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By Matthew Macklin on 2018-02-08 15:43:00

Road to The New Beginning, Korakuen Hall, February 6th:

KUSHIDA, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV defeated Ren Narita, Shota Umino & Tetsuhiro Yagi.  The veterans schooled the young lions, particularly Tiger, who was laying it in where he could.  Lots of fun comebacks from the youngsters. Narita showed a lot of fire against KUSHIDA before he was made to submit to an armbar.  After the match Yagi & Umino got in the face of Liger & Tiger before they were tossed out of the ring.

Yujiro Takahashi & Hikuleo defeated Tomoyuki Oka & Hiroyoshi Tenzan.  This was almost exactly the same as the previous days match involving most of them men. Very basic stuff with Yujiro getting the pin after the DDT.

Kitamura Trial Series: Manabu Nakanishi defeated Katsuya Kitamura.   Kitamura hit a delayed suplex on Nakanishi, which was incredibly impressive.  This was a pretty slow match with lots of power exchanges.  Kitamura hit a spear for a near fall and was then finished off by submission with the Argentine backbreaker.

Rocky Romero, SHO & YOH defeated TAKA Michinoku, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado.  Lots of selling here from SHO & YOH as Suzuki-Gun worked over their various injuries. They never really got out of the blocks. Romero got the hot tag and went back and forth with TAKA.  TAKA nicely countered a rana into a crossface.  Romero snuck out the win with a backslide.  After the match Kanemaru & Desperado continued the beat down, so it looks like they will be next in line for a title shot.

Jay White, Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defeated Toa Henare, Juice Robinson & David Finlay.  Very good match. Ishii vs Henare is becoming a great undercard feud.  Henare brought it to Ishii early until the veteran took control for the CHAOS team. Juice was the recipient of a fiery hot tag. Finlay & White picked up from their singles match the night before. White dropped Henare with Bladerunner and got the win via referee stoppage when he repeatedly elbowed Henare.

Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Takashi Iizuka defeated Ryusuke Taguchi, Michael Elgin & Togi Makabe.   This was an absolutely wild brawl.  The battled around ringside for what felt like forever.  Elgin got a tag and tossed Taichi around.  It's fairly evident that the focus has been taken off Elgin at this point.  Makabe & Suzuki tore into each other with Suzuki trying to hang Makabe from the corner with a sleeper. Suzuki made Taguchi submit to a heel hook to pick up the win.  After the match Suzuki refused Makabe's request for a title match.

YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo & Will Ospreay defeated BUSHI, Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi.   This was great.  Just a really fun match previewing three New Beginning singles matches, with all sorts of fast paced action. Gedo went after the mask of BUSHI. Naito & Hirmou were really going at it.  Naito had his lip split and he wasn't long giving YOSHI a receipt. Ospreay lit things up off a hot tag.  The finish saw YOSHI pin BUSHI when he hit Karma.  After the match Gedo stole BUSHI's mask and Naito continued to brawl with YOSHI.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: EVIL & SANADA defeated Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada.   This was an outstanding, must-see main event.  One big take away from this, is that the crowd were very behind SANADA ahead of his title challenge on February 10th.  This match was extremely refreshing because it saw the IWGP tag titles spotlighted and defended against a super team.  This was also the first tag title match to feature four Japanese wrestlers in a very long time.

EVIL was on here, just destroying Goto on the outside with a chair and just generally being a badass.  SANADA got the upper hand on Okada on some big exchanges, showing his athletic superiority.  Okada & Goto worked well together, hitting Heavy Rain and the Ushigoroshi at the same time.  EVIL & Goto blasted each other with strikes and an EVIL lariat got a big near fall, but Okada saved the fall. SANADA wiped out Okada with a Rainmaker, which was a major statement.  LIJ dropped Goto with the Magic Killer and EVIL pinned Goto after he hit the STO to score the clean decisive win. This was great stuff.

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