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NJPW New Beginning In Osaka Review

1 year ago
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NJPW New Beginning In Osaka Review

NJPW New Beginning In Osaka Review

By: Sonal Lad 

After two phenomenal shows for the New Beginnings in Sapporo, New Japan Pro Wrestling ended its first major tour of the year, following Wrestle Kingdom in Osaka. With some huge title matches and special singles matches, the show had some high stakes with the best wrestlers in the company.

Here’s a look at everything that happened during New Japan’s New Beginning In Osaka.

The Opening Matches

The start of the show saw two tag matches without any implications. While past history was seen in a bout that saw The Empire’s Aaron Henare and The Great O-Khan beat Toru Yano and Young Lion Oscar Leube, the second bout saw Hiromu Takahashi pin Ryusuke Taguchi in an LIJ versus Hontai match. While neither were technical masterpieces, they were great ways to warm the crowd up and featured some of the best-loved wrestlers in the company.

Yet, the most important moment came when the match ended as a video promo saw Lio Rush appear on the screen and challenge Hiromu Takahashi for his IWGP Jr Heavyweight title.

Master Wato v Taiji Ishimori – Special Singles Match

The core rivalry in the special singles match between Master Wato and Taiji Ishimori started in 2022 after the young wrestler beat the veteran in a singles match. Fast forward to Wrestle Kingdom, and Master Wato truly showcased his talent but was also the reason Ishimori lost the title.

Unsurprisingly, the match started fast and furious, with both men trying to get the win as fast as possible. Yet, it also showed danger after Wato flew over the top rope and was then rammed into the ring post. As expected from the veteran, Ishimori was targeting Wato’s arm for his submissions. Wato tried to combat this with all of his power and heart, focusing on his athleticism and speed.

In the end, it was Ishimori’s experience and talent that got the win cleanly, showing that Wato still has some way to go before being worthy of another title show.

Credit: NJPW1972

KENTA v Hiroshi Tanahashi – Special Singles Match

The match between KENTA and Hiroshi Tanahashi seemingly dated back to Wrestle Kingdom 16 after their ferocious ladder match. With neither man at the position they wanted in the card, the match was a battle of pride. While the match started off light-hearted with a battle of cheers and KENTA’s power walk, it quickly got heated.

The turning point was KENTA bringing a chair into the match. While it caused more damage to Tanahashi as KENTA wanted, The Ace quickly used it as his own weapon avoiding a double stomp. Like any match with chairs, both men came out worse as they both felt the impact of the steel weapon. After the chair was removed from the ring, the match went back to a battle of strength and determination.

Yet, for two of the best and most experienced wrestlers, the bout was less technical and a true fight. It was violent and the frustration from both men was on show. KENTA needed the win much more than Tanahashi, but the Ace cemented his dominance with two High Fly Flows to get the win. Yet, as Tanahashi graciously went to give KENTA the ice pack following the end of the match, it seems like KENTA’s future might be in need of some change.

Credit: NJPW1972

House of Torture (c) v Minoru Suzuki & El Desperado & Ren Narita – NEVER 6-Man Tag Championships

Even before the bell had rung and the challengers made their entrance, House of Torture came down and started an attack on the newest team. EVIL took to the mic, claiming it was a disgrace they were being threatened with being stripped of the title. He then started an onslaught on the already beaten El Desperado, with Narita knocked out on the entrance ramp.

While a burst of energy allowed Despy to tag in Minoru Suzuki. The veteran wrestler went on a rampage against his opponents alone. But House of Torture made use of their cheating and four-man advantage. Eventually, Narita made it back to the ring and got his chance at retribution after being tagged. Despite being weakened, Narita’s heart and talent, along with the crowd’s support, kept his momentum going.

Of course, a submission from Narita to Yujiro was blocked by Dick Togo, who was distracting the referee. Luckily, Suzuki and Desperado held the other opponents back. Narita managed to submit House of Torture for the win and his first title. The company’s newest faction is something nobody could expect, but they are a dangerous force.

Credit: NJPW1972

Jay White v Hiku Leo – Loser Leaves Japan

Although no titles were on the line in the match between Jay White and Hiku Leo, the stakes were much higher as the loser had to leave Japan. Out of all the matches, the history between these two ran the deepest. The feud started when Hiku Leo betrayed Bullet Club and joined his brother. Jay believed it was the reason he lost the title at Wrestle Kingdom 17 and took it personally.

The match was unsurprisingly fast, forceful, and full of urgency as they started to beat each other up. While Hiku Leo seemed to have the size advantage, Jay got the upper hand on the outside by showcasing his dangerous side. In particular, he did a ferocious spear to Hiku Leo that harshly sent him over the guardrail in a nasty fall.

Luckily, it didn’t seem to phase Hiku Leo, who continued using his strength and made Jay go to his dirtier side. While baiting the younger wrestler, he found his own advantage while targeting his leg. He even brought in a chair when the referee was distracted. Yet, each time Hiku Leo was weakened, he found a way to power through, and it became a battle of will and determination.

The final moments truly brought the match together. With Jay White weakened, he offered Hiku Leo one final “Two Sweet” before being pinned and shocking fans worldwide. Jay seemed to accept the result, even going to make amends with his rival Hiroshi Tanahashi with a fist bump. It was the perfect way to end Jay’s “Era” in Japan.

Credit: NJPW1972

Tama Tonga (c) v El Phantasmo – NEVER Openweight Championship

After the shocking loss by Jay White, all eyes were on El Phantasmo as he battled former Bullet Club member Tama Tonga for the NEVER Openweight Championship. Unsurprisingly, considering both men are two of the fastest and most athletic wrestlers, the match started quickly and with a hot pace.

While ELP is a phenomenal athlete, his shenanigans can sometimes get in the way. Yet, the majority of this match saw the wrestler showcase the best of his offense against one of the best and most athletic stars in NJPW. Yet, Tama Tonga also shined. Even with an injured hand, continued to use his speed to maintain the advantage.

After the quick onslaught, the match slowed down. Both men went for submission and strikes, as both showcased their diversity as wrestlers. Yet, as the match went on, neither man seemed to tire and kept finding new momentum. After a huge fight, Tama retained the NEVER title without resorting to the Gun Stun.

Credit: NJPW1972

Kazuchika Okada (c) v Shingo Takagi – IWGP World Heavyweight Championship

In the past, Shingo Takagi and Kazuchika Okada have consistently had MOTY candidates. Their match at New Beginning in Osaka was no different. The match started fast and strong. The two men tried to showcase their dominance and power early on. Surprisingly, Okada had the fans cheering for Shingo when the Rainmaker went dirty and slammed Shingo’s head between the guardrail.

Since his first bout with Kaito Kiyomiya, there was a new aggression from Okada. Despite the jeers, Okada went back to his offense with the Money Clip. Okada continued to show a darker side that didn’t care for the crowd’s reaction. Luckily, Shingo dug deep with the crowd’s support to find his feet again. He even took the battle outside and dropped Okada on his head.

Despite being big men, neither Okada nor Shingo seemed to tire as time went on. They kept going with their unique offense, combining speed, athleticism, power, and technical skills. Shingo even managed to counter a Rainmaker with a strong lariat. Even as the match came to its closing moments, both were as strong as ever.

They even seemed to find a flurry of adrenaline as desperate times call for desperate measures. It was so intense that Okada even managed to kick out of Shingo’s Last of the Dragon. In the end, Okada’s determination came out on top as he hit the Rainmaker for the win. While many expected an appearance from Kiyomiya, Okada shocked fans by issuing a challenge to Hiroshi Tanahashi for Battle In The Valley.

Credit: NJPW1972