NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka Match Ratings & Analysis 2/9/2020


IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs Ryu Lee – What a great history these two have; all the way back to CMLL, and not just because of the broken neck incident from nearly two years ago. This is a feud built around great respect and great desire to surpass one another. So someone could definitely end up dead here; let’s just pray for no injuries.

Crazy start to the match, as they both come out with quick suplexes and lariats; but then we get back to the homage spot. Hiromu and Lee are known to have great chop exchanges, so they went for one that rivaled Kensuke Sasaki vs Kenta Kobashi in Pro Wrestling NOAH. They added their own flair, with every time someone tried to run the ropes, or change gears; the other would catch them with a chop and we’d continue. The first roughly 5 minutes were chops, chops and more chops.


But of course, once we break up the chops, then someone tries to kill the other. Ryu Lee rocks Hiromu and sits him on the barricade on the outside, as he hits a Suicide Dive, into the seated body of Hiromu and the bounce off announce tables and spill to the floor. Lee throws Hiromu back in because he doesn’t want to win by countout, and then Hiromu gets a chance at craziness. Hiromu caps off his flurry with his signature Sunset Flip Powerbomb from the apron to the outside.

It’s hard to really paint the picture with words, because this was just pure insanity. Big crazy moves, Lee teased the PhoenixPlex twice (the move that broke Hiromu’s neck); and the audience went silent in fear that they would do it. Just great usage of their history, the big neck story everyone knows about and pure Hiromu insanity. A couple moves didn’t land perfect and honestly, the big scary moves did get a little cringe inducing, so those are the only reasons I deducted a couple points. Still a tremendous spectacle of a match.

IWGP United States Championship: Minoru Suzuki vs Jon Moxley (c) – Two crazy hard hitting psychos who want to kill each other. That’s a fair enough build with no real details needed.

This was exactly what we expected. Moxley called Suzuki out to the ramp to start the match; Suzuki brought two chairs, so they could have an old fashion samurai duel…with chairs. We barely spent any time in the ring, hell they even started slapping submissions on one another in the crowd somewhere.

Moxley grabs a table, Suzuki conCHAIRtos Moxley’s forearm, but Moxley manages to power through the pain of a Triangle Choke and Powerbomb Suzuki through the table. Both demanded more punishment from the other, and seemed to really enjoy the battering. Ballistic and Sadistic isn’t just the name of the newest Annihilator album. This match was a great extreme style match, filled with great moments, strikes and two dudes that really got a kick out of it. One of Moxley’s best non-G1 matches in a long while.

Zack Sabre Jr runs out and chokes Moxley out with the Rear Naked Choke, essentially making the next challenge for the US title.

IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs KENTA – Most of us saw the setup, when KENTA decided to ruin Naito’s grand coronation as the first double singles champion. Throughout the tour, KENTA has been trying to get in Naito’s head with mixed success. It has a lot of elements of Jay White’s first encounter with Naito; before he got a little more serious.  This could be a great match, or it could be like pulling teeth with a brick.

Literally, the first 5 minutes are KENTA powdering, these two barely touching, and just being ridiculously slow and frustrating. Naito also returns the slowing down favor a little, which fires up KENTA a little. So it takes 5 minutes to start, but it gets going decently well.

KENTA landed some decent strikes, and fell back on a lot of heel tactics. Removing the turnbuckle padding, bumping the ref so Jay White can get involved; but BUSHI and Hiromu both make the save to bring the match back to parody. This match was a hard sell. Numerous fun story spots, decent enough ring work, but the hell tactics slowed the start down to a crawl and never really felt like it added to the match.

After the match, Naito called Hiromu to the ring to challenge him at the Anniversary event. Tradition dictates the Junior Heavyweight and Heavyweight champion wrestle one another, and this has a few more important notes to both competitors. Should be one hell of a match.

Overall Score: 7.5/10

This event was pretty good, despite the mostly predictable finishes. I think many people expected Suzuki to win, but this could be another step towards what many people expected (and has been rumored); with Suzuki heading out of NJPW and Sabre possibly taking over.

Hiromu setting up for a great match against Naito will be something that may not be seen again. It is curious to notice that after the Wrestle Kingdom victory and even this event, all of LIJ doesn’t come out to the ring. Perhaps we’re in store for more faction changes than just the expected Suzuki-Gun pieces.

Since the Naito match fell a bit flat for me, I think that ruined the punctuation on the event. Still a good show, still sets up some fun matches moving forward; and it leaves the door wide open for the New Japan Cup winner. Will the Cup winner go after the double champ; or does Shingo’s Openweight declaration from last week garner more attention?

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