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NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo Night 2
February 2, 2020
From Sapporo, Japan. Our English hosts are Kevin Kelly, Gino Bambino, and Chris Charleton.
Yota Tsuji vs. Toa Henare
Tsuji is eager to impress, but Henare works him over with a chinlock. Delayed vertical suplex by Henare gets 2. Tsuji uses the ropes to break a Boston Crab and hits a desperate power slam. Shoulder block by Tsuji and a power slam gets 2. Henare viciously blocks a Boston Crab and nails a Samoan Drop. They trade stiff forearms and Tsuji rolls into a Boston Crab. Henare does a good job teasing a tapout before getting the ropes. Tsuji hits about two dozen straight forearm shots and then throws stiff chops and a spear. Henare kicks out and the fans are getting into this. Henare flips Tsuji in a lariat. Henare hits a Uranage for a false finish I fell for. Another urangage finishes Tsuji at 8:16. Good showing by these upstarts, **¾.
Winner: Toa Henare
Henare says he's finished with the Young Lions and puts Shingo on notice.
Tiger Mask, Manubu Nakanishi, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, and Yuya Uemura
Uemura runs into the solid Nakanishi and gets knocked over with a chop. Honma tags and manages a DDT on Nakanishi. Honma misses a falling headbutt and Tenzan charges in with a tag to help with a double team. Tiger Mask lights Honma up with quick kicks. Tenzan clubs Honma around and hits a brainbuster for 2. Tenzan misses a falling headbutt, and Honma hits one of his own. Makabe gets the hot tag and pummels Tenzan into the buckles. Tenzan comes back with a suplex. Nakanishi tags in with hard chops on both Makabe and Honma. Nakanishi clotheslines Makabe for 2. Makabe's friends try to save him from a Torture Rack, but TIger Mask and Tenzan trap them in respective submissions. Makabe and Nakanishi collide and go down with double clotheslines. Uemura catches Tiger Mask with a dropkick and hits a running forearm for 2. Nakanishi chops Uemura to break his Boston Crab. Uemura dropkicks Tiger Mask into the corner, but Tiger Mask avoids a head of steam and nails a round house kick. Tiger Mask nails a top rope butterfly suplex, but Makabe saves the match! The ring gets cleared out, leaving Tiger Mask to hit Uemura with the Tiger Suplex for the win at 9:51! Top notch filler on display, ***.
Winners: Tiger Mask, Manubu Nakanishi, and Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Nakanishi is on his retirement tour and thanks the fans.
Gabriel Kidd vs. El Phantasmo
Phantasmo is my new favorite wrestler so I'm game for this one. They aggressively lock up and Kidd scores an armdrag. Kidd talks some profane smack, and Phantasmo embarrasses him by spinning over his back. Kidd breaks a bow and arrow. Kidd comes back with shoulder tackles and Phantasmo takes a breather. Phantasmo returns and goes after wrist. Phantasmo tight rope walks into a rana! Phantasmo rakes the back and then wipes his fingers on the ref's shirt. Kidd gets stuck in a tree of woe but Phantasmo fakes a dropkick and steps on the groin instead. Kidd tires of the disrespect and chops his way into hitting a body slam. Phantasmo comes back with a springboard crossbody for 2. Kidd's rapid fire pinning predicaments all get 2. Kidd applies a Boston Crab, which seems to be the only submission they teach Young Lions. Phantasmo escapes and hits a series of kicks and a flying crossbody for the win at 8:53. Solid action and Phantaso got to look mean in this showcase, **½.
Winner: El Phantasmo
Phantasmo isn't satisfied and drops Kidd with a CR2.
Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, and Robbie Eagles vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Shingo, EVIL, and BUSHI)
Ishii and Shingo go straight to war, and Ishii suffers a quick head injury. Eagles and BUSHI tag in for a spotty exchange. Eagles stomps the knee and tags in Goto to continue the attack. LIJ clear the ring, and Shingo taunts Goto with his newly won NEVER title at ringside. LIJ isolate try to isolate Goto, but Ishii breaks up EVIL's cloverleaf with hard punches. Shingo helps dispatch Ishii, but Goto blocks a vertical suplex. Goto lariats Shingo off his feet. Ishii tags in and catches Shingo with a back suplex. Ishii unloads on Shingo, who returns the favor. Ishii hits a power slam, but Shingo answers with a back suplex. Shingo and Ishii slug it out until Ishii hits a head butt and vertical suplex. Shingo pops up and spins into a lariat. Eagles and BUSHI tag in and resume their spotty rivalry. BUSHI wins the exchange with a rana. Backstabber by BUSHI gets 2. Goto helps Eagles swarm BUSHI and set up a 450 splash onto the leg! Eagles applies the Ron Miller Special, but EVIL breaks it up. The match breaks down, and Goto and Ishii hit stereo backbreakers. Eagles reapplies the Miller Special on BUSHI and he taps at 9:40! More top notch filler on display, ***.
Winners: Tomohiro Ishii, Hirooki Goto, and Robbie Eagles
BREAKING NEWS! The Guerillas of Destiny have reclaimed the IWGP Tag Team Championship from David Finlay and Juice Robinson on the New Japan: USA tour.
Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and DOUKI vs. IWGP United States Champion Jon Moxley, IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH), and Ryusuke Taguchi
Moxley is wearing the eye patch from Chris Jericho's spike attack in AEW
. I love continuity across promotions. Suzuki meets Moxley in the stands for a brawl. Moxley chokes with his t-shirt and they fight on a hard table and tease scary bumps before tumbling off. In the ring, El Desperado and YOH are trying to have a match. Suzuki trying to tear Moxley's arm off through the rail is way more interesting. Roppongi 3K get stuck in stereo submissions while Suzuki crashes Moxley into the rails. Suzuki strangles Moxley off camera while DOUKI helps isolate YOH. Moxley and Suzuki finally tag in and resume their brawl. They light one another up with forearms and both go down on big boot attempts. Taguchi tags in and Roppongi 3K help him clear the ring and pile onto DOUKI in the buckles. Suzuki and Moxley resume brawling at ringside. Taguchi is distracted and doesn't realize he's outnumbered until it's too late. Taguchi gets swarmed, but Roppongi 3K return in time to save the match. DOUKI hits a Gringo Killer for 2. Match breaks down with everyone hitting drive by attacks, and Moxley and Suzuki brawling back in. Both guys kick Taguchi away so they can resume their fight. DOUKI nearly steals the pinfall on Taguchi as a result. Taguchi catches DOUKI with a hip attack and finishes with a leg lariat and ankle lock at 12:55. This was loads of fun as Moxley and Suzuki got to preview what should be a crazy U.S. title match, ***¼.
Winners: Ryusuki Taguchi, Jon Moxley, YOH, and SHO
Moxley and Suzuki simply cannot stop hitting each other and brawl to the back.
Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori, Jay White, and KENTA, with Gedo) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, and IWGP Heavyweight/Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito)
Bullet Club cheap shot their opponents during ring introductions. Takahashi thwarts the double team and places Ishimori and White into a rana and clears the ring, only to get ambushed by White. Everyone pairs up for a ringside brawl. Match restarts with Bullet Club looking to isolate Takahashi. KENTA takes some time to drive Naito into the guard rail. Takahashi counters White with a dragon screw leg sweep, and Naito gets the hot tag. Naito and KENTA viciously trade forearms. KENTA rakes the eyes, but Naito hip tosses him into position for a dropkick. KENTA answers with a draping DDT! Power slam by KENTA and a running dropkick to the face. Flying double stomp by KENTA but Naito kicks out! Naito blocks the G2S and hits a neckbreaker. KENTA blocks Gloria but Naito responds with a tornado DDT. SANADA gets a hot tag of sorts and runs wild through White, putting him in the Paradise Lock! Gedo distracts but SANADA dropkicks White anyway. White is properly humiliated and maneuvers into a DDT. DVD by White gets 2. SANADA answers with a back drop suplex! Ishimori tags and hits a thrust kick for 2. Back hand spring kick by Ishimori and a twisting Code Breaker for 2! Ishimori blocks a German, but Takahashi and Naito rush the ring for a triple dropkick! Match breaks down in spectacular fashion! SANADA catches Ishiori in Skull End for the submission at 15:34! This felt like a great TV main event to build up a bunch of cool PPV matches, ***½.
Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon
Naito strikes a pose right in KENTA's face to send a lasting message.
Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship:
Zack Sabre Jr. © vs. Will Ospreay
ZSJ poses in Ospreay's face and asks how his neck is feeling. I love this. Bell rings and Ospreay scores the first two wristlock takedowns. They sprint through an exchange and ZSJ elbows Ospreay into the ropes for a disrespectful break. They chain wrestle until Ospreay uses the ref as leverage to flip out of a wristlock. Ospreay controls both wrists but ZSJ flips around and monkey flips into a rapid fire of rolling pin attempts. ZSJ retreats for a breather. Match restarts with Ospreay controlling the ankle, but ZSJ reverses the hold. Ospreay scores a rana, but ZSJ blocks a dive. Ospreay tries again and hits a plancha. ZSJ answers with a Ground Cobra submission. ZSJ transitions to a cravat. Ospreay escapes and hits a back hand spring rolling kick. Ospreay takes over, hitting a suplex for 2. ZSJ blocks a running SSP and applies a head scissors into an armbreaker, but Ospreay counters into a crossface. ZSJ almost blocks a Figure Four but gets trapped anyway. They exchange open hand slaps while in the hold! ZSJ rolls into the ropes, so Ospreay targets the legs with kicks. Single leg atomic drop by Ospreay and a standing SSP gets 2. Ospreay's weird flapjack maneuver results in a scary bump on the face for ZSJ. Ospreay cuts ZSJ's comeback short with an enziguri, but then ZSJ blocks the Oscutter and applies a chinlock into a suplex. ZSJ hits a series of penalty kicks to the chest. Ospreay doesn't like getting kicked in the head and punches ZSJ off his feet. A flurry results in Ospreay nailing a suplex. The Oscutter connects but ZSJ rolls to the floor! Ospreay nails a back hand spring moonsault to the floor! Hook kick by Ospreay, but ZSJ surprises with a leg lock, but Ospreay powers out for a second hook kick. ZSJ shakes it off and applies a sickening Hidden Blade. Desperation rope break by Ospreay. Bloody Sunday by Ospreay only gets 2! ZSJ's European Clutch gets 2, and Ospreay hits a KO kick. Dead lift sitout powerbomb by Ospreay but ZSJ KICKS OUT! SSP by Ospreay, but ZSJ KICKS OUT AGAIN! They trade counters until ZSJ locks on a Cobra Twist. Ospreay passes out and the ref calls the bell at 27:07! These guys might be the best wrestlers walking the planet and have unbelievable chemistry, ****¾.
Winner and still British Heavyweight Champion: Zack Sabre Jr.
Taichi (with Miho Abe) vs. Kazuchika Okada
Taichi resents Okada's success, despite them coming to New Japan together, and ambushes before the opening bell. Okada avoids the comically oversized iron glove and boots Taichi over the rail. Okada is selling the lingering effects of Taichi's previous assault but dishes out a neckbreaker. Taichi hits a backdrop driver out of nowhere. Taichi wraps cable around the neck and wrenches Okada over the rail. Taichi continues methodically attacking the neck. Taichi gets a bit too mouthy and Okada hits a neckbreaker to earn a breather. Air Raid neckbreaker by Okada, but he stops to sell his bad neck. Taichi hides behind Miho, Okada casually moves her aside, but Taichi catches him with a whip into the rail. Okada teases a Tombstone on the ramp but settles for a shotgun dropkick. Back to the ring, Taichi blocks the Rainmaker but ends up eating a flapjack. Shotgun dropkick by Okada, but Taichi sneakily retrieves the iron glove. Okada avoids the weapon and dropkicks Taichi over the ropes. Okada considers using the iron glove before tossing the weapon, but the ref misses Taichi's chair shots, including a gross unprotected shot against the forehead. Ax Bomber by Taichi only gets 2! Taichi applies the Stretch Plum. Okada survives and blocks Black Mephisto. Desperate German suplex by Okada and a dropkick. Rainmaker misses, and Taichi reapplies the Stretch Plum. Okada breaks free, but Taichi surprises with a backdrop suplex. Backdrop driver by Taichi and Okada looks dead. Taicho's German suplex only gets 2. Desperation Tombstone by Okada! They trade big boots until Taichi knocks Okada down with a stiff strike. Short arm Rainmaker by Okada and he pulls Taichi up for a second Rainmaker. Taichi grabs the ref to avoid a third Rainmaker, low blows, and nails a Gedo Clutch for a TREMENDOUS nearfall. Enziguri, Axe Bomber, and another enziguri by Taichi sets Okada up for the Last Ride! OKADA KICKS OUT! Crowd is starting to rally behind a potential upset. Okada pops up for a spinning Rainmaker, and desperately blocks Taichi's Black Mephisto. Taichi blocks the Tombstone and kicks the head. Okada blocks a superkick and nails a spinning Tombstone and Rainmaker for the win at 30:53! This was waaay too long, and could have easily shaved 10 minutes and had a similar effect. The final five minutes almost made it all worth it, ***¾.
Winner: Kazuchika Okada
Final Thoughts: This was a fun show full of multi-man matches that would have been natural TV main events if New Japan were in that sort of business. I strongly recommend checking out Ospreay vs. Sabre Jr. and cherry picking the rest.
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