Reviews

NJPW Road to New Beginning 2016 Day 2 Review

Air Date: 30/1/16

This is Nakamura’s last NJPW show and he is in a really cool six man tag main event also featuring Okada, Ishii, Tanahashi, Goto, and Shibata. As this is a house show for NJPW the card is alost exclusively comprised of multi man tag matches, however on paper a few of them look vaguely interesting.

David Finlay vs. Hirai Kawato

Kawato is one of the new young lions and at only 19 years old this seems to be his third match ever! As you would expect, this was a short basic match. Kawato showed some decent fire but he’s obviously way too early into his career to make any real judgements about him yet. Finlay submits Kawato with a Boston Crab **

Jay White vs. YOSHI-HASHI

Pretty good little match here, White is another of the young lions that is just so damn good and everything he does is so smooth. YOSHI-HASHI took a lot of offence here, and his selling was fine but it really looked like he was just walking through this match. YOSHI-HASHI pins White ** ¼

TenKoji (Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Satoshi Kojima) and Jushin Thunder Liger vs. Yuji Nagata, Manabu Nakanishi, and Tiger Mask (IV)

I don’t know what happened to Nakanishi but he was awesome in this match. He was running around all over the place and throwing some mighty clotheslines, he even hit an awesome chop off the top rope at one point! The match overall was just the four heavyweights beating the crap out of each other and was such a blast to watch, Nagata and the previously mentioned Nakanishi especially. Kojima pins Nakanishi with the Western Lariat ***

Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Yujiro Takahashi) vs. CHAOS (Toru Yano and Kazushi Sakuraba)

It’s always cool when Sakuraba is brought out for these kind of house shows. The match itself was exactly what you would expect with lots of boring schtick. This seemed more like a way to set up Bullet Club going after the six man titles by pinning Yano. Fale pins Yano ** ¼

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, and BUSHI) vs. Captain New Japan, Ryusuke Taguchi, and KUSHIDA

LiJ trios matches are always a real highlight of these smaller shows, and this was no exception. BUSHI flying all over the place with KUSHIDA and Taguchi is always a ton of fun, and EVIL just killing Captain New Japan brings a real smile to my face. EVIL pins Captain New Japan with the EVIL STO *** ¼

Bullet Club (Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson, Kenny Omega, and Cody Hall) vs. Great Bash Heel (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma), Michael Elgin, and Juice Robinson

This was a great bomb throwing match that started out hot with GBH brawling with Gallows and Anderson and never really slowed down much from that. Makabe is a guy that often sleepwalks through these tag matches, but that wasn’t the case here as he tried to beat the ever living crap out of Gallows. I also really enjoyed all of Bullet Club taking it turns to go after the young Juice Robinson. Fun as hell match. Kenny Omega pins Juice Robinson ***

CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada, Tomohiro Ishii, and Shinsuke Nakamura w/Gedo) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi, Hirooki Goto, and Katsuyori Shibata

This match felt like a very big deal, with good reason of course, and we got a lot of really great sequences out of it. Ishii and Shibata just wailing on each other was an obvious highlight, but basically everyone was working at 110% and delivered big time. That is, everyone except Goto who seemed to be the biggest heel in the country and lacked any real fire for me. Hell of a main event regardless and an awesome way to send of Nakamura. Ishii pins Shibata *** ¾

After the match Kenny Omega comes out and calls out Nakamura for being too afraid to face him. Tanahashi comes to Nakamura’s aid and announces that he is “X” and will face Kenny for the vacant intercontinental title.

Nakamura gets on the mic next for his farewell and is joined by the rest of CHAOS, who give him a pretty cool send off. Okada crying his eyes out is something I didn’t expect to see.

Overall: 5.0

From a match perspective this show was fine but nothing spectacular. That said it was a pretty easy watch and the Nakamura farewell is important enough that I would recommend watching this show.

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