NJPW Road to New Beginning results: Okada & RPG Vice vs. Suzuki-gunBy Bryan Rose | @br26 | Jan 27, 2017 7:10 am
The Big Takeaway --
Suzuki-gun returned with a vengeance, racking up wins across the board, save for Iizuka’s DQ loss, but he more than made up for it. In the main event, Taichi pinned Rocky Romero, cementing he and Taka as the next contenders for RPG Vice's titles, while Killer Elite Squad took down Tencozy.
Shibata and Ospreay went at it in a memorable tag bout leading to their singles match next month.
Show Recap --
It was announced at the start of the show that David Finlay had suffered a right shoulder injury, so the trios match he was scheduled for was changed to a tag.
Yuji Nagata defeated Takayuki Oka
Short, nice match. Oka looked green in parts, but Nagata did a great job in carrying this match. That makes sense as Oka is his protege. Nagata took him down and applied the cross armbreaker. The crowd got into it, thinking he’d reach the ropes, but alas, Oka submitted.
Tiger Mask & Yoshitatsu defeated Jushin Liger & Henare
This was fine. The action was good and Liger/Tiger Mask have good chemistry with one another since they’ve been feuding off and on again for years. Tiger Mask took out Liger with a suicide dive, which let Yoshitatsu score the win with the Pedigree. Yes, that’s his finish now, in case you were wondering.
Gedo, Jado & YOSHI-HASHI defeated Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Takashi Iizuka via DQ
If you were wondering if Iizuka would go after Nogami for old times’ sake, the answer is yes. Desperado had Iizuka on a leash, but he lunged after Nogami on the outside and tore off his shirt (as well as a Blue Justice t-shirt) leaving him with only a tie on his chest.
Another solid match, it was nothing major but well done. YOSHI-HASHI looked good and was going for the win when Iizuka came in and pelted him with a steel chair for the DQ.
Iizuka continued to lay waste to YOSHI-HASHI after the match, with all three members of the Suzuki-gun team giving him and his partners a beatdown.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer defeated Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan
Good back and forth match. These two teams know each other very well and have good chemistry with one another. Kojima was going for the lariat, but when he turned around DBS was behind him and they gave him the old Hart Attack.
Kojima countered DBS by blocking a lariat and hitting a cutter. Smith caught him and put him in the powerbomb position, allowing Archer to follow up with the Killer Bomb to score the win.
KES beat up some young lions after the match, because they are mean.
Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Juice Robinson & Katsuyori Shibata defeated Will Ospreay, Hirooki Goto, Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii
Shibata and Ospreay started and looked excellent against one another, going off in a fast back and forth sprint. Makabe and Ishii had a stiff series as well, and people reacted when Juice and Goto had their back and forth.
Everyone came in and took a bump. Yano tried to do his low blow finish, but the rest of Honma’s team came in for the save. With Shibata’s help, Honma pinned Yano following a Kokeshi.
Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, Manabu Nakanishi, KUSHIDA & Ryusuke Taguchi
Taguchi came out looking like EVIL in his goofy costume of the tour. Another really good match. Elgin, Naito, KUSHIDA, and Takahashi all looked really good in particular.
Elgin did some great power spots with Naito that got the crowd into the match. Nakanishi came in for his part of the match (the finish). He had SANADA in the torture rack, then BUSHI misted Nakanishi in retaliation, which allowed SANADA to sink in the Skull End for the submission.
Minoru Suzuki, Taka Michinoku & Taichi defeated Kazuchika Okada, Rocky Romero & Baretta
I thought this was a great main event. Work wise it was really good, but Suzuki put it over the top with his style that makes him one of the coolest heels in the business. He's different than everyone else on the roster and you can tell by everything he does in and out of the ring.
RPG Vice did cool stereo suicide dives, wiping out Taichi and Taka on the outside. Okada and Suzuki came in. Suzuki immediately took him down with a kick and mounted him with punches. The story of the match was that Suzuki wasn’t someone to be taken lightly, destroying Okada and laying waste to anyone who came along his path.
Really good match overall that felt like a really good highlight reel of what Suzuki was all about. Suzuki got Okada in the sleeper and took him out of the match as Taichi gave Romero a press powerbomb to win it. Right choice since they are the next challengers.
Suzuki cut a promo to end the show.
Final Thoughts --
On paper, this looked like a showcase for the return of Suzuki-gun, and it ended up being just that. Every match was solid to great, and showcased the returning stable showing dominant force ahead of their big matches next month. A really great show with some solid build towards The New Beginning.