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NEW JAPAN PRO WRESTLING NEW BEGINNING IN NIIGATA PREVIEW

By Matthew Macklin on 2016-02-12 09:11:00

The New Beginning in Niigata takes place on Sunday morning, February 14th at 16:00 JST (2AM EST/7AM UK).  The show is live on NJPW World and will see a new IWGP Intercontinental champion crowned.

Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Captain New Japan vs The Young Bucks & Cody Hall

The Young Bucks will probably get their win back here after dropping the Jr tag titles in Osaka.  Cody Hall works well as The Bucks enforcer, so this should be a decent opener.  Bullet Club need the win here as the faction will have to rebuild once Gallows and Anderson leave.

Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs Kazushi Sakuraba & Gedo

O’Reilly vs Sakuraba! If they are given some time in the ring together, this could be something special.   ReDRagon could be in line for another Jr tag title shot as they avoided the pin in the three way in Osaka, but I would love to see O’Reilly step up and challenge KUSHIDA for the Jr title.  ReDRagon should win here.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Matt Sydal & Ricochet vs Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, Ryusuke Taguchi & David Finlay

It’s the match we all wanted to see.  Nakanishi vs Ricochet! There are a lot of interesting matches in this.  As the new Jr tag champions, Sydal & Ricochet deserve the spotlight here as they continue to build momentum.

Michael Elgin & Jay White vs Tetsuya Naito & EVIL

Elgin & White will make for an incredible team.  Elgin and EVIL always have great chemistry in the ring together, dating back to an incredible match they had in ROH.  EVIL has been picking up some wins lately, so he will probably continue his momentum here.  A lot of people will probably be begging for an Elgin/White tag team after this.

Toru Yano, Jay & Mark Briscoe vs Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi

Team Bullet Club won the NEVER Six Man Tag Championship from Team Yano in Osaka and it is strange to see a non-title rematch on the next show.  Tama Tonga got the pin to win the titles, so hopefully a push for him is getting started.  I’d like to see Tonga pin Yano again and have The Briscoes challenge Honma & Makabe later in the show.

Hirooki Goto, Katsuyori Shibata & Juice Robinson vs Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI

After losing to Okada in Osaka, Goto tweeted “I want to disappear”.  The question is, what’s next for Goto? CHAOS are short of a big name now that Nakamura has gone, so maybe that could be next.  Or maybe we could see Goto align himself with Los Ingobernables. Goto definitely needs a new direction, so maybe he turns on his long time friend Shibata here.  Now that Shibata has beaten Ishii twice, hopefully we get a fresh challenger for him. Okada may not have another challenger until after the New Japan Cup next month.

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship: KUSHIDA vs BUSHI

KUSHIDA should not lose the title already.  His win over Omega should be the start of a lengthy reign for him, at least until he meets the winner of the Best of the Super Juniors in the summer.  BUSHI has been great since he returned from injury and joined Los Ingobernables.  This is a match we haven’t really seen before, and will likely be fantastic. BUSHI has misted KUSHIDA several times over the last few weeks, so that will probably play into the story of the match.  I hope KUSHIDA wins here and gets ready for some new challengers, maybe in the form of ReDRagon, Alex Shelley or the soon to debut Will Ospreay.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe vs Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows

This will likely be the last time we see Anderson & Gallows in a New Japan ring.  If you looked closely, you could see Anderson soaking in the Osaka crowd one last time on Thursday.  He and Gallows will be looking to go out with a bang here.  The tag division has long needed something fresh.  Honma & Makabe as champions give it that, so hopefully we see some fresh tag teams step up in the next few months.  Any departing Bullet Club members have been kicked out of the group in the past.  Could we see Bullet Club add some new names to the group to replace Anderson & Gallows? It’s possible.

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega

The Cleaner, Kenny Omega stepped up in a big way on January 5th when he pinned then IWGP Intercontinental champion, Shinsuke Nakamura clean in the middle of the ring, kicked AJ Styles out of Bullet Club and declared himself the new “boss”.  Omega became a heavyweight and a legitimate threat in the space of a couple of moves.  With Nakamura relinquishing the gold, it left Omega’s title match in question until Hiroshi Tanahashi stepped up and revealed he would be facing Omega for the vacant championship.   Another story here is that of Tanahashi’s shoulder.  Tanahashi revealed in a blog that he had dislocated it during the Fantasticamania tour, but he showed no signs of injury after that.  In Osaka, Tanahashi played up the injury, and Omega lead a Bullet Club beat down of the shoulder, which will play a huge part in their match on Sunday.  It was smart to play up the real, rumoured injury.  Omega needs to win this match to cement himself as the new main event heel and Bullet Club leader that NJPW need.  A win here does nothing for Tanahashi, but it’s also possible that NJPW will make Tanahashi the new IC title guy and centre the title around him much like it was with Shinsuke Nakamura in the past.  This will likely be an incredible match as these two meet one on one for the first time ever.  

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