So for my first post on here, I decided I would share my thoughts on the big NJPW event that happened yesterday, ‘The New Beginning in Sapporo’. This featured the return of Suzuki-Gun in action, who are now back in New Japan after invading and desecrating Pro Wrestling NOAH for almost 2 years. Now I only properly watched the last 3 matches of the shows since I wasn’t awake for the undercard (thought I did catch Taka Michinoku’s sweet ass Asia Moonsault), so I’ll only be talking about them for now.
NJPW NEVER Open-weight title match: Juice Robinson vs Hirooki Goto(c)
This was a really solid match up between these two. Juice had a very strong showing and really held his own, its great how far hes come along in New Japan and I’m more than happy to see him in these kind of matches and hopefully he’ll get a spot in the G1 Climax this year. Goto also looked good and he’s someone I’ve always really liked, especially with his unique maneuvers, like the rope assisted front facing GTR in this which was awesome. Overall they kept a good pace and it was really good. ***3/4
IWGP Tag Team Title 3-Way Match: GBH vs KES vs Yano/Ishii (c)
I enjoyed this and thought it was pretty solid overall. I know alot of people would prefer to not have Yano in this match or teaming with Ishii, but I like the teams dynamic mixing Ishii toughness with Yano’s shenanigans, which is precisely what they used to win which I really liked. You also got Archer and Smith Jr dominating a good amount, Honma doing his usual Kokeshi stuff which I never tire cause I have a deep rooted love for headbutts and of course you got Makabe being…Makabe (the only guy in the match I’m not a fan of). So yeah they kept the action up throughout and it was entertaining. ***1/2
IWGP World Heavyweight title match: Kazuchika Okada(c) vs Minoru Suzuki
I Really liked this match, it was a different kind of main event than we have been used to seeing, as Okada tries to overcome Suzuki’s rough assault and dissection of his ‘injured’ leg. He plays the role of the struggling hero against the dominating villain and it was executed really well. It featured a sequence where Suzuki keeps trapping Okada in a submission and Okada tries really hard to fight through the pain, it goes a little too long but was effective in showing Okada’s will and determination in trying not to submit which the crowd really got behind. Okada sold the leg injury quite well too, not stellar by any means but it worked well enough. I will say the pacing was a tad too slow at times and there was a small amount of Suzuki-gun interference but it was minimal and helped in stacking the odds again Okada, so don’t think it detracted much from the match at all. Overall though they told a really good story to help show that Okada can overcome and is still the top ace. ****
So that’s my thoughts on them matches, pretty solid stuff overall and I’m very much looking forward to the next New Beginning show that’s on Saturday so maybe I’ll write up my thoughts on that too. But for now, Sayonara!