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By Matthew Macklin on 2016-02-11 17:23:00

NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka, February 11th:

Jay White defeated David Finlay

This was a serious opener.  White has been steadily been improving since he joined NJPW, but he has hit another level recently and is always adding more strings to his bow.  Here we had lots of good mat wrestling to start, with White working over the fingers of Finlay. Finlay took control and White made a really fiery comeback.  Finlay locked on the young lion favourite, the Boston Crab, but White made it to the ropes.  Finlay went for a cannonball, but White caught him and locked on a Crab, which he turned into a Liontamer.  This was a great, short match, with all the intensity and fire you'd expect from these two.

Ryusuke Taguchi, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV defeated Gedo, YOSHI-HASHI & Kazuchi Sakuraba

This was your standard NJPW six man tag.  Nothing really of note.  Liger & Sakuraba had a fun collision at the start of the match.  I was really hoping this would be the start of something for YOSHI, but he did very little. Taguchi is wearing a Nakamura style armband and style doing his mockery routine.  He should probably retire that.  Taguchi made Gedo submit to an Ankle Lock.

Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan defeated Manabu Nakanishi & Yuji Nagata

This turned into a really fun match.  It wasn't pretty when Tenzan & Nakanishi were in the ring together, but Kojima & Nagata more than made up for it.  Nakanishi almost got the pin on Kojima with a neckbreaker.  Kojima hit a left arm lariat, which Nakanishi powered out of at one for a big pop.  Kojima followed up with a Lariat to get the pin.  This was a nice showcase of the four veterans.  After the match Kojima & Nagata said they're not finished yet and will show everyone what they can do.  I'd love to see both make a challenge for the NEVER championship.

EVIL, Tetsuya Naito & BUSHI defeated Juice Robinson, KUSHIDA & Michael Elgin

Naito terrorised commentator, Nogami during his entrance.  KUSHIDA was worked over by Los Ingobernables until Elgin got the hot tag.  Elgin came in to a massive pop and did all his power moves on the opposing team, including picking up EVIL & Naito at once.  Robinson hit a nice delayed suplex into a Jackhammer.  Naito launched KUSHIDA into a BUSHI mist attack and BUSHI then took him out with a major suicide dive.  Naito & EVIL double teamed Juice and held off Elgin as EVIL hit the STO for the win.  After the match Elgin & KUSHIDA fought off a Los Ingobernables assault.  KUSHIDA defends the Jr heavyweight title against BUSHI on Sunday.

NEVER Six Man Tag Team Championship

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

This was a rematch from Wrestle Kingdom where The Briscoes & Yano were crowned the first ever champions. Well, Tama Tonga finally got the title win that he was after, so hopefully it's the start of something for him.  This was a good match. Yano was worked over until he used his usual trickery to escape.  Mark Briscoe got the tag and looked great.  His Redneck Kung Fu and mannerisms are something that get over well with the Japanese crowd.  He and Jay were able to double team Takahashi.  Tonga & Yano did their usual stuff with Yano running scared.  Fale took out Jay with a Grenade.  Yano low blowed Yujiro & Fale, but Tama was able to beat Yano at his own game by low blowing him and hitting the Headshrinker DDT to win the titles for Bullet Club.

IWGP Jr Tag Team Championship

Ricochet & Matt Sydal defeated The Young Bucks & ReDRagon

This was another spectacular display of innovation and high flying.  Kyle O'Reilly was on fire here, hitting all sorts of lightning quick strike combos.  No matter how many times you see Ricochet, you always end up being blown away by him.  He's truly spectacular.  The Bucks somehow always manage to think of new things to do and new ways to innovate.  There was one cool spot here where ReDRagon went for double diving headbutts, but they missed.  Then The Bucks went for double 450's, but they missed too. Sydal & Ricochet then went for double shooting star presses, but everyone moved out of the way.  Cody Hall got involved and took Kyle O'Reilly to the back.  This left The Bucks vs Sydal & Ricochet.  The Bucks hit the Indytaker, which looked to end it, but Ricochet made the save.  Sydal & Ricochet turned things around and hit their stereo Shooting Star Presses to score the win and their first titles in NJPW.  They have been spectacular so far as a team, and it's good to know that they will be around regularly now as champions.  Hopefully they have a decent reign.

NEVER Openweight Championship

Katsuyori Shibata defeated Tomohiro Ishii

This was insane! To me this was far better than their Wrestle Kingdom match.  This match had so much more to it.  The WK match was a strike battle for the most part, but this had a bit of everything and saw both guys pull out things we don't normally see from them. They voluntarily took suplexes, with both guy popping back up.  Shibata doubled up on dropkicks in the corner.  He hit a Death Valley driver and a German suplex, which wouldn't keep Ishii down and followed up with a violent bicycle kick that busted Ishii's mouth opened.  Ishii hit several sick lariats.  The thud when he made contact was sickening and they turned Shibata inside out.  They both hit extra stiff forearms and chops.  Shibata caught Ishii with one of the sickest spinning backfists I've ever seen.  Shibata caught Ishii in a triangle choke and an armbar, which was a bit of a tribute to Shinsuke Nakamura.  The end of this saw them exchange some of the hardest slaps you'll ever see, until Shibata was able to connect with the PK to retain the title.  Go out of your way to see this match.  It was an absolute spectacle. Though, some of the headbutts were hard to watch given the week that’s in it and really need to be banned.   It's great to see Shibata retain and hopefully move on to some fresh challengers.  

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

This was a great match and a fantastic angle to add some real heat to the Tanahashi vs Omega title match on Sunday.  Omega and Tanahashi were having a good back and forth until Tanahashi missed a High Fly Flow, hurting his shoulder.  The same shoulder that Tanahashi had reportedly dislocated during Fantasticamania.  This effectively took Tanahashi out of the match and left Honma and Makabe to battle a handicap situation. Honma & Omega had a really good exchange.  Honma Kokeshi'd his way back into the match until he was taken down by a Gun Stun from Anderson.  Omega finished Honma with One Winged Angel.  After the match Bullet Club beat down Tanahashi, working over his shoulder.  Tanahashi sold the shoulder, hanging it by his side as if he had dislocated it. They attacked him with chairs.  Omega added insult to injury when he High Fly Flowed the arm across a trash can.  This was really well done, playing off the real injury.  The shoulder will make for a great story when Tanahashi and Omega meet on Sunday.

IWGP Heavyweight Championship

Kazuchika Okada defeated Hirooki Goto

This was a fantastic main event.  Goto came to the ring in white gear, with whit face and body paint, which gave the match a big fight feel.  Like any great main event match, this built and built as they traded the advantage throughout the match.  Goto started taking more and more of a control, hitting his big moves like the Ushikiroshi and even one off the top.  He hit the Shouten Kai, but Okada was able to get to the ropes.  Okada hit a Rainmaker, but was unable to get the cover.  It brought him back into the match.  Okada kept going for the Rainmaker, with Goto doing all he could to battle out of it.  Okada hit a German and again tried the Rainmaker, which Goto headbutted out of.  Okada finally connected to with a Rainmaker and hit a further two to win the match. We'll see what's next for Goto.  Okada's next challenger night not be until after the New Japan Cup next month.

The three title matches are worth checking out from this show, with Ishii vs Shibata being something you need to go out of your way to see.  It is available now at

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