Promotional poster for Destruction in Kobe, featuring various NJPW wrestlers
|Promotion||New Japan Pro-Wrestling|
September 15, 2018|
September 17, 2018
September 23, 2018
Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall|
Beppu B-Con Plaza
Kobe World Memorial Hall
Destruction was an professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) annually since 2007. In 2018, NJPW produced three events under the Destruction name; Destruction in Hiroshima on September 15, Destruction in Beppu on September 17, and Destruction in Kobe on September 23. These were eighteen to twentieth events under the Destruction name.
The 2018 shows were the third consecutive year in which NJPW holds three events under the Destruction name. From 2007 to 2013, NJPW held one Destruction event per year, expanding to two shows in 2014 and 2015 and to three shows in 2016. On August 29, it was announced that Destruction in Hiroshima tickets had sold out.
The Destruction shows featured professional wrestling matches, each of which involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portray villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
Destruction in Hiroshima was headlined by Kenny Omega making his second defense of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Tomohiro Ishii in a rematch from 2018 G1 Climax. From July 14 and August 11, both Omega and Ishii entered NJPW's annual premier tournament, the G1 Climax, where they wrestled on block B. Omega started the tournament with a record of six wins streak, but Ishii handed him his first loss in the tournament. Despite defeating Omega, Ishii was already eliminated from the tournament. Omega entered his final round-robin match with a chance to advance to the finals of the tournament, but was eliminated after losing to his tag team partner Kota Ibushi. On August 12, the final day of the tournament, Omega and Ishii faced off in a six-man tag team match, where Omega teamed with his Bullet Club Elite stablemates Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi and Ishii with his CHAOS stablemates Jay White and Toru Yano. Ishii won the match for his team by scoring a pinfall over Owens and afterwards Ishii grabbed Omega's IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt and challenged him to a title match. On August 20, NJPW announced a rematch between Omega and Ishii for the event. Were he to win the title, Ishii, standing at 1.70 m (5 ft 7 in), would become the shortest man to win the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in history.
The show featured Taguchi Japan's Juice Robinson, David Finlay and Ryusuke Taguchi challenging Bullet Club OGs Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori for the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship.
Destruction in Beppu was headlined by Minoru Suzuki taking on Tetsuya Naito in a rematch from Wrestling Hinokuni. In April 2018, Los Ingobernables de Japón (L.I.J.) entered a rivalry with Suzuki-gun stable, in which Suzuki feuded with Tetsuya Naito over the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. After, Naito and Suzuki's matches Naito would purposely provoke Suzuki, which would lead to Suzuki and Naito fighting in the backstage area or sometimes Suzuki trying to attack Naito, but was separated by the Young Lions, which he proceeded to attack them afterwards. Naito even stated that title was "a bigger deal when he used to throw it around". On April 29 at Wrestling Hinokuni, Suzuki lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to Naito. Shortly after, Naito lost the IWGP Intercontinental Championship to the returning Chris Jericho on June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. Following Dominion 6.9, both Suzuki and Naito entered NJPW's annual premier tournament, the 2018 G1 Climax, where they wrestled in separate blocks. Both failed to advance to the finals of the tournament, after losing to Kazuchika Okada and Zack Sabre Jr., respectively. On August 12, the final day of the tournament, Suzuki teamed with his Suzuki-gun stablemates Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado and Zack Sabre Jr. and Naito with his L.I.J. stablemates SANADA, EVIL and BUSHI. During the match, Suzuki went after Naito and constantly attacked him. Naito wanted a rematch with Sabre due to previously losing to him on two occasions, claiming to be disinterested in Suzuki for already having defeated him. On August 20, NJPW announced a rematch between Suzuki and Naito for the event.
The show also featured Hirooki Goto making his second defense of the NEVER Openweight Championship against Taichi. On April 27, Hirooki Goto made his third title defense of the NEVER Openweight Championship against Juice Robinson. Following the match, Goto was challenged by Taichi and Michael Elgin. On May 4, at Wrestling Dontaku, Taichi attacked Goto into the backstage area, following a match, with Taichi targeting Goto's, only to Elgin make the save. On June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall, Goto lost the NEVER Openweight Championship to Michael Elgin, after Elgin scored a pinfall on Taichi to win the match. Shortly after, Goto regained the title from Elgin on June 17 at Kizuna Road. On August 12, the final day of the 2018 G1 Climax, Taichi teamed with his Suzuki-gun stablemate Takashi Iizuka and Goto with his CHAOS stablemate Yoshi-Hashi. Taichi won the match for his team by scoring a pinfall over Yoshi-Hashi and afterwards attacked Goto. On August 20, NJPW announced a title rematch between Goto and Taichi for the event.
Destruction in Kobe was headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi taking on Kazuchika Okada. On April 1, at Sakura Genesis, after Kazuchika Okada made his eleventh successful of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Zack Sabre Jr., Okada was challenged by his longtime rival Hiroshi Tanahashi, after Okada's manager Gedo asked anyone to challenge Okada to a title match. During the event, Okada tied Tanahashi's record for most successful defenses as IWGP Heavyweight Champion, with eleven. Tanahashi vowed to stop Okada from breaking his record of most successful title defenses of the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. On May 4 at Wrestling Dontaku, Tanahashi received his shot at the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, but was defeated by Okada, in the process breaking Tanahashi's record of most successful title defenses as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Shortly after, Okada lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Kenny Omega on June 9 at Dominion 6.9 in Osaka-jo Hall. Following Dominion 6.9, both Okada and Tanahashi entered NJPW's annual premier tournament, the 2018 G1 Climax, where they wrestled in block A. In the finals of block A, Okada faced Tanahashi in a time-limit draw, which led to Tanahashi advancing to the finals of the tournament. On August 12, Tanahashi defeated Kota Ibushi in the finals to win his third G1 Climax. After winning the tournament, Tanahashi stated that before being in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome, he wanted to defeat Okada since their previous matches Okada won and the second ended in a time-limit draw, leading Tanahashi nominating Okada as the first challenger for his G1 Climax winning prize; a contract for an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match on January 4, 2019, at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome.
In the semi-main event, KUSHIDA taked on BUSHI. On August 20, BUSHI's Los Ingobernables de Japón stablemate Hiromu Takahashi was forced to vacate the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship due to a neck injury. NJPW Chairman Naoki Sugabayashi announced a four-man single elimination tournament to crown a new champion which BUSHI and KUSHIDA were announced as two of the participants.