It may have been a New Beginning in Osaka, but it was two titans of high flying wrestling that stole the headlines.
The entire wrestling world was rocked when cruiserweight icon Rey Mysterio appeared on the video screen, and made a challenge to Jushin Thunder Liger to a ‘legend vs legend’ clash at Strong Style Evolved event in Long Beach, California. Liger accepted, and the fight is on for March 25th.
In ring, Kazuchika Okada continued his monster reign as IWGP Heavyweight Champion by beating SANADA, putting him away with a jumping corkscrew tombstone and his patented ‘Rainmaker’ lariat. Post-match, he said that since the heavyweights will be busy in the New Japan Cup, he wants to face the best in junior heavyweight division, IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay at the upcoming anniversary show on March 6th. In the post-match press conference, Ospreay accepted.
Speaking of Ospreay, ‘The Aerial Assassin’ kept hold of his Junior Heavyweight gold by besting Hiromu Takahashi with the Oscutter in a wild contest that saw both men risk it all.
Hirooki Goto kept hold of his NEVER Openweight Title against EVIL in another Chaos vs L.I.J battle, with Goto getting the best of EVIL by hitting the GTR for the three count.
Tetsuya Naito crossed off one of his enemies but gained another in Osaka as he saw off the challenge of YOSHI-HASHI, but ‘The Headhunter’ gave Naito a run for his money, coming close to beating the former IWGP Champ, only to be hit with a dragon suplex and a duo of Destino’s. However, another person has come to disturb the leader of L.I.J’s Tranquilo as Taichi shockingly jumped Naito from behind and dragged him backstage.
L.I.J’s second win of the evening came as BUSHI got a measure of revenge over Gedo taking his masks over the past few shows by beating him in a match, when he took him out with the MX.
CHAOS got a win in six-man tag team action, as IWGP United States Champion Jay White, Tomohiro Iishi and Toru Yano beat the trio of Juice Robinson, David Finlay and Henare when the referee deemed Henare unable to continue following vicious elbow strikes from ‘Switchblade’
Togi Makabe challenged Minoru Suzuki for his IWGP Intercontinental Championship after he and his team consisting of Michael Elgin, KUSHIDA and Ryusuke Taguchi beat the Suzuki-gun quartet of Suzuki, TAKA Michinoku, Taichi and Takashi Iizuka when Makabe beat TAKA with the King Kong Knee Drop, as Suzuki angrily looked on.
Suzuki-gun also made strides in the junior heavyweight tag division, as El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru beat the reigning champions Roppongi 3K, when SHO tapped out to the half crab, after Desperado had blasted him with a chair.
Finally, Katsuya Kitamura came up short once again as he fell to Yuji Nagata with a bridging high-angle back suplex.