NJPW The New Beginning In Sapporo Results (1/28/18): IWGP United States Title On The Line

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Photo: NJPW

The New Beginning In Sapporo shows from NJPW concluded tonight from Hokkaido’s Prefectural Sports Center Hokkai Kitayell. The show aired live on NJPW World and began at 1:00 am EST. The show had both Japanese and English commentary streams, so there was something for everyone.

Satoshi Kojima tore his ACL during the FantasticaMania tour and won’t be a part of The New Beginning shows. Also, after last night’s show and MiSu’s attack on Tanahashi’s leg, he is off the show, as well. No word on when Tana will return.

The main event for today’s show was Kenny Omega defending his IWGP US Championship against Jay White.

The New Beginning In Sapporo Results

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Photo: NJPW

Juice Robinson defeated Katsuya Kitamura.

Another one of Kitamura’s Seven Match Challenge bouts; I don’t think he will win one of them. He’s still a Young Lion, and unless they plan on graduating him soon (and he’s still too green for that), he’s going to keep losing matches. I know he needs to work with the vets and with others to learn his craft, but something just isn’t there with him. Can’t put my finger on it, but something is missing. And, someone needs to teach the man the proper way to deliver a chop; his are just dangerous looking. Juice won this one with Pulp Friction. No big surprise there.

TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Taichi, & Yoshinobu Kanemaru defeated Syota Umino, Ryusuke Taguchi, Tiger Mask, & Jushin “Thunder” Liger.

Why? Why do I have to tolerate Taichi at any time of the day or night? Can’t he find another job like in Siberia or something?? Plus, we need to find Miho a man; Taichi doesn’t qualify as one. Taguchi went after Miho immediately; he’s more a man than Taichi, but still…totally uncalled for.

Entertaining match for the most part, but everyone needs to leave everyone else’s masks alone (poor Tiger Mask). Umino was on fire in this one, and Taichi got his ass kicked by everyone…but still couldn’t keep his pants on, dammit. A kick to the head of Umino by Taichi got him pinned and got the win for SZKG.

Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii defeated HIKULEO & Yujiro Takahashi.

They have changed Leo Tonga’s name to HIKULEO just in case anyone was confused. Why? Who the hell knows? But, Yano and Ishii were in the match, so all is right in the world. They always improve my mood. Yano’s comedy antics and Ishii’s violent ass-kicking are the perfect combination.

Fun match with Yano’s terror of HIKULEO apparent at every turn, and Ishii just running over everyone he saw. But, Yano overcame his terror, hit a low blow, and rolled up HIKULEO for the win.

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Photo: NJPW

Chase Owens, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale defeated Tomoyuki Oka, Manabu Nakanishi, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, & Togi Makabe

Another match that felt like filler. Really didn’t care about anyone in it other than Ornery Uncle Nakanishi, so I basically kinda tuned out on this one. My enjoyment of most of the Bullet Club has dissipated to almost nothing, so I just don’t really care about their matches anymore. And, as for the opposing team, I don’t care about anyone but Nakanishi. So… Action in and out of the ring with Bullet Club basically dominating most of the match. Even Makabe, who doesn’t like to look weak or take a beating, got stomped some. Owens hit Oka with the Package Piledriver and got the pin and win for his team.

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Photo: NJPW

Takashi Iizuka & Minoru Suzuki defeated Toa Henare and Michael Elgin.

I really wanted MiSu to kill Elgin and then for Iizuka to gnaw his arm off. Hey, a girl can dream, can’t she?? MiSu and Iizuka attacked first, taking the action outside. Iizuka wailed on Elgin with a chair, and I cackled with glee. Then he choked him with a chair, and it was glorious. SZKG was out in force for this match, and they decided they needed to beat on Henare when he was on the outside.

I was very pleased every time Elgin got hit or kicked or bit, but it didn’t happen near enough for my taste. MiSu locked Henare in a leg lock, forcing him to tap out. Then, the entirety of Suzuki-gun came in and stomped the hell out of him. Makabe came out to save him and faced off with MiSu, so I guess we know what our next IC Championship feud will be.

Marty Scurll, Hangman Page, & Cody defeated KUSHIDA, David Finlay, & Kota Ibushi.

Cody and Ibushi in the ring together one more time. I’m telling you, this is all leading to Kenny killing Cody for messing with Kota. But, then there’s Marty and Page, and they make up for the soap opera-like drama. As for the opposing team, Ibushi is the best…Finlay and KUSHIDA are there as ballast. And, I think I am the only person in the world who doesn’t like KUSHIDA. Go figure.

Poor Marty spent the first part of the match with everyone trying to break his arm; don’t they know about the Chicken Wing?? David got destroyed by everyone. Ibushi finally got tagged in and took everyone out; Cody was not pleased. Page was vicious in this match, and he’s quickly becoming one of my favorites. Page got the pin on KUSHIDA, winning the match for his team. Damn good match. Once again, Cody and Ibushi had words after the match was over.

BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, EVIL, SANADA, & Tetsuya Naito defeated Gedo, Will Ospreay, YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto, & Kazuchika Okada.

Ospreay, Gedo’s beard, Goto, and Okada’s stupid pants all in the same match? Thank goodness for LIJ, otherwise, I couldn’t handle it. Happy birthday, SANADA, by the way; kick Okada’s ass. Tacos seemed hellbent on killing Naito; he was just mean and nasty to him. Will and Hiromu and EVIL and Goto fought out into the crowd, beating each other with chairs and guard rails. And, back in the ring, Naito finally got the upper hand on Tacos. These two have great chemistry. You wouldn’t expect it, but they do.

Will and Hiromu fought it out, and talk about great chemistry, they have it, too. I am ready for a singles match between these two. SANADA and Okada went at it, and I have a feeling that SANADA will be a great challenger for Okada’s championship. He won’t win, but the match will be great. They slugged it out, with each man getting the upper hand at one time or another. SANADA locked Gedo in the Skull End to get the win for his team. SANADA spoke after the match, which he never does, asking if Okada really wanted to hear his voice. Yep, this is our next IWGP Heavyweight Championship feud.

IWGP Junior Tag Team Championship
Roppongi 3K defeated The Young Bucks.

RPG 3K really needed to win the titles back tonight in a decisive fashion. I feel it was too soon for them to lose them at WrestleKingdom, and to the wrong team, too. Don’t get me wrong; I love The Bucks, but they’ve held those titles sooooo many times. Sho and Yo needed to establish themselves as the dominant Junior tag team in NJPW before losing the titles to anyone, much less The Bucks. Both teams are good, but Sho and Yo needed more time with the belts before facing the best tag team (IMO) in the business today.

The Bucks made RPG 3K look green at WK, and they did it again (somewhat) tonight. The Bucks went after Rocky, but his boys saved him. Then, Matt flew, taking everyone out (and you could tell he’s still having issues with his back after that move; it even gave out after an attempted move). Yo took a powerbomb on he ring apron…ouch. It was easy to see that Matt was really hurting for the remainder of the match, and he took a spill to the outside of the ring that couldn’t have helped matters at all (you could see the bruise forming before the match ended). The match itself was really good, but the fact that Matt was hurt (and limited in what he could physically do) took some of the shine off of it.

Nick finally got back in the match and was like a man possessed, taking everyone out. Matt got Yo in the Sharpshooter, but had to break the hold due to his back. He went for it again, and Yo rolled him up for the win. Not the decisive win they needed, but the right move to put the belts back on them.

IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
Jay White defeated Kenny Omega.

Main event time. I expected a really good match, but the outcome was kind of obvious from the outset. I didn’t see Jay winning when the match was announced, and I didn’t see him winning when the match started. Plus, I still don’t think the fans know what to make of “Switchblade”. They are kind of quiet whenever he’s in the ring. He’s good, a star in the making, so hopefully, he will grow on them. Nick was the only one of The Bucks out with Kenny tonight; hell, Matt can barely walk, so that made sense.

This was fast paced and intense, with each man just beating the hell out of the other. Jay ripped up the mats on the outside of the ring, slamming Kenny on the bare concrete. Everyone is going to have a bad back before this show is over. Kenny finally regained control of the match and punished Jay like Jay punished him. Kenny hit one of the prettiest V-Triggers I’ve ever seen him hit, then hit another one on the apron, knocking Jay to the floor. He took him out into the crowd and powerbombed him on the first row of chairs. Kenny and vicious are going hand in hand tonight. Jay seemed about out on his feet at this point, but that did’t stop Kenny from delivering a couple of snap Dragon Suplexes. Jay managed to fight back a bit, but got a V-Trigger to the back of his head for his troubles. Omega’s knees are things of beauty. Kenny went for the OWA, but Jay slipped out. He got his second wind and delivered a series of side suplexes to Omega. Jay hit the Blade Runner, but Kenny kicked out. He hit it again, and he pinned Kenny for the win and became the new IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion. After the match, Hangman Page came down to the ring, took the belt, and I guess we now know who will be the next challenger for the title.

Bullet Club drama ensued. Cody ran down, got in Kenny’s face, and that turned into a pushing contest. Kenny accidentally (?) pushed Matt down, and then Nick left Kenny to help Matt to the back. Cody attacked Kenny from behind with the Cross Rhodes, and I say that Kenny just got kicked out of Bullet Club. Cody got a chair, Page held Kenny up, and was going to hit Kenny, and Ibushi ran down to make the save, running everyone off. Ibushi held out his hand to Kenny, but Kenny shook his head.

And then they hugged it out in the ring with red streamers raining down, both so emotional. And, no, I didn’t tear up. And, no, this wasn’t a moment I’ve been waiting on for years. Great ending to a great angle…and to think: this is just the beginning.