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By Matthew Macklin on 2018-02-05 19:54:00

Road to The New Beginning, Korakuen Hall, February 5th:

Ryusuke Taguchi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV defeated Shota Umino, Ren Narita & Tetsuhiro Yagi.  Good opener here with the young lions taking on the junior veterans.  Yagi took the heat for his team and got back into it with some dropkick on Taguchi. Umino, who is the most polished on his team, got the hot tag and showed a lot of fire.  He got in a great near fall on Taguchi before he was put down with Dodon.

Yujiro Takahashi & Hikuleo defeated Tomoyuki Oka & Manabu Nakanishi.  Pretty basic stuff here. Oka got to look good with a gutwrench suplex on Yujiro and a delayed suplex on Leo.  Yujiro finished him with the Pimp Juice DDT.

Kitamura Trial Series: Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Katsuya Kitamura.  As you'd expect with Tenzan involved, this was a slow paced slug fest. Kitamura hit a lot of really hard chops and looked very good, using his power on the legend.  Tenzan hit all his usual offence, but the match never really got into high gear.  Tenzan hit a stiff DDT and got the submission win with the Anaconda Vise.

YOH, SHO & Rocky Romero defeated TAKA Michinoku, Taichi & El Desperado.  Really good six man tag her. Suzuki-Gun went after the taped up back of YOH and used every trick in the book and took every shortcut they could.  Lots of great double and triple team from Roppongi 3k as they played the babyfaces fighting through everything that was thrown at them. TAKA was pinned after a triple team knee and an assisted flatliner.

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defeated Toa Henare & Juice Robinson.  Henare had very little success with Ishii in the early going.  He was taken control of by CHAOS, with Yano using an exposed turnbuckle to wear down the youngster.  Juice made the tag and went to town on Yano.  Juice helped Henare get an advantage over Ishii for a time, but Ishii tuned it around and blasted Henare with the heavy artillery.  He finished him with a Brainbuster.

Togi Makabe, KUSHIDA & Michael Elgin defeated Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka.  KUSHIDA and Kanemaru had a great exchange to open this. KUSHIDA caught him in a great armbar out of a hip toss. Iizuka destroyed KUSHIDA with a chair to allowed Suzuki-Gun to take control.  KUSHIDA was tortured for several minutes until Elgin made the tag and took it to Iizuka. Suzuki & Makabe went toe to toe, trading the stiffest forearms.  Kanemaru got in some near falls on Makabe, including a nasty diving DDT.  Makabe was able to get the win in the end with the King King Knee Drop. This was really good.

After the match, Makabe said he wanted the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and destroyed some young lions with a chair.

Jay White defeated David Finlay.  These once close friends and young lion rivals have met many times in Korakuen Hall, but things have changed since their last meeting. Finlay was only ever able to pick up one win over White, and since returning to NJPW, White has leapfrogged Finlay and taken the IWGP US title.  So this was a really heated match with White taking the advantage with a suplex on the floor.  White was the aggressor, but Finlay knew White so well that he was able to counter a lot of his offence.  Lots of great back and forth between these two. White hit suplexes. Finlay got a near fall after a spear and had a chance to use a chair, but refused.  Finlay spat in White's face as he went for Bladerunner, and got a great near fall with a Lumbar Check.  White countered a stunner and hit Bladerunner to secure the win.  After the match he trapped the arms of Finlay and elbowed him.  The crowd showed Finlay a lot of respect as he left the ring under his own power.

Special Elimination Match: EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay.   This was a fantastic main event.  Far too much action to even possibly recap, but it previewed five singles match coming up on February 10th.  Hiromu eliminated both himself and Ospreay with a sunset bomb to the floor.  Naito was eliminated over the top rope by YOSHI.  Okada took out SANADA and SANADA was taken off the apron by Goto.  It eventually boiled down to EVIL vs YOSHI. YOSHI kicked out of Darkness Falls and did he best to take down EVIL, but EVIL got the pin after the STO. This is well worth checking out.

NJPW returns to Korakuen Hall tomorrow as Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto challenge EVIL & SANADA for the IWGP Tag Team Championship.

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