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NJPW New Beginning in Osaka
February 9, 2020

by SamoaRowe

From Osaka, Japan. Our English speaking hosts are Kevin Kelly, Chris Carlton, and Gino Bambino.

Togi Makabe, Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare, and Tomoaki Honma vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, and Yuji Nagata

Nakanishi's retirement tour continues. Taguchi starts against Tenzan, but demands Nakanishi, who obliges. Nakanishi hits a chop and blocks Taguchi's hip attacks. Tenzan and Nakanishi double team Taguchi with chops and shoulder blocks. Henare and Nagata tag and and summon their fighting spirit to trade forearms. Nagata counters into a crossface, which is broken through interference. Nagata is held in the buckles for Taguchi's stinkface. Nagata takes a beating but catches Makabe with an exploder suplex. Nakanishi gets the hot tag and runs wild with the crowd on his side. Nakanishi hoists Makabe into a torture rack, which Taguchi cannot break, and the match breaks down with submission holds all over. Nakanishi and Makabe trade blows until they both hit the mat. Kojima hits rapid fire chops on Honma until the match breaks down again. Nakanishi hits an axe handle off the top rope, and Kojima finishes Honma with a lariat at 7:25. Perfectly fine retirement tour match, **½.
Winners: Satoshi Kojima, Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, and Yuji Nagata

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
Roppongi 3K © (SHO and YOH, with Rocky Romero) vs. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru

Tempers flare and result in a brawl before the opening bell. SHO and YOH aggressively go after Desperado. SHO is selling a leg injury from a previous attack. SHO throws an angry forearm, but Desperado answers with a single leg atomic drop and Kanemaru tackles the bad leg. Kanemaru drapes YOH over the rail for a leaping guillotine leg drop! Desperado gets away with a blatant chair shot on SHO's leg. Kanemaru follows with a sick Stretch Muffler on SHO. The targeted attack continues until SHO hits a desperation suplex. YOH storms the ring on a hot tag and cleans house. Desperado and YOH exchange open hand slaps and then stiff kicks. Spear by Desperado! Kanemaru tags in and overwhelms YOH, hitting a tornado DDT for 2. SHO returns and spears Kanemaru, but his leg is too hurt for a powerbomb. Desperado wrenches the bad knee and holds it up for Kanemaru's dropkick, and then applies the Figure Four! SHO can't reverse it so he gets the ropes. Sidewinder puts SHO down and Kanemaru (barely) hits Deep Impact, but SHO KICKS OUT! SHO avoids a moonsault and YOH runs in for a timely save. A series of dropkicks leaves everyone down. R3K swarm Kanemaru and hit a DDT/Powerbomb combo. They tease the 3K, but Desperado breaks it up. SHO catches Kanemaru with a German and R3K superkick Desperado out, and then backdrop Kanemaru onto him. SHO hits his Shockhook Piledriver, but KANEMARU KICKS OUT! R3K hit their Package Piledriver/Double Stomp combo and it's over at 16:28. This match was great fun and nicely told the story of SHO overcoming a bum knee. I was worried about R3K's short reign throughout, ***¾.
Winners and still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions: Roppongi 3K

Ryusuke Taguchi crashes R3K's celebration, dribbling a basketball, and places a coach headband on Romero. I can't understand what Taguchi is saying, but the crowd reacts like he just called Romero's mother a whore or something. He wants Romero to team with him to challenge SHO and YOH, and while torn, Romero accepts! YOH accepts, as R3K will send good vibes throughout the division.

Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kota Ibushi vs. Bullet Club (IWGP Tag Team Champions Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi, and Chase Owens, with Pieter and Jado)

Tonga gets an apparent clean break on Tanahashi, but Loa pulls the Ace's hair to give Bullet Club the advantage. Tanahashi saves himself with a crossbody and plays some air guitar. Finlay charges in and runs wild with drive by attacks. Owens cuts Finlay off with a thrust kick. Finlay gets swarmed in the Bullet Club corner. Ibushi gets the hot tag and clears the ring with quick attacks. He kicks Owens off his feet and hits a moonsault for 2. Owens counters into a roll-up and then trades forearms with Ibushi. Ibushi's lighting kick sends Owens off the ropes for a sick lariat. Juice tags in and jabs Loa and hits a Full Nelson slam. Cannonball by Juice but Tonga breaks Pulp Friction, and Loa nails a German suplex. G.o.D. and Finn-Juice go down with double clothesline attempts. Tanahashi comes roaring in but gets caught in Takahashi's Fisherman buster and Loa's running knee for 2. Match completely breaks down until everyone hits the mat. G.o.D. tease the Magic Killer, but Ibushi breaks it up. Jado interferes with a kendo shot on Ibushi. Tanahashi hits a dragon screw leg sweep and Sling Blade, but Jado gets him with the kendo stick too. Tanahashi still manages a roll-up for the win at 10:48! Great energy and fun on display here, this would have been a hot TV main event, ***½.
Winners: Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, Juice Robinson, and David Finlay

Bullet Club attempt a revenge beatdown, but the good guys cut them off. Ibushi repays Jado with some kendo shots.

Suzuki-gun (Taichi, with Riho Abe, and British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. CHAOS (Will Ospreay and Kazuchika Okada)

Okada and Taichi insist on starting and pick up where they left off in Sapporo. Okada pats the chest and Taichi answers with a sudden leaping knee to the face. Taichi whips Okada into the rail and chokes with a cable. Taichi softens up the neck and tags in ZSJ, who goes right for the Cobra Twist. Okada escapes and hits a desperation flapjack. Ospreay tags in with a springboard clothesline and rana on Taichi. ZSJ tries to ambush Ospreay, and eats a back handspring kick for his trouble. ZSJ applies a head scissors armbar but Ospreay gets the ropes. They trade ridiculously complex counters until reaching a stalemate. I could watch these two wrestle forever. Ospreay nails a dead lift one arm powerbomb! Okada tags and gets Taichi with a back elbow. Tombstone by Okada, but Rainmaker misses, and ZSJ sneaks in for a clothesline. Ospreay puts ZSJ on the buckles for a superkick through the legs. Taichi catches Okada with a lariat and a buzzsaw kick. BACK DROP DRIVER by Taichi murders Okada, but he kicks out anyway. Okada escapes the Last Ride and helps set Taichi up for Ospreay's Oscutter. Ospreay takes care of ZSJ with a dive and Okada finishes Taichi with the Rainmaker at 11:47! Another great TV style main event that over-delivered thanks to Ospreay and ZSJ previewing their rematch, and Taichi making a strong case for another shot at Okada, ***¾.
Winners: Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay

Jay White (with Gedo) vs. SANADA

SANADA falls for Gedo's distraction right away and White goes after the head. SANADA tosses White and teases a dive, but Gedo trips him to allow White another advantage. Gedo chokes with White's official Switchblade towel. White applies a half crab and refuses to let go despite a rope break. White continues attacking the back until SANADA hits a missile dropkick. Running dropkick to the knee by SANADA, but White blocks the Paradise Lock. White retakes control with a DDT and hits a DVD for 2. Gedo stops SANADA's springboard attempt, but he catches White with a big boot in a head of steam. White blocks the Paradise Lock and rolls through a sunset flip, but SANADA counters into the Paradise lock at long last. SANADA savors the moment for a bit before hitting the disrespectful dropkick for 2. SANADA can finally build some steam, hitting a high crossbody to ringside. SANADA's springboard missile dropkick gets 2. White aggressively blocks Skull End and serves some uppercuts. Dead lift German by White, but the Kiwi Crusher is blocked, so he hits Blade Buster. Kiwi Crusher gets 2. White shoves the referee down and SANADA catches him in a neckbreaker off the ropes. SANADA's back suplex gets 2. Another Gedo distraction leads to White's inside cradle almost stealing it. SANADA answers with a TKO for 2. SANADA grabs an interfering Gedo by the beard and kicks the ropes into his groin. Skull End by SANADA, but White survives. White dodges a moonsault! They counter finishers until SANADA scores a pair of nearfalls. White drops SANADA on his head in a botch and hits the Sleeper Suplex. White follows with a Regal-plex for 2. Blade Runner finishes at 21:53. This was going well but kind of petered out after SANADA was finally able to apply the Paradise Lock and turned into a festival of finisher kick-outs without the stakes or story to justify it, ***.
Winner: Jay White

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Hiromu Takahashi © vs. Ryu Lee

Takahashi is making a comeback after having broken his neck in a match against Lee in San Francisco in 2018. Bell rings and they trade German suplex and both goes go down after clotheslines. Match restarts with Lee giving Takahashi a free shot and they trade about a thousand open hand shots to prove their manliness. They break it up with corner attacks and then Lee chops the neck. Lee no sells a rana but walks into another chop. The chopfest resumes and it's starting to feel somewhat comical. Lee builds some steam, hitting a double underhook backbreaker. Lee hits a leaping rana off the apron! Lee props Takahashi on the rail for a NASTY suicide dive onto a table! Takahashi answers with a sunset flip bomb off the apron! Dynamite Plunger by Takahashi gets 2. Lee teases the spot that broke Takahashi's neck and the crowd gasps. Lee misses a tree of woe double stomp. I have to confess I'm a little taken out of the match because my stream has been freezing constantly, and I don't think it's my equipment's fault. Anyways, Lee traps Takahashi in a tree of woe hanging outside the ropes and nails a HORRIFYING double stomp to the floor! Takahashi comes back with an OVERHEAD THROW off the apron! Takahashi follows with a top rope senton to ringside! Back to the ring, Takahashi hits a wheelbarrow German, which leads to them exchanging rapid fire Germans. Seriously, they each hit 5-6 Germans and someone is going to get killed. Lee counters with a one armed dead lift buckle bomb and Takahashi answers with a suplex of his own. Lee counters into the Bastard Driver! Lee drapes the champ on the ropes for a flying double stomp to the back! Hard knee strike by Lee gets 2. Takahashi comes back with a DESTROYER, which gets 2 because of course it does. DVD into the corner by Takahashi but Lee powerbombs him for 2. Lee exposes his knee for a KO knee for a great nearfall. Takahashi absorbs another knee to the face and hits a second DESTROYER! Time Bomb connects, but LEE KICKS OUT! Closed fist by Takahashi and a second Time Bomb ends this at 24:18! These guys simply destroyed each other to tell the story of their rivalry bringing out the worst in each other, and it rocked, ****½.
Winner and still IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion: Hiromu Takahashi

IWGP United States Championship:
Jon Moxley © vs. Minoru Suzuki

One-eyed Moxley enters through the crowd, puts his title on the apron, and heads to the stage to summon Suzuki for a brawl. Suzuki grabs a pair of chairs and meets Moxley for a duel! Moxley wins the exchange and rips off a piece of barricade to use as a weapon! Suzuki tosses Moxley onto some seating and smashes a barricade over him. Moxley avoids a piledriver through a table and they agree to hit the ring to avoid count-outs. They trade forearms like old friends. Nothing fancy here, just lots of hitting and biting. The fight spills to ringside where they exchange submission holds and more stiff attacks. Moxley sets up a table on the floor, but Suzuki wraps a chair around his arm for a wild chair shot! Moxley sells the assault like DEATH! I wonder if this means Moxley will have to wear an arm cast in AEW? Suzuki isn't finished and whips the bad arm into the ring post and applies an armbreaker on the apron. Moxley counters with a one armed dead lift powerbomb through the table! Suzuki finds this all to be very amusing and hits himself with a piece of broken table. They meet in the ring to resume trading forearms. Suzuki gleefully applies a rear naked choke. Moxley appears to pass out but survives some 2 counts. Suzuki slaps the face and Moxley answers with a knee lift and a running Regal knee for a good 2 count. DEATH RIDER by Moxley but SUZUKI KICKS OUT! Moxley kisses Suzuki on the forehead and vows to "“"Finish this motherf*cker" and fetches some chairs for another duel. Red Shoes tries to stop it but takes a bump and Moxley takes a wild chair shot. DDT onto the chair by Moxley, but there's no ref. Suzuki thinks this is all hilarious and lights Moxley up with combination strikes. It takes two lariats for moxley to knock Suzuki off his feet and hits DEATH RIDER for the win at 17:14! Tremendous @ss-kicking brawl, ****.
Winner and still IWGP United States Champion: Jon Moxley

Suzuki isn't laughing anymore and tears apart some guard rails in a tantrum. Meanwhile, Zack Sabre Jr. ambushes Moxley in the ring! OH HELL YEAH! ZSJ perches on Moxley's back and chokes out the champion! This was quite the "Shut up and take my money" moment.

IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships:
Tetsuya Naito © vs. KENTA (with Bullet Club)

Red Shoes takes more abuse and immediately tosses Bullet Club before the bell. KENTA stalls heavily in the early going. Fans continually chant “Naito.” Naito loses his patience, teases a dive, and poses. KENTA is ready to fight, but Naito taunts him with some self-aware stalling. They finally start fighting at about the 6:00 mark and Naito smashes KENTA around the ringside area. Naito pummels KENTA into the buckles and spits at him. KENTA answers with a flying knee to the back of the head. KENTA sends Naito into the guard rail and steps on a fan's stuffed Naito toy. Some lines just shouldn't be crossed. KENTA maintains a relentless assault and DDT's Naito onto the concrete floor. KENTA exposes some buckles for a hard Irish whip! CUE THE CHINLOCK! Naito escapes, but KENTA knees the guts for 2. My stream then completely crashes and it's harder than it should be to find where I was, so I'm winging it. I'm back with KENTA hitting vicious kicks and Naito responding with a running kick to the jaw. Naito builds some momentum, hitting a slingshot dropkick into the corner, and then a neckbreaker for 2. Naito's headscissors results in a rope break. KENTA snaps the neck on the ropes and hits a flying clothesline for 2. Naito hits a nifty leg sweep through the ropes, followed by an inverted DDT onto the apron. KENTA counters into a draping DDT onto the floor! Back to the ring, KENTA hits his patented corner dropkick but misses the double stomp. Spinebuster by Naito buys some time. They do the obligatory FIGHTING SPIRIT forearm exchange. KENTA shields himself with Red Shoes and applies a crossface. Naito is trapped for an eternity before getting the ropes. German suplex by KENTA and a dropkick gets 2. Naito blocks the G2S and hits a tornado DDT. Neckbreaker by Naito and a super rana and Gloria, but KENTA kicks out. The fact that I'm not surprised that KENTA kicked out is a problem. KENTA drives Naito into Red Shoes repeatedly, which opens the door for Jay White to run in for a Sleeper Suplex. Bushi runs in for the save and misses the spray, and White puts him down with Blade Runner. Hiromu Takahashi runs in to clear out White. Match restarts with Naito hitting an enziguri and running clothesline, but KENTA answers with a lariat for 2. Naito reverses G2S into a DDT! Crowd comes alive with “Naito” chants. KENTA shoves Naito into the exposed buckles and pulls the tights for a roll-up for 2. Naito got busted open in the buckles! Psycho Knee by KENTA but NAITO KICKS OUT! Naito blocks G2S with a REVERSE RANA! Valencia by Naito gets 2! Naito follows with Destino for the win at 34:45! This was way too long, but started and ended on strong notes, ***¾.
Winner and still IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Champion: Tetsuya Naito

Naito challenges his buddy, Hiromu Takahashi to a title match, and it's on.

Final Thoughts: This was a long, but rewarding event. The main event was a mild misfire, but still managed to be very good before it was all said and done. If you've been meaning to check out New Japan, but haven't, this isn't a bad show to start with.

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