Destruction was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro-Wrestling (NJPW) annually since 2007. In 2019, NJPW produced three events under the Destruction name; Destruction in Beppu on September 15, Destruction in Kagoshima on September 16, and Destruction in Kobe on September 22. These were twenty-first to twenty-third events under the Destruction name. The event was also notable for hosting the Young Lion Cup, with the finals of the tournament being held at Destruction in Kobe on September 22.
Production[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
The 2019 shows were the fourth 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.
Storylines[edit | edit source]
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 Kobe was headlined by Tetsuya Naito making his first defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Jay White in a rematch from 2019 G1 Climax. From July 6 until August 11, both Naito and White entered NJPW's annual premier tournament, the G1 Climax, where they wrestled on block B. White started the tournament, losing with a losing streak after losing three matches. Despite losing three matches, both White and Naito entered the final day of the tournament, with a chance to advance into the finals. On August 11, White defeated Naito with the assistance of Gedo to advance to the finals, which White lost to Kota Ibushi. On August 25 in the third night of the Super J-Cup, Naito and White faced each other in a tag team match, where White teamed with his Bullet Club stablemate Taiji Ishimori and Naito with his Los Ingobernables de Japón stablemate BUSHI. White scored the win for his team after pinning BUSHI. Afterwards, White attacked Naito and challenged him to a match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, proclaiming he would become the first IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Champion at Wrestle Kingdom 14 on January 4, 2019. Naito had previously proclaim his ambition of holding both IWGP Intercontinental and Heavyweight Championships simultaneously. White also made his return to NJPW on January 4, 2018 at Wrestle Kingdom 12, losing to Hiroshi Tanahashi in a match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. Leading to the match, White stoled Naito's IWGP Intercontinental Championship belt.
Destruction in Beppu was headlined by Hiroshi Tanahashi making his first defense of the British Heavyweight Championship against Zack Sabre Jr. in a rematch from Royal Quest. During the year, Sabre and Tanahashi started feuding with each other, with Sabre winning the first matches between the two. On April 6 at G1 Supercard, Sabre defeated Tanahashi to retain the British Heavyweight Championship. Afterwards, Tanahashi was sidelined with an elbow injury until June 5, because of Sabre. On July 18, Tanahashi and Sabre faced each other for a second time, during the 2019 G1 Climax, which Tanahashi won. On August 11, Tanahashi and Sabre faced each other for a third time in a six-man tag team match, where Sabre teamed with his Suzuki-gun stablemates Lance Archer, Minoru Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru, while Tanahashi teamed with Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay and Yoshi-Hashi. Afterwards, in a post-match interview, Sabre offered Tanahashi a title match at the Royal Quest. On August 31 at Royal Quest, Tanahashi defeated Sabre to win the British Heavyweight Championship. Afterwards, in a post-match, Sabre demanded a rematch for the title, which was officially announced on September 2.
Destruction in Kagoshima was headlined by Kota Ibushi making his first defense of the Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate against KENTA in a rematch from 2019 G1 Climax. On August 13, Kota Ibushi defeated Jay White in the finals to win the 2019 G1 Climax. Following the win, Ibushi gained possession of a contract for an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at NJPW's biggest event of the year, Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2020. Upon receiving the contract, Ibushi nominated KENTA as his first challenger for it due to KENTA defeating him not only during the 2019 G1 Climax, but also nearly cost him the tournament, after Ibushi suffered an ankle injury. On August 31 at Royal Quest, after KENTA won the NEVER Openweight Championship, KENTA challenged Ibushi to a match for his Tokyo Dome IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge rights certificate. The match was officially announced on September 2.
In the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match, Bullet Club (El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori) would defend their titles against Birds of Prey (Robbie Eagles and Will Ospreay). In May 2019, Phantasmo joined the Bullet Club and shortly after his arrival, Phantasmo began feuding with his stablemate Robbie Eagles, in which during the 2019 Best of the Super Juniors, Phantasmo helped Eagles defeating Will Ospreay, despite Eagles didn't asked for his help, leading him to not be satisfied with the result. Meanwhile, Ospreay won the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship and tried to bring the old Robbie Eagles by reminding him about his old self. On June 29 in the first night of the Southern Showdown, Eagles unsuccessfully challenged Will Ospreay for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. Afterwards, Phantasmo entered the ring to show him support, leading Eagles to attack him and shook hands with Ospreay. The following day, Eagles defected from Bullet Club and joined CHAOS, after he refused to attack Will Ospreay. In August, Eagles and Ospreay's feud with Phantasmo continued during the 2019 Super J-Cup, after Phantasmo defeated both Eagles and Ospreay, after cheating. After the tournament, Eagles and Ospreay formed a team named "Birds of Prey" and faced Phantasmo and his Bullet Club stablemate Taiji Ishimori in a non-title match in a winning effort on August 31 at Royal Quest. After the match, Birds of Prey challenged Phantasmo and Ishimori to a rematch for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship. The title match was announced on September 2.
In the IWGP Tag Team Championship match, Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) would made their sixth title defense against CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi). On September 2, NJPW announced that the Guerrillas of Destiny would face Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi in a non-title match. Two days later, the Guerrillas of Destiny and Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi faced each other in a six-man tag team match, where the Guerrillas of Destiny teamed with their Bullet Club stablemate Jado and Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi with their CHAOS stablemate Rocky Romero, which CHAOS won. After the match, the Guerrillas of Destiny attacked Ishii and were going to lay out Yoshi-Hashi with the Magic Killer, until Ishii made the save and afterwards Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi posed with their titles. The following day, NJPW announced that the match would be contested for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.
Destruction would also feature some matches and the finals of the fifeenth annual Young Lion Cup. In August 2019, the young lions of the Japan and L.A. dojos were involved in a heated rivalry that was build up during the 2019 G1 Climax and Super J-Cup tours. The previous round-robin matches for the tournament took place between September 6 and September 22.
Matches[edit | edit source]
Destruction in Beppu[edit | edit source]
|1||Karl Fredericks defeated Yota Tsuji||Singles match in the 2019 Young Lion Cup||7:23|
|2||Shota Umino defeated Alex Coughlin||Singles match in the 2019 Young Lion Cup||8:14|
|3||Yuya Uemura, Ren Narita, Ryusuke Taguchi and Yuji Nagata defeated Michael Richards, Clark Connors, Toa Henare and Manabu Nakanishi||Eight-man tag team match||11:18|
|4||Jushin Thunder Liger, Sho and Yoh defeated Suzuki-gun (DOUKI, Minoru Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru)||Six-man tag team match||10:36|
|5||Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, El Phantasmo, Yujiro Takahashi and Taiji Ishimori) defeated Kota Ibushi, Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Robbie Eagles and Will Ospreay||Eight-man tag team match||9:17|
|6||Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi and SANADA) defeated CHAOS (Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada and Rocky Romero)||Six-man tag team match||10:40|
|7||Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and Tetsuya Naito) defeated Bullet Club (Chase Owens and Jay White) (with Gedo)||Tag team match||11:11|
|8||Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa) (with Jado and KENTA) (c) defeated CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi)||Tag team match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship||21:35|
|9||Zack Sabre Jr. defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)||Singles match for the British Heavyweight Championship||26:43|