Living in the future is great. Because we get things like Kenny vs Jericho. What a great time to be a fan.
It takes a lot to surprise a grizzled old wrestling fan like myself, but Jericho did just that this month when he showed up on the NJPW Power Struggle PPV and called out Kenny Omega. It’s safe to say that no one saw this coming. How could they?
We’ve seen a mixing of wrestling promotions like never before seen…and it’s wonderful. Now, technically, Jericho isn’t working for WWE right now but it’s still (and will forever be) a WWE guy. So seeing someone that just a month or so ago was on RAW come along and book a match with Kenny is just awesome.
Wrestle Kingdom 12 is still two months away but the excitement is already here. That show is booked…and it’s stacked. All the NJPW usual suspects are on the card and not one of them looks to really disappoint, but that’s par for the course coming from NJPW.
Kenny is The Man in wrestling right now and Jericho is a legend at this point. Jericho might not be in his prime but Kenny can certainly fill in whatever gaps Jericho has. Despite this being for the Japan US Championship, the money is certainly on Kenny which means this boils down to more or less being an exhibition match…but that’s okay by me.
Imagine if WWE announced their WrestleMania card so far in advance? Yeah…The Rumble starts them down “the road” but the necessary drama dictates that the final matches aren’t public until quite close to the event. I know NJPW doesn’t lean on story like Vince does but still. I’d love to get this hyped about WWE again…it just hasn’t happened in what feels like forever.
But to be fair, it’s probably because NJPW doesn’t have 10+ hours of wrestling going on every week. There’s a monthly PPV and that’s about it. I come back once a month to check in on my Japanese friends and then leave. It’s like visiting your grandparents…you’re happy to see them, they usually have presents for you but you don’t want to stay too long because, well, too much of grandma and grandpa can just get boring.
In fact, just recently, I skipped WWE programming for a week. Just didn’t watch. I checked in with the sheets to see what was going on and such, but didn’t invest any real time. And then I watched Raw again and it felt…kinda fresh. Lets just say it felt like going back to work after a long vacation. You didn’t really miss your co-workers but you’re happy to hang out and chat with them about all the stuff you did. I might have to make it more of a habit going in the new year.
Getting back to Power Struggle…it was a pretty solid show. I’d say from mid-point on is worth watching, or at least having on the tube while you’re doing some other things. Tanahashi capped off the night in a good match with Ibushii. Marty Scurll vs Will Osprey was solid too and I was surprised by the win…and it looked like everyone at the show was too, which is always fun to see.