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Csonka’s NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 (Night Two) Review

February 2, 2020 | Posted by Larry Csonka
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Csonka’s NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 (Night Two) Review  

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Csonka’s NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 (Night Two) Review

– Toa Henare defeated Yota Tsuji @ 8:13 via pin [***]
– Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask defeated Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuya Uemura @ 9:50 via pin [**½]
– El Phantasmo defeated Gabriel Kidd @ 9:00 via pin [***]
– Hirooki Goto, Big Tom Ishii, & Robbie Eagles defeated Shingo Takagi, EVIL, & BUSHI @ 9:45 via pin [***¾]
– Jon Moxley, SHO, YOH, & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & DOUKI @ 13:30 via submission [***½]
– Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & Hiromu Takahashi defeated KENTA, Jay White, & Taiji Ishimori @ 15:30 via submission [***]
RevPro British Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Zack Sabre Jr defeated Will Ospreay @ 28:00 via referee stoppage [****¾]
– Kazuchika Okada defeated Taichi @ 30:48 via pin [***¾]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– Kevin Kelly, Chris Charlton, & Gino Gambino are on commentary.

Toa Henare vs. Yota Tsuji: They lock up and trade shoulder tackles until Henare takes him down. He follows with chops. takes Tsuji down and covers for 2. Henare delivers strikes, grounds the action and works a chinlock. Tsuji fights to his feet, but Henare delivers strikes and kicks, followed by a delayed suplex for 2. The crab follows, but Tsuji immediately makes the ropes. He fires back, hits a slam and then a shoulder tackle. The powerslam follows for 2, Henare fights off the crab, follows with clotheslines, the Samoan drop and they trade strikes until Tsuji cradles him for 2 and transitions to the crab. Henare fights, Tsuji pulls him center ring but Henare makes the ropes. Tsuji delivers strikes, lighting up Henare, follows with chops and hits the spear for 2. Henare decapitates him with a lariat and follows with rampage for 2. Toa bottom finishes it. Toa Henare defeated Yota Tsuji @ 8:13 via pin [***] This was a good, hard-hitting opener, with Tsuji impressing before Henare put him away.

– Post match, Henare said he was done with the young boys and wanted Shingo; Henare was 27.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask vs. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuya Uemura: Yuya Nakanishi begin as Nakanishi quickly overpowers him, hits head butts and chops as Yuya is down. Honma in and hits a DDT, the kokeshi misses and Tenzan tags in. He and Nakanishi follow with chops, shoulder tackles and Nakanishi hits the splash as Tenzan covers for 2. Tenzan follows with head butts, tags in Tiger and he follows with kicks on Honma. The dropkick gets 2. Tiger lays in kicks, Tenzan tags in and follows with Mongolian chops. The clothesline and suplex follows for 2. Honma fires back, but Tenzan hits the spin kick. He misses a kokeshi and Honma then hits one. Makabe tags in, strolls mildly and delivers strikes until Nakanishi attacks. Makabe cuts him off, follows with clotheslines and mounted strikes. Tenzan fires back, hits the mountain bomb and Nakanishi is in, following with chops on GBH, dumps Yuya and clotheslines Makabe. He dances, hits another clothesline and that gets 2. The backbreaker follows, it breaks down, submissions by team Nakanishi but Makabe escapes. They trade clotheslines and we get a double down. Father and son battles as Yuya & Tiger tag in, Yuya runs wild and gets the crab. Nakanishi makes the save, gets dumped and Tiger counters back, but Yuya cradles him for 2. The dropkick follows and Tiger kicks his head off. They work up top and the avalanche butterfly suplex connects nut Makabe makes the save. The tiger suplex finishes Yuya. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask defeated Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, & Yuya Uemura @ 9:50 via pin [**½] This was solid, the crowd liked it and they all worked hard.

– Post match, Nakanishi comments on his upcoming retirement and thanks the fans.

El Phantasmo vs. Gabriel Kidd: They lockup and work to the ropes for a break. Kidd follows with arm drags, Phantasmo takes him down and slaps him around. Kidd attacks the arm, but Phantasmo grounds him and they work into a standoff. They trade shoulder tackles, Phantasm takes him down and Kidd fires up as Phantasmo powders. Back in and Phantasmo grounds the action, attacking the arm and snapping the fingers. He follows with chops, the ropewalk with kicks and into a RANA for 2. Phantasmo delivers grounded kicks, beating Kidd down and then back rakes him. Kidd fires back, but Phantasmo catches him into the tree of WHOA and the nut stomps follow. Phantasmo delivers chops, Kidd fires back and hits chops and a slam. He follows with running uppercuts, a back elbow but Phantasmo counters into a high cross for 2. The lionsault misses as Kidd cradles him for 2. Phantasmo rakes the eyes, but Kidd cuts him off with a dropkick and the crab follows. Phantasmo makes the ropes, lays in kicks but Kidd cradles him for 2. The superkick and top rope splash connect and Phantasmo wins. El Phantasmo defeated Gabriel Kidd @ 9:00 via pin [***] This was good as Kidd showed a lot of potential, getting to work a familiar opponent.

Hirooki Goto, Big Tom Ishii, & Robbie Eagles vs. Shingo Takagi, EVIL, & BUSHI: These teams will rematch Thursday in a title match. Ishii and EVIL begin, hossing about with Ishii having to retreat. BUSHI & Robbie tag in, Robbie attacks with kicks and a basement dropkick. He attacks the knee, Goto tags in and he grounds BUSHI, focusing on the knee. Shingo & EVIL rush the ring, LIJ takes control as they all brawl to the floor. Back in as EVIL grounds Goto, Ishii attacks but is taken down by EVIL. Shingo tags in and delivers strikes. He trades with Goto, and then trade clotheslines until Shingo hits the jab but Goto takes him down. Ishii tags in, lays in rights on Shingo and pummels him in the corner until Shingo fires back. He follows with clotheslines but runs into a powerslam. They trade, Saito by Shingo and they trade again until Shingo hits the jab but Ishii counters into a suplex. Shingo pops up and hits a vicious lariat. Robbie tags in, BUSHI joins him and Robbie cuts him off with a leg lariat. They work into counters, rewind kick by BUSHI and he follows with a RANA. EVIL takes out Goto, backstabber by BUSHI and that gets 2. Enziguri by Robbie, it breaks down as CHAOS takes control, isolating BUSHI and working his knee. Robbie hits the 450 tot the knee, and the Ron Miller special follows until EVIL makes the save, it breaks down, stereo ushigoroshis by CHAOS and BUSHI has to tap. Hirooki Goto, Big Tom Ishii, & Robbie Eagles defeated Shingo Takagi, EVIL, & BUSHI @ 9:45 via pin [***¾] You had the natural pairings coming out of last night, and they had a very good match, with Eagles picking up another win to keep him strong for a junior title shot and the win setting them as stronger challengers for later this week.

– They announce that the Guerrillas of Destiny won the tag titles at the Atlanta show last night.

Jon Moxley, SHO, YOH, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & DOUKI: They brawl at the bell as Suzuki & Mox meet in the crowd and get right to war! They fight to ringside as Mox chokes him out with his jacket. They fight onto a table, Suzuki attacks his eye, bites him and back in, Despy is in control and DOUKI joins in for double teams and covers for 2. Suzuki tries to rip off Mox’s arm, Mox bites him and the battle wages on as Despy & Kanemaru lock on submissions on 3K. Yoh makes the ropes, but Suzuki-gun maintains control. They isolate Yoh with triple teams, until he finally cuts off Despy. Mox tags in as does Suzuki. They go crazy fists, Suzuki smiles and keeps firing until he levels Suzuki with a lariat. The suplex follows for 2. Suzuki fires back with knee strikes, the running boot, PK and covers for 2. Mox fires back, they trade and light each other up until Suzuki teases the Gotch, Mox escapes and Suzuki laughs at him as they trade again. Taguchi tags in, the faces isolate DOUKI as Mox & Suzuki brawl on the floor. Taguchi is left alone as the Suzuki-gun juniors beat him down, triple teams follow and DOUKI follows with the springboard double stomp for 2. The backslide follows for 2. Taguchi counters suplex de la luna as Sho takes out DOUKI. It breaks down. Mox & Suzuki are back in and kicking each other’s asses, the take out Taguchi and continue to brawl to the floor. Taguchi fights off DOUKI, ass attack and BUM A YE follows and the ankle lock finishes it. Jon Moxley, SHO, YOH, & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, & DOUKI @ 13:30 via submission [***½] This was more build for Roppongi 3k vs. Despy & Kanemaru as well as Suzuki vs. Mox next week. Judging by these interactions, Mox vs. Suzuki is going to fucking rule. This was wild and I loved it.

– Mox & Suzuki keep brawling post match,

– They announce some future dates, a Hokkaido Tour in July, as well as two more Sapporo shows; 7 total dates as NJPW hasn’t toured in the area in a while, so they are trying to turn the negative of moving the G1 into a positive.

Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & Hiromu Takahashi vs. KENTA, Jay White, & Taiji Ishimori: Gedo is at ringside. Bullet Club attacks and we’re underway. Hiromu battles back, hits a RANA and Jay attacks. He dumps him, and they all spill to the floor for some brawling. Jay isolates SANADA, whipping him to the barricades and KENTA DDTs Naito on the floor. Back in, they isolate Hiromu as Jay takes the heat. He grounds things, KENTA tags in and follows with kicks and uppercuts in the corner. he takes out Naito as Ishimori is in, grounding Hiromu. KENTA back in and keeps things grounded, Jay tags in and keeps the heat on Hiromu. Hiromu counters back into a dragon screw and tags in Naito. He trades with KENTA center ring, KENTA rakes the eyes but Naito cuts him off and hits a neck breaker. He follows with strikes, but KENTA cuts him off with the draping DDT for 2. The powerslam follows, hits the running boot and corner dropkick. The top rope double stomp follows for 2. The GTS is countered, neck breaker by Naito but KENTA counters Gloria, tornado DDT by Naito and SANADA tags in, runs wild, paradise lock on Ishimori and a dropkick to Gedo. He frees Ishimori and Jay fires away with chops. They work into counters, DDT by Jay and that gets 2. SANADA fights off the uranage, counters into skull end, Jay escapes and SANADA hits the Saito suplex. Ishimori tags in, hits the superkick and covers for 2. SANADA fights back, but Ishimori hits the back handspring kick and covers for 2. Bloody cross is countered, Hiromu in and attacks, LIJ follows with triple teams and it breaks down, big move buffet and SANADA gets skull end on Ishimori. He’s done. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, & Hiromu Takahashi defeated KENTA, Jay White, & Taiji Ishimori @ 15:30 via submission [***] This was good and served as more build for Jay vs. SANADA as well as Naito vs. KENTA; the closing stretch was really good.

RevPro British Heavyweight Champion Zack Sabre Jr. vs. Will Ospreay: Ospreay has failed to win the championship on three occasions. This is also the first ever all British heavyweight title match held in NJPW. They lockup, working into counters and separate. Sabre attacks the arm, Ospreay counters out until Sabre grounds him. Ospreay escapes, and they work to the ropes. Lockup and Sabre takes the arm, slowing Ospreay and then grounding him, working the gameplan as he grounds the flier. Ospreay to his feet, counters and escapes. They lockup, working into a test of strength, with Ospreay grounding Sabre. Sabre bridges up, they work into slick counters and Sabre powders to the floor. Back in and Ospreay ground things, working the leg and controlling. Sabre counters out, and he attacks the leg of Ospreay. Ospreay counters out, they pick up the pace, RANA by Ospreay and Sabre cuts off the dive, pulls him to the floor and Ospreay fights him off, follows with a plancha and back in, Ospreay follows with strikes and chops. Sabre counters into the cobra twist, grounds Ospreay but he makes the ropes. Sabre starts attacking the neck, grounding Ospreay. He ties him up, working his submission game, and transitions to a cravat. Ospreay rolls but Sabre maintains the hold. He grounds Ospreay, but Ospreay counters out and hits the back handspring kick. Ospreay picks up the pace, follows with a basement dropkick and follows with a suplex for 2. Ospreay delivers strikes, and the springboard is countered, they work into counters and Sabre locks on a choke. Ospreay slams his way out, but Sabre counters the running shooting star press into an arm bar. Ospreay transitions into a crossface, and then the figure four, Sabre fights but Ospreay kicks him in the face and had it fully locked on. Sabre slaps him, but Ospreay cranks back on the hold. Sabre keeps slapping him, but can’t escape until he finally rolls to the ropes. Ospreay follows with leg kicks, Sabre fires back with uppercuts and Ospreay drops him with another leg kick. The shin breaker and leg kick follows as the standing shooting star press get 2. Ospreay springboards in with the flying forearm, Sabre avoids the Robinson special, but Ospreay cuts him off until they work into counters and near falls. Sabre gets the ankle lock until Ospreay rolls out into a head kick. Ospreay fires up, oscutter countered into a choke by Sabre. Ospreay fights to his feet, but Sabre plants him with a nasty half and half suplex. The PK follows, hits another and the third follows for 2. Sabre counters the hook kick, but Ospreay gets it the second time. Sabre rolls to the floor, Sasuke special by Ospreay! Back in and the hook kick follows as Sabre drops to the mat. Hidden blade is countered into a heel hook, Ospreay powers out into a hook kick and hidden blade is countered and Sabre locks on the corky cat, but Ospreay makes the ropes. They work into counters, Ospreay counters Zack driver into a reverse bloody Sunday for 2. Strom breaker is countered, and Sabre gets the European clutch for 2. Huge head kick by Ospreay, Strom breaker is countered into a guillotine but Ospreay counters into a powerbomb for 2. Ospreay up top, the shooting star press connects for 2! Strom breaker is countered again but as Sabre gets the cobra twist, grounds Ospreay like in the G1 and Ospreay passes out as Sabre retains. Champion Zack Sabre Jr defeated Will Ospreay @ 28:00 via referee stoppage [****¾] This was an absolutely incredible match, Zack always delivers, Will always deliver and they came together and honestly made some magic here. The execution and pacing were excellent, they both made each other play into their games at time, Will as I mentioned showed that he has a lot more to his game than “FLIPZ & MOVEZ,” his selling was very strong and he never looked out classed on the mat with Zack. Zack’s control stuff is almost flawless, his selling was also great and this felt like, for lack of a better comparison, to be a modernized World of Sport style match, dragged into the present day and infused with the hard-hitting, fire filled stylings of a modern NJPW main event; it’s something very few could have pulled off. I also loved the throwback finish to the G1 as Zack continues to be Will’s kryptonite. This should have main evented the show.

Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi: Taichi attacks at the bell, working over the previously injured neck of Okada. Taichi gets the iron fingers, but Okada fights him off and hits a basement dropkick. To the floor and Okada whips him to the barricade, follows with the big boot and then hits the running high crossover the barricade. Taichi attacks the neck, but Okada whips him to the barricades. Back in and Okada follows with a neck breaker for 2. Okada delivers elbow strikes, the corner elbow but Taichi counters into the backdrop driver. Okada rolls to the floor, Taichi whips him to the barricades and chokes him out with a cable. Back in and Taichi follows with kicks. He grounds the action, working an abdominal stretch. He delivers kicks, talks shit and Okada fires back but is cut off with kicks and strikes. Okada hits a desperation DDT, follows with strikes, a back elbow and the air raid neck beaker. Taichi powders, Taichi hides begins Abe, she distracts Okada and Taichi attacks, whips Okada to the barricades and to the ramp, Taichi is cut off with John Woooooooooooooooooo. Back in and Okada follows with a slam, heads up top and the elbow drop connects. Rainmaker pose, Taichi counters the rainmaker, follows with an enziguri and body kicks. The axe bomber is countered, flapjack by Okada and John Woooooo follows. Taichi gets the iron fingers, Okada pulls him up and dropkicks him to the floor to counter. Okada grabs the iron fingers, gives them to the ref and Kanemaru tries to take them, chair shot by Taichi and another follows. Axe bombe by Taichi and that gets 2. The pants are off, and the head kick follows, the stretch plum follows and Taichi rips of the neck tape, locks it back in and Okada fights as Taichi covers for 2. Okada fights off the powerbomb, Taichi delivers Kawada kicks, but Okada follows with a backdrop. He hits a German, rolls and the rainmaker is countered, dropkick by Okada and Taichi counters back into the stretch plum. Okada counters out, backdrop driver by Taichi and follows with another. A third follows for 2. Taichi sets, but Okada counters the superkick into a tombstone and both men are down. They trade kicks, Okada fires up and they keep trading. Taichi unloads with a flurry, hits the dropkick but Okada counters into a short rainmaker. He hangs on, hits another and pulls him back up, Taichi grabs the ref; he low blows Okada and the Gedo clutch gets 2. He follows with a head kick, axe bomber, enziguri and the last ride for 2. Taichi fires himself up, Okada counters black mephisto into a spinning rainmaker. The rainmaker is countered, but Okada fights and delivers strikes until Taichi hits ahead kick. Okada counters the superkick, hits the tombstone and rainmaker for the win. Kazuchika Okada defeated Taichi @ 30:48 via pin [***¾] They were doing their very best to sell Taichi as Okada’s equal here, and while I can appreciate that, it felt like a forced narrative as it played into the Okada formula of going too long when you don’t have to in an effort to portray an epic. It was really good, the closing stretch was great, and while it helps Taichi’s credibility, I think it would have been better if a bit shorter.

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The 411 on Wrestling Podcast returns to the 411 Podcasting Network for episode 86. On the show, 411’s Larry Csonka & Steve Cook breakdown and review the latest between NXT & AEW, and then discuss the latest news on Edge’s return, Andrade’s suspension, Lance Archer possibly heading to AEW, while Larry previews NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo. The show is approximately 106-minutes long.

* Intro
* News Roundup (Andrade, Archer, Cage, Rumble, Scurll, More): 2:00
* AEW Dynamite (1.29.20) Review: 41:25
* NXT (1.29.20) Review: 1:01:45
* The Head to Head Comparison: 1:18:25
* Larry’s NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo Previews: 1:22:25

* iTunes
* Spotify
* Stitcher
* Google Play

– Thanks for reading.

– End scene.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
NJPW goes two for two on the weekend as New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 (Night Two) was another great effort, with a MOTY contender between Will & Zack, some great build to the future tour matches, a molten Mox vs. Suzuki brawl, and nothing bad at all. I really don’t think they could have started off February any better.