New Japan Pro Wrestling News and Card Announcements Thread
NJPW has released the cards for the two shows that will headline the New Beginning 2017 tour:
New Beginning In Sapporo 2/5
Hirai Kawato/KUSHIDA vs El Desperado/Yoshinobu Kanemaru
Yuji Nagata/Satoshi Kojima/Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs Henare/David Finlay/YOSHITATSU.
*Should be interesting to see if they give Finlay somewhat of a breakout here by having him pin one of the legends on the other side
Tiger Mask/Jushin Liger/Katsuyori Shibata vs Jado/Gedo/Will Ospreay
YOSHI-HASHI vs Takashi Iizuka
Dragon Lee/Manabu Nakanishi/Ryusuke Taguchi/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Michael Elgin vs Los Ingobernables de Japon
*This match teases three separate title matches from the next major show card and should include a lot of fun build as a result
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Roppongi Vice vs Taichi/TAKA Michinoku
NEVER Openweight Title
Hirooki Goto vs Juice Robinson
*This is Juice's first singles title shot and is a suitable and well-earned reward after playing his part admirably at WK11
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Toru Yano/Tomohiro Ishii vs G.B.H. vs Killer Elite Squad.
IWGP Heavyweight Championship
Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki
*The legendary MiSu, who holds two AJPW Triple Crown reigns and a reign with NOAH's GHC tile has never held the IWGP strap making this a potentially historic match, and Suzuki-gun as a whole has three chances to claim gold on this night after their big impact return
New Beginning In Osaka 2/11
Hirai Kawato/YOSHITATSU vs David Finlay/Henare
Satoshi Kojima/Hiroyoshi Tenzan/KUSHIDA vs El Desperado/Yoshinobu/Kanemaru/Takashi Iizuka
Tiger Mask/Jushin Liger/Yuji Nagata/Juice Robinson vs Jado/Gedo/YOSHI-HASHI/Hirooki Goto
Roppongi Vice/Kazuchika Okada vs Minoru Suzuki/Taichi/TAKA Michinoku
NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Title
Manabu Nakanishi/Hiroshi Tanahashi/Ryusuke Taguchi vs BUSHI/EVIL/SANADA
RevPro British Heavyweight Championship
Katsuyori Shibata vs Will Ospreay
*Fucking Wow. Especally considering that Ospreay being a fulltime RevPro guy puts him in position to possibly even win this match, which would be his biggest singles win on a NJPW card
IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship
Toru Yano/Tomohiro Ishii vs G.B.H. vs Killer Elite Squad
*I have no clue what the thinking is running this same match on both cards, but I'm willing to give Gedo and Jado the benefit of the doubt as far as having a plan for why
IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship
Hiromu Takahashi vs Dragon Lee
Any time these two get in the ring with each other one-on-one---> Take my fucking money!(if you've never seen them face off, check out their matches at either last year's Fantastica Mania or at ROH's ASE VIII)
IWGP Intercontinental Championship
Tetsuya Naito vs Michael Elgin
Both cards offer a lot on paper, especially the title matches. Most notably though to accompany the Suzuki-gun return is that there is absolutely ZERO Bullet Club presence at either event. It should be very interesting to see where the BC goes after New Beginning. I continue to smell a faction split that includes a faceturn of sorts for The Elite.
Man, what a twist it would be if Minoru actually beat Okada, imagine the heat that would generate. If they're serious about this Suzuki-gun angle, LIJ or at the very least, Naito seems destined for a face turn, and the BC is on its last leg, I can actually see them putting the big belt on Suzuki for a few months.
Takahashi is quickly becoming my favorite Junior in pro wrestling today. I really enjoyed alot of his stuff in ROH, working with The Addiction, and as you said, that first match with Dragon Lee was awesome. High hopes for the rematch for sure.
Ospreay and Shibata is very intriguing, considering Ospreay's affiliate with RevPro, but more so because their styles are quite different. I'll be interested to see whether Ospreay morphs into more of a strong style for this match or each guy sticks to his guns and Ospreay does the flying and Shibata just tries to kick his head off.
There's alot to look forward to on these cards, and the mystery surrounding Omega's status with the company will be something to keep a close eye on as well. Seems like NJPW is going to have a strong start to the year.
I actually just watched the Fantasticamania match and adored it, what both great talents. Hiromu has that "star" aura about him and seems like a genuine lunatic, compare him to Ambrose for example, who do you think is crazier?
Yeah I'm actually pegging Suzuki to win. By hook or by crook I believe he will get that belt. If not now then soon.
Chaos will retain on the first show then drop to KES.
Suzuki-gun returning as the new primary antagonists for CHAOS has my attention. Assuming they're filling the void left by a sabbatical taking Bullet Club, they need to win fairly big on these shows. There feels like an invasion aspect to this return and given how that played out in NOAH, I don't think it's overly far fetched to assume they take all the gold.
Okada needs something to do while Naito has the IC title, Shibata's tying up loose ends and Omega's on break. In turn, throwing the title on Suzuki makes him, his group and the return instantly meaningful as a big bad opposing Okada and the CHAOS leadership.
I would imagine that by the end of Osaka's show, K.E.S. have the tag titles and I see no reason Taichi and TAKA don't take the Junior titles. Both Ishii/Yano and Roppongi Vice feel like filler champions - there's more value in GBH vs. KES and portraying them as a little sympathetic, possibly beating CHAOS on show one only to lose them on show two via devious means accomplishes that.
In the grand scheme of things, I wouldn't be at all shocked to see Shibata win the New Japan Cup and dethrone Suzuki in the ensuing title shot, holding the title for a long, long time. That match would be quite the spectacle and I think Suzuki's a great foe for Shibata's inevitable coronation.
Ambrose generally jumps off of things and hits someone with his elbow, whereas Hiromu just goes full out sacrificial, contorting his body into whatever position he decides in mid-air before the resulting crash and burn.
Maybe Ambrose working the "WWE style" has something to do with it, or maybe Takahashi is just more athletic. Some combination of the two seems pretty reasonable.
I think that after Okada has retained his title against Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 11,it's time for him to lose this title to Suzuki. I guess that Okada takes it back later in this year and we get Omega Vs. Okada II next year where Omega wins the title. I can always dream, you know. :rolleyes:
I'm doubtful about who wins the InterContinental Title. Naito is coming a big successful title defense against Hiroshi Tanahashi of all people. And Elgin has won the Rumble match. But I would still give the win to Naito.
Omega finally ends the speculation and confirms he'll be resigning with New Japan in February.
Going to stick with my prediction of a New Japan Cup win and an IWGP Heavyweight Title win at Sakura Genesis to lead into G1 Special.
I know nothing about New Japan Cup but I think that Omega wins the G1 Climax again and then we get Okada-Omega II at Wrestle Kingdom 12 where Omega gets the big win and title.
New Japan Cup is a single elimination tournament in March where the winner ends up challenging for the singles belt of their choice at the April show. It's how Naito ended up getting the belt last year.
Winning the New Japan Cup is the most likely if they want him carrying the belt into California. Alternatively they could have him win the belt while in the States, but I see that as being the less likely of the two scenarios.
I don't know why but I think that there isn't a better place for Kenny Omega to win the IWGP Heavyweight Championship than Wrestle Kingdom 12 itself.
As of now, the Wrestle Kingdom 11 is the highlight of his career and I think that only the big title at the same event a year later could pass it. Big moments need to take place at big events, in my opinion.
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