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NJPW ‘The New Beginning in Sapporo’ 1.28.18 Results & Review

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The second night of The New Beginning in Sapporo will go down as one of legend. What fans have been clamoring for has finally happened. Let’s get into the nitty-gritty of what all took place tonight. It’s a good time to be a fan of New Japan.

Juice Robinson def. Katsuya Kitamura @ 9:15 via Pulp Friction
Two nights in a row I’d say Kitamura had good outings. They kept it understandably basic which isn’t bad thing, it’s actually smart. Juice showed compassion for the young lion post-match, he too came out of the New Japan dojo system so he understands the struggle. All things considered this was as good as you should expect from Kitamura at this stage in his career.

Kanemaru, Taichi, Desperado & TAKA def. Liger, Tiger, Taguchi & Umino @ 8:33 via Taichi Tensho Jujihou on Umino
Higher energy than the previous night’s match thanks to the addition of Umino and the loss of Iizuka. Umino looked super motivated to have a standout performance and I believe he succeeded. The young lion looked really good when matched up with Taichi. These are never must-see matches but rarely drag because of smart pacing.

Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano def. Yujiro Takahashi & HIKULEO @ 6:16 via Yano Roll Up on HIKULEO
One of the better performances from HIKULEO. Kind of like Kitamura, he isn’t asked to do much other than be a big guy but he does it well. Yujiro has looked more motivated than his usual self the last two nights. Everything feels a little more fresh compared to yesterday at this point in the show.

Fale, Tama, Tanga & Owens def. Makabe, Tenzan, Nakanishi & Oka @ 9:04 via Owens Package Piledriver on Oka
Due to Tanahashi being pulled off the show, Oka replaced Henare while Henare replaced the ace. Like the addition of Umino, Oka’s presence added a much appreciated breath of fresh air. The young lions are always motivated to do their best and never feel a match is beneath them. I’m not going to say rush out and see this but just like everything else on the show so far it was a solid match.

Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka def. Michael Elgin & Toa Henare @ 8:18 via Suzuki Heel Hook on Henare
Subbing in for Tanahashi, Henare met the same fate as the ace. Once Suzuki locked in, it was over. Post-match all of Suzuki-Gun rushed the ring to beat down Henare. Makabe came out to put a stop to the onslaught. He’s likely going to be Suzuki’s first challenger for his newly won IC title. During commentary for yesterday’s main event between Tanahashi and Suzuki, Makabe had strong words for how he felt about Suzuki.

Cody, Page & Scurll def. Ibushi, KUSHIDA & Finlay @ 11:31 via Page Rite of Passage on KUSHIDA
Match of the night to this point but not as fun as the night before. Page was the standout for the Bullet Club side and Ibushi was doing Ibushi things. For the second night in a row team Bullet Club scored a win over a team lead by Ibushi, they’re definitely getting under his skin.

Naito, EVIL, SANADA, Hiromu & BUSHI def. Okada, Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Ospreay & Gedo @ 12:19 via SANADA Skull End on Gedo
Ask for a match full of atmosphere and I’ll point you to this one. Things between these two teams have heated up quickly. Each of them have a singles match against one another in just thirteen days at New Beginning in Osaka. Everyone was on fire from the jump, starting with Y-H attacking Naito before the bell and they were off from there. SANADA got his win back after being humiliated by Okada yesterday. Post-match, SANADA took the microphone and asked Okada if he really wants to hear his voice. This is in reference to yesterday when Okada said SANADA never speaks and proceeded to fill SANADA’s mouth with Okada dollars. Real moody match and the standout from the show so far.

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Roppongi 3K def. The Young Bucks (c) @ 22:34 via YOH Roll Up on Matt

Excellent match. I repeat, excellent match. They outdid their Wrestle Kingdom 12 match, which was great, by a wide margin. People rag on the Young Bucks for their spotty matches with no selling and no substance. Show those people this match and their opinions will change. Matt Jackson showed everyone that they’re more than a one trick pony. He crumbled when picking YOH up for a Powerbomb and just covered him for a two count. He then rolled to the outside for medical attention. Once he came back, he took a nasty fall on the edge of the apron, again on his back. This left a welt that made his selling even more credible. The crowd bought into the selling so hard that they began cheering louder for the Bucks than 3K. Go well out of your way, this one was excellent.

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship
Jay White def. Kenny Omega (c) @ 29:54 via Blade Runner

Violent. Like all Omega’s defenses became known for, this was violent. Absolutely insane performance from Jay White, who was obviously outclassed by Omega but was able to dig down deep multiple times and pull off the win. White’s reign will be interesting to see progress as we move forward. There was more to this win though. Post-match Hangman Page comes down to challenge White. Omega brushes him off and hands the title to White. The rest of Bullet Club come to the ring to show support but Omega pushes Matt, still selling his back, to the canvas. Nick and Matt storm off with Omega looking regretful for his actions. He tries to apologize to the rest of Bullet Club but Scurll walks off too. Next is Page, but Cody doesn’t leave. Instead he hits Omega with Cross Rhodes which prompts Page to come back in and hold Omega down for a beating. Suddenly, Kota Ibushi rushes the ring to save Omega. Both Ibushi and Omega embrace and walk off to the back together.

We finally got it, Ibushi and Omega are back together. Stellar performances from all Bullet Club tonight. What this means for their future is still unknown but what they set up worked out so beautifully throughout the weekend that it all made sense when the climax happened. This was great storytelling up and down the card and throughout the entire weekend. The last three matches were all the highlights of the night.

Recommended Matches
Kenny Omega vs Jay White (Must-See + Post-Match)
Young Bucks vs Roppongi 3K (Must-See)
LIJ vs Chaos

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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