NJPW moves on to the next stop in their Destruction tour! Tetsuya Naito and Minoru Suzuki have fierce history, and now it comes to Beppu!
This coverage of Destruction in Beppu will be as broadcast by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found at http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe; Taichi wins and becomes the new NEVER Openweight Champion.
- Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki; Naito wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene in Beppu!
Suzuki-Gun is out for the heads of Los Ingobernobles de Japon. Back in April, the team leaders faced off for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Tetusya Naito took that belt from Minoru Suzuki, only to be blindsided, bloodied and beaten by Chris Jericho! The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla now has that championship, but Suzuki is still seeking vengeance on the casually charismatic Naito. Suzuki almost destroyed Naito at Road to Destruction: Beppu, now he looks to finish the job! Can Naito survive the savage Suzuki? Or will this be the last we see of Tranquilo for some time?
But first, the Sliest Wrestler in the World wants his first singles gold in NJPW! However, Taichi is going for the Fierce Warrior of Chaos and his NEVER Openweight Championship. The last time these two met, it was in a Triple Threat with Mike Elgin included. Elgin won it, only to lose it back 1v1 against Goto. Can Goto keep his belt in this new 1v1 match? Or will he lose it again to the cunning “Holy Emperor”?
NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto VS Taichi w/ Miho Abe!
Although Taichi moved up from lightweight to heavyweight to prove he could hang with the biggest and baddest, this title is technically open to all weights. Either way, can Taichi use his many tactics to take that title from Goto? Or will the perennial NEVER OC keep a tight grip on his favorite belt?
NJPW on AXS jumps into this match as Taichi has Goto down. Fans fire up as Taichi aims at Goto. Goto sits up, Taichi buzzsaws! Cover, TWO! Taichi keeps his cool, and tears off his pants! He’s serious now as he focuses. Goto stops the Superkick to get the headlock, but Taichi counters with a back suplex! Goto stands up to get an enziguri! Cover, TWO!! Taichi grows ever closer to winning, but he hasn’t got it yet. He drags Goto up and calls for a bomb, but Goto blocks. Taichi gives quick kicks to Goto’s face, then goes for the bomb again. He gets Goto up but Goto back drops him down! Goto and Taichi catch their breath as they stand. Taichi swings but Goto grabs him. Taichi denies the saido suplex, but not the Hell Wheel slam!
Both men are down but stirring as fans cheer. Goto stands first, gritting his teeth. He dares Taichi to stand, and Taichi rises. Goto grabs Taichi for a sleeper hold! Taichi reaches for ropes but Goto keeps him away. Taichi fades even as Miho rallies for her man. Fans duel as Goto squeezes tight. Red Shoes checks on Taichi with a lift of his hand. Taichi’s hand stays up, but Goto shifts to a dragon sleeper! Taichi grabs Red Shoes, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru sneaks in and attacks! He knocks everyone down, including Red Shoes, which keeps the referee from seeing Kanemaru kick and stomp Goto! Kanemaru slaps Goto, but runs into a BIG clothesline! Goto drags Kanemaru up and tosses him out, then goes after Taichi. He lifts Taichi up but now Desperado attacks! Suzuki-Gun helps it’s own, but Goto whips Desperado and clotheslines him out!
Goto doesn’t see Taichi grab his mic stand, especially with Roppongi 3K taking care of Desperado & Kanemaru. He finally turns around, but manages to duck the stand to fireman’s carry! Ushigoroshi! Miho shouts as Goto drags Taichi up for a dragon sleeper. Taichi slips out but still ends up in the Shotenkai, suplex to STO! But there’s no ref to count! Goto has covered for at least 5, but there’s no referee to be found. Fans rally up as Goto checks on Red Shoes. Goto goes back to Taichi for stomps, and then drags him up for clubbing forearms. He eggs Taichi on, Miho helps Red Shoes in. Taichi sits up, to get Goto’s buzzsaw kick! Goto drags Taichi up, but Taichi breaks free, only to get a headbutt! Goto drags Taichi up again, Inverted GTR! Cover, TWO!? Taichi shocks Goto by surviving!
Goto drags Taichi up but who is that storming down the ramp?! It’s Takashi Iizuka! Red Shoes stops the wild Iizuka and his metal hand at the ropes, but Goto takes care of him personally with a forearm smash! Iizuka is down, but Taichi gets away with a low blow! Then he uses the body scissor clutch to cover, TWO!? Goto escapes that wild screw job, but now everyone is down. Fans rally up as Iizuka rises. Goto and Taichi each crawl to a corner while Red Shoes also stirs. Taichi SUPERKICKS Goto! But he’s not done there, he drags Goto up, for a Last Ride! High stack cover all the way, TWO!? How did Goto survive?! Taichi keeps going, Black Mephisto reverse neckbreaker!! Cover, Taichi wins!!
Winner: Taichi, by pinfall; NEW NEVER Openweight Champion
Miho leaps into the ring to celebrate with her Star of Hokkai, as he now holds his first singles championship in NJPW! Of course, she and practically everyone else with connection to Suzuki-Gun helped him do it. Will Taichi rise to new greatness? Or will Goto return to bring this star crashing down soon enough?
Tetsuya Naito VS Minoru Suzuki!
To say there is no love lost between these two would be an understatement. The Uncontrollable Charisma gets on the nerves of the Meanest Man in the World, but The King of Pancreas isn’t exactly El Ingobernable’s favorite person, either. Will these two men make the title “Destruction in Beppu” literal in the course of this grudge match?
As always, Naito takes his time taking off his elaborate entrance attire. If anything, it’s part of his nonchalant mind games. But Suzuki won’t let him finish, he attacks Naito as he’s taking off the tearaway pants! The bell rings and Suzuki tosses Naito out of the ring. Suzuki kicks and knees and clubs Naito against the railing, then brings him to the other side to throw him into more railing. He stomps and punches Naito, but Naito comes back with a forearm. They trade shots back and forth, Suzuki standing low. Naito staggers around a corner but Suzuki puts him in the ring. Suzuki stomps and kicks Naito around, then throws more knees. He whips Naito but Naito reverses to knock Suzuki over and hit a basement dropkick! Naito puts Suzuki in a corner with the heel of his boot.
Suzuki slips out but Naito pursues. Naito whips Suzuki at railings and Suzuki almost tumbles over them. Naito brings Suzuki up to whip him into more railing. Suzuki simply snarls as Naito grinds and stomps him. Suzuki even eggs Naito on. Naito puts more effort into the heel of his boot, but Red Shoes wants them to bring this back to the ring. Naito brings Suzuki up to ram him into railing again. Suzuki staggers but Naito pursues. Naito elbows and clubs Suzuki against the railing, then puts him back in the ring. Fans applaud, but Suzuki catches Naito into a draping armbar! Red Shoes counts but Suzuki lets go at 4, to run and boot Naito to the railing! Naito is down, but Suzuki doesn’t leave him there. Suzuki brings Naito outside and around to bounce him off an announce desk.
Suzuki brings Naito toward the entrance ways, and fights among the fans! He bowls Naito through chairs! Then he wraps a chair around Naito’s head to choke him with the legs! Red Shoes counts and Suzuki lets go at 4. Suzuki watches Naito slowly stand, to jab a chair into Naito’s ribs! Naito clutches his side as he slumps to the floor. Suzuki leaves him for dead, but brings blue railing with him just because. Naito stirs and Suzuki watches for him. Naito makes his way back to ringside and Suzuki eggs him on again. He throws chops but Suzuki just knees Naito back. The ring count has reached 13 by the time Suzuki shoves Naito back in the ring. Suzuki has Naito on the apron, for another draping armbar off that apron edge! Red Shoes counts, and again Suzuki lets go at 4.
Suzuki returns into the ring, to toss Naito back on. They again go around as Suzuki knees and forearms Naito. Suzuki backs off to blast Naito with his own John Woo dropkick! Naito is in trouble while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns to see Suzuki picking on a Young Lion now! He dumps the younger wrestler over the railing, then he takes some swipes at various commentary teams. Suzuki makes a full lap around the ring, and boots that same Young Lion! Red Shoes counts and it reaches 10 before Suzuki goes back to Naito. Suzuki puts Naito back in at 14, but hears the fans rallying up for Naito. He paces as Naito slowly stands up. Suzuki kicks Naito stiff in the chest, then brings him up for a snapmare into another stiff kick. Naito writhes while Suzuki simply looms over him menacingly. Suzuki kicks Naito again and again, then covers, TWO! Suzuki has Naito with the mounted double wristlock!
Naito endures the torture of his arm as Suzuki makes it a hammerlock. Naito kicks and flails his legs while fans rally up. He feeds off that energy, but Suzuki shifts to a Fujiwara! Naito endures new arm pan as Suzuki even uses Naito’s own wristband against him! Red Shoes reprimands Suzuki so Suzuki ditches the wristband. Naito reaches and gets to ropes for the ropebreak! Suzuki lets him go, but stomps that bad arm. Suzuki eggs Naito and the fans on. He bumps Naito with his knee, then kicks Naito in the chest again. He knees Naito to a corner but Naito comes back with sharp chops! Suzuki just smiles and laughs it off. He kicks Naito more, then throws stiff forearms. Naito is in the corner and fans rally again, but Suzuki simply spits at the cameraman.
Suzuki brings Naito out but Naito reverses the whip. Suzuki runs out into an atomic drop and the neckbreaker! Both men are down, but making their way back up. Naito stands first and throws a forearm. Suzuki replies and now they go back and forth. Suzuki hits Naito stiff but Naito comes back, Naito blocks a kick to fire off. He whips Suzuki, running dropkick, sweeps the legs and shouts “O-sama!” at The King as he hits the swinging dropkick! Fans fire up as Naito poses. Suzuki sits up with another snarl but Naito stands on his head as he poses. Naito grinds in his heel but Suzuki still grits his teeth. Naito keeps toying with Suzuki, but Suzuki grins. Suzuki fights his way out of a waistlock to then throw stiff forearms. Naito pie faces, so Suzuki hits him harder. Naito hits back, Suzuki hits harder again.
Suzuki whips Naito corner to corner and hits a big boot! He snapmares Naito down and runs for a Penalty Kick! Then another! And another! Then another! Suzuki stomps Naito over and over, then drags him up to toss him back out of the ring. Naito flounders away but Suzuki pursues. Suzuki opens the gate and rips up railing to confiscate someone’s folding chair. Red Shoes won’t allow Suzuki to use this one, and they tug o’ war over it while Naito staggers over. Suzuki kicks Naito away, then brings him around to throw him into more railing. Fans rally for Naito but Suzuki decides to confiscate the timekeeper’s table! Suzuki folds the legs and brings it around, to SMACK Naito with it! Naito’s face left a dent in the wood, but Suzuki isn’t done with either one! Suzuki sets the table up, but Naito clubs Suzuki!
Naito and Suzuki brawl but Suzuki gets a facelock choke. Suzuki squeezes Naito, then puts him on the already damaged table. Suzuki then fetches another chair, but Red Shoes again stops Suzuki. Red Shoes wraps himself around the legs of the chair so Suzuki gives up on that. Naito gets away from the table but Suzuki meets him on the apron. Suzuki puts on another sleeper to squeeze the life from Naito. He even makes it a hangman’s sleeper! Suzuki lets go of Naito and Naito flops to the floor. Fans boo Suzuki and cheer Naito, so Suzuki tells them off. Suzuki drags Naito up as fans grow thunderous.
Suzuki adjusts the table’s position, and wants a Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on for dear life, and breaks free to elbow Suzuki back. He then brings Suzuki over, for a neckbreaker through the table!! Both men are down in the wreckage while we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns as Naito brings a dazed Suzuki up from the splintered wood. Naito wants to put Suzuki in the ring but Suzuki collapses. Naito leaves him out there and a ring count begins. It passes 10 before Suzuki stirs. Suzuki gets up at 14 but flops back down. The count nears the end, but Suzuki gets in at 19! And Naito meets him with a dropkick! Naito brings Suzuki up, hammerlocks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO! Suzuki is tougher than that, but Naito has more moves to use. He brings Suzuki up, wrenches the arm, but Suzuki elbows him away. Suzuki whips Naito but Naito comes back with leaping forearms! Naito hurries to wrench but Suzuki mule kicks Naito’s knee. Naito hobbles and Suzuki runs in, but into an elbow.
Now Naito puts Suzuki up top, climbs up to join him, but Suzuki grabs at the legs. They brawl up there, and Suzuki brings Naito down into an Achilles Lock! Naito flails and writhes as Suzuki pulls on the ankle and knee! Naito drags himself over as fans rally up, and gets the ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go but he won’t leave him be. He stalks Naito as he crawls. Suzuki kicks the bad leg, then brings Naito up for stiffer kicks. He stomps the other leg, then grabs the bad one. He elbows the knee and stalks Naito as he limps around. Suzuki brings Naito up but Naito throws forearms and kicks. Suzuki just kicks the bad leg then whips. Naito can barely run, so Suzuki runs, but into a low dropkick! Naito then hits the tornado DDT!
Fans rally as Naito aims. He runs but Suzuki denies the tilt-o-whirl and sweeps the legs, to roll Naito into a kneebar! Suzuki grapevines the leg and even pulls on the ankle, and drags Naito away from ropes. Suzuki steps through to wrench the leg into another kneebar! Naito endures the torture while fans rally again. Naito drags himself around as Suzuki twists as hard as he can. Red Shoes checks if this is it, but then Suzuki traps the free leg using his legs! Naito keeps trying, but Suzuki drags him away again. Suzuki drops down into a toehold, and Naito is again writhing. Naito flails but he doesn’t tap. Naito reaches but Suzuki shifts to a standing Half Crab! Suzuki pulls as far back as he can as he sits down on Naito! Naito still endures, so Suzuki moves around for another Achilles Lock!
Naito shouts and grits his teeth. The fans have not cheering him on, but Suzuki just takes all that as a challenge to hurt Naito more. Naito grabs Red Shoes so Suzuki shifts around to get back to the kneebar and cradle. He even traps one of Naito’s arms in there! Naito gets the arms free but that leg is still Suzuki’s chew toy! Naito grabs at Red Shoes again so Suzuki pulls hard all over again. Suzuki has both legs trapped with his grapevine, but Naito refuses to give up. Fans refuse to stop cheering him on, and this gives Naito the will to keep reaching. Suzuki doesn’t give up pulling on that bad leg, and rolls Naito over for yet another variation of trapping one leg while twisting the other! Red Shoes asks if Naito wants to stop, but Naito refuses.
Suzuki gets bored with that hold, so he gets up, and puts Naito in a Figure Four! Suzuki has used just about every hold imaginable, and hopes the Nature Boy’s favorite finishes this. Naito continues to endure but Suzuki puts more leverage into the hold. He twists Naito around, but Naito uses that moment to finally get a ropebreak! Suzuki lets Naito go, but drags Naito up. Suzuki fires off fast palm strikes from both sides, then wraps on the sleeper hold! Somehow Naito isn’t out cold yet, but he is turning purple. Fans continue to rally, but Suzuki shifts to his Gotch Piledriver! Naito holds on with whatever he has left, so Suzuki knees and slaps him. Suzuki brings Naito around, but Naito tilt-o-whirls into Destino!!
Both men are down, and Red Shoes checks on them. Suzuki rolls while clutching his sore head. Naito stirs and Suzuki actually likes seeing that. Suzuki hits Naito with a forearm, and Naito hits back. Suzuki hits again, but so does Naito. The forearms continue to fly as they both slowly rise to their feet. Suzuki hits Naito, but Naito hits back. Suzuki grins, and gives another swift shot to Naito. Naito hits back, but Suzuki hits harder. Naito staggers around, Suzuki hits him again, Naito immediately hits back! Suzuki felt that one, but he still grins. He slaps Naito, Naito slaps Suzuki. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps. Suzuki slaps, Naito slaps, repeat faster and faster! Naito takes slap from all sides, but gets a slap in the gap! And another! And another! Enziguri! Naito spits at Suzuki, then drags him up, to steal the piledriver!! Cover, TWO!!
Fans are still thunderous as Naito brings Suzuki back up. Tilt-o-whirl, DESTINO! Cover, Naito wins!!
Winner: Tetsuya Naito, by pinfall
It took so much out of him, but THE Ungovernable wins in the end. Both men are helped up while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns…
And Naito finally stands to have his hand raised in victory. Suzuki is down on the floor while Los Ingobernables de Japon has joined their fearless leader in the ring. Suzuki finally gets up and staggers off, but he surely won’t let this loss slow him down. As for Naito, he takes the mic to speak to the crowd.
“Buenos Noches, Beppu~!” He thanks them for coming tonight, for this return after a year and five months, as well as his first big match since then. What did they think? Did they like it? Beppu says yes! He notes the match earlier of LIJ’s Evil, Bushi & Sanada, and of course himself in the main event. And the fans surely know they’re still short that one member. Naito promises that next time, they’ll be back with that member, and LIJ will be at 100% strength!
By the way, the last time they were in Beppu and all the times before that, Naito has always ended up holding the mic. Did they notice? Well then the fans know what comes next, right? To everyone who supports LIJ in Beppu, this NJPW Beppu grand finale will be their roll call! “EVIL! BUSHI! SANADA! HIROMU! Y NAITO! Nosotros Los Ingoberrrrrnableeees~! DE JAPON!!” LIJ stands tall, tired as they are. Will LIJ only grow stronger as time goes by? Will they become the top faction in all of NJPW?
Naito thinks back to April and Kumamoto, that and this makes two wins in a row against “The King.” The result was as he expected, and winning against Suzuki doesn’t do anything for him now. Naito knows in Kumamoto, he said it’s important “to return to normal, to not give up”. But that desire and will to change, the courage to take that first step, those are also important. Naito likes how that sounds, “the courage to take the first step.” As for what that means, Naito leaves that up to our imaginations. The answer of course is Tranquilo. Naito takes things easy, but will it be so easy to make it back to a title?
A really great episode right here. The bit of Goto VS Taichi we got was good, and it was pretty clear Taichi is the kind of weasel Heel who needs a lot of outside distracts to beat the big name. There is a big chance Goto will come back for that belt, that’s just his constant story in NJPW, but perhaps Taichi can use all his allies and assists to retain in sneaky ways so that Goto has to think of something else to fight for. We saw at Fighting Spirit Unleashed that he’s up for fighting Jeff Cobb just to test both men’s power levels. With Jeff Cobb being ROH World Television Champion, should Goto get that NEVER Openweight title back, I wouldn’t mind them at least having a Championship VS Championship match to see if someone becomes both.
And of course, the main event, the meat of the episode, was incredible. Much of this Suzuki VS Naito match was like their previous meeting but with new twists using that to their advantage. Just as I was wondering where Suzuki’s submission skills were, he goes after those bandaged legs. Naito shows some real grit, but bordered dangerously on too much. They stayed in one hold for quite a long time, but it still seemed to work for the match. It was great for Naito to go over, and while he says it doesn’t really help him, it also doesn’t hurt Suzuki. Both men are still strong no matter what, but I’m thinking at the very least, this could lead Naito back to Jericho and that IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
My Score: 8.6/10