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NJPW on AXS results: Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kenny Omega for the IWGP title


With WrestleKingdom 9 coverage now over, it’s time to move on to the next big card of early 2015, New Beginning! Seems like we’ll have a multi-part look at this event as well since there were two shows, one in Osaka and the other in Sendai. Today’s matches are from the Osaka show, held in the Osaka Prefectural Gymnasium on February 11, 2015.

First up is an IWGP tag team title rematch as the former champions Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson take on new champions Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata. This was okay but nothing I’d call interesting until the finishing stretch. There were many stun guns from Anderson, a good comeback from Goto and Shibata then the finish as Shibata was laid out with another gun stun and pinned after the Magic Killer. Aside from a feud with the Kingdom and Maria, they really did nothing with these belts all year so I’m not sure why they did such a sudden switch here. I felt like there was way more juice with Goto and Shibata as champions than Guns and Gallows, but I guess that’s just me.

Anderson said every time we step into Osaka we win, and that’s why we’re the best tag team champions walking on planet Earth.

Taguchi in his sit down interview talked about how champions can ask for rematches and said he wanted another shot as he felt he could win.

The IWGP Jr. title rematch aired. It’s funny because this was the match where Taguchi solidified himself as a midcard opening act by doing all of this new comedy throughout involving his butt. But even with his new gimmick, the work he does in the ring is just kind of bland. There’s nothing wrong with what he does, and there are matches where he’s really good, but he’s never been consistently good like many other juniors in New Japan. This match was fine, but the WrestleKingdom match was much better. A lot of the start of the match was all ass based, believe it or not, because Omega took the Bullet Club flag and, well, tried to penetrate Taguchi. It backfired and resulted in many hip attacks, which are now a staple in just about every Taguchi match now. Eventually it became an okay back and forth with Taguchi being pinned after Omega hit the One Winged Angel. It was fine.

They showed the angle after the match where the Young Bucks attacked Taguchi, with Mascara Dorada and Alex Shelley making the save. Dorada challenged Omega after the match, so we’ll probably see that match in the pipeline.

Omega says in a post match interview that he knows nothing about lucha, but if Dorada wants to take him on, then he will, and he’ll put the title on the line.

Taguchi says he couldn’t get the belt in the end, but it was about how he could improve as the former 69th champion. It’s better to fight freely than to act as a champion. He can do his best when he fights freely, and thinking positively has led him this far. When asked about going for other titles as the 69th champion (he has an affinity for that number, I guess because he’s wacky), he mentions the heavyweight tag team titles, but he doesn’t have a partner.

More big title matches next week as AJ Styles challenges Hiroshi Tanahashi for the IWGP Heavyweight title!