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    The New Event #11 - New Years Resolutions + Kenny Omega

    What's up, guys? Welcome to the first edition of The New Event for 2019. Long introductions aren't really my thing, so let's get right to...



    THE OPENER


    Kenny Omega To Leave NJPW

    In a recent interview with Tokyo Sports, Kenny Omega has advised that he will be stepping away from NJPW after he lost the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom. In the interview he states that he does not believe that Tanashi is better than him and for me he came across as just a little bitter. Could the reason for him leaving be due to him losing the title? Or is it because he might leave the company that NJPW booked him to lose the gold? I don't watch NJPW so I'm not exactly sure what the case may be.

    What I do know is that WWE put a huge financial offer on the table and sources are saying that they want Omega badly. At this point in time it's a toss up between WWE and AEW. WWE is a tricky one for Kenny and I'm sure he is wary of how he may be booked if he does end up in WWE. He may end up as another AJ or he might end up as another Nakamura, and I think that uncertainty of exactly where he stands with WWE will make him think twice about joining their ranks.

    It's impossible to say what WWE would do with Omega if he were to defect as he could win the Royal Rumble and defeat Daniel Bryan for the title at Wrestlemania or he could end up in NXT. Some of you might say that him ending up in NXT isn't a bad thing but considering the amount if money they wish to spend on the guy you wouldn't be wrong to automatically assume that they have big plans for him. That's the unpredictability of WWE though; and I think these are the aspects that Omega is factoring in when deciding where his future lies.

    Let's not forget that Vince is a shrewd businessman and he might just be splashing all the cash on Omega so as not to give a boost to a potentially threatening promotion such as... All Elite Wrestling. Honestly, if Kenny Omega were to go to AEW he would arguably be booked as the star of the show and I'm thinking Vince is legitimately scared of not just AEW's potential, but Omega's starpower as well.

    Times are changing on the independent scene, and that has alot to do with the fact that WWE wanted to book the guy leading the charge as Stardust with no real plans for him. Now they want to splash tons of money on the biggest names making moves on the Indies to rectify a mistake that could have a ripple effect on their business all because WWE made poor booking decisions with Cody.

    But hey, this could all be a bait and switch from Kenny Omega to get a better deal with NJPW as he seemingly does every year. Who knows? My thoughts are just coming from an uneducated perspective so we have to wait and see how things turn out.



    THE HEADLINER


    Each a year I try to make a list of some bad habits that I like to change when it comes to my wrestling viewership. Like most New Year Resolutions they do not always come to pass, yet I certainly attempt to stick by them. There are quite few things that I want to do differently this yeat, which will hopefully improve the enjoyment levels of my current wrestling experience. All one can ask for is to enjoy wrestling and perhaps following these resolutions will aid me in doing so. What you are about to witness are my Wrestling New Year Resolutions...


    Write 100 Columns

    This is actually a resolution that I have previously aspired to. However, at the time I had no idea how tall a task it would prove to be. I probably only reached about half of that. The thing is, in order to write a hundred columns for the year I would have to put out nine columns per month. That is not impossible to do for a single month, but to do that every month can cause an extreme case of burn-out. Couple that with work and life and there is no way that should be possible. However, this year I have an ace up my sleeve. Due to me taking a "Journey Through Time", and reviewing all the PPV's and TV Shows from yesteryear, it will help me push up those numbers as I plan to do those shows as well as write conventional columns. Also, any collaboration column I'm involved in is going toward the one hundred.


    Watch RAW

    This year I also want to make challenging resolutions, and there is nothing more challenging that sitting through 3 hours of an inconsistent show with a lack of storylines. I have not watched RAW for a number of weeks but I plan to give it another chance. Considering that a feud that my current favorite wrestler is involved in attributed to me removing RAW from my wrestling viewership should tell you how much apathy I have toward the red brand. However, I have decided to give RAW a chance and see what awesomeness I can discover. You never know, perhaps they will even surprise me. At the moment I'm not holding my breath!


    Praise Smackdown More

    I am of the belief that Smackdown does not get the recognition it deserves. When the second brand split occurred in 2016 Smackdown hit the ground running. They then encountered some speed bumps in 2017 due to RAW stealing the stars that Smackdown rebuilt. However, Smackdown has been so good that they were able to create more stars to hold the brand down. I don't want to go into too much detail on this one as I actually plan to write an entire column dedicated to this. Point is, we all know Smackdown is blowing RAW out of the water in all aspects, but nobody is outright putting Smackdown on the pedestal it should be. Look, I'm not naive enough to impose the belief that Smackdown is perfect, but they need to be lauded for the amazing work that they've done. Therefore I will be the champion that Smackdown needs to lead the praise that should be bestowed upon them.


    Acknowledge What WWE
    Does Right


    In this day and age it is far too common to highlight all the negative aspects of WWE. This could very well be the reason why most dislike the company. Even those who tend to be optimistic fall into the trap by unwittingly showering negativity upon WWE without looking at the positives that they may provide. I, too, find myself guilty of that from time to time. However, this year I want to strive to put the spotlight on what WWE does right. Maybe that will help people see that between WWE's constant wrongdoings they still provide the shiniest of gems. The thing is, you have to look beyond their shortcomings and you might just find greatness. I think it is safe to assume that doing this will enhance my enjoyment of WWE. Perhaps if you do the same the outcome will be agreeable.


    Look At A Wrestler's Best Attributes

    It is so easy for us to just write off a wrestler completely before we even give them an opportunity to prove their worth. That is the type of mindset that can cause apathy toward a wrestler and in the process force a lack of interest in a show whenever that wrestler is on the television screen. I have done that on numerous occasions but this year I will refuse to be judgmental of a wrestler that has no right to be judged. As of 2019 I plan to look into the very nature of a wrestler to find an enjoyable attribute that I can latch onto in order for for my viewing experience to be more entertaining.


    Accept The Crowd

    One of the most annoying things in wrestling are the annoying fans who try to hijack a show by chanting random stuff. It's quite frustrating when a good feud is trying to be enhanced through a good promo but the crowd just shits on everything. The crowd might not realize it but they are taking the sting out of a program by doing that. Hey, I understand if they get bored by what they are seeing, but at least give the guys a chance. Another thing that really chaps my hide is how fans go dead quiet and two wrestlers are putting on a barnburner in the ring. WHY? That does not make a lick of sense to me. Does great wrestling matches not entertain live crowds? I understand that due to WWE's shoddy booking they are not invested in every wrestler. However, they are at a wrestling show which breeds the assumption that they came to see good WRESTLING, regardless of who is in the ring. However, live crowds will forever be a part of wrestling and as intolerable as they may be at times, it comes with the territory and is something that we need to accept.


    Watch NXT, NXT UK & 205 Live

    Now that I've got the WWE Network, I have access to all the network exclusive shows like NXT and the like. I have never been able to follow any network exclusive shows on a weekly basis before so this should be a great thing. As we all know, NXT has been very well received these past few years. I was previously able to watch NXT and 205 Live semi-regularly before the wrestling shows changed channels over here and I liked what I saw, especially coming from 205 Live. However, I have never watched NXT UK so that will be a completely new experience for me. It is something that I look forward to watching considering the good things I've heard about the show. I will only start watching these shows after the Royal Rumble so I can start fresh after the obligatory Cruiserweight Championship match at the Rumble and Takeover: Phoenix and Takeover:Blackpool. I hope these shows continue to be as good as what I remember.


    Go To A Live Event

    This one might not actually be possible this year as WWE already came to South Africa toward the end of 2018. However, due to work and finance related matters I was unable to attend. It was a shame really, as WWE came here like 10 years before last year. I'm hoping that ticket sales were good which would of course guarantee that WWE comes this way again sooner rather than later. This resolution is certainly a long shot, but it's a shot I'm willing to take.


    Watch More Indy Wrestling

    I've been wanting to do this for years but the best I could do was catch one or two matches on occasion. With all WWE's content, work, a kid and writing columns it kinda takes you out of watching even more wrestling, albeit alternative. With that being said, this year I strive to make time for other promotions, even of it's just watching more acclaimed matches. The problem is that independent wrestling promotions are not easily accessible on my side of the world which makes it difficult for me to follow another promotion and get invested. I would REALLY love to watch Lucha Underground but I can't access it at all here. So at this stage, the best I'll be able to do is keep my ear to the streets (or eyes to wrestling websites) to see the most talked about matches on the independent scene throughout the year and check it out.


    Be Positive

    This is a total cliche, but with the shitty booking you have to be positive or you will drown in a cesspool of negativity. This is going to be the hardest resolution to adhere to because WWE makes it so easy for you to give them a hard time. To be honest, I'd be surprised if I can maintain my positivity until Wrestlemania but it is a worthy challenge. The thing is, we tend to be quick to shoot things down so perhaps with a bit of positivity we will be able to enjoy wrestling more.


    From the looks of my resolutions it would certainly appear that I'm trying to find a way to enforce enjoyment into the product I watch. But that is a two-way street and WWE needs to bring their part. It's not going to be easy being optimistic but I'm willing to give it a shot for the betterment of my viewing experience. I will legitimately attempt to adhere to these resolutions and at the end of the year I'll try to revisit these resolutions to see if I accomplished at least a couple of them.

    .
    .
    .

    And that does it for the first edition of The New Event for 2019. What do you think about Kenny Omega supposedly leaving NJPW? Any wrestling new years resolutions you would like to share? Please feel free to leave a comment in the black box below. Any and all feedback is always much appreciated. But until next time...

    This is Don Franc signing out.
    Last edited by Don Franc; 01-07-2019 at 05:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Cero Miedo Mystic's Avatar
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    Franc! So happy to see a topic about Kenny Omega. I feel like anytime I get into anything pro wrestling related, I'm the only one talking about it.

    This is the mic drop line: "Times are changing on the independent scene, and that has alot to do with the fact that WWE wanted to book the guy leading the charge as Stardust with no real plans for him."

    If the money is comparable, I can't see Omega going to WWE. There is no good reason to give them the benefit of the doubt. They haven't earned that. I'm not even an Omega fan, but he could likely be the centerpiece of AEW. In WWE, he could get lucky and be an AJ Styles, but how many people could we list off that he might also end up like in a negative way?

    The bigger conversation isn't even about Kenny Omega. This is very symbolic and sends a message if WWE can land Omega. The rumor is, as mentioned, that AEW is offering comparable contracts, that they have a billionaire willing to put in one-hundred million, and that they have TV deals to negotiate. *If* all of that is true, you can bet, whether this year or in three years, there will be some unhappy WWE guys thinking, "I can go make money and have a better creative experience?" But if WWE can send the message up front that even a member of the Elite would rather be in WWE than AEW, then that goes a long way to shut down that big feel opportunity that AEW wants to be seen as.

    So, we got some damn chess moves happening right now, and they are bigger than Kenny Omega himself.

    I hope you get to go to a live show this year. I've never regretted going to one. It's a whole different way to experience pro wrestling. Being at All In was one of the most satisfying things I did in 2018.

    Great work here. I might try to think of my own pro wrestling resolutions soon.

  3. #3
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    I too thought about the prospect of Omega debuting in the Rumble, winning it and facing Bryan at Mania. There's no clear-cut opponent for the WWE Champion yet and that's how WWE should book a new guy they spent a ton of money on. Like anything the company handles however, I could see that whole situation souring quickly (i.e. if Kenny lost at WM35 in a competitive match and then transferred to a feud with say an upper carder, fans would be complaining about him being misused by the end of April). It would certainly turn a lot of dream match scenarios into reality and you've gotta wonder if Omega will be able to resist the temptation of facing Styles on a big stage. Either way, the bidding war for him has been the most intriguing story of the New Year.


    Best of luck with your resolutions, homie. Writing 100 columns in a single year is as ambitious as it gets. I'd be thrilled just to post one for 12 consecutive months lol.

  4. #4
    LOP's part time glass ceiling DynamiteBillington's Avatar
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    Bottom Line? Kenny Omega is a complete unknown. He's had no exposure on TV and therefore needs introducing to the WWE audience in the same way as any other rookie. Other than what gets said about him here, I have no idea who he is - I don't even know what he looks like (90% of my LOP time is at work behind firewalls etc that block most image hosters).

    All the other Indie darlings went through NXT, there's no reason he shouldn't have to as well.

    The only exception to that? AJ Styles. Think about it though, he'd already been the centrepiece of an internationally screened wrestling TV show which at it's peak (which was arguably also his peak) was starting to threaten Smackdown in the ratings. He was a proven commodity. Omega isn't.

    Yes, I'm sure there would be a portion of the audience who would cum in their pants if he did come out and debut at the Rumble. Unfortunately there's too much potential for that to be a very small portion of the audience, with the majority sat down thinking "who the fuck is that?".

    And when that happens, he's never going to get the push the Indie fans think he should get - to them, anything less than headlining WrestleMania would be a let down.


    Got to say though, this is almost certainly true:
    Vince might just be splashing all the cash on Omega so as not to give a boost to a potentially threatening promotion such as... All Elite Wrestling
    I guess it just depends on if he sees them as a threat, then if Omega sees them as a better opportunity - I suspect it goes without saying that signing with WWE would be better for his eventual retirement.

  5. #5
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    Don! Another really good piece here.

    The Omega section is probably going to cause the most discussion, despite being the shorter part of the column! But he's what's hot right now. I take it as a given that Omega's reason for leaving NJPW is a work, which isn't to say he isn't really leaving but rather that he's keeping the real reason for himself so he can surprise people when he pops up somewhere. I've heard AEW is the most likely destination due to the loyalty to his friends, but you can't discount the big money from the WWE or the fact that he not only lives in Japan but is a citizen there now, so WWE or back to NJPW is surely on the table. One thing we know for sure, he won't be winning the Rumble because his contract doesn't end until January 31st! It's impossible for me to think he'd go through NXT unless he specifically wants to do so, WWE seems to want him even more than they wanted AJ Styles (for the same reason too, to undercut NJPW's appeal in America) so I've no doubt Omega will be able to dictate where he shows up, at least at first. I really do wonder how much AEW is on Vince's radar, he's always ready to try to throttle a rival promotion but he also doesn't seem like the type to spend much on specifics. Who knows what goes on inside that man's head!

    As for the rest, love the prospect of 100 columns, as well as acknowledging the positives of whatever you watch, I think that's a great attitude to have. Watching Raw may test your attempt to positive, but good luck to you! I really do hope you get a chance to attend some live wrestling and watch more independent stuff. As you know, I'm always available for indy suggestions, I've got no problem seeking out what's free and good quality and recommending it to people!

    Fun stuff Don, always great to hear from you!

  6. #6
    Member #25 SirSam's Avatar
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    Donny. Love the positivity, well needed in the wrestling fan base particularly when it comes to praising the WWE and focusing on a wrestlers positives. When I've written pieces praising some aspects of the WWE they have become very controversial with people wanting to really shout me down. It's funny how people spend so much time hate watching and complaining when there is so much good stuff out there if they look for it.

    One thing I don't agree with you is giving crappy crowds a free pass. Ever since Extreme Rules I have drawn a hard line for crowds acting in bad faith. They can cheer however they want for what's in the ring but if they are trying to chant about something else or intentially distracting from the match then they are not fans and should be called out for it.

    The crowd play a part in the match and fans who want to be entertained by a good match should never have to put up with a section of the audience chanting for a red belt, a countdown clock or a beachball.

    Also good luck with the 100 columns. I'm happy if I get over 50 so you'll be stamping my output into the dirt. Hopefully we can get you up on the main page for some of it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Franc
    I am of the belief that Smackdown does not get the recognition it deserves. When the second brand split occurred in 2016 Smackdown hit the ground running. They then encountered some speed bumps in 2017 due to RAW stealing the stars that Smackdown rebuilt. However, Smackdown has been so good that they were able to create more stars to hold the brand down. I don't want to go into too much detail on this one as I actually plan to write an entire column dedicated to this. Point is, we all know Smackdown is blowing RAW out of the water in all aspects, but nobody is outright putting Smackdown on the pedestal it should be. Look, I'm not naive enough to impose the belief that Smackdown is perfect, but they need to be lauded for the amazing work that they've done. Therefore I will be the champion that Smackdown needs to lead the praise that should be bestowed upon them.
    Love it! SmackDown is consistently entertaining. Back when we were heading into SummerSlam '18, it was almost polar in how excited I was for virtually every SmackDown match and how meh I was about every RAW match (with the exception of Rollins/Ziggler). SmackDown continues to roll today, with additions like Mustafa Ali.

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    @Mystic - Yeah man even I just write about WWE, but that's only because that's the only show I follow.

    Considering that the rumour is that AEW is backed by a billionaire the money could quite possible be comparable to that of WWE. If not, then the money might sway Omega a different way. But if the money is close enough of think Omega would choose to be an important part of the show instead of going to the unpredictable world of WWE.

    This is certainly a game of chess, and if AEW has the rumoured backing, then WWE would want to put them to the ground sooner rather than later to prevent perceptions changing that they are the biggest game in town.

    The next show that comes to town I'm going no matter as I do believe every wrestling fans has to experience a live event.

    Thanks for the read and feed!

    @Skitz - The Omega story is certainly the most interesting of the year. What a way to kick off 2019! Imagine if Omega really does debut in the Rumble and wins it. I can assure you fans will start degrading WWE before he even has the match talking about how they going to bury him. They don't exactly have a good track record considering how Nakamura turned out.

    100 Columns is definitely ambitious but I'll be working my ads off to get there.

    Thanks for the read and feed homie!


    @Dyno - You make a good point. However, Daniel Bryan is right. The fans are fickle. If Kenny were to debut on the main page and he gets a big pop the sheep will follow and continue the pops. Remember, the same could be said about Nakamura but he was getting big pops weekly until WWE fucked shit up. And it's not like the vast majority of WWE watches NXT either. I just figure that because of his contract he would not feel the need to go through NXT.

    I honestly believe Vince does think of AEW as a threat, but the threat level to him might not be on the level that we believe it to be. But still, he is going out of his way to sign the top indie stars so that should be saying something.

    Thanks for the read and feed!

    @mizfan - Omega must be feeling like an absolute star now considering that he is arguably the most wanted man in all of professional wrestling. He holds all the cards and wherever he ends up will be a big deal and get people talking.

    But you are right, it does come down to loyalty and money. And if AEW does not surpass WWE's offer, but comes close to their offer, then he will certainly choose loyalty. I actually think he should just go to AEW and be part of the revolution. He wants to be part of something big and AEW has the potential to be just that.

    I think positivity is a must to enjoy wrestling because everything gets looked at with critical glasses which can reduce enjoyment. And yeah, I know exactly where to come to for some cool matches!

    Thanks for the read and feed!

    @Sammy - Agreed. It's funny how we've become so used to viewing WWE in a negative light that it's difficult to see the good that they do. But that needs to come to an end as it hinders your enjoyment of the product.

    I totally get where you are coming from with regards to the fans. The thing is, I don't think we should give them a pass because they can have a massive impact on the show. However, we are sitting at home watching and we can't do anything about it so I guess we have to accept it or we'll drive ourselves insane.

    Thanks for the read and feed!


    @Skul - Fuck yeah! Finally someone shares my thoughts on Smackdown. That is a truly undervalued and underappreciated show.

    Thanks for stopping by!


    Thanks to all of you who have read and replied to my final column in the C.F. for the foreseeable future.

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