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NJPW The New Beginning in Hiroshima (Night 2) Recap & Review

Night 2
Event Date: February 11, 2021 (15:00 JST)
aired live on NJPW World

City: Nishi, Hiroshima, Hiroshima, Japan
Venue: Hiroshima Sun Plaza Hall
Attendance: 2,007

Commentary (English): Kevin Kelly, Zack Sabre Jr. (7)
Commentary (Japanese): Milano Collection AT, Jushin Thunder Liger, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Koki Yamazaki (1, 4, 5), Hiroki Mikami (2, 7), Yuichi Tabata (3, 6)
Ring Announcer: Kimihiko Ozaki (1 – 3), Makoto Abe (4 – 7)


The opening video highlights tonight’s two big title matches as the New Beginning comes to an end.


Match 1
Yuya Uemura & Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji vs Douki & Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Zack Sabre Jr. submits Gabriel Kidd with a modified Fujiwara armbar
Time: 8:51

Match Thoughts
A very good opener. The young lion trio didn’t quite work as well together tonight as they did last night, but they still managed to get on the same page towards the end of the match. Tsuji was kind of out for himself tonight, and he wanted to fight Taichi. Tsuji sort of got what he wanted after a while, but the best match-up in this match was Gabriel Kidd versus Zack Sabre Jr. Kidd and ZSJ had a very nice exchange in the final sequence of the match, and it made me want to see more.


Match 2
Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki vs Master Wato w/ Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tomoaki Honma & SHO
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Master Wato pins Yoshinobu Kanemaru with a jackknife cover
Time: 8:07

Match Thoughts
This was a fun match. Honma and Suzuki starting things off with some nice striking exchanges, then the match started to break down a bit. Everyone had some moments in the ring, then it settled down to Wato and Kanemaru for the final sequence. They had a nice exchange, but some awkwardness in the actual finish hurt the match a but overall in my opinion. It was still a fine undercard match though.


Match 3
El Phantasmo (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Taiji Ishimori (IWGP Jr. Tag Champ) & Yujiro Takahashi vs BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi (IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champ) & Tetsuya Naito
(referee: Kenta Sato)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Tetsuya Naito pins Yujiro Takahashi after Destino
Time: 9:54

Match Thoughts
This was a good early preview match for BUSHI & Hiromu versus El Phantasmo & Ishimori for the Jr. Tag Titles (which I don’t guess has been officially announced, but surely it will happen). There were lots of fast and fun exchanges, and the pace was kept high throughout. Naito and Yujiro ended up being the last two in the ring, and that allowed Naito to show off. Naito doesn’t really have anything going on right now, but he looks like he’s always having a lot of fun. I really like how he always supports his faction-mates in times like these.


The ring is cleaned and sanitized during a brief intermission.


Match 4
Dick Togo & EVIL vs Toru Yano (KOPW 2021 Provisional Champ) & Kazuchika Okada
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: The match ends in a Draw when EVIL and Okada brawl at ringside and get counted out
Time: 1:27

Match Thoughts
This was interesting. It wasn’t so much a match as it was a match as it was buildup for a potential Okada versus EVIL Match. Okada attacked EVIL before the bell, and despite their fight spilling out to the floor, the referee started the match. The match ended less than a minute and a half later as both men ignored the referee’s count and continued to brawl at ringside. Since this rarely happens in NJPW, it really sticks out as a good and unique way to build a rivalry.


Ring Area
After the match, Okada gets on the mic as EVIL and Dick Togo begin to walk away. Okada calls out EVIL and demands a one on one match right now. Red Shoes Unno comes out and asks EVIL if he wants to do it. EVIL agrees and sends Dick Togo to the back, and a special singles match begins!


Match 5
Kazuchika Okada vs EVIL
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kazuchika Okada wins via DQ when Dick Togo returns to the ring and attacks Okada
Time: 5:41

Match Thoughts
Ultimately, this too was a way to build up the rivalry between Okada and EVIL. The two men started off with a nice grudge match, but it didn’t go too long before Dick Togo returned to the ring and screwed everything up. Well, he screwed everything up for Okada. Okada got a double-team beating, then Toru Yano got one too as he ran out to try to help Okada. This was a very cool feeling to it, and even though it ended in a frustrating way, that frustration will surely make the eventual, actual, one on one match that much more interesting.


Match 6
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Title Match
Guerrillas of Destiny (IWGP Tag Champs) w/ Jado & Jay White w/ Gedo vs YOSHI-HASHI & Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto (NEVER 6-Man Tag Champs)
(referee: Marty Asami)

Show/Hide Results

Result: YOSHI-HASHI pins Tanga Loa with a roll-up, Chaos retain the titles in the third defense of their first reign as a team
Time: 27:01

Match Thoughts
Great match. Combining the always sound strategizing of Jay White with the tag team dominance of the Guerrillas of Destiny was a great idea for Bullet Club. White and GOC dominated the majority of this match, and they had YOSHI-HASHI is serious trouble very early. Bullet Club maybe should have pressed for the win during that time though, because the longer they allowed Chaos’s anger to build, the better Chaos got. YOSHI-HASHI had the heart and will to keep fighting, and Ishii and Goto provided the strength. At times later in the match Chaos put Bullet Club on the defensive, and that minimized Jay White’s strategy. Still, the best Goto and Ishii could do was to allow YOSHI-HASHI to have a mostly uninterrupted segment with Tanga Loa lat in the match, and that led to a fun finish.


Ring Area
After the match, YOSHI-HASHI issues a challenge to Guerrillas of Destiny for an IWGP Tag Title match for himself and Hirooki Goto. Bullet Club walks away without responding.


Match 7
IWGP Intercontinental & Heavyweight Double Title Match
SANADA vs Kota Ibushi (IWGP IC & Heavyweight Champ)
(referee: Red Shoes Unno)

Show/Hide Results

Result: Kota Ibushi wins via pinfall after Kamigoye and retains the title in his second defense of the double title
Time: 27:51

Match Thoughts
Great match. This was a well-fought match from both men with nice technical exchanges, some good striking, and a few (though not too many) high-risk moves. The fight started out very respectful with some mat wrestling. The match went to the floor earlier than I expected, but it didn’t stay outside very long. There were only a few times that they fought out to the floor, and though a few big moves were hit out there, they tended to want to settle this title match in the center of the ring. SANADA was clearly setting up Ibushi’s neck for Skull End early and often with various holds and at least one lawn dart into the turnbuckle pad, but Ibushi’s attack was more all-around. Ibushi went for whatever he could get, and that involved a lot of strikes as the match went on. SANADA tended to rely on more technical holds as the minutes passed, and the fight got fairly tense towards the end. There were some extremely close near falls before the actual finish, and overall I really enjoyed this match. My initial reaction is to say their G1 Final match was probably more exciting, but a lot of that could have been some of the circumstances surrounding it. This match was likely just as good, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.


Ring Area
After the match, Kota Ibushi grabs a microphone. Before the champ can speak, Tetsuya Naito comes out and enters the ring. Right away, Naito announces his intention to be Ibushi’s next challenger. However, Ibushi beat Naito at Wrestle Kingdom, so he knows he can’t challenge for the double championship. Instead, Naito wants to challenge Ibushi just for the Intercontinental Title. Naito is against Ibushi’s goal of officially unifying the titles, so he wants to take one away from him.

Ibushi responds by first asking the crowd if they want to see an Intercontinental Title match. They do, so Ibushi says the match is fine with him. Anytime, anywhere.


Show Impressions
This was a great show to end the New Beginning tour. There were no title changes again tonight, but I think these past two nights did a good job of firmly establishing some of the current title holders while forming the beginnings of some interesting rivalries going forward.

Match of the Night
SANADA vs Kota Ibushi
I do want SANADA to be champ one day, and I think he will, but I was happy with the result here.


Official Results (Japanese): https://www.njpw.co.jp/tornament/271721?showResult=1



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