Cardiff's hopes of picking up a victory in their first home game back in the Premier League were heightened in the 66th minute, when Isaac Hayden was shown a controversial red card for a challenge from behind.
However, it was Newcastle who came closest to grabbing a winner when they were awarded a penalty in stoppage time, only for Kenedy to see his spot kick saved with the last kick of the game.
Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.
This contest sees two old foes renew acquaintances in the dugout, while it will also be Cardiff's first home game back in the top flight for four years.
It promises to be a special occasion in South Wales - and potentially an early-season six-pointer too - so let's waste no time in getting started with some team news...
Well, the headline news from Cardiff's perspective is that summer signing Harry Arter makes his debut in midfielder, as expected. The loanee was ineligible for the opening game of the campaign against parent club Bournemouth last weekend, but does make his first appearance for the Bluebirds today.
Zohore had been struggling with a groin injury having also missed the opener against Bournemouth, but he has now returned to fitness and Neil Warnock has had no hesitation in throwing him straight back into the starting lineup.
At the back Ecuele Manga will operate on the right with Bennett on the left, allowing Sol Bamba to drop back into his favoured centre-back role alongside captain Morrison.
The latter of those could end up facing his brother this afternoon, but Jacob only makes the bench for the Magpies so that sibling showdown will have to wait.
Martin Dubravka - who spent last season on loan at the club but has since joined on a permanent deal, is one of only two summer arrivals to be named in the starting lineup, alongside Kenedy, who also spent last season on loan at St James' Park.
Perhaps the most surprising absentee if Salomon Rondon, who once again has to make do with a place on the bench following his summer move from West Brom. The Venezuelan is expected to eventually be Newcastle's first-choice striker, but for now he must bide his time.
Having netted against Spurs, Joselu will be confident of doing the same against the more modest opponents of Cardiff today, and if he manages that then he will become the first Newcastle player to score in Newcastle's opening two Premier League games since Alan Shearer in 2003.
That change is an enforced one too, with DeAndre Yedlin missing out with a minor knee injury and being replaced in the starting XI by Javier Manquillo.
Warnock is lacking experience in a crucial area, though, having never kept a side in the Premier League before. The veteran boss is a master at winning promotion - indeed no manager has managed it more often - but staying in the big time is even harder and it is a skill Warnock has not yet mastered.
The Bluebirds are the overwhelming favourites to be relegated straight back to the Championship this season, and their task has certainly not been made any easier by the spending of fellow newly-promoted clubs Fulham and Wolves during the summer transfer window - something Cardiff simply cannot match.
Cardiff were arguably fancied more for a relegation battle than a title tilt last season, but Warnock led the club to automatic promotion from the Championship, finishing second behind Wolves.
Incidentally, Cardiff also lost their opening match 2-0 on their previous Premier League escapade in 2013-14, and on that occasion they bounced back to stun Manchester City at home in their second match. A similar result today would do very nicely!
At the same time, the fact that they were as low as the fourth tier as recently as that speaks volumes for the progress the club has made to be playing Premier League football today, so any struggles this season must be taken in context.
Warnock certainly made it into something of a fortress towards the tail end of last season, winning eight of their 10 home games so far in 2018 - although they all came in the Championship.
Cardiff only managed five home wins on their way to a rock-bottom finish on their last stint in the Premier League, which is something they simply must improve upon this time around. Today's game will hopefully give us a good idea about how they will fare in 2018-19.
There are plenty of question marks lingering over the Magpies too, and while they achieved a top-half finish last season - much to Benitez's credit - some have tipped them to be battling against relegation again this season.
It is a well-known gripe for Benitez has he hasn't had enough money to spend, and his frustrations cannot have been helped by the recent news that Mike Ashley bought House of Fraser for £90m either.
The Magpies began their campaign with a difficult test against Tottenham Hotspur, but their survival will not be decided by games against the top six, which is why matches like this are so important for them to get results from.
On paper, this should be an easier test for the Magpies, but there is always the factor of a home crowd spurring newly-promoted sides to perform above their usual level during the early stages of the season.
The omens don't look particularly good for them to improve that record tonight either, with the Magpies having failed to win their opening away match in each of the past five Premier League campaigns, losing four of those since a 1-0 win over arch-rivals Sunderland in 2011.
The Magpies also arrive in South Wales having lost their last three away league games, and another defeat this afternoon would see them lose four in a row for the first time under Benitez.
The initial feud began when Benitez fielded a second-string side against Fulham in 2007, leading to a 1-0 defeat which had a hand in seeing Sheffield United relegated on the final day of the season.
The unknown quantity of how Cardiff will perform on their first home game back in the Premier League makes this one a little more difficult to call, but they are likely to be hard to break down. Newcastle have the better team on paper, but I'm going for a score draw today.
SPORTS MOLE SAYS: Cardiff 1-1 Newcastle
By the same token, Newcastle's run of 10 successive league wins against Cardiff is their longest winning run against a single opponent in their history.
However, Cardiff have beaten Newcastle as recently as 2014 in the FA Cup, running out 2-1 winners on that occasion.
Benitez, meanwhile, has never lost against Warnock in five previous meetings across all competitions, winning each of the last four following a 1-1 draw on the opening day of the 2006-07 Premier League season.
CARDIFF STARTING XI: Etheridge; Bennett, Morrison, Manga, Bamba; Arter, Ralls, Camarasa, Hoilett, Murphy; Zohore
NEWCASTLE STARTING XI: Dubravka; Manquillo, Clark, Lascelles, Dummett; Diame, Shelvey, Ritchie, Kenedy, Perez; Joselu
The match began quickly but fizzled out as the half wore on, with Newcastle struggling to get going against the newly-promoted outfit. The Magpies have still had the most chances, but Benitez will demand improvement from his side.
Kenedy has also been denied by the Cardiff keeper, although the loanee should have been sent off later in the half for a kick out and failed to complete a single successful pass in that opening 45 minutes.
The hosts have largely relied upon set pieces to conjure up chances, although Zohore also squandered another sight of goal from open play - one of precious few chances Cardiff have been able to create.
There may also be the worry from the hosts that Newcastle will up their game in the second half, and Benitez will certainly be demanding they do so during the interval.
0 - Kenedy failed to complete a single pass in the first half against Cardiff City - he is the first outfield Premier League player to fail to complete a single pass in 45+ minutes of play since Nikola Kalinic against Birmingham City in March 2010. Passenger. pic.twitter.com/6EZbhRNI9B— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 18, 2018
1 - Isaac Hayden is the first substitute to be given a straight red in the Premier League since Hal Robson-Kanu for West Brom vs Burnley in August 2017. Naughty. pic.twitter.com/j8Cjs8cG8D— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 18, 2018
🔴 RED CARD! 🔴— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 18, 2018
It's a wild lunge from Isaac Hayden and it's a straight red for the substitute!
Watch live on Sky Sports Premier League now or follow: https://t.co/hBpRtGqWbP pic.twitter.com/HENtiAaz9H
It ends goalless in South Wales, which means a first point of the season for both Cardiff and Newcastle, but both sides will see this as two points dropped. Newcastle were down to 10 men from the 66th minute, but could have nicked all three points with that late penalty.
Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for today's early Premier League kickoff as 10-man Newcastle miss the chance to seal all three points from a goalless draw with Cardiff. I will leave your with our match report, and be sure to stick around for reaction too.
From me, though, it is goodbye for now!