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MR. TITO STRIKES BACK - New Japan's HUGE Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega Match-up and How it Affects WWE (Styles = Champ)
By Mr. Tito
Nov 8, 2017 - 12:30:53 AM

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The EXCELLENCE IN COLUMN WRITING is upon you once again here at LordsofPain.net / WrestlingHeadlines.com by Mr. Tito. I'm just LOVING how a bunch of my critics are like "see, see, see AJ Styles beat Jinder Mahal to become WWE Champ! No receipt", which is alluding to how I thought WWE could punish both AJ Styles and Finn Balor for the "Too Sweet" hand signal at the TLC Pay Per View. Well, I was HALF right as the WWE, did in fact, bury Finn Balor with Kane destroying Balor on the night after his big TLC Styles win. THAT is the receipt, folks. That's the message that Vince McMahon sends to the rest of the locker room to DON'T BE A MARK for your buddies in another promotion or to your past.

But we'll see how long AJ Styles lasts at Survivor Series 2017 against Brock Lesnar. In case you haven't noticed, Brock has been butchering the competition lately. Ask Bill Goldberg, Braun Strowman, and Samoa Joe for how short their matches have been during 2017. However, I hope that the critics are right in that I'm wrong on this issue... I'm sooooooooo HAPPY that the "CHAMP THAT RUNS THE CAMP" is WWE Champion again and that the Jinder nightmare is over. He is the worst WWE Champion in the history of that title and it's not his fault.. He was a midcard jobber on RAW who was rushed to the big belt. Not fair to him and he tried his best to make it... Just not enough because WWE didn't adequately prepare Jinder for that role.

I also think that Jinder lost that WWE Title because of a legitimate shoulder injury that needs resolved immediately to retain that scheduled Wrestlemania 34 match-up between John Cena vs. Jinder Mahal. If so, that means that Jinder could be a 2-time WWE Champion... Oh please no.

The AJ Styles WWE Title change could also be a response to something... AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar, though last minute, feels like a "SPECIAL" match-up. In my opinion, that match significantly upgrades Survivor Series 2017 to a MUST SEE event. WWE does not have that many "special" matches left in their chamber, as they burned through most of their last great match-ups in the last 3 months. Seriously. Joe vs. Lesnar, Joe vs. Strowman, Cena vs. Strowman, Cena vs. Roman. We've already seen Lesnar vs. Roman.

My point is this... Maybe AJ Styles winning the WWE Title AND setting up Lesnar vs. Styles at Survivor Series 2017 is in response to what New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) just accomplished...

HOLY COW, Chris Jericho will be appearing at New Japan's Wrestle Kingdom event on January 4th, 2018 and will be wrestling superstar Kenny Omega in a singles match. The news erupted early on Sunday morning and set the Internet Wrestling Community ON FIRE.

For one, that's a big free agent signing by New Japan, even if it's temporary. My guess is that Chris Jericho has informed the WWE and Vince McMahon of his potential actions and received their blessing. And I bet Vince McMahon was OK with Jericho working for the promotion and Jericho will be welcome back to the WWE at any time. Simply put, they have a great relationship full of respect and Vince is happy to see Jericho going to New Japan. Why? Well, look at Jericho's win/loss record in the WWE. He put over many guys in the past few years including Fandango at a freakin' Wrestlemania! Thus, if Chris Jericho gives Kenny Omega major difficulty in the ring, it makes Vince's wrestlers look stronger because they beat Jericho and New Japan's finest is struggling against Chris Jericho. Vince thinks like that... I wouldn't doubt that Vince McMahon is OK with Jericho going there in case that Jericho comes back to WWE, it might pull in Omega and other NJPW free agents.

Secondly, will that create a much needed BOOM in New Japan? In my opinion, the Bullet Club and Kenny Omega have been drumming up interest from North American fans in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Throwing a major WWE superstar into that mix for a "dream" match just puts that on steroids. While Japanese wrestlers are very technically sound and make sense to their native country, North American fans are heavily conditioned on what WWE has force fed them for years with a love for flash, charisma, personality, and sort of a rock star look to their wrestlers. Omega has that in one package as does Jericho. Question is, will Jericho stay or will he go after the Omega match?

I'll be honest with you... I've tried to watch New Japan for years. Readers have sent me tapes and DVDs and I've watched content via streaming services. Ever since several Japanese wrestlers began appearing in WCW as NWO members, I was curious to check things out overseas... But it doesn't work for me. Their more serious style, reliance on stiffer strikes, sometimes an absence of psychology, and a lack of colorful characters has kept me away... But Kenny Omega and his many great performances of 2017 has caught my eye.

THAT SAID, I will legitimately try to watch Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega LIVE as it happens, even if it's 3am or so, when it happens. I would never think about doing that for any New Japan match before that.

This match is SPECIAL and that's why everybody is buzzing. You have New Japan's finest in Kenny Omega who is easily the 2017 WRESTLER OF THE YEAR... Then, you have Chris Jericho, though older, as an accomplished wrestler who just proved during 2016-2017 that he still has something left in the tank. What's GREAT about Chris Jericho isn't necessarily about what he does in the ring as a wrestler but what he can do on the microphone and with his personality. Jericho is so in tuned with the wrestling business and knows how to get himself over no matter what the circumstances. He got a freakin' clipboard over in the WWE!

New Japan's biggest star (Kenny Omega) is colliding with a former ECW, WCW, WWE, and even Japanese wrestling veteran (Chris Jericho). How many times do you get to see that in a decade? Or at all? It's a UNIQUE match-up that is going to cause wrestling fans to WANT to see that match-up.

And that's what WWE is missing... This kind of EPIC match-up that causes everyone to want to drop what they're doing and get glued to their screen. Brock Lesnar vs. AJ Styles is nice, but WWE has pretty much pissed away the potential for AJ Styles during 2017. That, and Lesnar has survived Goldberg, Samoa Joe, Reigns/Joe/Strowman, and Strowman in matches during 2017... How on earth could AJ Styles compare to that when someone like Baron Corbin or Kevin Owens could beat him and repeatedly? Oh, for the United States title, too.

WWE once had this big match-up, though... It was a match that had EVERYBODY talking.

No, it wasn't Roman Reigns vs. Undertaker.

No, it wasn't Roman Reigns vs. John Cena

No, it wasn't Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar (too early, in my opinion).

Nope, the BIG MATCH that the WWE actually held this year that felt SPECIAL was Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe singles match held at WWE Great Balls of Fire 2017 Pay Per View. THAT was the match-up that generated buzz in the WWE.

On one side, you had Samoa Joe who climbed to the top of Ring of Honor, TNA Wrestling, and NXT... On the other end, it was Brock Lesnar who has a great WWE career combined with his UFC success, NCAA amateur career, and some New Japan stuff himself. 2 unique backgrounds colliding!

During the summer, my famous "RAW permanently under 3 million" prediction was coming true following Wrestlemania 33. In fact, May & Jone 2017 combined gave me 8 out of 9 weeks fulfilling that prediction. But then July arrived and we're hyping Brock Lesnar vs. Samoa Joe. Consistently above 3 million on RAW each week for shows hyping the Joe vs. Lesnar match-up. Following that in August to hype SummerSlam with the Fatal 4 Way featuring Joe along with Lesnar, Strowman, and Reigns, RAW remained above 3 million. Then, Samoa Joe gets injured and is left off the No Mercy card. Well, what do you know... Back under 3 million.

Point is that the WWE had that SPECIAL match-up that wrestling fans wanted to see in Samoa Joe vs. Brock Lesnar. It felt real and legitimate. As the RAW viewership numbers prove, it drew!

And what was the result of that Lesnar vs. Joe match at the Great Balls of Fire Pay Per View?

Brock Lesnar defeated Samoa Joe cleanly in 6 minutes, 25 seconds.

6:25!

WWE had a touchdown in sights by possibly making a bigger deal out of Samoa Joe and yet they fumbled the ball.

Maybe I'm suggesting that Joe should have BEAT Brock Lesnar or maybe I'm suggesting a longer match that 6 freakin' minutes... Either way, doing something that was the opposite of what really happened at WWE Great Balls of Fire would have been best.

Looking up and down the WWE roster, they don't have that SPECIAL match-up that would draw in extra viewers... Everybody has mostly fought each other from the many RAW, Smackdown, and Pay Per Views that we can all see every week or month. WWE burned right through their last 2 special matches, Brock Lesnar vs. Braun Strowman and John Cena vs. Roman Reigns at the September 2017 Pay Per View, No Mercy. Been downhill ever since.

I'm wishing that Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho is a HUGE success and New Japan should do something to make their LIVE content more accessible to fans. Crazy idea would be to inquire WWE Network to stream it, but I could imagine YouTube.com or even Twitch.tv would accommodate. Sinclair corporation, who owns Ring of Honor, needs to maybe get into the action as well.

A successful Omega vs. Jericho match does the following:

(a) Creates a stronger competitor for the WWE. Competition proves to be great for business.

(b) Makes Vince McMahon and WWE sweat a little bit and cause him to strive to improve/evolve his product.

(c) Might help filter some of the PG era or "sports entertainment" out of the WWE. Wrestling needs a stronger balance of serious in-ring competition with colorful characters. New Japan is stronger on the former, WWE is on the latter.

(d) Causes other WWE wrestlers, disgruntled or not, to consider New Japan if they are unhappy with WWE.

(e) May cause Kenny Omega to join WWE sooner rather than later. Vince might pony up serious bucks to keep him from drawing in New Japan.

Do you feel that, folks? EXCITEMENT... Kenny Omega vs. Chris Jericho and AJ Styles winning the WWE Title... For as much as pro wrestling appears to be an endurance test, it does stuff like that which keeps roping you back in. When pro wrestling clicks on all cylinders, there are only a few entertainment or sports ventures that can top it.

Could be a fun 2018...

Just place Jinder Mahal back into the midcard and let naturally climb the ladder to the Main Event. Please end this Main Event push now. Soon, you'll have to tarp off the entire arena.

I'm SOOOOOOOOO happy for Chris Jericho, AJ Styles, and Kenny Omega. Huge opportunities afforded to them right now and that's awesome. Very deserving guys.

I'm GLAD to be wrong about AJ Styles being punished after the TLC 2017 "Too Sweet" hand signal... The CHAMP THAT RUNS THE CAMP can be WWE Champion anytime, in my book. Of course, that "receipt" for the Too Sweet salute could be coming at Survivor Series when Brock Lesnar murders AJ Styles in Suplex City.

SO JUST CHILL... 'TIL THE NEXT EPISODE!

Comments and feedback are welcome. Follow and Tweet me @titowrestling or login in below to post comments.

Bookmark Mr. Tito's Column Archive to read the current and past columns.

© Mr. Tito and LordsofPain.net/WrestlingHeadlines.com - 1998-2017

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