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NJPW New Beginnings: Hiroshi Tanahashi vs Kenny Omega for the IWGP IC Title

This morning marks the second card for New Beginnings, the annual February NJPW PPV. Three big title matches headline this second outing. Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson challenge the new champions Great Bash Heel (Tomoaki Honma and Togi Makabe) for the IWGP Tag Team titles. Kushida defends his IWGP Jr. Heavyweight championship against Los Ingobernables member Bushi.

In the main event, the vacant IWGP Intercontinental championship will be up for grabs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, a former champion and longtime ace of the promotion, looks to capture another title by defeating Kenny Omega, who has recently moved up to heavyweight as well as obtaining a high ranking within Bullet Club by putting AJ Styles out of commission.

We're looking for your thoughts on tonight's show as well as on Thursday's show fro Osaka, so you can leave a thumbs up, thumbs down or thumbs in the middle along with a best and worst match for each show at dave@wrestlingobserver.com

 

Live coverage provided by Dave Meltzer at 11pm PST.

TIGER MASK & JUSHIN LIGER & CAPTAIN NEW JAPAN VS. YOUNG BUCKS & CODY HALL

Short match with not much to it.   They kept things moving, did a few near falls and the match ended when Hall had Captain in a tombstone position and both Bucks came off the top rope to spike him and Matt scored the pin. 

BOBBY FISH & KYLE O'REILLY VS. KAZUSHI SAKURABA & GEDO

Another short match.  The early matwork sequence with Sakuraba and O'Reilly was really good.  The rest of the match was okay.  Fish pinned Gedo after Chasing the Dragon.

MATT SYDAL & RICOCHET & SATOSHI KOJIMA & HIROYOSHI TENZAN VS. YUJI NAGATA & MANABU NAKANISHI & RYUSUKE TAGUCHI & DAVID FINLAY

Good match after Nakanishi and Tenzan started.  Crowd was into Kojima vs. Nagata the most.  Sydal & Ricochet didn't do what you'd expect on a big show but this wasn't the match or spot ont he show to be tearing it up.  They looked good with what they did.  The finish saw Ricochet pin Finlay after a shooting star press. 

TETSUYA NAITO & EVIL VS. MICHAEL ELGIN & JAY WHITE

Naito fist bumped Milan Collection A.T. at the announcers table and went to do the same with Nogami.  But Nogami was loyal to Blue Justice.  Milano  then hopped hte rail and opened the ropes for Naito.  They first bumped again so the two announcers were on opposite sides of the fence here.  Another short match.  Good match ending when Evil pinned White afer an STO.  White & Elgin looked good.  Naito gave the ref a sliding dropkick. after the match.  Naito wanted a fist bump  from Milano after but he declined because Naito attacked the ref.  Nogami kept yelling "Justice" at him so at some point Nagata may be going against Naito.

BAD LUCK FALE & TAMA TONGA & YUJIRO TAKAHASHI VS. MARK & JAY BRISCOE & TORU YANO FOR NEVER OPEN WEIGHT TRIOS TITLES

The Briscoes & Yano regained the titles.  The match was better than Thursday since Tonga seemed to carry the heel side.  The Brisoces also looked good and Yano's heel act is over.  During the match Yujiro tried to low blow Yano but the ref caught him  The finish was the ref distracted and as the Briscoes pulled Tonga and Fale out of the ring.  Yano gave Yujiro a low blow and inned him with his outside cradle.  Not bad but no great matches on the first half of the show.

HIROOKI GOTO & KATSUYORI SHIBATA & JUICE ROBINSON VS. KAZUCHIKA OKADA & TOMOHIRO ISHII & YOSHI-HASHI

Real good, best match so far.  Okada was really good here, definitely came across like the superstar in the match.  Robinson got to do more than usual.  The finish saw Okada used the neckbreaker over the knee and Randy Savage elbow on Robinson.  He set up the rainmaker but Goto broke it up.  Okada hit the dropkick on Goto and then the rainmaker on Robinson for the pin.  Highlight was Shibata vs. Ishii.  After the match Okada offered to shake hands with Goto and invited him to join CHAOS.  Goto walked off.  Okada grabbed the mic and said something to  Gogo, who walked off.

KUSHIDA VS. BUSHI FOR IWGP JR. TITLE 

This was a great match.  All kinds of great stuff.  They did dives and lots of near falls.  Kushida survived the mist in the face, a backslide and bridge and Bushi's MX finisher which is coming off the top rope into a codebreaker while landing.  He tried a second one but Kushida caught Bushi with the codebeaker.  Evil interfered a few times.  Evil grabbed Kushida but Taguchi hip attacked Evil for the save.  Naito tried to interfere but White grabbed Naito by the legs.  The finish saw Kushida grab the hoverboard lock and then while holding it kicked Naito off the apron and got the submission.  The negative is it was really stupid for Kushida to be working the several minutes with green mist all over his face and the ref not caring.

TOMOAKI HONMA & TOGI MAKABE VS. KARL ANDERSON & DOC GALLOWS FOR THE IWGP TAG TEAM TITLES

Another great match.  And it would have been hard to follow the jr. match.  It was mostly Honma selling but he survied his arm being worked on, kicked out of the gun stun, survived a Gallows power bomb and a bloody sunday DDT by Anderson.  The finish saw Makabe revive and slap Honma over and over to revive him.  Makabe put Anderson on his shoulders and Honma used the kokeshi double impact.  Makabe clotheslined Gallows over the top, and then Makabe used the King Kong kneedrop on Anderson and Honma used a diving head-butt to pin Anderson.

Tama Tonga came out and said that there is a new member of the Bullet Club and he and that person challenge Makabe & Honma to a title match.  Honma accepted the challenge.

HIROSHI TANAHASHI VS. KENNY OMEGA FOR THE VACANT IC TITLE

Omega won the title in 30 minutes with the One Winged Angel in what will be among the best matches of 2016 even though it was filled with inteference.  Early in the match Yujiro Takahashi and Cody Hall interfered.  Omega told them that the smart marks will take stars off this match if there is too much outside interference (which basically meant the match was going to have a ton of inteference later since he's a heel) and he needed to win clean.  Most of the match was Omega working over Tanahashi's bad shoulder and Tanahashi working over Omega's knee.  Omega did a totally believable sell job on his knee.  Tanahashi used two dragon screws and the Texas cloverleaf.  He had the match won when Hall came back out and distracted the ref.  The Young Bucks came from under the ring and gave Tanahashi a double superkick and the Indy taker.  Omega used the Styles Clash but Tanahashi kicked out.  The Bucks sprayed the numbing spray on Omega's knee.  Omega went for the bom a ye but Tanahashi used a dragon suplex.  Omega used a ton of forearms and worked over the shoulder but Tanahashi came back.  Omega used a reverse Frankensteiner dropping Tanahashi on his head.  Omega went for the One Winged Angel but Tanahashi revesed it into a reverse huracanrana.  Tanahashi used a straight jacket German suplex and went to the top rope.  Nick Jackson shoved him off and put a garbage can around the shoulder.  They threw the garbage can but it knocked out ref Red Shoes.  The Bucks put the boots to Tanahashi and put his bad shoulder on the garbage can.  Omega went to the top rope but Michael Elgin ran in and picked up both Bucks and used a fallaway slam on both.  Tanahashi slammed Omega off the top rope onto the garbage can.  Elgin carried both Bucks to the back.  Tanahashi used a neckbreaker and a sling blade, and a cross body off the top, but missed the high fly flow.  Omega used a bom a ye to the back of Tanahashi's neck, and jumping knee to the chin but Tanahashi kicked oiut.  Omega used another bom a ye and the One Winged Angel for the pin.

Omega said some of you may be surprised, some of you may be sad.  It's Valentine's Day and some of you wish Tanahashi could be your Valentine.  You have a new Valentine, you have a new God.  I can wrestle.  I can talk.  I can sing.  All you ladies, me and the Young Bucks are the Elite.  The Bucks were wearing "Elite" shirts insead of Bullet Club shirts.  Then he sang Teenage Dream.  This was the the new Sueprstar performance needed.  Every booker needs to watch this match as far as a lesson on how to make a new star, well, if you've got someone with incredible talent and a Hiroshi Tanahashi on your roster to make him.  Omega played air guitar when it was over, jumped in the air, and collapsed, selling his knee.  Then he left the ring.  Everyone knew what they needed to do here and they did it the best way possible.