The first of two huge nights of professional wrestling action hits Sun Plaza hall in Hiroshima, as New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) presents night one of The New Beginning in Hiroshima. A huge IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match will headline the show, as Horimu Takahashi defends his belt bride against the powerhouse of Roppongi 3K, SHO. The IWGP Tag Team Titles will also be on the line, as The Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) defend against the former champs, Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) in the semi main. BUSHI will face Master Wato in a special singles match, and preliminary tag team matches round out the card, including a trio of young lions, Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji, versus the Minoru Suzuki-led trio of Suzuki, El Desperado and Kanemaru.
+ Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma vs Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA): this was a lot of fun. Honma is still compelling, in his limited role, and Naito seemed to be having some fun with him. This was all a set up for Ibushi/SANADA tomorrow night, and even though their G1 match was a bit of a stinker, I have some faith for tomorrow night
+ Master Wato vs BUSHI: this was one of Wato’s best singles matches to date, and I’m comfortable saying that it was mostly because of just how crisp BUSHI is. BUSHI busted out some old school tactics and manoeuvres and was an absolute standout, but that is not necessarily to say that Wato was bad, himself. I enjoyed this far more than I thought I would
+ Gabriel Kidd, Yuya Uemura & Yota Tsuji vs Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru): this match was all about the impending death of Yuya Uemura at the hands of Minoru Suzuki, and I loved every second of it. All three of the Lions were given so much time to shine against all three opponents, before the inevitable conclusion. Even with that conclusion coming, the final few minutes of this were something really special
– Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs SHO (IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship): this was a match of three parts, with the first and third being really great, but the middle portion was so slow and plodding I almost gave up on the match right there. I am listing this as a negative, because while overall it ended up being good, this was for a simple reason that becomes clear as the match goes on. This could and probably should have been so much better than it was, but at least the aftermath was interesting enough
– Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) (c) vs Dangerous Tekkers (Zack Sabre Jr. & Taichi) (IWGP Tag Team Championships): this was good, but it seemed to go so much longer than it needed to be with a pay off that anybody could see coming. I like babyface Taichi, and Sabre was on fire in this match, but whatever this new Tama Tonga character is meant to be is not doing it for me at all. I wanted to like this,
– CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, YOSHI-HASHI, Hirooki Goto & Toru Yano) vs BULLET CLUB (EVIL, Jay White, Yujiro Takahashi, Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo): despite my love of Ishii and White, this was garbage. I don’t think anything outside of what those two did did anything for me, up to and including the finish. Avoid this
Should you watch this event: Both champion matches left a lot to be desired, and none of the tag team matches were worth recommending this show overall. I hope that tomorrow’s double title main event will be better, because I can’t recommend this show.