The tour finally ends with this!
Destruction in Kobe wraps up the tour with more Tranquilo! But can Tetsuya Naito keep his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Jay White?
Coverage of Destruction in Kobe 2019 will be as broadcast by AXS TV
- 8 Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rocky Romero & Tiger Mask; Suzuki-Gun wins, by disqualification.
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Jay White; White wins and becomes the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
PLAY BY PLAY
NJPW and AXS set the scene for this epic ending to Destruction!
No man has held both the IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships at the same time, but Tetsuya Naito wants to make that his destiny. However, his heavyweight path was blocked in the G1 Climax by none other than the man he faces tonight! The Switchblade, Jay White defeated Naito on the B Block finale, eliminating him from the G1 Climax Finals while scoring this opportunity at the same time. Plus, White beat Naito down during their tag team match on the Super J Cup in Long Beach event. White claims his destiny is to become what Naito wants to be! Will White steal Naito’s goal away from him? Or will Naito hold on to his fate?
Meanwhile, Jushin Thunder Liger is on the home stretch of his career, but the Meanest Man in the World wants to ruin it all. Minoru Suzuki humiliated Liger by stealing his mask in Kagoshima! But Liger vowed revenge here in Kobe! What happens as they and their allies collide in an epic 8 Man Tag?!
8 Man Tag: Suzuki-Gun VS Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Rocky Romero & Tiger Mask!
The fighting doesn’t even start with the bell, it starts with Liger attacking Suzuki himself on the ramp! Liger has his spare mask as he stomps Suzuki down. But Suzuki-Gun saves their leader as Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Zack Sabre Jr and Douki attack back! Liger’s team reinforces him as Tanahashi, Rocky and Tiger Mask appear! Liger takes Suzuki to ringside and the bell rings just so this action can be on the record!
Liger whips Suzuki at barriers but Suuzki reverses to send him in! Tiger Mask whips Kanemaru while Tanahashi bumps ZSJ off the apron. Rocky brawls with Douki while Liger crawls. Liger gets up while the referee tries to restore order. Suzuki has a chair and starts looking for someone to hit! Liger stands up but Suzuki jams the chair into him! Suzuki brings out a table! He puts it and the chair in the ring, the goes after Liger with stomps. Suzuki-Gun continues to brawl with the others, Tiger Mask and Kanemaru having ended up in the “cheap seats.” Suzuki puts Liger in the ring, and then stands the table up in a corner. Suzuki whips Liger but Liger blocks. Suzuki knees and haymakers, then uses the chair on THE REF! Suzuki jams and SMACKS Liger in the head!! The seat of the chair breaks off!! Liger flops to the mat in a heap!
Suzuki is after the mask again! ZSJ, Kanemaru and Douki keep Liger’s team away, and Suzuki shoves the ref back down! Suzuki wants to shame Liger again as he puts on a sleeper hold! Liger fight his way up, and mule kick low blows!! Liger then… undoes his mask himself?! Look at all that face paint! Liger has transformed from Jushin to KISHIN! The Beast God swings claws at Suzuki, but Suzuki ducks! Liger SPITS MIST into Suzuki’s eyes! And even the ref’s eyes!? Kishin Liger shows no mercy as he brings in… A SPIKE!? The match is thrown out, but what is this spike all about?! Liger runs at Suzuki in the corner!! Suzuki dodges and that spoke stabs through the table!! Suzuki almost lost his life! But Liger takes the table, and throws it at Suzuki! Suzuki gets clear again, and is scared for his life! Though, who can blame him? At the same time, Suzuki has brought this upon himself, as Liger is giving chase!
Suzuki-Gun runs for it, fans are both confused and upset, and Tanahashi tries to calm Liger. Liger shoves him and several others down as he keeps moving forward. Young Lions do their best to keep Liger from hunting Suzuki down! Will the wrath of Kishin Liger be satisfied until he’s destroyed Suzuki?
IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito VS Jay White!
The Switchblade wants to steal the Ungovernable’s destiny, and that starts with this title! Will Naito be able to hold onto his golden dream against the wily White?
The introductions are made, the belt is raised and Naito takes his time with his entrance gear as always. White lets Naito take all the time he wants, because “a new destino is about to start.” NJPW on AXS goes to break while Naito finishes up.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell, and the fans are already thunderous for Naito! White and Naito circle, but White bails out, a usual tactic. White wants Naito to keep his distance, and then takes his time returning. Naito then bails out to use White’s own move. White waits, and even gives Naito an easy target by turning around. Naito returns but doesn’t take the bait. They circle, but Naito toys with White with the false approach. And again! Naito tells White, “Tranquilo!” White wants Naito to get serious, and Naito promises to do this. They tie up, Naito rolls White, TWO! Naito cradles, TWO! White swings into a backslide, ONE, White ducks a kick but runs into a headlock takeover. White headscissors but Naito pops out, then ducks to Tranquilo! White is annoyed but Naito bails out again to troll White. White gives chase, but Naito gets back in, and now Naito acts like this is on White for delaying things.
White gets into the ring in a huff but Naito stomps him down! Naito drags White up and cravats to a corner. White fights back but Naito elbows him down! Naito throws more elbows, then snapmares White to a chinlock. Naito rakes White’s eyes but Red Shoes reprimands him. Naito lets up, and White reaches with a leg. White gets the ropebreak, so Naito lets go. Naito gives White a chance to get up, and then calls for a test of strength. But that’s just to sucker White in, because Naito kicks low. Naito throws haymakers and pulls White’s hair. Naito whips White corner to corner, then jump kicks and sweeps, but Gedo creeps too close. White avoids the combination but not a boot. Naito goes to run but Gedo anchors a foot! White slides out and trips Naito to split the wishbone on the post! Fans boo as White asks how Naito is doing.
White drags Naito out and CHOPS! Then White whips Naito into railings hard! White drags Naito up again and wants some time from Red Shoes to whip Naito into more railing! Naito falls into the front row! White goes back to the ring and mocks the Tranquilo pose! Fans boo while White calls for the ring count. Red Shoes begins the count as Naito slowly rises. Naito is up at 6/20, but barely to the doorway at 10. He crawls at 13, then stands at 15, but gets in at 17. White stomps Naito over and over to keep him down! Fans rally up for Naito but Gedo applauds White. White CHOPS Naito then whips, to run him over with an elbow! Cover, TWO! Whtie is annoyed but he puts Naito in a camel clutch! “Show them that smile!” White rakes Naito’s face and forces him to smile! Naito endures all of this, and manages to crawl to a ropebreak with the feet! White holds on until 4, then goes out of the ring.
White drags Naito out and rams him into railing in front of commentary! And again! And again! White lets Naito fall while he double guns and Too Sweets. White drags Naito up as fans cheer for him, but White covers. Red Shoes refuses to count, not enough time has passed from him playing dirty with those rails. White kicks Naito further into the ring to then sit up for a cravat. Naito endures the neck wrench, and grabs at White’s hair. White cranks harder but Naito elbows back. White throws Naito down by his hair! Fans rally up but White stands Naito up. Naito fires back with forearms! White blocks a kick to throw Naito by his hair again! Naito writhes while White catches his breath. White drags Naito up, suplexes, but Naito resists. White clubs away on Naito’s back to then egg him on. Naito pulls White’s hair in return! Naito spins White around, neckbreaker! Both men are down but fans rally!
Naito stands first and goes at White. Naito throws forearms and whips, but White reverses, only for Naito to hold the ropes. Naito hits back and huricanranas! White is in a corner, Naito runs in, but misses the kick. Naito dodges White, then arm-drags him and elbows, basement dropkick! Naito poses, fist up and eye open! Fans fire up as Naito drags White back up. Naito scoops into the dragon sleeper, inverted DDT! Cover, TWO! White crawls but Naito stands. Naito drags White up, reels him in, but White resists the German Suplex. White elbows out but Naito clubs him hard! Naito dragon sleepers, backbreaker to leg scissor nelson! Naito starts slapping White in the head, talking trash back for all of White’s talk! White powers his way up but Naito powers him back down! White reaches out with a leg and gets the ropebreak! Naito holds on tighter until 4, and White crawls to a corner.
Naito wants White to smile before he throws hands. Naito hoists White up top but White fights back with stomps. Naito falls over, White hops down. White boots Naito but Naito blocks it! Naito SPITS on White then clobbers him with rights! Naito whips corner to corner but White slides to stop, comes back and DDT’s Naito down! But both men are down as White needs to catch his breath again. Naito clutches his neck as he gets to the far corner. White is also up and throwing up Too Sweets as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White runs in corner to corner for a BIG European Uppercut! And then a Half Hatch suplex! White holds on for a second Half Hatch! White keeps hold, but Naito resists the third and powers White to a corner. White holds on so Naito rams him in again. Naito tries a third time but White redirects him to the apron through the middle rope! White throws EuroUpper after EuroUpper, and a CHOP! White runs and hits another big EuroUpper! Naito is hanging on the rope, White drags him out, and like a viper, draping DDT! Cover, TWO!! White can’t believe it but Red Shoes defends that was a fair count. The 15 minute mark has passed and White drags Naito around. Naito resists the urenage, but White CHOPS him again! White whips, Naito leaps, but has to fight out again. Naito swings into the Complete Shot! DEAD LIFT GERMAN! But White can’t hold the bridge. Even so, Gedo is happy and the fans are worried for Naito.
White sits up and grins at Naito, who is dazed. White mockingly asks the fans, “You think he’s going to be the first?!” White drags Naito up and throws him backwards into the buckles. And again! And then bounces him off the pad over and over! “You having fun!?” White keeps bouncing Naito off the pads, but lets up at Red Shoes’ count. White grins as he drags Naito around. White sits Naito up to CHOP back down! Gedo says do more, and he wants Naito to smile. White sits Naito up again, to CHOP back down! Gedo is the only one to applaud. White sits with Naito like they’re old pals, and then helps him stand up, to throw him with a SAIDO Suplex! Naito is down but White stands up to toy with him. White drags Naito up but Naito is dead weight. Red Shoes comes in to check, but Naito refuses to quit. White drags Naito up to stand him against the ropes. White walks to then run in with another EuroUpper!
White keeps Naito from falling over, and says, “Smile for me!” White runs, but Naito runs after to shotgun dropkick him down! Fans fire up as Naito has new life! But both Naito and White slowly stir. The rally gets Naito to rise, but White follows and CHOPS again. White runs, into a pop-up SPINEBUSTER! Naito gets back up while White crawls to a corner. Naito runs in, but blocks the boots to turn White sideways! Draping backbreaker! Naito hoists White up top, climbs up to join him, SUPER STEINER! Fans fire up as Naito stands up again. Naito drags White up, hammerlocks and hooks, GLORIA! Cover, TWO! White survives but Naito just feels more confident. Naito stands and drags White up at 20 minutes. White shoves Naito away and now Naito smiles. Naito stands on White at the ropes and rags him up from the outside. White swings, misses, Naito sweeps the legs! Swinging dropkick wrecks White, modified Combinacion Cabron!
Naito goes back to the apron and drags White up. Naito turns White but White fights out with elbows. Naito kicks away on White’s leg, but then swings into an apron Complete Shot! White pushes Naito back onto the apron, then drags him up. Red Shoes doesn’t want this, but White deadlifts Naito. Naito fights out but White throws him down by his hair! White drags Naito up, wants a driver but Naito resists. White clubs Naito on his back, gets him up, but Naito fights free to back drop White on the apron! White slumps down while Naito rests against the ropes. But White grabs Naito off the apron, to APRON POWERBOMB him! Naito flops to the floor, but White sits down to rest. Red Shoes checks but Naito is somehow okay to continue. White drags Naito up and into the ring and hauls him up. BIG Urenage! Cover, TWO!!
Fans cheer while Gedo coaches White to keep going. White drags Naito up, fisherman and suplex, but Naito fights out to counter with a DDT! Both men are down again but Kobe fires up more. White and Naito stir as the rally starts up again. Fans are all behind Naito while Gedo is coaching White. Naito is up first with a wild look on his face. Naito crawls to clobber White. White gets up to hit back! Naito hits White again but White comes back to throw furious forearms. Naito and White brawl all the way to their feet, big shot for big shot. And each man dares the other to smile. Naito decks then stomps White down, and keeps on him at the corner. The 25 minute mark passes, but Gedo is sneaking in! White holds Red Shoes down, Gedo SMACKS Naito in the back! Gedo gets away with his chair shot, and White fisherman, for the KIWI KRUSHER! Cover, TWO!?
Kobe cheers and White is in shock! But White slashes his throat, drags Naito up in position, but Naito fights out of Bladerunner! White drops Naito to stomp him over and over! White hauls Naito up but Naito enziguris! Naito whips, White reverses, Naito counters with flying forearms! Fans rally again, Naito stands White up, but White sits down before Naito can wrench. Fans boo as White crawls away. Gedo distracts Naito and Red Shoes, and White creeps over. Naito sees that coming, catches White and uses Gedo for the tornado DDT boost! White flounders but Naito is on him, wrench and tilt-o-whirl, but White blocks Destino! White flips Naito out, inverted DDT! Leg nelson and elbow shots over and over and over! Naito starts fading but White tires out before he can end Naito like that. But White sits Naito up and hauls him up in a sleeper, but Naito slips through for a German Suplex!
Naito aims, runs, tilt-o-whirl but White escapes. White has Naito but no Bladerunner yet, Naito swings, into the SLEEPER SUPLEX! White catches his breath while Naito is down on his face. White drags Naito up again, even as Kobe rallies up. White crisscrosses the arms, reels Naito in, but Naito slips out, only to swing into another Sleeper Suplex! White won’t be denied, he stands Naito, but Naito slips through to Snap Dragon Suplex! Tilt-o-whirl, but White blocks! But not forever, DESTINO! Cover, TWO!! That delay may have been just enough to save White! Naito doesn’t show frustration on his face, but determination! Naito stands White up, wrenches, tilt-o-whirl, but White denies again. White reels Naito in, but Naito resists, rolling heel kick! Naito hops on but White slips out the back. White brings Naito in, Naito SLAPS White! Then a scoop, but White fights out, BLADE RUNNER!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Intercontinental Champion
White pulls it off! Naito’s destiny seems further away than ever now! But will White be the one achieving a golden dream instead? We will hear from the new champion after the break.
NJPW on AXS returns as White takes to the mic.
“Where are you going?” Fans are storming out, they don’t want to hear from White. But White told them all that he’d beat Naito. Now look at all the “dipsh*ts” leaving just because they thought the hero would triumph. White mocks the Los Ingobernables de Japon tradition, by saying, “Buenos Noches, KOBEEE~!” Fans who did stay boo. But White tells Naito that “Please promise me you’ll do one thing: SMILE!” White laughs then moves on to more LIJ mocking, with the role call! “Gedo! Jado! Chase! Yujiro! Kenta! Fale! Tama (Tonga)! Tanga (Lao)! Hikuleo! Ishimori! El Phantasmo! Pito! Mr. Juicy!” And of course, Jay himself. “Nosotros Burrrrr~ BULLET CLUB~! FOR LIFE!”
White holds up the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and says finally, the belt has a real prestigious man to carry it around! The hottest asset in ALL of pro-wrestling! The man who sold out Madison Square Garden! The Last Rock ‘n’ Rolla, and the man to soon be dual Intercontinental AND Heavyweight Champion! Whether it is Okada, Sanada or… Wait, coming out from the shadows is Hirooki Goto! The Fierce Warrior enters the ring to DECK White! And then stomp him! White bails out, but it is clear Goto wants revenge on White by denying him that golden dream. Goto hands the belt back, but White denies that this match is happening.
NJPW Media Backstage Interview
White says, “I told you.” The fight had to end, and everyone knew it wouldn’t be Naito winning. But on the other side, Goto’s stock just rose for even being in that ring with White! “You’re welcome.” White says, “You’re welcome” to all of the wrestling world. And so his goal now is the four men who might be IWGP Heavyweight Champion after Wrestle Kingdom 14: Okada, Sanada, Ibushi and his folder, or Evil who wants to take that folder. But Goto is not in there at all because walking down to the ring doesn’t guarantee you a shot! Especially when Goto has lost to White! Goto is not worthy, he is an embarrassment! Goto has had more shots than he deserves, and that is an understatement! White again keeps his mind on Okada, Ibushi, Sanada and Evil. One of those four will be seeing White very soon. Until then, just breathe, with the Switchblade. Will White deny Goto an Intercontinental Championship match? Or will he be meeting one of those destined four in the New Year?
A great hour for AXS to wrap up Destruction, and a great choice to give Kobe two hours in total. We got to see that amazing moment when Liger unleashes his dark side in pursuit of revenge on Suzuki! Apparently there’s no room for Fighting Spirit Unleashed 2019 on the schedule this year, but it seems that three day weekend had a lot of “filler” matches that didn’t affect the stories playing out tonight. We don’t get New Japan Road either, so we missed seeing Liger go after Suzuki then. The next thing is King of Pro-Wrestling, which happens on 10/14/19, plenty of time for them to edit for Saturday Slam. That will have Liger VS Suzuki 1v1, so that should make for something great.
I feel like KOPW would have to get at least two hours, and probably in separate weeks. They’ve already advertised KOPW for 10/19/19 has Moxley VS Juice III, No Disqualifications for the United States Championship, that’ll be incredible. Depending on how busy Moxley is going to get in AEW, there’s a chance Juice wins, but Moxley might still be able to swing both promotions for a bit longer. There is also the other big matches of IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship of Ospreay VS Phantasmo, the Right to Challenge Contract of Ibushi VS EVIL, and of course THE IWGP Heavyweight Championship of Okada VS Sanada, and the latter two feed right into the biggest story going in NJPW right now: NJPW’s first dual champion.
White VS Naito tonight was great, with plenty of story to chew on, and it was a surprise for White to win relatively clean. But given the four men he named being seen as Faces, and half of them being LIJ, I suppose Naito couldn’t win in order to keep suspense. I doubt Goto wins that title of White, though I’m sure White will be forced to face him. White is trying to steal Naito’s dream, which is also Ibushi’s dream now of being a dual champion, so it’d make a lot of sense if Ibushi retains his contract against Evil and challenges at WK14. Doesn’t matter if it’s Okada or Sanada, I would love to see Ibushi take the title to be the top guy. Then we get at G1 Climax 29 Finals rematch, possibly in a #WinnerTakesAll situation so that one man makes history. Not sure how NJPW feels about that kind of stipulation, but it would make a lot of sense to do it at one of the major Spring events.
My Score: 8.8/10