Vinny takes a look at what could be one of the most important shows in Professional Wrestling history.
Ya know, outside of the fact that in the last two years or so every week in Pro-Wrestling has been “a little different”.
The cooperation of those two companies, along with Mexico’s legendary CMLL, represented something not seen in years. Kenny Omega, the hottest non-WWE wrestler in the world, was New Japan’s IWGP Heavyweight Champion. His stablemates, The Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes were a consistent presence both there and in Ring of Honor. The Bullet Club was still the hottest thing in wrestling and showed no signs of stopping. A ticket to G1 Supercard was a ticket to most of the biggest stars not on Monday night television. Hell, if you wanted something from Monday night, they even filled that spot with Chris Jericho.
But as I was saying, things change.
Literally every wrestler I listed by name left NJPW and ROH to form All Elite Wrestling, abandoning the Bullet Club moniker and keeping their momentum going forward. It leaves the two promotions in an awkward position. Essentially, tickets were sold under the assumption that certain talent would be appearing. Don’t get me wrong, Kazuchika Okada, Hiroshi Tanahasi, Tetsuya Naito and Marty Scurll were all on that list. There’s no shortage of talent in either promotion. That said, without some of the marquee players from just a few months ago, some of those ticket buyers are not very happy.
This raises a simple question.
What needs to happen for G1 Supercard to live up to the hype?
First and foremost, the promotions need to remain confident in their brands. This isn’t so much of an issue for NJPW, they’re dominant in Japan and still retain some of those aforementioned big names. Not only this, but since the departure of The Elite, they’ve transformed The Bullet Club back into the vicious and dominant heel faction they once were. While the old “Biz Cliz” might not be as popular in the West these days, they’ve given the fans a reason to keep an eye on the ever evolving stable now led by IWGP Heavyweight Champion “Switchblade” Jay White.
Ring of Honor is not quite as solid, but they’re trying. Keeping the momentum of currently separated Elite member Marty Scurll by giving him his own Villain Enterprises stable, elevating of long-time competitor and leader of The Kingdom Matt Taven and putting the belt on ROH standard-bearer Jay Lethal. the company has succeeded in creating an interesting World Title scene.
The talent is all there, we just need the execution. This needs to be a seminal moment in both promotions, so expect some belts to change hands. At least they should. If they don’t, it won’t feel like the American Wrestlekingdom it needs to be. In short, the booking on this show needs to out-Wrestlemania Wrestlemania. The crowd must be happy with the finishes, whether it is their favorite or not. Everyone in the audience must feel this is the most important show since the Tokyo Dome.
That’s might be something easier said than done, but boy has Gedo and company surprised us in the past.