The tour continues in Kagoshima!
Kota Ibushi defends his Wrestle Kingdom title match contract against KENTA! Will the NEVER Openweight Champion line up another title for himself?
Coverage for Destruction in Kagoshima 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo VS Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles; Ishimori & Phantasmo win and retain the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships.
- Wrestle Kingdom 14 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Kota Ibushi VS KENTA; Ibushi wins and retains the WK14 contract.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for tonight’s continued Destruction!
The right to challenge for THE IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 14 is on the line! The Golden Star won the G1 Climax to earn his shot, but that doesn’t stop others from going after him. #FangRevive beat Ibushi in their G1 Climax match up, went on a hot streak until facing Kazuchika Okada himself, but then rebounded by joining the Bullet Club! He also went on to win the NEVER Openweight Championship off of Tomohiro Ishii thanks to his new friends, but one is never enough. Kenta wants to repeat that first round win tonight and take away what Ibushi fought so hard to obtain! Will Ibushi make it through his first defense of this precious prize? Or will the takeover continue for Kenta?
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships: Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo VS Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles!
Bone Soldier Reborn and The Headbanga represent Bullet Club against Chaos’ “Birds of Prey” in the continued feud between factions. Will Ospreay go up to two belts? Or will Bullet Club stay Too Sweet on this Destruction tour?
NJPW on AXS skips ahead in the action to Ospreay tossing ELP out. Eagles and Ishimori meet, but Ishimori denies Sliced Bread to duck a roundhouse to POISON-RANA! But both men are down from exhaustion. Meanwhile, ELP and Ospreay have wiped out on the outside so everyone is down! Kagoshima rallies up as both men go to their corners, only to find no one there. Ishimori and Eagles brawl with forearms back and forth. Eagles gives two, Ishimori gives three. Ishimori runs but Ospreay runs in to trip Ishimori up! Eagles follows them both to the apron, and Ospreay stretches Ishimori’s leg out for Eagles to flying double stomp it! Ospreay hops up to leap off and clothesline ELP down! Eagles aims at Ishimori in the ring, springboards, and dropkicks the legs out! Eagles has the legs for the “Ron Miller Special,” the trailer hitch! And it is in deep!
Ishimori endures while Eagles pull son those legs and stomps his back. But Ishimori drags himself forward, so Eagles lets up to bring him away. Eagles spins but Ishimori kicks at him, but Ospreay springboard 450 splashes down! And Eagles puts Ishimori back in the Ron Miller Special! Ospreay intercepts ELP but ELP shoves him away. ELP gets up but Ospreay hops on for an Octopus! Dual submissions from Chaos to Bullet Club! That looks familiar… But ELP powers up to get Ospreay up into a fireman’s carry, and he Death Valley slams Ospreay on Eagles! Everyone is down again and fans rally up. Bullet Club regroups and ELP tags in. ELP toys with Eagles, and slaps him around. Eagles grabs ELP by the face and puts him in the corner for a SLAP! Eagles CHOPS and forearms and CHOPS and forearms, then stomps away with fury! Fans are loving it!
Eagles fires up with “Robbie, Robbie, Robbie! OI OI OI!” He whips ELP corner to corner, runs in, but ELP dodges to also dropkick Ospreay back out! ELP keeps moving, springboard crossbody, to a LIONSAULT! Then he DIVES onto Ospreay to wipe him out again! ELP climbs the ropes, and SUPER ASAIS to wipe Ospreay out again! ELP almost wipes himself out in the front row of the crowd, but he comes back to still springboard splash, onto knees! Eagles and ELP slowly rise and fans are fired up. Eagles roundhouses then back kicks, but ELP stays up. ELP glares but Eagles enziguris! ELP flounders to a corner, Eagles comes over, neckbreaker but wait, inverted Sliced Bread DDT!! Cover, TWO!! ELP survives and Eagles can’t believe it! Fans fire up for Eagles and he drags ELP to a drop zone. Eagles climbs, ELP rolls further away, but Eagles grins as he 450 splashes anyway! And on ELP’s legs! Because ELP wants the Ron Miller again! But ELP shoves him away, and Ishimori uses a title belt to SMASH Eagles! ELP covers, TWO!! Eagles lives and shocks Bullet Club!
Bullet Club regroups as ELP brings Eagles up in a torture rack. Ishimori leaps up for a big kick to Eagles’ head, and ELP spins and spins for a BIG Cyclone Crash! Cover, but Ospreay breaks it! Fans are thunderous as the Birds of Prey still live. Ospreay dodges ELP to springboard, but the Oscutter is caught! And ELP inverted suplexes Ospreay for Ishimori to have in the gut wrench! ELP adds on some force for the Bloody Cross! Then Bullet Club takes aim at Eagles as he flounders over. DOUBLE SUPERKICKS! Then ELP feeds Eagles to another Bloody Cross, and then underhooks, for the CR2!! Cover, Bullet Club wins!
Winners: Bullet Club, El Phantasmo pinning; still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions
The Rev-Pro British Cruiserweight Champion keeps his other belt alongside Ishimori, and Bullet Club keeps these two belts, too. Will Bullet Club continue to climb back up to golden glory? ELP even tells Ospreay a “dumb little mark” via commentary, and wants him to soak in this picture. ELP vows that in Ryogoku, at King of Pro-Wrestling 2019, he completes the trifecta! He wants that IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, but will ELP really be the best Junior Heavyweight in the world?
Wrestle Kingdom 14 IWGP Heavyweight Championship Contract Match: Kota Ibushi VS KENTA!
The Golden Star repeated in the G1 Climax Finals, and won G1 Climax 29 to earn the contract for a shot at the top title in NJPW. But it won’t mean anything in the long run if Ibushi doesn’t make it all the way to Wrestle Kingdom 14 with this contract. #FangRevive was the first to take a bite out of Ibushi during G1 this year, and he even got the NEVER Openweight Championship on the side. Will Ibushi make it through “the true Kenta” to stay close to the IWGP Heavyweight Championship?
The introductions are made, but Red Shoes doesn’t get to raise the briefcase because Kenta strikes! He boots Ibushi down then holds the briefcase up, to SMASH Ibushi in the head with it! Kenta fetches the briefcase after it goes flying, and he opens it up to look at the contract itself. He puts that aside so he can stomp the briefcase with his foot! Kenta then demands a mic, and he is given one. Kenta speaks to “all you Kagoshima a**holes” in the crowd, saying “This Right to Challenge belongs to me now.” And as such, he doesn’t want this lame looking briefcase, he wants a custom Bullet Club case. Kenta throws the case down on the ground but Red Shoes wants him to wait. The match still has to happen for Kenta to actually own those rights. Kenta covers but the bell hasn’t even rung, so it won’t count. Red Shoes calls for medics while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Red Shoes keeps Kenta in a corner. Ibushi is coming to, but Kenta wants the bell to ring. Red Shoes checks on Ibushi, and Ibushi is still pretty woozy. Kagoshima cheers their hometown hero on as medics check him. Kenta grows further impatient but Red Shoes keeps him back. Ibushi sits up and goes through the check, but he also wants to have this match. Fans cheer as Ibushi stands, and the match begins! But Kenta hits the Psycho Knee right away! Cover, TWO!! Kenta is shocked and furious that he didn’t win right there! But he drags Ibushi up to throw him out of the ring. Ibushi flounders right into railing, and Kenta goes out to fetch him. Kenta drags Ibushi up to whip him into more railing! Then he whips him into even more railing! Kenta won’t stop there, he whips Ibushi into a third corner of railing!
Ibushi flops to the floor and fans boo Kenta right to his face. Kenta eggs it on as he goes back to Ibushi. Kenta just whips Ibushi into the fourth corner of railing! Kenta goes back into the ring while fans rally to help their hero. Red Shoes begins the 20 count and it climbs to 10 before Ibushi rises. Kenta sits on the top rope to mockingly applaud, but Ibushi is up and in at 17. Kenta goes right at him to throw him right back out! Then Kenta drags Ibushi up to whip Ibushi into railing for a fifth time! And then he BOOTS Ibushi over! Kenta goes out to drag Ibushi up, right in front of those die hard fans. And he drops Ibushi to the floor with a DDT! Kenta just lets the boos and jeers rain down, pretending not to understand it. Red Shoes goes out to check on Ibushi while Kenta mockingly cheers. Kenta goes back to the ring while Ibushi somehow rises up.
Ibushi crawls up the aisle as the 20 count begins again. The count again passes 10, and Ibushi still has quite a long way to go. Ibushi makes it to ringside at 15, and in at 17. Kenta kicks him to the apron then drags him up. Kenta brings him through the ropes, draping DDT! Cover, TWO! Fans cheer Ibushi’s toughness, and Kenta mocks their cheers. Kenta stomps away on Ibushi but Ibushi slowly grows angry. Kenta kicks Ibushi hard in the chest, then grinds his boot into Ibushi’s chest. Kenta lets up at Red Shoes’ count but he toys with Ibushi. Ibushi eggs Kenta on! Ibushi feeds off those kicks! Fans cheer as Ibushi stands to fire off forearms! Kenta mule kicks then kicks Ibushi in the chest. Kenta whips Ibushi and then runs him over with an elbow. Cover, TWO! Kenta drags Ibushi up and wraps on a chinlock. Ibushi endures as Kagoshima rallies for him. Ibushi fights up and out, but Kenta throws him down by his hair. Kenta brushes off his hands while he walks around.
Kenta drops knees on Ibushi’s head, then hops over, to scrape Ibushi’s face. Kenta soaks up the boos before going back to Ibushi. Ibushi sits up but Kenta toys with him more. Ibushi just gets angry as he stands up! Kenta keeps kicking, but Ibushi fires back! Kenta knees low, runs, but into Ibushi’s dropkick! Both men are down but Kagoshima is fired up for their hometown hero. Kenta goes to a corner, but Ibushi stands up. Ibushi runs in but into a boot! Kenta runs out, but into the spinning powerslam! Ibushi hops up, second rope moonsault! Cover, TWO! Ibushi won’t let that deter him while NJPW goes to break.
NJPW on AXS returns as Kenta bails out of the ring. Ibushi doesn’t let him get away as he slingshots out onto Kenta! Both men are down but Ibushi gets up first. Ibushi drags Kenta up and into the ring. Ibushi waistlocks but Kenta standing switches. Ibushi elbows free but runs into the kitchen sink knee! Kenta kicks Ibushi swift on the back, but Ibushi just powers up! Ibushi kicks, snapmares and KICKS Kenta in his back! Kenta gets up and throws a forearm, but Ibushi gives it back. They go back and forth with forearms, with Kagoshima firmly on Ibushi’s side. Ibushi kicks first, but Kenta kicks back. Ibushi mule kicks but so does Kenta! Ibushi swings a right but Kenta ducks, only for both men to come back with left palm strikes, and roundhouses! Both men fall at the same time, and Kagoshima is fired up!
Ibushi and Kenta roll to opposite corners. Ibushi and Kenta stand, but Kenta runs in. Ibushi goes up and over to huricanrana Kenta out! Fans are fired up and Ibushi runs, to go up, only for Kenta to trip him up! No Golden Triangle this time! The legs also get caught up in the crossbars. Kenta goes after those legs, swinging one into the post! And again! Ibushi flops out of the ring, clutching his bad leg. Kenta drags Ibushi up and laces the leg through railing! To then kick the knee! Ibushi falls back again as he clutches the knee. Kenta goes looking under the ring, and brings out a chair! Red Shoes stops him, that would be a disqualification. Kenta drags Ibushi up to lace the leg again, and has the chair. Red Shoes again reprimands Kenta, but Kenta shoves Red Shoes away. Kenta raises the chair, to SMACK railing! This won’t disqualify him, but the vibrations will aggravate Ibushi’s leg. Kenta walks the line while he stomps Ibushi’s head more.
Kenta drags Ibushi up and over to commentary. He has the leg, for a SHIN BREAKER to the desk! Kenta throws up the Too Sweet while Red Shoes checks on Ibushi. Kenta returns to drag Ibushi off commentary to then put him back in the ring. Kenta keeps on that bad leg as he grinds his foot in, then smashes the knee into the mat! Kagoshima still cheers Ibushi on but Kenta mocks them again. The fans boo and Kenta pretends not to understand why. IBushi sits up to throw body shots but they don’t do much to Kenta. Kenta dares Ibushi to hit him, so Ibushi does. Ibushi gives slapping palm strikes but Kenta just takes them. Kenta then takes the bad leg and Dragon Screws it! And then Kenta sits down for a heel hook and knee wrench! Ibushi endures and Kagoshima gives him energy to reach for ropes. Ibushi drags himself and Kenta over to get the ropebreak! Kenta lets go after a few counts, then drags Ibushi back up.
Ibushi fires forearms! But Kenta dropkicks the leg! Ibushi staggers but Kenta just kicks away on the leg! Then he gives it another Dragon Screw! And back to the heel hook! Ibushi drags himself over again and glares at Kenta as Kenta pulls on the leg. Ibushi endures, reaches, and has another ropebreak! Kenta reluctantly lets go a second time, but brings Ibushi up again. Ibushi fires off more forearms but Kenta just kicks the leg again. Ibushi ends up in a corner, Kenta runs corner to corner, and gives Ibushi a helluva boot! Kenta runs again, but Ibushi follows! And now Ibushi gives Kenta that helluva kick! Ibushi fires forearms off on Kenta until he sits down, and then keeps going! Ibushi backs off to go across the ring, and Kagoshima fires up. Ibushi runs back in, soaring Shibata dropkick! But Kenta catches it for a heel hook!! Ibushi is writhing, but he gets a ropebreak for a third time!
Kenta is growing annoyed with Ibushi as he has him in the corner. Kenta throws forearms on Ibushi’s face over and over until Ibushi sits down. Kenta goes to the opposite corner, and shows Ibushi how the basement dropkick is done! Kenta puts Ibushi in the drop zone then climbs up top, for flying double stomps! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi survives the coup de grace and Kenta grows frustrated. Kenta slashes the throat to say this is over. He fireman’s carries but Ibushi resists. Ibushi elbows away, but Kenta Dragon Screws the bad leg yet again! Kenta steps through for a Figure Four leg lock now! Ibushi endures this legendary lock but Kagoshima refuses to give up on him. Ibushi refuses to give up, too, but Kenta puts a lot of pressure on the bad leg. Even so, Ibushi crawls for ropes. Kenta drags Ibushi away and Ibushi falls back from the pain! Red Shoes checks on Ibushi but Ibushi refuses to give in!
Ibushi turns the hold slightly, putting some pressure on Kenta, and then gets a fourth ropebreak! Fans cheer as Red Shoes helps separate Ibushi and Kenta. Kenta gets back up and stalks Ibushi at the ropes. Kenta runs in to knee Ibushi in the back! Ibushi flounders, Kenta runs, but into a boot! Kenta stays standing to clothesline, but Ibushi stays up to power up. Kenta kicks the bad leg, then spins, but into Ibushi’s LARIAT! Both men are down and Kagoshima is thunderous yet again! Ibushi sits up as the fans rally. He stands, drags Kenta around, and wants a bomb. He gets Kenta up, sit-out powerbomb! Cover, TWO!! Kenta survives and shocks Ibushi. But Ibushi goes to a corner, and calls upon the King of Strong Style. But Kenta tackles Red Shoes, because here come the Guerrillas of Destiny! They helped Kenta win the NEVER Openweight title, now they’ll help him here!
But Ibushi is ready, DOUBLE PELE for GoD! Kenta returns, to get a ROUNDHOUSE! Red Shoes revives, Ibushi hits a running knee! Cover, but GoD drag Red Shoes out!! And they attack Ibushi! They get Ibushi up, Guerrilla Warfare!! Kagoshima boos but there’s nothing the fans can do about GoD beating down Ibushi. Tama Tonga and Tonga Loa coordinate at the corner. Suplex lifts Ibushi, but here comes Chaos’ Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi! They just went through this with GoD at Beppu, they’re not going to let it happen here! Ishii grabs Loa to anchor him on the top rope while Hashi brawls with Tama! Ishii climbs to SUPERPLEX Loa! Hashi reverses Tama’s whip to AX BOMBER! Hashi drags Tama out while Ishii has Loa! Chaos keeps GoD away, and that leaves Kenta and Ibushi alone in the ring.
Kagoshima hits a fever pitch as Kenta and Ibushi brawl on their knees with more forearms. They go back and forth, then slowly rise as Red Shoes returns. Ibushi hits, Kenta hits, repeat. Kenta gets Ibushi with a counter right hook! Then a Penalty Kick! Cover, TWO!! Ibushi still lives!! Kenta is growing tired of this, and looks to end it with Ibushi’s own move! KAMIGOYE!! Cover, TWO!?! Ibushi survives his most powerful move?! Kenta drags Ibushi up to use his move now. Fireman’s carry, GO TO- NO!! Ibushi blocks the GTS to hit a V-Trigger!! Then, KAMIGOYE!!! Cover, TWO!?! Now KENTA survives!? But Ibushi just roars with rage now, as he drags Kenta up again, KAMIGOYE AGAIN! Ibushi wins!!
Winner: Kota Ibushi, by pinfall; still owner of the Right to Challenge contract
Though Kenta attacked before the bell, though Kenta had help from the Bullet Club, and though Kenta both stole and survived the Kamigoye, Kagoshima’s Golden Star is victorious! The briefcase is busted, but the contract is in tact, and Ibushi is indestructible! Will Ibushi hold on to his golden dream for Wrestle Kingdom as 2019 still has more to give?
NJPW on AXS returns to Ibushi celebrating.
But before he can get the mic, someone is on the stage! It’s EVIL! The King of Darkness was the other man to defeat Ibushi during the G1 Climax, and is clearly lined up for his own match for the Wrestle Kingdom contract. Evil joins Ibushi in the ring and takes up the mic. “Oi, Ibushi. I’m gonna take that Right to Challenge, and cover the Tokyo Dome main event in darkness. Mark my words!” Ibushi just goes forehead to forehead with Evil before showing him the contract to his face. Evil takes his leave and now Ibushi can have his turn with the mic.
“Thank you very much,” Kagoshima. First, he wants to say something to the fans. “I’m home.” He vowed to bring a G1 winner to Kagoshima, and fans cheer because he has kept that promise. Ibushi has made it through his first defense, so this is the first time he’s said this: “I’m making you all another promise.” They surely know what it is: to have both the IWGP Heavyweight AND Intercontinental Championships when he returns home again! Kagoshima loves that! Ibushi makes this promise, and hopes they help him stay true to his word.
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Ibushi sits with his Right to Challenge contract, and after resting, says, “Things got really bad out there for a moment.” But somehow, he kept his Right to Challenge. Ibushi worked hard to hold onto it, with the help of the fans. But this isn’t over yet. He has much more work to do. He’ll do what he has to, he’ll defend the contract as many times has he has to, but he does need to put it in a new case. He wants a white, blue, silver and gold case, to match his attire. “That’s all I need.” Kenta destroying the old case is unbelievable, and it is unbelievable the Bullet Club would do something like that to Ibushi in his hometown. But he at least survived to tell the tale. Ibushi can feel the long road ahead of him, can he make it to the finish line that is the Wrestle Kingdom 14 main event?
A great hour for AXS here for Kagoshima! And considering this aired the same night as AXS’s Beppu coverage, a much more exciting second hour. We still only got part of a tag title match, but The Birds of Prey and the team of Ishimori & Phantasmo are genuinely better than Yoshi-Hashi, so it flowed much better for all of those near finishes to happen as they did. But in the end, Bullet Club wins with shenanigans and retain the titles. That works as Phantasmo, winner of the Super J Cup, gets his shot at Ospreay’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. However, I doubt ELP becomes a triple belt champion at Ospreay’s expense. Ospreay surely retains at King of Pro-Wrestling, and he might even get a chance at the Rev-Pro British Cruiserweight title if he wants it.
Ibushi VS Kenta was definitely a great match, the Bullet Club shenanigans and Chaos making the save included. Just on Kenta attacking before the bell, there was great story in this match. But adding GoD and Ishii-Hashi was pretty fun. Hashi still needs work before he comes off a believable match for Tama. Kenta got to look really strong here, surviving a Kamigoye once, but in the end, it made a lot of sense for Ibushi to win. NJPW wouldn’t just take away Ibushi’s G1 Climax win like that, for one. And Kenta has the NEVER Openweight Championship, he will certainly find a contender come King of Pro-Wrestling. But to follow ZSJ’s example from Beppu, Ibushi is ready to become the next NJPW Triple Crown Champion by checking off the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but he still wants to be Intercontinental Champion at the same time to essentially make Tetsuya Naito’s destiny his own. Ibushi can at least achieve Triple Crown in a year’s time, but it’d mean a lot if NJPW let him accomplish his dream for Kagoshima.
My Score: 9/10