The second of New Japan Pro Wrestling's New Beginning shows takes place overnight in Osaka with several titles on the line in high profile matches.
In the main event, Michael Elgin seeks to reclaim the IWGP Intercontinental Championship from Tetsuya Naito, who has treated the belt as something with little value. Fully recovered from an orbital injury, Elgin looks to regain the title he once held and bring it back to prominence.
Other big title matches include Katsuyori Shibata defending the RPW British Heavyweight Championship against Will Ospreay, Hiromu Takahashi defending the IWGP Jr. title against Dragon Lee, and Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii defending their IWGP tag team titles against Tomoaki Honma & Togi Makabe and Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Takashi Iizuka (replacing an injured Lance Archer) in a three-way match.
The NEVER six-man titles will also be defended as EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI challenge Hiroshi Tanahashi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Manabu Nakanishi.
Our live coverage begins at 3 a.m. ET.
It was announced due to a bout of the flu, Hirai Kawato was off the card. He’ll be replaced by Henare.
TAKA Michinoku defeated Henare
Solid opener. Henare has some great looking shoulder tackles. Taka did some cool mat work and ended up getting the win by rolling him up, hooking both the arms and legs together.
Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima defeated KUSHIDA and Yoshitatsu
This was okay. Work was fine, but at times it was clear Yoshitatsu was a notch under everyone else. TenKoji worked on KUSHIDA early. Yoshitatsu comes in for a comeback, but it doesn’t work out for him. Yoshitatsu blocks one lariat attempt, but Kojima succeeds with another for the win.
Kojima extends his hand after the match, but Yoshitatsu refuses it and they both wind up in a scuffle that has to be broken up. Kevin Kelly mentions on commentary Yoshitatsu has a lot of thinking to do; I guess he’ll do it in Mexico as he’s set to be a regular in CMLL going forward.
Tiger Mask, Jushin Liger, Yuji Nagata and Juice Robinson defeated Jado, Gedo, Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI
Another solid eight man bout. Nothing special, but good action. Goto and Liger had a cool exchange. Ended up being down to Jado and Juice, with the latter looking strong and finishing off with the unprettier, which he falls Pulp Friction.
Robinson made clear after the match he wanted another shot at the NEVER title, doing the belt motion around his waist.
Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi and Minoru Suzuki defeated Baretta, Rocky Romero and Kazuchika Okada
Suzuki went after Okada immediately, focusing on the leg that he worked on for so long on last week’s show. Taichi and Kanemaru, and later Suzuki, work on Baretta in the ring. Baretta tagged in Okada, but again Suzuki immediately targeted the leg. Okada and Suzuki brawled on the outside while the juniors came in. Taichi helped with the finish, powerbombing Romero then lifting him up as Kanemaru planted him with the top rope DDT for the win.
Kanemaru and Taichi posed with the Jr. tag belts after the match. Baretta tried to make the save, but the numbers game got to him.
EVIL, SANADA and BUSHI defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi to retain the NEVER Six Man tag belts
The faces all wore face paint before the match, I guess parodying EVIL’s bags under his eyes. SANADA goes for the skull end on Nakanishi but he counters with the torture rack.. Tanahashi has the cloverleaf on EVIL and Taguchi has the ankle lock on BUSHI but SANADA takes out Tiger Hattori while still on Nakanishi’s shoulders. Heels hone in on Nakanishi Sanada has the Skull Eng in again but Tanahashi hits the slingblade. Taguchi comes in and hip tosses EVIL. Nakanishi hits a crossbody on SANDA for a cool nearfall. Nakanishi gets misted by BUSHI while SANADA stumbles into the ref, then walks right into the Skull End where Nakanishi finally submits.
Heels take out the rest of the faces after the match. SANDA ties up Taguchi as Milano Collection AT at ringside stands up. SANDA dares him to do something, but Milano doesn’t do anything in response.
Katsuyori Shibata defeated Will Ospreay to retain the British heavyweight title
This wasn’t off the charts great, but still a great match as Ospreay looked incredible at times and Shibata was good in his role as well.
They start off slow, with Shibata working on Ospreay’s arm early. Ospreay comes back with some incredible offense, including a tope then immediately getting back into the ring and launches off with the Sasuke special. Shibata wraps up his legs and launches Ospreay with a German. Ospreay makes a comeback, hitting the imploding 450 splash for a nearfall. He goes for the Oscutter but Shibata grabs him and puts him in the sleeper. Ospreay can’t escape as he’s taken down then it’s followed by the penalty kick as Shibata retains the title.
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii defeated Takashi Iizuka/Davey Boy Smith Jr and Togi Makabe/Tomoaki Honma to win the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team titles
Fun, action packed match. DBS and Iizuka take Honma to the outside and waffle him with a steel chair, then continue to work on him in the ring. The Chaos team worked over Honma until he started mounting a comeback with the aid of Makabe. Big superplex by Ishii but Makabe immediately got up. DBS and Iizuka clear things out. After wiping everyone out with the iron fingers, DBS holds up Yano as Iizuka goes to strike, but Iizuka accidently hits DBS instead. Yano low blows both of them then rolls up DBS to retain the titles.
Hiromu Takahashi defeated Dragon Lee to retain the IWGP Jr. title
An amazing spectacle of a match that lived up to their incredible rivalry in Mexico. Some of the moves here just literally have to be seen to be believed. I think the only thing that comes close in the last year was Ricochet/Ospreay but even then it didn’t have the incredible spots this match had.
They exchange some quick offense early, with Dragon Lee gaining momentum following a tope. Takahashi follows with a sick sunset flip bomp off to the floor. Dragon Lee followed that with a hurricanrana off the apron and onto the floor, then followed with a tope con hilo. Lee went to do a stomp off the middle rope but Takahashi throws him to the floor and hits what I think was supposed to be a hurricanrana, but didn’t connect well.
Lee went for another hurricanrana off the apron but instead Takahashi powerbombed him. OUCH. Takahashi did a senton to the floor. Lee fires back and grounds him, working in a crossface, then hooks in both arms before Takahashi gets his feet on the ropes. Takahashi goes to do something off the top rope, but Lee blocks it. Takahashi responds by taking the mask right off of Lee and powerbombs him for a nearfall. Lee makes a comeback but Takahashi drills him with a canadian destroyer. Takahashi hits another, but Lee still kicks out. Takahashi finally hits the time bomb and that is it.
Taguchi comes to the ring after the match to challenge for the next title shot. Takahashi walks away, but tries to sneak attack Taguchi from behind with the titles. It fails, as Taguchi takes him down and applies the ankle lock.
Tetsuya Naito defeated Michael Elgin to retain the IWGP Intercontinental title
Incredible match, definitely up there as one of the best matches of the year so far. Tons of callbacks from previous matches, tremendous nearfalls and some sick spots made this a match you gotta check out sometime if you missed it live.
Naito did some stalling tactics early until Elgin took him out with a shoulder tackle. Elgin did a somersault dive to the floor, lifted up Naito, walked a few feet then suplexed him on the floor. Naito hones in on Elgin’s knee. Elgin fires up a comeback drilling Naito with German suplexes. Naito tries to counter with a tornado DDT but Elgin powers out and tries to lift him up but Naito finally counters with the DDT.
Naito tries to build some more momentum by blocking Elgin on the top rope and following with a sunset bomb, but Elgin catches him with a powerbomb. Elgin follows with a big splash and a sick lariat but Naito still kicks out. Elgin is trying for the powerbomb but his leg isn’t giving him the support he needs for it. Elgin takes Naito to the top rope. Naito musters a comeback, but Elgin blocks it, only for Naito to shoot back with a hurricanrana followed by a reverse rana.
Naito works on the leg and takes Elgin to the apron but Elgin grabs him and lays him out with a death valley driver on the apron. Elgin mocks Naito then goes for the buckle bomb but Naito reverses, lays him out then lands the Destino but Elgin kicks out. Naito tries for a second but Elgin rams him into the ropes. Elgin took him to the outside, powerbombed him on the apron then into the barricade then followed with the Elgin bomb but Naito still kicked out in an amazing near fall. Elgin tried for the burning hammer but Naito countered with the Destino. Elgin kept trying but Naito kept countering. He hit the Destino after countering Elgin off the tope rope, then landed it once more to finally retain the championship.
The rest of Los Ingobernables de Japon, who all won or retained their titles tonight, came out as Naito cut a promo. Streamers flew as Naito flung around the title, disrespecting the title as he heads to the back to close out the show.