On January 6, after two exciting nights of Wrestle Kingdom, it was time for the annual tradition that is NJPW New Year’s Dash. It is the place of many tag matches and the setting up of the feuds for the coming months. The night started with the retirement ceremony for Jushin Liger. It had the traditional giving of flowers. It had many photos with members of New Japan and CHAOS. We had Liger’s family come out. We had a video message from the legend, Antonio Inoki. Liger gives a simple speech thanking New Japan, his fans, and his family. Liger gets a ten bell salute followed by his theme song being sung one last time by the crowd. That officially ends the career of Liger. Here are the NJPW New Year’s Dash 2020 Results.
NEW YEAR DASH!! in picture:
Yesterday, we bade farewell to our legend, Jyushin Thunder Liger.
Get the full results from last night in Ota City and see our stunning photography!https://t.co/2OmsoEziBH#njpw #njdash #ThankyouLiger pic.twitter.com/AJXJ55K69B
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 7, 2020
The card starts with Toa Henare, Yota Tsuji, and Yuya Uemura vs. Karl Fredericks, Clark Connors, and Alex Coughlin. It is the New Japan Lions versus the LA Dojo. It is certainly surprising to see Fredericks make Uemura tap out. Henare vows revenge.
SHO and YOH vs. Hiromu Takahashi and BUSHI vs. El Desperado and Yoshinobu Kanemaru vs. Taiji Ishimori and El Pantasmo is the four-way Junior Heavyweight tag match.
BUSHI attempts to use the mist on El Desperado but hits SHO. This allows Suzuki-gun to put up the victory and likely setting up a future Junior Tag Team Title match.
Juice Robinson, David Finlay, Hiroshi Tanahashi, and Kota Ibushi vs. Tama Tonga, Tanga Loa, Bad Luck Fale, and Chase Owens is the next match on the card. The Bullet Club certainly tried to cheat their way to victory. It is unsuccessful as Tanahashi and Ibushi led their time to victory. After the match, they give a look to Fin Juice’s newly won Tag Team title. That would be a fresh feud.
NJPW New Year’s Dash 2020 Results
Hirooki Goto and Tomohiro Ishii vs. EVIL and Shingo Takagi were next and it was the match of the night. EVIL and Shingo Takagi get the win after a brutal physical finish between Goto and Takagi. Post-match Ishii brawls with EVIL and it likely sets up a future match between the two. Takagi challenges Goto for the NEVER Openweight Champion but doesn’t get an answer tonight.
Kazuchika Okada, YOSHI-HASHI, Will Ospreay, and Robbie Eagles vs. Minoru Suzuki, Zack Sabre Jr., Lance Archer, and Taichi was the second to last match of the night. The match actually ends in a disqualification when Taichi uses the Iron Glove on Okada and continues to attack him after the match. Just as Suzuki-gun is about to take out CHAOS, out comes Jon Moxley to get some revenge on Minoru Suzuki.
Last night at New Year Dash, Jon Moxley made a hell of a statement when he laid out Minoru Suzuki: and the King reacted in terrifying form!
Watch the moment and backstage fallout:https://t.co/xNrwfBfdM8#njpw #njdash pic.twitter.com/kriCfuSiLl
— NJPW Global (@njpwglobal) January 7, 2020
The main event is Tetsuya Naito and SANADA vs. KENTA and Jay White. KENTA is quite hated by the New Japan crowd. The match is pretty back and forth with SANADA getting the quick roll-up pin. Jay White doesn’t take it well and low blows SANADA post-match. KENTA/Jay White then used multiple chair shots on LIJ to the loud boos of the crowd. KENTA insults the crowd and then demands a chance to take the two titles from Naito. And thus ends a chaotic New Year’s Dash.
Lasher’s Last Thoughts:
New Year’s Dash 2020 was a fun show. This is New Japan’s equivalent of the Raw After WrestleMania. The job of this show is to build the feuds and matches of the three New Beginning shows in February. I would say it is mission accomplished.
It is impressive to think that almost every title has a new number one contender. We have a Junior Tag Team Title match, a Heavyweight Tag Team Match, a NEVER Openweight Title Match, a US Heavyweight Title Match and a likely match for the Heavyweight & Intercontinental Championship titles. As a New Japan fan, I am pretty excited about Moxley/Suzuki, Tanahashi/Ibushi versus FinJuice, Goto/Takagi and Naito versus KENTA. It should be a fun year in 2020.
On a final note, if your time is limited make sure to watch Liger’s retirement ceremony. It was heartfelt, emotional and full of surprises. It is a fitting end for the greatest Junior Heavyweight of all time.