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The NEW BEGINNING in SAPPORO – Recap & Review

NJPW – The NEW BEGINNING in SAPPORO
Event Date: February 1, 2020 (18:00 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Toyohira, Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan
Venue: Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center (Hokkai Kitayell)
Attendance: 4,569
Tour: The NEW BEGINNING

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Gino Gambino, Chris Charlton
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Yusuke Okamoto, Koki Yamazaki (1, 4, 8), Yohei Onishi (2, 5, 7), Yuichi Tabata (3, 6), Sho (7, 8)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 4), Makoto Abe (5 – 8)

 

Video
The opening video tells us about the NEW BEGINNING tour and some of the big matches we’ll see along the way.

 

Match 1
El Phantasmo (RPW British Cruiserweight Champ) & Taiji Ishimori vs Yuya Uemura & Tiger Mask
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Taiji Ishimori submits Yuya Uemura with the Yes Lock
Time: 8:14

Match Thoughts
This was a good opener. Tiger Mask definitely took a mentor role in this match with Uemura as his partner. There were a few moments late in the match where Tiger Mask ran interference with the illegal man while letting Uemura fight the legal man one on one in the center of the ring. ELP and Ishimori definitely tried to take advantage of the young lion though. This was a nice match for Uemura, even if it was just a warm-up for Bullet Club.

 

Match 2
Yota Tsuji & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Toa Henare pins Yota Tsuji after the Toa Bottom
Time: 9:42

Match Thoughts
Good match. Nakanishi is retiring later in February, and this mostly felt like a tribute match for him. It ended with a fight between the youngest two men in the match, but it began with Nakanishi taking charge. This was pretty fun.

 

Match 3
Ryusuke Taguchi & Roppongi 3K (IWGP Jr. Tag Champs) & Will Ospreay vs Douki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado & Zack Sabre Jr. (RPW British Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Ryusuke Taguchi pins Douki after DoDon
Time: 11:46

Match Thoughts
This was fun. Roppongi 3K will be defending the Jr. Tag Titles against El Desperado and Kanemaru soon, and ZSJ will be defending the RPW title against Ospreay, so those were the main focuses of this match. I really enjoyed the parts with ZSP versus Ospreay, and I can’t wait for that match. This was a good double-preview match.

 

Match 4
Robbie Eagles & Ryu Lee (ROH TV Champ) vs BUSHI (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Champ) & Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Robbie Eagles submits BUSHI with the Ron Miller Special
Time: 11:46

Match Thoughts
Good match. Lee and Takahashi started the match against each other, and they gave a strong preview for their upcoming title match. If this was any indication, that match will be hard-hitting and high-flying. Eagles and BUSHI paired off late in the match, and that turned into a nice bit of action for Eagles. The Jr. Heavyweight title situation might be getting quite interesting.

 

Match 5
Jay White w/ Gedo & KENTA vs SANADA & Tetsuya Naito (IWGP Heavyweight & IC Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jay White pins SANADA after a chair shot from Gedo (and a handful of tights)
Time: 18:44

Match Thoughts
Good match. Jay White seemed to be the biggest antagonist in this match, though KENTA wasn’t far behind. Naito and SANADA remained calm, but this was a tough match for them as it went longer. This was a preview for Naito versus KENTA and SANADA versus White, and I’m 100% pulling for both LIJ members in those matches. This preview match just confirmed those feelings.

 

Match 6
Taichi w/ Miho Abe & Minoru Suzuki vs Kazuchika Okada & Jon Moxley (IWGP US Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Minoru Suzuki pins Jon Moxley after a Gotch-style piledriver
Time: 17:49

Match Thoughts
Very good match. Or rather, this felt more like two very good singles matches taking place simultaneously. Moxley and Suzuki started against each other, and they started throwing hard strikes right away. Suzuki seemed to be the tougher man tonight, but he and Moxley pretty much never stopped brawling, whether they were legal in the match or not. Okada and Taichi took it a little easier, but not much. They fought hard against each other, and Taichi gave Okada a pretty bad beating after the match (at least for a while).

 

Ring Area
After the match, Taichi chokes Okada at ringside and beats Okada up in the ring. Taichi gets out Iizuka’s metal glove, but Okada stops Taichi before he can use it. Zack Sabre Jr. runs out and holds Okada back, giving Taichi an opening. Will Ospreay runs out next to help Okada, but ZSJ and Taichi end up beating up both of their future opponents. Taichi hits Okada with Black Mephisto on the ramp before putting Okada in the Holy Emperor’s Tomb. Okada has to be helped away from the ring area while Taichi gets on the mic and gloats about what he’s done and what he’s going to do.

 

Match 7
EVIL vs Tomohiro Ishii
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tomohiro Ishii wins via pinfall after a vertical drop brainbuster
Time: 21:15

Match Thoughts
Great match. Both men were swinging hard, and it turned into a contest of who could take the most damage before falling down. Knowing that EVIL hadn’t beaten Ishii in a singles match before, I was probably pulling a little for the King of Darkness. Regardless of the outcome though, this was a very fun match to watch. Ishii always seems to pull out some of the very best fights from people.

 

Match 8
NEVER Openweight Title Match
Shingo Takagi (NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Champ) vs Hirooki Goto (NEVER Openweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Shingo Takagi wins via pinfall after Last of the Dragon and becomes the 29th NEVER Openweight Champ
Time: 20:12

Match Thoughts
Great match! The previous match tonight was hard-hitting, but this was even harder. Shingo and Goto tried to smash each other with their fists, heads, and numerous slams. Both men took a serious beating, and the match went on until one man just couldn’t stand up anymore. I liked this a whole lot.

 

Show Impressions
This was a fun show. The opening tag matches were fun, but the final two singles matches were great. I was very happy with both of these. This was a great start to the NEW BEGINNING tour.

Match of the Night
Shingo Takagi vs Hirooki Goto
Shingo is great, and he’s one of my current favorites. He always delivers, and tonight’s main event was no exception. This was very fun.

 

Official results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/222317?showResult=1

 

 

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