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AJ STYLES CAPTURES IWGP CHAMPIONSHIP & MORE: NJPW NEW BEGINNING IN OSAKA, JAPAN REPORT

By Matthew Macklin on 2015-02-11 18:24:51

NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka, February 11th

Togi Makabe had to pull out of the show due to coming down with influenza, so Satoshi Kojima replaced him in the six man tag.

Sho Tanaka defeated Yohei Komatsu.  Tanaka got the win after a Boston Crab. As you'd expect this was a fun short opener. Both guys showed a lot more aggression than usual.

Mascara Dorada & Tiger Mask IV defeated Captain New Japan & Manabu Nakanishi.  This is one of the matches that got changed due to Makabe falling ill. The match was designed to showcase Dorada, but neither Nakanishi & Captain were the right guy for him to be in there with. It was fine for what it was, but Dorada was never gonna get out of second gear and fly around the ring with two guys as slow and clumsy as Captain & Nakanishi. Dorada got the pin when he rolled up Captain.

Chase Owens & Rob Conway defeated Jushin Thunder Liger & Hiroyoshi Tenzan.  Bruce Tharpe was great here in being a completely over the top heel villain while wearing the most ridiculous gold jacket and gold glasses. Tharpe distracted Liger allowing Conway to hit his Ego Trip on both Liger and Tenzan. This allowed Owens to pin Liger after a Package Piledriver. Owens who doesn't strike me as being good enough for a spot in NJPW, goes on to challenge Liger for the NWA Jr title on Saturday.

Kota Ibushi defeated Tomoaki Honma.  This match was fantastic. The record for the most Kokeshi attempts in one match might have been set as it took Honma four attempts to finally hit it for the first time. He also hit the running Kokeshi to the chest and also to the back which I hadn't seen before. Honma controlled a lot of the match until Ibushi got back into it. Ibushi as always was incredible and some of the lariat exchanges here were as stiff as anything. Ibushi for the win after hitting the Phoenix Splash. After the match they went face to face and exchanged slaps to the face which I presume is as good as a handshake in NJPW.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight TagTeam Championship:  The Young Bucks defeated Time Splitters and ReDRagon.  If I were to list all the crazy spots in this one I'd be here until the next show on Saturday started. One of which was O'Reilly catching a moonsaulting KUSHIDA into a triangle choke. The Bucks got the win after hitting More Bang for your Buck on KUSHIDA. The Young Bucks now start their second reign with the gold after another great crazy match from these teams.  

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Kenny Omega defeated Ryusuke Taguchi.  This was a better match than their WK encounter as it had more time.  Omega is a superstar. Everything from his entrance, to his look, to the way he carries himself and I can see him having a big future as a heavyweight. Taguchi has gone all out with his ass based offense as of late. Of course it got ridiculous when Omega decided to attack Taguchi's number one weapon with the end of a Bullet Club flag. Taguchi returned the favour.  Omega's deadlift gutwrench sit out powerbomb is a thing of beauty. Omega got the win with the One Winged Angel. After the match The Bucks helped Omega piledrive Taguchi on a chair. Mascara Dorada hit the ring and made a challenge to Omega.

Kazuchika Okada, Toru Yano & Kazushi Sakuraba defeated Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale  & Yujiro Takahashi.  Okada has made the first step in getting out of his slump. This was a really well booked match. Okada spent the majority of the match being worked over and it looked like he might be beaten on several occasions, and believably so given the slump he has been in. Okada managed to escape the triple team of Bullet Club and hit a Rainmaker on Tonga for the pin. After the match Okada stood with his foot on Tonga's chest looking at Fale, just as Fale has done to him when he pinned him. Okada now has his sights on getting his win back on Fale on Saturday.

Tetsuya Naito, Yuji Nagata & Satoshi Kojima defeated YOSHI-HASHI, Shinsuke Nakamura & Tomohiro Ishii.  This was great and everyone had their chance to shine. The Osaka crowd hate Naito and it is fascinating to hear a usually respectful Japanese crowd react to someone so negatively. Kojima replaced the ill Makabe here and went to war with Ishii. Nagata is out to prove that he is as good as he ever was and the exchanges between Nakamura and Nagata only confirm that their match on Saturday could be a classic. Naito got the pin on YOSHI-HASHI after a Stardust Press.

IWGP Tag Team Championship: Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson defeated Katsuyori Shibata & Hirooki Goto.  This was a huge shocker, as Gallows and Anderson take back the titles a month after losing them in Meiyu Tag's first defence. This match was just great from start to finish and was unlike your usually WWE style formulaic tag match. Lots of great tag team wrestling, and team work. Shibata fought to the death after Goto was put down with a Gun Stun. It took a Gun Stun followed by a Magic Killer to put Shibata away. Just a great great match.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: AJ Styles defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi.  AJ Styles is once again the IWGP Heavyweight champion and Bullet Club are running NJPW. Tanahashi got busted opened when he hit a high fly flow to the floor taking out the entire Bullet Club, which heightened the drama. There was lots of near falls and finished attempts near the end with Tanahashi teasing a Styles Clash from the Middle rope. Styles got the win after a Bloody Sunday and a Styles Clash. As you'd expect it was a great match. Afterwards Karl Anderson gloated about Bullet Club's great night and the fact that they now hold four major NJPW championships.

The show is available on demand at NJPWWorld.com and is well worth checking out, especially if you are a Bullet Club fan.

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