After two dramatic nights at the Tokyo Dome for Wrestle Kingdom 14, New Japan Pro Wrestling kicked off its first round of new feuds for 2020, which are mostly set to culminate with matches at the New Beginning in Sapporo and the New Beginning in Osaka. The shows will include AEW‘s Jon Moxley defending his IWGP United States Championship against Minoru Suzuki and teaming with some unlikely allies on the way.
You can check out the full cards for the New Beginning tour here, but here’s when its biggest matches are happening:
The New Beginning in Sapporo, February 1
- Kazuchika Okada and Jon Moxley vs. Minoru Suzuki and Taichi
- Tomohiro Ishii vs. Evil
- NEVER Openweight Championship match: Hirooki Goto (c) vs. Shingo Takagi
The New Beginning in Sapporo, February 2
- The galaxy brained eight-man tag of Jon Moxley, Sho, Yoh, and Ryusuke Taguchi vs. Minoru Suzuki, El Desperado, Yoshinobu Kanemaru, and Douki
- RevPro British Heavyweight Championship match: Zack Sabre Jr. (c) vs. Will Ospreay
- Kazuchika Okada vs. Taichi
The New Beginning in Osaka, February 9
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship match: Roppongi 3K (c) vs. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru
- Sanada vs. Jay White for the first time ever
- IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match: Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. Ryu Lee
- IWGP United States Championship match: Jon Moxley (c) vs. Minoru Suzuki
- IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championship match: Tetsuya Naito (c) vs. Kenta
If you’re a regular New Japan viewer, there’s a lot to look forward to on this tour, and if you’re a casual or non-fan just tuning in for Moxley, it looks like you’ll definitely get your money’s worth with the New Beginning in Osaka.
Crossing over slightly with the regular New Beginning tour, NJPW is also running the New Beginning USA tour from January 24 through February 1 in Tennessee, North Carolina, Georgia, and Tampa and Miami in Florida. These five shows feature a mix of NJPW regulars, with Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kota Ibushi the biggest stars of the bunch, American guest stars, and LA Dojo trainees. As far as we know, these are all house shows that will be uploaded to NJPW World and maybe YouTube later. On paper, the most notable matches on this tour are:
- In Tennessee, Jeff Cobb vs. Satoshi Kojima, Yuji Nagata vs. Lance Archer, and Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Yujiro Takahashi
- The Rock ‘N’ Roll Express joining the tour in North Carolina, teaming with Alex Zayne against Toru Yano, Colt Cabana, and Rocky Romero
- In Miami, the RNRs vs. Yano and Cabana and a main event of Ibushi and Tanahashi vs. the Guerillas of Destiny
- On the last night of the tour in Atlanta, the RNRs and Tanahashi vs. TJP, Clark Connors, and Alex Zayne, Cobb vs. Archer, Ibushi vs. Chase Owens, and FinJuice defending their IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against G.o.D. in a Wrestle Kingdom rematch Juice and Finlay granted in the spirit of being fighting champions
Before either of the New Beginning tours begin, NJPW presents CMLL Fantastica Mania, the tenth annual NJPW-CMLL crossover tour in Japan, from January 10-20. These shows are mostly made up of luchadors, featuring the return of performers like Audaz, Negro Casas, Soberano Jr., Titán, and Último Guerrero.
The last night of the Fantastica Mania tour looks like the best one to watch, with the January 20 show including a brilliantly booked Tiger Mask vs. Tiger singles match, a trios title match of Titán, Niebra Roya, and Angel del Oro vs. champions Nueva Generacion Dinamitas (Sansón, Cuatrero, and Forastero), and a main event of Carístico defending his NWA World Historic Middleweight Championship against Bárbaro Cavernario.
That’s a lot of shows with a lot of variety for New Japan over the next month! What do you think of these lineups? What are you most looking forward to? Give us your takes in the comments.