Shota Umino setback with heavy Naito loss at New Beginning

Naito victorious in Sapporo main event

Tetsuya Naito emerged victorious from a main event battel with Shota Umino on night one of New Beginning in Sapporo February 4, a convincing victory sending him on a path to Keiji Muto’s last match and leaving Umino with plenty to think on.

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With the Sapporo crowd firmly behind Naito, Umino nonetheless tried to create early offence after a cautious open. With stutter steps into takedowns distinctly Naito esque, and with a mocking mid ring pose as Naito was sent to the floor, Umino was scoring early, but showing how far Naito was in his head; when the shoe was on the other foot, Naito opted not to taunt Umino as he went to the outside, instead landing a basement dropkick before a neckbreaker over the guardrail that put El Ingobernable firmly in charge.

Naito stayed on the neck in ring, and a cravate and clubbing blows had the Roughneck struggling. At sea, a tijeras and knockdowns connected and helped Umino closer to land with the Hokkaido audience as a Fisherman’s suplex brought him two. Still, it was hard for the crowd’s energy to go anywhere but Naito’s way, and when Umino was half a step slow in choosing his offense, Naito made him pay dearly. 

Instead of creating movement, it was Naito that was making Umino move, until a slingshot tope con giro outside gave rise to a shotgun dropkick back in the ring. With an offensive style that met his Roughneck nickname, Umino was wild but effective, especially when countering Naito’s Destino- a Bastard Driver like move countered Naito one moment, and a reverse version struck the next.

Yet Naito was not to be denied. Even as ‘Umino’ chants crept in among the ‘Naito’ ones, El Ingobernable stayed firmly on task. Though Umino kicked out of a running Destino, a full dialling up of the arm was enough to secure a solid win, but one, Naito admitted that ‘helped me see some potential- and gave me something to look forward in future, perhaps’.