NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 Day 1 Coverage and Results

Hirooki Goto defends the NEVER Openweight Championship against Shingo Takagi in the main event

Today, New Japan Pro-Wrestling will hold the first day of their two-day event, The New Beginning in Sapporo. The event will be held at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center in Sapporo City, Japan. This event will be available to watch on their live streaming service, NJPW World. English and Japanese commentary are available.

Start times are as follows:

  • Pacific USA: February 1st, 1AM
  • Eastern USA: February 1st, 4AM
  • UK: February 1st, 9AM
  • Japan: February 1st, 6PM
  • East Australia: February 1st, 8PM

Video Links:
NJPW World (English Commentary)
NJPW World (Japanese Commentary)

The New Beginning in Sapporo 2020 Day 1 Card

Bullet Club (Taiji Ishimori & El Phantasmo) def. Tiger Mask IV & Yuya Uemura
The match began with both members of Bullet Club taking turns beating up Yuya Uemura. This built up to the hot tag to Tiger Mask. The crowd went wild as Uemura managed to put Phantasmo in a Boston Crab and hit him with his overhead suplex. Uemura got several near falls with a school boy and a small package hold. Taiji Ishimori submitted Yuya Uemura with the Yes Lock. (8:13)

Togi Makabe, Tomoaki Honma & Toa Henare def. Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Yota Tsuji
Exactly three weeks from today, Manabu Nakanishi will retire from professional wrestling. The youngest and most sprightly wrestlers in this match, Tsuji and Toa Henare, made for the high point of this match as they fought. Toa Henare pinned Yota Tsuji with the Toa Bottom uranage. (9:41)

SHO, YOH, Will Ospreay & Ryusuke Taguchi def. Suzuki-gun (Zack Sabre Jr., El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru & DOUKI)
This was a fast-paced match, no surprise considering the majority were junior heavyweights. The main focus was on the two upcoming title matches involving the participants: Zack Sabre Jr. defending the Rev Pro British Heavyweight Championship against Will Ospreay tomorrow, and Roppongi 3K defending against Desperado and Kanemaru next week. Ryusuke Taguchi pinned DOUKI with the Dodon. Also, DOUKI brought a new metal rod, that was a little more professional than the one he was using before. (11:45)

Ryu Lee & Robbie Eagles def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & BUSHI)
Hiromu Takahashi and Ryu Lee were not waiting until their IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match at The New Beginning in Osaka to go to war. Their rivalry that has gone on since Hiromu’s excursion to CMLL is revered for good reason: the two men never hold back around each other. Robbie Eagles also performed well. He may have felt slighted for not getting his own title match after pinning Hiromu in his return match last December. Robbie submitted BUSHIH with the Ron Miller Special, an inverted figure four leg lock. (11:47)

Bullet Club (KENTA & Jay White) def. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito & SANADA)
This tag team match was a preview for two singles matches at The New Beginning in Osaka: SANADA versus Jay White and Tetsuya Naito defending his IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships against KENTA. It could be said that this match was a tale of two matches. The first half could have been described more as physical banter than proper wrestling. Naito and KENTA taunted each other, entered the ring only to leave immediately, and generally tried not to take each other seriously. As the match progressed, all wrestlers involved became more urgent in their actions, and this gradual escalation made for a high-quality match. Jay White pinned SANADA with a victory roll. (18:42)

Suzuki-gun (Taichi & Minoru Suzuki) def. Kazuchika Okada & Jon Moxley
Kazuchika Okada in a tag team match with Jon Moxley as his partner was something that no one could have predicted a year earlier. Okada against Taichi is the main event of tomorrow’s show, but the stars of this match were Moxley and Suzuki. It was not lost on them as to how much people are anticipating their IWGP US Heavyweight Championship match next Sunday, and gave the crowd today a delightful appetizer. They beat each other every which way, hit each other with guardrails and fans’ seats, spent a clearly illegal amount of time outside the ring, and traded their hardest hits. Suzuki pinned Moxley with the Gotch-style piledriver. (17:48)

After the match ended, Okada tried to hit a Rainmaker on Taichi, but Taichi avoided hit and knocked Okada down with the Iron Finger from Hell. Will Ospreay came out to apprehend Taichi, but Zack Sabre Jr. showed up to stop him. Taichi hit a Black Mephisto on Okada on the ramp.

Tomohiro Ishii def. EVIL
It was known all along that this match would be, as another wrestler put it “two meaty men slapping meat” and it lived up to that expectation. These two fridge-shaped men traded chops and lariats as close to the larynx as possible, and EVIL even seemed at times to have a hoarse voice from them. EVIL accidentally didn’t get enough lift on a corner suplex and Ishii fell on his head, but the match seemed to pick up from there, so maybe it energized him. EVIL used Ishii’s trademark superplex, but it only netted him a near fall, as did a following Darkness Falls. After a white-hot closing stretch, Tomohiro Ishii pinned EVIL with the vertical drop brainbuster. (21:14)

NEVER Openweight Championship Match: Shingo Takagi def. Hirooki Goto
Shingo and Goto were clearly not content to be outdone by the previous battle of rectangular, heavy men. So many lariats were traded, so many angry Japanese words that are probably inappropriate were said, and so much sweat flew. After landing a monstrous lariat, Goto was too tired to stand up, so Shingo lifted him to the top rope and hit him with an avalanche brainbuster known as the Stay Dream. To add insult to injury, Takagi landed a rope-hung GTR on Goto, which he had been referring in the lead-up to this match as the Great Takagi Revolution. Goto got a second wind and hit the Shouten Kai for a near fall. Goto hit the reverse GTR and was winding up for the regular version, but Shingo countered it into Made in Japan. He followed up with Last of the Dragon to win the NEVER Openweight Championship. (20:10)

Hirooki Goto’s reign lasted 25 days with 0 successful defenses.