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NJPW ‘Road to New Beginning’ 2.6.18 Results & Review



This is it, the go-home show to Saturday’s New Beginning show in Osaka. Main evented by EVIL and SANADA as they put their IWGP Tag Team Championships on the line against Okada and Goto. Let’s see what else New Japan has in store for us on this edition of Road to New Beginning, live, from Korakuen Hall.

Liger, Tiger & KUSHIDA def. Umino, Yagi & Narita @ 7:56 via KUSHIDA Cross Armbreaker on Narita
Similar to yesterday’s match except it was Umino who stepped up to Liger and Narita who took the fall. Essentially those two switched roles. As usual, the young lions tasted defeat but post-match they were yet to be humbled and needed to be taught another lesson. Narita, in particular, made his way to the back with a busted lip for his troubles.

Yujiro Takahashi & HIKULEO def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tomoyuki Oka @ 7:05 via Yujiro Pimp Juice on Oka
Another strong outing by Oka, who hit a nice belly-to-belly suplex on Yujiro and another impressive throw on HIKULEO. With Kawato now gone on excursion, Oka has more space to showcase his potential and has delivered two nights in a row.

Manabu Nakanishi def. Katsuya Kitamura @ 7:18 via Argentine Backbreaker Rack
As you’d probably except, this was the least interesting match of Kitamura’s series. That’s largely due to Nakanishi’s limitations as well as Kitamura’s lack of experience. Kitamura displayed some great strength by hitting Nakanishi with a brainbuster but that was about it for notable moments.

Romero, YOH & SHO def. Kanemaru, Desperado & TAKA @ 8:55 via Romero Backslide Pin on TAKA
Team SZKG looked to pick up where they left off yesterday by abusing the back of SHO and the knee of YOH. Kanemaru was extra motivated tonight which all made sense when post-match he and Desperado staked their claim for YOH and SHO’s IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championships. I’m all for that match, sign me up.

White, Ishii & Yano def. Juice, Finlay & Henare @ 9:28 via White Referee Stoppage on Henare
There was a lot going on here. White and Finlay’s feud does not appear to be over, Ishii and Henare continue beating each other up and Yano sinks further into Juice’s skin. Despite having the match won with a Blade Runner on Henare, White decides to drive repeated elbows into Henare’s head until the referee stopped the match. All the while, White was staring directly into Finlay’s eyes.

Suzuki, Iizuka & Taichi def. Makabe, Elgin & Taguchi @ 12:01 via Suzuki Heel Hook on Taguchi
This match was kicked off by an extremely heated exchange between Suzuki and Makabe. The two brawled around the floor, picking up a section of the guardrail and using it to pin the other against the wall. Their hatred for one another was palpable. At one point, Suzuki stood on the second rope, wrapped his arms around Makabe’s neck, and lifted his feet off the canvas. Brutal. Elgin and Iizuka had a few nice moments sprinkled in here as well but the focus was on Suzuki and Makabe. Post-match Suzuki lays Makabe out with a piledriver. This has heated up nicely, you should go out of your way for this one.

YOSHI-HASHI, Ospreay & Gedo def. Naito, Hiromu & BUSHI @ 11:43 via YOSHI-HASHI Karma on BUSHI
As the last taste before each of these men face off in singles on Saturday, things finally felt heated. There was a real sense of urgency from beginning to end. The post-match was most notable. Naito laughed off all of YOSHI-HASHI’s offense and even laid in the middle of the ring, daring Y-H to make his move. Each of these feuds came off really well by the end. All of them feel much more exciting than what they did going into tonight.

IWGP Tag Team Championship
EVIL & SANADA (c) def. Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto @ 18:14 via EVIL Everything is Evil on Goto

I cannot remember a time where a crowd was this hot for a tag title match. Absolutely insane atmosphere was created by the fans at Korakuen tonight. Just like the match before it, they were able to add a lot by giving a sample of what’s to come Saturday. Notable moments were SANADA hitting Okada with a Rainmaker and post-match when SANADA took the microphone and said he’d take Okada’s belt at Osaka. This was the best heavyweight tag title match in years for New Japan and is well worth taking the time to check out.

Coming into the night, the build for New Beginning in Osaka didn’t quite feel right. After tonight, the hype feels real. Extremely strong Korakuen Hall show from New Japan with several matches worth taking the time to see.

Recommended Matches
EVIL & SANADA vs Okada & Goto (Highly Recommended)
Makabe, Elgin & Taguchi vs Suzuki, Iizuka & Taichi
YOSHI-HASHI, Ospreay & Gedo vs Naito, Hiromu & BUSHI
White, Ishii & Yano vs Juice, Finlay & Henare (Light Recommendation)

Robert McCauley hasn't missed an NJPW show since the launch of NJPW World. Always be on the look out for his reviews where he shares results and gives his honest opinions on the goings-on of New Japan Pro-Wrestling.

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