Okada remains IWGP Heavyweight Champion in Osaka
Kazuchika Okada nears a record-setting reign with the IWGP Heavyweight Championship after retaining the title against Hirooki Goto last Tuesday.
Okada, the 59th IWGP Heavyweight Champion, defended the title for the eighth time in Osaka.
Goto was not an easy opponent, and had Okada rattled with several big shots in the early stages of the match, not to mention his Shouten Kai signature move.
Okada was able to weather the storm from Goto though, and ultimately use a tombstone piledriver to weaken Goto enough for the Rainmaker lariat he has used to put away almost everyone on the NJPW roster.
Goto’s tag team partner, Katsuyori Shibata, approached Okada with his intention to be the next challenger for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship after the match. Okada’s response was simple, Shibata would first have to win the New Japan Cup in March.
The NEVER Openweight Championship changed hands in an epic back-and-forth bout between Tetsuya Naito and Tomohiro Ishii.
After trading near falls and kicking out of nearly every signature move either man had for more than 20 minutes, Ishii was able to put Naito down with a brainbuster.
Ishii is now just the third man to become NEVER Champion.
Kota Ibushi wowed the Osaka audience with his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship defence against El Desperado.
El Desperado emerged in NJPW on January 4 to challenge Ibushi for the title, and finally stepped in the ring with the champ at The New Beginning.
Both men looked capable to taking the win, but eventually it was Ibushi’s breathtaking Phoenix Splash that secured him the victory.
After the match, El Desperado was nothing but the picture of class, shaking Ibushi’s hand and strapping the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship around “Golden Star’s” waist in a sign of respect.
Bullet Club members Matt and Nick Jackson, The Young Bucks, retained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Alex Shelley and KUSHIDA.
Shelley and KUSHIDA, collectively known as Time Splitters, had attempted to take the titles from The Young Bucks at Wrestle Kingdom 8, and were stopped for a second time in Osaka.
Alex Shelley fell victim to the tandem offence of the Bucks and was pinned after a double-team tombstone piledriver and More Bang For Your Buck in Matt and Nick Jackson’s second title defence.
NJPW The New Beginning in Osaka Results:
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship:
The Young Bucks (c) def. Alex Shelley & KUSHIDA
- Katsuyori Shibata def. YOSHI-HASHI
- Davey Boy Smith Jr, Lance Archer & Minoru Suzuki def. Bullet Club (Doc Gallows, “Machine Gun” Karl Anderson & Tama Tonga)
- Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe def. Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale & Prince Devitt)
- #1 Contenders’ Match to the NWA Tag Team Championship:
Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima def. “Big Daddy Yum-Yum” Brian Wilcott & Michael Tarver
- Daniel & Rolles Gracie def. Kazushi Sakuraba & Yuji Nagata
- Jushin Liger & Hiroshi Tanahashi def. Shinsuke Nakamura & Yujiro Takahashi
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship:
Kota Ibushi (c) def. El Desperado
- NEVER Openweight Championship:
Tomohiro Ishii def. Tetsuya Naito (c)
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship:
Kazuchika Okada (c) def. Hirooki Goto