New Japan Pro Wrestling finally returns in earnest this weekend with The New Beginning In Sapporo events. Here are all of my statistics and research for night one of the two-nights at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo. You can find statistics and research for night two here.
The primary singles matches include head to head statistics, venue statistics and notes. The undercard has many miscellaneous notes and recent trends.
For more in-depth and up to date statistics on NJPW throughout 2020, follow me on twitter, @TheChrisSamsa, visit my complete and re-organized NJPW 2020 statistics on SportofProWrestling.com, buy the Voices of Wrestling NJPW 2019 Year In Review eBook, and check out the Voices of Wrestling New Beginning Predictions and Preview Columns (Night 1, Night 2 – coming soon!)
NEVER OPENWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH
Hirooki Goto (c) v. Shingo Takagi
- Hirooki Goto is 3-1 in singles action at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, including a NEVER Openweight Championship victory over Juice Robinson in 2017.
- Shingo Takagi is 2-1 overall at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, including a G1 Climax victory over Toru Yano and an IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship victory (with BUSHI) over El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru at last year’s New Beginning.
- Shingo Takagi’s +22 fall differential is the best in NJPW over the last 180 days. Hirooki Goto’s +17 is third-best behind only EVIL and Takagi.
- Shingo’s last NJPW singles match was October 7 against Toa Henare. His previous two before that were the matches he split against Goto (August 11 – G1 Climax, September 22 – Destruction in Kobe)
- Two of Goto’s last four singles matches were against Takagi, but since their back-to-back battles in August and September, Goto has faced Jay White (loss, 27:40 – Power Struggle) and KENTA (win, 16:12 – Wrestle Kingdom)
Tomohiro Ishii v. EVIL
- Tomohiro Ishii has dominated the head to head series. Dating back to 2011, Tomohiro Ishii has defeated EVIL (previously known as Takaaki Watanabe) eight times. EVIL has never defeated Ishii in a singles match.
- EVIL is 7-2 overall in Sapporo at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, including a 2-0 singles record and a 5 match winning streak, dating back to New Beginning in 2018.
- Tomohiro Ishii is 5-3 overall at Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center, including an IWGP Tag Team Championship win in 2017 and his lone singles victory in the venue during the 2019 G1 Climax win over Jay White.
- EVIL’s +18 fall differential over the last 180 days is second only to LIJ unit-mate, Shingo Takagi.
- Ishii enters this match riding a four-match losing streak in singles competition. His last victory was August 4 against Toru Yano during the G1 Climax tournament
- EVIL enters this match riding a three-match losing streak in singles competition. His last victory was August 3 against Will Ospreay during the G1 tournament.
Jon Moxley, Kazuchika Okada v. Minoru Suzuki, Taichi
- Jon Moxley has only competed against one of the three other competitors in this match; he defeated Taichi in 7:36 on the B block’s first night of G1 Climax competition on July 13th.
- Moxley is 3-6 in tag team matches in NJPW.
- Okada is undoubtedly familiar with both competitors on the other side of the ring. He has opposed Minoru Suzuki and Taichi a combined 137 times dating back to 2009.
- Kazuchika Okada successfully defended his IWGP Heavyweight Championship against Minoru Suzuki on February 5, 2017 in Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center.
SANADA, Tetsuya Naito v. Jay White, KENTA
- This is a rematch of the New Year Dash main event where SANADA and Naito defeated White and KENTA in 13:58 when SANADA pinned Jay White.
- Tetsuya Naito enters this match with a perfect 11-0 overall record in 2020. His only two winning falls were during his singles matches at Wrestle Kingdom.
- KENTA and Jay White are a combined 1-13 over the last 30 days, their lone victory coming when Jay White defeated Kota Ibushi at Wrestle Kingdom.
Robbie Eagles, Ryu Lee v. BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi
- Hiromu Takahashi enters this match 10-4 overall since his return to action.
- Hiromu’s fall differential of +8 is the best in NJPW thus far in 2020; he has been the winning fall participant in his last four consecutive matches. Takahashi’s only losing fall since his return was to Robbie Eagles in Takahashi’s first match back during the Road To Tokyo Dome events at Korakuen Hall.
Ryusuke Taguchi, SHO, YOH, Will Ospreay v. DOUKI, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, El Desperado, Zack Sabre Jr
- DOUKI enters this match with a 1-11 record over the last 30 days. He has been the losing fall participant in each of his team’s 11 losses.
- SHO and YOH are 0-4 when teamed with additional partners over the last 30 days. They are 1-5 over this time with their lone victory coming at Wrestle Kingdom when they defeated El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori for the IWGP Junior Tag Team Championships.
Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe v. Yota Tsuji, Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan
- Toa Henare ended 2019 with a -57 fall differential; only Yota Tsuji (-60) and Yuya Uemura (-65) had worse. Henare’s 2020 has started a little bit stronger with only a -1 fall differential through six matches, including his winning fall on January 4 in the Tokyo Dome over Tsjuji.
- Manabu Nakanishi did not score a winning fall throughout all of 2019. Over the last 90 days, Manabu Nakanishi is 2-18 overall and he has been on the receiving end of all 18 losing falls. The former Young Lion Cup Winner, G1 Climax Winner and IWGP Heavyweight champion is just weeks away from his retirement match, certainly motivated to notch at least one more win under his belt as his career winds down.
Yuya Uemura, Tiger Mask v. El Phantasmo, Tajii Ishimori
- This is a rematch from October 19, 2019, during the Junior Tag League. In that match, Ishimori and El Phantasmo were victorious in 11:36 when Ishimori pinned Uemura.
- In that match, Uemura was the legal participant for 72% of the match while Ishimori and ELP maintained a 51%/49% split.