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By Matthew Macklin on 2016-02-09 08:45:00

New Japan Pro Wrestling present the first of two New Beginning events this Thursday, February 11th at 17:00 JST (3AM EST/8AM UK).  The New Beginning in Osaka will be live on

David Finlay vs. Jay White

With Komatsu and Tanaka now in CMLL, White and Finlay are the senior young lions.  The young lions have become known for always providing a great opener and now that responsibility falls on White and Finlay.  It shouldn’t be too much of a task, because they both have big futures ahead of them and always deliver.  This will be great.

Kazushi Sakuraba, YOSHI-HASHI & Gedo vs. Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Ryusuke Taguchi

With Shinsuke Nakamura gone, CHAOS lost their leader.  This opens up a chance for someone to step up and play a bigger role in the group.  YOSHI-HASHI was given a singles match at the last Korakuen Hall show, so I have a feeling he might get the win here and be in for somewhat of a push into a larger role in the group.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi

Once upon a time this would have been a Tokyo Dome main event.  The NJPW veteran army meet all the time, but we rarely see it in a straight up tag match like this.  This will probably be a lot of fun if Nakanishi has one of his good days.

KUSHIDA, Juice Robinson & Michael Elgin vs. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & BUSHI

This is all about previewing the Jr title match between KUSHIDA & BUSHI on the 14th.  Los Ingobernables are arguably the most entertaining thing in NJPW and they will probably pull all sorts of shenanigans to make sure BUSHI gets the upperhand.  Elgin & EVIL always work well together.  This should be fun with Robinson probably taking the fall.

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: Toru Yano, Jay & Mark Briscoe vs. Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi

This is a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom where Yano & The Briscoes became the first ever six man tag champions in NJPW.  There is a non-title rematch booked between these teams at the second New Beginning show on February 14th, which is strange.  I can’t see The Briscoes holding these titles for long, so I can see them losing them here.  With Bullet Club in the midst of losing three of its key members, a championship might help give them some momentum and give Tama Tonga the title win he has been wanting.  I’d like to see this all lead to Tama having a larger role in Bullet Club as one of the two last founding members.

IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks vs. Kyle O’Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Matt Sydal & Ricochet

When Roppongi Vice were pinned in the four way at Wrestle Kingdom it effectively eliminated them from the equation.  Whichever team gets pinned here will likely also be eliminated, leading to a normal tag match at the next major show.  I say ReDRagon lose here, leading to The Bucks vs Ricochet & Sydal, with a title switch likely coming.  If this is anything like the WK match, it will be awesome.  With it slightly further up the card than usual it will hopefully be given the time to develop into something special.

NEVER Openweight Championship: Katsuyori Shibata vs. Tomohiro Ishii

Wrestle Kingdom saw Katsuyori Shibata finally claim his first singles gold in NJPW.  Having him lose it straight back to Ishii would be a mistake.  Last year Ishii and Makabe traded the title back and forth for the most of the year, and as much fun as lots if Ishii vs Shibata matches would be, Shibata needs a proper title reign to show that NJPW have faith in him and have plans to push him.  If this is half the war it was at Wrestle Kingdom it will be a spectacle of total brutality.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma vs. Kenny Omega, Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows

This is a preview of two title matches set to take place at The New Beginning in Niigata on February 14th.  Bullet Club are in the midst of a major shake up.  Kenny Omega has taken over as the “boss” of the group and this could be the last time he teams with Anderson and Gallows.  This should be a really good match with the aim of creating some anticipation for the upcoming title matches.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada vs. Hirooki Goto

We have to go back to the G1 Climax this past summer to see where this started.  Goto was then the IWGP Intercontinental champion.  He pinned Okada, who was then the IWGP heavyweight champion.  Goto vowed to unify the IC and heavyweight titles.  Goto never got his heavyweight championship match, so after beating Tetsuya Naito at Wrestle Kingdom, Goto made the challenge to Okada the following night at New Year Dash.  Okada laughed off the challenge of Goto and laughed at the fact that Goto had no IC title to unify with the heavyweight gold.  There is a lot of reality to Okada laughing off the Goto challenge, as it has become an ongoing joke among fans, that Goto has had more failed title shots than anyone.  He’s always a step below the top spot and can never break through.  Fuel has been added to this feud, as Goto has been attacking Okada every time he has a chance, including at a press conference and after an Okada match at Fantasticamania.  Goto has been booed heavily by the crowd for this and the crowd were all over him at Korakuen Hall on January 30th during Shinsuke Nakamura’s final match.  Okada is untouchable right now in the eyes of the fans and they are firmly behind him.  Goto has effectively turned himself heel, if even only for this feud and it has made this match much more intriguing than it would have been otherwise.  There is no way Goto wins this, but this match should be extremely heated and maybe a loss will see Goto’s character go in a different direction.  This will likely be one hell of a match.  

The card for The New Beginning in Niigata on February 14th:

Jushin Thunder Liger, Tiger Mask IV & Captain New Japan vs. Matt Jackson, Nick Jackson & Cody Hall

Kyle O'Reilly & Bobby Fish vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Gedo

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

Michael Elgin & Jay White vs. Tetsuya Naito & EVIL

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

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

IWGP Jr Heavyweight Championship

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

IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi

I can be found on Twitter @MatthewMacklin and (TweetEnzuigiri)

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