New Japan Pro Wrestling
“Road to New Beginning – Night 2”
February 1, 2015
Korakuen Hall – Tokyo, Japan
We continue the road to The New Beginning as New Japan Pro Wrestling makes its return to Korakuen Hall this morning. Who needs the Superbowl when you have Yujiro Takahashi headlining? He’ll team up with Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson to take on Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto and Katsuyori Shibata. More tag team, six man and even eight man tags await on this card, so in other words, nothing completely special. But it is Korakuen Hall, so hopefully we’ll have some fun matches in store. After all, the show two days ago was perfectly fine and there was nothing there but a hard camera. New Japan would have to try really hard to have a bad card at this point. But I digress; let’s get to the action.
Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu vs. reDRagon: Komatsu’s shoulder is taped up, probably from the match a couple of days ago. The champions started out strong, out wrestling the young lions until Tanaka makes the hot tag to Komatsu. Komatsu hits an elbow that leads Tanaka into locking a half crab. The youngster go for a double half crab on both members of reDRagon but they get the ropes. reDRagon comes back and gets a nearfall with an assisted knee to the throat. They eventually finish them off with Chasing the Dragon. A fun match, and as usual the young lions looked great here. Starting to wonder though, shouldn’t this be the year they break out and start gaining momentum? ***
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Jushin Liger & Tiger Mask vs. Manabu Nakanishi & Captain New Japan & Mascara Dorada & Jay White: Not hard to determine who’s doing the job here. And surprisingly, it might not even be Captain New Japan for once. Dorada and Tiger Mask go it and as usual, Dorada looks great. Liger & Tiger Mask go at it on CNJ before Tenzan comes in. Nakanishi should stick to only doing lariats at this point because at this point I think it’s the only thing he does that doesn’t look sad. He has Kojima in the torture rack and it takes all three of his partners to break it up. Kojima goes for the lariat but Nakanishi hits the spear. White is tagged in and goes at it with Tenzan, including hitting a nice missile dropkick. Dorada responds with a huge splash that takes out Liger & Tiger Mask. White is isolated as Tezan cuts him off with a spinning heel kick and what I guess was a modified neckbreaker for the victory. Pretty good as well. **3/4
Ryusuke Taguchi & Kushida & Alex Shelley vs. Kenny Omega & Young Bucks: I am very, very sure Kenny Omega’s new theme is inspired by One Winged Angel (the final boss battle music against Sephiroth) from Final Fantasy VII. Take a listen if you’ve never heard it before. Especially since, you know, that’s the name of his finisher too. Everyone’s rivals square off with one another. Taguchi hits a huge plancha on Omega as he’s wiped out. Timesplitters go wild until Omega takes out Kushida and the Young Bucks counter. Kushida is worked on for a bit until Taguchi goes for the hot tag. Shelly is in but the Young Buck double team him. It breaks down into a six man battle. They manage to isolate Kushida and they hit a triple kick but Taguchi and Shelley break it up. Young Bucks miss the more bang for your buck and Kushida and Shelley counter with an assisted sliced bread #2 on Nick for the win. Very good match as it was given time and everyone looked good. ***1/4
reDragon come in right after the bell rings to lay waste to the Timesplitters after the match, hyping the three-way for The New Beginning.
Tetsuya Naito & Tomoaki Honma vs. Kazushi Sakuraba & Toru Yano: Naito and Yano start off and, well, Yano starts off with his usual antics. Sakuraba and Honma come in and they grapple. Yano does his turnbuckle bit then brings in Honma who gets whipped into it. Honma comes back, deadlifting Sakuraba with a suplex then tags in Naito who comes in, guns blazing. Sakuraba catches him in an armbar but Honma breaks it up and starts going after Yano. Kokeshi headbutts arrive for both Yano and Sakuraba then Honma follows with his top rope kokeshi but Yano ducks. Using the referee as a distraction, he low blows Honma and Sakuraba follows with a kick as Yano rolls up Honma, grabbing the tights for the win. Better than I thought it would be, that’s for sure. **1/4
Kazuchika Okada & Yoshi-Hashi vs. Bad Luck Fale & Tama Tonga: Bad guys control the match early as they brawl into the crowd, including Bad Luck Fale choking out YH with a shirt. Okada is taken out here too as the concerned fans take pictured. I found that to be funny, for whatever reason. They work on Yoshi Hashi for a while. Hot tag to Okada who goes after Fale. Fale and Tonga come back as Fale hits a big splash on Okada for a nearfall. Yoshi Hashi takes out Tonga with a plancha as Okada tries for the rainmaker, but Fale cuts him off with a lariat and hits the Bad Luck Fall for the win. They’re clearly going somewhere with this angle, probably resulting in a decisive win for Okada in the end, but we’ll see where this goes. Not much of a match beyond that. **
Togi Makabe and Yuji Nagata vs. Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii: Nakamura taunted Nagata before the match, doing his pose. Nagata has the armbar locked in early and works on the arm. Nakamura escapes and tags in Ishii and soon it’s he and Nakamura against Nagata. Ishii has him in a corner and punches him until he starts no selling, but he’s quickly taken down again. Makabe is tagged in and comes back , laying out Ishii with a lariat and a kneeling powerbomb for a nearfall. Its back to Nakamura and Nagata as Nagata lock in the armbar again but Ishii breaks it up. Nakamura hits the boma ye but Makabe breaks it up. Ishii takes care of him as Nagata takes out Nakamura. Knee strike to the head followed by a brainbuster but Nakamura kicks out at one, only for Nagata to hit the backdrop driver for the pinfall. Very good match, the last couple of minutes were really fun. ***1/4
Hiroshi Tanahashi & Hirooki Goto & Katsuyori Shibata vs. Karl Anderson & Doc Gallows & Yujiro Takahashi: The entire Bullet Club (at least, the ones who wrestled here tonight) came out for this one. Anderson and Goto start things off. Eventually Tanahashi and Yujiro are tagged in and Tanahashi is in control until the Bullet Club grab him after a splash attack and they take him into the crowd and beat him up. Shibata comes in and beats up Anderson and Gallows until tagging in Tanahashi again who goes after Yujiro. Heels isolate Tanahashi. He manages to survive as the tag team champions come in and Shibata hits the PK. Tanahashi follows with the Styles Clash and the high fly flow as he picks up the win. This was fine, but nothing overly special in all honesty but with Tanahashi here it was a bit more heated than usual. Also, despite all of them being there, Bullet Club really didn’t do much of anything. Oh well. **1/2
Komatsu throws Tanahashi his air guitar to him at ringside and starts playing to close out the show.
Like the previous show, nothing was blow away here, but this was still a fun show to go through. Shows like these are designed to lead to the next big shows, so in that regard the show did exactly what was needed to make both New Beginning shows feel important.