NJPW held another New Beginning show this morning, this one being held in Sapporo. This card featured five championship matches and Kazuchika Okada’s second-to-last match in Japan.

Mayu Iwatani retained her IWGP Women’s Championship by defeating Mina Shirakawa and EVIL retained the NEVER Openweight Championship after defeating Shota Umino. There were then three title changes; SHO became the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion ending El Desperado’s reign. In Matt Riddle’s NJPW debut, he defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to win the NJPW World TV Championship.

The main event saw Nic Nemeth (formerly Dolph Ziggler) making his Japan debut knocking off David Finlay to win the IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship.

Nemeth entered the ring first waiting for Finlay to make his entrance, however as Finlay’s music sounded he didn’t come out, only Gedo did. Finlay rushed in through the crowd attacking Nemeth from behind, he stomped on him and threw him into the barricades. Once the bell finally sounded, Nemeth hit Finlay with a superkick and drove Finlay’s face into the barricades and ring posts.

Superkick from Nemeth. Credit: NJPW

Finlay responded by spearing Nemeth through the barricade before bringing the fight into the ring. He began to use all his force to Irish whip Nemeth chest-first into the turnbuckle before locking him into a chin-lock. Nemeth broke the hold to side suplex Finlay, before landing a big corner splash and a neckbreaker. He then proceeded to drop his signature elbow drops, nine regular ones and one leaping.

Nemeth now clotheslined Finlay to the floor and went to superkick him, but he ducked and Nemeth connected with Gedo. Nemeth went back into the ring and Finlay went to follow him only to be super kicked off the apron crashing onto Gedo. With the referee checking on Gedo, Finlay hit Nemeth in the knee with his shillelagh. Finlay’s focus was now on Nemeth’s left leg, he body-slammed him into the mat with his legs hitting the ropes.

A Finlay figure-four. Credit: NJPW

Both men now exchanged some reversals that ended with Nemeth hitting Finlay with an Olympic slam. Nemeth now went for a corner splash, but Finlay removed the turnbuckle pad and moved out of the way. He then dropped Nemeth with an Irish curse backbreaker before launching Nemeth to the floor outside jamming his already injured knee. When Nemeth re-entered the ring he was hit with a spear from Finlay and a dominator, he then locked in a figure-four.

Nemeth broke the hold by reaching the ropes and Finlay began yelling into Nemeth’s face. Nemeth responded by spitting into Finlay’s face, so Finlay clotheslined him twice and power-bombed him. He was now striking Nemeth in the face, but Nemeth then sidestepped Finlay sending him into the exposed turnbuckle. Nemeth then drove Finlay face-first into the exposed turnbuckle repeatedly before planting him with a satellite DDT. He continued his attack with a Famouser, but Finlay then reversed a Danger Zone and hit Into Oblivion.

Danger Zone. Credit: NJPW

Nemeth somehow kicked out at two and both men were now exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring. Finlay attempted an Overkill, but Nemeth caught his knee and hit him with a headbutt. He followed that with a superkick and the Danger Zone to win the IWGP Global Championship!

NJPW The New Beginning in Sapporo Results

Yuji Nagata vs. Zack Sabre Jr.

Sabre reversed a cross-face into a cross armbreaker and Nagata had no choice but to tap out.

Winner: Zack Sabre Jr.

Boltin Oleg, Ryusuke Taguchi & Togi Makabe vs. House of Torture (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Yujiro Takahashi & Ren Narita)

Narita hit Makabe with a piece of steel and followed that with the Double Cross to steal a win.

Winners: House of Torture (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Yujiro Takahashi & Ren Narita)

CHAOS (YOH, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada) vs. United Empire (Callum Newman, Francesco Akira, Great-O-Khan & Jeff Cobb)

Okada has just two matches left in NJPW, including this one, so it was only right he put on a show for the fans. He hit Newman with his signature dropkick and finished him off with a perfect Rainmaker.

Winners: CHAOS (YOH, YOSHI-HASHI, Tomohiro Ishii & Kazuchika Okada)

Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito) vs. Just 5 Guys (TAKA Michinoku, DOUKI, Yuya Uemura, Taichi & SANADA)

Takagi was left in the ring with Michinoku and he landed a Pumping Bomber to get the victory for LIJ.

Winners: Los Ingobernables de Japon (BUSHI, Hiromu Takahashi, Yota Tsuji, Shingo Takagi & Tetsuya Naito)

IWGP Women’s Championship match: Mayu Iwatani (c) vs. Mina Shirakawa

Shirakawa was after Iwatani’s left leg early in this match, but Iwatani responded with a kick from the right leg followed by a Northern Light suplex. She then made the mistake of going to the second rope, Shirakawa dragon screwed her left leg from the second rope to the mat. The attack continued on Iwatani’s leg until she landed a reversal into a poisonrana. Iwatani now showcased her striking ability before hitting a dragon suplex and a frog splash from the top rope.

Iwatani retains. Credit: NJPW

She then went for a moonsault from the top, but Shirakawa moved out of the way and hit a twisting dragon screw. She locked Iwatani into the figure-four leg lock and after a few minutes in the hold, Iwatani got to the ropes. Shirakawa tried another leg attack, but Iwatani blocked and dropped her with a tombstone piledriver. Iwatani continued with a missile dropkick, double foot stomp and a moonsault all from the top rope. She then hit multiple superkicks, a dragon suplex and finally a two-step dragon suplex to retain her title.

Winner: Still IWGP Women’s Champion, Mayu Iwatani

IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Championship match: El Desperado (c) vs. SHO

Desperado dragged SHO to the ring to start this match before the bell and he was showing SHO just how vicious he can be. However, with the referee distracted SHO struck Desperado in the head with the title. That cheap shot allowed SHO to gain control and lock Desperado into a triangle until he got to the ropes. He followed that with a power breaker, but Desperado came right back with a spine buster. Desperado now locked SHO into a submission and all the lights in the arena went out. When the lights came back on the referee was down and Yoshinobu Kanemaru was beating down Desperado.

SHO steals the title. Credit: NJPW

House of Torture was up to their typical cheating ways, so Ryusuke Taguchi rushed out to make the save to steal SHO’s wrench and drag Kanemaru back to the locker room. Desperado was back after SHO’s left leg and locked in Numero Dos again. He then went for Pinche Loco, but SHO pushed Desperado into the referee and with the ref down he hit Desperado with a low blow. SHO then hit Desperado twice in the skull with a chair, but when he went for a third shot Desperado hit him with a low blow. He now delivered a chair shot to SHO’s face and both men were now down. The referee was now counting both men out, but as Desperado tried to enter the ring he was pulled back down by Ren Narita who was hiding under the ring. Narita choked out Desperado while SHO entered the ring to beat the count and Desperado was counted out. In NJPW titles change hands on count outs so SHO is the new IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion!

Winner: NEW IWGP Jr. Heavyweight Champion, SHO

NEVER Openweight Championship match: EVIL (c) vs. Shota Umino

Umino wasted no time attacking EVIL, but EVIL then distracted the referee so Dick Togo could hit Umino from behind. EVIL now threw Umino into the barricades before throwing him into an exposed turnbuckle. He then distracted the ref again, so Togo could punch Umino in the face. Umino now began to battle back, he kicked Togo and hit EVIL with a dropkick followed by an uppercut and fisherman suplex. As the match carried on, Umino hung EVIL on the ropes and springboarded to the outside planting EVIL with a DDT on the apron.

House of Torture is too much for Umino. Credit: NJPW

Umino then hit a diving dropkick, a twisting neck breaker and locked in the STF which is when the bell sounded. Umino thought he won the match, but it was Yujiro Takahashi ringing it, and EVIL now took out the ref so Takahashi and Togo could attack Umino. House of Torture held Umino so Togo could connect with Dick to Dick Contact. EVIL then distracted a new ref so Takahashi could DDT Umino. Umino finally landed a reversal, but EVIL grabbed the new ref and threw him into Umino. Two referees were now down and Togo began to choke out Umino, but Umino responded with a kick to Togo, a DDT to EVIL and a half-suplex to Takahashi. He then planted EVIL with a dragon suplex, a Gun Stun and a Blaze Blade. However, EVIL came right back with Darkness Falls and then finished Umino off with Everything is Evil to retain the title.

Winner: Still NEVER Openweight Champion, EVIL

NJPW World TV Championship match: Hiroshi Tanahashi (c) vs. Matt Riddle

Riddle was making his first Japan appearance since leaving WWE and he was quickly showcasing his skills. He reversed a crossbody from Tanahashi into an armbar, but as the match went to the outside Tanahashi hit him with a springboard. He then attempted a diving senton, but Riddle moved out of the way and he then drilled Tanahashi with a knee. Riddle now sent Tanahashi to the outside where he hit Tanahashi with a running kick followed by a springboard corkscrew Broton on the ramp.

Riddle shocks the world. Credit: NJPW

Back in the ring, Riddle attempted a Floating Bro, but Tanahashi got his knees up and hit a sling blade. Tanahashi followed that with a dragon screw through the ropes and he then went to the top rope to dive, but he was met in mid-air with a bicycle knee from Riddle. Both men now traded some strike, but it was Riddle hitting another running knee and then the BroStone to get the victory. Riddle knocked off Tanahashi in just eight minutes to win the TV title!

Winner: NEW NJPW World TV Champion, Matt Riddle

IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship match: David Finlay (c) vs. Nic Nemeth

Winner: NEW IWGP Global Heavyweight Champion, Nic Nemeth