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New Japan Road to the New Beginning 2/2/14 iPPV Report, Korakuen Hall
by Zach Dominello
Match 1: Yohei Komatsu and Sho Tanaka vs. Taichi and TAKA Michinoku
Good opening match. Taichi and TAKA did their usual comedy spots. Good moment during the match where Sho Tanaka went for a plancha, but was kicked before getting over the ropes by Taichi. Taichi was pretty vicious with his kicks. Taichi and TAKA’s repetitive stomps and “Oi” shouts were pretty amusing.
Taichi pinned Komatsu after giving him a kick to the face. TAKA spent the last couple of minutes of the match holding down Sho Tanaka.
Match 2: BUSHI, Tiger Mask and Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Jado, YOSHI-HASHI and Yujiro Takahashi
Jado did the Flair flop almost immediately after the match started. I think his Flair flop may be better than Flair’s. The maskless team had control of Tiger Mask for most of the match, using a lot of tried and true heel tactics. Liger got the hot tag and cleared house via running slaps. Jado went Randy Orton on BUSHI by hitting a top rope hanging DDT and even going for a punt kick. Fairly quick match with BUSHI reversing Jado’s crossface into a pin to get the win. Good match by all involved.
Match 3: Captain New Japan and Tomoaki Honma vs. Takashi Iizuka and Toru Yano
We got the usual chaotic start to the match with Toru Yano and Takashi Iizuka immediately taking the fight into the crowd and using chairs as weapons. Iizuka picked up a fan’s chair to hit Honma with, but the fan’s jacket was still hanging on the chair. He hit Honma anyway. I don’t know what happened to the jacket.
They finally made their way back to the ring. Captain New Japan was in control until he (shockingly) missed his double clothesline. He’ll land that one day.
Oh boy, they went back into the crowd.
Back in the ring, Iizuka choked Honma to death (almost) with the mic cable, and then proceeded to choke himself. Weird guy.
Honma and the Captain won via DQ after getting beaten to death by chairs. Average match. It was OK when they were in the ring, which wasn’t much of the time. The crowd seemed to be into it though.
After the match, Honma and Captain New Japan were laid out by Iizuka’s iron fingers.
Match 4: El Desperado, Satoshi Kojima and Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Kota Ibushi, Manabu Nakanishi and Yuji Nagata
A mix of young and old in this match. More old than young though.
Nakanishi no selling El Desperado’s chops and then laying him out with a stiff forearm shot was fantastic. Nakanishi seemed to be immune to Desperado’s offense all throughout the match.
Ibushi performed a very spectacular handspring to back flip, hitting Kojima as he was perched on the top rope, and then landing on the outside ring apron. Very impressive.
Funny moment when Desperado was preparing to go for a dive, but had to stop and wait for Nakanishi to crawl out of his path.
Kojima hit Nakanishi with a lariat to get the win for his team. Good physical match. The older guys may be a bit slower than they once were, but they still know what they’re doing.
Wataru Inoue announced his retirement (Perhaps. My Japanese is very basic).
Match 5: Davey Boy Smith Jr., Lance Archer and Minoru Suzuki vs. Tama Tonga, Doc Gallows and “The Machine Gun” Karl Anderson
Hold on a second. Minoru Suzuki didn’t kick the young wrestler as he entered the ring. What is going on here? Has he moved on from that? Granted, he did back into the young wrestler and knock him off the apron. Different method, same result, I suppose.
There were a whole bunch of big angry men in this match.
Good exchange between Anderson and Minoru. Minoru reversed Anderson’s ace crusher into a sleeper hold twice in quick succession.
Lance Archer and Davy Boy Smith Jr. hit their double team powerbomb on Tama Tonga. Archer then got the pin.
Very physical and intense match by all involved.
Match 6: Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA (The Time Splitters), Ryusuke Taguchi and Tougi Makabe vs. Nick Jackson and Matt Jackson (The Young Bucks), Bad Luck Fale and Prince Devitt
Excellent, fast paced match. The Young Bucks and the Time Splitters work really well together. A lot of great tag team action in this match.
Prince Devitt got the win over Ryusuke Taguchi after hitting the top rope double stomp.
The Young Bucks must have said suck it about a million times during this match.
Match 7: Tetsuya Naito, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Hirooki Goto vs. Tomohiro Ishii, Shinsuke Nakamura and Kazuchika Okada
A female fan gave Nakamura a quick hug as he was making his way to the ring. He gave her a little shove to get her off. I don’t think he was impressed.
This was a really awesome main event. The crowd was clearly behind Ishii, Nakamura and Okada, but particularly Ishii. Naito and Tanahashi even got a few boos during the match. Each guy worked mostly with his counterpart for the upcoming New Beginning event, though Goto and Ishii did have an excellent lariat battle. Another good spot was when Tanahashi tried to attack Ishii and Okada in the corner, but he was caught and set up for Nakamura’s running knee.
This match really helped build up each pair’s rivalry, but Ishii and Naito were definitely given the spotlight. I liked how Ishii lured Naito to the outside by sitting down and refusing to get into the ring. Ishii then rammed Naito repeatedly into the barricades. Ishii is a monster. A lot of intensity was shown between those two.
Ishii beat Naito with the brainbuster. Great match
Overall the show was pretty strong. The final three matches were definitely the highlights. The main event was the match of the night,
Thanks for reading. See you again for the next show.