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
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.
Kazuchika Okada ‘Embarassed’ Jay White is IWGP World Heavyweight Champion
Kazuchika Okada is none too pleased that Jay White is currently the IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, and made those thoughts clear ahead of their IWGP World Heavyweight Championship match taking place at Wrestle Kingdom 17 on January 4th, 2023.
Okada spoke about White’s status during an interview with Sports Illustrated:
“I find Jay White’s attitude embarrassing, to be honest. It’s a disgrace to have him representing New Japan Pro-Wrestling as our top champion, and that’s why I have to show just how great an Okada title match is at the Tokyo Dome—and to end that era of his.”
Okada also spoke about working with Tony Khan’s AEW promotion, who worked with NJPW for their crossover event ‘Forbidden Dorr’ back in June of this year.
“There are places where they win out over NJPW, and areas where New Japan is superior as well. I think both sides came away with something to learn and work on, and I’d love to have another event with those lessons learned.”
Okada expressed his desire that the next crossover event happens in Japan.
“Last time was in the U.S., so let’s have it in Japan next time.”
Davey Boy Smith Jr. Done with New Japan
Dave Boy Smith Jr. may be done with New Japan Pro Wrestling, ending a relationship he has had with the promotion since 2011, according to various reports, and effectively ending his partnership with Lance Archer, who together formed the Killer Elite Squad tag team.
Smith is still involved with Major League Wrestling where Smith Jr, Teddy Hart, and Brian Pillman Jr comprise the Hart Foundation, who are currently their tag team champions, and Teddy Hart is the middleweight champion.
Smith will receive a future MLW World Championship match as he recently won a fan vote.
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