Originally published at https://www.postwrestling.com/2020/02/09/njpw-new-beginning-in-osaka-2020-post-show/
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John Pollock & Wai Ting are not discussing the Academy Awards and instead, will be reviewing the NJPW New Beginning in Osaka card from this past weekend featuring four title matches. Tetsuya Naito makes the first defense of the Double Championship against KENTA, plus Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki, and Hiromu Takahashi vs. Ryu Lee.
Plus, New Japan announces its return to Madison Square Garden in the summer, the dates and locations for several G1 Climax shows, and their new Friday night show on BS Asahi.
NJPW New Beginning in Osaka
February 9, 2020
Osaka, Japan at Osaka-jo Hall
Double Championship: Tetsuya Naito © vs. KENTA
IWGP U.S. Championship: Jon Moxley © vs. Minoru Suzuki
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Title: Hiromu Takahashi © vs. Ryu Lee
*Jay White vs. Sanada
*Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.
*Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kota Ibushi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Guerrillas of Destiny, Yujiro & Chase Owens
*IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Titles: Roppongi 3K © vs. Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado
*Manabu Nakanishi, Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma, Ryusuke Taguchi & Toa Henare
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I think if they put 3/4 title matches on the MSG show and don’t make it a cluster of tag team matchups this show easily draws 10K
Naito as champion vs any of: Okada, Tanahashi, Suzuki, Ibushi feels like MSG main event worthy. A split within LIJ and possibly Sanada or even elevating somebody like Osprey while in America could do the trick.
If Okada and Tanahashi are not involved in a title fight that is always a timeless singles match to book. Who knows, by the. We could be looking at Tana/Ibushi tag champs vs Okada/Osprey!
This show shouldn’t have an issue reaching 10k, tho a true sell out may be tough without other events like 2019; I would keep ROh far away from this as it’s an immediate “no” for anyone who recalls their contribution last time. Maybe throw a match or two later but don’t announce it pre-sale date
I think they won’t sell out. Last time people though the Elite would be there as tickets went on sale before the divorce.
The problem is nothing is fresh here - we have seen Okada vs Naito and Naito vs Tana and Naito vs Ibushi and Naito vs Jay. I’m not sure those draw huge crowd to watch same thing again.
I really would like to see a fresh matchup - Naito vs Mox would be amazing but unlikely because of this North America AEW restriction.
Naito vs Osprey would be cool to see. Naito vs Omega as well but again unlikely.
On a side note - why was basically the whole audience in Japan wearing masks??
Because of the Corona Virus
How does that even make sense?
There is no evidence the virus is in a random stadium in Japan. Do you see people in other countries doing this?
There is no evidence that wearing a random mask that isn’t fitted helps. There is no evidence that any health organization or physician has recommend you walk around with a mask at all.
It’s amazing that literally the whole stadium was doing this despite there being no recommendation that it helps anything.
They sold out because the entire Wrestling world was in the market for Wrestle Mania. By December people heard Cody flat out say they wouldn’t be there (ffs he cut a promo mid-match at Final Battle down the street from the Garden).
If your point is, nothing is fresh - well this isn’t either.
Regardless, New Japan has proven time and time again it doesn’t need fresh matchups to build great interest because of their deep history and call back nature on both commentary and in-ring. If you presented any historical matchup in Madison Square Garden it is going to feel very important, even if it took place a dozen times before, because it’s MSG, New York City, America. The novelty of it all is them coming here to the World’s Most Famous Arena. Not a first time match.
10K wouldn’t be a sell out. It would be the standard to match given what we’ve seen AEW do in the last year. Anything short of matching AEW, with 6 months notice and an emphasis on the card being important to their year/stories would be disappointing.
As for my feedback I left:
- I was calling the Mox/Suzuki match the best match I’ve ever seen in Jon Moxley (or Dean Ambrose) career. Somebody name a better one? Character/Story/Intensity/Atmosphere. An absolute perfect blend I can’t ever remember seeing from him anywhere else.
- I was saying Hiromu has had 2 of the top 5 matches in 2020 so far. Nothing to do with Moxley.
I loved that Lumberjack match with him and Seth when The Shield broke up. It was the best Dean Ambrose match in the WWE. Also the absolute best Lumberjack match ever on the face of the earth (yes, I am pretty sure of that).
Fair enough. They had so many matches I honestly can’t remember one from another. Maybe that is what made this one stand out. It just felt so original.
The moment they start banging the table against their own heads I lost it. Two absolute professionals playing off one another and selling their insanity was so perfect to me. That and the constant Suzuki smiling as he’s getting killed. And the mocking of each others mannerisms.
Moxley has had 2 matches in New Japan now that seem like they belong in his Best of Collection - w/ Ishii and Suzuki. To Wai’s point about Kenta, it is like watching and asking how the F did WWE miss with these guys so much.
I think the mask thing is in part cultural. In Japan it is not uncommon for people to wear masks when they are sick or in areas where illness might be common. It is done out of curtesy as to not spread germs. There are masks that are rated to work against the Coronavirus but they are more expensive than the typical surgical mask. That said it was cultural more than medical I’m sure.
Overproducing and micromanaging.
While I appreciate the NJPW style being different (repeated multi man tags, dumb refs etc) I think doing the same matches for any body can get boring. Sure we all like to see rematches and stuff but I have honestly seen enough of Naito and jay/Ibushi/Tana/Okada die a while.
The KENTA match was fresh. There are other guys who haven’t fought him as much (ZSJ/Mox/Will) but really would love to see something a bit different and exciting to make me want to goto NYC
John’s ZSJ voice is spot on