SETTING UP NEW BEGINNINGS:
THE 2019 DESTRUCTION TOUR
By Jasmine Olan
It is sometimes said that destruction leads to new beginnings. This can be seen every September when New Japan Pro Wrestling embarks on its annual DESTRUCTION tour. This is normally when the promotion begins setting up the rest of their year leading up to WRESTLE KINGDOM in January. It is the next step on NJPW’s road to the Tokyo Dome. During that time some storylines are slowly wrapped up, and title challengers are gradually set in place in the aftermath of a grueling G1 season. With this year’s hugely successful G1 season now in the record books, the hard hitting, fast paced action NJPW fans know and love is back with the 2019 DESTRUCTION tour now underway, having begun on 9/4. The ROAD TO shows have been a great kick off to the tour so far with the best yet to come.
The ROAD TO DESTRUCTION shows have consisted primarily of tag team previews for the rest of the tour with the only singles bouts being matches for the Young Lions Cup which is making its return on this tour. This is giving fans a glimpse into New Japan’s future as its best rookies go head to head to continue their learning experience and prove themselves as the best in their class. These eight hungry young men representing three dojos will also be fighting to defend the honor of their respective training grounds. This will not only be about which young lion will emerge victorious. It will also be about which dojo will win this brewing battle for supremacy which will continue through the end of the tour where the overall winner will be decided on 9/22.
This year’s DESTRUCTION tour will also see the rivalry between Switchblade Jay White and Tetsuya Naito continue to heat up. Hanging in the balance is the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. NJPW’s number one antihero and its number one heel are set to go to war on the last night of the tour at DESTRUCTION IN KOBE in Kobe World Memorial Hall. The two hav been going back and forth since G1 season and tensions continue to rise, and fans are completely dialed in as they wait til then to find out who will take home the prestigious white and gold belt. This is definitely a feud to keep an eye on.
The rivalry between the Ace Of The Universe, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Suzuki-gun’s Zack Sabre Jr is also heating up big time at the moment. Things will come to a head when they face off for the British Heavyweight Championship at DESTRUCTION IN BEPPU on 9/15. Will the submission master be able to regain his former title? We’ll find out soon enough. This rivalry definitely won’t be slowing down any time soon.
At DESTRUCTION IN KAGOSHIMA on 9/16, the Golden Star, Kota Ibushi will defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship challenge certificate against Bullet Club’s newest addition, KENTA. This budding rivalry goes back to the opening night of this year’s G1 in Dallas. Ibushi will be looking to avenge his loss from that match when the two do battle once again. This time it will be in his home prefecture. Look for this feud to heat up very quickly. The Golden Star has been on a major hot streak lately that may very well continue during this year’s DESTRUCTION TOUR.
DESTRUCTION 2019 will feature some other great matches as well. The Guerrillas Of Destiny will be defending the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles against YOSHI-HASHI and the Stone Pitbull, Tomohiro Ishii. The Junior Tag Team Championships will also be on the line when El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori defend their titles against the Birds Of Prey, Will Ospreay and Robbie Eagles. Fans will also be treated to a special singles match as the Dragon, Shingo Takagi looks to continue proving himself as a heavyweight when he does battle against the Ara Musha, Hirooki Goto. Each of these matches will no doubt be great.
Big things are sure to come from this year’s DESTRUCTION tour. The matches on each card are all a must watch. This tour will definitely be another step in New Japan’s track record of amazing story telling through great matches. Fans will be on the edge of their seats for sure. The 2019 DESTRUCTION tour will serve as the next step in New Japan Pro wrestling showing how good they are at setting up new beginnings.