The New Beginning in Osaka (2020) was an professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on February 9, 2020, in Osaka at Osaka-jō Hall. The event ffeatured eight matches, four of which were contested for championships. In the main event, Tetsuya Naito defended the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships against KENTA. This was the nineth event under the New Beginning name and the seventh under the New Beginning in Osaka name. The event was the first The New Beginning in Osaka to be held in the Osaka-jō Hall and also featured Manabu Nakanishi's last match in the Osaka-jō Hall.
Production[edit | edit source]
Background[edit | edit source]
The event aired worldwide on NJPW's internet streaming site, New Japan Pro Wrestling World, with English commentary provided by Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlaton, the latter of whom replaces Kelly's previous broadcast partner Don Callis. The event was announced on January 4, 2020 in the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome and it was also announced that the event would be held in the Osaka-jō Hall in the event's history. On January 7, 2019, Manabu Nakanishi announced during a press conference that he was going to retire on February 22, leading NJPW to announced that he would make his last match in the Osaka-jō Hall at the event.
Storylines[edit | edit source]
The New Beginning in Osaka featured eight 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 was main evented by Tetsuya Naito making his first defense of the IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championships against KENTA. On January 5, 2020, in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, Naito successfully defended the IWGP Intercontinental Championship and won the IWGP Heavyweight Championship, after defeating Kazuchika Okada, to become the first double champion in NJPW history. Afterwards, Naito was attacked by KENTA, who lay him out with the PK followed by the Go 2 Sleep. He would then seat on top Naito posing with both IWGP Heavyweight and IWGP Intercontinental Championship belts. The following day, at New Years Dash, Naito and Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemate SANADA faced KENTA and his Bullet Club stablemate Jay White in a winning effort. Afterwards, KENTA and White attacked Naito and SANADA, and KENTA began mocking Naito and challenged him for his titles. In a post-match interview, Naito accepted KENTA's challenge. The main event was officially announced on January 8.
Also at New Years Dash, during the match between Bullet Club and L.I.J, Jay White was pinned by SANADA. Afterwards, White attacked SANADA and proclaimed him to be his next target. The match was announced on January 8.
In the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship match, Jon Moxley who would make his second title defense against Minoru Suzuki. On December 8, Moxley returned to NJPW attacking Suzuki and his Suzuki-gun stablemte Lance Archer. On January 5, 2020, in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, after Moxley successfully defended the IWGP United States Heavyweight Championship against Juice Robinson. Minoru Suzuki came to the ring and both Suzuki and started a brawl, leading Suzuki to lock in the Sleeper Hold followed by the Gotch-Style Piledriver, before proclaiming himself as the next challenger for his title. The following day, at New Years Dash, Moxley returned the favor to Suzuki laying him out with the Death Rider. The title match was announced on January 8.
In the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship match, Hiromu Takahashi who would make his first title defense against Ryu Lee. On July 7, 2018, at G1 Special in San Francisco, Takahashi defended the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship against Lee, then known as "Dragon Lee". During the match, Takahashi suffered a broken neck, after receiving a Dragon Driver from Lee, leading Takahashi to vacate the title due to the injury. After eighteen months, Takahashi returned to NJPW in November 2019. On January 4, 2020, in the first night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, Takahashi regained the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship. On January 5, in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14, Takahashi and Lee took part in Jushin Thunder Liger retirement match, defeating him and Naoki Sano. Afterwards, Takahashi nominated Lee as his first challenger for his title. The title match was announced on January 8. 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 event also featured a match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, where Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh) who would make their first title defense against Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru). On January 5, 2020, in the second night of Wrestle Kingdom 14 in Tokyo Dome, Sho and Yoh defeated Bullet Club (El Phantasmo and Taiji Ishimori to win the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship for the fourth time. The following day, at New Years Dash, Sho and Yoh took part in a four-way, in which Desperado and Kanemaru won the match, leading NJPW to announce the title match on January 8.