New Japan "Road to the New Beginning"
A Casual Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  February 1st, 2015
Location:  Tokyo Korakuen Hall in Tokyo, Japan
Announced Attendance:  2,015 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

The House Show Tour continues, this time making a stop in Tokyo Korakuen Hall.  Like the last event there are no title matches here or anything of any real interest, this is more just a way for the wrestlers to continue getting familiar with each other while ideally entertaining the crowd.  I am not sure why it was taped, but it was so we are watching it.  Here is the full card:

- Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu
- Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Kojima, Liger, and Tiger Mask vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Captain New Japan, Dorada, and Jay White
- Alex Shelley, KUSHIDA, and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson
- Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito and Tomoaki Honma
- Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga vs. Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI
- Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata and Togi Makabe
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Yujiro Takahashi

Lots and lots of tag matches but unlike the last event, at least his one isn’t just one hard camera.

Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. Sho Tanaka and Yohei Komatsu
Komatsu and Fish are the first two in the ring and they trade wristlocks and headlocks.  Fish rakes Komatsu in the eyes before going back to the wrist but Komatsu hits a hurricanrana and Fish bails.  Komatsu tags in Tanaka as O’Reilly is tagged in.  Armdrags by Tanaka and both he and Komatsu take turns elbowing O’Reilly.  O’Reilly finally takes control and he and Fish work over Tanaka.  Knees and kicks by O’Reilly and he hits a leg sweep before Fish is tagged back in.  Tanaka finally makes the hot tag and Komatsu clears the ring.  Komatsu hits a single arm suplex to O’Reilly and slaps on a cross armbreaker, but Fish breaks it up.  Tanaka comes in and they hit a double dropkick to Fish.  Komatsu tags in Tanaka but O’Reilly knocks them back.  Assisted jumping elbow to O’Reilly and Tanaka applies a crab hold.  Komatsu puts Fish in a crab hold at the same time but both wrestlers make it to the ropes.  O’Reilly gets Komatsu out of the ring, then they double team Tanaka in the corner.  Diving knee by O’Reilly, and they hit an assisted DDT.  Chasing the Dragon to Tanaka and they pick up the three count.  This was pretty good, Komatsu and Tanaka showed a lot of spunk and they have a lot of potential.  Hopefully they will start moving up the card soon, but it was a solid way to open the show.  Score:  6.0

Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Satoshi Kojima, Jushin Thunder Liger, and Tiger Mask vs. Manabu Nakanishi, Captain New Japan, Máscara Dorada, and Jay White
Tiger Mask and Dorada start off and they trade pretty armdrags.  Liger and Captain New Japan come in next, Captain New Japan’s outfit is just ridiculous, how am I supposed to take him seriously?  What a terrible gimmick.  They trade chops back and forth, Liger pulls Captain New Japan out of the ring and throws him in the railing.  Tenzan is tagged in and he chops away at Captain New Japan.  Kojima comes in and they double team Captain New Japan, as if one of them wasn’t enough.  Captain New Japan finally tags in Nakanishi, lariat by Nakanishi but Kojima chops Nakanishi in the corner.  Diving elbow drop by Kojima but Nakanishi clubs everyone.  Argentine Backbreaker by Nakanishi to Kojima but Kojima’s friends come in to break it up.  Captain New Japan holds Kojima but Dorada kicks Captain New Japan by accident.  Nakanishi hits a spear on Kojima and tags in White.  White elbows Tenzan and he hits a crossbody.  Scoop slam by White and he hits a missile dropkick.  Nakanishi hits a suplex on both Tiger Mask and Liger, then Dorada hits a plancha suicida down onto both of them.  Tenzan headbutts White but Tenzan hits a heel kick.  TTD by Tenzan, and he picks up the three count.  This match had some fun spots, enjoyed some of the Jr. Heavyweight interaction with Nakanishi and White got a chance to show some fire before he goes down.  Not a bad match.  Score:  6.0

Alex Shelley, KUSHIDA, and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson
Bullet Club attack to start the match with Omega and Taguchi facing off in the ring.  Hip attack by Taguchi and he lariats Omega out of the ring before hitting a pescado.  Nick and Matt get their opponents in the ring but KUSHIDA and Shelley get the advantage.  KUSHIDA eats a superkick from Nick, KUSHIDA flips himself to the apron and attacks both Matt and Omega.  Nick runs over and kicks KUSHIDA from the apron, and in the ring Matt throws KUSHIDA in the corner before tagging in Omega.  Elbow by Omega in the corner and they take turns on KUSHIDA.  KUSHIDA hits a double handspring on Matt and Nick and makes the tag to Taguchi.  Taguchi hip attacks everyone and suplexes Omega.  Taguchi keeps hip attacking people and the Young Bucks accidentally superkick Omega.  Taguchi DDTs both of them and tags in Shelley.  Shelley kicks back both of the Young Bucks but Matt hits a spear.  Double team to Shelley and Matt covers for two.  KUSHIDA and Shelley double team Matt, backbreaker by KUSHIDA but Matt gets his knees up on the moonsault attempt.  Omega comes in and he throws KUSHIDA to the mat so Matt can superkick him.  Snap dragon suplex by Omega and KUSHIDA eats a triple superkick.  The Young Bucks go for the More Bang for Your Buck but KUSHIDA gets his knees up, Shelley gets up top and they hit the I-94 on Nick for the three count.  Another good match, the wrestlers are putting some extra effort for Korakuen Hall.  Fast paced, and these teams just work really well together, they are very fluid.  Lots of fun, even though the match did end pretty suddenly.  Score:  7.0

Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito and Tomoaki Honma
I can’t fathom a scenario this match will be good.  Yano and Naito start off, Naito yanks Yano around the ring until Yano tags in Sakuraba.  Honma tags in too, and they jockey for position on the mat.  I don’t understand why this match is happening.  Sakuraba tags in Yano and Yano attacks Honma outside the ring.  Back in the ring Honma tags in Sakuraba, and Sakuraba applies a front necklock.  Honma gets out of it with a vertical suplex and tags in Naito.  Naito dropkicks Sakuraba in the knee and he hits a slingshot dropkick.  Kneebreaker by Naito but Sakuraba goes for a cross armbreaker.  Honma breaks it up the submission and Naito tags him in.  Jumping elbow by Honma and he hits a bulldog, but Yano avoids the headbutt.  Honma finally hits the headbutt, then he hits one on Sakuraba as well.  Honma goes up top but Yano avoids the falling headbutt.  Yano hits Honma low, Sakuraba kicks Honma in the head, and Yano schoolboys Honma for the three count.  This wasn’t very good as I predicted nine minutes ago.  Sakuraba just didn’t fit in, Yano’s shtick only works in some situations, and Naito was completely wasted.  I liked the ending though.  Score:  3.0

Bad Luck Fale and Tama Tonga vs. Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI
Tonga and Okada start off.  Okada dominates Tonga and he tags in YOSHI-HASHI.  YOSHI-HASHI hits a lariat in the corner, Fale grabs YOSHI-HASHI but YOSHI-HASHI moves and Tonga hits Fale by accident.  YOSHI-HASHI goes off the ropes but Fale grabs him and pulls YOSHI-HASHI out of the ring.  Tonga and YOSHI-HASHI get back in the ring and Tonga knees YOSHI-HASHI in the ribs.  Tonga tags in Fale and Fale hits a chokebomb into the corner.  Fale picks up YOSHI-HASHI and punches him before standing on him.  This goes on until YOSHI-HASHI makes the hot tag to Okada while Fale is also tagged in, and Okada hits a DDT.  Elbow by Okada and he hits a scoop slam.  Shoulderblock by Fale and he hits a body avalanche.  Body press by Fale and he hits a Samoan Drop.  YOSHI-HASHI runs in and lariats Fale and he hits a neckbreaker to Tonga.  YOSHI-HASHI hits a pescado out on Tonga, while Okada hits a dropkick to Fale.  Fale comes back with a lariat, he picks up Okada and drops him with the Bad Luck Fall.  Cover by Fale and he gets the three count.  This was a bit slow but it wasn’t bad.  The point was Fale getting a fall over Okada to try to elevate him, which is not something that I am looking forward to at all.  But a fine match although nothing special.  Score:  5.0

Shinsuke Nakamura and Tomohiro Ishii vs. Yuji Nagata and Togi Makabe
Nakamura and Nagata start begin the match and they trade submission attempts on the mat.   Nakamura gets away from Nagata as he clutches his arm to tag in Ishii, so Makabe also tags in.  They trade shoulderblocks, which Makabe gets the better of and he tags in Nagata.  Ishii tags Nakamura back in, and Nagata knees Nakamura in the arm.  Nakamura knees Nagata in the ribs and the action spills to the outside.  They roll back in the ring with Nakamura in command, and he hits a knee drop on Nagata.  Nagata tags in Ishii and Ishii slaps Nagata into the corner, but Nagata absorbs the blows.  Headbutts by Ishii but Nagata hits a big boot.  Nagata tags in Makabe and Makabe hits a powerslam on Nakamura and Ishii.  Makabe elbows Ishii into the corner and hits a lariat.  Elbows by Makabe but Ishii hits a powerslam.  Ishii hits a lariat to Makabe, Nakamura comes in the ring and they double team Makabe.  Powerbomb by Ishii to Makabe but it gets a two count.  Lariat by Makabe and he hits a powerbomb.  Back up Ishii hits a lariat and he tags in Nakamura.  Kicks by Nakamura and he kicks Makabe in the back of the head.  Lariat by Makabe and he tags in Nagata.  Nagata kicks Nakamura into the corner and he hits an exploder for a two count.  Nakamura and Nagata trade elbows and Nagata slaps on the Nagata Lock but Ishii breaks it up.  Nagata is thrown into the corner and is hit with strikes, backstabber by Nakamura and Ishii hits a sliding lariat.  Sliding knee by Nagata but Makabe breaks it up.  Inverted powerslam by Nakamura but Nagata hits a belly to belly suplex.  Makabe runs in and he hits a double lariat on Ishii and Nakamura.  Nagata knees Nakamura in the back of the head but Nakamura applies a front necklock.  Brainbuster by Nagata but Nakamura kicks out at one.  High kick by Nagata and he hits a backdrop hold for the three count.  Fun match, these guys have really good chemistry together.  I was surprised at first that Nakamura got pinned but there weren’t really any weak links here, someone had to lose.  Good hard hitting action, it never went to the next level but it was enjoyable for what it was.  Score:  6.5

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, and Shibata vs. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Takahashi
Goto and Anderson tie-up to kick things off, Anderson Irish whips Goto but Goto hits a pair of shoulderblocks before tagging in Shibata.  Double Irish whip to Anderson and they hit a double shoulderblock.  Anderson manages to tag in Gallows, and Gallows punches Shibata in the corner.  Dropkick by Shibata and he applies a figure four to Gallows but Gallows reverses it.  Shibata tags in Tanahashi while Gallows tags in Takahashi.  Takahashi kicks Tanahashi and he bites him in the hand.  Takahashi chops Tanahashi but Tanahashi hits a rebound crossbody.  Tanahashi is dumped out of the ring and attacked by Anderson out on the floor.  Tanahashi rolls back in and Takahashi hits a scoop slam.  Takahashi tags in Gallows and Gallows hits a scoop slam followed by a body press.  Gallows tags in Anderson and he stomps on Tanahashi.  Anderson drops Tanahashi’s neck onto his knee, cover, but it is broken up.  Tanahashi avoids a charge by Anderson in the corner and he tags in Goto.  Goto elbows everyone and hits a spinning heel kick to Anderson followed by a backdrop suplex.  Elbows by Anderson and he hits a spinebuster.  Anderson tags in Gallows but Goto levels him with a lariat.  Goto tags in Shibata, and Shibata elbows Gallows down in the corner.  Single leg crab hold by Shibata but Anderson breaks it up.  Dropkick by Shibata to Gallows and he tags in Tanahashi while Takahashi is also tagged in.  Dragon screw leg whip by Tanahashi but Takahashi drops him neck first into the top rope.  Gallows and Anderson come in the ring and everyone attacks Tanahashi in the corner.  Double neckbreaker to Tanahashi, sliding kick by Takahashi but it gets two.  Fisherman Buster by Takahashi but Tanahashi kicks out.  Goto and Anderson go for the Magic Killer but it has been broken up.  Tanahashi kicks Takahashi, Goto drops Takahashi onto his knee and Shibata hits a PK.  Styles Clash by Tanahashi, he goes up top and nails the High Fly Flow for the three count. Another solid one, nothing that will blow you away from perfectly acceptable wrestling. Tanahashi played face in peril well and him using the Styles Clash two shows in a row is a good way to keep Styles in everyone's mind even though he isn't there. An enjoyable main event as it sent the fans home happy. It didn't quite have the emotion of the last match but fundamentally very sound. Score: 6.0

Final Thoughts:

Definitely better than the house show that took place two days prior. It helped that it was a more vocal crowd and that they had multiple camera angles to catch the action better, but there was just more emotion too. There was still no standout match or anything worth going out of your way to track down, but top to bottom it was a very solid event.

Grade: C+ 

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review completed on 2/10/15