Hiroshi Tanahashi brings more than title hope on Road to The New Beginning

Tanahashi, Master Wato victorious in Korakuen main event

Night two of the Road to the New Beginning saw Hiroshi Tanahashi and Master Wato come out on top of a hard fought tag team main event, with big matches in Nagoya and Hiroshima looming for both men. 

The main event started as Sunday’s ended, with Wato and BUSHI legal first. Trying to build on the momentum of his night one win, Wato brought early strikes to BUSHI before Takagi created an opening for BUSHI to take advantage on the floor. Back inside, Wato found himself in a world of hurt, as Takagi piled on pressure with charging blows, only letting up to attack Tanahashi on the apron. 

At the five minute mark, Wato summoned a dropkick that bought time enough to bring a rejuvenated Tanahashi into the ring. The Ace fired shots at both BUSHI and Shingo, before a high cross brought Wato in. Recientemente connected to BUSHI, but a rewind kick and backcracker scored for the masked man, bringing NEVER Openweight Champion and challenger back inside. 

Takagi and Tanahashi fired offense at one another, Shingo gaining the upper hand with his own twist on the Twist and Shout. The original scored for The Ace, as did a Slingblade, but the Dragon roared back with a Pumping Bomber to take his Nagoya challenger down. Shingo and BUSHI continued to work over the Ace together, but Tanahashi was able to rally with a Dragon Screw on BUSHI before locking in the Texas Cloverleaf.

Takagi broke up the hold; legal man or not, he was prime to tear Tanahashi’s head off, but Wato met him instead with a springboard upper cut and tornillo to the floor. In ring, Slingblade connected for Tanahashi on BUSHI, and then the High Fly Floor for an emphatic win. 

Post match, an emotional Tanahashi addressed a crowd whittled due to pandemic restrictions, saying ‘I’ll remember Korakuen Hall exactly as it is tonight. One day all of you here will say ‘remember that one night we were in Korakuen Hall with so few people?’ and smile.’ Tanahashi showed hope of becoming NEVER Champion, and to once again bring pro-wrestling to sold out post pandemic crowds.