RADICAN’S NJPW Destruction in Beppu Report 9/15: Full results and analysis of event headlined by Sabre vs. Tanahashi

By Sean Radican, PWTorch Columnist (Twitter @SR_Torch)


SEPT. 15, 2019

Announcers: Kevin Kelly and Gino Gambino



Tsuji has lost three matches in a row and Fredericks has won three matches in a row heading into this match. The YLC works similar to the G1. Winners get 2 points for a win. Tsuji backed Fredericks up against the ropes and nailed him with a big overhand chop instead of giving a clean break. Fredericks went for a hip toss and his injured shoulder gave out. His shoulder is heavily taped up. Tsuji went after Fredericks shoulder on the mat. Fredericks finally cut Tsuji off with a nice dropkick. Fredericks hit a spinebuster and locked in a single leg crab. Tsuji went for the ropes, but Fredericks pulled him back to the middle of the ring and Tsuji tapped out. Fredericks held onto the hold momentarily after the bell, but let go.

WINNER: Karl Fredericks (4-1) in 7:20. (**)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was fine for what it was. Fredericks gutted his way through a shoulder injury to finish off Tsuji and his losing streak continues.)


Neither man could get the upper hand during the early going. They traded shoulder tackles until Umino took Coughlin down. Coughlin got the upper hand and went after Umino’s taped left elbow. Kelly mentioned the injury happened during training. Umino fired back and hit a running dropkick on a seated Coughlin. Coughlin fired back and hit a dropkick and a gutwrench suplex. Coughlin went for the Boston Crab and got it. Umino twisted his body to block the pressure on his back, but Coughlin got him over and sat down on the hold. Umino struggled, but got to the ropes. Umino fired back and hit a spinebuster and both men were down. They went to a big strike exchange and both men landed some hard chops. Umino eventually caught Coughlin with a dropkick as he came off the ropes. He then hit a missile dropkick for a nearfall. Umino finished Coughlin off with a fisherman suplex.

WINNER: Shota Umino (4-1) in 8:15. (**½)

(Radican’s Analysis: This was a fun match. It wasn’t long, but they built up to a nice finishing sequence with both men exchanging hard strikes.)


(3) Yuya Uemura & Ren Narita & Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuji Nagata beat Manaubu Nakanishi & Clark Connors & Toa Henare & Michael Richards in 11:18 in an 8 Man Tag match.

(4) SHO & YOH & Jushin Liger beat DOUKI & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Minuru Suzuki in 10:35 in a Six Man Tag match.

(5) ELP & Taiji Ishimori & Bad Luck Fale & KENTA & Yujiro Takahashi beat Robbie Eagles & Will Ospreay & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe & Kota IBushi in 9:15 in a Ten Man Tag match.

(6) BUSHI & Shingo Takagi & SANADA beat Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto & Rocky Romero in 10:40 in a Six Man Tag match.



White and Owens jumped LIJ when they went for their pre-match fist bump. LIJ fired back and EVIL took down Owens with a shoulder tackle. Naito tagged in and smiled at White on the apron before going after Owens. Bullet Club fired back and took the action to the floor. Owens dragged EVIL through the crowd and tossed him into a wall. Owens worked over EVIL and they built up to a confrontation between Naito and White. White teased a fist bump and then shoulder tackled Naito off the apron. Naito spit in White’s face and the fans gasped. Naito sent White to the floor and whipped him into the guardrail. Naito mocked White while he was down on the mat and asked for a fist bump. White fired back and hit a DDT on Naito. Owens tagged in and knocked EVIL off the apron. Owens went for the package piledriver on Naito, but EVIL broke it up. EVIL hit Darkness Falls on White. Naito and EVIL then hit a combination of moves capped by Naito’s signature pinning combination for a nearfall. EVIL held White to make sure he saw Naito hit the Destino on Owens to win the match.

After the match, Naito teased a fist bump to Gedo and then put the boots to him. Both teams brawled at ringside until they were seperated. Naito hit his pose and White slid into the ring before sliding back out. White got on English commentary and said the fun ends at Destruction.

WINNERS: Tetsuya Naito & EVIL in 11:11. (**½)

(Radican’s Analysis: Not much to this match, but it was fun to see the build to White vs. Naito continue.)


Tonga went for the Gun Stun early, but Ishii dropped it. Ishii went for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Tonga got out of it. They went back and forth and came to a stalemate. Loa hit Ishii from the apron, so HASHI returned the favor and hit Tonga as he went to the ropes. Both teams went at it in the ring and GOD hit a double dropkick and the action spilled to the floor. GOD got the upper hand and began working Ishii over inside the ring. Ishii took a beating for a long period of time. Loa worked a Cobra Clutch variation on the mat. Ishii finally fired back and tagged in HASHI, who went to work on Loa. He draped Loa over the top rope and then did the same to Tonga. He then nailed them both with a running dropkick. Tonga went to the floor and HASHI went after Loa inside the ring. He caught him with a diving neck breaker right before the 10 minute mark for a two count.

Ishii ended up going at it inside the ring with Loa. They went to a big strike exchange. Loa eventually put Ishii down with a clothesline off the ropes. GOD hit a combination of moves on Ishii a short time later, but HASHI made the pin. Tonga hit a big powerbomb on Ishii for a two count. HASHI came in and hit a DDT on Loa. He got up and HASHI hit a combination of moves and Ishii hit a German. Ishii measured Loa and nailed him with a big clothesline for a two count. Ishii went for the Vertical Drop Brainbuster, but Loa got out of it. Ishii hit a powerslam on Loa, but he got right up and hit a spear and both men were down. Tonga tagged in and went at it with HASHI. HASHI avoided a Gun Stun and caught Loa with a headscissor takedown. The action broke down with all four men in the ring. Tonga countered a Vertical Drop Brainbuster from Ishii and hit the Tongan Twist. He then wiped out HASHI. GOD went up top on opposite sides of the ring and hti a headbutt/splash combination for a nearfall! GOD went for the Magic KIller, but Ishii broke it up. GOD went for the Magic Killer on Ishii and connected. They lifted HASHI up and hit the Magic Killer on him for a nearfall. The fans applauded. GOD set up for the Super Powerbomb on HASHI, but Ishii broke it up. HASHI got the butterfly lock on Tonga in the middle of the ring. Ishii then got LOa in a choke on the mat. Tonga pulled the ref down and Jado came into the ring. He tried to hit Hashi with the kendo stick, but HASHI blocked it and hit him with it.

HASHI sent Loa into a headbutt from Ishii at the 20 minute mark. HASHI blocked two Gun Stun attempts. He then handed Tonga to Ishii for a powerbomb. HASHI connected with a running double knee, but Loa made the save! HASHI hit a big lariat on Tonga. HASHI got a nearfall on Tonga, but KETNA came down to ringside and got on the apron. He went for Karma, but KENTA distracted him. Tonga then got the rollup for the win.

WINNERS: Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa in 21:35 to retain the IWGP Hvt. Tag Team Titles. (***)

(Radican’s Analysis: They built up to some nice near falls down the stretch, but this match dragged for large portions and for a 21 minute match, the finish left a lot to be desired.)

After the match, HASHI went after KENTA. KENTA got the better of HASHI as several Young Lions tried to hold him back. Ishii then went after KENTA, but they were quickly separated. HASHI got back up and tried to go after GOD on the ramp, but didn’t get far. He kept trying to go for KENTA and KENTA hit him with some kicks before being pulled away.


The bell rang to start the match and the fans fired up and chanted for Tanahashi. Tanahashi leads the series 4-3. The announcers talked about how Tanahashi wanted to defend the title in England and retaining the title would guarantee him a high spot on the Wrestle Kingdom card in January. Sabre went after Tanahashi’s arms during the early going. He then stretched them behind Tanahashi while using his leg on his back to add pressure. Tanahashi countered Sabre and wrenched on his arms. Sabre tried to counter, but Tanahashi held on and maintained the hold. They went back and forth a short time later and Tanahashi caught Sabre from behind with a chop block. He then went right after Sabre’s leg on the mat. Sabre escaped and went to the floor to get a breather. Tanahashi held the ropes open for Sabre to get back in the ring and Sabre threw a fit. Uemura took the chair from Sabre and Sabre went after his arm. Tanahashi ran to the floor and tossed Sabre into the guardrail right before the 10 minute mark passed. Tanahashi went for a jumping elbow drop and Sabre turned it into a nasty arm submission. Both men rolled into the ropes and Sabre held onto the hold until the ref made him break it.

They went back and forth. Tanahashi went for Twist and Shout, but Sabre turned it into an arm submission. The fans tried to rally behind Tanahashi and Sabre transitioned the hold so Tanahashi couldn’t get to the ropes. Tanahashi struggled, but managed to slip out of the submission just enough to get the rope breaks. Tanahashi fired back and went after Sabre’s leg. He favored his arm before going back after Sabre. Tanahashi charged Sabre in the corner. Sabre went for a kick, but Tanahashi caught it and hit a dragon screw. Tanahashi got a version of the Octopus Hold right before the 15 minute mark passed. He then took Sabre down to the mat and worked him over while targeting both arms. Sabre managed to get his foot on the rope to get the break. Sabre went to the floor and Tanahashi went up top, but Sabre talked out of the way. Tanahashi went for a sliding dropkick through the apron, but Sabre caught his leg and grabbed a submission using the apron for leverage. He then got an ankle lock around the ropes. He broke the hold and grabbed an arm submission around the ropes. He held onto the hold and the ref had to physically break the hold. Tanahashi fired back and hit a dragon screw around the ropes a short time later and the fans fired up. He went for the Cloverleaf Hold back inside the ring. Sabre tried to block it and eventually got a triangle. Tanahashi countered it and went for the Cloverleaf Hold again, but Sabre got the triangle and turned it into an armbar attempt. Tanahashi blocked it and after a long struggle, he got an armbar of his own. Sabre got out of it and went right back after Tanahashi’s arm. Sabre got a nasty double arm submission at the 20 minute mark. He then got Tanahashi’s leg and bent that back as well at the same time. Tanahashi managed to free his leg and he got to the ropes. WOW!

They went back and forth and Tanahashi countered a backslide and hit a Slingblade. Tanahashi hit a reverse Slingblade a short time later and the fans fired up. Tanahashi went up top and hit a High Fly Flow to Sabre’s back. He then went for a Cloverleaf Hold variation, but Sabre managed to get to the ropes. Sabre got a jumping guillotine. Tanahashi struggled, but he turned it into a pair of Twists and Shouts. He held onto Sabre, but he countered and hit the Zack Driver and both men were down as the fans clapped and chanted for Tanahashi! Tanahashi hit a series of uppercuts as the 25 minute mark came and went. Sabre fired up and countered Tanahashi with a kick to his injured arm. Sabre went for a PK, but Tanahashi caught it and kicked his knee backwards. He then hit a straightjacket German for a two count.

Tanahashi fired up and went for a dragon suplex, but Sabre countered it. He went for a pinning combination, but Tanahashi countered it into one of his own. Sabre kicked out and went for a submission, but Tanahashi got another pinning combination. They went back and forth and Sabre caught Tanahashi with a leverage pinning combination out of the Cobra Twist position. What a finish!

WINNER: Zack Sabre Jr. in 26:45 to become the new British Undisputed Hvt. Champion. (****¼)

(Radican’s Analysis: Great match between these two.  The series of matches between these two is now tied at 4-4. It feels like there’s another match to come in this series before long given how Sabre won.)

Sabre got on the mic after the match and called the fans dickheads. He told them to sit down. He thanked Tanahashi and called him darling. He said the belt is now back where he belongs. He said he buried Tanahashi and pinned him out of the Cobra Twist. He said all the dickheads were in the back and talking about a match for a double champion. Sabre vowed to become IWGP Hvt. Champion and the IWGP IC Champion. He said he would throw the IWGP IC belt away because it’s a waste.

Email Sean at radicansean@pwtorch.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/SR_Torch.

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