The tour begins in Beppu!
The tour begins and Hiroshi Tanahashi gives Zack Sabre Jr. a rematch for the Rev-Pro British Heavyweight Championship! Does ZSJ win his belt back?
Coverage of Destruction in Beppu 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV
- IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI; The Guerrillas of Destiny win and retain the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Zack Sabre Jr; ZSJ wins and becomes the new RPW British Heavyweight Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for the start of Destruction!
The Royal Quest Rev-Pro crossover is revisited as the rivalry of Ace and Submission Master goes one more round! Zack Sabre Jr. retained at G1 Supercard but shockingly lost “the bloody belt” in his home country. Now he’s determined to take it all back as NJPW returns home! ZSJ stakes his future on this fifth showdown with Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2019, but will he get back the gold for the glory of Britain?
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: The Guerrillas of Destiny VS Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI!
Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa have been on a roll as the top tag team in NJPW, but Chaos has wanted payback on them and all of Bullet Club for a long time. Can the Stone Pitbull and Head Hunter get even by taking away those titles?
NJPW on AXS jumps into things as Hashi stomps away on Loa. Hashi drags Loa up to tag in Ishii. CHaos whips Loa corner to corner then Ishii whips Hashi in for a CHOP! Hashi feeds Loa to Ishii’s forearm, then runs, only for Loa to boot him down. Loa uppercuts and whips Ishii to a corner, then drags Hashi up. Loa whips Hashi in at Ishii, then runs in, but misses completely! Chaos double back suplexes Loa down! Loa is right up to clothesline them both! Beppu cheers as Loa brings Ishii up. Loa tries but can’t powerbomb lift Ishii. Loa clubs on Ishii’s back, but Ishii starts powering up! He back drops Loa! Loa is up again, but the boot is blocked. Ishii forearms but Loa gives it back. Both men throw forearms back and forth, faster and faster! Beppu rallies as neither man slows down. Loa rocks Ishii then throws more forearms, but Ishii stays standing! Ishii headbutts back!
Ishii runs, Loa dodges, but Ishii dodges, too. They both run and it’s Loa’s clothesline that takes Ishii down! Tama returns and GoD whip Ishii to throw hands and a bulldog! Loa leg drops, but Hashi breaks the cover! Tama tosses Hashi out while Loa drags Ishii up. Loa powerbomb lifts for the sit-out bomb! Cover, TWO!? Ishii survives and Beppu cheers! Loa grins as he keeps his focus. He drags Ishii up and scoops, but Ishii slips out to enziguri! Loa blocked enough of it, but Hashi dropkicks his legs out! Hashi brings Loa in, DDT! But Loa just gets angry! Hashi chops and kicks but Loa stays up. Code Breaker to Ishii’s German Suplex! Ishii waits for Loa to rise, and Hashi brawls with Tama. Loa sits up, but he wants a time out. Ishii won’t give it, he runs to LARIAT Loa down! Cover, TWO!!
Ishii roars as he brings Loa back up. Suplex, but Loa knees free! Loa swings into Ishii’s spin, but Loa scoops. Ishii slips out again, spins, but Loa clotheslines. It does nothing so Loa throat chops. Loa runs into a powerslam! Loa is up to SPEAR Ishii! Both men are down but Beppu fires up! Tama and Hashi return to their corners, hot tags bring them in! Hashi dodges Tama to CHOP, but Tama follows him on the run. They both evade and redirect, Gun Stun! Not enough of it, though, and Tama whips for Hashi to huricanrana! Tama gets to a corner, but Hashi fires up. Loa slides in to SPEAR Hashi to the corner! Tama runs in but misses the splash. Ishii hits Tama with a corner clothesline! Loa boots Ishii! Hashi swings on Loa but Loa dodges. Loa swings but Hashi dodges. Hashi kicks, Loa catches it, but Hashi comes back with the spinning heel kick! Tama runs in to spin Hashi around, Tonga Twist facebuster! Ishii runs at Tama, but Tama spins him around. Ishii spins back, suplexes, but Tama slips out! Another Tonga Twist!
Hashi is up but Tama hits Hashi with a satellite DDT! Tama calls for Loa and they both go up top on opposite corners. The GoD leap, headbutt to splash! Cover, TWO!?! How does Hashi survive? Beppu rallies up but the Guerrillas look to end this. They drag Hashi up, but Ishii disrupts the attack! Ishii gets caught but fights free, only to end up in an elevated Tongan Twist! Tama stomps Ishii out and goes back to Hashi. GoD get him this time, with Guerrilla Warfare! Cover, TWO?!? Is Hashi indestructible? Fans are fired up for him but he’s in bad shape. Loa goes to a corner and Tama holds him up, for the SEPAR! Tama hits another corner splash, then suplexes Hashi up. But Ishii dumps Loa off the top! Hashi rolls Tama to the Butterfly Lock! Tama endures, Ishii keeps Loa out, but Loa gets away. Loa goes after Hashi but Ishii gets him in a sleeper and body scissors! Dual submissions for Chaos, but it’s Tama who is legal. Tama yanks Red Shoes down!
With no ref to call the submission, Hashi lets go, and Jado gets in! Jado swings, but Hashi blocks it! And headbutts Jado, to SMACK Jado with his own kendo stick! Jado gets out, and Hashi SUPERKICKS Loa. Loa stays up and wants more. Hashi SUPERKICKS, but it still isn’t enough. Loa runs at Hashi but gets sent into Ishii’s headbutt! Tama hits Ishii, blocks Hashi’s superkick, but Hashi denies Gun Stun! Tama swings Hashi around for another try, but Hashi tosses the Gun Stun into Ishii’s arms! POWERBOMB! Hashi heads the meteora! Cover, Loa breaks it in time!! Ishii throws Loa out and Hashi fires up with Beppu. Hashi runs, AX BOMBER for Tama! But he’s not done there, fisherman BUSTER! Cover, TWO!! Tama survives and now Kenta appears! With bleached blonde hair, the betrayer has his eyes locked on Hashi. Hashi sees Kenta and Tama rolls him up! With tights! Guerrillas of Destiny win!!
Winners: The Guerrillas of Destiny, Tama Tonga pinning; still IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
And now Kenta attacks Hashi! Young Lions try to pull him off but Kenta will not be stopped! Kenta stomps away until he is satisfied. Will Chaos only want more revenge on Bullet Club after being screwed out of more titles?
Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Zack Sabre Jr!
Royal Quest was meant to be a heroic homecoming for the Submission Master, but the Once in a Century Talent took the title that perhaps means the most to him. Now they will have a rematch where roles are reversed. Will Tanahashi do what ZSJ couldn’t and retain the title in his home country? Or will the British Heavyweight Championship return home already?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised, and this Royal Quest rematch begins, after the break!
NJPW on AXS returns as Red Shoes finishes his check of both men. They’re clean and the bell rings for this match to finally begin. Beppu is strongly behind the Ace as he and ZSJ circle. They approach and feel out this fifth match-up in a year. They know each other so well, after all. Tanahashi shoots in and gets ZSJ’s legs to bring him down. ZSJ resists but Tanahashi floats over to a headlock, only for ZSJ to catch him in a headscissors. ZSJ then pops out and floats over to go after Tanahashi’s arms. Tanahashi gets up and brings ZSJ back down but ZSJ slips away. Fans cheer as the two men have a stand-off and start again.
ZSJ and Tanahashi feel out another grapple, and then shoot in. ZSJ has the arm, wrenches on it, and gets a wristlock. Tanahashi resists and slips through to reverse the wristlock. ZSJ rolls but Tanahashi brings him back down. ZSJ gets up, rolls again, slips through but Tanahashi still puts the wristlock on ZSJ. Fans cheer as ZSJ rolls, bridges, spins and wrenches, but Tanahashi reverses again. Tanahashi keeps on the wrist but ZSJ arm-drags. Tanahashi holds on to bring ZSJ down, but ZSJ headscissors. Tanahashi slips away and fans cheer again. Fans rally up as the two reset. Tanahashi and ZSJ tie up, and ZSJ brings Tanahashi in to stand on his hands. ZSJ wrenches one hand, then grabs the other, to get around to the back. ZSJ digs elbows and knuckles into Tanahashi’s shoulders before putting on the half surfboard. Tanahashi endures and stands up, attempting to turn the hold around, but ZSJ grinds his forehead in to keep Tanahashi down.
Fans rally as ZSJ wrenches more and Tanahashi fights back up. ZSJ keeps Tanahashi down with a foot on Tanahashi’s leg. Tanahashi endures as ZSJ digs his head into the back. Tanahashi still gets up and still works to reverse the hold. ZSJ tries to hold him back, but Tanahashi gets the surfboard turned around! Now ZSJ endures and works on escaping. He stands and turns, but Tanahashi turns it back. Tanahashi wrenches hard, but ZSJ bridges and spins to make it a straitjacket! Tanahashi endures as ZSJ pulls back, head against Tanahashi’s neck. Tanahashi powers up to turn the straitjacket onto ZSJ! ZSJ sits down as he endures Tanahashi leaning on him. ZSJ gets up and goes around to wriggle out of the jacket. ZSJ walks to the corner as fans cheer this chess game.
Tanahashi waits for ZSJ to come back. Fans rally up again as the two circle. The two tie up and go around, and ZSJ puts Tanahashi in a corner. ZSJ keeps Tanahashi in the corner until Red Shoes reprimands him, so he lets up. To then EuroUpper Tanahashi hard! ZSJ whips Tanahashi corner to corner but Tanahashi elbows back, to then springboard crossbody! Tanahashi arm-drags ZSJ then chop blocks a leg! Fans fire up as Tanahashi looms over ZSJ. He grabs a leg and drops an elbow on it. Tanahashi wrenches the knee and then ties ZSJ up in a Butterfly Leglock. ZSJ endures and works to counter attack. He grabs Tanahashi’s arm but Tanahashi pressures the legs. Tanahashi stands and uses height alone to torque the legs! But ZSJ grabs the ropes, and Tanahashi lets go.
ZSJ slips out of the ring to catch his breath but Tanahashi dares him to come back. ZSJ takes his time, checks his legs, but Tanahashi rushes over. ZSJ gets back and wants Tanahashi to back off. Red Shoes has Tanahashi give ZSJ space. ZSJ slowly returns but Tanahashi draws too close. Tanahashi “nicely” holds the ropes open. ZSJ kicks barriers in frustration, not letting Tanahashi make a mockery of him. ZSJ grabs a chair from commentary and swings, but the Young Lion takes it away from him. So ZSJ goes after him! He puts the poor guy in a Kimura, but Tanahashi saves the Lion by throwing ZSJ into railing. Tanahashi puts ZSJ in the ring and fans cheer. ZSJ throws a EuroUpper but that only upsets Tanahashi. As do the rest of those EuroUppers! Tanahashi rocks ZSJ with one of his own! Then he drops a senton, into an armbar! ZSJ wants to rip the arm as he sits up! But they’re in the ropes, so ZSJ has to let go of the mounted armbar. He holds on to 4 then finally gets off.
ZSJ catches his breath then comes back to keylock and STOMP the arm! Tanahashi writhes but fans rally behind him. ZSJ paces around Tanahashi and gives him toying kicks. Tanahashi gets up and gets mad, and the two start brawling. Tanahashi gets an edge, spins ZSJ around, but ZSJ spins to Fujiwara armbar! Tanahashi endures as ZSJ bridges back on that arm. Fans rally and Tanahashi moves around, but ZSj gets between him and ropes! And adds a crossface! But Tanahashi twists to get the ropebreak. Both men back off and catch their breath while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and ZSJ crawls over to Tanahashi. ZSJ digs his chin into Tanahashi’s shoulder before wrenching on the arm. ZSJ hammerlocks it with his feet to CRANK on the arm! ZSJ eggs Tanahashi on before going after him again. Tanahashi resists but ZSJ still gets the arm to wrench. Tanahashi forearms, but ZSJ wrenches again. Another forearm, another wrench! Tanahashi forearms free but ZSJ kicks the arm! ZSJ whips but Tanahashi hits flying forearms to knock ZSJ down! Fans fire up as ZSJ gets to a corner. Tanahashi throws forearms then whips corner to corner. ZSJ reverses but Tanahashi dropkicks the legs out! Tanahashi gets his bad arm moving while ZSJ clutches his bad leg. ZSJ gets up but Tanahashi runs in. Tanahashi blocks the boot to Dragon Screw! Tanahashi drags ZSJ back up to scoop and slam him into a drop zone, then goes up, for a somersault senton! Cover, TWO!
Tanahashi keeps going, but ZSJ dodges to waistlock. Tanahashi switches, and twists ZSJ up in the Octopus! But ZSJ drops to tip Tanahashi over. Tanahashi holds on and pulls on ZSJ more. ZSJ works to grab his hands, but Tanahashi grabs that arm. ZSJ uses his long leg for a ropebreak! Tanahashi lets go and gets the fans fired up. ZSJ goes out but Tanahashi climbs up. ZSJ gets away from that corner, but Tanahashi hops down to slide! The dropkick is caught into a hanging kneebar! Red Shoes counts and ZSJ lets go, but goes for an ankle lock on the apron! Red Shoes counts and ZSJ lets up. ZSJ just jumps on Tanahashi for a hanging armbar! Again, Red Shoes reprimands and counts, but ZSJ lets go at 4. Tanahashi rolls away and ZSJ argues with Red Shoes, but fans are rallying. Tanahashi gets ZSJ in the ropes, Dragon Screw! And a dropkick! And another Dragon Screw! ZSJ falls but Tanahashi goes after his legs, for a Cloverleaf!
ZSJ resists by holding onto a leg, and he drags Tanahashi into a triangle hold! Tanahashi endures and powers up. Tanahashi stomps ZSJ’s head, pops free, and has the Cloverleaf again! ZSJ pops around to go for the arm again, amrbar! Tanahashi grips to resist, but ZSJ keeps pulling. Tanahashi holds on as tight as he can, but ZSJ keeps pulling. Tanahashi gets up and around to get his own armbar! ZSJ hurries to get up and relieve pressure, but Tanahashi keeps him down! ZSJ slips up and around to get an arm scissor, and goes after the other arm. They scramble around, and ZSJ gets the fingers to pull that arm way back! ZSJ keeps hold of the arm but Tanahashi reaches with a leg. ZSJ gets that leg, too! ZSJ has Tanahashi in a Bow ‘n’ Arrow pretzel! ZSJ digs his chin in but Tanahashi pops out to a ropebreak! ZSJ has no choice but to let go.
ZSJ keeps his cool as Tanahashi sits up. ZSJ grabs Tanahashi’s hair to bring him up for EuroUppers. Tanahashi gives them back, and ZSJ wobbles. ZSJ uppercuts, but Tanahashi forearms. Tanahashi fires more off, but ZSJ headbutts the chest! Fans fire up again and ZSJ brings Tanahashi up, only for Tanahashi to fire off! ZSJ backslides but Tanahashi slips out, SLINGBLADE! Tanahashi fires up, runs, and hits a Sling-DOG! ZSJ is in the drop zone, and Tanahashi climbs up. Tanahashi leaps for a High Fly Flow to the back! Then he hammerlocks an arm, to lace up the legs. Tanahashi wants to make ZSJ submit to this modified Cloverleaf! ZSJ endures being bent and twisted, but he still pops out to get a ropebreak. Tanahashi lets go out of exhaustion more than anything.
Fans rally again as Tanahashi stomps and eggs ZSJ on. ZSJ gets up, Tanahashi runs, but ZSJ jumps on for a guillotine! ZSJ pulls hard on Tanahashi’s head, but Tanahashi stays standing. Tanahashi powers ZSJ off for a Twist ‘n’ Shout! But Tanahashi keeps on ZSJ, for another! Tanahashi refuses to let go, but ZSJ scoops for the ZACK DRIVER! But he can’t cover, he’s so tired! Fans are thunderous as both men stir. Tanahashi sits up while ZSJ goes to ropes. ZSJ heads over and both men stand. ZSJ uppercuts, and again! And again! But Tanahashi fires just as many back! ZSJ wobbles but Tanahashi keeps throwing uppercuts. Tanahashi keeps on ZSJ and ZSJ staggers. ZSJ gives many EuroUppers back, then blocks the punch to PELE the arm! Tanahashi clutches his bad arm as he falls back, but fans rally up again.
ZSJ aims from the corner, Penalty Kick is blocked! Tanahashi dropkicks the other leg out! Then he stands ZSJ up. ZSJ pops out of the full nelson but not the straitjacket! Straitjacket German, bridging cover, TWO!! But Tanahashi wants the full nelson again. ZSJ rolls through, Euro Clutch, but Tanahashi rolls to the Japanese Clutch! TWO, ZSJ rolls Tanahashi but Tanahashi rolls him back! TWO, and both men back off. They both run in, go around fighting for the cobra twist, and Tanahashi gets it! Only for ZSJ to roll Tanahashi up! ZSJ WINS!!
Winner: Zack Sabre Jr, by pinfall; NEW RPW British Heavyweight Champion
Another sudden victory between these two, and it is the Submission Master who wins with a pinfall! He has his title back and has stunned Beppu! ZSJ is a historic four-time British Heavyweight Champion, and we’ll hear from him after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as ZSJ takes up the mic.
“Sit down, dickheads.” The British Heavyweight Champion is talking! Tanahashi, thanks, but ZSJ kindly takes the title back. “Oi, I said before: Strong Style is dead.” And ZSJ just buried it! He pinned Tanahashi! ZSJ has been the British Ace for over a decade, and now he’s coming for Japan! IWGP blah blah blah. ZSJ vows to be the FIRST Triple Crown Champion! He’ll be the first ever British IWGP Heavyweight Champion, then throw the Intercontinental Championship away. Long Live Sabreism.
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
ZSJ strolls in and says one thing is rightfully back in place: his belt. He’s been the best for a decade, and this belt proves it. Wait, where is his chair? If he was Japanese, there’d be a table, beers and confetti. “This is an absolute piss tank, even by NJPW standards.” Someone gets him a chair. Is this how they treat champions of other companies? Well when ZSJ wins THE IWGP Heavyweight Championship and NJPW changes, there will be tables! Oh, well, they get him a table after all. Then excuse him. Any idiots have questions? No? ZSJ asks himself questions, then.
“How is it to be the greatest British wrestler of all time? How would you describe your style?” ZSJ is a unique blend of catch-as-catch-can and martial arts. He is 100% organic technique. Tanahashi is one of the greatest of all time, but ZSJ beat him. ZSJ amazes himself sometimes. But will ZSJ truly keep his word and make history in NJPW?
A pretty good hour for NJPW on AXS, and a good portion from Destruction in Beppu. We got part of the IWGP Heavyweight Tag title match, and that was all we really needed to see to know they are really trying to make Hashi look good. Fans seem to love him for whatever reason, but I don’t think he’s believably this tough. And it didn’t really help that Kenta had to distract him for GoD to win. GoD should’ve finished him off sooner than that but they want the story to be what it is. Ishii was NEVER Openweight Champion before Kenta, so I would hope he gets an eventual rematch with Kenta, because I fear they’ll want to make Hashi the next challenger. I don’t think Hashi would win even if he challenged Kenta, but Hashi being hard for Kenta to beat is like saying the Mad Hatter could actually fight Batman to a draw. It just doesn’t work, no matter how you try and frame it.
The British Heavyweight Championship rematch was great, certainly on par with the previous matches between ZSJ and Tanahashi. Tanahashi losing makes sense, since ZSJ is more involved with Rev-Pro. Tanahashi is at least in the history books as a champion for Rev-Pro, and ZSJ now has a stronger legacy by beating Tanahashi to get another reign in. The big surprise is ZSJ staking his claim to becoming the next NJPW Triple Crown Champion. In NJPW, that means IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Intercontinental and NEVER Openweight Championship. Tetsuya Naito is the only man to have done it, but his IWGP Heavyweight title run wasn’t all that memorable. ZSJ is likely counting his Rev-Pro title towards it, because he didn’t even mention Kenta and the NEVER Openweight title. Either way, a major claim but ZSJ is on the rise, so he might be able to get one of those other titles on the road to Wrestle Kingdom 14.
My Score: 8.7/10