Saturday, March 7, 2020
Select Match Reviews: Tracy Chapman (NJPW)
Matches from NJPW New Beginning in Osaka 02/09:
1.IWGP Jr HW Tag Titles: R3k(c) vs Suzuki-gun(Desperado,Kanemaru) ***1/2
2.IWGP Jr HW Title: Hiromu(c) vs Ryu Lee ****1/4
3.IWGP US Title: Mox(c) vs Suzuki ****1/2
4.IWGP HW, IC Titles: Naito(c) vs KENTA ****
I had two others I considered watching from this show, but ultimately decided against them. That said, let's take a look at the matches I did pull, which just happened to all be championship contests.
Up first, the Junior Tag belts were on the line. Good use of story and strong work in general made this a very good defense. SHO and YOH are so damn entertaining and both have major potential to be big stars down the line on their own.
Next, we get the next chapter in one of the best feuds in wrestling. Hiromu's return was one of my favorite things about 2019 and a rematch versus Dragon Lee was inevitable once we learned that NJPW would continue to use him despite the CMLL bullshit. These two are incapable of a bad match together and are so excellent at their craft that they've literally never had the same match twice in all of their encounters. Just think of how much these guys trust each other. There's a magic on display when these two face off and the magic was evident once more here. Fantastic stuff!
The third pull saw Moxley defending the IWGP United States Championship against Suzuki in a violent battle. I love that Moxley is so dedicated to his character that he kept the AEW eyepatch gimmick alive for this one (as long as Minoru allowed it, at least). Too bad Jericho didn't watch this one before Revolution. Kayfabe is still alive, right? Anyway, I love Mox's NJPW and AEW runs in general and, if you know anything about these two, you should know what kind of spectacle to expect here. Now, turn that up to 11 and you're closer. This is required viewing!
Sabre's attack after sets up another promising battle.
The main event was a spectacle of its own, complete with ref bumps and Bullet Club shenanigans, but they made it work and this was actually a fantastic match. The color added heavily here, and the endstretch in general elevated things. I appreciated the slow burn as it nicely set up the climax. Naito the Almighty challenging Hiromu post-match was icing.
This show further proved what we all already know to be true: New Japan are the kings until they decide they no longer wish to hold the throne.