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NJPW: Minoru Suzuki Captures IWGP Intercontinental title

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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.

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.

https://youtu.be/HE0V2h4kQZU

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

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

IWGP

Tetsuya Naito Posts Video Aimed at Chris Jericho

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With Chris Jericho set to defend his IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Tetsuya Naito at Wrestle Kingdom 13, the trash talk has started.

Naito posted the following video, via New Japan Pro Wrestling’s official YouTube channel, where he mocks the future WWE Hall of Famer.

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New Japan Pro Wrestling

WWE Reportedly Interested In KUSHIDA

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IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion KUSHIDA is reportedly drawing interest from WWE, according to a report from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter.

KUSHIDA, 35, has been the cornerstone of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s light heavyweight division and one of their most recognized stars, globally.

The report indicates that NXT is the destination if WWE were to lure KUSHIDA from New Japan.

With NXT globalizing, an NXT Japan seems like a natural progression for the brand and KUSHIDA could be in those potential plans moving forward.

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New Japan Pro Wrestling

Kenny Omega Talks How Wrestling AJ Styles Made Him Continue Wrestling

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The Elite’s Kenny Omega, who is set to become one of the hottest free agents in professional wrestling over the next few months, recently appeared on Chris Jericho’s ‘Talk is Jericho’ podcast and talked about how he almost quit wrestling.

Then, Omega stepped into the ring with A.J. Styles.

“I found that my in-ring performance was suffering because you know there’s an aesthetic look you have to maintain in professional wrestling” Omega stated when describing his mindset back in 2006. “If I’m cutting 20 pounds for a tournament or a fight and then I have to go to the ring I’m going to look like I came out of a dryer and it just didn’t jive. So if I was going to concentrate on one, the other was going to suffer.”

Omega then described how he approached an upcoming match with Styles, the current WWE World Heavyweight Champion.

“[It was] after that AJ match when I thought, ‘Oh my goodness there’s this guy who’s so much better than me but we have this chemistry together.’ It kind of showed me my true potential and maybe something that I could grasp and something I could achieve that I hadn’t seen yet.”

“It really made me look in the mirror and say to myself: ‘Jeez, even when I do these all-time jiu-jitsu tournaments I’m always going for a finish, I’m always trying to have that exciting match when really you should just be concentrating on getting that gold medal or whatever. So I found that I was actually and entertainer, I was a performer. So I was going to give this wrestling thing one more shot.”

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