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Raziel

NJPW The New Beginning 2018

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Cards out, all 3 nights listed here instead of splitting:

 

The New Beginning in Sapporo Night 1 - 1/27 Hokkaido Prefecture Sports Center 

IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki (Suzuki-gun)

CHAOS (Jay White, SHO & YOH) vs. The Elite (Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson & Nick Jackson) (Bullet Club)

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto & Gedo) vs. LIJ (SANADA, EVIL & BUSHI)

CHAOS (YOSHI-HASHI & Will Ospreay) vs. LIJ (Tetsuya Naito & Hiromu Takahashi)

Kota Ibushi, David Finlay & Juice Robinson vs. Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Skrull)

NEVER Openweight Six Man Tag Team Championship: Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga & Tanga Roa) (c) vs. Ryusuke Taguchi, Toa Henare & Togi Makabe

CHAOS (Toro Yano & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens)

KUSHIDA, Tiger Mask, Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Suzuki-gun (TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanamaru & Takeshi Iizuka)
Kitamura Trial Series Match 2: Katsuya Kitamura vs. Michael Elgin

 

The New Beginning in Sapporo Night 2 - 1/28 Hokkaido Prefecture Sports Center 

IWGP United States Championship: "The Cleaner" Kenny Omega (c) (Bullet Club) vs. "Switchblade" Jay White (CHAOS)

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: The Young Bucks (Nick & Matt Jackson) (c) (Bullet Club) vs. Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (CHAOS)

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay & Gedo) vs. LIJ (Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, EVIL, SANADA & BUSHI)

Kota Ibushi, Dave Finlay & KUSHIDA vs Bullet Club (Cody, Hangman Page & Marty Scrull)

Hiroshi Tanahashi & Michael Elgin vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takeshi Iizuka)

Togi Makabe, Toa Henare, Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Tama Tonga, Tanga Roa & Chase Owens)

CHAOS (Toro Yano & Tomohiro Ishii) vs. Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & Leo Tonga)

Jushin "Thunder" Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Shota Umino vs. Suzuki-gun (TAKA Michinoku, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & Taichi)

Kitamura Trial Series Match 3:Katsuya Kitamura vs. Juice Robinson

 

The New Beginning in Osaka 2018 - 2/10 - Edison Arena Osaka

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: "Rainmaker" Kazuchika Okada (c) (CHAOS) vs. SANADA (LIJ)

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto (c) (CHAOS) vs. "King of Darkness" EVIL (LIJ)

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) (CHAOS) vs. Hiromu Takahashi (LIJ)

YOSHI-HASHI (CHAOS) vs. Tetsuya Naito (LIJ)

Gedo (CHAOS) vs. BUSHI (LIJ)

Toa Henare, Juice Robinson & Dave Finlay vs. CHAOS (Jay White, Toro Yano & Tomohiro Ishii)

Michael Elgin, Togi Makabe, Ryusuku Tagushi & KUSHIDA vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki, Takeshi Iizuka, Taichi & TAKA Michinoku)

Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) (CHAOS) vs. Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru & El Desperado)

Kitamura Trial Series Match 4: Katsuya Kitamura vs. Yuji Nagata

 

 

So much for Tanahashi taking time off, Jesus.

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Eh, it's tag matches that he can hide out in. 

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some good cards here. I must admit the Osaka show without the foreign talent does interest me most. mainly because it's focused.

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Interesting to see they're keeping Cody and Kota paired, though I guess neither guy has anything else to do right now. And they've an angle to further, I suppose. Mostly I'm happy to see they're sticking around, though. I'd like to see them have an active role in New Japan in 2018.

The two singles matches under the Junior title match also stand out, just because those usually only happen to set up a challenge. So, Bushi challenging his stablemate (or Ospreay, should he fail)? I guess Naito/YOSHI-HASHI could just be an example of classic "win to get your heat back" booking, because Naito challenging (a presumably victorious) Okada would seem very soon, especially considering he's got Jericho to work.

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I hope Kitamura beats Elgin.

I could see some titles changing hands at these shows for sure. Tana needs time off so I could see him dropping the IC belt. EVIL is getting better and better so I could see them giving him the NEVER belt to run with for a while and depending on what the plans for Omega are in the US (if they decide to do Omega/Okada in the US for example) I could see the possibility of White taking the US belt but that does seem like a step down for the belt right now and I'd like Juice to be the next US champ. I'm intrigued by where everything is going for sure.

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Guess Elgin's hanging around too, since he's in all 3 big shows and has the a tag with Tanahashi.

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Given the schedule, there's zero chance they're running Okada/Omega at Strong Style Evolved unless Omega's losing there.  That'll be Okada's record tying defense and he's not losing the belt during a Kobashi God-Tier reign and the shot at tying the Defense in a single reign record in the US, and I doubt that the next time they run Okada/Omega that Kenny isn't walking out the champ.  

 

That said, with the Heavy Title being in Osaka and not Sapporo this year (it's gone first the past few years), I have no idea how they get to an Okada defense in the States unless they blow the NJ Cup winner on it (Or they just don't run Okada in a singles match at all in the US)

 

However, I can't see then going into Long Beach with White as US Champ.  I'm thinking Bullet Club explodes on Night 2 and we'll get Kenny/Cody.

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19 minutes ago, Raziel403 said:

However, I can't see then going into Long Beach with White as US Champ.  I'm thinking Bullet Club explodes on Night 2 and we'll get Kenny/Cody.

This is sound logic--and I think you may be right--but man... I wasn't on board with White needing to beat Tanahashi, but another title loss right away wouldn't do him any favors. And you can run Omega/Cody in the US without a belt on the line, and have it be a huge deal. Let Cody cost Omega the belt, which sets that match up, and presents the interesting scenario of a CHAOS guy benefiting from BC help.

As for Okada: I'm done trying to guess when he's losing. I was wrong about Shibata, about Omega at Dominion, about Naito... If I just guess he'll win, I only need to be wrong one more time, when he finally does drop it.

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Am I wrong in thinking it's best to run Ibushi/Omega before the Cody match? 

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I think you could get to it really soon, or next January. Just depends. If now: Omega blames Ibushi for the rift, wants to show the BC he still has his edge. They could do the G1 thing this year. Or, they could put it off for the dome—which is what Omega has always said he wants—at which point it’s probably more of a “top this” competitive rivalry than a real blood feud.

It just doesn't seem to me Omega and Ibushi have as much to fight about, right now. The tension with Cody was there at Dominion, in the US, and now the shoving match. I also think it's a bigger match in the US than Japan, so it makes sense to run it in Long Beach from that perspective.

Regardless, I imagine we'll have a much clearer idea which way they're going after this tour. Cody probably isn't done trying to take Ibushi's head off, after all, if only to see how Kenny will react.

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If Omega is forced to choose between Cody and the Bullet Club and Ibushi, I don't see him choosing the former. My god, think of the insane amount of stories you could get from Omega and Ibushi taking on the Bullet Club. And then yeah, maybe it's all capped off with Omega challenging Ibushi when the dust has settled.

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Suzuki is gonna take Tana's bad arm off and beat him over the head with it. He'll probably be needing that time off after this little run. 

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I doubt they'd run Cody/Kenny at Long Beach and not at the show Cody and the Bucks want to do, but I guess it'd be out of their hands if New Japan wanted to run it first.

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4 hours ago, Raziel403 said:

So much for Tanahashi taking time off, Jesus.

It's entirely possible Suzuki takes him out on the first show. 

Of course I've been making hot takes for months about ways they can write Tana out.

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I'm figuring we end up with yet another "new" group with The Elite becoming a separate entity from BC. Kenny, Bucks, maybe Hangman... And maybe Ibushi.

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4 hours ago, West Newbury Bad Boy said:

It's entirely possible Suzuki takes him out on the first show. 

Of course I've been making hot takes for months about ways they can write Tana out.

There is no good reason he can't take time off now. If it's not too late to get surgery on his torn biceps, get that shit fixed up. I don't know what one can do for an arthritic knee, but I would hope taking time off would help.

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3 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

I'm figuring we end up with yet another "new" group with The Elite becoming a separate entity from BC. Kenny, Bucks, maybe Hangman... And maybe Ibushi.

this is exactly what will happen. Hot Topic and Pro Wrestling Tee's are raking in the cash off of Bullet Club and Elite. It would be foolish to end them. Seperating them could work though and still make all parties involved some big $$$

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Lost in the shuffle is the EVIL & SANADA vs. Okada & Goto IWGP Tag Title match @ Kouraken on Feb 6th. If the crowd's hot that one could be special.

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That's why I figure you keep Marty and Cody with Fale/Hijos del Haku/etc, to make sure the American Bullet Club money keeps pouring in.

There's a very good reason not to do this next part (it would mean no original BC members left) but you could also theoretically split Fale/Leo/Tama/Tanga off as G.O.D. while leaving Cody and Marty with the others. After all, more factions seems to be NJPW's number one booking plan.

I think you keep Hangman with The Elite just to keep the numbers up and throw ROH a solid and keep their six man champs together. 

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8 hours ago, Beech27 said:

I think you could get to it really soon, or next January. Just depends. If now: Omega blames Ibushi for the rift, wants to show the BC he still has his edge. They could do the G1 thing this year. Or, they could put it off for the dome—which is what Omega has always said he wants—at which point it’s probably more of a “top this” competitive rivalry than a real blood feud.

It just doesn't seem to me Omega and Ibushi have as much to fight about, right now. The tension with Cody was there at Dominion, in the US, and now the shoving match. I also think it's a bigger match in the US than Japan, so it makes sense to run it in Long Beach from that perspective.

Regardless, I imagine we'll have a much clearer idea which way they're going after this tour. Cody probably isn't done trying to take Ibushi's head off, after all, if only to see how Kenny will react.

I know it's neither the Tokyo Dome or the G1, but if they are both in the NJ Cup in the middle of march... Could be a possible final? You're right in that they do not have a reason to wrestle each other, so outside of a tournament forcing their hands, I don't see it happening. The timing would be pretty much perfect. Last year's tournament ended on March 20th (:( Shibata). The Long Beach show this year is on March 25th. Kenny/Ibushi in the final with the face turn -> Kenny vs. Cody at Long Beach, though it makes booking the latter match in advance awkward. I really feel like if we're going to get that crazy Kenny/Ibushi match we all want, it should happen before they reunite (and almost certainly it should be the catalyst to their making amends - WRESTLE AND ROMANCE). 

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I’d be happy with a New Japan Cup match between them, but—and I probably don’t need to point this out to anyone who spends any time in this folder—I’m irrationally, immediately sold on any interaction/match they might have. It was important to show Kenny’s glimmer of a conscience before BC kicks him out, otherwise it could be less a face turn and more “I’m afraid to be alone, please help”, which is still fundamentally selfish. But now, he’s already made that choice. A small step, but over a big line. 

They'll still need to fight no matter what, because that’s their dynamic, and Kenny’s brought up loving Yuri on Ice way way way too much over the last year not to see competition as the best bond forge there is.

I realize I’m veering a bit Tumblr, but the angle does encourage it. 

Anyway, more urgently, I’m really curious to see what Omega/White—A Knife in a Gun Fight!—looks like. Jay could use the win, and at least needs a lauded match. Kenny’s usually good for that much, but for all that he does well, you don’t often come away thinking the other guy was made the star of the show. But then, there are worse things than being an accessory to a Kenny Omega Match for someone who doesn’t have their own signature yet. 

Oh, and a motivated, vicious Suzuki given a wounded Tanahashi could easily be the best match of the tour. 

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Kenny started turning face back in Long Beach and cemented it later when he started speaking Japanese again to the audience before being attacked by Jericho.

 

 

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Yeah. I think I remember someone on this board having a pretty good write-up, detailing how the build to Dominion and the match itself essentially let Omega work face in the US, and that stuck to an extent. They've done a good job teasing it out, especially with his slow reintroduction of Japanese. I just think fully and emphatically turning means going back on his original sin with regards to Ibushi specifically. He joined the BC in the first place because he was jealous of Ibushi's rising star and wanted a shortcut; he reaffirmed that choice by putting the Club before Ibushi when the latter faced Styles for the IWGP Heavyweight title. So now, he's gotta give that all up, and put Ibushi before what is now his Club. He took at least one big step in doing that.

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Heavyweight tag titles suddenly mean something in New Japan. I am so thrilled. SANADA pins Okada to retain the tag belts then dies gloriouslyin his first title shot? Right? I'm excited. Jay White should not be challenging for another title already. If he loses again he looks like el chump supremo and if he wins we have a guy who didn't look too good in his big debut suddenly taking the title off a guy everyone loves. Suzuki as IC champ would be cool. Don't see them taking the belt off Goto so soon so I'm guessing he wins, EVIL beats him up a lot in the tag title match, they do a rematch and EVIL wins. EVIL and SANADA are so great, I don't mean to sound like I'm hating on all the hot topic dudes but them, Suzuki, and Tomohiro Ishii excite me way more than Omega or Ibushi or Jay White or the Young Bucks do. Speaking of Ishii why is he so de-emphasized lately? Unless maybe the plan is to have Suzuki hold the IC title forever and then drop it to Ishii at next year's Dome. My god that would be so awesome. Maybe they can also run some interpromotional matches with Miyahara, Suwama, Ishikawa and Soya too just to totally sate my fantasies...

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