New Japan New Beginning In Sapporo Night 1

The previous nights were all part of the Road To New Beginning. Tonight is The New Beginning itself, headlined by a tag match with the dream team of eight-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada facing “Switchblade” Jay White and Bad Luck Fale of The Bullet Club.

Ren Narita p. Yuya Uemera with a Northern Lights Suplex – Narita is probably the next Young Lion to go on assignment, as he has been getting a lot of great in ring work. The two had a good back and forth high action match with Uemera getting the Boston Crab locked in first. Narita managed to make it to the ropes for the break. They traded dueling forearms. Again, Uemera went for a Boston Crab, and again Narita escaped. Uemera tried a running clothesline, but Narita reversed into a Northern Lights Suplex for the pin.

Manabu Nakanishi & Toa Henare b. Shota Umino Ayato Yoshida when Henare pinned Umno with a Uranage – These Young Lions scored a bit of an upset victory when they beat the team of Toa Henare and Yota Tsuji. This time, Henare’s partner is the veteran powerhouse Nakanishi. They faired well against Henare in the opening minutes until Nakanishi got tagged in. The veterans cut off Umino and worked him over. Yoshida tagged in and managed to suplex Nakanishi. Impressive even if he didn’t get the full height. Nakanishi splashed Yoshida for a two count. Umino tagged in and fired up. He suplexed Henare for a two count. He scored another two with a Fisherman’s Suplex (the move he pinned Tsuji with on the last show). Henare got several near falls, with Umino refusing to stay down. But in the end, Henare hit a Uranage to get the pin.

Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Tiger Mask IV b. Takashi Iizuka & Taka Michinoku of Suzuki-Gun when Iizuka used a chair – Tenzan taunted the heels before the match, which Iizuka countered by choking him with the microphone cable. The match spilled to the outside. Tenzan nearly got counted out, making it back in the ring at the count of 19. The heels took turns beating on Tenzan. Tiger finally tagged in, only to get cut off quickly. He rallied with a Tiger Driver on Taka, which was broken by Iizuka. Tenzan got the hot tag and hit a brainbuster for a two count. Tenzan followed up with an Anaconda Vice, but again was broken by Iizuka. When Tenzan signaled for a moonsault, Iizuka hit him with a chair for the DQ.

After the match, Taka held Tenzan while Iizuka hit him with his iron glove. After the heels left, Tenzan took the mic and bellowed something. Presumably, he challenged Iizuka.

Tomoaki Honma, YOSHI-HASHI, NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Champions Ryusuke Taguchi, Togi Makabe, & Toru Yano b. Bullet Club (IWGP Junior Haveyweight Champion Taiji Ishimori, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Yujiro Takahashi, & Chase Owens w/Jado) when Yano pinned Owens after a low blow – Tonga did his new trademark pleading that he was a Good Boy now. Jado hit Honma from behind with his kendo stick. This gave the heroes the opportunity they needed to cut Honma off and beat him down. Honma finally managed to tag in Taguchi, who tried and failed to put Ishimori in an Anklelock. No matter who tagged in, Bullet Club seemed to be one step ahead. In the end, the obligatory multi-man brawl broke out. During the melee, Yano managed to low blow Owens and roll him up for the pin.

Suzuki-Gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, & Taichi w/Miho Abe) b. Los Ingobernables De Japon (IWGP Intercontinental Champion Tetsuya Naito, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Champions Shingo Takagi & Bushi) when Taichi pinned Bushi with a Black Mephisto – All six of these men will have title matches against each other on this tour. Naito will challenge Naito for the IC Title, while Kanemaru and Desperado will try to win the tag titles back from Takagi and Bushi. It didn’t take long before the brawl spilled to the floor, which Suzuki-Gun used to their favor. Back in the ring, they cut off Takagi and worked him over. Naito got the tag and was in control until Kanemaru used the referee as a shield. In that distraction, Kanemaru leveled Naito. With Naito down, Taichi tagged in and stalked him. Naito desperately gave Bushi the hot tag, who ran wild. Bushi went for the MX, but got sprayed with Kanemaru’s whiskey. Taichi then pounced on Bushi. A Black Mephisto later, and it was all over.

Minoru Suzuki p. SANADA with a Gotch Piledriver – Like on the previous show, this singles match is between two wrestlers from opposing teams. Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. will challenge EVIL and SANADA for the IWGP Heavyweight Tag Championship, so tonight Suzuki is facing SANASA in a singles match. Sanada was ready for Suzuki’s attacks, and managed to reverse into the Paradise Lock. After being embarrassed by this, Suzuki fought back with a vengeance and quickly took the match to the floor. He pummeled Sanada with chairs an other objects before rolling him back into the ring. Suzuki continued the assault with several holds and submissions, but Sanada wouldn’t submit. Sanada mounted a comeback and flipped into a Skull End. Suzuki reversed that into a Gotch Piledriver to get the win.

EVIL p. Zack Sabre Jr. (w/Taka Michinoku) with Everything Is Evil – Taka did his usual pro Zack promo, bit added in “You are not Evil!” perhaps as a nod to his Kaientai days. The two exchanged reversals and holds in the early minutes, with Evil using his power advantage and Sabre using his flexibility. After powering out of a submission, Evil knocked Sabre to the floor and the two battled up the rampway. Evil hit Sabre with a Fisherman’s Buster on the ramp. Back in the ring, Sabre kicked out of Darkness Falls. He countered Everything Is Evil for a double down. Evil hit a Superplex and a lariat for a near fall. Sabre rebounded with several near falls of his own. After several exciting exchanges and reversals, Evil was able to get the pin with Everything Is Evil.

“Switchblade” Jay White & Bad Luck Fale of Bullet Club b. IWGP Heavyweight Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kazuchika Okada when White submitted Tanahashi with a Reverse Figure Four – Tanahashi and Okada have been labeled a Dream Team, and it is still a little surreal seeing them on the same side. The heels once again took the fight to the floor. By the time the match got back in the ring, the heels were in full control and double-teaming Okada. Tanahashi got the tag and took it to White before getting cut off. Fale used his power advantage over Tanahashi. Okada made the save and prevented Fale from suplexing Tanahashi. That allowed Tanahashi and Okada to regroup. White kicked out of a Sling Blade and blocked a Cloverleaf. Okada ran in to prevent Fale from interfering with a leg screw. Tanahashi bounced off the ropes, probably for anootehr Sling Blade when Gedo tripped Tanahashi from behind. All four men started fighting in the ring, with Fale getting knocked to the outside by Tanahashi. Okada hit a Tombstone on White which Tanahashi followed up with a Styles Clash. As Tanahashi climbed the to top rope, Fale came to and knocked him off. Fale then hit both Okada and Tanahashi with a Hand Grenades. White tried to finish off Tanahashi wtih a Death Valley Driver, only for Tanahashi to kick out. Tanahshi hit both heels with Twist And Shouts. Gedo distracted Red Shoes as White grabbed a chair. Tanahashi fired up and hit a German Suplex on Fale, then got clipped in the leg by the chair. White capitalized by targeting Tanahashi’s legs. While Okada got held at bay by Fale, White slapped on the reverse Figure Four. Fale hit Okada with the Bad Luck Fall, ensuring that the hold wouldn’t be broken up. Tanahashi had no choice but to tap out.

After the match, White took the belt cut a promo gloating about submitting Tanahashi. Fale held Tanahashi so White could kick him and hit a Blade Runner. It was something rarely seen in American wrestling, the top babyface submitting in the main event. But it did make White look like a credible threat.

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