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Kevin’s NJPW The New Beginning In Hiroshima Night Two Review

February 12, 2021 | Posted by Kevin Pantoja
New Beginning In Hiroshima
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Kevin’s NJPW The New Beginning In Hiroshima Night Two Review  

NJPW The New Beginning in Hiroshima Night Two
February 11th, 2021 | Hiroshima Sun Plaza in Nishi-ku, Hiroshima

After a mild night one capped by a great match, let’s see how night two delivers.

The Dangerous Tekkers and DOUKI vs. Gabriel Kidd, Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura
Even after the night one debacle, I still love Taichi and Zack Sabre Jr. I blame Haku’s kids for that one. Anyway, this was similar to the night one opener in that the Young Lions brought fire. However, without Minoru Suzuki to play off of, it lacked some of that intensity. Without it, that made for a standard match. I would’ve liked to see a bit more aggression from Taichi and Sabre with the idea being that they were pissed following the Tag Title match. Sabre Jr. scored the win by making Kidd tap to an armbar in 8:51. I’d really like a random Sabre Jr./Kidd singles match. This was fine and it seemed to have a finish that gave ZSJ a bit of momentum going into the New Japan Cup. [**½]

El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki and Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Master Wato, SHO and Tomoaki Honma
Honma started this against Suzuki and if this were the G1 24, that would’ve been so good. Alas, we are now some seven years later almost (DAMN) and Honma is a much different wrestler. I did get a chuckle out of Suzuki stopping Kokeshi with a kick to the head though. Wato has been very hit or miss so far in this run and this was a night of misses. He looked a bit lost on some spots and sloppy at points. Growing pains. He still got the win with a jackknife style pin on Kanemaru at the 8:07 mark. Not very good but also relatively inoffensive. [**]

BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito vs. El Phantasmo, Taiji Ishimori and Yujiro Takahashi
Some potential in this one. Naito and Yujiro have no story other than their long history but the juniors are seemingly building towards a title match Hiromu hinted at on night one. They had some decent exchanges but considering the 30+ minutes Hiromu worked beforehand, it made sense that this seemed to lack energy. At least from him. The other guys have no real excuse but it still happened. Naito continues to rack up the decisions in these matches, doing so with Destino on Yujiro in 9:54. More ho-hum efforts from these undercard tags. This felt like a house show level effort from basically everyone involved. [**½]

Dick Togo and EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada and Toru Yano
Almost immediately, this went nowhere. A brawl led to chairs being used and a double countout after 1:27. [NR]

Okada managed to finally goad EVIL into a singles match right now.

EVIL vs. Kazuchika Okada
This is wildly random and feels weird for NJPW. At least it’s somewhat different, which NJPW desperately needs. However, I wouldn’t say to pull something out of the Monday Night Raw bag of tricks. This one was really dumb. The actual brawl the two had was heated like it needed to be but the finish made no sense. EVIL hit Darkness Falls and had the Darkness Scorpion set up before Dick Togo entered and attacked Okada for a DQ in 5:41, even though Okada was on the defensive. What a colossally stupid setup. Never forget that Gedo = genius booker. [*½]

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI [c] vs. The Guerrillas of Destiny & Jay White
I can’t stand the fact that Jay White has to team with these goofs. Kind of as I expected, they dragged this down a bit. Of course, whenever White got to interact with Ishii, it was spectacular. Those two are going to have another belter when the time comes. I’m thinking Castle Attack. You also had this suffering from the same NJPW issue as always. IT WENT TOO LONG. Who the hell wanted to watch 29 minutes of G.O.D. yesterday and 27 today? That’s absurd. Plus, they didn’t really have enough to fill things out. There are spots in this match that actually led nowhere. Basically, when Jay and Ishii were in there this ruled. HASHI also brought fire. The other three kind of just existed. Wait, Goto also did a plancha so he tried at least a little bit. HASHI won with a flash rollup as an anti-climactic way to cap an overly long match that went 27:01. It had potential but just kept going. They totally missed their peak. [**¾]

IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championships: Kota Ibushi [c] vs. SANADA
This feels like a really cold main event program. Their G1 28 match was great (****) but the G1 29 was a drop-off (***¼) and the G1 30 Finals dipped even more (***). I was afraid these guys would go too long. SANADA has wrestled for like 40 minutes again Okada in stinkers before and given the new love with setting records for match length, I was worried. Thankfully, this was kept under 30 minutes and it benefitted from that. As a pure wrestling match, this was really good. That’s what SANADA can do. He can have bouts with smooth exchanges, crisp back and forth, and good stuff on paper. The issue is that he never pulls me into the drama. At no point did I buy him as a winner here, just like against Okada. He’s the new Goto. A good wrestler who chokes often. I can just see Kevin Kelly screaming at us that a NEVER Title win in two years is him “WINNING THE BIG ONE.” Like I said though, this is a good match with plenty of moments that were cool. As a highlight reel, this probably rocks. I do think the reverse Kamigoye followed by another for a near fall was bad. Save that for something bigger than this title defense. Finishers already mean nothing but sheesh. Ibushi won with another Kamigoye after 27:51. [***½]

After the match, Tetsuya Naito came out and challenged Ibushi for the IC Title. There is some beauty to Naito trying to save the title he once hated from being unified.

The final score: review Not So Good
The 411
That was tough. I can’t go lower than this because only the Okada/EVIL saga truly sucked. However, other than a very good but not great main event, the show peaked at being okay. Thankfully, Castle Attack sounds better on paper.