NJPW ‘THE NEW BEGINNING in Hiroshima’ Review

by Billy Carpenter (@4CR_Billy)

New Japan decided to split up its ‘New Beginning’ show into 2 separate iPPV’s this year. The first took place on 2/9 from Hiroshima while the second will go down on 2/11 in Osaka. Here’s the review for the first of the 2 shows, which really was the tale of two halves.

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Kota Ibushi & BUSHI vs Jushin Liger & El Desperado

El Desperado wants to start w/ Ibushi and gets his wish. Neither man can get a clear advantage so they tag out. Liger gets the upper hand on BUSHI with a tilt a whirl back breaker. He follows up with a palm strike and a Liger bomb for 2! Bushi uses some lucha to get the advantage back and hits a topè suicida to the outside. Liger stays down until the count of 19 for the dramatics. Ibushi in with Liger but he soon gets rocked with a huge palm strike & liger is able to make the tag. Desperado hits a spear and follows up with punches. A snap dragon suplex swings things back to Ibushi’s favor though and a standing corkscrew gets 2. Kota misses a pele kick but desperado does not miss a sliding dropkick. Ibushi is able to tag in BUSHI who hits a spinnerooni of all things following a missile dropkick on desperado. Codebreaker gets 2 for BUSHI. El Desperado is able to hit La Guítarra del Angèl for 2 before killing Ibushi with a power bomb. Back to BUSHI & desperado hits La Guítarra del Muerte to pick up the win. Fun opener. ***1/4

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Tama Tonga vs Minoru Suzuki

Suzuki kills the ring attendant with a kick, per tradition. Tama gets Suzuki in the corner earlier and attacks, but minoru looks to give zero fucks. The action soon spills outside where Minoru takes advantage and Taichi pops Tama in the face with a chair. Back in and Suzuki throws some chops, but Tonga gets the advantage after a spear out of the corner followed by a Stinger Splash for 2. The advantage doesn’t last though and Suzuki hits a stiff kick to a seated Tonga. He follows it up with about a thousand slaps to Tama’s face before looking to cinch in the sleeper. Tonga counters out though and gets a near fall. Up top and Tama hits a cross body for another 2 count. Taichi up on the apron and looks to hit Tonga with a chair, who sees it coming and tries to kick Taichi  off the apron. He misses and Suzuki grabs the hair before sending Tama into a chair shot from Taichi. Gotch-style Piledriver finishes things in rather quick order for Suzuki. Well then. Taichi & Suzuki have some fun post-match. *1/2

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Takashi Iizuka & Toru Yano vs Kazushi Sakuraba and Yugi Nagata

Iizuka takes the Nogami abuse to new levels, handcuffing the poor guy before spray painting his face and drawing on him with permanent marker. Ever the pro though, he’s back at ringside to call the match! Nagata is fresh off of his GHC title win over Takeshi Morishima yesterday. The heels attack early but Nagata & Sakuraba regain control quickly. Sak going lucha~! with a tiger rope feint and a PLANCHA. Iizuka back in and breaks up a dual submission before taking Sakuraba out into the crowd. The heels take over once again, taking turns choking Sakuraba with mic cords & shirts. Sak finally hits some big rights to get the tag to Nagata. It’s breaking down and eventually Iizuka goes for Iron Fingers. Sakuraba grabs him in a sleeper though but Yano chokes him from behind. Nagata breaks that up though and Sakuraba grabs the Iron Fingers. He hits Iizuka with them and apparently that’s enough for a DQ. Man, this was…not very good. Sakuraba’s plancha was fun though. *1/2

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Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Michael Tarver


The first 2 minutes is Tarver either banging his fists together or backing Tenzan into a corner of the ring. Tenzan eventually fires back with the Mongolian chops but gets busted open over the left eye. Tarver takes control (sigh) and works a headlock for a while before firing off some right hands. Tenzan hits a spinning heel kick and follows up with the Anaconda Vice. Both men back up and Tarver hits a spinning back fist and a rolling elbow before going for the knockout shot but it’s countered by a Samoan drop from Tenzan. Tenzan up top and misses a diving headbutts and that allows Tarver to hit the Superman punch for the win. This show has taken a severe turn since the opener. *

NWA World Title Match

Satoshi Kojima (c) vs Big Daddy Yum Yum

Bruce Tharpe is here to introduce Big Daddy Yum Yum. He comes out to Kanye West’s ‘Mercy’, for those keeping score. BDYY is Byron Wilcott, repressing the NWA. He & Kojima go back and forth but a cutter gets the momentary advantage for the champ. Outside now and Yum Yum takes advantage. Listening to Tharpe tell out things like “Get on ‘im, Yum Yum!” my ring a smile to my face. BDYY continues to maintain control inside and hits a bridging vertical suplex for 2. He misses a corner charge and we get the Kojima chops. Kojima up and hits the elbow from the top. Both guys back to their feet and trading blows but Kojima wins that and hits a DDT for 2. BDYY comes back with a pump handle gut buster for 2. He mocks Kojima and goes for the lariat but it’s blocked. He does however hit another big gut buster before missing a springboard moonsault attempt.  Kojima looks for a lariat, BDYY counters into a power bomb attempt. Kojima slides out and hits the lariat for the win. Very average affair. **

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Post match, Tarver attacks Kojima and man, I hope that doesn’t mean he’s getting a title match next. Tenzan makes the save.

 

Yujiro Takahashi/Tomohiro Ishii vs Tomoaki Honma/Tetsuya Naito

Ishii & Naito start off. After some solid back & forth, Honma & Yujiro have a go. Yujiro takes advantage with a fisherman’s buster and some stomps in the corner and here comes Ishii. He fires off some big chops and Honma is happy to return the favor.  Yujiro back in and he & Honma trade lariats. Naito & Ishii get the tags and Naito turns it up. A dropkick sends Ishii down and a running senton gets 2. Tornado DDT gets countered though and Ishii gets a suplex to take over again. Power bomb attempt gets countered and Naito gets a dropkick in the corner. He & Ishii trade forearms but Ishii gets a big powerslam. In comes Yujiro who eats an enziguri from Naito. Honma in but he gets a turnbuckle bomb for his troubles. Ishii back in and the superplex on Honma gets 2. Power bomb attempt but Naito off the top with a dropkick to break it up. Naito & Honma break out some double team moves before Honma & Ishii go at it 1-on-1. Both go for lariats and Ishii rocks Honma with a headbutt. Another lariat attempt it countered into an SOS-type roll up from Honma. Ishii does hit his lariat though but Naito breaks up the fall. Yujiro takes out Naito and Ishii power bombs Honma for 2. Brain buster finally gets the win for Ishii. Really good tag match that’s been the best thing on the card so far. Good way to continue the story between Naito & Ishii as well. ***3/4

The Young Bucks, Prince Devitt & Bad Luck Fale vs Time Splitters, Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe

Taguchi wants Devitt but gets Fale to start. His offense proves futile against him and the BC works him over. He’s able to get to Alex Shelley who turns the tide and then the Splitters hit some nice tandem offense. The Young Bucks are not to be outdone though and take over on KUSHIDA. Devitt in now and he chokes him before brining in Fale. BC continue to work over KUSHIDA until a mistimed corner enziguri and a tornado DDT get KUSHIDA out of there. In comes Togi who goes after Fale. Fale counters Togi’s offense with a Samoan drop before tagging in Devitt. Diving stomp misses and Taguchi is in now. He hits a tornado DDT on Devitt and then a combo DDT/reverse DDT on the Bucks. Fale hits a lariat on Taguchi and goes for the Bad Luck Fall but Togi breaks it up. Bucks back in and they try and neutralize Togi but eat a lariat for their troubles, followed up a Time Splitters dual plancha. Down to Devitt & Taguchi, la magistal gets 2 on Devitt. Taguchi goes for the dodon but it’s countered into the Bloody Sunday DDT by Devitt to give BC the win. Nice, fast paced match and the show has come back to life after intermission. ***1/2

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Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata vs Yoshi-Hashi & Kazuchika Okada

YOSHI-HASHI attacks Shibata to start but Shibata fires back with shots of his own. He escapes a potential double team and now we have Okada & Goto in the ring.  As they battle inside, HASHI attacks Shibata outside. YOSHI back in now with Goto. He hangs him up on the ropes and hits a dropkick on Goto for 2. Okada comes back in to hit a springboard senton before Okada & HASHI hit a tandem elevated DDT. Shibata makes his way back in after a Goto lariat though makes YOSHI-HASHI pay before inviting Okada in. Shibata & Okada kill each other with forearms but Shibata gets the upper hand and follows with a stiff kick to a seated Okada. Goto in now and they take turns kicking the hell out of Okada, followed by a Shibata German & a Goto backdrop driver. YOSHI-HASHI breaks up the pin. Okada hits a neck breaker on Goto followed by a top rope elbow. He signals for the rainmaker but is cut off with a big discus lariat by Goto. He recovers though and hits a beautiful dropkick before tagging in YOSHI-HASHI. A running blockbuster gets a near fall on Goto. Shibata in to break up a pin following  a lariat but Okada takes him outside. Senton by HASHI misses. Okada back in and goes for the Rainmaker on Goto but Shibata blocks it! Double team face buster on Okada! Neck breaker on HASHI! PK!!! SHOUTEN KAI!!!! That does it for YOSHI-HASHI. Really good match with a lot of things going on. Goto/Okada, Shibata/Okada and other things can build from this. ****

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IWGP Tag Team Titles

Killer Elite Squad vs Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson (c)

Smith & Anderson start, Anderson fires off some shots to no effect. Smith drops Karl with a single forearm shot and now here comes Gallows & Archer. They both go for a series of lariats but Archer wins that battle. Anderson distracts Archer on the follow up and Gallows takes advantage. Big fallaway slam send Lance outside. Gallows & Anderson work over Archer for a while. Anderson goes for chops which don’t phase Archer who gets a choke toss on Karl before making the tag to DBS. Smith with an impressive delayed vertical suplex on Gallows. Archer back in with a splash and he gets some more offense in. Gallows & Archer both looking for the chokeslam and Archer wins that battle. He catches a kick to the head from Gallows but hits a full Nelson bomb in retaliation. Smith & Anderson in now and the champs work some double team maneuvers. Karl up top but is cut off by Smith who hits the running powerslam. Smith gets a bridging tiger suplex for 2! KES hit Anderson with the Killer bomb! Gallows breaks it up and he gets one too! Tama Tonga out now and he gets a Killer Bomb! KES looks to hit the Killer Bomb on Anderson again but he kicks Smith away and gets the Gun Stun on Archer face first to the chair! Gun Stun on Smith blocked, Smith goes for another tiger suplex but Doc cuts him off. Smith then goes for a power bomb on Gallows but Anderson with a bicycle kick to break it up. Gallows hits a flapjack on Smith before the champs hit the Magic Killer for the win. Great tag match. ***3/4

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IWGP Intercontinental Title
Shinsuke Nakamura vs Hiroshi Tanahashi (c)

We get some back and forth as both men try to establish dominance at the beginning of the contest. Tanahashi gets a  suplex out of the knuckle lock and works a side headlock. Tanahashi goes for a snap mare but Nak flips out of it and lands a kick. Tanahashi quickly regains the advantage though but Nakamura is able to swing things back his way and work on the right arm. Outside now and Nakamura uses the guardrail to punish Tanahashi some more. Back in and Nakmaura hits some solid knees until Tana counters with a dragon leg screw. Somersault senton from the second rope gets 2 and Tanahashi mocks Nakamura. Both men back up and trading forearms and Nakamura gets the advantage with a spin kick to the head. More knees in the corner by Nak. Going for a suplex to no avail, but he gets an armbar that sends Tanahashi scrambling. A dropkick to the knee put Tana back on top and he goes for the Cloverleaf! Nakamura makes it to the ropes and hits a rope assisted enziguri. Tanahashi tries to skin the cat back in and eats a sliding dropkick for his troubles. Nakamura goes for another knee on Tanahashi, who’s on the apron. It’s blocked and Tana gets another dragon screw followed by a big High Fly Flow! Straight jacket suplex gets 2…Tanahashi hits the Styles Clash and goes up for another HFF but misses! BOMA YEEEE!!! Both men are down now. Tanahashi up in the corner, Nak with a kick to the head and a lungblower for a near fall. Avalanche suplex and the crowd comes alive…BOMA YE blocked & Tanahashi rolls up Nak for a near fall. Armbar by Nakamura! BOMA YEEEEE!!!! Tanahashi kicks out at 2 1/2!!! Nakamura up top…BOMA YEEEE!!!! He goes for another but Tanahashi blocks it and rolls through…SLING BLADE! Another Sling Blade! HIGH FLY FLOW x2 but NAKAMURA KICKS OUT! What a match! Both men up and trading strikes…Nak looks for a rolling armbar but Tanahashi blocks it. Bridging Dragon suplex by Tanahashi gets the win in a FANTASTIC main event! From someone that actually liked the Tokyo Dome match, this was even better. Super hot finish and just a great match. ****1/2

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The first half had me wondering if I’d wasted my money. In fact, I fell asleep before intermission during the live showing. But the second half was great, topped off by a main event that should get some love at the end of the year. Skip the front half–minus the opener–and just watch from intermission on. That back half made it worth the money for me. See you guys Tuesday for the second part of New Beginning!

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