Zack Sabre Jr. became a four-time British heavyweight champion defeating Hiroshi Tanahashi in the main event on Sunday’s Destruction in Beppu card from New Japan Pro Wrestling.
The main event clocked in at over twenty-six minutes, the primary focus saw Sabre Jr. attacking the right elbow of Tanahashi while Tanahashi used several of Sabre’s holds against him. The closing minutes included a Tanahashi landing a High Fly Flow on the back but opted to apply a cloverleaf instead of following with another High Fly Flow. The submission application didn’t look great and they continued with Tanahashi using a cradle for a two-count and his own Cobra Twist that was countered out from with Sabre rolling up Tanahashi and tying his legs for the fall.
This ended Tanahashi’s brief reign of fifteen-days as champion after defeating Sabre at Royal Quest on August 31st at the Copper Box Arena in London, England.
After the match, Sabre said he had killed Strong Styles and ‘The Ace’ was dead while he’s been the ace of British wrestling for the past decade. While others are focused on becoming a double champion, he will win the IWGP heavyweight and Intercontinental title to become a Triple Crown champion.
In the other title match, the Guerrillas of Destiny retained the IWGP tag titles defeating Tomohiro Ishii and Yoshi-Hashi to make their sixth defense of the titles.
Yoshi-Hashi has never won a title and it became a story for the match.
There were some awkward points including Tanga Loa seated on the mat as Tomohiro Ishii appeared to be setting up for a Sliding D. Ishii either wanted him to stand or change direction for a Sliding D. Loa ended up getting up and they just moved on. Later, a Gun Stun from Tonga to Yoshi-Hashi seemed messed up.
It picked up for the final moments where Yoshi-Hashi had several near falls. Jado entered with the kendo stick and was fought off by Yoshi-Hashi. He hit Tonga with a brainbuster for a two-count and was setting for Karma when KENTA appeared ringside. He distracted Yoshi-Hashi and Tonga rolled him up after twenty-one minutes and thirty-five seconds.
The ending was anti-climactic and appears to set up a future match between the NEVER Openweight champion and Yoshi-Hashi.
I’ll have a full rundown of the show on tonight’s Clash of Champions POST Show.
Here are the results:
*Karl Fredericks over Yota Tsuji in 7:28 in the Young Lion Cup
*Shota Umino over Alex Coughlin in 8:16 in the Young Lion Cup
*Ryusuke Taguchi, Yuji Nagata, Ren Narita & Yuya Uemura over Manabu Nakanishi, Toa Henare, Clark Connors & Michael Richards in 11:19
*Jushin Thunder Liger & Roppongi 3K over Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Douki in 10:37
*KENTA, El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori, Yujiro & Bad Luck Fale over Kota Ibushi, Will Ospreay, Robbie Eagles, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma in 9:18
*Sanada, Shingo Takagi & Bushi over Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Rocky Romero in 10:39
*Tetsuya Naito & EVIL over Jay White & Chase Owens in 11:11
*Guerrillas of Destiny over Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi in 21:35 to retain the IWGP tag titles
*Zack Sabre Jr. over Hiroshi Tanahashi in 26:44 to win the British heavyweight title