After the Road to New Beginning shows have wrapped up, we got two days at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Saporro for The New Beginning in Sapporo. Let’s look at day one.

Road to The New Beginning Day 2 (With Day 1 Recap)

Road to The New Beginning Day 3 Recap

Road to The New Beginning Day 4 Recap

Yuya Uemura vs. Ren Narita

We had a singles Young Lion match to start off the show. Late into the match, Uemura put Narita in a Boston Crab which he escaped eventually. Both these guys traded blows, and then Narita tried for the Belly-to-Belly German that got him a win recently. He got stopped, and then Uemura landed one of his own for a two count. Narita escaped another Boston Crab. Uemura landed a few strikes and then went off the ropes but got caught with the Belly-to-Belly German Suplex, which bridged into a pinfall to end the match. That move is beautiful.

Shota Umino & Ayato Yoshida vs. Toa Henare & Manabu Nakanishi

The final match involving Young Lions was Umino and Yoshida facing Henare and Nakanishi. Umino had Henare in an Armbar at one point which was broken up by Nakanishi. Henare landed a Samoan Drop on Umino for a two count. He also landed a Spear but Umino kicked out. He landed a Rock Bottom to finally put him away.

TAKA Michinoku & Takashi Iizuka vs. Tiger Mask & Hiroyoshi Tenzan

Takashi Iizuka made his way through the crowd with TAKA before this match. This is one of Iizuka’s last matches as he has his retirement match on the 21st. The fight went deep into the crowd here, with Iizuka taking a chair to Tenzan. They did a 19 count spot with Tenzan after. The match ended via DQ after Iizuka used a chair in the ring. Tenzan was hit with Iizuka’s iron glove. Nothing much to say about this match quite honestly. It was a thing.

YOSHI-HASHI, Tomoaki Honma, Toru Yano, Togi Makabe & Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Tanga Loa, Tama Tonga & Taiji Ishimori w/ Jado

After winning their 6-man belts on the last show, Taguchi, Yano and Makabe teamed with Honma and YOSHI-HASHI to face Owens and Takahashi, and the former champions, Loa, Tonga and Ishimori. Early on in the match Jado hit Honma with a kendo stick when he tried for the Kokeshi. Tonga shouted at Jado since he doesn’t like cheating. Takahashi tried putting his boot in the corner for a ring, letting Owens shove Honma’s head into it, but Tonga stopped it twice. His teammate shoved him off the apron and talked to him. He was then tagged in and had to shove Honma onto boots, but did it so slow that Honma reversed it. Taguchi gave Jado a hip attack and then did a Crossbody to the outside onto Taiji. Yano gave Takahashi a low blow and roll-up to end the match. Not a bad match. If they’re trying to emphasize how Tonga is dragging the team down, maybe that should be more a part of the finish.

El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi w/ Miho Abe vs. Shingo Takagi, BUSHI & Tetsuya Naito

Tonight was the final preview match for Tetsuya Naito versus Taichi for the Intercontinental Championship match, which is on tomorrow’s show. Since this is a big show, Miho Abe was in Taichi’s corner. Taichi bent the ropes open for Naito and did not jump him before the bell. Wow. When the match started, others went outside the ring to fight while Naito and Taichi stared each other down. Later on when the fight went into the crowed, Taichi was fighting with Naito. Taichi finished the match against BUSHI, landing a Back Body Drop while Naito was held to watch in the ring. A good finish to promote the match tomorrow, while not making either guy look weak.

Minoru Suzuki vs. SANADA

The next match was a singles match between Minoru Suzuki and SANADA. YOSHI-HASHI joined the Japanese commentary booth. After a couple minutes of in-ring action, Suzuki brought the fight to outside the ring. He used a chair near the commentators, and then used a chair as a weapon, detaching it from a row. He threw a barricade on SANADA, and then put a few more chairs on him. Suzuki got a small cut on his cheek. SANADA got back in the ring around the 17 count. SANADA put in a Skull End at one point but SANADA let go of it. He tried for a Moonsault but Suzuki put his knees up. Suzuki tried for a Gotch Style Piledriver but SANADA reversed it into a Back Body Drop. SANADA did a roll-up which got reversed into a Rear Naked Choke which he got out of. After a combo of moves, Suzuki landed a Gotch Style Piledriver to end the match. I had no complains about this matchup.

Zack Sabre Jr. w/ TAKA Michinoku vs. EVIL

The second singles match was ZSJ versus EVIL. This match was a classic ZSJ match where it didn’t rely on big bumps to entertain. EVIL brought ZSJ to the rampway at one point and tried for a much but instead Zack put in a move. EVIL got out of the move by landing a Fisherman Buster. Back in the ring, EVIL landed Darkness Falls for it to be kicked out at like, one. EVIL did a good move where he made the ref hold ZSJ’s leg for a kick. EVIL landed a Superplex and then landed a clothesline off the ropes for a two count. EVIL then tried for the Everything is EVIL, but ZSJ reversed it into a roll-up. He was unsuccessful. Later on, another Everything Is EVIL got reversed, and then EVIL reversed ZSJ again to land an Everything Is EVIL and win the match. I like how ZSJ always goes at this slow but epic pace in singles bouts. I enjoyed this.

Bad Luck Fale & Jay White vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hiroshi Tanahashi

In a big main event, Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi teamed up to face Bad Luck Fale and Jay White. White told the commentary table that they were a dream team since they were “the first Kiwi team to main event in Sapporo.” The commentary kept putting over White as the favourite for when he faces Tanahashi. Fale felt nearly invisible during this whole match. If there was an alternate dimension where a two on one match would still seem even, Fale wouldn’t have been booked for this. White fought with Tanahashi outside the ring at one point, putting a barricade and a Young Lion on him. Okada got a hot tag on Fale, doing a DDT and then a kip up. He landed a slam, and then went to the top for a move. Fale dodged the top rope move and then landed a Samoan Drop. Fale landed a standing Frogsplash for a two count. Tanahashi and White fought outside the ring. Fale tried for a Grenade but Okada got out. Okada tried to lift Fale, and then Fale tried for a Bad Luck Fall. Neither worked. Tanahashi got tagged in with White. They faced off and then traded blows. Tanahashi hit a Swingblade for a two count. Tanahashi went off the ropes but got his leg held by Gedo. This let White do a German Suplex into a pin, with Tanahashi kicking out. The crowd was chanting Tanahashi’s name at this point. Tanahashi gave Fale a Swingblade, and then Okada gave White a Dropkick. Both guys popped off at the same time.

Okada landed a Tombstone Piledriver, and then Tanahashi did a Styles Clash, and then Okada did an Elbow Drop, and then Tanahashi went to the top for a High Fly Flow but was stopped as Fale came in while Gedo was on the apron. Fale gave Okada a Grenade, and one for Tanahashi. White did a Death Valley Driver but Tanahashi kicked out. White tried for his finisher but Tanahashi turned it into a Twist and Shout. He also gave Fale one. Gedo got on the apron, giving White the chance to use a chair. He couldn’t use it as he was given a Swingblade. Tanahashi did a German Suplex on Fale which was impressive. Gedo got in the ring and swung at Tanahashi but didn’t succeed at attacking. When the ref was distracted, White used a chair to attack Tanahashi’s already injured leg. He did many more moves on the leg. Tanahashi was in an Inverted Figure Four, while Okada was held off by Okada, including a Bad Luck Fall being landed. Tanahashi eventually tapped out.

What a great match this was. This match did a great job at putting over Jay White. I love how they’ve been building him this whole tour. It’s truly been well done. I loved how the near perfect finishing sequence by Tanahashi and Okada was disrupted. I’m more than happy with this main event. After the match, White cut a good promo after the match while wearing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.

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