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THE NEW BEGINNING in OSAKA Recap & Review

NJPW – THE NEW BEGINNING in OSAKA
Event Date: February 9, 2020 (16:00 JST)
aired live on NJPW World
#njnbg

City: Chuo, Osaka, Osaka, Japan
Venue: Osaka-Jo Hall
Attendance: 11,411
Tour: THE NEW BEGINNING

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

 

Show/Hide Match Previews

 

Video
Tonight’s matches are announced with some brief context given for each bout.

 

Match 1
Ryusuke Taguchi & Toa Henare & Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Satoshi Kojima pins Tomoaki Honma after a running lariat (and a diving chop from Nakanishi)
Time: 7:09

Match Thoughts
This was a lot of fun. You could feel the respect everyone had for each other in this match, and you could especially feel the respect everyone had for Nakanishi. This was Nakanishi’s final match in Osaka before his retirement on the 22nd of this month, and this was a great way to send him and the fans off with some nice memories. Nakanishi was like a bear in the ring, and it was very fun to watch.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Nakanishi gets on the mic and thanks everyone for coming out today. He says he got his start in Osaka 27 years ago. He was terrible then, but thanks to the support of the fans he was able to have a long career. He will give everything he has for his final four matches.

 

Match 2
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado vs Roppongi 3K (Jr. Heavyweight Tag Champs) w/ Rocky Romero
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Sho pins Yoshinobu Kanemaru after Strong X
Time: 16:22

Match Thoughts
Very good match. El Desperado and Kanemaru went after Sho’s leg (which they injured during the Road to THE NEW BEGINNING tour), and that put Roppongi 3K in a bad position right from the start. Roppongi 3K had to work hard to even have a chance of winning, and it wasn’t until late in the match that they really looked like they were coming together with some sustained offense. This was a fun and fairly tense match. Any team from Suzuki Gun is only a few cheats away from a victory, so that plus Sho’s injury helped create a lot of suspense as the match neared the finish.

 

Ring Area
After the match, El Desperado and Yoh get into a little slap/shove altercation. The young lions at ringside help keep a brawl from happening, and the Suzuki Gun team leaves.

After that, Ryusuke Taguchi comes down to the ring with a basketball and a headband. Taguchi puts the headband on Rocky Romero. Taguchi says the titles look good on Roppongi 3K, and Rocky Romero is a great coach, but Rocky is also a great wrestler. Taguchi invites Romero to join him as the Mega Coaches and challenge for the Jr. Heavyweight Tag Titles together. Taguchi passes Romero the basketball and sets his arms up in a hoop. Yoh tries to reason with Romero, but Romero sinks a basket in Taguchi’s arm hoop, thereby agreeing to join him in challenging for the titles.

Yoh says he expected this from Taguchi, but not from Romero. Yoh says he and Sho haven’t surpassed Rocky Romero yet, so he accepts the challenge. Yoh is confident that Roppongi 3K will retain their titles.

 

Match 3
David Finlay & Juice Robinson & Kota Ibushi & Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Yujiro Takahashi w/ Pieter & Chase Owens & Guerrillas of Destiny (IWGP Heavyweight Tag Champs) w/ Jado
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiroshi Tanahashi pins Tanga Loa with a schoolboy
Time: 10:50

Match Thoughts
Good match. The way the finish happened wasn’t the best, but the match leading up to the finish was nice. Bullet Club seemed supremely confident tonight, and they did very well throughout the match. Their opponents had bursts of offense, but it felt like Bullet Club was in control for most of this fight. The match definitely had some tag title implications, I just felt like it was done in a very easy way.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Bullet Club tries to attack Tanahashi, but Kota Ibushi fights them off.

Video
A special announcement video tells us that the G1 Climax will be coming to Osaka in September (for the start of the tournament) and October, NJPW will present Wrestle Dynasty at Madison Square Garden in August, and World Pro Wrestling Returns will hit the airwaves in Japan later this year.

 

Match 4
Taichi w/ Miho Abe & Zack Sabre Jr. (RPW British Heavyweight Champ) vs Will Ospreay & Kazuchika Okada
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada pins Taichi after the Rainmaker
Time: 11:50

Match Thoughts
Very good match. The highlights were definitely between Ospreay and ZSJ. Taichi and Okada looked good as well, but it feels like their rivalry is going away while Ospreay and Sabre’s rivalry is continuing to heat up. ZSJ and Taichi weren’t able to cheat as much as Suzuki Gun teams usually do, and that proved to be a problem for them. Chaos was strong in this match.

 

Match 5
Jay White w/ Gedo vs SANADA
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jay White wins via pinfall after Bladerunner
Time: 21:52

Match Thoughts
Very good match. This felt like an important fight for SANADA. He was seemingly poised for greatness last year (and has been on the cusp of greatness for a while), but he’s struggled over the past few months. On top of that, he’s the only member of LIJ without a title belt. This match wasn’t for a title, but a win over Jay White (a high-profile and perennial title contender) would mean a lot for him, though a loss could be crushing. SANADA fought like he needed to win, but the shenanigans of White and Gedo proved to be difficult to overcome. I particularly enjoyed the final few minutes of the match.

 

Video
A look at the rival story between Hiromu Takahashi and Ryu Lee.

 

Match 6
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match
Ryu Lee (ROH TV Champ) vs Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Hiromu Takahashi pins Ryu Lee after the Time Bomb
Time: 23:54

Match Thoughts
Great match! It felt like both men had something to prove tonight. It also felt like this rivalry brought out a vicious side of both men. Lee and Takahashi tried to destroy each other with incredibly hard strikes and some super-high-risk dives. The match started with more than five minutes of chops where neither man wanted to give in, and both men refused to stop chopping. That set a brutal tone for the match that continued once both men started showing their speed and agility. This wasn’t the most high-flying Jr. Heavyweight Title match I’ve seen, but it was up there with one of the hardest-hitting.

 

Video
A look at the rivalry between Minoru Suzuki and Jon Moxley.

 

Match 7
IWGP United States Heavyweight Title Match
Minoru Suzuki vs Jon Moxley (IWGP US Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Jon Moxley wins via pinfall after Death Rider
Time: 17:16

Match Thoughts
Great match! Moxley invited Suzuki to start the fight on the stage, and Suzuki obliged, bringing two chairs so they could start with a duel. From there, the violence escalated inside and outside the ring. Tables and chairs were used, and many, many strikes were thrown. Moxley was tough, but Suzuki was like some sort of horror movie monster. Suzuki would take Moxley’s hardest shots and go down, but he’d continue to get back up with a smile on his face. That seemed to pump Moxley up even more. By the end of the match, it seemed like Moxley’s goal was just to try to get Suzuki down for as long as he could, because Suzuki was definitely going to get back up no matter what (with a smile on his face and more strikes to throw).

 

Ring Area
After the match, as Suzuki is leaving the ring area, Zack Sabre Jr. grabs the IWGP US Title and hits Moxley with it. Sabre jumps onto Moxley’s back and puts him in a rear naked choke. After his grueling match, Moxley goes down at the hands of ZSJ. Sabre poses with the US Title belt before dropping it onto Moxley’s back and leaving the ring.

 

Video
A look at the rivalry between KENTA and Tetsuya Naito.

Ring Area
KENTA heads to the ring for the main event, and he is accompanied by every member of Bullet Club in attendance tonight. Tetsuya Naito comes out next, and he is by himself. Red Shoes Unno isn’t thrilled with having Bullet Club at ringside for the title match, and he discusses the situation with them. Tama Tonga gets pissed and shoves Red Shoes. That prompts Red Shoes to throw out every person who accompanied KENTA to the ring. That leaves KENTA and Naito alone so they can start the match.

 

Match 8
IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Title Match
KENTA vs Tetsuya Naito (IWGP IC & Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tetsuya Naito wins via pinfall after Destino
Time: 34:40

Match Thoughts
Great match! It took a while for Naito to get going tonight, but that’s not entirely unusual for him. The first part of the match had KENTA avoiding Naito and intentionally trying to aggravate the champ. Naito seemed calm though, and he just waited in the ring for KENTA to decide to start the fight. Once they came together, KENTA got the better of Naito for quite a while. Naito absorbed a lot of punishment, and KENTA took his time dishing it out. Late in the match, members of Bullet Club and LIJ showed up to try to sway the momentum of the battle, but their actions were mostly neutralized. This match was decided between KENTA and Naito in a tense final few minutes that built up to a good finish.

 

Ring Area
After the match, Naito tells KENTA to go away. As KENTA leaves, Naito says he wants a match with the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ, Hiromu Takahashi. Takahashi comes to the ring and says Naito has helped him throughout his career and even trained him. He says Naito told Takahashi that they should have a match against each other the day he left for excursion. So yes, Takahashi would like to have a match against Naito. Naito tells everyone to look forward to it. Naito and Takahashi then do the LIG salute together.

 

Show Impressions
This was a very good show. I felt like the final three matches were significantly better than the previous five, but everything was good tonight.

Match of the Night
KENTA vs Tetsuya Naito
This is a tough call, because I think all three of the final matches are equally good. Rather than pick a three-way tie though, I’ll choose the main event as the best match tonight.

 

Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/222322?showResult=1

 

 

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