NJPW New Beginnings Preview & Predictions

Here’s a quick rundown of the big matches happening over the NJPW New Beginnings Tour…

The New Beginning in Sapporo 2018 (Day 1)

January 27

NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship Match: Bad Luck Fale & Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs. Togi Makabe, Toa Henare & Ryusuke Taguchi- Is Toa Henare ready to leave his young lion status behind? Perhaps, but he’s still the weak link in this match. Expect a title retention. Prediction- Bad Luck Fale & Guerrillas of Destiny win with Henare taking the fall

Jay White & Roppongi 3K vs. The Elite (Omega & Young Bucks) – Build to Jay White and Omega’s first showdown and the 3K/Bucks rematch should be a fun affair. Jay White needs to start building momentum if he’s going to start connecting with the fans and this is good chance for him to do that alongside his new stablemates. Expect Kenny and co to be in goofy multi-tag mode likely leading to a loss. Prediction- Jay White & Roppongi 3K Win after Jay White pins a young Buck

IWGP Intercontinental Championship Match: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki

This has the potential to be great, if they can work around Tanahashi’s injuries and Suzuki’s age. These two have history to play off and this match has slowly been building in the background for a while now, with Tanahashi often coming to blows with the rest of Suzuki gun. This could really go either way but expect lots of Suzuki Gun interference for sure. Surely Tanahashi needs to take a break now? Suzuki Gun as a whole needs some momentum if they’re to stay relevant too. Prediction- Minory Suzuki

The New Beginning in Sapporo 2018 (Day 2)

January 28

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship Match: The Young Bucks (c) vs. Roppongi 3K

The rematch from their Wrestle Kingdom clash is assured to be good one, especially if they’re given more time to work with too. The Bucks work a limited schedule so a flash title change is not off the cards here, but expect a title retention for now Prediction- Young Bucks Win

IWGP US Heavyweight Championship Match: Kenny Omega (c) vs. Jay White

Jay White has bucket loads of potential and if anyone’s going to bring that potential out its Kenny Omega. The idea of White losing a title match to Tanahashi and then straight away defeating Omega is an odd concept, but then so is White debuting with two back to back title match defeats. Omega likely has bigger fish to fry in 2018 and his sights will likely be set on Okada again soon. He’s not losing the U.S title just yet though. Prediction-Kenny retains

Road to The New Beginning 2018

February 5

Ten Man Elimination Tag: CHAOS (Okada/Goto/YOSHI-HASHI/Ospreay/Gedo) vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (Naito/EVIL/SANADA/BUSHI/Hiromu)

Oh man this should be all sorts of fun. LIJ are the tighter unit while Chaos has some weak links (Here’s looking at you gedo). Okada and Naito are going to be tough to eliminate but (as one reddit user reminded me earlier. Much appreciated by the way) since eliminations can also happen through throwing your opponent over the top rope anything can happen here Prediction- LIJ win with SANADA surviving

Road to The New Beginning 2018

February 6

IWGP Tag Team Championship: SANADA & EVIL (c) vs. Kazuchika Okada & Hirooki Goto

Interesting this is happening on the road to show. Would have been nice to see a tag title match getting some love on a bigger stage. Still this should be awesome. SANADA & EVIL always produce great tag matches, whilst Okada & Goto make a great combo. Prediction- SANADA & EVIL win with EVIL pinning Goto.

The New Beginning in Osaka 2018

February 10

Tetsuya Naito vs. YOSHI-HASHI– The only way YOSHI-HASHI wins this is if they do the broken man angle they did with Okada years back, where Naito starts losing to everyone because of his Wrestle Kingdom loss. That is unlikely. Prediction- Naito wins

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship: Will Ospreay (c) vs. Hiromu Takahashi

A match that maybe deserved the Wrestle Kingdom stage. These two are both great high fliers but Takahashi has that wild crazy side that should bring out the best in Ospreay. Prediction- Ospreay retains

NEVER Openweight Championship: Hirooki Goto (c) vs. EVIL essentially a side to Okada vs SANADA. If Goto brings the goods this should be a hard hitting affair. Would be great to see Goto really bringing the fight but chances are we’re get another Goto “The Underdog” match. Which is ok too Prediction- Goto wins after EVIL dominates the match

IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Kazuchika Okada (c) vs. SANADA

The Main event and closer to the tour. How good this will be depends on how well SANADA is presented during the tour leading up to this. Okada is essentially untouchable at this point so it’s going to be hard for SANADA to look like a legit contender. Still Okada is a MOTY machine and you know this will be good either way. SANADA’s time will come eventually and this might just be the match that helps make him into a star Prediction– Okada wins

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