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

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

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NJPW The New Beginning tour reaches it’s final stop! Double gold challenge is the main event, with the extreme murder match in the semi-main!

Can SANADA move himself up into legitimate contender territory? Does KENTA ruin Naito’s dream? Will Moxley or Suzuki die?

All important questions, let’s see what happens!

Ratings:

  • Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe: Kojima wins via Cozy Lariat @7:10 – ** ½
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH) (c) vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru: Roppongi 3k retain via Strong X @16:20 – *** ¾
  • David Finlay, Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter: Tanahashi wins via Roll-Up @10:50 – ***
  • Taichi w/Miho Abe & Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada: Okada wins via Rainmaker @11:50 – *** ¼
  • SANADA vs Jay White: White wins via Blade Runner @21:50 – *** ½
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs Ryu Lee: Hiromu retains via Time Bomb @23:55 – **** ¾
  • IWGP United States Championship: Minoru Suzuki vs Jon Moxley (c): Moxley retains via Death Rider @17:15 – ****
  • IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Championship: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs KENTA: Naito retains via Destino @35:50 – *** ½

 

Analysis:

Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe – This match is Nakanishi’s final match in Osaka as he continues his retirement tour, which ends at the 22nd event. Nakanishi starts off against Taguchi and thanks to the size disparity, there’s a bit of comedy. The hot tag later event goes to Nakanishi for a Quadruple Submission Spot. Kojima had the Dragon Sleeper in, Tenzan with the Anaconda Vice, Nagata with the Nagata Lock 2 and Nakanishi with his signature Argentine Backbreaker. It was a nice pop spot for the crowd to see the veterans with the advantage, all shining together. Kojima clashed with Honma for the finishing sequence, and the Cozy Lariat gives the Third Generation team the victory.

Nakanishi takes the mic to a round of applause and support. He tells them he started in Osaka, and he was terrible, but he’s happy that he was able to wrestle there one more time. Well beyond the ability of putting on stellar matches but, Nakanishi’s longevity and legacy has endeared him to the fans.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Roppongi 3k (SHO & YOH) (c) vs El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru – The story here was that the Suzuki-Gun duo injured SHO’s left leg, so there was a giant bullseye on the leg, technically handicapping the champions. SHO did a great job telling the story for the Junior Tag League after Taiji and ELP beat him up. So let’s see if lightning strikes twice.

Kanemaru hunted for SHO’s leg early, and worked him over to the outside. Two chairshots to the leg, left SHO nearly for dead in the middle of the crowd. He barely beats the 20 count, but the heels work him for most of the match. Figure Four Leglocks, Modified Stretch Mufflers, just great ground work, all focusing on the injury.

The match swung a bit when Kanearu went for Deep Impact, but didn’t get all of it, so SHO kicked out. YOH came in, stifled the Suzuki-Gun gameplan and made some great saves. Kanemaru tried for the Satori Surprise, but SHO blocked it and German Suplexed the whiskey out of his body. Strong X looks to be something they’re trying to get over as a new finish, and it was all great. Really good match especially, for a second match.

Ryusuke Taguchi comes out, and basically asks Rocky if he’s a manager or a wrestler. After appealing to Rocky’s ego, Taguchi passed the ball to Rocky for him to decide who he’s siding with. Rocky picks Taguchi, and we will have the Mega Coaches versus Roppongi 3k. Nice development.

David Finlay, Juice Robinson, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi w/Pieter – You know, the thing that may get the most discussion in this match is…Tanahashi’s hair. I really hope his daughter did his hair or maybe he lost a bet, because it reminds me of Robin Sparkles from How I Met Your Mother. Maybe Tana wants to go to the mall?

NJPW The New Beginning

As for the match, it’s nice to see Kota has recovered from his illness and he looked pretty great. Juice and Finlay put up a decent showing with Finlay taking the brunt of the heavy lifting. Jado got involved a few times with the Kendo Stick, but Tanahashi managed to halt G.o.D.’s attempts at Magic Killer and get a cheeky roll-up with a bit extra leverage by laying on the legs.

Announcements after the match about a few G1 Climax 30 dates, but for American fans, August 22,2020, WRESTLE DYNASTY in Madison Square Garden!

Taichi w/Miho Abe & Zack Sabre Jr vs Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada – We know the story between these four during The New Beginning tour. Only extra wrinkle is since Ospreay pinned Sabre during a Road to tag match after the initial title loss. So RevPro’s Valentine’s Day show will have a rematch.

As for the match, it was pretty solid with the correct players pairing off. Taichi seemed to lean into his heel persona a little more, so I’d really like to see more Dangerous T but; this match did what it was supposed to. Ospreay and Sabre looked pretty even, Okada still above Taichi, but Taichi got some good shots in. Fun match.

SANADA vs Jay White – We know how SANADA earned this special singles match with a pinfall victory over Jay during New Year Dash; and we got to see the build after Fantastica Mania. So Jay needs to stave off SANADA to remind him of the difference in their perceived levels.

SANADA got handled early on in the match, and Gedo interfered quite a bit. I like the fact that some of the interference was callbacks to previous matches on how SANADA kept Gedo in check, but there was just entirely too much Gedo. Some of the transitions of the match were sloppy, capped off with the Shiranui float over into the Skull End, that turned into a Shiranui attempt and Jay White just fell down.

Jay winning the match is fine, since SANADA is very popular with fans and this is obviously leading to bigger things for SANADA’s character. I just wish it was a better match with a little less Gedo meddling.

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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