Yamaguchi’s the host for the latest brace of Young Lion Cup matches as Destruction continued!

The Refresh Park General Gymnasium played host to these two, which we’re watching just before Destruction in Beppu…

Young Lion Cup: Yuya Uemura vs. Shota Umino
Uemura’s propping up the table with losses in his first three matches, but this is a heck of a challenge for him.

Uemura scrambles at the start as the pair looked for waistlock takedowns, which weren’t forthcoming. Unlike a side headlock, that Umino wrenched in, only for Uemura to swap around as the pair worked up into shoulder tackles before Umino stopped the momentum with a slam. Uemura’s shot into the ropes for a hiptoss and a low dropkick as Umino was really picking him apart here. An elbow and a chop keeps Uemura on the back foot, before he cracked Umino with a dropkick. The overhead belly-to-belly keeps Uemura’s momentum going, but he can only get a two-count as Umino returned fire with a back body drop.

The obligatory Boston crab followed, with Uemura bunny hopping on his hands and feet to get to the ropes. Either that or he was doing the Worm in a very confined space. Another dropkick from Umino stops Uemura from building though, before a missile dropkick led to a near-fall as a Fisherman suplex completed a pretty standard day at the office for Umino. The dojo pecking order wins out, as Uemura looks ever more likely to end up with the wooden spoon. **¾

Young Lion Cup: Michael Richards vs. Clark Connors
A win for Connors puts him back with a share of the lead… and he certainly showed aggression from the off as he took the Kiwi to the ropes.

Things quickly break out into a chop battle that Richards ends with a back elbow, as Richards took him into the corner for a series of shoulder charges. A hiptoss took Connors out for a two-count, but Clark’s right back in with a dropkick to stop any momentum from building. Stomps keep Richards on the defensive as Connors resumed that earlier aggression, slowly wearing down Richards with slams and chinlocks.

Connors slapped Richards around on the way to some more chops, but it was a thunderous lariat from Richards that stops things as we crossed the five-minute mark. More clotheslines from Richards led to a suplex, then a Boston crab that swiftly ended in the ropes. Another slap from Richards just led to him getting speared, as Connors flipped the proverbial switch, rolling Richards over in the middle of the ring into a Boston crab, ultimately forcing the submission as Richards got dragged away from the ropes. Perfectly fine wrestling – Richards showed peril well here, but this was a much more even contest than the opener. Having seen the Australia tour, it’ll be nice to see if we get other Fale dojo lads in for the odd show, just to see how the rest compare. ***

Young Lion Cup Standings
Clark Connors; Karl Fredericks; Ren Narita, Shota Umino (3-1; 6pts)
Alex Coughlin (2-2; 4pts)
Michael Richards, Yota Tsuji (1-3; 2pts)
Yuya Uemura (0-4; 0pts)

We’ve got more Young Lion Cup matches on the Destruction cards in Beppu and Kagoshima on Sunday and Monday – check those reports out for those matches!