|The New Beginning in Osaka (2017)|
Promotional poster for the event, featuring various NJPW wrestlers
|Promotion||New Japan Pro Wrestling|
|Date||February 11, 2017|
|Venue||Edion Arena Osaka|
|City||Osaka, Osaka, Japan|
|The New Beginning chronology|
The New Beginning in Osaka (2017) was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on February 11, 2017, in Osaka, Osaka, at Edion Arena Osaka. The event will feature nine matches, five of which will be contested for championships. In the main event, Tetsuya Naito will defend the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Michael Elgin. This was be the twelfth event under the New Beginning name and the fourth under the New Beginning in Osaka name.
The event will air worldwide on NJPW's internet streaming site, New Japan Pro Wrestling World, with English commentary provided by Kevin Kelly and Don Callis, the latter of whom replaces Kelly's previous broadcast partner Steve Corino.
The New Beginning in Osaka will feature nine professional wrestling matches that involve different wrestlers from pre-existing scripted feuds and storylines. Wrestlers portray villains, heroes, or less distinguishable characters in the scripted events that build tension and culminate in a wrestling match or series of matches.
The New Beginning in Osaka will be main evented by Tetsuya Naito making his third defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Michael Elgin. Naito originally won the title from Elgin on September 25, 2016, at Destruction in Kobe. A rematch between the two had been scheduled for Power Struggle on November 5, but on October 10, Elgin suffered a legitimate broken left eye socket, while taking a dropkick from Naito, which forced him to pull out of the match. Elgin remained sidelined until Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome on January 4, 2017, during which he won the pre-show New Japan Rumble. Later that same day, Elgin confronted Naito, after he had successfully defended the Intercontinental Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi, threatening to crush his jaw as revenge for his orbital fracture. The following day, Elgin pinned Naito in a tag team match to cement his status as Naito's next challenger. The match was officially announced on January 10.
Another top match will see new IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Hiromu Takahashi make his first title defense against Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre (CMLL) wrestler Dragon Lee. The two had developed a storyline rivalry with each other in CMLL, where NJPW had sent Takahashi on a learning excursion. Takahashi, then known as "Kamaitachi", had entered CMLL wearing a mask, but lost it to Dragon Lee during their rivalry in a Lucha de Apuestas Mask vs. Mask match. The rivalry also made it to Japan during the CMLL and NJPW co-produced Fantastica Mania 2016, when Kamaitachi made a surprise appearance on the January 23 event, attacking Dragon Lee. This led to a match the following day, where Kamaitachi defeated Dragon Lee to become the new CMLL World Super Lightweight Champion. After losing the title back to Dragon Lee on March 4, Takahashi's tour of CMLL ended and he returned to NJPW under his real name in November 2016, winning the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome. The following day, Dragon Lee made a surprise appearance, attacking Takahashi during a match and posing with his IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship belt afterwards, insinuating he wanted a title match. The match was officially announced five days later. Before the title match, Takahashi and Lee faced off during the NJPW and CMLL co-produced Fantastica Mania 2017 tour. During the January 20 event, Takahashi attacked Lee after he had successfully defended the CMLL World Lightweight Championship against Bárbaro Cavernario, but was laid out himself. On the final day of the tour, January 22, Lee attacked Takahashi after a match, but this time Takahashi got the better of the exchange and unmasked his Osaka challenger. Lee stated that were he to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship, he could have title matches in both Mexico and Japan, even bringing up the possibility of defending the title against his older brother Místico. Lee also stated that the title would allow him to realize one of his dreams of taking part in NJPW's annual Best of the Super Juniors tournament.
The IWGP Tag Team Championship will also be defended at The New Beginning in Osaka in a three-way match involving CHAOS (Tomohiro Ishii and Toru Yano), G.B.H. (Togi Makabe and Tomoaki Honma) and K.E.S. (Davey Boy Smith Jr. and Lance Archer). This is a rematch from a three-way match taking place six days earlier at The New Beginning in Sapporo, which Ishii and Yano enter as the defending champions.
The New Beginning in Osaka will also feature Katsuyori Shibata taking on Will Ospreay. Originally announced on January 10 as a "special singles match", the match was to become a title match, contested for the British Heavyweight Championship, provided that Shibata first retained the title during his tour of English promotion Revolution Pro Wrestling, taking place later in January. On January 21, Shibata successfully defended the title against Matt Riddle in London, England, which led to NJPW officially announcing two days later that the match in Osaka would be contested for the title. As part of NJPW's working relationship with RevPro, Shibata made his debut for the English promotion in July 2016, winning the British Heavyweight Championship from Zack Sabre Jr. the following November. The match between Shibata and Ospreay was set up on January 5, 2017, when Ospreay confronted Shibata and told him that he had something Ospreay wanted.
The final title match of the event will see Hiroshi Tanahashi, Manabu Nakanishi and Ryusuke Taguchi defend the NEVER Openweight 6-Man Tag Team Championship against the Los Ingobernables de Japon trio of BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA. BUSHI, EVIL and SANADA won the title in a four-team gauntlet match at Wrestle Kingdom 11 in Tokyo Dome, but lost it the following day to Tanahashi, Nakanishi and Taguchi in what marked Nakanishi's first title win in seven and a half years. On January 10, NJPW announced a rematch between the two teams for The New Beginning in Osaka.
Other notable matches include Kazuchika Okada and Minoru Suzuki facing off in a six-man tag team match, six days after their IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at The New Beginning in Sapporo. The match will also include Okada's Chaos partners Roppongi Vice (Beretta and Rocky Romero) and Suzuki's Suzuki-gun partners Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru. Originally Suzuki's partners were announced as Taichi and Taka Michinoku, who challenged Roppongi Vice for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship in Sapporo, however, after losing the match, their Suzuki-gun stablemates El Desperado and Kanemaru stepped up as the next challengers, which led to them being switched as Suzuki's partners on February 6. However, two days later, NJPW announced that El Desperado would be forced to miss the event due to a knee injury, which led to Taichi being added back to the match. switch in the Osaka card the following day. The New Beginning in Osaka is noteworthy for Kenny Omega and the entire Bullet Club stable being absent from the event.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 1.12 1.13 1.14 1.15 1.16 (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. January 10, 2017. Archived from the original on January 10, 2017. http://www.webcitation.org/6nPS4bpsS. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Currier, Joseph (January 17, 2017). "NJPW World finds its new lead English color commentary voice". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-world-finds-its-new-lead-english-color-commentary-voice-228506. Retrieved January 17, 2017.
- ↑ Grabianowski, Ed. "How Pro Wrestling Works". HowStuffWorks, Inc.. Discovery Communications. http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/pro-wrestling.htm. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 10, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/637976/. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Meltzer, Dave (October 11, 2016). "Naito vs. Elgin to headline NJPW Power Struggle". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-reveals-full-power-struggle-show-lineup-222491. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 5, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/636035/. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 6, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/636590/. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Currier, Joseph (January 10, 2017). "Okada vs. Suzuki headlines NJPW's New Beginning lineup". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/okada-vs-suzuki-headlines-njpws-new-beginning-lineup-228036. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. January 23, 2016. http://www.njpw.co.jp/56817. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 "Dragon Lee vs Kamaitachi at ROH's ASE 8". Ring of Honor. http://www.rohwrestling.com/news/dragon-lee-vs-kamaitachi-rohs-ase-8. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. March 6, 2016. http://www.njpw.co.jp/57364. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (November 4, 2016). "NJPW Power Struggle live results: Tetsuya Naito vs. Jay Lethal". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-power-struggle-live-results-tetsuya-naito-vs-jay-lethal-224011. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan; Currier, Joseph (January 3, 2017). "NJPW Wrestle Kingdom 11 live results: Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-wrestle-kingdom-11-live-results-kazuchika-okada-vs-kenny-omega-227626. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (January 5, 2017). "NJPW New Year's Dash results: The return of Suzuki-gun". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-new-years-dash-results-return-suzuki-gun-227721. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (January 20, 2017). "NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania results: Dragon Lee vs. Cavernario". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpwcmll-fantastica-mania-results-dragon-lee-vs-cavernario-228721. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (January 22, 2017). "NJPW/CMLL Fantastica Mania results: Volador Jr. vs. Ultimo Guerrero". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpwcmll-fantastica-mania-results-volador-jr-vs-ultimo-guerrero-228811. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 23, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/643456/. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. January 23, 2017. Archived from the original on January 23, 2017. http://www.webcitation.org/6nigP2enE. Retrieved January 23, 2017.
- ↑ Currier, Joseph (January 21, 2017). "Daily Update: Omega videos, RevPro show, Ellsworth". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/daily-updates/daily-update-omega-videos-revpro-show-ellsworth-228776. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- ↑ "London: Katsuyori Shibata makes his European debut!". Revolution Pro Wrestling. February 25, 2016. http://www.revolutionprowrestling.com/news/2016/02/25/london-katsuyori-shibata-makes-his-european-debut. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- ↑ Macklin, Matthew (November 10, 2016). "Shibata wins gold at RevPro in UK". Pro Wrestling Insider. http://pwinsider.com/article/105913/shibata-wins-gold-at-revpro-in-uk.html?p=1. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- ↑ "British Heavyweight Championship Update". Revolution Pro Wrestling. January 12, 2017. http://www.revolutionprowrestling.com/news/2017/01/12/british-heavyweight-championship-update. Retrieved January 21, 2017.
- ↑ (in Japanese) Tokyo Sports. January 6, 2017. http://www.tokyo-sports.co.jp/prores/mens_prores/636599/. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ 24.0 24.1 (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. February 8, 2017. Archived from the original on February 8, 2017. http://www.webcitation.org/6o7FKmjHN. Retrieved February 8, 2017.
- ↑ Cite error: Invalid
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- ↑ 26.0 26.1 (in Japanese) New Japan Pro Wrestling. February 6, 2017. Archived from the original on February 6, 2017. http://www.webcitation.org/6o4fpmZlo. Retrieved February 6, 2017.
- ↑ Johnson, Mike (January 10, 2017). "New Japan announces first 'New Beginning' event lineups". Pro Wrestling Insider. http://pwinsider.com/article/107010/new-japan-announces-first-new-beginning-event-lineups.html?p=1. Retrieved January 10, 2017.
- ↑ Rose, Bryan (February 10, 2017). "NJPW New Beginning in Osaka live results: Naito vs. Elgin". Wrestling Observer Newsletter. http://www.f4wonline.com/japan/njpw-new-beginning-osaka-live-results-naito-vs-elgin-229921. Retrieved February 11, 2017.