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Csonka’s NJPW New Beginning in Osaka Review 2.10.18

February 10, 2018 | Posted by Larry Csonka
NJPW New Beginning Osaka
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Csonka’s NJPW New Beginning in Osaka Review 2.10.18  

Csonka’s NJPW New Beginning in Osaka Review 2.10.18

– Yuji Nagata defeated Katsuya Kitamura @ 11:01 via pin [***]
Non-Title Match: Suzuki-gun defeated Champions Roppongi 3K @ 10:25 via submission [***]
– Michael Elgin, Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, Taichi, & Taka Michinoku @ 11:56 via pin [**½]
– Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defeated Toa Henare, Juice Robinson & David Finlay @ 7:35 via referee stoppage [***]
– BUSHI defeated Gedo @ 10:02 via pin [**¾]
– Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI @ 16:25 via pin [***]
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Will Ospreay defeated Hiromu Takahashi @ 20:10 via pin [****½]
NEVER Openweight Title Match: Champion Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL @ 20:22 via pin [**¾]
IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: Champion Kazuchika Okada defeated SANADA @ 32:10 via pin [****¼]

– Follow all of my reviews at this link.

– You can read my preview for tonight’s show at this link.

Yuji Nagata vs. Katsuya Kitamura:They work some basic back and forth to begin, Nagata outwrestles Kitamura until the big man goes to the power game. Nagata cuts him off, and takes thins to the ground and starts working the arm. Kitamura makes the ropes, so Nagata lays the boots to him and even talks some shit to him. They trade strikes now, and then Nagata takes him down with leg kicks. Knee strikes follow, but Kitamura gets fired up and hits a shoulder tackle, and chops. The gut wrench suplex follows for 2. Kitamura follows with a powerslam, covering for 2. He follows with the torture rack, but Nagata escapes. He fires up with chops and slaps, Kitamura answers back, but it just pisses Nagata off. Kitamura fires up as Nagata connects with boots, but Kitamura powers through hitting a spinebuster for 2. The spear follows, and that also gets 2. Nagata quickly fights back and locks on the arm bar. Kitamura manages to get the ropes, but Nagata continues to work the arm and hit s an XPLODER. The PK score for a good near fall. Kitamura fights off the Saito suplex, and follows with chops. Nagata fires back and hits the rolling kick. The backdrop driver finishes it. Yuji Nagata defeated Katsuya Kitamura @ 11:01 via pin [***] As I suspected, this was the best match of he series. It was a good and simple back and forth match, with good hard-hitting action, and Nagata working to Kitamura’s strengths.

Roppongi 3K (Sho & Yoh) vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado: Sho’s back is all taped up following Suzuki-gun’s attacks on the road to shows. Suzuki-gun attacks at the bell, dumping Yoh and isolating Sho. Yoh back in and they work double teams and start working over Desperado. Kanemaru pulls Sho to the floor and everyone follows and we get our floor brawling. Kanemaru starts attacking the back of Sho, and back in they go. Double teams follow on Sho, as Kanemaru then keeps focused on the back. Suzuki-gun works quick tags, keeping Sho isolated, and continuing to work on the back. Desperado works a Gory special, but Sho escapes with an arm drag. The tag is cut off, but Sho hits a desperation suplex and tags on Yoh. He hits dropkicks, and takes control. The flying forearm follows, and then connects with an enziguri and the slingshot double stomp gets 2. Superkick by Yoh, but then runs into a spinebuster. Kanemaru tags in, and runs into a dropkick. Sho tags back in, working over Kanemaru. The German fails as Sho’s back gives out, but Yoh back in and they hit stereo knees. Sho now hits the German, but Desperado makes the save. 3k sets for the end, but Sho’s back gives out again. It breaks down, and Desperado takes Yoh to the floor as Kanemaru hits the superplex for 2. The crab follows, Desperado takes out Yoh again, hitting him with a chair. He then hits Sho and Kanemaru locks the crab back on and Sho has to tap. Suzuki-gun defeated Champions Roppongi 3K @ 10:25 via submission [***] This was another good match, with the attacks on the road to shows paying off, and Suzuki-gun picking up the win to kick off the new title program. It was nice to have a Suzuki-gun match without a ton of other people involved.

– Post match, Suzuki-gun beats down Romero and the champions.

Michael Elgin, Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, Taichi, & Taka Michinoku: the faces take the fight to Suzuki-gun before the bell and we get the mass brawl. Makabe works over Suzuki in the ring and tags in Taguchi, but Suzuki and Makabe brawl to the floor. Taguchi & Taka work back and forth, KUSHIDA in and cuts off Taka and then Taguchi. Iizuka sneaks in a chair shot, and drags Elgin to the floor. They brawl into the crowd, while Taichi chokes out Taguchi with a cable. Suzuki now beats down Makabe, while Taichi attacks Taguchi with the bell hammer. Taguchi cuts him off with an enziguri, but Iizuka is in and bites Taguchi. Taguchi misses the ass attack, so Iizuka bites his ass. Elgin gets the tag and works over Iizuka, but Taka & Taichi cut him off. Elgin then suplexes both of them, and Germans Iizuka for 2. Clotheslines follow, but Iizuka cuts him off by biting him. Elgin takes out Taichi and he bites Iizuka. Tags to Makabe & Suzuki and they trade strikes center ring. Makabe lays in mounted corner strikes and a northern lights for 2. Clotheslines follow and then a slam. Suzuki cuts him off with strikes, but Makabe counters the PK. They again trade strikes, with Suzuki lighting up Makabe. They keep trading, but Suzuki drops Makabe with vicious forearms. Makabe keeps firing back, but Suzuki locks on the sleeper and it breaks down. Suzuki-gun runs wild on Makabe, and Iizuka chokes out Makabe with the rope. Elgin cuts off Iizuka’s iron fingers, and Makabe takes out Taka, and them stares down Suzuki as the king kong knee drop finishes it. Michael Elgin, Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA, & Ryusuke Taguchi defeated Minoru Suzuki, Takashi Iizuka, Taichi, & Taka Michinoku @ 11:56 via pin [**½] This was a perfectly solid match, that did a good job of setting up Makabe vs. Suzuki, which was its goal.

– Post match, Makabe again challenges Suzuki for the IC Title. Suzuki accepted and then beat down poor Oka on his way out.

Toa Henare, Juice Robinson & David Finlay vs. Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano: Yano &Juice to begin, and Yano undoes the buckle pad. Juice cuts him off, hitting an airplane spin. Both are dizzy now, and Ishii &Henare into continue their mini-rivalry, which has been a ton of fun. White in and gets taken out by triple teams. Juice works over Yano with jabs, but White cuts him off and sends him to the floor. CHAOS takes the heat, isolating Juice and Ishii hits a suplex and follows with chops. Juice fires back, hits a clothesline and White tags in and lays the boots to Juice. Juice slams White to the exposed buckle, and Finlay tags in. he hits the dropkick out of the international, and follows with corner attacks. White hits the snap Saito suplex to cut him off. Finlay manages a back breaker and Henare tags in. The spinebuster connects and Yano makes the save. Juice in, and hits neck breakers onto Yano & Ishii. Double teams on White follow, Henare flies in with the shoulder block for 2. Henare fires up, but White counters out of the Samoan drop. Blade runner connects and White lays in elbow strikes until the ref stops it. Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defeated Toa Henare, Juice Robinson & David Finlay @ 7:35 via referee stoppage [***] Good match here, al action and kept the crowd involved. Yano &Ishii continue to win as they look for a tag tile shot, and White continues to show off his ruthless side with another referee stoppage.

REY MYSTERIO is coming to NJPW, and challenges Jushin Liger for the US Show on March 25th.

Gedo vs. BUSHI: BUSHI attacks during Gedo’s entrance, and we start with the floor brawl. They work into the ring and Gedo tries to rip off BUSHI’s mask again. BUSHI has giant clippers and looks to cut off Gedo’s beard, but the ref stops that. BUSHI hits an apron DDT and chokes out Gedo with his shirt. BUSHI then whips him to the barricade and again goes after his beard. Back in and BUSHI works an STF. BUSHI keeps trying to rip off Gedo’s beard, but Gedo cuts him off with a flatliner and then locks on a crossface. He tries to remove BUSHI’s mask, and then uses the mask to tie BUSHI to the ropes. Gedo mocks BUSHI and slaps him around while trapped in the ropes. One of the lions tries to free him and does. The missile dropkick follows, and sends Gedo to the floor for a suicide dive. Back in and the fisherman’s neck breaker scores for 2. Gedo shoves the ref at BUSHI and then gets a roll up for 2. BUSHI looks for the code breaker; Gedo shoves him into the ref. Gedo counters the mist and hits a low blow as the ref is down. Gedo gets a roll up for 2. BUSHI counters the clutch into a cradle for 2. BUSHI hits the code breaker, but Gedo kicks out at 2. BUSHI to the ropes hits MX and that’s that. BUSHI defeated Gedo @ 10:02 via pin [**¾] This was a pretty good match, with BUSHI picking up a much needed singles win on a major show. It was fun watching them try and out heel each other.

Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI: HASHI attacks during Naito’s entrance and we’re underway. HASHI mocks Naito’s traquilo pose and then hits a plancha to the floor. Naito fires up and slams HASHI to the barricade repeatedly. The apron neck breaker follows. Back in and another neck breaker follows for 2. HASHI lays the boots to HASHI and spits on him. HASHI now hits the dropkick to the knee, and follows with a DDT. The running blockbuster follows that and lays in more chops and strikes, beating down Naito in the corner. He drapes Naito over the ropes and scores with the dropkick for 2. Naito cuts him off with a neck breaker and basement dropkick. Naito follows with a draping neck breaker, and covers for 2. HASHI counters the corner dropkick combo and sends Naito to the floor. The dive follows, and the neck breaker on the ramp connects. Back to the ring they go, and HASHI locks in the butterfly lock. Naito escapes and hits the tornado DDT, covering for 2. Naito now scores with the corner dropkick combo, but HASHI fights off destino into a powerslam. They trade strikes, and then slaps. HASHI fires up and hits a superkick and vicious lariat for a good near fall. HASHI then hits the sitout powerbomb covering for 2. He then applies the butterfly lock, but Naito fights and makes the ropes. Naito fires back with a German, avoids the charge and then sets HASHI up top and follows with the RANA off the ropes. Snapdragon suplex by Naito, and destino follows, he hits another and puts HASHI away. Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI @ 16:25 via pin [***] This was an overall good match, with Naito picking up the win he needed after his WK 12 loss, but there was absolutely no drama in HASHI winning here. They tried to heat him up and make him more serious to be a threat, but he was still just HASHI It felt like when Goto “reinvented himself” to challenge Okada, and came out in white gear and body paint, and was still the same exact guy he always was.

– Post match, Taichi attacks Naito, confirming his rumored move to heavyweight.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title Match: IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay vs. Hiromu Takahashi: No fucking around here, they trade strikes and work into a series of counters. Ospreay get sent to the floor, and then returns and dumps Takahashi. Ospreay looks for the Sasuke special, Takahashi sidesteps him and then plants him with a German on the floor. Takahashi then hits an overhead toss, sending Ospreay into he barricade. Back in they go, and Takahashi grounds Ospreay, choking him out. Takahashi now works a head scissors, keeping Ospreay grounded. Ospreay powers out, but Takahashi cuts him off. Ospreay keeps fighting back and hits the back handspring kick. The jawbreaker and kicks follow, and then an enziguri and 619. They work into some slick counters on the floor, and Ospreay scores with the flying forearm off the barricade. Back in and Ospreay hits the springboard forearm for 2. Ospreay continues to control, and hits a corkscrew senton for 2. Takahashi hits the pop up powerbomb, and a German. Ospreay fires back, but Takahashi hits a lariat and follows with the sunset bomb to the floor. Takahashi heads up top and hits the insane senton to the floor onto Ospreay! Back in and the dynamite plunger gets a good near fall. Ospreay counters out of the time bomb, but Takahashi kills him with a lariat! They workup top, but Ospreay counters and Germans him onto the buckles! The Essex destroyer follows; Ospreay up top and the imploding 450 connects for a GREAT near fall. The cyclone kick follows but Takahashi counters the Oscutter into a cutter of his own. They trade strikes now, Ospreay fires up and lays in forearms. They start to unload on each other, Takahashi fires back with chops and beats down Ospreay in the corner. But Ospreay counters back with the trapped superkick and reverse RANA off the ropes, but Takahashi kicks out immediately! Ospreay fires back with a head kick, uppercuts, but Takahashi hits superkicks. Ospreay looks for the time bomb but Takahashi counters into a destroyer for a great near fall. Takahashi is fired up, but Ospreay keeps fighting and hits a dragon suplex, Takahashi hits the German, but Ospreay hits a Spanish fly! Ospreay drapes him over the ropes and hits a shooting star press! Ospreay hits the dynamite plunger but Takahashi survives! Back elbow by Ospreay, and the oscutter follows and Ospreay retains. Champion Will Ospreay defeated Hiromu Takahashi @ 20:10 via pin [****½] This was an excellent match, blowing everything on the show so far out of the water. They teased a crazy pace early on, before settling into a good back and forth match, with some amazing counter work and doing an excellent job of upping the intensity the longer the match went on. The closing stretch was absolutely insane, with the crowd into everything and both men scoring some great near falls. The chemistry between these two is so damn good, as everything they did appeared to come off as effortless. I expected Ospreay to retain, but they did an excellent job of making the crowd and myself believe that Takahashi could win. I absolutely loved this.

NEVER Openweight Title Match: NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL: They work a slow opening stretch as this will be very different from the previous match. Goto overpowers EVIL to begin, and starts to beat him down along the ropes. Goto slows things down, grounding EVIL. He then follows with chops in the corner. EVIL fires back with a lariat and Goto rolls to the floor. EVIL follows and gets a chair and drags Goto onto he crowd and wraps the chair around Goto’s head and posts him. Red Shoes checks on Goto, so EVIL rolls him back in and covers, but Red Shoes won’t count since EVIL used the chair. EVIL now grounds things, and then lays the boots to Goto. The side slam follows for 2. They trade chops and EVIL hits the senton for 2. Goto hits the desperation lariat, taking EVIL down. He then follows with strikes and kicks. The corner spin kick and Saito suplex follows for 2. EVIL hits the superkick, and bulldog for 2. Goto locks in the sleeper, but EVIL escapes and follows with a lariat, sending Goto to the floor. EVIL gets more chairs, piles them up and shoves the ref down. Goto fights him off and suplexes EVIL onto the chairs. Back in and Goto lays the boots to EVIL. The corner clothesline follows, but EVIL shoves down the ref and attacks Goto with his giant necklace of balls. He then chokes out Goto, the ref sees it and gets shoved down again. Goto fights back with an ushigoroshi, and follows with kicks. EVIL counters a suplex, and hits the fisherman’s buster. They collide center ring, trading clotheslines. EVIL finally goes down, but EVIL fights back with a lariat and darkness falls gets 2. Goto counters everything is evil, but EVIL hits a German and lariat for 2. Goto cuts off EVIL with a head butt, and the draping GTR connects for 2. EVIL now counters out, but Goto hits the GTR for the win. Champion Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL @ 20:22 via pin [**¾] While not a bad match, I found it to be very disappointing. The stuff with the ref is so frustrating; he sees it all, does nothing, is repeatedly bumped and looks like an idiot. The worst part is that it added no drama at all, as the crowd never bought that EVIL would win, leading to a flat finish and a crowd that never felt invested at all in the match. This was not the performance that EVIL needed.

IWGP Heavyweight Title Match: IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada vs. SANADA: No Gedo at ringside tonight. They work a slow opening stretch, with SANADA grounding things early. Okada counters out, but SANADA targets the arm now. They work into a series of counters, and separate. Okada hits a shoulder tackle and hip toss. Okada then cuts off a springboard and they work to the apron. SANADA posts Okada, and then slams him onto the barricade from the apron. SANADA drags Okada to the ramp and hits a piledriver. Okada struggles back to ringside, and rolls back in. SANADA now targets the neck with a cravat. He then takes Okada down and the standing moonsault gets 2. SANADA looks to ground things, and then the basement dropkick gets 2. SANADA lays the boots to Okada, and hits another piledriver, covering for a good near fall. Okada starts to fire back and hits the flapjack to cut off SANADA. Okada kips up and picks up the pace, hitting the running back elbow. The DDT follows for 2. Okada up top, and SANADA cuts him off and press slams him to the mat. Okada manages to dropkick SANADA to the floor; he follows and dumps SANADA over the barricade. The draping DDT to the floor follows. Okada rolls SANADA back in, lays in some dickish kicks to SANADA, SANADA gets pissed and lays in forearms. Okada fires back and hits the swing around neck breaker. The top rope elbow drop connects, and rainmaker pose to jeers. SANADA counters the rainmaker into a Saito suplex and both men are down. SANADA counters out of the tombstone and dropkicks Okada to the floor and follows with the plancha and the crowd comes alive for SANADA. SANADA then follows with a big dive. Back in they go, SANADA hits the springboard missile dropkick but Okada kicks out. They trade strikes center ring, SANADA counters the German and looks for skull end, but Okada cradles him for 2. SANADA avoids the dropkick, and locks on skull end. Okada barely makes the ropes. SANADA now hits some little dickish kicks on Okada, they trade strikes and SANADA drops the champion. SANADA follows with uppercuts, again dropping Okada. The TKO follows for a good near fall. SANADA locks on skull end, Okada counters out into the cobra clutch, but SANADA escapes. SANADA moonsaults into skull end, and drops to the mat. Okada fights, but SANADA locks on the body scissors and keeps the hold as Okada fights and finally makes the ropes. SANADA hits the slam, but Okada rolls away and he has to land on his feet on the moonsault attempt. SANADA now hits the tiger suplex for a great near fall. SANADA sets Okada up top, and locks in skull end on the ropes and then hits a back breaker off the ropes for a good near fall. SANADA counters the rainmaker and HE hits the rainmaker for a great near fall! Okada counters skull end and he locks on skull end. SANADA fade, and Okada hits dropkicks. The tombstone follows for Okada. SANADA counters the rainmaker into skull end, he has the body scissors as well, Okada starts to fade, so SANADA releases it and hit the moonsault for a good near fall. SANADA sells the knee on the landing, and the second moonsault eats knees. RAINMAKER by Okada… but both men are down. Okada gets to his feet and hits another rainmaker. SANADA counters the third but Okada hits a German and jumping tombstone. The rainmaker finishes it. Champion Kazuchika Okada defeated SANADA @ 32:10 via pin [****¼] This was an absolutely great main event with a tremendous story. Okada was the overconfident champion, facing the challenger who hasn’t yet lived up to his potential. So while Okada was looking to almost cruise and be a dick to teach SANADA a lesson, SANADA ended up being way more of a challenge that he expected. The crowd actually tuned on Okada here a bit as SANADA was proving himself worthy of the main event spot, and the Osaka faithful started to believe in him, and started to rally for him and really believe. From there things really got great, as they set up the second half with a strong first half. When we got to the second half, the crowd was fully invested and believed that SANADA could win, and that turned quality counters and near falls into next level things to them. It was very unlikely that Okada was losing here, so to make this great, the key was getting the fans to emotionally invest in SANADA, which they did. The home stretch was really great, and while he lost, SANADA looked like the star many of us feel he is, and delivered his best NJPW singles outing to date. This crowd loved him, they wanted him to win, and that will go a long way for his future. With this reaction and the crowd at the dome, it feels like NJPW fans are primed and ready for a tile change, and whoever beats Okada will get a Godlike reaction. This was great, great stuff.

– Okada said post match that he wants to compete in the New Japan Cup and face Will Ospreay at the anniversary show in March.

– End Scene.

– Thanks for reading.

 photo fe36ffd0-0da4-4e3b-a2d3-b026b341dd87_zps41ef5d61.jpg
“Byyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyye Felicia!”

The final score: review Good
The 411
Today’s NJPW New Beginning in Osaka show was a consistently good show overall, with two must-see matches, the set up for Makabe vs. Suzuki, Naito vs. Taichi, & 3K vs. Suzuki-gun, closing out an overall fun and successful new beginning tour.