Japanese Wrestling

NJPW – The New Beginning in Sapporo, February 2, 2020 – Full Results and Review

This show was live on February 2, 2020 on njpwworld and is available on-demand. The subscription service costs ¥999 p/m and like most Japanese subscription services, they charge at midnight on the first of the month (Japan standard time). New subscribers should look to sign up early in the month to get the most out of their subscription.

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The commentary team for this show is Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton and Gino Gambino.

The show opens with a video package building up this New Beginning tour.

Yota Tsuji vs Toa Henare

  • This starts strong and fans seem into it. Henare gets the upper hand early over the Young Lion. Henare picks up Tsuji for a vertical suplex and holds him for a few seconds before slamming him to the mat. Tsuji fights back and hits a powerslam for two. Tsuji hits loads of forearms, two chops and a slap, followed by a big spear for another two. Yota Tsuji looks great here but Henare is too much. Henare wins with a Toa Bottom. Winner: Toa Henare in 8:17.

Tiger Mask, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Manabu Nakanishi vs Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Yuya Uemura

  • Uemura starts the match and wants Nakanishi, so Tiger Mask tags him in. Nakanishi makes quick work of the Young Lion and Uemura tags Honma. Tenzan tags in and takes it to Honma for a while. Honma tags Makabe after dodging a Kokeshi headbutt from Tenzan. Tiger Mask and Uemura tag in and the Young Lion runs wild until Tiger rolls out of the way and kicks Uemura right in the head. Big underhook suplex to Uemura off the top rope but the pin is broken up. Tiger Mask hits the Tiger suplex to Uemura for the win. Another good match. Winners: Tiger Mask, Tenzan and Manabu Nakanishi in 9:48.

Nakanishi gets a microphone after the match and speaks about his match on February 22nd. This is his last time in this venue. He thanks the fans and bows.

Gabriel Kidd vs El Phantasmo

  • This is Gab Kidd’s first televised appearance for New Japan after leaving his home in the UK to train under Shibata in Los Angeles. Gabriel Kidd was an established wrestler in the UK for a number of years until he decided to go down the Japanese wrestling route. Good for him. The first few minutes is mat wrestling and Gab Kidd looks good against ELP. About three minutes in, ELP starts working over the arm of Kidd. ELP walks the ropes around the ring and hits a head-scissors. ELP scratches down the back of Kidd with multiple back rakes. Gab Kidd looks great in this match right up until the point ELP hits a huge splash for the win. It is often the way with a NJPW Young Lions match that just when you think “wow, this guy looks great!” He loses. I find this to get both guys as over as possible, and very effective. Nice first match for Gabriel Kidd. Winner: ELP in 8:50.

Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Robbie Eagles vs BUSHI, EVIL & Shingo Takagi

  • Shingo comes out with his Never Openweight tag belt and his newly won Never Openweight Championship belt. Shingo claims that if IWGP is number 1, then Never is the only one. Shingo is perfect for the Never Openweight division as he can now face both Heavyweights and Jr Heavyweights. Ishii and EVIL start the match very hard and within twenty seconds Ishii is down and has to tag out. Two minutes in, all six men fight at ringside. Shingo and Ishii go.at it, and I hope to see this program for the Never title soon. After a great exchange, Shingo knocks Ishii down with a thunderous lariat. Robbie Eagles, Ishii, and Goto target the knee of BUSHI in a barrage of offence, then Eagles submits BUSHI with the Ron Miller Special to win. Winners: Eagles, Ishii and Goto in 9:42.

It is announced here that the Gorillas of Destiny have won the IWGP Heavyweight tag titles back on the US tour. It feels odd to have a B-show house show tour that isn’t shown anywhere, in a different country, during a big tour in Japan like the New Beginning tour.

Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado & DOUKI vs Taguchi, SHO, YOH & Jon Moxley

  • As Moxley makes his way through the crowd, Suzuki leaves the ring and runs to Moxley and meets him in the crowd as they fight all over the building. Moxley and Suzuki fight around the announcers and climb on a table. El Desperado and YOH are in the ring as Suzuki and Moxley destroy more announce tables. Moxley bites Suzuki as he kicks and screams. Moxley sent into the rails as SHO and YOH fights Kanemaru and Desperado in the ring. Suzuki hits Moxley with a chair and strangles him at ringside. This is wild. Moxley and Suzuki both tag in and forearms fly in the ring. They smash each other over and over until Mox goes for a Deathrider, but Suzuki reverses it and goes for a GSP, but Mox reverses. They trade bug kicks to the jaw. They tag out and Taguchi, SHO, and YOH take out DOUKI while Moxley and Suzuki fight more at ringside. Taguchi doesn’t notice that SHO and YOH were taken out and Suzuki-gun target Taguchi. Moxley and Suzuki fight in the ring and when Taguchi gets in, both Suzuki and Moxley kick him in the gut. Taguchi submits DOUKI with an ankle lock in this insane battle. Moxley and Suzuki fight on their way out, they just don’t stop. Winners: Taguchi, SHO, YOH, and Jon Moxley in 12:57.

An announcement of more date in this area of Japan and the fans in attendance seem very happy. No international dates announced for this year.

Taiji Ishimori, “Switchblade” Jay White & KENTA vs Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA & Tetsuya Naito

  • Bullet Club get the jump start as Naito makes his way down. Takahashi is legal in the ring with Ishimori but quickly it spills to ringside. KENTA attacks Naito, Jay White chokes SANADA with a camera cord as Ishimori rolls Takahashi in the ring. Ishimori, White and KENTA beat down Hiromu for the heat. Naito and KENTA tag in and whack each other with forearms until KENTA targets Naito’s eye. Naito dropkicks KENTA’s injured shoulder. KENTA hits a shotgun dropkick on Naito and a double stomp from the top for a two count. After a battle between Naito and KENTA that leaves both men down, they tag out to SANADA and Jay White respectively. Ishimori gets involved and is put in the Paradise lock by SANADA. Jay White takes advantage and briefly gets the upper hand. SANADA hits a backdrop for a double down. Ishimori tags in to face SANADA. Ishimori takes it to SANADA using his speed and agility, but SANADA reverses a tilt-a-whirl into a Skull End and submits Ishimori. Winners: SANADA, Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito in 15:34.

British Heavyweight Championship Match – Will Ospreay vs Zack Sabre Jr(c)

  • This starts with some very good mat wrestling, Zack has the upper hand, but Will can hold his own. This is minutes and minutes of very good chain wrestling but about seven minutes in it moves to ringside. Back in the ring Zack begins to take over and target the neck of Will. ZSJ beats down Will, working over him with multiple holds. Will fights back and puts Zack in a figure four leg lock. Will hits a flapjack on ZSJ which looked brutal as ZSJ lands on his head. ZSJ kicks the hell out of Will so Will stands up and with his last gasp, punches ZSJ hard. They both go down. Will hits an Oscutter but ZSJ rolls out. Zack keeps rolling out of the ring so Will dives on him with a Sasuke Special. Back in the ring ZSJ keeps the pressure on Will with multiple submissions. In the end Zack wrapped Will up in so many submissions that Will Ospreay passed out and the referee Red Shoes called for the bell. Will did not give up, but Zack comes out successful and still your British Heavyweight champion. Winner: Zack Sabre Jr in 27:04.

Special Singles Match – Kazuchika Okada vs Taichi

  • Taichi destroyed Okada on the show before this, so the story is that Okada might even be too injured to wrestle tonight. The match starts when Taichi jumps Okada as he takes his jacket off. Taichi targets the neck of Okada but after just a few seconds Okada fights back, clutching his neck. Okada takes this to ringside very early and hits his running crossbody over the barrier but lays there holding his neck. Okada is doing okay despite the injury to his neck, until about the five minute point when Taichi hit a brutal Saito suplex on Okada’s head. Back at ringside Taichi throws Okada into barriers and chokes him with a cord. Okada has little flurries but is quickly cut off by Taichi. Taichi takes Okada up the ramp where he attacked Okada the night before but after a struggle, Okada delivers a running dropkick that sends Taichi backwards down the ramp. Okada seems to have a bust of adrenaline or something because he delivers a big elbow drop in the ring and immediately goes for Rainmaker without selling his neck. Taichi stops the Rainmaker attempt and kicks Okada in the neck. Taichi puts the iron glove on his hand as he lays in the corner but Okada stops him using it, puts Taichi on the top rope, and dropkicks Taichi out of the ring. Kanemaru comes down and distracted Red Shoes so Taichi hits Okada in the back and smashed the chain in to bits over the head of Oakda. Okada kicks out at two so Taichi stretches him. Okada keeps fighting back so Taichi hits another very high angle Saito suplex on Okada’s head, followed by another. Taichi hits a backdrop with a bridge but Okada kicks out. Quick reversal by Okada as he hits a tombstone for a double down. At the twenty five minute point they trade big boots to the face. Okada gets a backslide, Taichi trolls through, Okada hits a short Rainmaker. Taichi hits a low blow and a Gedo clutch for what looked to be three but Red Shoes says two. Taichi hits a last ride powerbomb for a great nearfall. Okada reverses Black Mephisto into a spinning Rainmaker. One last fight from Taichi but Okada hits a spinning tombstone and a Rainmaker for the three count. Very good match and Taichi continues to surprise me with very good matches. Taichi looks distraught as he leaves the ring while Okada celebrates. Very good. Winner: Kazuchika Okada in 30:52.

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