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Okada vs. Suzuki headlines NJPW's New Beginning lineup

As expected after the match was set up in an angle on New Japan Pro Wrestling's New Year's Dash show last week, Minoru Suzuki will challenge Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at one of NJPW's New Beginning pay-per-views next month.

Suzuki-gun returned to the promotion after two years away at New Year's Dash, where Suzuki himself laid out Okada to close the show. The New Beginning cards are full of prominent matches for the stable, with Taichi & Taka Michinoku challenging for the junior tag titles and Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer involved in two three-way matches for the IWGP tag titles.

Okada vs. Suzuki will headline the February 5th show in Sapporo before Tetsuya Naito defends his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Michael Elgin in the main event of the New Beginning in Osaka on February 11th.

That show will also see Katsuyori Shibata defend his Revolution Pro Wrestling British Heavyweight Championship (as long as he's still champion) against Will Ospreay, Hiromu Takahashi put his junior heavyweight title on the line against familiar rival Dragon Lee, and Los Ingobernables de Japon get a rematch for the NEVER six-man tag titles.

Both cards will be streamed live on NJPW World and feature an expected but notable absence, with Kenny Omega and the entire Bullet Club missing the New Beginning tour.

The New Beginning in Sapporo on February 5th --

  • KUSHIDA & Hirai Kawato vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs. Yoshitatsu, David Finlay & Henare
  • Katsuyori Shibata, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Will Ospreay, Gedo & Jado
  • YOSHI-HASHI vs. Takashi Iizuka
  • Hiroshi Tanahashi, Michael Elgin, Manabu Nakanishi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Dragon Lee vs. Tetsuya Naito, SANADA, EVIL, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions Roppongi Vice defending against Taichi & Taka Michinoku
  • NEVER Openweight Champion Hirooki Goto defending against Juice Robinson
  • IWGP Tag Team Champions Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defending against Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma and Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer in a three-way match
  • IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kazuchika Okada defending against Minoru Suzuki

The New Beginning in Osaka on February 11th --

  • Yoshitatsu & Hirai Kawato vs. David Finlay & Henare
  • Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima & KUSHIDA vs. Takashi Iizuka, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
  • Yuji Nagata, Juice Robinson, Jushin Thunder Liger & Tiger Mask IV vs. Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Gedo & Jado
  • Kazuchika Okada & Roppongi Vice vs. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi & Taka Michinoku
  • NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Champions Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi & Ryusuke Taguchi defending against SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI
  • British Heavyweight Champion Katsuyori Shibata defending against Will Ospreay (the match will only be for the title if Shibata is still champion)
  • IWGP Tag Team Champions Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano defending against Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma and Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer in a three-way match
  • IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi defending against Dragon Lee
  • IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito defending against Michael Elgin