The New Beginning in Sapporo 2019 was a professional wrestling event promoted by New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW). The event took place on two nights on February 2 and 3, 2018, in Sapporo, Hokkaido, at the Hokkaido Prefectural Sports Center. Both nights featured eight matches, three of which were contested for championships in the second night. The first night was main evented by Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada facing Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Jay White) in a predule match for their upcoming singles matches at The New Beginning in Osaka. The second night was main evented by Tetsuya Naito defending the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Taichi. This was the sixteenth event under the New Beginning name and the third to take place in Sapporo.

Production[edit | edit source]

Background[edit | edit source]

In recent years, NJPW has held the opening day of the G1 Climax tournament in Sapporo. With The New Beginning in Sapporo, the promotion revives an old tradition of holding a show during the annual Sapporo Snow Festival, under the subtitle 雪の札幌2連戦 (Yuki no Sapporo 2 Rensen, "2 Sapporo Snow Battles"). Since January 2018, NJPW hosted the event on two different nights. The event will air worldwide on NJPW's internet streaming site, New Japan Pro Wrestling World, with English commentary provided by Kevin Kelly and Chris Charlton.

Storylines[edit | edit source]

The New Beginning in Sapporo featured eight professional wrestling matches in two nights 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.

Tetsuya Naito the IWGP Intercontinental Champion who defended his title against Taichi

The IWGP Intercontinental Championship was defended in the main event of second night the event, with Tetsuya Naito making his first title defense against Taichi. On January 5, 2019, at New Years Dash, Naito and Taichi faced each other in a ten-man tag team match, with Naito teaming with his Los Ingobernables de Japon stablemates BUSHI, EVIL, SANADA and Shingo Takagi and Taichi with his Suzuki-gun stablemates El Desperado, Minoru Suzuki, Yoshinobu Kanemaru and Zack Sabre Jr. The match ended after Taichi scoring a direct pinfall over Naito. Afterwards, Suzuki-gun attacked L.I.J. and Taichi stated that if Naito didn't want the IWGP Intercontinental Championship, he should give it to him and made his intentions of challenging Naito for his title. The title match was made official on January 7.

EVIL and SANADA the IWGP Tag Team Champions who defended their titles against Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.

The feud between L.I.J. and Suzuki-gun resulted in The New Beginning in Sapporo also featuring other prominent matches featuring the stable. On January 4, 2018, at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in Tokyo Dome, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi took part of a three-way match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship, between champions Suzuki-gun's El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru and challengers Roppongi 3K (Sho and Yoh), and then proceeded to win the match to become the new champions. The following day, BUSHI and Takagi were attacked by the Suzuki-gun stable. During the attack, Suzuki-gun's designated junior heavyweight tag team Desperado and Kanemaru targeted BUSHI and Takagi, and afterwards declared themselves the true IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Champions, stating that they were never beaten by them in three three-way match to win the titles. The Sapporo event also featured a third title match involving members of Suzuki-gun stable with Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr. challenging L.I.J's EVIL and SANADA for the IWGP Tag Team Championship. This also stemmed from the January 5 attack, during which the challengers had targeted the champions.

The event would also include a tag team match, where the Bullet Club stable of Bad Luck Fale and Jay White are set to take on Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada in the main event of the first night. This match built to title match and singles match taking place eight days later at The New Beginning in Osaka, where Tanahashi would defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship White, while Okada would face Fale.

Event[edit | edit source]

Night 1[edit | edit source]

Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi, who faced Bad Luck Fale and Jay White at the event.

The first match of the event saw Ren Narita facing Yuya Uemura. The match ended with Narita hitting with a Suplex Hold to win the match at 9 minutes and 45 seconds. In the second match, saw Manabu Nakanishi and Toa Henare facing Ayato Yoshida and Shota Umino. The match ended with Toa hitting Umino with the Toa Bottom to win the match at 8 minutes and 53 seconds. The third match of the event saw Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tiger Mask facing Suzuki-gun (Takashi Iizuka and Taka Michinoku). Before the match, Tenan appealed to Iizuka to return to his old-self and tag with him for one last time, but Iizuka would proceed to attack him instead. In the end, Iizuka would hit Tenzan with his iron glove causing a disqualification, with Tenzan and Tiger Mask winning at 9 minutes and 26 seconds. The fourth match of the show saw Bullet Club Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori) facing Ryusuke Taguchi, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomoaki Honma, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe. The match ended when Yano hit a low-blow followed by Schoolboy pinning Yujiro at 13 minutes and 38 seconds to win the match. The fifth match saw Los Ingobernables de Japón (Tetsuya Naito, BUSHI and Shingo Takagi) facing Suzuki-gun (Taichi, El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru). The match ended with Taichi hitting the Dangerous Back Drop on BUSHI, pinning him at 13 minutes and 28 seconds to win the match. In the sixth match saw Minoru Suzuki facing SANADA. The match ended when Suzuki hit a Gotch Style Piledriver him at 19 minutes and 40 seconds to win the match. 

In the semi-main event of the show, saw EVIL facing Zack Sabre Jr. The match ended with EVIL hitting the EVIL, pinning him at 22 minutes and 1 second to win the match. The main event saw Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Jay White) facing Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. The match ended with White submitting Tanahashi with a new finishing move named TTO (Tanahashi Tap-Out) at 24 minutes and 36 seconds to win the match. Following the match, the crowd would heavily boo White and White would claim that he beat Tanahashi and that he made him tap out and that Tanahashi ''gave up'' on the crowd and that he would be Tanahashi at their match. After that, White would close the show with his catchphrase but Tanahashi would try to attack him, only to White hit him with the Blade Runner.

Night 2[edit | edit source]

Los Ingobernables de Japón, who defended their titles against Suzuki-gun at the event.

The first match of the event saw Toa Henare facing Yota Tsuji. The match ended with Henare hitting Yota with the Toa Bottom to win the match at 7 minutes and 7 seconds. In the second match, saw Manabu Nakanishi and Tiger Mask facing Ayato Yoshida and Shota Umino. The match ended with Tiger hitting Yoshida with an avalanche Butterfly Suplex to win the match at 9 minutes and 31 seconds. The third match of the event saw Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Ren Narita facing Suzuki-gun (Takashi Iizuka and Taka Michinoku). Before the match, Tenan appealed to Iizuka to shake his hand, but Iizuka would proceed to attack him instead. In the end, Iizuka would hit Tenzan with his iron glove causing a disqualification, with Tenzan and Tiger Mask winning at 9 minutes and 47 seconds. The fourth match of the show saw Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori) facing Ryusuke Taguchi, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomoaki Honma, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe. The match ended when Yano pinned Loa with a Schoolboy at 14 minutes and 15 seconds to win the match. The fifth match saw Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens and Jay White) facing Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahashi and Yoshi-Hashi. The match ended with White submitting Tanahashi with the same finishing move that used on the last night, this time named YTO (Yoshi Tap-Out) at 24 minutes and 36 seconds to win the match. In the sixth match saw Los Ingobernables de Japón (BUSHI and Shingo Takagi) their first successful defense of the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship against Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru). The match ended when Takagi and BUSHI hit Kanemaru with the Rebellion to win the match at 18 minutes and 4 seconds. After the match, BUSHI would take Desperado's mask and celebrate the win. 

In the semi-main event of the show, saw Los Ingobernables de Japón (EVIL and SANADA) their first successful defense of the IWGP Tag Team Championship against Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.). The match ended with SANADA hitting a Moonsault on Suzuki, pinning him at 16 minutes and 52 seconds to win the match. The main event saw Tetsuya Naito making his first successful defense of the IWGP Intercontinental Championship against Taichi. The match ended with Naito hitting the Destino on Taichi, pinning him at 21 minutes and 31 seconds to win the match. After the match, Naito would close the show asking the crowd if they liked the matches and address about his goals.

Results[edit | edit source]

Night 1[edit | edit source]

# Results Stipulations Times
1 Ren Narita defeated Yuya Uemura Singles match 9:45
2 Manabu Nakanishi and Toa Henare defeated Ayato Yoshida and Shota Umino Tag team match 8:53
3 Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Tiger Mask defeated Suzuki-gun (Takashi Iizuka and Taka Michinoku) Tag Team match 9:26
4 Ryusuke Taguchi, Yoshi-Hashi, Tomoaki Honma, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe defeated Bullet Club (Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori) (with Jado) Ten-man tag team match 13:38
5 Suzuki-gun (El Desperado, Taichi and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) defeated Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Shingo Takagi and Tetsuya Naito) Six-man tag team match 13:28
6 Minoru Suzuki defeated SANADA Singles match 19:40
7 EVIL defeated Zack Sabre Jr. (with Taka Michinoku) Singles match 22:01
8 Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale and Jay White) (with Gedo) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kazuchika Okada Tag team match 24:36
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • Videoicon.png – refers to the video of that match

Night 2[edit | edit source]

# Results Stipulations Times
1 Toa Henare defeated Yota Tsuji Singles match 7:07
2 Manabu Nakanishi and Tiger Mask defeated Ayato Yoshida and Shota Umino Tag team match 9:31
3 Hiroyoshi Tenzan and Ren Narita defeated Suzuki-gun (Takashi Iizuka and Taka Michinoku) by DQ Tag Team match 9:47
4 Ryusuke Taguchi, Tomoaki Honma, Toru Yano and Togi Makabe defeated Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi, Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa and Taiji Ishimori) (with Jado) Eight-man tag team match 14:15
5 Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, and Jay White) (with Gedo) defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kazuchika Okada and Yoshi-Hashi Six-man tag team match 17:57
6 Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI and Shingo Takagi) (c) defeated Suzuki-gun (El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru) Tag team match for the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship 18:04
7 Los Ingobernables de Japon (EVIL and SANADA) (c) defeated Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr.) (with Taka Michinoku) Tag team match for the IWGP Tag Team Championship 16:52
8 Tetsuya Naito (c) defeated Taichi Singles match for the IWGP Intercontinental Championship 21:31
  • (c) – refers to the champion(s) heading into the match
  • Videoicon.png – refers to the video of that match

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