One of the best periods of time for many wrestling fans came to a close as the G1 Climax 29 ended. Now it’s time to look back and speculate for the stories leading up to Wrestle Kingdom!
The G1 Climax is now behind all of us and we can now sit back and ponder on everything that happened. I suggest we start things off with some of the biggest news coming out of the end of the tournament.
First things first, Kota Ibushi, like many were expecting, ended up winning the tournament, making him the first man to win all three of New Japan’s biggest singles tournaments, alongside the Best of the Super Juniors and the New Japan Cup. The Golden Star, who had officially signed with New Japan earlier this year, now is in the best position to finally achieve what now feels long overdue, in reaching the status of full fledged main eventer and credible Heavyweight champion. While I expressed my doubts concerning the handling of this story in previous articles, notably bringing up Ibushi’s other big story with the Intercontinental championship, he himself in his latest press conference reflected on that, and came up with a very surprising and interesting idea.
If Ibushi manages to defend his G1 contract against KENTA and EVIL, who he lost to during the tournament, and defeat Kazuchika Okada for the Heavyweight championship on January 4th, he would like to face whoever the Intercontinental champion is on the second night in the Tokyo Dome. An idea which sure seems reminiscent of Tetsuya Naito’s latest (and slightly delusional) goal of becoming a double champion. That’s quite interesting considering the special rivalry between the two men, as Ibushi did acknowledge that him making such a proposal was “a little bit of a message” sent to the leader of L.I.J, who was the first one to express such a desire.
Whether or not Ibushi’s suggestion comes forth is still up in the air, and to be honest, I personally wouldn’t bet on it, but who knows ? New Japan has surprised us a lot this year already, and with them running the Tokyo Dome two nights in a row next year, you can be sure of one thing : Big, impactful and possibly even historic things will happen next January. Having one of your top stars leaving the Dome with the two biggest championships in the company would, in theory, absolutely make sense in that aspect.
Speaking of impactful things, on the same night Ibushi won the G1, let’s bring up the other big news of that last G1 night. KENTA, who was teaming with Tomohiro Ishii and YOSHI-HASHI against Bad Luck Fale and the Guerrillas of Destiny, turned his back on his one night partners as Ishii was reaching to him for a tag. Following that, he went on to attack Ishii and delivered the GTS to the Stone Pitbull. However, Katsuyori Shibata, the man who brought KENTA to New Japan was watching and, two years after returning and announcing that “he was alive” following his near career and life ending injury, took matter in his own hands, raiding the ring and knocking his soulmate out, going as far as delivering his signature dropkick to KENTA. However, the Bullet Club trio hadn’t left the ringside area and helped the man who would now become the newest member of the group, and the second most hated man in New Japan Pro Wrestling, as they all attacked Shibata in a chorus of boos, KENTA even hitting Shibata with a Penalty Kick, adding insult to injury.
As some fans have been vocal about their concern regarding the current state of Bullet Club, this addition solves one, if not the faction’s biggest problem. Since Tama Tonga decided he would be focusing on tag team wrestling, only Bad Luck Fale, Chase Owens, Yujiro Takahashi and Hikuleo were the other Heavyweights in BC besides Jay White, with Fale being the only one with some credibility to enter a tournament like the G1 these days, credibility which he is losing year after year in the eyes of fans. Assuming KENTA in Bullet Club remains a thing for long enough, the growing issue of BC lacking a second top Heavyweight behind the Switchblade is now solved. Lastly, KENTA’s first big match as a BC member has been announced, and at Royal Quest, he will face none other than Tomohiro Ishii, for the NEVER Openweight championship. Will KENTA’s treason towards his longtime friend lead him to gold and glory ? We shall see. It surely didn’t help him gaining the respect and love from the New Japan audience, which he was struggling to acquire throughout the G1, so in the end, joining Bullet Club only makes sense in that regard. A bold, yet very interesting and smart move here.
Let’s now finish things off by addressing some slightly minor things I wanted to highlight as well. Let’s keep going with “outsiders”, by starting with Jon Moxley, and specifically his pairing with Shota Umino. What seemed at first like something purely comedic took shape as the Young Lion would now follow the Death Rider’s path, accompanying him throughout the tournament and vowing to learn as much as he can from Mox. It is quite unusual for Young Lions to get such a level of exposure, but it sure confirms the high hopes New Japan has in their trainee, after he competed in the New Japan Cup last March.
Speaking a bit of Moxley himself, he has adapted nicely to what was a new environment for him and looked pretty good throughout the G1, even getting up to five wins in a row to start things off. Now, this was something which I didn’t think was the best decision to make, as it kind of killed some of the unpredictability I expect from the G1.
Secondly, the Junior Heavyweights had their fair share of spotlight in this tournament and they absolutely delivered. Both Will Ospreay and Shingo Takagi proved, besides “only” reaching 8 points, that height and weight was an obstacle Juniors could go over, with Ospreay rocking signature wins over Hiroshi Tanahashi, KENTA and SANADA, making a statement as Junior Heavyweight champion. Shingo as well had his marquee wins, as he managed to claim the victory over Hirooki Goto and NEVER Openweight champion Tomohiro Ishii. Takagi also announced that he would now fight as a Heavyweight, confirming what fans have wanted to see since The Dragon made his debut last October. With his wins, we can fully expect Shingo to target the NEVER championship down the road, and there are legitimate reasons to get excited about this.
Obviously, a lot more happened between SANADA finally beating Okada, EVIL trying to catch-up to his L.I.J partner, Taichi proving his worth notably to Ishii, Lance Archer stepping up big time on a big stage, and so on and so forth. Every year, the G1 not only gives us interesting bits of story when it comes to the main event scene, but let’s not overlook how a good amount of wrestlers get to shine and see progression in their character development.
Allow me to make a quick parallel : Some Manga fans will tell you how much tournament arcs in Shonens can be great when it comes to storytelling and developing characters. New Japan keeps showing that the same can also apply to wrestling, when done right.
This article now comes to its closure. What is YOUR takeaway from this year’s G1 Climax ? Tell me about your favourite matches, stories playing out or anything else occurring throughout this awesome month of wrestling we witnessed.
King: Plotting The Return Of Randy Orton To WWE
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
Chris King is back with his look at the best scenario to bring Randy Orton back to WWE, and the perfect opponent for his first big match back.
I wanted to bring everyone’s attention to a superstar that’s being overshadowed right now, ‘The Viper’ Randy Orton. After RKBRO lost the Raw Tag Team Championships to The Uso’s, Orton vanished from the company. There was speculation about his serious back injury and, it wasn’t until The Viper’s wife herself posted a candid picture of Orton after successful surgery.
While the focus in WWE right now is either on The Bloodline, Bray Wyatt and Uncle Howdy, or the returning Cody Rhodes, I felt this was a good time to start plotting The Viper’s return to WWE.
Randy Orton’s Return to WWE
On the Raw-After-Mania ‘The American Nightmare’ opens the show after a tough battle over Roman Reigns to win the WWE Championship. Rhodes with tears in his eyes is giving an emotional promo about his family’s legacy, and how much this title means to him. The WWE Universe is chanting “You Deserve It,” and out comes Finn Balor flanked by The Judgement Day.
‘The Prince’ starts by congratulating the new champion for dethroning ‘The Tribal Chief’ but, now he wants his title shot. Rhodes being the resilient hero accepts Balor’s challenge for the main event. The American Nightmare and The Prince are putting on a clinic of a match, delivering multiple finishers but unable to put the other away. Judgement Day starts to interfere when Orton’s music blares throughout the arena. Orton takes out the heels and helps his former protege. Rhodes capitalizes and hits Crossroads for the 1.2.3.
The former Legacy members are celebrating and embracing with a hug as Rhodes goes to raise his newly-won title. In the blink of an eye, The Viper strikes and takes out Rhodes with an RKO Outta Nowhere! The champion is knocked out as Orton hoists the title above his head while trash-talking his now rival. Orton violently throws Rhodes out of the ring and delivers a nasty-looking draping DDT onto the floor.
The Build–And Culmination–of Randy Orton vs. Cody Rhodes
Orton stares giving 2009 vibes as Rhodes’ head raises, so The Viper runs and delivers a punt kick. WWE officials come out and break things up and the champion is stretchered out of the arena. The show closes with Orton grinning over the destruction he has caused to his former protege. Over the next few months, Orton and Rhodes enter into an extremely personal rivalry over the coveted prize. We finally make it to SummerSlam where both men agree to raise the stakes and do war inside HELL IN A CELL!!!!
This is how I would book The Viper’s return to WWE. If you feel like this should be written differently, I’d love to hear your thoughts!
AJ’s Phenomenal Opinion: Bray Wyatt
So everyone loves Bray’s return right? Right? Well the McDonald’s Sprite spicy opinions of AJ…may feel differently.
Well, just because my work schedule changed, doesn’t mean I’m not going to drop some opinions of mine, of which, I haven’t done too bad with. I got Three out of Five for my returns right a few months back and this is going to be about the last entry on that previous list. I knew for a fact that Bray Wyatt would return to the WWE in some way shape or form and time for some… controversy.
As my favorite ratings winner of 83 Weeks once said, Controversy Creates Cash and boy HOWDY… Do I have something to get off my chest here so sit back, order some Chairshot Merch and lets get on with Adam’s… Rants for a bit.
Bray coming in and making a return to the WWE was an inevitability. Death, Taxes and I guess WWE Returns are always guaranteed anymore and maybe we could get some new creativity with a supernatural gimmick. Bray has always had that supernatural to him ever since he had the Wyatt Family in Erik Rowan, the late Luke Harper and in the end, Braun Strowman. The Wyatt’s had a control like no other and were beloved for a moment in the WWE.
Bray did a lot to make sure things were in motion but for some reason any massive feud he had, he failed. Following a bunch of injuries to the rest of his family and even releases later on, he seemed to at least get some traction going for him. WWE Champion, somehow got Randy Orton with him, Universal Championships and got those big match wins that eluded him in the Wyatt Family beginnings. Let me also say this as well, I actually liked the Firefly Funhouse Match with Cena as a “This is Your Life” match of sorts. I was tickled and entertained… Then much like Bray in character, something changed.
Dark and Terrible Lurk with Fiends
We had a lot to figure out during the Pandemic. Like A WHOLE HELL OF A LOT. Through it all though, WWE figured it out but the person that helped these types of ideas, soured them drastically. Lets go back to the WWE Championship run in 2017. Randy Orton won the Royal Rumble that year and he wouldn’t betray Bray, right? Well he does and Mania for the two is set, Orton against Wyatt for the WWE Championship and it was… terrible. Random images of maggots and decay (Not the IMPACT Stable) popping up into the ring as the match goes on and Randy still wins. Through head game attempts, Bray comes up short in the big match moment. That’s odd but maybe it will be a bigger pictu– and Jinder Mahal wins the Championship. Okay.
Wyatt returns as this Mister Rogers character and has a darkness inside of him with The Fiend. Now we had this amazing theory or maybe that’s what happened but the story was, anyone The Fiend fought, they revert back to their best selves. The Miz returned to be the A Lister, the guy who grabs a microphone that you love to hate. Finn Balor doesn’t have the Demon Gimmick anymore because after his loss, he’s the Prince again. The cocky guy that walks around because he is the best, he gives no care in the world. Seth Rollins, who he took the WWE Universal Championship from, went from a dorky sweetheart back to the asshole taking every opportunity that he could get because he’s that much of a weasel and when he lost… He lost to Goldberg. The one guy that has been the same since 1997. Drums, Pyro Bath, Spear, Jackhammer, “Who’s Next?” and during that time, he sucked at points. One of those Rollins matches was in a Hell In A Cell match, the red cage with the red lighting. Match ending with a Stoppage from the referee… INSIDE OF A HELL IN A CELL (I think Sean Waltman said it best… Why did the match stop? It’s supposed to be Hell?) and it’s one of the rare times that I agreed with wrestling’s favorite Uncle… That was Negative Stars for a match.
After Goldberg, he didn’t have a commanding presence. He recruited Alexa Bliss who was already over whether she was a Heel or Face and made everything so unbelievably… boring. Alexa had to carry that idiotic demon gimmick and doll, not having anything really supernatural. Just some wrestling and Brock Lesnar cleaning up everything faster than a Chop Shop in main events and segments. He tried to return and make his grand return, beating the Universal Champion Braun Strowman at Summerslam just to falter a literal week later to Roman Reigns, who proceeded to never look back from that win. Bray gets fired after and no more supernatural ideas. Undertaker isn’t around really and retires, Kane is a mayor. Paul Bearer is no longer with us and everything is just… normal.
Wyatt’s Six (Reasons I Tune Out)
In 2022, Vince retires seemingly from everything and Triple H is at the helm, could he bring balance to everything? He makes a bunch of returns that people love seeing. Johnny Gargano, Dakota Kai, Tegan Nox, Bronson Reed, Dexter Lumus just to name a few and of course, the big one that everyone wanted. Bray Wyatt.
Bray makes this heartfelt return and everything seems great. We get him as him, he makes this weird build to a Wyatt 6, assuming we think it’s the Firefly Funhouse and he’s just talking, building. Alright well who is going to be these six figures because they are more than just puppets this time around. A masked man named Uncle Howdy that people think is Vincent Marseglia or maybe a bearded Bo Dallas who is Bray’s real life brother and he……… pops in and out to confuse people. Okay… (1)
Alexa might return to the 6 because of all the segments and gets darker and a heel. Alright that is perfectly fine but, WHY IS VINCENT DALLAS HERE AGAIN TO JUST INTERFERE WITH RANDOM THINGS? Okay… fine. (2) Alexa has a Women’s Championship match against Bianca Belair, that will make sense of thi– it’s a clean finish… Why is it clean? No Howdy, No Wyatt just a random VHS tape like I’m watching The Ring about her being dark after the match. Okay…… (3)
Oh Wyatt finally gets a feud for his return. I almost forgot about that! Who will be this first victim? LA Knight.
Maybe this will be good. They are both great on the microphone, maybe Bray has new moves that he can do and I know all too well how good LA Knight is, I have been an Eli Drake/Shaun Ricker fan for years. This could be a great match that they have, they announced it for the Royal Rumble so it’s going to be big and it’s a… Pitch Black Match presented by Mountain Dew.
The Royal Rumble is upon us, the Men’s Rumble starts the show and we all have adrenaline in our soul for it and now is this weird Pitch Black Match and it’s not a cinematic match. It’s in the ring, No Count Outs and No Disqualifications. LA Knight comes out in his iconic Yellow Attire and Wyatt is talking… with a mask on. The lights turn off and the ropes are glowing a neon greenish-yellow… with an announce table spot that… has Nickelodeon Slime inside of it when they break it? Okay fine… I knew the match was going to be dumb and gimmicky from the Mountain Dew Sponsorship. Bray wins, yay. LA Knight comes back with a Kendo Stick and… we get invulnerable Bray again… they don’t hurt. Lets go to this crash pad and Bo Marseglia shows up from somewhere and just elbow drops him from maybe fifteen to twenty feet with pyro and the Firefly Funhouse Puppets appear at the top, to watch a fire… And there is number six…
Actual Thoughts on Current Bray Wyatt, Post Rumble
I absolutely hate it.
This was awful. You build whatever insignificant thought process of the Wyatt 6 has going for it when Uncle Howdy does the best Cap’n Shane O elbow drop for a hellfire effect. At least the pyro was better than the AEW Explosion Match I guess…
Regardless, how does LA Knight come out of all of this moving forward? He lost an idiotic gimmick match and looks presumed dead. This just makes me think that whoever in whatever interview said Bray Wyatt is a creative mastermind needs to put whatever they have down before we hear about their T.O.D. posted somewhere. This Pitch Black Match is somehow worse than that Rollins Hell in a Cell Match and that takes talent. At least a good amount of alcohol lulled that from my brain but this made me remember that and enjoy the thought of that match happening with its finish. The best way I can picture how this was pitched was Burnt Dogshit, wrapped in a Kerosine Blanket with… sorry had to look at what I wrote, not putting that on websites but… people saw a Creative Quesadilla and when we got the actual product, it gave Salmonella poisoning and E Coli at the same time.
I really don’t want to see another Bray Wyatt match… again. Whoever gave him creative, take it away immediately. As much steam as Bray Wyatt gets in promos or possible matches in the past, the only steaming he gets at the end, is steaming piles of shit. You can say, he’s getting paid millions where I’m a little troll on the internet with typing power and I really don’t care but to me, Triple H… you finally got your first failing grade with something in your leadership role in WWE.
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