New Japan’s Destruction in Kagoshima card took place on Monday and featured Kota Ibushi avenging his G1 Climax loss to KENTA and defending his briefcase in the main event.
Wrestling in his hometown, Ibushi was the heavily sympathetic figure with a match structured around his ongoing ankle injury as KENTA targeted the body part along with the knee.
KENTA immediately struck Ibushi prior to the bell ringing and broke the briefcase. He had the advantage for the opening minutes before Ibushi fought back and showed life.
The match featured run-ins by the Guerrillas of Destiny, who were sent away by Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi following their tag title match in Beppu on Sunday.
KENTA kicked out from the Kamigoye, which was a dramatic near fall and joins Lance Archer as the only ones to survive the move. Ibushi hit a second Kamigoye to win the match.
Afterward, EVIL challenged Ibushi marking Ibushi’s only unavenged loss in the G1 Climax and would seem likely for King of Pro Wrestling next month in Osaka.
The card also saw a phenomenal tag match where El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori retained the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles over Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles.
I thought this was one of the best tag matches this year with the Birds of Prey excelling as a top babyface act with loads of tandem offense and flying.
El Phantasmo hit a top rope Asai moonsault clearing the guardrail onto Ospreay and later had his knee targeted by Eagles. There were numerous saves from covers and finished with the OsCutter being blocked as ELP and Ishimori hit an assisted Bloody Cross and the CR II from Phantasmo to pin Eagles.
They went over twenty-three minutes and the audience was electric for the match, I would heavily recommend this one.
Here are the results from the show:
*Yuya Uemura over Clark Connors in the Young Lion Cup – This was Uemura’s first win in the tournament
*Ren Narita over Michael Richards in the Young Lion Cup
*Manabu Nakanishi, Toa Henare, Karl Fredericks & Alex Coughlin over Yuji Nagata, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino & Yota Tsuji
*Tomohiro Ishii, Yoshi-Hashi & Roppongi 3K over Guerrillas of Destiny, Bad Luck Fale & Chase Owens
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tomoaki Honma over Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
*Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Rocky Romero over Sanada, Shingo Takagi & Bushi
*Tetsuya Naito & EVIL over Jay White & Yujiro
*Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo over Will Ospreay & Robbie Eagles to retain the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles
*Kota Ibushi over KENTA