NJPW New Beginning Report
John Pollock / February 10, 2013 - 1:24pm
The show opened with the most incredible video package running through the card and a great piece on Karl Anderson with childhood photos, breaking into the business and highlights of Anderson beating Tanahashi last summer.
Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii & Yoshi-Hashi & Jado & Takashi Iizuka vs. Yuji Nagata & Manabu Nakanishi & Tama Tonga & Tiger Mask & Jushin Thunder Liger
Iizuka comes through the audience and attacks the play by play announcer Shimpei Nogami (playing off the Tokyo Dome show where he got his revenge) and the babyface team runs in to start the match.
Tonga is in and takes chops from Jado, who proceeds to “woo” after each one and then does the face plant collapse of Ric Flair. Liger is tagged in, hit with a chain going against the ropes and is pulled to the floor where Iizuka attacks him with a chair. Liger eventually made a comeback and tagged in Tiger Mask, who hit a top rope arm dragged, was crotched on the top and Ishii came in with a superplex to Tiger Mask.
Nagata and Ishii were in together exchanging forearms and leads to all the heels attacking Nagata in the corner, the babyfaces run and they all fight to the floor and brawl leaving Nagata with Jado in the ring. Jado takes a running splash from Tonga and running knee from Nagata, who then suplexes Jado and pins him at 8:27.
The heels go after Nogami again but the babyfaces protect him and then bring him into the ring to celebrate the victory.
Alex Shelley & Kushida vs. Rocky Romero & Alex Kozlov for the IWGP junior heavyweight tag titles
Kozlov sings the Soviet national anthem and crowd stands up and cheers at the end – this is my favorite gimmick in wrestling.
Shelley and Kushida send them to the floor and hit a stereo plancha on the floor. Kozlov attacks Kushida with his Garvin stomp like maneuver with kicks to the head.
Shelley and Kushida double team Romero and go for the super sliced bread but Romero avoids and hits a uranage to Shelley on the mat. Romero hits his series of repeated clotheslines to Shelley in the corner that gets a good reaction. Kushida hits a great handspring back elbow and standing moonsault to Kozlov for a two-count.
Forever Hooligans gets a series of near falls on Kushida after Romero hits knees off the top with Kozlov holding Kushida in position. Shelley snaps Kozlov on the top rope and Kushida with an O’Connor roll for a two-count. Kozlov then buts Kushida in a back breaker and Romero with a springboard knee and Shelley with the save (everyone bought that could be the finish).
Kushida with a hand spring using his heels to knock down Romero, Shelley in and hits the sliced bread and emerald frosien with Kushida hitting a moonsault off the top for a two-count.
Shelley and Kushida hit the super sliced bread onto Kozlov but Romero makes the save. Shelley takes out Romero on the floor with a suicide dive and Kushida hits Kozlov with a Phoenix splash for the win at 11:27 – this match was awesome.
Prince Devitt vs. Ryusuke Taguchi for the IWGP junior heavyweight title
Both are babyfaces and shake hands at the start of the match and Devitt making a clean break after a collar and elbow tie-up into the corner.
Devitt knocks Taguchi to the floor and hits a somersault hilo for the first big spot of the match.
Devitt grounds him and applies a figure-four head scissors but Taguchi back to his feet and they exchange standing. Taguchi with the advantage and this time he sends Devitt to the floor and hits a somersault hilo of his own.
Taguchi hits a rotating frog splash and gets a two-count. They exchange forearms and ends with a spinning heel kick by Devitt. Devitt climbs to the top and hits a double stomp to the back of the head for a two-count.
Devitt hits a Pele kick but Taguchi responds with a lariat and then his double underhook face plant (the Dodon) for a two-count. Taguchi tries the Dodon from the top from Devitt reverses with a superplex and he climbs to the top and hits a leaping double stomp for a two-count.
Devitt with a brain buster and gets the win at 14:01.
Davey Boy Smith Jr. & Lance Archer vs. Satoshi Kojima & Hiroyoshi Tenzan for the IWGP tag titles
Taka Michinoku introduces Killer Elite Squad after they enter the ring and ends by stating “let’s get crazy”. Archer looks more and more like the brother of James Storm with each passing show.
Smith doesn’t remove his mask he wears to the ring and takes a plethora of chops from Kojima in the corner. Smith comes back and stomps down Kojima and then removes the mask.
Kojima is beaten down, hits a DDT to Smith and makes the hot tag to Tenzan. Tenzan attacks with Mongolian chops in the corner and applies the anaconda vice to Smith and then goes for a vertical suplex but Smith lands on top of him. Smith hits a superplex and both are down with Smith tagging in Archer and Kojima is also tagged in. Kojima attacks with chop after chop in the corner to Archer and crowd loves the spot. Kojima with a top rope elbow drop and gets a two-count.
Archer and Kojima exchange forearm smashes and ends with Archer hitting a choke slam and Killer Elite Squad double teams Kojima and hit the Death Sentence to Kojima for a two-count. Archer climbs to the top and goes for a moonsault as the camera cuts to a terrible angle from behind the referee and misses most of it.
Kojima and Tenzan hit the 3-D to Archer but recovers and they go for the Killer Bomb but Tenzan stops it, then they get Tenzan up and hit the Killer Bomb but don’t go for the cover. They go to deliver another to Kojima but he kicks out and sends Smith to the floor, hits an Ace Crusher to Archer and crowd is really into Kojima’s come back as he hits a big lariat to Archer but Taka pulls the referee out of the ring (crowd hated that spot).
Archer blocks a lariat and hits a death drop to Kojima for a two-count and Archer hits the reverse Ocean splash but Tenzan makes the save. Smith hits Tenzan with a big boot at the Killer Bomb to Kojima for the win at 14:22.
The crowd was really into Kojima’s comeback spots but the pulling the referee out spot that has been done to death in North America was a turn off.
Yujiro vs. Togi Makabe
Yujiro drops Makabe on his chest and follows with a suicide dive to Makabe on the floor and beats down on him with stomps and then Irish whips him into the steel barricade.
Yujiro is controlling most of the match attacking with lariats and stomps. Yujiro seems to have a much better presence ever since the Tetsuya Naito injury angle and subsequent match with Tanahashi.
Yujiro hits an Angle slam and moonsault off the top and gets a two-count. Makabe comes back and hits a lariat and then a death valley driver and seats Yujiro on the top rope and german suplexes Yujiro off the top followed by a King Kong knee drop off the top for the win at 8:00.
I really liked the booking in this match as it would have served no purpose to have Yujiro win this one after Makabe got that big win over Katsuyori Shibata at the Dome show and they seem to be positioning Makabe for a big match down the road.
Kazushi Sakuraba & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Hirooki Goto & Wataru Inoue
Shibata and Goto start the match and go back and forth with forearms and ends with Goto dropping him with a lariat and Shibata comes back with stomps. Sakuraba is tagged in and attacks with slaps to Goto in the corner and then Shibata in with big kicks to the chest of Goto.
Sakuraba is in and works for the back of Goto but he reaches the ropes as Sakuraba tries for a submission and Goto tags in Inoue. Sakuraba tries for a heel hook and Inoue makes it to the ropes. Sakuraba mounts him but they are stood up as Inoue gets to the ropes Sakuraba tags in Inoue and they double team him with leg locks.
Shibata knocks Goto off the apron with a big boot and then into a high angle german suplex by Inoue, who tags in Goto. Goto hits a big lariat to Shibata and knocks Sakuraba off the apron. Shibata catches the leg and attacks the knee and applies a rear-naked choke and Inoue breaks it.
Goto with a death valley driver on his knee (Sheamus’ Irish Curse back breaker) and then Goto no sells a suplex from Shibata and then Shibata no sells a lariat and hits Goto with a big boot.
Inoue fires up on Sakuraba and tries for a german suplex but Sakuraba counters with a kimura attempts and then runs into a knee from Inoue and Sakuraba shoots for a single and rolls through and hooks the leg of Inoue for the win at 11:08 with the finish coming out of nowhere.
Sakuraba bowed to the crowd as he exited to the back.
Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Kengo Mashimo in a non-title match
The beginning of the match sees the two exchanges boots to the face and quickly escalates with both going for head kicks and stomps.
Mashimo is toying with Nakamura and he responds by attacking Mashimo with knees to the body and Mashimo runs into another knee in the chest and a running knee to the ribs of Mashimo that knocks him to the floor.
Nakamura with the back cracker and over head suplex to Mashimo and goes for shining wizard but Mashimo cuts him off with dropkick
Nakamura went to come off second rope and slipped off, went back and hit a knee from the turnbuckle and a running shining wizard for the win at 11:21.
After the match Taka Michinoku came down to the ring with Killer Elite Squad and Lance Archer stated he wanted Nakamura’s intercontinental title and what he wants, he takes.
Kazuchika Okada v. Minoru Suzuki
Taichi is in the corner of Suzuki.
They start slow and Okada gives Suzuki a clean break out of the ropes and it builds from there with Suzuki attacking with a big boot and an applying an arm bar through the ropes before sending Okada to the floor where Gedo gets into Suzuki’s face and with the official distracted Taichi attacks Okada.
Suzuki uses a microphone cord to stretch the arm of Okada through the barricade. Suzuki applies a standing kimura and rolls to get on top with the kimura still applied and Okada makes it to the ropes.
Okada hits a DDT coming out of the corner, they both stand and trade forearms (by this point this spot has been done way too much on this show).
Okada signals for the Rain Maker lariat but Suzuki counters with sleeper hold and Okada fights out of it but takes a running boot to the face by Suzuki and re-applies the rear-naked choke and Okada struggles to his feet as the crowd cheers him on and Suzuki lets go and Okada lifts Suzuki with a back breaker onto his knee and a high angle death valley driver for a two-count.
Suzuki counters a tombstone attempt by applying a Fujiwara armbar. Okada is out and then a standing guillotine is applied by Suzuki, who lets go to go for the Gotch style piledriver that Okada blocks and goes for a knee bar on Suzuki and Taichi distracts the referee. Okada goes for Taichi and allows Suzuki to apply a rear-naked choke as Gedo grabs the crutch of Taichi and Suzuki is sent into Taichi and Okada goes for the tombstone that Suzuki blocks.
Suzuki with repeated slaps, Okada goes for the Rain Maker again and Suzuki blocks with slaps and hits the Gotch piledriver to pin Okada in 16:00.
Suzuki-Gun (Suzuki, Killer Elite Squad, Taichi and Taka Michinoku) are in the ring after the match and Suzuki cuts promo on Okada and Gedo at ringside.
They run a video package on the main event with comments from Karl Anderson about all his hard working paying off for this title shot and was well done. Anderson discusses how fans in Japan didn’t know who he was when he started because he didn’t come from WWE and his goal was to earn their respect and wants to stay in New Japan forever and calls it the best pro wrestling in the world.
Hiroshi Tanahashi v. Karl Anderson for the IWGP Title
The crowd is beyond both at the start of the match.
Anderson is over powering Tanahashi at the start but Tanahashi gets advantage after a reverse cross off the turnbuckle and goes after the right knee of Anderson.
Anderson with an Ace Crusher as Tanahashi is on the outside apron and gets sent to the floor. Anderson sends him into the steel barricade and attacks with uppercuts on the floor and a neck breaker over the barricade.
Anderson continues to work on him back in the ring, misses with a jumping knee that Tanahashi had worked on earlier in the match. Anderson hits a running senton and gets a two-count. Tanahashi with a scoop slam and somersault onto Anderson off the second turnbuckle and goes back to attacking the right knee of Anderson.
Anderson heads to the floor and Tanahashi hits the high fly flow (crossbody) off the top to the floor. Anderson responds attempting a vertical suplex to the floor but Tanahashi lands on the outside apron and takes a jumping knee from Anderson and both are down selling. Anderson lifts Tanahashi to the top and goes for a superplex but Tanahashi stops him, drops him down to the mat and teases the frog splash, Anderson back up and hits a big boot and hits the TKO from the top for a near fall and the crowd is really into the match by this point.
Anderson climbs back to the top and hits a jumping neck breaker for another near fall. Tanahashi blocks an Ace Crusher and are both are down. Anderson with a running bicycle kick but then takes a dragon screw leg whip, blocks the Ace Crusher and takes down Anderson and uses a Michinoku driver before climbing to the top and goes for the frog splash and Anderson gets his knees up.
Anderson makes a comeback and hits a sit out powerbomb for a two-count as crowd pops huge and is on their feet for a series of near falls by Anderson.
Tanahashi snaps the knee twice as crowd chants “High Fly Flow”. Anderson hits the Razor’s Edge and gets a two-count. Tanahashi hits the sling blade but Anderson is back up.
Tanahashi blocks the Ace Crusher and hits his own Ace Crusher for a near fall on Anderson. Tanahashi to the top and hits the crossbody and climbs back up for the frog splash and hits it this time for the win at 25:11 – excellent match.
After the match Anderson bows to Tanahashi and shakes his hand.