New Beginning in Osaka preview
February 9, 2020
By: Lou Pickney
There's a solid lineup for tonight's New Japan Pro-Wrestling show at sold-out Osaka Jo-Hall, airing live worldwide on New Japan World. Should be a fun show.
1. Manabu Nakanishi & Hiroyoshi Tenzan & Satoshi Kojima & Yuji Nagata vs. Togi Makabe & Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare & Ryusuke Taguchi
This will be Nakanishi's final match in Osaka as he heads toward retirement at age 53.
2. IWGP Jr. Tag Title match: SHO & YOH (c) vs. El Desperado & Yoshinobu Kanemaru
The first defense of reign #4 as junior tag champs for Roppongi 3K. Both SHO and YOH have been talking of singles match aspirations in recent promos.
3. Juice Robinson & David Finlay & Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi vs. Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa & Yujiro Takahashi & Chase Owens
Kota Ibushi is still listed on the card; he had to miss the New Beginning USA shows due to Mallory-Weiss syndrome. In theory he could just stand on the apron and never tag in, but that's not how it works in New Japan.
4. Kazuchika Okada & Will Ospreay vs. Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.
Slotting on the card suggests a shorter match, but Ospreay never takes a night off and this will be the de facto go-home for Ospreay vs. Sabre in RevPro on February 14.
5. Sanada vs. Jay White
This will be their first-ever singles match. Non-title singles matches on major shows are always there for a reason in New Japan.
6. IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title match: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Ryu Lee
To this day, I'm still amazed that Hiromu finished his match against Dragon Lee at the Cow Palace. Took a Canadian Destroyer *after* having broken his neck. Ryu Lee noted at the press conference that he's now with Los Ingobernables and seemed to strongly hint an allegiance of some sort was brewing with him and LIJ.
7. IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship match: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki
8. IWGP Heavyweight & IWGP Intercontinental Double Championship match: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. KENTA
KENTA goofing on New Japan selling Naito-themed boxer briefs at the presser was hilarious.
They sold out Osaka Jo-Hall. Naito losing both belts in his first defense would be a major surprise, but one never knows for sure in New Japan.
See any mistakes, omissions, or needed corrections? Please let me know: @LouPickney