Preview: NJPW New Beginning In USA Nashville (2/2/19)

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Photo: NJPW

The Nashville, Tennessee card from the NJPW New Beginning In USA tour may not be as stacked as the recent lineups, there is a good chance fans walk away impressed by wrestlers they never had a whole lot of interest in before. The NJPW LA Dojo competitors are in full-force for these events in America and Juice Robinson attempts to hold the USA banner high for NJPW as the IWGP United States champion. There are many from Ring Of Honor Wrestling featured on this event but there may be more than meets the eye as far as the booking goes. They could become regulars in the North American expansion but some could also become major players the way “Switchblade” Jay White has come from a New Zealand Young Lion to number one contender to the IWGP heavyweight championship.

Alex Coughlin vs Karl Fredericks

Both wrestlers have been students of Katsuyori Shibata, could that technique be employed early in their careers or will one or both lay an egg? There is only one way to find out and that’s too see these 200-pound athletes go at it from dark match to main show. Coughlin has the advantage of having wrestled Davey Boy Smith Jr in a singles bout the night before in Charlotte, North Carolina. Coughlin will be more banged up but he will use that match as a stepping stone to bigger things. This will either be a technical showcase or a complete brawl, should be very interesting to see how the students of the LA Dojo are progressing.
Prediction: Alex Coughlin wins.

Harlem Bravado vs The-Great-O-Kharn

Harlem Bravado has been wrestling for over ten years, the high-flyer is known for his tag team, The Bravado Brothers, but Harlem is an amazing athlete in his own right. This hometown competitor has been a champion almost everywhere he’s gone from Dragon Gate USA to Full Impact Pro (FIP). On paper this really looks like The-Great-O-Kharn is being fed some fantastic performers to work with but also defeat to climb the ladder in NJPW. This is as much Harlem Bravado’s time to show what he can do in singles matches as it is for The-Great-O-Kharn (formerly Young Lion, Tomoyuki Oka). Fans may take time to warm up to the former Young Lion but he has some vicious offense to go with his brand new persona after his excursion to the United Kingdom.
Prediction: The-Great-O-Kharn wins.

Jonathan Gresham & Colt Cabana vs Shane Taylor & Lance Archer

Jonathan Gresham is sure to be the star of this match, “The Octopus” doesn’t care about his massive opponent’ss stature, he will lock in submissions from any angle. Colt Cabana is a great tag team partner being a veteran of twenty years but even Cabana may not be able to stop this new team. Shane Taylor is a 350-pound bodyguard for hire but he hasn’t gotten a lot of wins when it comes to marquee matches. Taylor can finish off Gresham with Greetings From 216 to establish himself as a force. Lance Archer has dominant strength in every match but he can fly too and that should compliment Taylor’s powerhouse offense well.
Prediction: Shane Taylor and Lance Archer win.

Brody King vs Jeff Cobb

Photo: NJPW

Brody King didn’t last long in independent wrestling bookings the past year before being signed by ROH. A prospect from the NJPW LA Dojo, King is a true brawler with a rocker look to go with it. Brody King is a musician on his time off of pro wrestling, there are many top names that have fallen to King the past year like ACH and AR Fox. Jeff Cobb has had a very similar path to this bout, the ROH TV champion performed in the same companies as King such as AAW Pro, Bar Wrestling and Pro Wrestling Guerilla (PWG.) This is going to be the Heavyweight clash of the night you don’t want to skip, King could be looking to really impress NJPW and ROH backstage officials alike by going after the ROH TV title immediately after his debut with Villain Enterprises. It appears as though Marty Scurll’s faction, Villain Enterprises, is going to begin a takeover to take the titles and face all the factions in the future. Cobb is going to show off his huge Suplexes but that can only last so long with a man of similar size and the exact same drive.
Prediction: Brody King wins.

CHAOS (Rocky Romero, Trent Baretta & Chucky T) vs Lifeblood (Juice Robinson, David Finlay & Tracy Williams)

Photo: NJPW

Roppongi Vice and Best Friends finally team together all at once as a trio but unfortunately, it’s during a very tumultuous time in their careers. Chucky T became an unlikely member of CHAOS when he teamed with Trent Baretta in the 2017 World Tag League and Chuck Taylor has butted heads with Rocky Romero ever since. Bullet Club leader “Switchblade” Jay White promised that someone from CHAOS was working from the inside to leave for Bullet Club, could that be one of these CHAOS members? Tracy Williams has joined ROH to form a new faction with David Finlay, Mark Haskins, Bandido and the IWGP United States Champion, Juice Robinson. Time will tell if this international faction has tag team gold in mind for unity against other factions like CHAOS, Suzuki-Gun, The Kingdom and Villain Enterprises or something else altogether. There are too many questions with the Best Friends/Roppongi Vice dream team that Juice and company should take advantage with some tag team continuity of their own. Juice Robinson not only defends the IWGP United States Championship during this New Beginning In USA tour but he leads a faction. NJPW obviously can see the potential in “The Flamboyant One” as a hot face act to main event events so Robinson should pin Chucky T after some innovative tag team wrestling.
Prediction: Juice Robinson, Tracy Williams and David Finlay win.

Clark Connors vs “The Villain” Marty Scurll

Photo: NJPW

Clark Connors comes from Washington to make his name known around the world, he has already wrestled for multiple different promotions in his couple years in the business. Connors received the biggest matches of his career when he faced JushinThunderLiger at The Young Lions Project but he went down in defeat in five minutes. If there is ever a time for Connors to turn up the heat and take his career to the next plateau, it would be now against one of ROH’s longest reigning TV champions. It would really be a sight to see if Connors could fight out of the Crossface Chickenwing. These New Beginning In USA shows show a window into the future and Connors winning would solidify that the future is already here. Scurll has such a variety of tricks in his bag that he won’t let a loss happen though and The Graduation likely finishes a very good match.
Prediction: Marty Scurll wins.

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