New Japan "The New Beginning in Sendai"
A Review by Kevin Wilson

Date:  February 14th, 2015
Location:  Sendai Sun Plaza Hall  in Sendai, Japan
Announced Attendance:  2,900 (Super No Vacancy Full House)

In some ways, this is like the companion show for the event in Osaka three days prior. It also has four Championship matches, but obviously four different Championships than what we saw just a few days prior. The card doesn't scream 'awesome' but there are several matches with a lot of potential, including another match between Ishii and Honma. Togi Makabe was forced to vacate the NEVER Openweight Championship due to the flu, which doesn't seem very fair but that is wrestling for ya. Here is the complete card:

- Manabu Nakanishi and Captain New Japan vs. Satoshi Kojima and Yohei Komatsu
- Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. Tiger Mask and Jay White
- Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Mascara Dorada, Alex Shelley, and KUSHIDA
- NWA World Jr. Heavyweight Championship: Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Chase Owens
- NWA World Heavyweight Championship: Rob Conway vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
- Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito and Kota Ibushi
- Bad Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI
- Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Tama Tonga
- NEVER Openweight Championship: Tomoaki Honma vs. Tomohiro Ishii
- IWGP Intercontinental Championship: Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yuji Nagata

I'm not really sure about some of this, part of me wishes they had combined the two cards into one super card but since both events sold out, I can't blame New Japan at all. Someone out there should probably take the best matches from each event, combine them onto one DVD, and make lots of money.

Manabu Nakanishi and Captain New Japan vs. Satoshi Kojima and Yohei Komatsu
Captain New Japan and Kojima start off but Komatsu joins Kojima and they beat down Captain New Japan. Shoulderblock by Captain New Japan and he tags in Nakanishi. Nakanishi knocks Komatsu to the mat and hits a scoop slam. Captain New Japan is tagged back in, elbows by Komatsu and he hits a dropkick. Komatsu tags in Kojima and Kojima chops Captain New Japan in the corner. Jumping elbow by Kojima and he hits a diving elbow drop. Hirai End by Captain New Japan and he tags Nakanishi back in. Nakanishi elbows Kojima and he hits a lariat before slowing kicking Komatsu off the apron. Koji Cutter by Kojima and he tags in Komatsu, and they both elbow Nakanishi in the corner. DDT by Kojima and Komatsu hits an elbow smash. Komatsu goes for the cross armbreaker but Captain New Japan breaks it up. Vertical suplex by Komatsu but Nakanishi hits a double vertical suplex. Spear by Nakanishi and he hits the Hercules Cutter on Komatsu for the three count. Yay a 48 year old wrestler beating a 26 year old, just the way I wanted to kick off the show. The action didn't last long so it wasn't offensive, just not a big fan of the incredibly predictable outcome. Score: 4.0

Kyle O'Reilly and Bobby Fish vs. Tiger Mask and Jay White
Fish and White begin things and they trade mat work. Tiger Mask and O'Reilly are tagged in, they run the ropes and Tiger Mask hits a monkey flip followed by a dropkick. O'Reilly is hit by a double shoulderblock but he bails out of the ring. Back in, Fish kicks White from behind and he hits a senton atomico. White fights them both O'Reilly and Fish but Fish slams him to the mat. Running knee by O'Reilly and he tags in Fish. Backdrop suplex by Fish and he trades elbows with White. DDT by White and he tags in Tiger Mask. Crossbody by Tiger Mask and he dropkicks White before hitting a Tiger Feint Kick. Tiger Driver by Tiger Mask but it gets a two count. O'Reilly fights back with kicks and both wrestlers fall to the mat. Both wrestlers tag out and White hits a dropkick. White goes up top but O'Reilly joins him. White knocks O'Reilly off and hits a double missile dropkick. Crab hold by White to Fish and Tiger Mask comes in to cut off O'Reilly. Fish tags in O'Reilly and both wrestlers attack White in the corner. Back breaker by Fish and O'Reilly hits a diving knee. Tiger Mask comes in to help, White rolls up O'Reilly but it gets two. O'Reilly blocks a sunset flip with a cross armbreaker but Tiger Mask breaks it up. Total Elimination on Tiger Mask, they pick up White and hit Chasing the Dragon. Cover, and ReDRagon win the match. A really solid match, I've enjoyed what I have seen of White and Tiger Mask brought his working boots. A few awkward moments but nothing match breaking, a straight forward but effective match. Score: 6.5

Kenny Omega, Matt Jackson, and Nick Jackson vs. Mascara Dorada, Alex Shelley, and KUSHIDA
Omega and Dorada are the first two in the ring, Dorada runs around the corner and hits a dropkick. KUSHIDA and Nick are tagged in and KUSHIDA hits a headscissors followed by an armdrag. Shelley comes in and they double team Nick, but he gets away and tags in Matt. Matt is double teamed as well as they begin working on Matt's arm. Nick finally comes in to help and they clear the ring as the battle goes to the floor. Shelley is rolled back into the ring for Matt, and Matt tags in Omega. This match is much slower than the Young Bucks match a few days ago, not saying that is a bad thing. Matt is tagged in but Shelley fights him and Nick off. Shelley throws Omega out of the ring but he can't make the tag. Shelley hits a Reverse STO/DDT combination on Matt and Nick and finally makes the tag to KUSHIDA. KUSHIDA fights off all three of his opponents and hits a standing moonsault on both of them. Matt elbows KUSHIDA but KUSHIDA hits an overhead kick. KUSHIDA tags in Dorada and Dorada hits a swandive armdrag. Shelley goes for a dive but Matt superkicks him and they go outside the ring. Omega is on the apron and Dorada flies over his back and hits a sunset flip powerbomb into the guard rail. Awesome spot. Dorada slams Omega in the ring but Omega gets his feet up when he goes for a moonsault. Triple superkick to Dorada, cover, but its broken up. Omega and Matt get KUSHIDA and Shelley up for a tombstone and with Nick they hit a double Indytaker. Dorada sails out with a tope suicida onto Matt and Nick, Dorada gets back in the ring but Omega kicks him to the mat. Omega goes for the Croyt's Wrath but Dorada rolls up him with a cradle for the three count. They did a good job here of building up to the insanity. It started kinda slow and grew to a fun spotfest. Plus that sunset flip powerbomb spot was very memorable, and memorable spots is what you want from your high flying Jr. Heavyweight matches. Good stuff. Score: 7.0

(c) Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Chase Owens
This match is for the NWA Jr. Heavyweight Championship. They start off on the mat, headscissors by Liger but Owens gets to the ropes. Stretch hold by Liger and they trade chops. Owens doesn't look very.... physically commanding and we'll leave it at that. Owens falls out of the ring and Liger hits a baseball slide. Liger argues with Tharpe and gets attacked from behind. Owens slams Liger on the apron and continues working over Liger's back in the ring. Jumping leg lariat by Owens and he punches Liger down in the corner. Owens goes off the ropes but he eats a Shotei. Another Shotei by Liger, he puts Owens up on the top turnbuckle and hits a Frankensteiner for two. Powerbomb by Liger, he goes up top but Owens gets his knees up on the body press attempt. Gutbuster by Owens and he hits a backbreaker. Owens goes for a Package Piledriver but Liger blocks it. Inside cradle by Liger and a backslide both get a two count. European Clutch by Liger and he gets the three count, Liger is still the champion! This match didn't do much for me. I can't buy Owens as a threat to anything, his moves lack impact and he just isn't convincing. Liger tried and out classed his opponent, but it was just short and not what you'd hope for from a title match. Score: 4.0

(c) Rob Conway vs. Hiroyoshi Tenzan
This match is for the NWA World Heavyweight Championship. Conway attacks Tenzan from behind and he hits a lariat. Vertical suplex by Conway but Tenzan fights back with Mongolian Chops. Tenzan headbutts Conway at ringside but Conway throws him into the railing. Back in the ring Conway goes up top but Tenzan throws him off to the mat. Eye poke by Conway and he lariats Tenzan from behind. Sliding kick by Conway and he hits an elbow drop. Tharpe chokes Tenzan from the floor and Conway rakes Tenzan in the eyes. Tenzan and Conway trade elbows and Tenzan knocks him down with a heel kick. Mongolian Chops by Tenzan and he lariats Conway in the corner. Crowd is really getting behind Tenzan as he hits the calf branding. Tenzan hits a vertical suplex and he hits a Mountain Bomb. Tenzan goes up top and hits a diving headbutt for a two count cover. Tenzan slaps on the Anaconda Vice, Conway struggles to his feet but Tenzan hits the Anaconda Buster while keeping the hold locked on. Tharpe gets on the apron so Tenzan releases the hold to investigate, this gives Conway a chance to get the belt and he hits Tenzan with it. Cover, but Tenzan kicks out. Whiplash by Conway but he still only gets a two count. Tenzan fights back and he hits a Whiplash of his own using the ropes, Tenzan slams Conway in front of the corner before going up top, but Tharpe is on the apron. Tenzan headbutts Tharpe back to the floor and he nails the moonsault onto Conway for the three count. Tenzan is your new NWA World Heavyweight Champion. The redeeming trait of this match is simply that Tenzan won, if Tharpe's shenanigans had led to a lame Conway victory I would not have been amused. But Tenzan did bring his working boots and the crowd was very vocal. It was a well done good vs. evil match, Conway doesn't do much for me but the match ended the way it should have and overall it was entertaining. Score: 6.5

Kazushi Sakuraba and Toru Yano vs. Tetsuya Naito and Kota Ibushi
Sakuraba and Ibushi are the first legal men and they trade strike attempts. They both tag out, Naito gets Yano's wrist but Yano gets to the ropes. Dropkick by Naito and he yanks on Yano's arm but Yano pulls him down to the mat. Yano throws Naito out of the ring and then into the guard rail. Yano gets a chair and hits Naito with it. Back in the ring Yano throws Naito in the exposed corner and tags in Sakuraba. Stomps by Sakuraba and he kicks Naito in the chest. Yano is tagged in but Naito throws him into the exposed corner. Yano stops him from making the tag, but Naito hits a neckbreaker and tags in Ibushi. Sakuraba stomps Ibushi out to the apron but Ibushi hits a swandive missile dropkick. Kicks by Ibushi, he goes for a moonsault but Sakuraba catches him with a triangle choke. Sakuraba goes for a cross armbreaker but Ibushi gets to the ropes. Kicks by Sakuraba but Ibushi hits a release German suplex. Yano is tagged in but Ibushi dropkicks him and tags in Naito. Naito trips Yano in the corner and hits a slingshot dropkick. Rolling senton by Naito, he goes up top and hits a missile dropkick. They trade waistlocks but Naito avoids the low blow and hitting an enzigieri. Scoop slam by Naito but Sakuraba runs in and puts him in a sleeper. Ibushi dropkicks Sakuraba in the back and Yano slingshots Naito into the exposed corner. Yano hits a low blow on Naito, he goes for the Uragasumi but Naito blocks it and covers him for the three count. There wasn't much to this match, it was pretty pedestrian. No one went out of their way to make this match special in any way, and Sakuraba is really coasting. Just a card filler tag team match. Score: 4.0

Bad Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi vs. Kazuchika Okada and YOSHI-HASHI
Fale attacks Okada from behind to start the match but Okada boots him in the face. Sliding kick by Okada and Fale rolls out of the ring. Okada tags in YOSHI-HASHI so Fale tags in Takahashi. Takahashi and YOSHI-HASHI trade chops and YOSHI-HASHI hits a hurricanrana. Takahashi drops YOSHI-HASHI on the top rope and the action spills outside the ring. Fale chokes Okada at ringside while Takahashi throws YOSHI-HASHI over the guard rail. Back in the ring Takahashi stomps down YOSHI-HASHI and tags in Fale. Fale drops YOSHI-HASHI to the mat and tags Takahashi back in. Takahashi charges YOSHI-HASHI and he hits a big boot. Sliding kick by Takahashi and he gets a two count. Takahashi tags in Fale and YOSHI-HASHI is hit by a body avalanche in the corner. Body press by Fale, but it gets a two count. Fale gets YOSHI-HASHI on his shoulders but YOSHI-HASHI wiggles away. YOSHI-HASHI dropkicks Fale and makes the tag to Okada. Okada elbows Fale and he hits a scoop slam. Okada tries to pick up Fale, that doesn't work, Fale ducks the Rainmaker and hits a Samoan Drop. Fale tags in Takahashi and Takahashi drops Okada on the top rope before hitting a brainbuster for two. Flapjack by Okada, YOSHI-HASHI comes in the ring and Takahashi is double teamed in the corner. DDT by Okada, cover, but it gets a two count. Okada goes up top and hits a diving elbow drop. Fale attacks Okada from behind but YOSHI-HASHI hits Fale with a lariat. YOSHI-HASHI gets Okada on his shoulders but Okada spins away. Dropkick by Okada and he hits the Rainmaker for the three count. A smidge better than the last match, but just a smidge. YOSHI-HASHI being in the bulk of the match was smart, he gets beaten up well, and Fale was kept to just doing power moves when needed. Nothing special but watchable. Score: 5.0

Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, and Katsuyori Shibata vs. Karl Anderson, Doc Gallows, and Tama Tonga
Shibata and Gallows start off as they are taking the face paint thing to a whole new level in Bullet Club. Shibata attacks Gallows's leg but he tags in Anderson while Shibata tags in Goto. Anderson goes for a senton but Goto moves and hits a shoulderblock. Goto tags in Tanahashi but Tonga grabs Tanahashi from the apron. Tanahashi hits a rebounding crossbody on Anderson but Anderson boots him in the face while Gallows holds him. Gallows is tagged in and he punches Tanahashi in his bandaged head. Gallows tags in Tonga and Tonga elbows Tanahashi in the head. Tanahashi is triple teamed in the corner, Tanahashi elbows Anderson but Anderson hits him in the head. Tanahashi avoids Anderson's charge in the corner and tags in Goto. Shoulderblocks by Goto and he hits a heel kick. Goto goes off the ropes but Anderson catches him with a spinebuster and tags in Gallows. Gallows punches Goto in the corner and he hits a lariat. Goto tags in Shibata and Shibata elbows Gallows down in the corner. Big boot by Gallows but Shibata applies a sleeper. Anderson breaks up the sleeper and Gallows tags in Tonga. Shibata tags in Tanahashi and Tanahashi hits an elbow to Tonga. Dragon Screw by Tanahashi but Tonga delivers a dropkick. Tanahashi is triple teamed in the corner, and he is hit with an assisted neckbreaker. Tonga grabs Tanahashi and he hits the Tonga Twist for a two count. Headbutt by Tonga but Goto runs in and drops Tonga onto his knee. All six wrestlers get involved as Tanahashi and company get the upperhand, most of the wrestlers clear out and Tanahashi drops Tonga with a Sling Blade. Tanahashi goes up top and he hits the High Fly Flow for the three count pinfall! An enjoyable six man match, heavyweight sprints are fun and they are honestly hard to mess up. Everyone looked good and even though I'd rather have seen some of these guys in a more important match it was still entertaining. Score: 6.0

Tomoaki Honma vs. Tomohiro Ishii
This match is for the vacant NEVER Openweight Championship. They start off trading elbows, Honma goes for a pair of Kokeshis but Ishii rolls out of the way. Ishii puts Honma in the corner and chops him down to the mat. Elbows by Ishii but Honma hits a shoulderblock. Face crusher by Honma but Ishii avoids the Kokeshi. Back up they trade chops, which Honma gets the better of and he finally hits the Kokeshi. Honma goes for a suplex but Ishii reverses it into a suplex. Lariat by Ishii in the corner, he puts Honma on the top turnbuckle and joins him, but Honma grabs his neck and jumps down to the floor. Ishii falls back into the ring and Honma hits the Shalimar Tea for a two count. Scoop slam by Honma, he goes up top but Ishii joins him. Honma goes for a sunset flip powerbomb but Ishii elbows out of it. Elbows by Ishii and he hits a powerbomb for a two count. Submission by Ishii but Honma gets to the ropes. Ishii puts Honma on the top turnbuckle and he hits a delayed superplex. Lariat by Ishii but Honma spikes him with a DDT. Elbow by Honma but Ishii elbows him back. They trade lariats, Ishii ends up on the apron and goes for a suplex, but Honma blocks it. They trade elbows but Honma elbows Ishii in the back of the head, sending him to the floor. Honma goes outside, scoop slam, he goes up to the top turnbuckle and hits a Kokeshi down to the floor.

Back in the ring, elbow by Honma and he hits a lariat. Cover, but it gets two. Honma picks up Ishii but Ishii hits a backdrop suplex. Honma is up first and kicks at Ishii, but Ishii elbows him to the mat. Ishii puts Honma on the top turnbuckle and he hits a superplex. Lariat by Ishii and he hits another one for a two count. Ishii picks up Honma but Honma hits a jumping shoulderblock. Brainbuster by Honma, he picks up Ishii and Honma hits a jumping headbutt to Ishii's back. Pillar Crash by Honma, but Ishii kicks out of the pin. Kokeshi by Honma, he goes up top but Ishii rolls out of the way of the Diving Kokeshi. Honma goes for a lariat but Ishii catches him with a release German suplex. Jumping kick by Ishii but Honma hits a lariat. Honma and Ishii trade elbows, but Ishii hits a lariat for two. Ishii picks up Honma, headbutt by Honma but Ishii headbutts him back. Sliding lariat by Ishii, he picks up Honma and drops him with a vertical-drop brainbuster for the three count. Tomohiro is your winner and new champion! This was a great physical match, I just wish the ending stretch didn't last quite so long. It amazes me how Honma wins absolutely nothing ever, but somehow the crowd still buys him as a threat. I loved the brutality, needless to say they will both be sore in the morning, it just dragged a bit at the end. Overall still really entertaining and worthy of your eyeballs. Score: 8.5

(c) Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Yuji Nagata
This match is for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship. They jockey for position to start and trade holds on the mat as you probably suspected they would. Nakamura gets Nagata into the ropes but Nagata knees him back and hits an armbreaker. Kicks to the arm by Nagata and he hits another armbreaker. Nakamura rolls out of the ring but Nagata goes out after him and kicks him in the arm. Nakamura knees Nagata and kicks him against the guard rail. Nakamura knees Nagata in the head and then hits a diving kneedrop while Nagata's head is hanging over the apron. Back in the ring they trade elbows, which Nakamura gets the better of. Dropping kneedrop by Nakamura and he knees Nagata into the corner. Nakamura charges Nagata but Nagata knees him in the stomach. Nagata kicks Nakamura into the corner and he hits a big boot. Exploder by Nagata and he hits elbows before dropkicking Nakamura in the knee. Heel kick by Nakamura and he trades elbows with Nagata. Nakamura wins the exchange and stomps Nagata in the corner. Front suplex by Nakamura and he knees Nagata. Kneedrop by Nakamura but Nagata hits an overhead suplex. Kick to the chest by Nagata and they trade slaps. Knee by Nakamura but Nagata hits a high knee in the corner. Nagata puts Nakamura on the top turnbuckle and joins him but Nakamura elbows him off. Nagata gets back up there and he hits an avalanche exploder. Cover by Nagata but it gets two. Nagata picks up Nakamura and hits a jumping kick, release German suplex by Nagata but Nakamura knees him in the back of the head. Nakamura hits an inverted powerslam but Nagata avoids his charge in the corner. Nakamura puts Nagata up in the corner and hits a running knee. Diving Boma Ye off the second turnbuckle and he hits a sliding knee for a two count. Backdrop suplex by Nagata and he applies a seated armbar. Cross armbreaker by Nagata but Nakamura gets to the ropes. Kicks by Nagata but Nakamura blocks the backdrop suplex hold and applies a front necklock. Wrist-clutch exploder attempt by Nagata but Nakamura gets out of it. They exchange jumping kicks but Nakamura hits a standing Boma Ye for the three count. Nakamura retains the IWGP Intercontinental Championship! This was good but not great, it ended pretty suddenly as normally it takes many Boma Ye's for Nakamura to beat anyone. Up to that point it was very solid, they pulled out some big moves to put over the importance of the match and they didn't waste a lot of time. There were some shady transitions (or maybe it was 'fighting spirit', hard to tell sometimes) but they kept that to a minimal, and overall it was an entertaining match. Score: 6.5

Final Thoughts:

As I mentioned at the start it is difficult not to compare this event to the one in Osaka on the 11th, as in many ways the two shows complimented each other. I think this event was a touch better overall, as it had the only match between the two shows that will likely be included in some Top 10 lists for 2015 and the majority of the matches had something worth seeing. The main event was a bit disappointing but it was still entertaining, and the NWA stuff was much better than it has been on other events. Overall this was a really solid event from start to finish and definitely one I'd recommend watching.

Grade: B+

Back to New Japan Reviews

review completed on 2/14/15