The tour concludes in Kobe! Sort of!
Destruction 2019’s conclusion is in TWO PARTS! And Part One gives us Los Ingobernables de Japon in action all over the card!
Coverage of Destruction in Kobe 2019 is as broadcast by AXS TV
- Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi & Robbie Eagles; LIJ wins.
- Hirooki Goto VS Shingo Takagi; Goto wins.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS TV set the scene for this fierce finale to the tour!
The final stop will have a match truly befitting of the phrase, “Strong Style” as the Muscle Hawk was almost an undefeated Super Junior winner. However, that wasn’t enough, and he petitioned his way into this year’s G1 Climax. Shingo Takagi ended with a 4-5 record, respectable for a first-time competitor. But one of his biggest wins was against the Fierce Warrior, which would keep him out of the finals. Hirooki Goto wants a rematch, and now both men fight for even bigger prizes on the road to Wrestle Kingdom 14!
Los Ingobernables aren’t done with just Takagi. Evil and Sanada each want their road to WK14 to open before them. Cold Skull is poised to take on Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but the King of Darkness wants to overshadow the Golden Star! Will LIJ take some big momentum in an attempt to completely conquer NJPW?
Six Man Tag: Los Ingobernables de Japon VS Kazuchika Okada, Kota Ibushi & Robbie Eagles!
The Black Mask joins his LIJ amigos in their effort to show the Rainmaker and the Golden Star who will run NJPW with the new year. But will the IWGP Heavyweight Champion and the man with the Right to Challenge be able to work together on the road to a Wrestle Kingdom showdown?
NJPW on AXS returns and Okada reveals the shorts! Fans love it! The teams sort out and Okada steps up, daring Sanada to meet him. Sanada accepts and we get a preview of their coming title match. Kobe duels and the two men hear it out. Okada and Sanada encourage fans to get louder, and Red Shoes takes a measure. It’s hard to tell, it seems so evenly split. Red Shoes considers it a tie, so the two tie up. Okada powers Sanada back to ropes, but lets up to give his usual fake out and shoulder pat. Sanada runs, blocks the kick, and trips Okada up! Okada pushes out of Paradise, to trip Okada and spin. Sanada pushes Okada out then runs, but Okada gets away. Sanada tumbles out then in, showing off his athleticism! Fans cheer and start dueling again!
Okada takes his time returning but Sanada is ready. They back off and tag out to Eagles and Bushi. The Junior Heavyweights tie up but Bushi kicks low. Bushi whips but Eagles holds the ropes. Bushi kicks again but Eagles redirects to arm-drag! Eagles speeds up to huircanrana! Bushi gets up but gets a heel kick! Fans rally for Eagles as he kips up. Eagles drags Bushi up but Bushi body shots. Eagles knees low then whips but Bushi reverses. Evil gets a cheap shot in, Bushi dropkicks Eagles’ legs out and Sanada adds a basement dropkick of his own. Then Sanada and Evil go after their targets at the corner! Evil and Sanada go out to go after Ibushi and Okada more, leaving Bushi and Evil. Okada is sent into railing, followed by Ibushi. Bushi rakes Eagles’ eyes! Red Shoes reprimands and Bushi lets up, to then stomp Eagles down.
Tag to Evil and Evil drags Eagles up to wrench the arm. Evil wrenches again and again, then clubs the arm. Evil stomps Eagles while he’s down, then tags Bushi back in. Bushi drags Eagles up to bump him off a buckle and CHOP him. Bushi hops up and leaps to dropkick Eagles down! Bushirooni! Tag to Sanada, and he brings Eagles up to whip corner to corner. Sanada runs in, blocks Eagles’ boot, and then trips him up! The Bird of Prey is put in Paradise! Fans cheer as Sanada aims and dropkicks Eagles out of Paradise! Sanada drags Eagles over and tags Evil. Evil stalks Eagles then brings him up for a wrench and whip. Evil hits a big back elbow in the corner, then fisherman. But Eagles fights out to throw forearms! Evil knees low then runs, but into a back kick and front kick! Eagles ducks to enziguri! Both men are down and fans fire up!
Evil tags in Ibushi! Ibushi rallies with forearms on Evil then whips. Evil reverses but Ibushi dodges to hit a running roundhouse! Sanada attacks Ibushi and whips him with Bushi’s help. But Ibushi ducks and double PELES! Evil runs over but Ibushi fires off kicks, and a roundhouse! Standing moonsault! Cover, TWO! Ibushi keeps his cool as fans fire up again. Ibushi drags Evil up, waistlocks, but Evil fights out with elbows. Evil runs into a kick, but blocks it! He hands it to Red Shoes and SUPERKICKS Ibushi, then double CHOPS Ibushi down! Evil feels the power building and fans rally up. Ibushi gets to a corner but Evil runs in, running bronco buster! Cover, TWO! Evil wants Ibushi to stand. Ibushi does and Evil runs, but Ibushi boots the lariat away. Ibushi runs but into a fireman’s carry! Ibushi resists and fights out, but Evil forearms him! Rolling elbow, but a ROUNDHOUSE in return! Both men are down but fans rally up again!
Ibushi and Evil stir, heading for their corners. And they tag to Okada and Sanada! Sanada and Okada both dodge but then Okada fires forearms. Sanada reverses the whip but Okada dodges and dodges to hit back with a back elbow! Fans fire up with Okada as he Alabama lifts Sanada. Sanada slips out, knees low and whips corner to corner. Okada reveres, Sanada tumbles out and springboards in, but gets Okada’s shotgun dropkick! Eagles goes after Bushi on the outside while Okada drags Sanada up. Okada gut wrench scoops but Sanada resists! Okada powers Sanada up and around, but Sanada pops out and waitslocks. O’Conner roll to dragon sleeper! Ibushi boots Sanada but Evil throws Ibushi out. Sanada is up top fast, MOONSAULT, but he lands on his feet! Okada stands, puts Sanada up in Alabama to the Air Raid neckbreaker! Both men are down and fans rally again.
Tag to Eagles and he dropkicks Sanada’s leg out! Eagles gives kicks to Sanada’s chest, then runs, but the shining wizard is blocked! Waistlock, standing switch, repeat. Eagles slips out of the back suplex, trips Sanada, and hits a shining wizard to the back! Fans are fired up with the Sky Sniper as he runs in at Sanada. Double knees hit, and Eagles rolls back, but Sanada then boots in return. Eagles still Tiger Feint sweeps the legs! Basement meteora in the corner! Cover, TWO! Eagles is a bit shocked but he takes aim again. He has Sanada in a cravat, but no Sliced Bread. Sanada dodges, Evil hist a corner clothesline! Double basement dropkicks and a cover, but Ibushi gets in and breaks it in time! Evil grabs Ibushi but Ibushi slips out. Evil dodges Ibushi and waistlocks for a German Suplex! Sanada drags Eagles up and dragon sleeper, but Eagles cradle counters! TWO, and Eagles blocks a kick to slap and cravat, Turbo Backpack stunner denied by a Dragon Sleeper!
Sanada swings Eagles around, Okada misses one dropkick but not the second! Okada reels Sanada out but Sanada dodges. Okada tries again but Sanada still dodges, then he baits Okada to dump him out. Bushi DIVES! Direct hit takes Okada out against railing! Sanada has Eagles again, drops down, SKULL END! Eagles taps, LIJ wins!
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon, Sanada by submission
A big Six Man Tag win, but it also means Cold Skull goes forward with building speed! Will Sanada be too much for Okada to stop when they battle for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship? At the same time, Evil wants to take away Ibushi’s Right to Challenge, will Darkness Fall?
Wait! Okada tries but fails to dropkick Sanada! Sanada is slippery and it annoys Okada. Evil then SLAPS Ibushi, so Ibushi SLAPS back! They start throwing forearms! The bell keeps ringing to get all these men to settle down. Is King of Pro-Wrestling 2019 going to be an explosive one?
Hirooki Goto VS Shingo Takagi!
The Fierce Warrior was not able to make it back to the G1 Climax Finals, and it was essentially because of the Muscle Hawk. Will Goto make up for that loss and find his way back to a title? Or will the newly heavyweight Ungovernable Dragon be the one to head for gold instead?
NJPW on AXS returns as the bell rings. Goto and Shingo have the fans rallying already as they circle. They tie up and are rather even in strength. Goto powers Shingo back to a corner but Shingo turns it around. Shingo lets up with shoulder pats, but goes for a cheap shot! Goto is ready and hits back first! Goto whips Shingo corner to corner but Shingo comes back to collide shoulders! Neither man budges, so Goto throws forearms. Shingo gives them back and they go back and forth. Shingo fires up from it and keeps firing forearms. Goto keeps pace, gets an edge, but runs into an uppercut! Shingo spins Goto around but Goto slips out before Shingo can take his inverted GTR! Shingo kicks low, runs, but Goto follows. Shingo gets Goto up in a fireman’s carry but Goto slips out. Shingo snapmares out of True GTR but misses his sliding lariat. Fans cheer this fast and furious first exchange!
Shingo and Goto circle again, and they approach slowly. They feel out the grapple to a test of strength! They go shoulder to shoulder but Goto uses the knuckle locks to bring Shingo to his knees. Shingo fights his way back up and kicks free to headlock. Goto powers out and they collide with shoulders again. Goto stumbles back but rebounds to run Shingo over! Fans fire up as Goto eggs Shingo on. Things speed up and Shingo rebounds to run Goto over in return! Shingo drags Goto up for a suplex, but Goto fights back to suplex Shingo! Cover, ONE, but Goto keeps on Shingo with a chinlock. Shingo endures as Goto pulls him back. Goto digs an elbow into Shingo’s face then jams it in. Shingo goes to a corner but Goto stomps him down. Shingo gets mad as Goto throws forearms. Goto whips Shingo corner to corner, but Shingo boots. Goto blocks that to clothesline, but Shinog eggs him on! Goto fires off forearms, then runs, into a big back elbow! JAB and BOMBER!
Fans fire up as Goto bails out. Shingo follows to club Goto from behind. Shingo brings Goto around to throw into a post! Goto grazes steel but Shingo is still on him with stomps. Shingo drags Goto up and warns people to get clear. Shingo wrenches and whips Goto into barriers! Goto runs back at Shingo but gets caught into a fireman’s carry! Snake Eyes off the apron! Shingo drops Goto with a DDT! Fans are fired up for Shingo as he says he’s smarter than Goto. A ring count begins but Shingo takes time with it. He drags Goto up at 10 of 20 to put him in the ring. Shingo then slingshots for a knee drop! And he stands and even marches on Goto’s ribs. The ref reprimands Shingo but Shingo lets up with a stomp! Shingo welcomes the noise from the fans as he goes back to Goto. He whips and knees Goto at the ropes, then suplexes Goto up and over hard! Cover, TWO!
Shingo keeps on Goto with a chinlock and grinds him down. Goto endures and fights up. Goto reaches with his legs, and he gets the ropebreak. Shingo lets go to drag Goto up for elbows into Goto’s shoulder over and over. Shingo then leaps and drops a knee! Fans cheer and Shingo dares Goto to get up. Shingo drags Goto up, but Goto CHOPS! Shingo CHOPS, but Goto CHOPS! It is a CHOP fight! CHOP after CHOP and Shingo eggs Goto on! Goto keeps trying but Shingo double CHOPS Goto down! Shingo goes back to Goto to step on him and kick him while he’s down. Shingo even starts toying with Goto! That might not be wise, as Goto just gets up and gets mad. Goto blocks a kick but Shingo forearms. Shingo tries another kick but Goto deflects to LARIAT! Both men are down but Goto is up first. He grits his teeth as he drags Shingo up. Shingo blocks the saido with a headlock, but Goto powers out for a running heel kick! BIG Saido Suplex! Cover, TWO!
Fans cheer as Goto gets up again. Goto drags Shingo up to a fireman’s carry but Shingo resists. Shingo then slips out and waistlocks. Goto elbows back but Shingo clubs him on the back. Shingo runs, into a sleeper! Shingo drops to a knee as Goto squeezes tight with his shout out to Shibata. Shingo fights up and rams Goto into buckles! Goto lets go but he slips out of Shingo’s grip to try again! Goto hops on but Shingo makes it a backpack stunner! Both men are down as we go to break!
NJPW on AXS returns as Shingo crawls to Goto. Shingo sits him up and hits a sliding lariat! Then he brings Goto up, chicken wing underhooks him, and pops him up for Noshigami! Shingo covers, TWO!! Goto survives Shingo’s muscular Gory Bomb but Shingo won’t lose his cool. Fans rally as Shingo looms over Goto. Shingo drags Goto up, pump handles, but Goto resists and pops out to throw Shingo down by his hair, to drive him across the knee! Shingo clutches his neck while Goto catches his breath. Shingo gets to a corner and Goto runs in, big corner clothesline! Then whip corner to corner but Shingo reverses. Shingo blocks the boot, and reels Goto in for a point-blank lariat! Fans cheer as Shingo hoists Goto up top. Shingo climbs up to join him but Goto fights back. Shingo headbutts away on Goto, then sits him up for a SUPERPLEX!
But Goto springs right up! Shingo runs into a snap German! Shingo springs back up, clubs away a clothesline, then gives Goto a snap SAIDO suplex! Goto is wobbly but Shingo has to catch his breath now. Both men crawl away for space. Shingo gets to the red corner, Goto to the blue. Fans rally and duel as both men stand. Shingo runs in but so does Goto, double clotheslines! A solid collision but neither man falls! They try again, but get the same result! So they try a third, fourth, and fifth time! Both men wobble but they go for a sixth, seventh, eighth! Still nothing, but Goto gets going. Shingo follows to hit at the ropes! Shingo runs but Goto returns the favor, only to run into an elbow! JAB, but Goto LARIATS! Goto fires up, runs, and LARIATS again! Cover, TWO!! Shingo still lives but Goto won’t stop!
Goto drags Shingo up, fireman’s carry, USHIG- No! Shingo slips out to wrench and pump handle, and holds Goto up for MADE IN JAPAN! Cover, TWO!? Goto survives!! Shingo glares as Goto goes to a corner. Shingo fires himself up and Kobe joins in. Shingo runs corner to corner, BIG clothesline! Then he keeps moving, but Goto dodges, PUMPING BOMBER still gets Goto! Cover, TWO?!? The Fierce Warrior is tough as ever! Shingo fires up, wanting to end this now. He drags Goto up, but Goto elbows back. Goto fires off until Shinog lets up, then reels him in, USHIGOROSHI! But Goto doesn’t cover, and he brings Shingo up again. Dragon sleeper, but Shingo slips around, so Goto just gives him REVERSE GTR! Cover, TWO!! Shingo survives but that doesn’t spare him. Goto drags Shingo up for point-blank kicks to the chest! That’s still not all, as Goto drags Shingo up again, powers up, but Shingo blocks the buzzsaw!
Shingo puts Goto’s leg on the rope, then the other, and has Goto for a draping GTR!! Shingo steals and escalates Goto’s signature! But that isn’t all, Shingo runs to PUMPING BOMBER! Cover, TWO!?! Where is Goto getting this from!? Shingo is beside himself but Kobe helps him refocus. Shingo drags Goto up once more, pump handle, torture rack, but dragon sleeper! Shingo slips around to suplex, but Goto resists! And again! Goto suplexes Shingo, SHOTENKAI!! But Goto is exhausted from that swinging STO! Shingo gets space but so does Goto. Goto wobbles and staggers but he finds the strength to stand up tall! BUZZSAW! And then, dragon sleeper! Shingo fights back, Goto swings him out, Shingo headbutts! Goto headbutts! They BOTH headbutt! Shingo runs, pop-up to USHIGOROSHI GTR!! Cover, TWO!?! The Dragon refuses to die! Goto drags Shingo up again, dragon sleeper, TRUE G T R! Cover, Goto wins!!
Winner: Hirooki Goto, by pinfall
It took so much, but the Fierce Warrior avenges his G1 Climax loss! Will we get a third match between these two as a tiebreaker? Will Goto get gold again before then?
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
Goto sits with a bottle of Chateau Mouton Rothschild. He had it sent over from France especially for a day like today. It’s so high-class, it’d be a shame to drink it. But there’s also no glasses. They opened it, so they should drink it. IT is a premium wine aged 23 years, but Goto has been wrestling for 16. He isn’t quite that wine, but he feels pretty well-aged. He’s basically at his peak. There are still lots of guys he wants to fight and will have to fight. It all depends on the next bout. Soon, he will give an answer. “But I think I’m gonna have a good night tonight.” Will Goto be able to string together several good nights, good fights and good wins?
A pretty great hour, and what a great surprise Kobe will get two hours from AXS. Of course, a lot of stuff did happen that night, but for now we’ll worry about this hour. Los Ingobernables de Japon got great representation this hour, though they went 1-1. We got a great Six Man Tag that helped plug the two top stories, but it was pretty obvious Eagles and Bushi were in this to take a fall so there wouldn’t be math involved on the big matches coming up. Okada was weirdly chippy yet not a sore loser with those dropkick attempts at the end, while Ibushi and Evil were extremely combustible. I don’t see NJPW pitting LIJ against each other like this, as interesting as Sanada VS Evil for the top prize would be. I would think Ibushi wins to keep his Right to Challenge contract, but something makes me think Okada VS Sanada could go either way.
Then Shingo VS Goto, that was some heavy hitting stuff! And it completely works for Goto to win as the veteran, and to keep his story with Shingo going. Their tiebreaker could be seen as a contender’s match. Stories going on make me think the NEVER Openweight Championship is off the table. Current champ Kenta is entangled with Tomohiro Ishii and even Yoshi-Hashi, so chances are Ishii gets the match and Hashi helps him as revenge on Kenta and Bullet Club’s screw job. It obviously won’t be THE Heavyweight Championship, that’s obviously spoken for. So it will either be the IWGP United States or Intercontinental Championship. Knowing what we know from Kobe in real-time, the Intercontinental Championship isn’t necessarily off the table but could still be spoken for. Either way, it would be pretty big if Shingo came out the winner of the tiebreaker and lined up for a title program, and logical given the push he’s had since that great run in the Best of the Super Juniors.
My Score: 8.7/10