After a heart-stopping Wrestle Kingdom, New Japan Pro Wrestling kept the momentum going with the New Beginning in Osaka show.
Here’s the match card:
1. Manabu Nakanishi, Tencozy, Yuji Nagata vs Henare, GBH, Ryusuke Taguchi
2. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado) vs the champions Chaos’ Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH)
3. FinJuice, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi vs Bullet Club: GoD, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi with Pieter and Jado
4. Chaos: Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs Suzuki-Gun’s Dangerous Tekkers: ZSJ & TAICHI
5. LiJ’s SANADA vs Bullet Club’s Jay White
6. IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Ryu Lee vs Champion LiJ’s Hiromu Takahashi
7. IWGP US Championship: Suzuki-Gun’s Minoru Suzuki Vs Champion Jon Moxley
8. IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Dual Championship Match: LiJ’s Tetsuya Naito vs Bullet Club’s KENTA
Nakanishi, Nagata, Tencozy vs Henare, Taguchi & GBH
Nakanishi got a proper send-off for his final match in Osaka just like Nagata and friends had hoped for. It was obvious that the opposing team of Henare’s would take the fall but, nonetheless, it was a feel good moment to start off the night.
IWGP Jr. Tag Championship: Kanemaru & Desperado vs R3K
Man, as much fun as this match was, you can tell how thin the Jr. Tag Division is by this match alone. Besides R3K and SZG, I can’t really think of other teams to join title contention.
R3K defeated SZG sadly. Desperado deserves another title run soon.
However, our prayers were answered as the Mega Coaches team of Taguchi and Rocky Romero challenged R3K in a future match for the Jr. Tag Belts.
FinJuice, Tanahashi, Ibushi vs Bullet Club (GoD, Owens, Yujiro)
During the New Beginning USA Tour, GoD would defeat FinJuice to regain the tag belts for some reason. We really need more teams in the tag division.
Man, this was fun. After a month away, Kota Ibushi was back in full form. We didn’t have much interaction between Ibushi and Owens though. That match will have to wait.
We had the usual high-paced fun tag team match that NJPW is known for. In the end, we had a surprise finish when Tanahashi pinned Tanga Loa.
Despite the finish, FinJuice had objections to the result since they were the former champions. Tanahashi & Ibushi would argue with FinJuice as the BC left the ring.
Okada & Ospreay vs Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & ZSJ)
Seeing Okada in a preliminary match feels so weird but, it’s a much needed break from having him in the main event scene. We had two rivalries intertwined. Okada and TAICHI are competing to see who is the better Young Lion graduate and Ospreay trying to challenge ZSJ and prove he can be a Heavyweight.
We had a fast-paced match from start to finish and Okada pinned Taichi with a Rainmaker.
SANADA vs Jay White
This match was all about SANADA proving that he could hang with the main event stars.
Despite Sanada applying the Paradise Lock, and getting a thumbs up from Milano Collection A.T., Jay White used shenangigans to defeat Sanada. There is no surprise here. I think Gedo is going to make Sanada lose again and again until he wins the New Japan Cup this year. At this rate, the 2020 Cup is Sanada’s to lose.
We’ve seen Gedo apply his formula of pushing a wrestler all the way down before bringing them back up to success. From Naito’s seven year long journey to becoming double champ, Balloon Okada and more. Sanada is inching closer and closer to singles gold.
As for Jay White, we already know he’s good. He’s getting better every time. There’s not much to say about this match.
IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship Match: Ryu Lee vs Hiromu Takahashi (C)
Ah! We’re finally here. The match of the night. It’s not even close.
After more than a year’s worth of waiting, we finally got Hiromu and Ryu Lee’s rematch. And my goodness it delivered. From the eternal chopfest to the breakneck speed of that damn table spot, we knew what to expect from this match and we were still at the edge of our seats.
What I did not expect was the attempts by Ryu Lee to go for THAT move that broke Hiromu’s neck. If we’re talking about matches that leave you speechless for the night, Hiromu vs Ryu Lee is it.
Words can not be used to describe this match. You must watch it. (Subscription required)
IWGP US Championship Match: Minoru Suzuki vs Jon Moxley
You want an all-out brawl? This is the match you’re looking for. Ever since Moxley debuted in New Japan, fans were already clamoring for a match between himself and Minoru Suzuki.
The match started off with dueling chair shots. You would think we were watching a lightsaber duel! These last three matches simply went all out. There was even a moment when Moxley slammed a chair against Suzuki’s head and Suzuki just laughed maniacally. Like what I said before, there are no words.
Moxley vs Suzuki was as insane as it comes for a New Japan match. In the end, Moxley pinned Suzuki with a Death Rider. What happened next is intriguing.
After the match, Zack Sabre Jr. attacked Jon Moxley to challenge for the US Belt. This means Moxley is about to face a third member of Suzuki-Gun. He already faced Archer in Wrestle Kingdom and Suzuki here at New Beginning. The question now is…when will ZSJ face Moxley?
IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Double Championship Match: KENTA vs Tetsuya Naito
There were seeds of doubt planted throughout January and the early days of February when KENTA pinned Naito in prior multi-man matches.
When we got to Osaka Jo-Hall, our minds were free from doubt as Naito defeated KENTA for his first successful title defense. However, the road was not easy, KENTA gave his all and even made Naito bleed hard. Some fans said that the blood was planted but Naito’s stitches in the post-event press conference beg to differ.
Naito even said he was still dizzy from all the blood loss. He and KENTA brought their all for this match. KENTA being the outsider interfering with Naito’s biggest roll call yet. Naito as the champion who is still, in our eyes, the ultimate underdog. Can he defend both belts when he lost it easily before?
Well, it’s safe to say we can rest easy for now. Naito can now focus on his next challenge which is the NJPW Anniversary Show.
It has become tradition for the Heavyweight Champion to face the Junior Heavyweight Champion during the Anniversary Show. Last year, we had Jay White face Will Ospreay. This year, we’re getting a match that has been brewing for years: Tetsuya Naito vs Hiromu Takashi.
Now for the context: Tetsuya Naito took Hiromu Takahashi under his wing when Hiromu was still a Young Lion. Naito noticed that Hiromu was a little bit slower compared to the rest of his batch and he asked Hiromu if he would be willing to undergo training with him. One of Naito’s promises was that he would face Hiromu when they were both champions and now we’re here.
Naito is the Heavyweight and Intercontinental Champion while Hiromu is Junior Champion. What makes this match so unique is the fact that they have never faced each other in singles competition. The student is going to face his teacher and if Hiromu pins Naito, we could see Hiromu face Naito for the Heavyweight belt.
Hiromu has always said that he wants to be Junior and Heavyweight Champion at the same time. After the March anniversary show, we could get a clearer picture of what will happen between these two.
Overall, New Beginning in Osaka was an excellent show. Even what would be considered “dud” matches like Sanada vs Jay were still decent. There wasn’t much history between the two but, it was still decent.
The standout match for me is still Hiromu vs Ryu Lee. There really are no words to describe it. Just watch it on NJPW World. It’s only about Php500 per month. We’re telling you, it’s worth it!