NJPW Reviews

NJPW The New Beginning in Niigata 2016 Review

Niigata, Japan 
Aore Nagaoka 
3,603 Fans

Whoever reading this is lucky because Trask reviewed ‘The New Beginning in Osaka’ and nobody wants to read his reviews so you have me. I’m tricking. Trask is a nice fella. This show on paper looks interesting and the outcomes of certain matches will have major ramifications on New Japan in 2016. The most hyped match is easily Kenny Omega vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi for the Vacant IWGP Intercontinental Championship. They built some major heat for this match on the last ‘New Beginning’ show when Omega and the Bucks destroyed Tanahashi’s shoulder (which was already destroyed). This show will most likely set up challengers for the NEVER, tag, and world titles. I have a feeling Nagata is going to be doing something noteworthy shortly. I don’t know where Okada goes after beating Hirooki Goto, possibly Naito challenges him? This is also Gallows & Gun’s final PPV. Oh, and Gedo and Kazushi Sakuraba are wrestling reDragon! Let’s do this.

Editor’s Note: Regarding the first match: the star rating bar did not want to work. It’s plotted as a normal format, but if it will eventually change, it will be fixed.

(Bullet Club) Cody Hall, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson vs. Captain New Japan, Jushin “Thunder” Liger & Tiger Mask

I am all in on a Young Bucks vs. Liger and Tiger match. It’s a shame this isn’t just a regular tag. What’s the harm in doing just a regular tag match? Read my article as I go more in depth on NJPW never putting on meaningful singes or tags on the undercard of events. This was a very nice opening match. Liger is crazy over as well as Tiger. The crowd reactions were great, they loved the fast paced Jr. action. Hall did a crazy springboard splash. Young Bucks did Young Buck things which I really enjoyed. A double Cody Hall assisted IndyTaker put down Captain for the 3 count. ***

CHAOS (Gedo & Kazushi Sakuraba) vs. reDRagon (Bobby Fish & Kyle O'Reilly)***1/4

This is pretty neat. I am sure wrestling Sakuraba was on Bobby’s and Kyle’s bucket lists, so good on them. This was so fantastic and I wish it went longer. Bobby is so smooth with everything he does, I hope he gets more singles matches in NJPW. Kyle and Saku had me screaming with their interactions. This felt like a shoot. Everyone was on point, and there was even a four way rear-choke at one point in the bout. Sakuraba did a dropkick! Gedo was pinned following Chasing The Dragon.

David Finlay, Manabu Nakanishi, Ryusuke Taguchi & Yuji Nagata vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Matt Sydal, Ricochet & Satoshi Kojima***1/2

Ricochet is opposing Manabu Nakanishi in the year 2016, my word. This was a goddamn hoot. What a random match but I loved it. Tenzan and Nakanishi were entertaining with their opening sequence. Sydal and Ricochet are seriously unreal. Kojima and Nagata are always superb and their interactions made me want to see a singles match between the two. Finlay was in the ring for about two minutes and had a nice back and forth with Ricochet but he eventually was pinned with a Shooting Star Press.

Los Ingobernables de Japón (EVIL & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Jay White & Michael Elgin***

Very interesting match up here. Rumors have been swirling around that Elgin may be feuding with Naito. Naito looks gorgeous. Milano is now cool with Naito and held the ring ropes open for him during Naito’s entrance, I was screaming. Naito bodyslams Jay on the concrete. Elgin did a flip dive off the apron which he followed up with a twisting senton from the top. Elgin and EVIL work tremendously together and I hope they wrestle one-on-one sooner rather than later. EVIL pins Jay with an STO which I predicted. Naito kills the ref after the match with a dropkick. I think Naito is going to be feuding with Nagata. Nogami always says ‘justice’ when Naito says ‘los’.

(NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship) Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Yujiro Takahashi) (c) vs. Toru Yano & The Briscoes (Jay Briscoe & Mark Briscoe) ***

I couldn’t care about this match less to be honest. This is the third time I have seen it in a little over a month and I haven’t liked their two previous matchups either. This was probably the best match these six men have had. I didn’t care so other people may have enjoyed this way more than me but it was solid. Mark worked his ass off, he really wants to prove himself in Japan. My stream was shit during this so I missed about 3 minutes. Yano inside cradles Takahashi to win back the titles. Why do these titles exist? I suppose it gives more juice to the matches.

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Hirooki Goto, Juice Robinson & Katsuyori Shibata***1/2

I smell a Hirooki Goto turn but we didn’t get one…yet. Goto didn’t accept Okada’s hand shake to begin the bout. Okada constantly is getting the better of Goto and it’s pissing Shibata off. Juice in New Japan is stale already. He can do some cool things but he always sticks to the goddamn shuck and jive punches. Good action from everyone but it feels like I have seen everything a billion times. Goto keeps getting destroyed and Shibata isn’t happy so he kicks Goto and tags himself in. Ishii and Shibata were amazing together and I hope they wrestle one another forever. Okada hits an elbow drop followed by the Rainmaker on Juice Robinson for the 3 count.

(IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship) KUSHIDA (c) vs. BUSHI***1/2

I am not as excited as others are for this match but I am sure it will be excellent. BUSHI has been fantastic in the Ingobernables and his work in the stable is leaps and bounds better than EVIL’s. EVIL just feels so uncomfortable in the role and is way too gimmicky. Very solid match but I couldn’t get over the constant interference. So there was good wrestling to begin the match, BUSHI gained the advantage. EVIL and Naito come out to ringside. KUSHIDA does all of his signature offence and hits a tope con hilo. The Ingobernables shenanigans were way overdone and this match way too overbooked. KUSHIDA at one point ripped at BUSHI’s mask which is a villainous tactic? BUSHI low blows Kushida again and more mist. Kushida kicked out of the jumping codebreaker and hits one of his own! MORE Naito and EVIL interference but Taguchi and Jay White fend them off which allows Kushida to submit BUSHI with the hoverboard lock.

(IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship) Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma) (c) vs. Bullet Club (Doc Gallows & Karl Anderson)***3/4

I loved the Wrestle Kingdom 10 match between these guys and I am pumped for this one. I expect Gallows and Karl to put on their best performance as a team since it’s possibly their last match in New Japan as a team. I LOVED THIS MATCH. Such a well worked tag match that got the fans more and more invested as the match rolled on. Gallows and Karl were tremendous and the two best guys in the match without a doubt. This match had everything except flippy stuff which Is something I don’t need in a Makabe match. A few spots that stood out were the delayed deadlift suplex that Honma did on Gallows and Karl doing the Bloody Sunday! I am sure Balor was intently watching this match without a doubt. Honma pinned Karl after a Doomsday Kokeshi, King Kong Knee Drop, and a Kokeshi!!!! Great finish to a great match. Post-match Tonga said he will challenge GBH next month for the titles with a mystery partner who I believe will be Sami Callihan.

(Vacant IWGP Intercontinental Championship) Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Kenny Omega ****1/2

I didn’t write notes for this match, I just enjoyed it. What a bloody great match! There ended up being interference and a lot of it, but Elgin made the save for Tanahashi which the crowd exploded for. Omega killed Tanahashi’s right arm all match and Tanahashi killed Omega’s left leg all match. Great selling from both individuals. Omega put on one of the best performances ever by a single person in a match ever. He knew how big this match was and didn’t make one mistake. Omega is a wrestling genius and I am so glad he is finally being pushed as one of the top heavyweights. This match felt like a DDT main event with the reverse ranas and moonsaults on the outside. Just watch this match. It was great. You may not like the Young Bucks and Cody Hall being involved but try and enjoy the match for what it it was; which is a near perfect match. Omega won the vacant Intercontinental Championship with the One Winged Angel. I am sorry I didn’t write down notes but I just had to watch this match as it was amazing.

Very solid New Japan PPV. Nothing was blow away amazing except the main event and I would only go back and watch the top three matches; but as a live PPV event — I enjoyed everything on this show. A freaking fantastic crowd in Niigata. I hope New Japan goes to Niigata more in the future. Thank you for reading. I am very excited for New Japan in 2016.

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