The most anticipated night of the New Japan New Beginning tour has arrived. The tour that follows a history two-night Wrestle Kingdom features a first-ever double championship main event title defense for Tetsuya Naito. Tonight also features three more title matches. One happens to be an international superstar in Jon Moxley defending his IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship in a dream match against Minoru Suzuki.
Tonight's action kicks off with an eight-man tag team match featuring a soon to be retiring legend, Manabu Nakanishi. He will wrestle the final match of his career on February 22nd on New Japan World 4:30 AM EST. The first match is underway featuring the eight-man clash as Yuji Nagata, Satoshi Kojima, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare, Tomoaki Honma, Togi Makabe. Satoshi Kojima pins Tomoaki Honma for the win for team Nakanishi. Nakanishi thanks the crowd for a 27-year career. Only four matches remain in his storied New Japan career.
The second match featured the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight tag team championship. Representing Chaos The four-time 61st champions SHO and YOH Roppongi 3K with Rocky Romero vs. The Suzuki-Gun duo El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Rocky Romero looking to even the odds with his sneaky style in efforts to help his team retain the titles. With the Strong X finishing move Roppongi 3K successfully defends the IWGP Jr. Tag team championship in their first defense. Taguchi comes down to the ring to address the champions.
After the match, Taguchi comes down to the ring because he wants to team with Rocky Romero to face Roppongi 3K for the IWGP Jr. Tag team titles. Rocky accepted Taguchi's offer to the team with Taguchi. SHO and YOH accept the challenge from the Mega Coaches. It's official Rocky Romero and Ryusuke Taguchi will face off against SHO and YOH for the IWGP Jr. Tag team championship.
Up next is a special eight-man tag team match. It features the current and former IWGP Heavyweight tag team champions. Making his return in this match after an illness Kota Ibushi as well. Earlier in the tour in America Guerilla of Destiny defeated Finlay and Juice for the titles in Atlanta for their sixth reign. The Ace Hiroshi Tanahashi, The Golden Star Kota Ibushi, David Finlay, and Juice Robinson vs. Bullet Club: IWGP Heavyweight tag team champions Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Chase Owens, and Yujiro Takahashi with Jado and Pieter.
Hiroshi Tanahashi pinned Tanga Loa for the win. After the match a post-match beat down by Bullet Club broken up by Ibushi saving Tanahashi from taking a Magic Killer from Tama Tonga and Tanga Loa. Former champs Juice and Finlay talking in the ring about a future title match. The new champs will have to face one if not both of these teams for the titles. Both teams lay claim to being the next challengers.
A special announcement of the G1 Climax tournament starting September 19th and 20th in Osaka. Also, a huge event called Wrestle Dynasty to happen on August 22nd in New York City at Madison Square Garden.
The fourth match features a preview of the RevPro British Heavyweight Championship match that sees Will Ospreay challenge Zack Sabre Jr on February 14th at York Hall. Zack Sabre Jr. and Taichi with Miho Abe vs Kazuchika Okada and Will Ospreay. With a Rainmaker Okada pins Taichi for the win. After the match, Will Ospreay taunts ZSJ with the title belt.
The fifth match features a special single match. LIJ member Cold Skull SANADA vs Bullet Club member Switchblade Jay White with Gedo. This is the first meeting between these two foes. Jay White defeated SANADA via the Blade Runner. This is a big win with the upcoming New Japan Cup coming in March.
Next is the sixth match and it is for the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship. The 86th champion Hiromu Takahashi vs ROH Television Champion Ryu Lee. It is Hiromu's first defense of title after defeating Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 14. It's been 582 days since they last met one on one leading to a year and a half long neck injury for Hiromu. That match took place in July 2018 in San Fransisco.
With a Time Bomb and pinfall, Hiromu Takahashi successfully defended the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight championship. It was hard-hitting from the opening bell. An over two minute slap fest leaving both men's chest purple. Ryu Lee dove through the middle ropes onto Hiromu into the Japanese announce tables and guard rails. It was an incredible fight that comes full circle for Hiromu. Wow! I honestly have no idea how either of these men is walking after that one.
The seventh match is arguably the most anticipated match for international fans. Let's get down to business. IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship: The 8th champion Purveyor of violence Jon Moxley vs The King of pro wrestling Minoru Suzuki. Jon Moxley successfully defended his title against Juice Robinson at the Wrestle Kingdom 14 night two events..This will be the second defense of the title for Moxley. Jon Moxley starts the match on the top of the ramp. Suzuki joins Moxley bringing two chairs to start the title match.
Jon Moxley successfully defended his IWGP United States Heavyweight championship. After the match Zack Sabre Jr. Attacked Moxley hitting him with the US title. He then proceeds to choke out Jon Moxley. The current British Heavyweight champion has staked his claim as the next challenger for the IWGP US Heavyweight championship.
The eighth match is the main event double championship match for the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental championship. Naito is the 70th Heavyweight and 24th Intercontinental champion in history. He is the first man to hold both titles simultaneously making history at the Tokyo Dome Wrestle Kingdom 14. KENTA attacked Naito post-match disrespecting tradition of the winner getting the last word. IWGP Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship: Tetsuya Naito vs KENTA with Bullet Club. This is the first defense of the heavyweight title and second defense of the Intercontinental title. KENTA along with Bullet Club comes to the ring with a loud ovation of boos. Naito approaches with loud Naito chants. The crowd is definitely ready for this mega main event match.
Tetsuya Naito retains the double championship. After interference from Bullet Club, being busted open with an exposed turnbuckle Naito prevails. Naito hit KENTA with Destino to finish the match. In closing Naito called out Hiromu for a challenge. It is a tradition to have the IWGP Heavyweight champion face the IWGP Jr heavyweight champion at the New Japan anniversary show. This means in the main event Tetsuya Naito will face his stablemate, Hiromu Takahashi. What a great night of wrestling action. Much to look forward to in 10 days for the next show when New Japan will be live on February 19th from Korekuen Hall. That night the legendary referee Tiger Hattori will be having a special retirement event. Live on NJPW World 4:30 am EST. Goodnight from Osaka-Jo Hall!