Well Wrestle Kingdom over delivered again. One of the greatest events in the recently turned calendar. I watch Wrestle Kingdom more often throughout the year than any other wrestling event. But, this isn’t a review of the strong style spectacular – no, this is all about the ageism that seems to have taken place in the build up and post event. This ageism is “JERICHO IS 47 YEARS OLD!”
Right, 47 isnt that old (I’m not in my late 40s so I am not being biased here) and in wrestling, it isn’t a massive surprise that someone can perform at the age, especially if the talent has had a 20 year run of being a top talent.
Minoru Suzuki is 49 at the moment and, in a calendar year he faced Okada in an incredible title match, competed in the G1 at an incredibly intense level and has been a tremendous NEVER champion. I am not sure if this makes much difference but the guy does this without elbow and knee pads…. He pulls in some high level performances throughout the year and yet no one is questioning his age?
One veteran “dad” is Yuji Nagata who is also 49. He had a slightly more understated year than Suzuki, but even at his age and with that intense body of work behind him he still pulls of a tremendous G1 series of matches.
Hey Joel, all these are New Japan guys – this can’t happen in North America. WRONG! Shawn Michaels retired on top at the age of 44 approaching 45. Ric Flair retired at the age of 59 years young. But Joel, these guys are the greatest wrestlers of all time, of course they could last! Well, the argument stands – Jericho is also close to this calibre of wrestler in my opinion. He is a creative renaissance man in wrestling and 47 to a creative athlete isn’t so bad.
Now the match itself – Alpha versus Omega was one that I got very excited about once Jericho made a surprise appearance and bloodied Kenny. This is what pro wrestling should be right? A rivalry with a good guy, a bad guy and something at stake – a title, pride, best wrestler from Winnipeg – you know, all the important stuff.
This is an incredible match, a spectacle and not something that would normally be seen in a Wrestle Kingdom show. Jericho looked fresh, hungry and free, highlighting the great quality that the performer and promotion has. New Japan let their talent be themselves. This is a great advert for New Japan Pro Wrestling moving forward. Jericho got casual eye balls onto the product and, hopefully they can build on this.
As for Jericho and his future? I really hope he does the G1. It has to be a bucket list for Y2J. What a great way to quickly work with a bunch of talent you would never get to work with usually. It is also a massive physical challenge and further opportunity to show the WWE how much he is worth to the wrestling industry.