NJPW moves on to Osaka! Will this New Beginning bring about the Cutthroat Era in full? Or is The Ace far from through with being champion?
This coverage of New Beginning in Osaka will be as aired by AXS TV.
Gifs can be found courtesy of http://frentique.tumblr.com/
- IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White; White wins and becomes the new IWGP Heavyweight Champion.
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NJPW and AXS set up the scene for this highly anticipated moment!
The Switchblade has had The Ace’s number time and again. Jay White pinned Hiroshi Tanahashi in the G1 Climax, but he made Tanahashi submit at New Beginning Sapporo. White feels he owns Tanahashi, and owns the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. But Tanahashi says he will not be beat, for the sake of the fans who have supported him. A single submission doesn’t bother Tanahashi because this is still his era. But White knows his win over Tanahashi won’t be an upset, it won’t be a shocker, because it’s already happened. White vows to be the real champion already, but will he make that a reality in Osaka?
IWGP Heavyweight Championship: Hiroshi Tanahashi VS Jay White!
The Ace has made an incredible comeback, but the Switchblade has been on an incredible rise. They have clashed again and again in their parallel pursuits for the top title in all of NJPW, but now that very title is on the line! Will Tanahashi continue the Ace Age? Or will he Breath with the Switchblade?
Introductions are made, the champion and challenger stare down a moment while White talks trash, and the belt is raised. Osaka is fired up for Tanahashi as we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns with the bell. Tanahashi soaks up the cheers from the fans but White just bails out to troll everyone. White says he does things his way, and swipes at Tanahashi. Tanahashi dares White to get back in so White does. White and Tanahashi circle and White points at the leg he went after. Tanahashi says it’s just fine, and they tie up. They’re even in strength, but White gets a leverage advantage. Tanahashi slips through to headlock and takeover, but White wants his leg lock! Tanahashi gets the ropebreak and White lets go. White backs off and fans applaud this rare sportsmanship. But that’s because Gedo swipes at Tanahashi! Tanahashi swipes back and gets White in a headlock. White powers out but Tanahashi gets his headlock back.
Tanahashi grinds White down but White powers his way up. White reaches for the leg but Tanahashi keeps the hands away. White pushes Tanahashi towards the corner, but Tanahashi uses the buckles for a tornado takedown! Gedo coaches White and White finds a way up. White pulls hair to put Tanahashi in a corner! Red Shoes reprimands White but White stomps a mudhole into Tanahashi. White backs off at 4 but comes back, targeting the leg. Tanahashi forearms White away and rocks him to the other corner. Tanahashi whips but White reverses. White runs in but into an elbow. Tanahashi hops up but White anchors a foot! Tanahashi clubs White off, but White slides and sweeps! White drags Tanahashi to the post, but Tanahashi pulls White in! White hits post and crawls away.
Tanahashi pursues but White attacks. White whips but Tanahashi reverses, sending White into railing! But Gedo SLAPS Tanahashi. Tanahashi kicks Gedo back! Tanahashi puts Gedo in the ring and Gedo asks for mercy! Gedo gets away as White comes back! White saido suplexes Tanahashi up and out of the ring! Tanahashi crashes and burns and clutches his bad leg. White drags Tanahashi up to whip him into railing, then up to ram him into the apron. Back to the railing, and back to the apron! White rams Tanahashi into railing a third time, then the apron a third time. White sits back and flexes while fans boo. He drags Tanahashi up and back into the ring to appease Red Shoes, but then slams the bad leg on the apron! White adds on with elbows and another slam!
Fans boo as White swaggers around the ring. Red Shoes checks on Tanahashi but Tanahashi refuses to end it here. White toys with Tanahashi, but Tanahashi stands up to stare him down. Tanahashi throws forearms and a kick, but White blocks it to elbow the bad knee. White chop blocks the knee and Tanahashi crumbles! Tanahashi gets to a corner for safety while we go to break.
NJPW on AXS returns and White runs in corner to corner to hit a European Uppercut. Then he brings Tanahashi around, Half Hatch suplex into buckles! Gedo applauds but fans rally up for Tanahashi. White brings Tanahashi around to swing the bad leg into the post! Red Shoes reprimands White but White only refreshes the count. White points out he’s not using weapons, as he again throws the bad leg into the post! White then drags Tanahashi out to gourd buster Tanahashi over railing and onto the announce desk! Tanahashi’s knee hits first, but he’s still down and out as the ring count begins. White simply struts about as the count passes 10 of 20. Tanahashi revives at 11 and crawls back over the railing at 14. He hurries to ringside at 16 and gets in! Fans applaud but White is right on the bad leg.
Tanahashi fights White off and stands up. Tanahashi forearms but White kicks the leg out. White runs in at Tanahashi and dodges the dropkick! White toys with Tanahashi while Gedo laughs. Tanahashi comes back with forearms and a whip. White reverses but Tanahashi hits flying forearms! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he hobbles after White. Tanahashi drags White up and scoop slams him down. Tanahashi climbs up with one good leg, and hits his second-rope senton! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi keeps on White by going after White’s legs. White resists the Cloverleaf and gets a ropebreak. White kicks Tanahashi in the knee! Tanahashi staggers, but he dropkicks White back in his knee! Both men are down from bad legs, but White bails out of the ring.
Fans rally up as Tanahashi goes to a corner. Tanahashi climbs up but White gets back in the ring. Tanahashi goes after him but they each dodge clotheslines. White gets a Complete Shot, then a deadlift German Suplex! Fans rally for Tanahashi but White’s up first. White drags Tanahashi up, suplexes, and spins for the “Blade Buster”! Cover, TWO! Tanahashi lives but White keeps his cool. White stalks Tanahashi to the ropes and brings him up on the apron. White pulls Tanahashi through the ropes for a EuroUpper. He hooks Tanahashi’s arms on the ropes to keep him open for more EuroUppers, and even a CHOP! White CHOPS Tanahashi again, but Tanahashi eggs him on! White CHOPS again and again, then runs for another EuroUpper! Tanahashi tips over so White shoves him out.
Red Shoes reprimands White more but White says he hasn’t done anything outright illegal. White goes out to get Tanahashi but Tanahashi gets back in! Dragon Screw through the ropes! Fans rally up as Tanahashi gets to the corner again. Tanahashi climbs again, and LEAPS for the High Fly Flow crossbody! The Ace wipes out White but it still takes a lot out of him. Tanahashi still stands up first as fans chant “Go Ace!” Tanahashi drags White up and into the ring. Gedo scrambles up and Red Shoes stops him from getting in. White sees what Gedo left him in another corner: a chair! But Tanahashi dodges the chair shot to send White into Gedo! Tanahashi runs but White counters.
White wants but is denied Blade Runner. Tanahashi wants but is denied a Dragon Suplex. White swings but into the facelock. He slips out, spins Tanahashi around, but Tanahashi resists. Tanahashi slips out, no full nelson or waistlock. White whips but Tanahashi reverses, only for White to reverse to a fireman’s carry. Tanahashi slips out, TWIST ‘N’ SHOUT! But Tanahashi isn’t done with White yet, he drags him up for a second Twist ‘n’ Shout! And then a third! Fans fire up with Tanahashi as he dares White to get back up. White grins as he leans on the ropes. Tanahashi throws EuroUppers of his own, then runs. But White stumbles out of Slingblade’s path. Tanahashi Dragon Screws White instead! And then the other leg! Tanahashi runs again, but White simply kneels to dodge. White smirks again, but Tanahashi gets the straitjacket German! Bridging cover, TWO!
Tanahashi knows he’s close so he heads to the corner. Gedo runs in but gets rocked with an elbow! Tanahashi climbs up, High Fly Flow to White’s back! But he doesn’t stop there, he climbs up again, High Fly Flow to the mat! Tanahashi clutches his knee again, we go to break while both he and White are down.
NJPW on AXS returns again as White and Tanahashi stir. White crawls to Tanahashi and grabs the bad leg. He forces himself to stand, but Tanahashi kicks him away. Fans rally up and Tanahashi stands. White kicks the knee out from the back! White goes after the leg with a Dragon Screw of his own! And then another! White steps through, TTO, the Tanahashi Tapped Out! Tanahashi endures the return of this inverted Figure Four as fans rally up. White pulls as hard as he can while Tanahashi reaches for ropes. White shouts for him to tap, but Tanahashi grits his teeth and drags himself over! The grapevine is tight but Tanahashi still gets the ropebreak! White lets go at 4, and Tanahashi drags himself to the apron. Red Shoes checks on him but Tanahashi still won’t quit.
White stalks over and drags Tanahashi around. He drags Tanahashi onto his feet for a snap saido suplex! White turns Tanahashi over to drag him up again, and even as Tanahashi fights with elbows, White snap saidos again! Now White hauls Tanahashi up in a fireman’s carry. Death Valley DDT! Cover, TWO! White keeps his focus as he drags Tanahashi up. Fisherman lift, Kiwi Krusher! Cover, TWO!! Tanahashi survives but barely! Fans reach a fever pitch in cheering Tanahashi on, but White hauls him up quick. Tanahashi fights out of Blade Runner, but gets the sleeper hold suplex! White drags Tanahashi up again, but Tanahashi cradle counters! TWO!! White escapes and even shocks himself!
Osaka continues to rally as White drags Tanahashi up yet again. Tanahashi throws a big palm strike! And another! White staggers and kicks but Tanahashi blocks, to dropkick back! Tanahashi gives White grounded Dragon Screws now! Tanahashi grits his teeth as he stands again to go after White’s legs. He laces them together for the Cloverleaf! Tanahashi sits down to bend White, but White scrambles. White reaches for ropes but Tanahashi drags him away! Tanahashi sits deep on it, it’s almost part Lion Tamer! White reaches again, and gets the ropebreak! Tanahashi drags White away again, so White goes after the bad leg. Tanahashi double clutches, but White slips through, so Tanahashi shifts to STYLES CLASH! But he’s too tired to cover!
Both men are down as Osaka again reaches the fever pitch. Fans rally and Tanahashi sits up. Tanahashi drags White up, but he’s dead weight at this point. Tanahashi full nelsons, but White revives to resist. White breaks the nelson and pops around, but Tanahashi denies Blade Runner to hit a Slingblade! Tanahashi whips, another Slingblade! Cover, TWO!! White still lives but Tanahashi still has more to give! Tanahashi drags White up again, full nelson, Dragon Suplex! Bridging cover, TWO!! White barely escapes but Tanahashi refuses to lose focus. Tanahashi drags himself to a corner and to the top rope. Tanahashi aims, leaps, High Fly Flow crossbody, caught into Blade Runner!! Cover, White wins!!
Winner: Jay White, by pinfall; NEW IWGP Heavyweight Champion
Gedo shouts “You see that?! You see that!?” We have all seen the true beginning of the Cutthroat Era! The championship coronation happens after the break!
NJPW on AXS returns as Jay White stands tall.
Gedo celebrates with his protege. He celebrates with the man he chose over The Rainmaker as Red Shoes puts the IWGP Heavyweight Championship belt around White’s waist. White picks up the mic to speak while the Young Lions help Tanahashi out of the ring. “Osaka. Oh, Osaka.” White is sure they remember roughly two and a half years ago, when in this city, White had his Young Lion Graduation match. They might remember that back then, White said this was his home, and that everyone here was his family. “Boy, how I was wrong.”
None of them thought White deserved the belt! None of them thought he could make it! They didn’t think he could beat Kenny Omega, Hiroshi Tanahashi or Kazuchika Okada, but White beat them all. And then to put the icing on the cake, to get rid of all the doubt, White beat Tanahashi again, to become champion! White is champion in spite of all the doubters! He said he would win and spit in everyone’s faces. He just did that with this win! White is now THE IWGP Heavyweight Champion! He did not do this for the fans, he did this for himself, for Gedo, and for the Cutthroat Bullet Club. “This is a new beginning”, and everyone will Breathe with The Switchblade! Welcome to the new era! White drops the mic and raises the title as the confetti falls! The Cutthroat Era truly begins, will it ever end?
White understands that to “close-minded heads” are shocked by this. He just wants it to get through our heads that he did what he said he would do. White is the champion and no one can dispute it. The NJPW management must hate that this young star already has the top title before even the icons. Ishii, Naito, they’ll never get it. Tanahashi probably won’t ever wrestle again, so he won’t get it back. White says that if anyone had any “stupid f*cking doubts” before, they’re gone now. White is undeniably top wrestler! Not just as a gaijin and not just in this company, but the best wrestler in the WORLD! Hell, throw in all those “sports entertainers”, too. He’s better than every one of them.
White’s done enough work, so Gedo can speak now. But Gedo doesn’t care what anyone thinks. This image is all they need: the belt on White’s shoulder and Gedo by his side. “We are money.” And that is Too Sweet.
An incredible match! The stories of Hiroshi Tanahashi and Jay White have been incredibly well thought-out and executed, and to think it all comes to a head at New Beginnings rather than the anniversary show or something. But if anything, that’s what makes it even greater, because it may not have seemed likely to happen here. Jay White, as he reminded everyone, has only been wrestling about six years, graduating from the Young Lions not all that long ago. I was watching White ever since his excursion in ROH, where even ROH saw the potential in him by taking Jay Lethal and Jay Briscoe, great champions in their own right, to the limit. White’s return to NJPW with this new persona was quite interesting, but he managed to make it his own. White went on a tear, especially against Tanahashi, and now he’s THE champion, truly incredible.
The match itself was itself incredible, and did well to keep Tanahashi’s bad leg in mind in the story. Tanahashi and White both wanted at each other’s legs, but in the end it wasn’t a submission that won but a great spot of countering one finisher with another finisher. Again, White as the champion is surprising, but him naming Naito in his backstage interview was a good hint towards where it’s all going. Naito wants to be a dual champion, not just Intercontinental or just Heavyweight. White just got his title, so he and by extension the Bullet Club will surely do everything they can to keep that title. I would really love to see Los Ingobernables de Japon moving on from Suzuki-Gun to go after the revitalized Bullet Club, with White VS Naito leading the way.
My Score: 8.9/10