DID YOU ENJOY NJPW’S NEW BEGINNING ON FEBRUARY 11 2024?
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The New Beginning in Osaka: An Era Ends, Legends Collide, and Bullet Club Rises Again
The air crackled with anticipation in Osaka’s EDION Arena on February 11th, 2024. NJPW’s “The New Beginning” tour had reached its climax, promising an evening filled with emotional farewells, championship clashes, and electrifying in-ring action. This wasn’t just another wrestling event; it was a turning point, marking the end of an era for some and the explosive beginning of a new chapter for others.
Farewell to Two Icons:
All eyes were glued to the main event, a potential series finale between Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. Their 16th encounter, held in the same venue where their legendary rivalry began, held immense weight. With Okada leaving NJPW after New Beginning in Sapporo, this could be their final dance. The match lived up to its significance, a tapestry woven with athleticism, storytelling, and raw emotion. Okada emerged victorious, cementing his position as the Rainmaker while paying respect to his long-time adversary. The closing image, Okada raising Tanahashi’s hand in acknowledgement, was a poignant moment, solidifying their place as wrestling royalty.
Across the card, another emotional send-off unfolded. Will Ospreay, the Aerial Assassin, wrestled his final NJPW match in a chaotic 10-man Dog Pound Cage Match. Surrounded by Bullet Club and United Empire members, Ospreay unleashed his signature high-flying offense, defying gravity with breathtaking dives and innovative maneuvers. Despite falling short, the match served as a fitting tribute to his talent and the indelible mark he left on the NJPW landscape. His post-match speech, filled with gratitude and hinting at a potential return, only fueled the anticipation for his next chapter.
Championship Battles and Bullet Club’s Resurgence:
While farewells tugged at heartstrings, championship clashes provided adrenaline-pumping action. The IWGP Tag Team Championship match saw Chase Owens and KENTA, a newly formed Bullet Club duo, dethrone the unpredictable El Phantasmo and the colossal Hikuleo. Owens’ cunning tactics and KENTA’s vicious strikes proved to be a potent combination, capturing the titles and signaling the resurgence of Bullet Club.
Elsewhere, Zack Sabre Jr. and Bryan Danielson engaged in a technical masterpiece. Their rematch, a follow-up to their critically acclaimed AEW encounter, showcased their grappling prowess and submission mastery. Sabre Jr., utilizing his unorthodox holds and relentless pressure, emerged victorious, further solidifying his status as one of the world’s best submission wrestlers.
Undercard Thrills and Future Stars Emerge:
The undercard wasn’t just filler; it was a breeding ground for future stars and exciting tag team clashes. CHAOS’ YOH and Toru Yano pulled off an upset against Ryusuke Taguchi and Oleg Boltin, displaying both athleticism and comedic timing. Hirooki Goto and YOSHI-HASHI continued their impressive run with a hard-fought victory over The United Empire’s Callum Newman and Great-O-Khan.
An eight-man tag team match saw HOUSE OF TORTURE overcome a valiant effort from El Desperado, Tiger Mask, Shota Umino, and Tomoaki Honma. This victory further solidifies their dominance and hints at potential future feuds within the stable.
The main event of the undercard showcased a clash of generations. “Just 5 Guys,” featuring veterans like TAKA Michinoku and Taichi alongside young stars like Yuya Uemura and DOUKI, took on Los Ingobernables de Japon’s powerhouse team of Tetsuya Naito, Hiromu Takahashi, Shingo Takagi, Yota Tsuji, and BUSHI. The experience and cunning of “Just 5 Guys” triumphed over LIJ’s individual brilliance, highlighting the potential of these young stars and blurring the lines between generations.
The New Beginning: What Lies Ahead?
“The New Beginning in Osaka” marked the end of an era for some and the exciting beginning of a new chapter for others. With Okada and Ospreay departing, it’s time for new stars to step up and create their own legacies. Bullet Club’s resurgence adds another layer of intrigue, promising thrilling feuds and championship challenges. The future of NJPW is uncertain, but the foundation laid at Osaka is strong, paved with passionate fans, dedicated wrestlers, and a thirst for thrilling in-ring competition.
This is just a glimpse into the captivating narrative of “The New Beginning in Osaka.” Each match, each victory, and each farewell held its own significance, shaping the trajectory of NJPW’s future. What lies ahead remains to be seen, but one thing is certain: the passion, drama, and electrifying action that defines NJPW will continue to enthrall fans worldwide.
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