Cheap Shots are unfiltered, uncensored opinions, and those opinions reflect only the author!
What is NJPW doing that is making WWE look bad? Wrestling, it is that simple. In a day and age where WWE is sports entertainment, New Japan is wrestling. They are out in front leading the charge, putting on matches unlike anything I have ever seen. I have been a WWE lifelong fan, and have been a NJPW fan for a few years now, and I can tell you the difference in matches is like night and day. Do I still watch WWE? Yes. Is it painful? At times yes.
New Japan is by far putting on the best hard hitting product. No matter who is in the ring, I am not tempted to look at my phone while the match is going on, (here’s looking at you WWE.) New Japan wrestlers are doing stuff in the squared circle that is simply amazing. It isn’t the simple WWE formula of wrestling, which I can call what happens next a mile away. WWE has the 205 wrestlers doing the same stuff as the “Big Boys” on Raw and Smackdown, it isn’t anything different. If WWE is going to have a cruiserweights then by all means let them be cruiserweights. Let them flourish like they did when they were in WCW. Allow them to get the world talking about these matches.
The King of Wrestling?
NJPW has had the world talking for the past couple of years about their matches, (Okada vs. Omega, Omega vs. Jericho). How are they able to do this? One of the reasons they are able to this is because of the Strong Style type of wrestling they produce. When two people clash you can feel it. Just go back and watch the Shibata vs. Okada match. You can feel every hit, drop, submission, and yes infamous head butt that is produced during that match. Now that NJPW is getting better exposer on this side of the world it is starting to connect more and more with western fans. Why? Because at the end of the day it feels real. It has a UFC feel to it; it makes me feel like I am watching an actual fight between two men, not the watered down WWE that we now have to suffer through. Should WWE change their style? Yes, but they don’t need to copy NJPW. WWE needs to allow the wrestlers to try new things, and flourish as individuals, not have everyone stuck in the WWE wrestling style.
Need More Evidence?
The other reason these matches are excelling and generating so much buzz is because not everyone and their brother gets to be champion. To get to be IWGP Heavyweight Champion you have to be superior in the ring. Since 1987 there has only been 27 people that have held that title. With 65 reigns among them. Where as with the WWE title it has been held by 49 different people with 138 reigns among them. Kazuchika Okada has held his Championship for over 600 days. So every time he wrestles there is a buzz of will he be unseated. The last WWE champ to hold the title over 200 days was CM Punk in 2011 at 435 days. In WWE title reigns change like the wind, where we make someone champion just to further our efforts in a foreign land. (Cough…Jinder Mahal…Cough). I am not saying we need a long time reigning champion in WWE. Just make the belt mean something, make me believe in the champion that wins. Don’t just put a belt on him as a PR stunt. There is also not one belt that says hey I am the man and I run this roost. We have a heavyweight champion on both shows, which belt is superior? The Universal or WWE title? One could argue it depends on who caries it at the time.
Time for a Change
If WWE could get back on track with the wrestling part of their name, they could possibly turn this train wreck around. Now this isn’t to say WWE doesn’t have good matches, because they do, but they are few and far between. NJPW is consistently putting on not just good matches, but amazing matches night in and night out. I dare you to sit down and watch a NJPW match, then turn around and watch a WWE match, and tell me if you don’t feel a difference in the energy and time that they are putting into the matches.
Perhaps WWE has set too long on top of the mountain as King. But, with New Japan now laying seeds down in the Western World, with having a Dojo, live events, and selling their merchandise in U.S. stores, they very well may give WWE a run for its money. Could this spark WWE to realize that they need to start getting back to their roots and focus mainly on putting good matches? I hope so, I really do hope so.