesline for a nearfall. Loa escaped from the vertical brainbuster but Loa escaped, only to get planted by a spear. But Loa popped right back up and hit a spear. 

Tonga was tagged back in. He hit something resembling a gun stun. ‘He hit the Tongan twist on Ishii and the waistlock DDT on YH. They followed with a double splash off the top rope, but YH kicked out. They went for the magic killer, but Ishii came in.

GoD instead hit Ishii with the magic killer, then did the same to YOSHI-HASHI, who actually kicked out. They started to set up for their powerbomb off the top rope, but Ishii took out Roa on the outside. YH applied the butterfly lock, but Loa came in...only momentarily as Ishii took him down with a  submission as well.

Jado came in with the kendo stick, but YH grabbed it and attacked Jado. Ishii and YH hit a double team move on Tonga as YH connected with a lariat. YH got a nearfall with karma. KENTA then came out to distract. Right out of the WWE playbook, YH got distracted then was rolled up by Tama Tonga for the win. A bad finish to a match that felt like it went way too long, especially for that result

Ishii went after KENTA, who attacked YOSHI-HASHI, following the match. KENTA eventually retreated.

Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi for the RevPro British Heavyweight title

Sabre immediately gets Tanahashi’s arm and starts working over it, but Tanahashi escapes. That doesn’t last long as Sabre quickly controls Tanahashi’s arms again. Tanahashi counters and does the same, working over Sabre’s arms. Sabre powers out and crosses the arms, choking Tanahashi.

Tanahashi connects with a crossbody off the top rope then chop blocks Sabre’s leg. Sabre escapes to the floor but stalls, and becomes increasingly angry. He goes for a chair, but Uemura took it away from him. Sabre attacks Uemura but Tanahashi comes back to continue the match. Tanahashi went for an elbow but Sabre caught him and put him in a submission until Tanahashi reached the ropes.

Sabre next locked in an armbar, changing his position for leverage. Tanahashi retaliated by grabbing Sabre’s leg once they are both up and gives it a dragon screw. The senton follows, then the cobra twist. Zack bailed again as Tanahashi went for the high fly flow to the outside, but Sabre saw him and ran away. Tanahashi instead went for a baseball slide, but Sabre caught him and transitioned into the armbar. 

Tanahashi fought hard trying to go for a cloverleaf back in the ring. He had it on for a few seconds, but Sabre countered and transitioned into an armbar. Tanahashi reversed it. Sabre countered right back and tried to go for his finish, but Tanahashi barely managed to escape. Tanahashi hit two sling blades then hit the high fly flow.

Instead of another high fly flow, Tanahashi instead went for what looked like the sharpshooter but Sabre made it to the ropes. Sabre then latched on with a guillotine choke, but Tanahashi countered with two twist and shouts but Sabre countered the third with the Zack driver.

Sabre kicks Tanahashi in the arm as both men fall down. ZSJ went for the PK, but Tanahashi countered and followed with a waistjacket suplex. The two traded flash pins. Tanahashi went for the cobra twist again, but Sabre countered with a roll-up and hooked both legs to regain the title.

Sabre says he just buried strong style today. He’s been the ace of the British scene for decades. He says he wants to win both the Intercontinental and IWGP Heavyweight titles and become the first NJPW triple crown champion. Long live Sabreism.

The main event was real good, but I think the Royal Quest match was a little bit better. Overall, there was nothing technically wrong with this card save for the co-main, but it didn’t feel like a big show. It felt like a Road To show until the final two matches. Unfortunately I get the feeling the other two cards may be more of the same.