The first night of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s New Beginning In Sapporo kicked off in a big way. In the evening’s main event, Suzuki-gun leader Minoru Suzuki defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship.
— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) January 27, 2018
Throughouth the match, Suzuki tortured Tanahashi’s injured knee with various leg locks. After 32 minutes, the referee stopped the match.
This ended Tanahashi’s second Intercontinental title reign, which last 230 days and featured four notable title defenses against Billy Gunn, Zack Sabre Jr., Kota Ibushi and Jay White.
As for Suzuki, this is his first IWGP Intercontinental title reign. He is also the first wrestler to bring the IWGP IC title to Suzuki-gun and is the only member in the stable who holds a NJPW championship.
No disrespect to past IWGP Intercontinental champions, but Suzuki could be a great holder of the title. He is popular with the crowd, he has an impressive resume and a devastating in-ring arsenal he uses to torture his opponents. He also has his Suzuki-gun stablemates ready to back him up and help him retain his title.
Depending on how NJPW books Suzuki’s title reign, fans could see the Suzuki-gun leader face off against several rising stars or big names in the next several months.
The evening’s other title bout, Bullet Club’s Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga and Tanga Roa defeated Henare, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Togi Makabe to retain the NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championship.
Below are the full results of New Beginning in Sapporo Night 1
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) January 27, 2018
Full results from New Beginning In Sapporo night 1
- Michael Elgin defeated Katsuya Kitamura (Kitamura Challenge Series, 0-2)
- Jushin Liger, KUSHIDA, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, and Tiger Mask IV defeated El Desperado, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, Takashi Iizuka, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano defeated Chase Owens and Yujiro Takahashi
- Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Roa defeated Henare, Ryusuke Taguchi, and Togi Makabe to retain the NEVER Openweight 6-Man tag team championship.
- Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, and Marty Scurll defeated David Finlay, Juice Robinson, and Kota Ibushi
- Hiromu Takahashi and Tetsuya Naito defeated Will Ospreay and YOSHI-HASHI
- Gedo, Hirooki Goto, and Kazuchika Okada defeated BUSHI, EVIL, and SANADA
- Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson defeated Jay White, SHO, and YOH
- Minoru Suzuki defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Night two of NJPW’s New Beginning in Sapporo will take place tomorrow at 1 a.m. EST on New Japan World.
The evening’s main event will feature “Switchblade” Jay White challenging Kenny Omega for the IWGP United States Championship. Roppongi 3K will face the Young Bucks for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship.
Full card for New Beginning Sapporo Night 2
- Juice Robinson vs. Katsuya Kitamura (Kitmaura Challenge Series, 0-2)
- Jushin Liger, Ryusuke Taguchi, Shota Umino, and Tiger Mask IV vs. El Desperado, Taichi, TAKA Michinoku, and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Leo Tonga and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano
- Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Tama Tonga, and Tanga Roa vs. Henare, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, and Togi Makabe
- Hiroshi Tanahashi and Michael Elgin vs. Minoru Suzuki and Takashi Iizuka
- Cody Rhodes, Hangman Page, and Marty Scurll vs. David Finlay, Kota Ibushi, and KUSHIDA
- Gedo, Hirooki Goto, Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay, and YOSHI-HASHI vs. BUSHI, EVIL, Hiromu Takahashi, SANADA, and Tetsuya Naito
- Roppongi 3K (SHO and YOH) vs. the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) (c) for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
- “Switchblade” Jay White vs. Kenny Omega (c) for the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship
Mercedes Mone Set to Star in New Film
Mercedes Mone (aka Sasha Banks0 has been casted in a brand new role, as she will be staring in the upcoming action-thriller film “The Collective” which has already wrapped, according to Deadline.
According to the reported rundown: “In the recently-wrapped film from director Tom DeNucci, a group of righteous assassins called The Collective take aim at a highly sophisticated human trafficking ring backed by a network of untouchable billionaires. With their backs against the wall, The Collective has no choice but to put their most important mission in the hands of rookie assassin, Sam Alexander (Till). What he lacks in experience he makes up for in savvy, grit, and a keen ability to improvise in the most dangerous situations. He is aided on his journey by Hugo (Gibson) and Liam (Johnson), former CIA operatives turned rogue vigilantes. They face off against Daisy (Rose), the cunning general manager of this evil, clandestine organization. Sam must prove to himself, Liam and Hugo that he’s Collective material on this life-or-death, take-no-prisoners mission.”
Mone will play Nikita.
Jay White Expected to Depart NJPW
New Japan Pro Wrestling is set to lose another big star as “Switchblade” Jay White’s contract is set to officially expire soon and he is not expected to re-sign with the company, according to Fightful Select.
According to the report: “Switchblade Jay White’s contract is up relatively soon and is expected to leave New Japan Pro Wrestling, per those in the company. Those that we’ve spoken to believe both WWE and All Elite Wrestling are interested in getting the former IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, however, WWE sources seemed confident they would land him,”
With AEW already working with White and featuring him on television, it would appear that they have the edge in securing his services. The same could be said for Impact Wrestling, but they likely would be outbid financially and don’t offer the same kind of visibility as either AEW of WWE.
WWE is looking to stock up NXT again with premier talent, and has already brought in a bunch of big names back to WWE, but would NXT appeal to White in the same way that a run on WWE’s main roster would?
Financially, WWE could have the edge, and perhaps provide White with much bigger exposure.
Will Ospreay Has Been Contacted by WWE
New Japan Pro Wrestling superstar and current IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay has confirmed that he has been contacted by WWE and revealed that it is something that he is considering.
Ospreay also mentioned some of the WWE names he would be interested in facing if he were to find himself in WWE.
“I’ve been approached by them, so I have a lot to think about” he said, according to Tokyo Sports. “I’ve mentioned Seth Rollins‘ name many times… Also, considering my history, it would be a dream to fight Ricochet again. I think that because I think we have become completely different wrestlers than when we fought in the past.”
Ospreay has competed for AEW, Progress Wrestling, Rev Pro, and Ring of Honor throughout his career, among others.
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