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NJPW ‘Road to the New Beginning’ (1.30.19) Results & Review

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The Sendai Sun Plaza is the next stop on the road to ‘The New Beginning’ and sees the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championships defended in front of 2,345 in the main event. Also featured are two singles matches between Suzuki-Gun and LIJ. The road is heating up, let’s get started!

Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida def. Toa Henare & Yota Tsuji @ 8:29 via Umino Bridging Fisherman Buster – **3/4
Until the finish, Tsuji looked like he was about to send shockwaves through the young lion pecking order. He absolutely dominated Umino until the very last moments of the match. Umino was dead set on using his power in order to prove his worth in the heavyweight division to Henare but that plan was not working one bit. With the match looking to be out of Umino’s control, he quickly caught Tsuji in a spinebuster and immediately turned him into a Boston Crab. Tsuji got to the ropes but Umino gave him no time to regroup. By the time Tsuji made it back to his feet, Umino was already on the top rope looking for the dropkick. Similiar to Narita the night before, Umino picked up the win with a bridging suplex. Very cool layout to this match.

Manabu Nakanishi & Tiger Mask IV def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Ren Narita @ 7:49 via Tiger Driver on Narita – **1/2
Even the people who don’t take notice to the young lions recognized Narita’s big win on the previous night. His bridging belly-to-belly received a lot of attention from fans and Narita was looking to follow up on the good will he had earned. He attacked Tiger with a dropkick before the bell and landed a big scoop slam on the monster, Nakanishi. Tiger was quick to come back in after a Nakanishi double sledge and teed off on the grounded Narita, laying in a flurry of palm strikes. Narita wasn’t going to give up that easy. He dropped Tiger with a belly-to-belly and locked in the Boston Crab. Narita locked eyes with Nakanishi while still applying the hold on Tiger and told him to come on. It took four chops and a headbutt by Nakanishi for Narita to let go. This was the end for Narita. The legends had to double him but they got the win. Another memorable performance from Narita.

Shingo Takagi def. Yoshinobu Kanemaru @ 7:58 via Disqualification – ***1/4
Kanemaru got the jump early and took the match outside, driving Shingo into the rails. When going for the draping leg drop over the rails, Shingo cut Kanemaru off on top of the rails, put him on his shoulders for a DVD but Kanemaru got loose and dropped Shingo with a reverse DDT on the ramp. Kanemaru draped Shingo off the apron and connected with a running dropkick but his follow up reverse DDT was turned to a suplex. Shingo threw him in the corner, followed in with a lariat and Saito suplex. In desperate form, Kanemaru attempts the whiskey spray but Shingo ducks, catches Kanemaru in the DVD, hits the Pumping Bomber and positions for the Last of the Dragon before Desperado comes out for the save and disqualification.

BUSHI def. El Desperado @ 9:41 via Disqualification – **3/4
Running out to even the numbers for Shingo, BUSHI unloads a double Hurricanrana on both members of Suzuki-Gun. He removes his belt and whips Desperado before trying to unmask his opponent and choke him with his shirt. BUSHI takes the match outside where he continues trying to unmask Desperado. Suzuki-Gun pull the match into their favor via a referee distraction that allows Kanemaru to attack with a scoop slam from behind. Desperado would then tee off with chair shots and Kanemaru wasn’t done injecting himself in the match. Shingo would even the odds and hold both still for a BUSHI dive through the ropes. Desperado put the breaks on a Hurricanrana, transitioned into the Stretch Muffler but BUSHI flipped through and hit a Lungblower and Codebreaker. He’d attempt MX but Desperado ducked under and unmasked BUSHI for the disqualification. BUSHI returned the favor by misting and unmasking Desperado.

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada, Tokoaki Honma & YOSHI-HASHI def. Jay White, Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Yujiro Takahashi @ 15:58 via Tanahashi High Fly Flow on Yujiro – ***1/4
A solid tag like all of their previous matches have been. What makes this match standout is the finishing stretch. After Okada sent Fale over the top with a lariat, he and Tanahashi had Yujiro isolated. Okada hit him with the dropkick, went straight into the Tombstone, Tanahashi picked him up right out of Tombstone position and dropped Yujiro with a Style’s Clash while Okada climbed the top for an elbow drop followed by the High Fly Flow. Incredible sequence that needs to be seen in order to be believed. Tanahashi and Okada shake hands in the middle of the ring after the match.

Taichi, Minoru Suzuki & Zack Sabre Jr. def. Tetsuya Naito, EVIL & SANADA @ 15:33 via Sabre European Clutch on EVIL – ***
Naito received no help from Taichi getting in the ring. They started off by trading eye rakes, spits and poses. Taichi landed a big rope-assisted enziguri that caused a brawl to the outside. With the ball in Suzuki-Gun’s court, they destroy LIJ with chair shots. They bring Naito back in and isolate him with submissions from both Suzuki and Sabre while Taichi mocks and poses in Naito’s face. Naito eventually hit a desperation dropkick which brought in SANADA and Suzuki. SANADA caught a boot and transitioned it into a Dragon Screw, locked in the Dragon Sleeper but Suzuki grabbed the referee for a distraction. SANADA backdropped his way out of a Gotch-style Piledriver. Sabre sidestepped a lariat from EVIL, turned it to an Octopus, grounded EVIL and, along with Suzuki, teed off on EVIL with a pair of PKs. LIJ had to triple Sabre to gain the upper hand. Taichi sidestepped Naito’s flying forearm and drilled him with a buzzsaw kick and Sabre victory rolled himself into a European Clutch on EVIL to take the match. Suzuki-Gun pose with the titles on the ramp and Naito responds by holding Taichi’s microphone stand like a baseball bat.

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship
Togi Makabe, Toru Yano & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa & Taiji Ishimori (c) @ 14:44 via Taguchi Oh My and Garankle on Ishimori – ***1/4

The Bullet Club have increasingly grown tired of Tama Tonga’s ‘Good Guy’ persona. The change in attitude can directly be linked with the team’s loss. Yano had no problem taking advantage of Tama’s niceness and Jado’s insistence on involving himself in the match caused a rift between him and Tama. Owens had finally seen enough and ran in from the back looking to drop Taguchi with a Package Piledriver but Yano low blowed him, allowing Taguchi time for the ankle lock on Ishimori. A ref bump gave Bullet Club another chance to run in, this time it being Fale. Taguchi was hoisted up for the Grenade but Okada came out to make the save with a dropkick. This prompted a run in by White who set up for Blade Runner but Tanahashi was on his heels, dropping White via a Slingblade. Taguchi finally had the space to focus on Ishimori, dropping the elbow on the back of Ishimori’s knee, crossing his legs and winning the match with the Oh My and Garankle. The new champions celebrate their win and that’s how we go off the air.

Strong show start to finish. While there weren’t any great highs, every match had a great pace and nothing dragged. The Tanahashi and Okada flurry on Yujiro was the show’s big highlight but every match was really solid. An extremely easy show to watch.

Recommended Matches
Tanahashi, Okada, Honma & Y-H vs White, Fale, Owens & Yujiro
Makabe, Yano & Taguchi vs Tama, Tanga & Ishimori
Shingo vs Kanemaru

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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