Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks are making Wrestling Cool Again

Kenny Omega - New Japan Pro Wrestling - Photo Credit: Kenny Omega on Twitter/NJPW

Everybody’s got a price but there’s no price on cool. Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks are not just the Elite, they’re the future… And the future is now.

The Elite is a runaway freight train showcasing visuals once thought to be confined to video game imaginations. The equivalent of a loop-de-loop thrill ride of high spots feeding your morning cereal sugar rush. Along with their counterpart in the WWE AJ Styles, the former leader of the Bullet Club, they are turning the wrestling world on its axis… Just when it needs it the most.

Between the UFC/MMA world taking the casual fighting fan market and wrestling itself losing steam after WCW’s demise, this sport needed a Monster energy drink or two. While the hardcore fanbase remains intact, the casual crowd left the nest when wrestling shirts weren’t a public staple anymore.

Cries of ‘it’s not real’ from MMA aficionados piercing youthful interest like a Wiki page on Santa. Dismay at ‘Rated PG’ from former college Attitude era channel surfers. All roaring away many potential pairs of eyes from the coveted 18-35 target market. Well the tide is turning, now the roar is coming from the other side, the lion in NJPW’s very logo.

Hot Topic didn’t strike a deal with New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Bullet Club for no reason. Sports Illustrated isn’t routinely interviewing Kenny Omega for kicks… ESPN and Bleacher Report aren’t covering NJPW’s G1 Special in USA because there’s little interest. Consider that New Japan Pro Wrestling’s two USA Long Beach shows sold out in two hours with additional tickets released selling in a mere two minutes. It’s a product people want, nay, demand.

Kayfabe might be lost in the sands of time but cool spots are Forever

Just look at the aerial height in the photo taken by Sam Fagan at last night’s NJPW G1 Special. Will there ever be a universe in which one doesn’t wanna see the full video clip of what happened there? Not likely.

Rob Van Dam once did an YouShoot interview where he mentioned he loves working with Jeff Hardy because “they both have a similar vision of what a cool match is”. What Kenny Omega and the Young Bucks are doing out there every night can only be described as transcendent offense innovation.

“Did you see what I just did?” – Young Bucks


Moves you daydreamed about back in high school as a wrestling fan. No longer scribbles and doodles but notebook pages ripped into conscious reality. Boxed in 2D Dimensions no more.

Kenny Omega is a once in a generation level talent

Omega delievered in spades yesterday, performing picture perfect gravity-defying acrobatic moves in his Finals match against Tomohiro Ishii. His style set wouldn’t be out of place for a professional Hollywood stunt man. What separates Omega from the rest in the ring is his blistering speed and reaction time.

Setting up the chance of a counter at every turn. Outside of an eventual attempted One Winged Angel (Omega’s Finisher), the next move you might see will be just as unpredictable as the last. Unpredictability naturally lends to great entertainment. Combine that with an unteachable IT factor and selling/facial expressions that tell the whole story and you’ve got a generational talent.

Omega’s Inspiring NJPW G1 Special Ending Promo

If Kenny Omega remains in New Japan Pro Wrestling long-term, we could be seeing a Sting/WCW like-renaissance enjoyed that puts the company as the undisputed alternative to the WWE. NJPW does not carry the baggage of TNA’s run as challenger, people want to love the company. It’s new, fresh, and exciting, the designs/music are top notch. People are proud to wear Bullet Club T-Shirts because they genuinely look great. Even in a non-wrestling fan setting. They are truly what the n.W.o shirt was before it.

NJPW have even brought the best wrestling commentator in the world Jim Ross to the announcing booth along with former UFC champion Josh Barnett. You’re locking down two markets with familiar names to reign you into an unfamiliar world. Good Ole’ JR brings comfortability to returning WWE fans curious about a six star Meltzer-rated wrestler in Omega.

Mainstream Exposure for New Japan Pro Wrestling

Standup comedian and actress of 90s mega-hit comedy sitcom Roseanne Barr is watching New Japan Pro wrestling, enjoying it, and promoting it free of charge on Twitter. You can’t buy that kind of publicity, Roseanne to date has 368K followers on Twitter and countless fans around the world. Needless to say, that audience is being exposed to a product they might never have heard of otherwise…

All through word of mouth. There’s no better gold standard for the quality of a product than one that needs no extravagant marketing budget. The people are arriving in droves because the product sells itself. Notice also the @JRsBBQ tag, familiarity. People remember JR from wrestling’s golden days, they associate him with a product worth watching.

The Young Bucks’ Hot Topic Deal… Is a big deal. For them and NJPW.

When there’s a whole line of your T-Shirts at Hot Topics across malls throughout the nation… You know you’re doing something right. The Elite and the Bullet Club established the foundations of a formidable brand. One that’s indie wrestling, yet trendy, underground yet mainstream. It’s a fascinating place to be, almost ECW level in its fame without the hardcore wrestling image scaring potential business relationships.

There is no telling what the next year or two will bring us in the wrestling world but one thing is for certain. The future is now. Fans are becoming accustomed to witnessing the finest pro wrestling in the world thanks to the likes of the Elite and AJ Styles in the WWE. The bar has been set high and will continue to progress and evolve. Every spot that breaks the imagination is a new fan born. A lifetime memory.

All the buildup in the world can’t replicate the instant awe at a Jeff Hardy Swanton, a Rob Van Dam rolling Thunder/Five-Star Frog Splash, AJ Styles’ Styles Clash, Kenny Omega’s One Winged Angel, the Young Bucks’ Superkicks. It’s just plain old cool.

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