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NJPW ‘Destruction in Beppu 2018’ Preview & Predictions



Destruction rolls through to Beppu! Bullet Club is nowhere to be found, instead with heavy focus on Suzuki-Gun, LIJ and Chaos. Everyone has their own philosophy and each are being put to the test. The top of this card is very interesting, let’s get into it!

Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi & Yuya Uemura vs Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji
Openers that feature young lions are the best openers. I’m looking forward to an interaction between Nagata and Tsuji. The young lion’s overhand chops are very powerful and I want Nagata-san to feel that power. Either of the young lions can take the fall but I’ll lean towards it being Uemura this time since he’s on the opposite side of the returning Kojima.
Prediction: Tenzan, Kojima & Tsuji

David Finlay & Ren Narita vs Toa Henare & Shota Umino
More young lions means more good times. This will be a good test for Narita and Umino. They’ll have more time to shine and can work with those closer to their equals as opposed to the veterans. At the moment it seems that more focus is on Henare so I’ll say he picks up the win.
Prediction: Henare & Umino

Takashi Iizuka vs Ayato Yoshida
New Japan are putting Yoshida through the wringer early. Trying to pull something inspired out of Iizuka is a tall task and expectations shouldn’t be high. This has almost zero redeemable value on paper. Iizuka is clearly getting the win but hopefully Yoshida can gain fan support in the loss.
Prediction: Takashi Iizuka

Jushin ‘Thunder’ Liger, Tiger Mask IV, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi vs Will Ospreay, Rocky Romero, YOH & SHO
This will be a fun junior showcase. These could very well be four of the teams for the upcoming Jr. Tag League. Nothing monumental but a nice fast paced match with eight fan favorites. Romero took the loss in Hiroshima so I’ll say it happens again.
Prediction: Liger, Tiger, KUSHIDA & Taguchi

Killer Elite Squad vs Best Friends
While the interest level for fans in Japan may be low, this looks like it’ll be a lot of fun. K.E.S. are hotheads and will likely be unimpressed with the goofiness of Best Friends. The contrast between the two teams should allow for a good amount of fun. K.E.S. are the more prominent team in the company so they’re the favorites here and any other result should be seen as an upset.
Prediction: Killer Elite Squad

EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI vs Zack Sabre Jr., Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
In Hiroshima we saw EVIL and ZSJ get into a bit which should roll over into this match as well. One of the juniors will take the fall and seeing as the following show features BUSHI in a singles match it won’t be him.
Prediction: EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI

Kazuchika Okada, Jay White, YOSHI-HASHI & Toru Yano vs Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe, Juice Robinson & Tomoaki Honma
The cracks within Chaos continued to grow in Hiroshima when Y-H walked off on his team after eating a boot from Okada. White has been stirring up conflict since joining in January and the tension continues to build. Chaos will take another suspicious loss here and will once again distract Okada who should be focusing on his upcoming match against Tanahashi.
Prediction: Tanahashi, Makabe, Juice & Honma

NEVER Openweight Championship
Hirooki Goto (c) vs Taichi

Taichi is one of, if not thee, most divisive wrestler in the company. The fan base is torn into two camps: ‘Let’s go Taichi’ and ‘Taichi go home’. There are people terrified that he’ll win the title. I know because I am one of those people. The fundamental question is whether you support Taichi’s tactics on how he received this title shot. He complained and ruined matches until he got his way. Goto is the archetype of how to do things the right way. It’s a great contrast of styles.
Prediction: Hirooki Goto

Tetsuya Naito vs Minoru Suzuki
2018 has been a very interesting year for Naito. People have time and time again tried to steal his smile. He lost at Wrestle Kingdom but kept smiling. Suzuki called him a child, Naito took his title and kept smiling. He was bloodied by Chris Jericho and was eliminated from the G1 on the final night by ZSJ, yet Naito still finds reasons to smile. That enrages Suzuki and in Hiroshima he snapped. Suzuki literally hung Naito in a sleeper hold and did enough damage that New Japan felt he should be taken out on a stretcher. Naito refused the help, he doesn’t want Suzuki to feel any satisfaction. The tension between these two is thick. Both have had disappointing years in terms win/loss records but they’ve handled their disappointment in different ways. The contrast in their perspectives makes this match must-see. This can go either way and make complete sense for both of their stories. There is serious potential for this to be match of the year. It’s a battle over philosophies and an absolute toss up as far as I can tell.
Prediction: Minoru Suzuki

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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