At today´s NJPW New Beginning in Sapporo show Minoru Suzuki defeated Hiroshi Tanahashi to become the new IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
— 新日本プロレスリング株式会社 (@njpw1972) January 27, 2018
The match focussed on the injuries of Tanahashi. The Suzuki-Gun leader applied multiple vicious variations of leg locks and tortured Tanahashi´s injured knee. The injury caused Tanahashi to miss a tour of NJPW at the end of 2017. He still performed at Wrestle Kingdom 12 on January 4, where he defeated the former Young Lion “Switchblade” Jay White to retain his Intercontinental title. A day later during the New Year Dash show, he got challenged by Minoru Suzuki in a brutal way. This was the first time Suzuki targeted the knee to set up his winning tactic for today.
Suzuki lost his NEVER Open Weight Championship to Hirooki Goto at Wrestle Kingdom this year and had to shave his head afterwards, this marked a turning point in his career, because shortly afterwards he won the British Tag Team titles with Zack Sabre Jr. at RevPro´s High Stakes 2018 show. Now he is the IWGP Intercontinental Champion.
Your new RevPro tag team champions! Minoru Suzuki and Zack Sabre Jr! pic.twitter.com/DhLTrz8h9P
— Alex Haskett (@alexhaskett) January 20, 2018
He won the match without any interference from Suzuki-Gun and dismembered Tanahashi throughout the match. Tanahashi went for the High-Fly Flow but could not capitalize caused by the condition of his knee, Suzuki showed his technical superiority and worked over the weakened body parts of the Ace. They traded submissions but in the end, the founder of Pancrase was victorious.
— LARIATOOOO!! (@MrLARIATO) January 27, 2018
— Official XFL Blimp Pilot (@griffpr) January 27, 2018