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  1. #1
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo / Osaka 2020

    New Japan announced the full cards of the New Beginning shows in Sapporo and Osaka:

    New Beginning in Sapporo - Night One (February 1)

    - Tiger Mask IV and Yuya Uemura vs. Taiji Ishimori and El Phantasmo
    - Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma and Toa Henare vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi and Yota Tsuji
    - Will Ospreay, SHO, YOH and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and DOUKI
    - Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI vs. Ryu Lee and Robbie Eagles
    - Tetsuya Naito and SANADA vs. KENTA and Jay White
    - Kazuchika Okada and Jon Moxley vs. TAICHI and Minoru Suzuki
    - Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL
    - Hirooki Goto vs. Shingo Takagi for the NEVER Openweight Championship


    New Beginning in Sapporo - Night Two (February 2)

    - Toa Henare vs. Yota Tsuji
    - Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma and Yuya Uemura vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi and Tiger Mask IV
    - El Phantasmo vs. Gabriel Kidd
    - Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii and Robbie Eagles vs. Shingo Takagi, EVIL & BUSHI
    - Jon Moxley, SHO, YOH and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and DOUKI
    - Tetsuya Naito, SANADA and Hiromu Takahashi vs. KENTA, Jay White and Taiji Ishimori
    - Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Will Ospreay for the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship
    - Kazuchika Okada vs. TAICHI

    New Beginning in Osaka (February 9)

    - Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima and Yuji Nagata vs. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Toa Henare and Ryusuke Taguchi
    - SHO & YOH v. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
    - Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Juice Robinson and David Finlay vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi and Chase Owens
    - Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay vs. TAICHI and Zack Sabre Jr.
    - SANADA vs. Jay White
    - Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryu Lee for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship
    - Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki for the IWGP United States Championship
    - Tetsuya Naito vs. KENTA for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships

    Holy crap, did they stack that card for the Osaka-jo Hall show. Looks like announcing the card did the trick because it seems like the show sold out shortly after. I managed to snag a good seat in the first five rows, so I'm definitely looking forward to that event.
    Last edited by Degenerate; 01-13-2020 at 09:35 PM.

  2. #2
    The Brain
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    I heard Osaka sold out almost instantly! Great that you snagged tickets, I'm sure it's gonna be a super fun show.

    I'm surprised but pleased at how well KENTA has done reinventing himself, he was never going to be quite the same as 00s KENTA so focusing more on getting heat is a good idea for him. Doesn't seem like he has a chance in hell of beating Naito but it should be a hot match.

    Moxley/Suzuki is a match fans have been asking for since Mox showed up in New Japan. If they can even come close to living up to expectations, it could be one hell of a brutal fight.

    I'm not into Ospreay like I used to be (the opposite of most, it seems!) but I remember he and Sabre have had some awesome matches before, so there's a good chance they can do it again. Just for my own tastes, I think Sabre is a good at reigning in Ospreay's excesses.

  3. #3
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I agree, KENTA has really done an awesome job at getting some good heat from the fans. The last show I went to, there were already a lot of fans hating on him. After what he did to Naito at Wrestle Kingdom and New Year's Dash, it's going to be nuclear in Osaka. I saw a video of a NOAH tag match from 2014 involving Naito and KENTA, and they had some really hard-hitting shots there. That was six years ago but I hope that they can bring some of that intensity to their showdown in a few weeks.

    I just realized that half of Los Ingobernables aren't scheduled on the Osaka card. The whole group is insanely over here, so it's kind of strange to not have them even on a throwaway match.

    The match that seems to not be garnering too much attention is Hiromu vs. Ryu Lee. These guys have great chemistry and I'm really curious to see this after what happened last time they were in the ring.

  4. #4
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    Yeah, Hiromu vs Lee is going to be awesome. Mox vs Suzuki should be violent and sadistic in a way we don't get to see very often, too. Really looking forward to both of those.

    Hopefully Naito and KENTA can do some good work together. I've not really been into what KENTAs done since returning to Japan, it's fallen a little bit flat for me, but this is a great spot for him to be in - and a nice one for Naito too, as he gets a chance against a heel with heat who shouldn't really be stepping up to him too much or causing him significant problems (in storyline).

    Looks like a really good card, does that.

  5. #5
    The Brain
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    I actually don't think I've ever seen Ryu Lee. He's one to watch, I take it?

  6. #6
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Ryu Lee is formerly known as Dragon Lee, so you've definitely seen him!

  7. #7
    The Brain
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    OH SHIT how did I miss that?? That is awesome for sure!!

  8. #8
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I just caught two of last night's matches from the first night in Sapporo but they were fun.

    The Okada / Mox vs. TAICHI / Suzuki match was more of an appetizer before their respective singles matches next week in Osaka but I enjoyed it a lot. Mox and Suzuki getting lots of face-to-face time and Suzuki getting a pin over Mox was surprising to me. I really hope they ramp up the intensity next week.

    I'm also psyched that LIJ has another double champion in Takagi. This was a solid match. Both guys hit hard, but Takagi is just so damn good. New Japan got a gem when they signed him and I hope they give him more down the road. I really hope he doesn't get the Ishii or Goto treatment. Poor Goto, losing yet another NEVER Openweight title in about a month and no successful title defenses.

  9. #9
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    I don't think you have to worry too much about the intensity. I felt like they started out a little slow but by the end the guys were squaring off with a lot more fire.

    I'm really glad Takagi won, he fits the open weight billing perfectly for that belt. I heard mumors about him and SHO which would be an amazing feud to reprise. It was a good match to get him the title as well although I personally prefered their G1 match last year on first reaction.

    EVIL v Ishii didn't do much for me, I think it is largely I just don't 'get' EVIL, I know some people love him but he just doesn't stand out in any way to me and the NJPW heavyweight division is already so stacked and full of amazing wrestlers I'd prefer to see.

    Am really looking forward to ZSJ v Ospreay tonight.

  10. #10
    The Brain
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    Loving all the love for Shingo. Dude was killing it in Dragon Gate for so long.

  11. #11
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Caught the final two matches from Night 2 of the Sapporo shows. They were good, but I felt the main event went way too long. The Okada / TAICHI match was enjoyable but something in me keeps thinking it had no business going over 30 minutes. I get that's New Japan's style, to have very long main events, but maybe it doesn't always need to be that way. Maybe I'm just not into TAICHI that much.

    I also just realized that these Sapporo shows happened at the same time as the New Japan USA shows, so it was a split roster from the start. I'm not sure why they timed it that way - I think it kind of made both the US and Japan shows suffer. I read that Meltzer said the US shows were a financial flop. If true, I don't blame them when the top stars didn't make the trip.

  12. #12
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    I'm not that big on TAICHI, Degen, and I'm not sure this was the right spot for him. In fact, I'd have flipped the two closing bouts on the card and ended with Sabre vs Ospreay. I thought that was excellent.

  13. #13
    Administrator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Part of me wonders if Taichi is a bit old fashioned now. When I saw them here in the UK, he was one of the performers of the night. Whipped the crowd into a frenzy and got real heat. Trouble was, he did it largely through inactivity. Seems to me like it might be the case that the more OK you are with the general direction of wrestling nowadays, the less impressed you might be from his 'get the most from the least' approach.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  14. #14
    The Brain
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    I'm a bigger Taichi fan than most but I'll gladly co-sign that not every New Japan main event needs to be so long. It's been a bit of a turn off for me in the past couple years, to be frank. Heard great things about Sabre/Ospreay, I'm not really high on Ospreay like some are but I love Sabre so maybe I'll dig that one up!

  15. #15
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    Tonight's show was really fun overall, I enjoyed it. I had really awesome seats to the show and hopefully I came out of there without any traces of coronavirus in me!

    My favorite match was the Moxley vs. Suzuki match. Both guys looked like they were having the time of their lives out there while beating the crap out of each other simultaneously. I don't know how Suzuki can still put on amazing matches at this stage of his career. Seeing Zack Sabre Jr. challenge for the United States Championship at the end was pretty cool too. I've really been enjoying his recent matches so this title match should be a good one.

    Hiromu and Lee was also fun to watch. I was not expecting a chop-fest, and they made it work. These guys have wrestled so much yet they always come up with something interesting. Not a whole lot of insane bumps but they didn't need it and shouldn't put themselves through that all the time. The high spots they did were awesome and more than enough. I also liked the tease of Lee doing the same move that put Hiromu on the shelf. I honestly wondered if they were crazy enough to pull it off.

    I liked the main event for what it was. It wasn't a five-star match but to me it delivered enough. KENTA is such a dick, especially those first few minutes of stalling. That got some heat right there. I'm still trying to figure out if the blood at the end was intended or it was a legit accident. From my seat it looked like a blade job since as soon as Naito fell to the mat after that corner bump I just saw the blood poor out instantly. It was an incredible visual, though.

  16. #16
    The Brain
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    Seems like an incredible three match! The idea of Sabre vs. Mox is very appealing as well. And I saw a gif of that Lee/Takahashi dive, just ridiculous.

  17. #17
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    That dive was insane from my point of view. I honestly didn't think he'd make it. The margin for error was tiny on that move. I saw a website online that analyzed the Hiromu/Lee match and counted the number of strikes in the opening chopfest they had near the beginning of the match - turns out they traded 168 blows between each other.

    I forgot to mention a few other interesting notes from the night:

    - I sat right behind the ring announcer and timekeeper, and in the first couple of matches I noticed there was a bottle of whiskey right on the table. The bottle eventually disappeared. I don't know what happened there.

    - There were a few newer Young Lions I hadn't seen before, and one of them in particular looked really lost throughout the night, like he didn't know what he was supposed to be doing. The other Young Lions I've spotted before were directing him all over the place.

    - There was a weird moment where I saw someone sprint towards the timekeeper when the Naito/KENTA match started. He rushed there to switch the positions of Intercontinental and Heavyweight championship belts that were on the table. I guess they needed to have it shown on TV in a specific order?

    - Tokyo Latina winked at me. Okay, she might have just winked at the general direction where I happened to be sitting. But it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

  18. #18
    Super Moderator Team Farrell's Avatar
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    Soooo....that Mox-Suzuki match. It was the top number one match I wanted to see when Mox left WWE and it did not disappoint! I had the time of my life watching that. I haven't seen anything else from the show yet, but I just had to get that out there.

  19. #19
    The Brain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Degenerate View Post
    - I sat right behind the ring announcer and timekeeper, and in the first couple of matches I noticed there was a bottle of whiskey right on the table. The bottle eventually disappeared. I don't know what happened there.
    I guess even ringside seats in New Japan can become a drag eventually?

  20. #20
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    Yeah, I'm going to echo the enjoyment of Mox/Suzuki here - that thing was beautiful violence.

  21. #21
    Puerto Rican dude living in Japan Degenerate's Avatar
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    I rewatched the Moxley vs. Suzuki match, and it's such a fun match to watch. It honestly gave me a joy that I rarely feel with pro wrestling these days.

  22. #22
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Thanks for the notes Deg. Glad you had an awesome time.
    Really amazing top end to the card, Mox v Suzuki was a horror show of the everyman giving his entire body to slay a deamon that seemed to just get stronger the more he attacked it.
    Hiromu v Lee was insanity, those two dance such a fine line and boy is it captivating to watch.
    Loved that note about the wiskey bottle, I kinda love how NJPW is still just a little bit of the wild west of wrestling.
    Also what a funny little thing with the two titles. Must have been a big deal to one or two very important people backstage.

  23. #23
    The Brain
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    That is some Vince McMahon level pickiness, if so!

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