Welcome to WrestleTalk’s live coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s The New Beginning in Sapporo Night Two. This is the second night of action following yesterday’s event. That show featured a title change in the main event as Shingo Takagi defeated Hirooki Goto to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. This is the full card for the event:
- Toa Henare vs. Yota Tsuji
- Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Yuya Uemura vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV
- Gabriel Kidd vs. El Phantasmo
- Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Robbie Eagles vs. Shingo Takagi, EVIL & BUSHI
- Jon Moxley, Ryusuke Taguchi, SHO & YOH vs. Minoru Suzuki, DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
- Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi vs. Jay White, KENTA & Taiji Ishimori
- RevPro British Heavyweight Championship Match – Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Will Ospreay
- Kazuchika Okada vs. TAICHI
Make sure you follow along with us here and on Twitter!
Kazuchika Okada def. TAICHI
The commentators were pushing hard that Kazuchika Okada has spent almost half of the last twelve years as IWGP Heavyweight Champion. The story was that TAICHI and Okada both departed New Japan as young lions at the same time but Okada’s career has skyrocketed compared to TAICHI’s.
Okada tweaked his neck early in this match. He hit a crossbody over the guardrail but his neck whipped back. TAICHI worked on the neck afterward but Okada was still able to maintain control. Okada was going to go for a dive to the outside but TAICHI pulled Miho Abe in the way. TAICHI continued his tricks as he tried to hit Okada with the Iron Fingers. While the referee tried to dispose of the Iron Fingers, TAICHI hit Okada in the neck with a chair.
Okada was able to regain control with his dropkick but TAICHI cut him off with a back suplex. The two engaged in a strike exchange with TAICHI coming out on top with a dropkick of his own. He went for Black Mephisto but Okada countered with two Rainmakers. He went for a third but TAICHI hit a low blow with the referee’s back turned. TAICHI followed that up with a Last Ride powerbomb for a nearfall.
Okada once again countered the Black Mephisto, this time with a spinning Rainmaker. They countered each other until Okada did an insane counter into a Tombstone piledriver, which he followed up with the Rainmaker for the pin.
The last few minutes of this match really elevated it to another level. It is entirely possible that this was the best match of TAICHI’s career and it was undoubtedly a great main event. I personally did not think that TAICHI had it in him but with Okada as his opponent, he was able to pull off a great performance.
Thank you for following along with our live coverage of New Beginning in Sapporo Night Two. We will be back next week for the New Beginning in Osaka event so I hope you join us then. Until then, good night and be excellent to each other.
RevPro British Heavyweight Championship Match - Zack Sabre Jr. (c) def. Will Ospreay
If you looked at the styles of Zack Sabre Jr. and Will Ospreay on paper, it would not look like a combination that would yield a great match. The submission based style of Sabre and the high-flying style of Ospreay should be complete opposites, yet when these two work together the produce fantastic matches.
Ospreay worked on Sabre’s knee, while Sabre worked over most of Ospreay’s body, focusing mainly on the neck. Things really picked up when Sabre hit three penalty kicks in a row. Sabre got cocky and taunted Ospreay with kicks before Ospreay fired up with strikes of his own. He then hit the OsCutter but Sabre rolled out of the ring to avoid getting pinned.
Sabre was able to dodge the Hidden Blade and lock in a grotesque arm submission. Ospreay and Sabre traded their big moves with Ospreay avoiding the Zack Driver and Sabre avoiding the Stormbreaker. Ospreay hit a big Shooting Star Press for a nearfall but Sabre locked in one of his patented submission holds and got the referee stoppage.
This was excellent. It would be far more surprising if these two had a match that wasn’t excellent but the day has yet to come where that is the case.
Tetsuya Naito, SANADA & Hiromu Takahashi def. KENTA, Jay White & Taiji Ishimori
This was another match designed to preview their upcoming singles matches at New Beginning in Osaka. There was plenty of play between KENTA and Tetsuya Naito and multiple instances where the match broke down with all those involved hitting moves on one another.
SANADA kept Gedo from entering the ring, playing into the finish of their match last night. Los Ingobernables de Japon all hit dropkicks at once on Taiji Ishimori and it came down to SANADA and Ishimori in the ring. SANADA was able to lock in the Skull End and Ishimori was forced to submit.
This was very good but it lacked the intensity of the last match so it seemed like a bit of a step back. Technically it was far superior but it just did not have the fire that Moxley and Suzuki had.
Jon Moxley, Ryusuke Taguchi, SHO & YOH def. Minoru Suzuki, DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
This was really more of a brawl than a match until about halfway through. Jon Moxley and Minoru Suzuki brawled during Moxley’s entrance while the members of their teams fought in the ring and at ringside. Moxley and Suzuki fought for the entire match. If they weren’t in the ring they were fighting at ringside. If Suzuki tagged out, Moxley tagged out as well.
Taguchi lead the charge against the Suzuki-Gun team and tried to get Moxley involved but he was not having it. It came down to Taguchi and DOUKI and Taguchi fired up to hit the Bumaye and apply the ankle lock for the submission win.
This was not much of a match but they did a hell of a job making you excited to see Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki. In that sense, this was great stuff.
Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & Robbie Eagles def. EVIL, Shingo Takagi & BUSHI
Shingo Takagi and Tomohiro Ishii had an extended sequence in this match. I could end this entry there and you would know this was worth watching. If there is one pairing of New Japan stars that need to have a long rivalry it is these two.
Ishii squared off with and EVIL and Shingo faced Hirooki Goto early. Takagi taunted Goto with the NEVER Openweight Championship and EVIL tried to hit Everything is EVIL. This was very good stuff. Every possible pairing of these men worked perfectly.
BUSHI and Robbie Eagles were the ones it came down to while the others were brawling. Eagles finally locked in the Ron Miller Special and after a couple of minutes, BUSHI submitted.
This was a great progression of the rivalry between Chaos and Los Ingobernables de Japon. LIJ will put the NEVER Openweight Six-Man titles on the line this week and now Chaos has the momentum.
El Phantasmo def. Gabriel Kidd
This was very different from your typical young lion match. They pushed the narrative that Gabriel Kidd is not your young lion prototype as he has years of experience wrestling in England and now has to unlearn everything he knew.
Due to Kidd’s experience, this was a much more competitive match than you would normally expect considering El Phantasmo’s place on the totem pole.
Kidd was able to hit a number of fairly impressive moves and had a very nice counter to El Phantasmo trying to lock in the Boston Crab, rolling him up for a nearfall. Immediately after, El Phantasmo was able to hit a top-rope splash for the pin. This was a very fine match but nothing you would ever have to go out of your way to see. It was different and it was interesting.
Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV def. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Yuya Uemura
If this match was just Yuya Uemura vs. Tiger Mask IV it would have been much better. It is difficult to have a good match considering Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tomoaki Honma all have limited mobility. Nakanishi was featured here as he took on Makabe but the only time the match kicked up was when Uemura faced Tiger Mask.
Tiger Mask hit a big butterfly suplex on the top rope to take control for good and hit the Tiger suplex for the pin. Uemura has really come a long way in his development and it should be expected that he will continue to improve.
After the match, Nakanishi got on the mic and thanked the fans as this was his final time competing in Sapporo.
Toa Henare def. Yota Tsuji
Toa Henare is not high on the New Japan food chain but he is higher than the young lions such as Yota Tsuji. He utilized his power and kept the upper hand for most of this match. Tsuji spent most of his time trying to apply the Boston Crab with little success.
Tsuji through a series of strikes and hit a big spear for a nearfall but Henare fired up with a big slam and the Toa Bottom for the three. Young lion matches are rarely top-notch performances but they are not meant to be. As they try to learn and appear like they are trying to win a competition, they serve their purpose very well.
Welcome to our live coverage of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s The New Beginning in Sapporo Night Two. We will see a main event of Kazuchika Okada vs. TAICHI but the big attraction has to be the Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Will Ospreay match. The action will kick off at the top of the hour so stay tuned.