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NJPW Road to The New Beginning results: The tour begins

njpw 1 17 2021

Recommended matches --

  • Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan (w/Bea Priestley) vs. Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji 
  • Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto vs. EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo 
  • SHO & Master Wato vs. Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI 

Report --

Due to a COVID-related state of emergency being declared in Tokyo until February 7, the show began a half hour earlier than usual at 4 a.m. Eastern. 

This  was also a five-match card rather than the traditional six as there is a recommended 8 p.m. curfew in Tokyo (6 a.m. Eastern).

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Will Ospreay & Great-O-Khan (w/Bea Priestley) defeated Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji (8:38)

This was an entertaining opener. 

Kojima and Ospreay began, as Kojima wanted revenge for Ospreay kayfabe injuring Hiroyoshi Tenzan. Kojima got the better of a quick striking battle and hit a tackle. 

Tsuji and O-Khan tagged in. I like the O-Khan character but his wrestling leaves a lot to be desired. He's very unorthodox and not in a good way. O-Khan cut Tsuji off and repeatedly picked him and dropped him on the mat. There was a fair amount of squeezing. 

Ospreay got a tag and took a back bodydrop. Kojima tagged in and hit some machine gun chops and a top rope elbow for a near fall. Ospreay's bumping and feeding is the weakest part of his game besides his dollar store Ric Flair gimmick. 

Ospreay cut Kojima off with a kick to the bread club and a vertical suplex. O-Khan tagged in and hit some Mongolian chops. Kojima came back with a cutter and tagged out. 

Tsuji and O-Khan squared off. Tsuji is significantly better than O-Khan. Kojima jumped in for a double team. Tsuji used a splash for a near fall. Ospreay jumped in and traded strikes with Kojima. Ospreay blocked a lariat with a high kick, then hit a hook kick. 

Tsuji used a unique pinning combination for a near fall on O-Khan. O-Khan cut him off with a big boot, then hit the Dominator for the pin. 

O-Khan did his United Empire roll call promo after the match. 

Taiji Ishimori, El Phantasmo, Gedo & Jado defeated Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI (9:23)

The key to this one was continuing to get ELP's loaded boot over. 

It's typically fun to watch NJPW's heel stables wrestle each other, just because there's no depth that they won't sink to in trying to win. 

This match was the exception to that rule. Ishimori and ELP are fantastic wrestlers who are handicapped by being placed in the Bullet Club job squad. Gedo is a fine in small doses. Jado has significant balance issues and should not be in the ring. 

Suzuki-gun started brawling before the opening bell. Bullet Club got the upper hand when ELP hit Kanemaru in the leg with the loaded boot. Bullet Club worked Kanemaru over with comedy back rakes and such. 

There was a cool finish. DOUKI went for Daybreak, but came off with a springboard into an ELP superkick with the loaded boot for the pin. 

Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & Hirooki Goto defeated EVIL, Yujiro Takahashi & Dick Togo (10:13)

With Jay White on hiatus, EVIL has borrowed his stalling routine. 

Yujiro and Goto began as the legal men. Yujiro bit Goto's hand. Ishii tagged in and demanded that Togo do so as well. Ishii and Togo doing spots together gave me life. This ruled. 

EVIL jumped in to try to double up on Ishii. Instead, Okada and Goto saved. EVIL tripped Ishii from the floor, finally allowing Bullet Club to turn this into a brawl more suited to their style. EVIL used a chair on Okada on the floor. 

Ishii ended up cut off in the Bullet Club corner. Ishii was whipped into an exposed turnbuckle. Ishii avoided a second whip into the buckle. EVIL ran sternum-first into the exposed steel, allowing Ishii to tag Okada. 

Okada had a great hot tag here. He ran wild with elbow strikes and back elbows on EVIL. Okada teased an air raid crash neckbreaker, but EVIL used a hair pull and a trip from Yujiro on the floor to regain command and tagged Togo. 

Okada hit a flapjack on Togo. Goto got a tag. Goto tried a misdirection lariat, but soon fell victim to a 3-on-1 from Bullet Club. Togo got a near fall off an EVIL fisherman buster to Goto. 

Things broke down as the finish approached. Togo grabbed his ligature. Okada saved. EVIL took out Okada. Goto rebounded and hit an ushigoroshi and a GTR on Togo, then pinned him. 

SANADA, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito defeated Kota Ibushi, Hiroshi Tanahashi & Tomoaki Honma (13:06)

These guys were up first after intermission. SANADA entered last for the LIJ squad. It will be interesting to see if Naito being phased down is just for the short term. 

This was not a good night for Naito and Honma in the ring. Someone could have been seriously injured. 

Shingo and Tanahashi began. Shingo teased a clean break against the ropes, then tried a wild chop. Tana ducked, then hit a second rope crossbody. Naito interfered from the apron and LIJ took over. 

SANADA got a tag and got the paradise lock on Tana. Naito tagged in and used a kravate. Tanahashi knocked Shingo down on the apron with a wild swing. Shingo then tagged back in and the two traded strikes. 

Ibushi and SANADA got tags. Ibushi scored a knockdown with a forearm, then used a high kick and a standing moonsault for a two count. SANADA hit a dropkick to the left knee and a follow-up plancha as Ibushi rolled outside. 

Ibushi avoided a springboard attack and hit a flying mid kick. Ibushi teased a last ride. SANADA escaped and tried to lock in a dragon sleeper. Ibushi hit a high kick into a double down. Honma tagged in and hit a series of strikes and a bulldog. 

Honma missed a kokeshi, allowing SANADA to tag Naito. Naito hit some trademark offense on Honma, then used a crucifix. Tanahashi broke the hold. Shingo entered and took Tanahashi out. Naito tried a Destino. Honma was supposed to reverse, but stumbled. Naito and Honma stumbled around and fell into a turnbuckle. 

Tanahashi hit a slingblade on Naito. SANADA took out Tana. Honma missed a top rope kokeshi. Naito and Honma were supposed to do something else, but again they stumbled and fell down. Naito looked like he was really mad with how the match was going here. 

SANADA and Naito hit a double dropkick on Honma. Naito then used Destino and pinned Honma. 

SANADA and Ibushi stared each other down after the match. 

SHO & Master Wato defeated Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI (17:52)

Wato and BUSHI began. Wato immediately knocked Hiromu off the apron with a running boot. Hiromu answered by hitting a sunset bomb. BUSHI tagged out and Hiromu began working on Wato in the LIJ corner. Hiromu knocked SHO off the apron for good measure. 

BUSHI got a tag and used an STF, but Wato forced a rope break. Hiromu and BUSHI continued to use quick tags in working Wato over. 

SHO got a hot tag and ran wild on Hiromu. Hiromu sold big for him. SHO hit a spear and began working on Hiromu's left arm, looking to set up the Shock Arrow or the cross armbreaker. SHO hit a vertical suplex for a two count. 

Hiromu tried to take SHO's back. SHO threw him off and got the cross armbreaker. Hiromu reversed the hold into a cradle for a two count. They did a series of counters and reversals. Hiromu hit a superkick into a double down. 

Hiromu tried a Dynamite Plunger. SHO blocked and hit a big forearm strike. They traded stiff forearm shots. Hiromu blinked first, as SHO knocked him into the ropes with a strike. Hiromu popped up and they kept trading. Hiromu knocked SHO into the ropes with a strike. 

After another striking sequence, SHO hit a lariat into a double down. Both tagged out. Wato lit BUSHI up with kicks and a springboard uppercut forearm for a two count. BUSHI blocked a recientemente attempt and hit a DDT. 

BUSHI hit a missile dropkick. Wato blocked a codebreaker and hit a slingblade. Wato climbed to the top rope, but Hiromu shoved him off to the mat. BUSHI hit a missile dropkick with Wato draped over the ropes. BUSHI hit a DDT on the apron. 

Hiromu entered for a double team. SHO hit Hiromu with a German suplex. BUSHI hit a codebreaker on SHO. Wato hit a dreamcast on BUSHI. All four were down in the ring at this point. 

BUSHI and Wato climbed to their feet and traded strikes. Wato hit a jumping knee strike. BUSHI hit a rewind kick and a destroyer, but SHO saved. BUSHI and Hiromu took out SHO with a double sunset flip. 

BUSHI suplexed Wato into a powerbomb from Hiromu, then covered for a near fall. BUSHI tried to set something up, but Wato reversed into a jackknife cradle and stole the pin. 

Hiromu and SHO had a staredown over the IWGP Jr. title after the bell. 

Wato and SHO both cut short promos in the ring after their win. 

Including the opening video package and the intermission, the show was done in an hour and 53 minutes.