SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Forgoing any sort of number, letter grade or star rating, the Wrestle Kingdom 12 match that occured overnight Wednesday (EST) between Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega was nothing short of fantastic.
Free from the typical in-match commercial breaks and buzzwords that gets hammered into any North American wrestling fan’s skull week in and out, this feud between “The Alpha” and Omega was a well-told, well-paced story with a classic flavor from our country ’tis of thee.
It’s ironic that New Japan is the only major wrestling promotion willing and capable to pull it off, because you wouldn’t have seen that type of brutal, yet athletic brawl on any current WWE programming. Partially because you would have seen Omega fight Jericho three times on Raw already (without any promotion to boot), but there’s also other factors that would have interfered with the successful build and execution of such a memorable battle. Let’s hypothesize what a WWE stooge would say what was wrong with this match.
1. Blood? Stop (Or Pause) The Fight!
Blood is so passe, guys. There could be kids watching. In the magical universe of WWE there is no such thing as blood (except maybe in Suplex City). Corrective action would have been to just have Red Shoes blot Kenny Omega’s face out like he was a slice of greasy pizza for about ten straight minutes.
2. Where Was The Bickering/Counter-Productive Commentary?
We already mentioned the buzzwords and corporate speak, but I just love it when my announcers don’t focus on the action. Why didn’t Kevin Kelly try peddle the New Japan brand or openly mock Don Callis for making some nominal point like Jericho and Omega both being from Winnipeg? (I mean, what does that have to do with anything?) Instead, they talked about the match going on. Just something I’m not used too. It’s very strange over here in the light of the eastern moon.
3. Those Chair Shots Wouldn’t Have Been Up To Code
Not that they looked “dangerous” so to speak, but who gets chairs that fall apart? Cheapskates! You would never have a faulty chair break to pieces in a WWE ring (only the finest steel harvested from Titan Tower) And hey, swings should only go flush across the back or at the very least, as tame as possible. A very controlled throat jab with the top, maybe, but that’s it.
4. Not Enough Of Taking Things Lightly
These guys were so serious. It’s almost like they really hated each other. At least back over in the States people know what’s really going on. There’s nothing horrific about Braun Strowman powerslamming Rhyno four times because we see these guys on Instagram going fishing all the time (or dressed up like Elf). Let’s just have some fun, okay? And geez, watch the swearing, would you?
5. The Production Values Just Don’t Look Right
What’s up with all those perspectives? Just give them the hard camera, a couple of expressive close-ups, and a missed visual of a finishing maneuver from time to time and then it should be Kevin Dunn-approved. Just think “daytime drama” and then you’ll be right as Reigns.
6. This Whole Thing – The Feud, The Match Was Wayyy Too Long
It feels like they took their time with building this thing up, eh? Doesn’t New Japan know that people forget things and are impatient? They’re not going to remember Jericho bum rushing Kenny two months ago, let alone them starting this whole battle up on Twitter. WWE knows all about Twitter and Facebook – so there’s no questioning them when it comes to the social media. They’re the kings.
Luckily, none of Jericho’s list consisted of any WWE stooge travel plans, but just well-executed ideas of classic wrestling merged with modern, which is really all you need to steal the show.
NOW CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS EDITORIAL: EDITORIAL: The Last Outlaw: The Bullet Club leads as pro wrestling’s lone global outlaw