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NJPW ‘The New Beginning in Osaka’ 2.10.18 Preview & Predictions

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling’s ‘The New Beginning in Osaka’ is a rare card, featuring six singles matches. Every member of Los Ingobernables de Japon has their own singles showcase and Yuji Nagata returns from his small tour with All Japan to take on young lion, Katsuya Kitamura, in match six of his seven match series. The show begins at 12am PST, 3am EST, 8am GMT, Saturday morning, February 10th. To watch the show you can subscribe for a month to NJPWWorld, the price is ~$9 or ~£6.50. Through three events this year, my predictions record sits at 15-13 which is not good at all. This time I will get everything right, you can bank on that.

Yuji Nagata vs Katsuya Kitamura
There is never a time that I’m not happy to see Nagata wrestle. Kitamura has hopefully learned from this series. He’s still incredibly green but we’ll see. Obviously we know where this one is going but I have a good feeling that we’re in store for a nice little match here.
Prediction: Yuji Nagata

Roppongi 3K vs Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
Despite losing to 3K on back to back nights, team Suzuki-Gun made their intentions clear, they want the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Teams Championships. The titles are not on the line here and I don’t see 3K losing to this team.
Prediction: Roppongi 3K

Makabe, Elgin, KUSHIDA & Taguchi vs Suzuki, Iizuka, Taichi & TAKA
The feud between Makabe and Suzuki has heated up nicely and should get to a boiling point in Osaka. Suzuki has been dodging Makabe’s challenge for the IWGP IC title but his team has continued losing to Makabe’s and another loss will likely push Suzuki into accepting the challenge.
Prediction: Makabe, Elgin, KUSHIDA & Taguchi

White, Ishii & Yano vs Juice, Finlay & Henare
I can see a member of the New Japan Seikigun picking up a surprise win and challenge White for the IWGP US title but the smart money is on Chaos. Ishii and Yano are on a run and likely going to be the next challengers for EVIL and SANADA. Maybe Juice gets a shocking pin on White and declares himself the next challenger. He’s certainly a right guy to make that claim but I’ll bet on the smart money.
Prediction: White, Ishii & Yano

BUSHI vs Gedo
Gedo is known as one of the most selfless bookers who is also an active wrestler. He loves putting himself on the card but never puts himself over without a purpose. Recently, he’s been pulling BUSHI’s mask off, a blatant sign of disrespect. This is likely to give BUSHI a relevant win that he so desperately has been needing ever since Hiromu took his spot as the junior ace of LIJ.
Prediction: BUSHI

Tetsuya Naito vs YOSHI-HASHI
Naito, like 99% of New Japan’s audience, hasn’t been taking YOSHI-HASHI seriously at all. He’s laughed off every strike from the man fans refer to as ‘Tacos’. You can make the argument that Naito needs a feud if he’s no longer matched up against Okada for the time being but YOSHI-HASHI isn’t the guy for that role. YOSHI-HASHI will get a near-fall we’ll all bite on but there is little doubt who will walk out victorious here.
Prediction: Tetsuya Naito

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Will Ospreay (c) vs Hiromu Takahashi

Since losing the title in June, Hiromu has yet to get a rematch in a singles contest. Ospreay is now two-time champion but is without a single defense of the title. To me, Hiromu is a strong contender for this year’s BOSJ winner. He’s super popular with the fans right now and would be an excellent choice. Since he’s the Ticking Time Bomb, he can channel this loss into something special for the months leading up to BOSJ all the while Ospreay logs in some defenses before they meet again.
Prediction: Will Ospreay

NEVER Openweight Championship
Hirooki Goto (c) vs EVIL

After the hellacious war Goto went through with Suzuki, there is little doubt that he’ll be holding onto this title for a while. New Japan rarely allows someone to be a double champion and while EVIL is certainly around that level, once you factor in Goto’s story, it’s not very likely. Expect a fun war between two of the thicker men on the roster but you can lock Goto into the win column.
Prediction: Hirooki Goto

IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada (c) vs SANADA

While it’d be fresh and surprising to see SANADA pull off this upset win, don’t bank on that happening. Like I said with EVIL, New Japan rarely gives someone two titles at the same time. SANADA being a tag champion feels right for him at the moment and gives him something to work with moving forward. With that said, this is an extremely big deal for SANADA’s career and no one should take it lightly. This is his first chance at a singles title in the company which mirrors Okada’s career. Okada’s first chance at singles gold was against Tanahashi at The New Beginning in 2012, where he was victorious. Will SANADA manage the same fate? There is almost 0% chance but keep in mind that’s what was said of Okada.
Prediction: Kazuchika Okada

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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