Kenny Omega had the main event of the second night of the New Beginning in Sapporo, as Jay White had his second championship shot inside a month. Will it pay off this time?

Well, isn’t it fun having to scramble at the last moment to find a replacement PC? No screenshots here (yet) because we’re on our back-up machine.

Before the start of the show, it was announced that Hiroshi Tanahashi was off the show due to the effects of the Suzuki match last night – he’ll be replaced by Toa Henare.

Katsuya Kitamura vs. Juice Robinson
The Kitamura trials continue, with the relative rookie doing pretty well early on, absorbing offence from Juice before taking him airborne with a back body drop.

A slam only gets a near-fall over Juice, who sidesteps an attempted spear and took over from there… at least briefly, anyway, as Kitamura’s able to use his power and avoid a leg lariat, instead dumping Juice with a single-handed spinebuster. Some chops from Kitamura really have Juice reeling, as does the deadlift gutwrench, before Robinson leapt over another spear.

Juice tried to capitalise with a spinebuster, but that’s only good for a two-count, as he aborts a suplex battle to just throw some punches instead. The Kitamura spear finally happens, but again, only for a near-fall, so the Jackhammer’s attempted… and fought out of as Robinson tried to put him away with a lariat. From there though, it’s just the matter of the Pulp Friction, and it’s a win for Juice. This took a while to get going, but I do like how Kitamura’s getting more competitive in these… although the list of names for his trial series mean that the first win isn’t likely to be coming soon. **¾

Suzuki-gun (Yoshinobu Kanemaru, Taichi, El Desperado & TAKA Michinoku) vs. Jushin “Thunder” Liger, Tiger Mask, Ryusuke Taguchi & Shota Umino
Taichi didn’t get trolled here, as he got to lip sync… Taguchi went straight for Taichi’s valet, to give her a hug, and it led to the jump start. Yeah… that’s going to get some folks moaning.

After the initial offence, Taguchi’s able to land a hip attack, before Liger tagged in and Shotei’d through the field. The Romero special followed to Kanemaru, but Taichi breaks it up as we enter the usual Suzuki-gun shenanigans, with Liger getting choked with Taichi’s mic stand, while TAKA tries to rip off the hood from Tiger Mask.

Eventually, Liger’s able to hit back with a tiltawhirl backbreaker, before Tiger comes in off the top rope against Desperado. The Tiger Driver follows for barely a one count, as the mask ripping continues from TAKA… he doesn’t quite do it though, as Tiger Mask’s able to take Desperado up top for a butterfly superplex!

The ring filled to break that up, but now Taichi goes for the mask… that’s stopped as Shota Umino gets the tag, with the Young Lion a ball of proverbial fire as he tore into Taichi with running elbows before clearing the Suzuki-gun apron. His team-mates hold Taichi up for a missile dropkick, before a simple Taichi lariat almost put him away.

A La Magistral from Umino almost gets the shock his way, but in the end it’s a simple superkick that gets Taichi the win. Fun enough as they ditched all of the usual interference shtick, saving the un-maskings and the Taguchi ass-assault until after the match. ***

Bullet Club (Yujiro Takahashi & HIKULEO) vs. Tomohiro Ishii & Toru Yano
HIKULEO is the former Leo Tonga, going back to his original name…

We open with a jump start as Yujiro attacked Toru Yano from behind, but in the ropes Yano’s able to low bridge HIKULEO as the Bullet Club tandem took the advantage, with HIKULEO using his size to keep Yano down. Yujiro tries to keep that up, with some success as he nearly gets the win from a low dropkick, only to get dumped on his head with a German suplex once Ishii tagged in.

HIKULEO’s straight in as he tried to suplex Ishii, only for it to get reversed, before Yujiro returned and actually knocked down Ishii after a mini strike battle. Ishii gives what he receives when he bites back, before a lariat takes Yujiro down hard… but HIKULEO’s back in charge when he slammed Yano after the latter was caught undoing the turnbuckle padding.

Eventually though, HIKULEO charges into the exposed buckle, before a low blow from Yano and an Ishii lariat got the win. Fun enough, and the win keeps Yano and Ishii on course for an expected title shot after this tour. You’d think. **¾

Bullet Club (Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens & Guerrillas of Destiny (Tama Tonga & Tanga Loa) vs. Togi Makabe, Hiroyoshi Tenzan, Manabu Nakanishi & Tomoyuki Oka
With Toa Henare being moved up the card to replace Tanahashi, we’ve got Tomoyuki Oka in to take the expected pin here as the Bullet Club take on a much-changed quartet.

It’s Tenzan and Tama who start off with shoulder charges, before Tama’s Mongolian chops just angered Tenzan into some of his own. A Kokeshi headbutt from Tenzan, then a big splash from Nakanishi gets a two-count as the veterans stay in control, at least until Tanga Loa dragged Nakanishi outside for a spell of brawling on the floor.

Chase Owens takes Shota Umino into the crowd, while Fale and Makabe also end up there, with a Tetsuya Naito bear getting used to choke out Makabe. Back in the ring, Owens takes out Nakanishi with a flying chop to the head as Nakanishi’s isolated in the Bullet Club corner… eventually Nakanishi gets free and tags in Makabe, who went straight for Fale with corner lariats and mounted punches, before Nakanishi took out Tanga Loa with what was the nearest approximation to the TenKoji cutter.

In the ring, Makabe eats a Samoan drop before countering with a lariat, but the ring fills up as Tiger Hattori lost control with the Bullet Club trying to overwhelm Makabe… but instead Oka’s in to try and get a Boston crab on Owens. That doesn’t work as he ends up taking a trapped-lariat, before the package piledriver put away Oka. Exactly what you’d expect here, down to the crowd spots – the only surprise was who got the finish. ***

Michael Elgin & Toa Henare vs. Suzuki-gun (Minoru Suzuki & Takashi Iizuka)
As soon as Iizuka hit the ring, we had the jump start, with Suzuki going straight for Henare as if he were Tanahashi. Poor kid.

Henare does manage to land a flying forearm to take down Suzuki, but he’s quickly suckered into a hanging armbar in the ropes, before he was taken outside and battered with the guard railings. Meanwhile, Iizuka babyfaces himself by choking out Elgin with a chair.

Henare beats the count-out as Suzuki… threw him back outside again so Iizuka and co could continue the offence, throwing the Kiwi into the guard railings for a four-on-one mugging behind the ref’s back. Iizuka keeps it up in the ring, while Elgin just stands there like a dummy as Henare’s assaulted, with bites from Iizuka, Taichi and TAKA.

Eventually another flying forearm takes Iizuka down as Henare tags in Elgin for a slingshot splash, then a German suplex as we worked up to Elgin and Henare double-teaming Suzuki. That initially worked, as did the Henare spear, but Suzuki’s quickly in with a rear naked choke as a set-up for… some slaps to Henare, as he went straight back to the knee bar for the submission. Good fire from Henare here, who was left isolated after the match as Suzuki-gun went for a 5-on-1 beatdown. ***¼

Togi Makabe’s out to make the save… and THAT is your next Intercontinental title feud as Suzuki backed away.

Bullet Club (Cody, Marty Scurll & Hangman Page) vs. Kota Ibushi, KUSHIDA & David Finlay
Cody may want to rethink the white robe, especially with the pointed head… unless Ku Klux Kody is the new direction?

We open with KUSHIDA and the man Cody labelled the “best technical wrestler in the world”, Marty Scurll, who struggled against the opening wristlock as he needed a Greco-Roman eye rake to free himself. Next up was a hammerlock, as the gag here was that Marty wasn’t all he was cracked up to be, before Cody made the save.

Finlay’s having to fight off all three at the same time, before a Dragon screw in the ropes put him on the back foot ahead of a shooting star headbutt off the apron from Page. That left Finlay on the defensive for a spell, but he instantly reverses a Figure Four from Cody as we were building up to the obvious confrontation… and in comes Ibushi!

Ibushi effortlessly takes down Cody for a springboard moonsault, before another Dragon screw out of Cody left the Golden Star down. Eventually Kota gets his knees up to block Page’s standing shooting star, before a double Pele takes down Cody and Marty, as the tag’s made out to KUSHIDA… but it’s Finlay who’s taking his time to shine as the ring fills up for our favourite Parade of Moves, ending when KUSHIDA saves Kota from a Cross Rhodes off the apron.

Page’s somersault lariat to KUSHIDA looked to have him ready for a finish, but a drop toe hold took Page down as Kota flew in with a stomp en route to a Golden Triangle moonsault… KUSHIDA’s Hoverboard lock is pulled away by Cody, who then counters Back to the Future into Cross Rhodes, as Page returns for the Rites of Package belly-to-back piledriver for the win. A blistering sprint at the end there, as we keep up the build to Cody and Kota… ***½

Los Ingobernables de Japon (Tetsuya Naito, EVIL, SANADA, BUSHI & Hiromu Takahashi) vs. Kazuchika Okada, Hirooki Goto, YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay & Gedo
The Ingobernables tried to jump the CHAOS quintet at the bell, but instead they’re thwarted as we quickly got to YOSHI-HASHI ripped the shirt off of Naito and peppered him with forearms in the corner.

Naito gets held in the ropes for a dropkick as YOSHI-HASHI continued his tear, throwing chops at the LIJ leader before running into a boot as some quick interference from BUSHI turned the tide. Ospreay and Hiromu, EVIL & Goto and SANADA & Okada end up fighting in the crowd, all while Naito’s got YOSHI-HASHI hung up in the corner for a baseball slide dropkick.

Naito keeps up with the outside-in dropkick as BUSHI starts to rip away on YOSHI-HASHI, as the latter remained isolated and nowhere near a tag out. Eventually he evades a low dropkick from Hiromu and tags in Ospreay, who’s more than happy to take his shots on the worn-down Takahashi, blasting into him with the Shibata-esque dropkick and a standing shooting star for a near-fall.

Ospreay’s handspring back elbow gets countered in mid-air into a German suplex as we get tags out to Goto and EVIL, and my feed goes out… recovering when Okada tags in to knock down EVIL with a back elbow. SANADA’s in, but he just gets flapjacked… SANADA recovers to hit the double leapdrog and a dropkick, before a backdrop suplex gets a two-count over Okada as he built up to a Muto-esque moonsault.

Okada avoids that as we get a tag out that almost saw Gedo pin SANADA with a Gedo clutch as a Parade of Stuff broke out, most of it happening to Gedo as he took a Skull End, a lungblower and a TKO for a near-fall, before SANADA re-applied the Skull End for the submission. Decent enough, but this match, like the late 2017 LIJ/CHAOS tags, lacked that extra spark from bell-to-bell. It did return afterwards as YOSHI-HASHI tried to go for Naito, but he’s quickly calmed down. ***½

IWGP Junior Heavyweight Tag Team Championship: Roppongi 3K (SHO & YOH) vs. Young Bucks (Nick Jackson & Matt Jackson) (c)
After they were pretty much blown-out on the prior night’s show, this might be an easy win for the Bucks…

We started with a strike battle between YOH and Matt Jackson, before the former rolls out of a Sharpshooter attempt as the Bucks tried to end this early. SHO doesn’t fare much better, as he’s held in for a corkscrew neckbreaker by the Bucks, before Nick ate a bulldog onto a knee as the challengers showed that their double-team game was also strong. Superkicks put a stop to that as Roppongi 3K were sent outside for the Bucks to dive on, with Nick hitting a Sasuke special over his upside down brother in the ropes.

The Bucks chase Rocky Romero to the back… but they still catch him and drag him back down the walkway, but SHO and YOH make the save as everyone spills off the raised aisle ahead of a cannonball flip from Matt off the aisle to the floor. An apron powerbomb to YOH followed as Matt looked to have tweaked his knee, which gave out as he went for a bucklebomb.

Matt tagged back in as he was able to hit a double-team armdrag and a dropkick as his back looked to be restricting his mobility… and it’s not helped when he takes a backdrop from the ring to the floor, clipping the apron on the way down. He’s still got enough of him to stop SHO from tagging in, as YOH continued to take a barrage of offence. Eventually YOH redirects a superkick from the Bucks as he’s able to tag in SHO, who takes Matt off the apron with a baseball slide dropkick.

Nick’s in for more of the same, as SHO kicks him to the mat for a two-count. Matt returns and just takes a series of German suplexes as SHO and YOH looked to be easing ahead, nailing the Dominator/neckbreaker combo for a near-fall. After Nick suckered the challengers outside, his moonsault to the floor led to him getting dumped into the apron with the 3K flapjack, but in the ring it’s Matt’s back that’s causing trouble, although he’s able to kick out after a flying knee/Burning Hammer combo.

YOH tries to capitalise on the back with a Boston crab to Matt, but the Young Buck isn’t a Young Boy, so that doesn’t lead to the finish, as Matt valiantly tried to fight off a superplex, but failed as he’s forced again to kick out. Matt fires up after taking a barrage of kicks, as the referee allowed the extended double-team… but an errant superkick helped get Matt free to the tag, as Nick tried to fight off the challengers single-handedly.

He succeeded, too, taking SHO onto the apron with a German suplex, before chaining in a flying facebuster and a tornado DDT to the floor as Nick was the one man wrecking spree. A frog splash misses as YOH got the knees up, but Nick’s up at two, and back with superkicks and knees for all! In spite of his bad back, Matt holds up SHO for a senton bomb from Nick, before another draping 450 to YOH almost gets the win.

With a little help, Matt is able to pull off a buckle bomb before turning YOH into a Sharpshooter, but again the back gives out… and although YOH gets to the ropes, a senton from Nick breaks the rope break… Matt reapplies the hold, but he’s forced to release the hold eventually. For some reason Matt went to put the Sharpshooter back on, but his cockiness cost him as YOH counters with an inside cradle, and that’s enough to end the brief 7th reign of the Young Bucks!

This was pretty fun, although the proverbial “subtlety hammer” was out in force for Matt’s back injury… which some will argue was exposed early because “why would you do your usual routine with a bad back”? Insanity from end-to-end, and perhaps a shade better than what we had at the Tokyo Dome, but inexplicably the Sapporo crowd felt flat at points to it… Maybe now’s the time to have Roppongi 3K resume their obliteration of whatever the division is now? ****¼

IWGP United States Championship: Jay White vs. Kenny Omega (c)
Set-up when Jay White shot down the Bullet Club invite at New Year Dash – and instead later chose CHAOS for… reasons, this is a tough main event for Kenny Omega. After coming up massively short against Hiroshi Tanahashi, can Jay White hit the spot here?

Nick Jackson’s out with Kenny Omega, still a little disappointed from just losing the junior tag titles moments ago. There’s a pretty intense tie-up as Omega takes White into the ropes… but a nonchalant slap sorta puts Jay in his place. The slap’s quickly returned though, before Omega ploughed through him with a big boot, as neither champion nor challenger was able to maintain much offence.

A springboard from Omega’s swatted away as White dropkicks him into the guard rails, before he stuffs a moonsault off the guard rails, instead dumping Kenny with a Saito suplex on the floor. Ouch. White ups the ante as he rips up part of the padding on the floor, before slamming Omega onto the exposed floor as he tried to… accept a count-out?

Omega easily beats the count though, only for White to stay on top in the ring, turning him around into a Muta lock as Switchblade was just dominating the US champion, rolling together a series of front-facelock suplexes. Those are stopped when Omega charged White into the corner, and followed up with some axehandle blows, before the Finlay roll and springboard moonsault got him a two-count.

White’s back in though, nailing a Saito suplex before running into a ‘rana that took him to the outside… and I think we can guess where we’re heading. Terminator tope con giro from Omega!

Back inside, Omega nails a Kotaro Krusher for a near-fall, then the Aoi Shoudou (cross-legged Fisherman’s buster)… but White escapes a V-trigger, before blocking a second as the Kiwi instead snapped Omega with a Downward Spiral and a German suplex! A death valley driver gets a solid two-count for White, who seemed to literally have Omega against the ropes… but it was a ploy to sucker him in for a V-trigger!

Another V-trigger, this time on the apron, sent White sprawling to the floor, but Kenny’s not done, as he clears a part of the crowd so he could powerbomb White in the front row, bowing some of those chairs in the process.

Eventually crawling himself back into the ring, White takes some snap Dragon suplexes, then a spinning heel kick to the back of the head, and another V-trigger as he was kneeling in the corner. That left White as dead weight, making a One Winged Angel difficult, before Omega again went for a snap Dragon, and another V-trigger after he pointedly told White that he was “not on my level”.

A Praying Mantis Bomb keeps the near-falls going, as Omega keeps unloading with those V-triggers, which White just laughs at. Jay White barely gets a shoulder up as Omega nonchalantly went for a cover (to the point where you’d be forgiven for thinking that Jay messed up, but the replay shows that he did get a shoulder off the mat), before finding enough in him to land a series of snap Saito suplexes.

White keeps up the suplexes, dumping Kenny on his head with a sleeper suplex, then a Kiwi Krusher for a near-fall, as White called for the Blade Runner… but Kenny punches free and lands another V-trigger. Out of nowhere, White gets the Blade Runner for a near-fall, before the back-and-forth for another one of those sees Kenny switch it into a reverse ‘rana.

Yet another V-trigger knocked White down, but he has enough around him to slip out of the One Winged Angel… and he hits another Blade Runner… and Jay White is your new United States champion! This was much improved on what we saw at the Tokyo Dome, with Jay White getting the biggest shock of the past few years! ****¼

After the match, Hangman Page wandered down to the ring… and he grabs the belt off of White, only for Kenny to snatch it back and give Jay the title. The Bullet Club disintegration continues here, with Cody running out to berate Kenny for “not acting like a leader”. Cue the shoving match, with Kenny accidentally shoving down Matt Jackson and this ring is exceedingly well mic’d as we’re hearing every word.

The Bucks walk out on Kenny, leaving together as Omega tried to apologise. Marty told Kenny to sort it out with Cody by himself… and here’s the split! Cody plants Kenny with Cross Rhodes as he tried to leave the ring. Cody tried to call some shots, and took a chair from Kevin Kelly at ringside… only for Kota Ibushi to make the save!

Cody, Page and Marty scatter as Kota extends a hand to Omega… Kenny uses the ropes to pull himself up, but refuses the handshake. That confuses Kota too, but instead they hug… and we get a… golden shower? Not quite, it’s a cheesy confetti cannon, but what the hell, the Golden Lovers are back!

Much like yesterday’s show, the second part of Sapporo’s New Beginning was very much full on padding. Still, those final two matches and THAT main event were a sight to behold, as was the fall-out… and I guess we now need to figure out what happens next with the Bullet Club – and how the reunited Kenny/Kota pairing factors into this. This maybe wasn’t a home run like WrestleKingdom, but the storyline evolutions make this a show that you really need to check out.