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Chris Jericho Battles a Bloody Naito at NJPW Dominion; Who Left as IWGP Intercontinental Champion?

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47-year-old wrestling legend Chris Jericho started 2018 by setting the wrestling world on fire, going 35-minutes with Kenny Omega in the Tokyo Dome at Wrestle Kingdom 12. Now, as we look to approach the halfway point of the year, the man who has previously described himself as a “WWE lifer” now stands atop the Japanese wrestling world as your new IWGP Intercontinental Championship.

Jericho defeated Tesuya Naito at this Saturday’s NJPW Dominion event in Osaka, the promotion’s second biggest event of the year, in front of a sold-out crowd of more than 13,000 people.


The Los Ingobernables de Japon leader was ambushed during his entrance, continuing the violent tone and pace their rivalry had established in recent weeks. Jericho actually managed to put Naito through two different tables before he was even able to take off his entrance gear; before the match had even officially began.

While the New Japan megastar attempted to mount a comeback, taking control at several points during the match and even hitting his finishing manuever – Destino – Jericho ultimately took advantage of a downed referee to deliver a fatal low blow, and the Codebreaker to secure his victory and the IWGP title. He now joins the likes of Shinsuke Nakamura, Hiroshi Tanahashi, Andrade Cien Almas and Minoru Suzuki who have all brought prestige to the title since its introduction in 2011.

After the bout Y2J continued his assault on the fallen former champion, until Naito’s Los Ingobernables stablemate EVIL (formerly Takaaki Watanabe in Ring of Honor) made the save and chased off the WWE legend. It’s possible they may be building to a Jericho vs. EVIL match down the line, possibly en route to a rematch between Jericho and Naito. The full lineup for NJPW at the Cow Palace next month should be sent out in the next few days, so we’ll keep you posted!

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NJPW Road To The New Beginning Results (1/18): Hiroshi Tanahashi & Master Wato vs BUSHI & Shingo Takagi

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The Road to The New Beginning tour continued on Monday with the second of eight shows heading into Nagoya on January 30. This was largely the same card as Sunday in the same building, with a few minor tweaks.

Kojima teamed with a different Young Lion but was still unsuccessful against The Empire. The second match featured the same stars with the outcome reversed, and the third match was exactly the same.


Tanahashi & SHO swapped places, as did Shingo & Hiromu in the final two matches to continue their respective programs. Master Wato is 2-0 in main events on this tour so far.

NJPW Road to The New Beginning Results
January 18, 2021
Korakuen Hall
Tokyo, Japan

— Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay def. Satoshi Kojima & Yuya Uemura

— Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) def. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Gedo & Jado & Taiji Ishimori)

— CHAOS (Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) def. Bullet Club (Dick Togo & EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)

— Los Ingobernables de Japon (Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA & Tetsuya Naito) def. Kota Ibushi & SHO & Tomoaki Honma

— Hiroshi Tanahashi & Master Wato def. BUSHI & Shingo Takagi

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NJPW Road To The New Beginning Results (1/17): BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi vs Master Wato & SHO

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling kicked off their annual New Beginning tour on Sunday in Korakuen Hall. It was a quick and easy five-match Road To card featuring tag team bouts previewing some of the advertised main events for the big shows on 1/30 in Nagoya, and 2/10-11 in Hiroshima.

NJPW Road to The New Beginning Results
January 17, 2021
Korakuen Hall, Tokyo, Japan


— Great O-Khan & Will Ospreay def. Satoshi Kojima & Yota Tsuji

— Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Gedo & Jado & Taiji Ishimori) def. Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & DOUKI & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)

— CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada & Tomohiro Ishii) def. Bullet Club (Dick Togo & EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi)

— Los Ingobernables de Japon (SANADA & Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) def. Hiroshi Tanahashi & Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma

— Master Wato & SHO def. BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi

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NJPW The New Beginning 2021 Tour Preview: Ibushi’s First IWGP Double Title Defense, First Time Dream Match, More

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New Japan Pro-Wrestling held a press conference today to unveil plans for their upcoming tour, kicking off on Sunday, January 17 at Korakuen Hall.

There are three major dates on the 2021 New Beginning tour: The New Beginning in Nagoya on Saturday, January 30 at Dolphin’s Arena, and The New Beginning in Hiroshima on Wednesday, February 10 and Thursday, February 11 at Sun Plaza Hall.


Kevin Kelly is in Japan for several weeks, so there will be live English commentary for every single event on the tour, including the eight house show events leading up to Nagoya, and the four additional shows leading up to Hiroshima.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic worsening in Japan, the events on this tour will start slightly earlier than originally announced, and will be limited to just five or six matches per show. While the action is spread out, there are nevertheless some major marquee matches to look forward to.


The New Beginning in Nagoya
January 30, 2021
Dolphin’s Arena, Aichi, Japan

The first leg of The New Beginning tour will see Shingo Takagi defend the NEVER Openweight Championship against Hiroshi Tanahashi. Takagi successfully retained the belt against Jeff Cobb at Wrestle Kingdom 15 in one of the best matches of the entire two-day event. While these two have met in several tag team matches, including two World Tag Leagues, this collision between the “Last Dragon” and “The Ace” is one of the most exciting first-time-ever bouts in recent memory.

New Year Dash saw The Empire recoup some of their momentum after a trio of Wrestle Kingdom losses. Will Ospreay led his monster the Great O-Khan to a six-man tag team victory, before setting him loose on Hiroyoshi Tenzan and his longtime tag partner Satoshi Kojima. Tenzan had to be taken out on a stretcher, setting up two singles matches pitting New Japan’s third generation against its future.

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Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada vs. EVIL & Yujiro Takahashi

8-Man Tag Team Match
Kota Ibushi & Master Wato & SHO & Tomoaki Honma vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi & SANADA & Tetsuya Naito)

Hiroyoshi Tenzan vs. Great O-Khan

Satoshi Kojima vs. Will Ospreay

NEVER Openweight Championship Match
Shingo Takagi (c) vs. Hiroshi Tanahashi


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The New Beginning in Hiroshima
February 10, 2021
Sun Plaza Hall, Hiroshima, Japan

The ticking time bomb of Los Ingobernables de Japon defeated Taiji Ishimori to recapture the IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 15. SHO defeated Hiromu in the 2020 Best of the Super Jr. tournament. So… here we are! We also have a rematch between the new IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Champions and the former champions they beat at the Tokyo Dome.

6-Man Tag Team Match
Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura vs. Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru)

Master Wato vs. BUSHI

10-Man Tag Team Match
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Kazuchika Okada & Toru Yano & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Bullet Club (Dick Togo & EVIL & El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi)

Kota Ibushi & Tomoaki Honma vs. SANADA & Tetsuya Naito

IWGP Heavyweight Tag Team Title Match
Guerrillas of Destiny (c) vs. Dangerous Tekkers (Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.)

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Title Match
Hiromu Takahashi (c) vs. SHO


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The New Beginning in Hiroshima
February 11, 2021
Sun Plaza Hall, Hiroshima, Japan

The final night of the 2021 New Beginning tour will see Kota Ibushi make his first defense of the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships. He takes on the perpetual up-and-comer SANADA, who has been on the losing end of more “must-win” situations than almost anyone save Hirooki Goto. SANADA defeated turncoat EVIL at Wrestle Kingdom 15 and made his intentions for the titles clear.

6-Man Tag Team Match
CHAOS (Hirooki Goto & Tomohiro Ishii & YOSHI-HASHI) vs. Gabriel Kidd & Yota Tsuji & Yuya Uemura

6-Man Tag Team Match
Suzuki-Gun (El Desperado & Minoru Suzuki & Yoshinobu Kanemaru) vs. Bullet Club (El Phantasmo & Taiji Ishimori & Yujiro Takahashi)

6-Man Tag Team Match
Master Wato & SHO & Tomoaki Honma vs. Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi & Tetsuya Naito)

Toru Yano & Kazuchika Okada vs. Dick Togo & EVIL

6-Man Tag Team Match
Suzuki-Gun (DOUKI & Taichi & Zack Sabre Jr.) vs. Bullet Club (Jado & Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa)

IWGP Double Title Match
Kota Ibushi (c) vs. SANADA

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