It’s the late night edition of the news, so we’re going to get super…sultry.
First up, New Japan held their annual post Wrestle Kingdom press conference and it was announced at that press conference by the men themselves, that Kenny Omega and KUSHIDA were leaving the promotion. NJPW announcer and Japanese wrestling expert Chris Charlton live tweeted and translated the press conference, and through his translations KUSHIDA not only announced his NJPW departure, but seemingly confirmed his pending arrival for the WWE.
In the translated tweet, it reads;
KUSHIDA: As Sugabayashi said, I will leave NJPW on January 31. This was an extremely tough condition made with Meij, Sugabayashi and Kidani. It was a very big decision in my life and I’m thankful they understood. I will head overseas and to see the world of pro wrestling.
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) January 7, 2019
As for Kenny Omega, a contract for the WWE is out there, but the general feeling is that he’s staying true to his friends and will join AEW at their rally. Obviously things could always change, but it makes no sense that a promotion started by Cody, The Bucks and Page (among others?) would not include one of the groups founding members. It’s nearly a slam dunk for Omega to join NJPW as he’s stated in the past money isn’t his biggest desire in the world. Creative freedom is.
‘There is no real place for me to fit, so it’s best for me not to be in (NJPW). I can’t be there working under Tanahashi. I don’t think he’s surpassed me, don’t think he’s better. If we can, I want to face him again. But I need time away, and not just from New Japan.’
— chris charlton (@reasonjp) January 7, 2019
On top of that though, Omega seemed to be the guy most unhappy with hte new President of NJPW, as there are apparently restrictions to what guys can do and say. Swearing was a big point of contention with the new brass, and Omega’s desire to have his four minute 16 bit-video game style video used for his entrance was denied; resulting in only a minor clip being played.
Perhaps both go to the WWE, or maybe both go to AEW. Who knows?
In IMPACT news, Josh Mathews announced at their Homecoming event that they would begin simulcasting IMPACT Wrestling on Twitch.tv/impactwrestling, starting this Friday at 10 p.m. EST. It’ll air in time with the show on Pursuit Channel. This further hints at the possibility of IMPACT not staying on Pursuit full time, and that the company will find a new t.v. deal later in the winter when networks start clearing their schedule looking for new content.
In other IMPACT news, Ed Nordholm was asked about working with AEW during the Homecoming VIP. During a Q&A segment, the idea of AEW and IMPACT working together came up and Nordholm said;
Everything is possible. I think we’d be in the forefront of encouraging collaborations among the bigger and the smaller wrestling promotions. As an organization we’re sure that we would all be stronger if we were collaborating, rather than fighting each other. … It’s a world in which we would welcome an opportunity to work with Ring of Honor. It’s a world in which we would welcome an opportunity working with New Japan. It’s a world in which we welcome working with AEW, if they actually get up and running. We have interest in them, I don’t think we have any bias against any of that happening.
And finally, at the event itself several big title changes happened. First off, Taya Valkyrie defeated Tessa Blanchard to win the IMPACT Knockouts Championship after Gail Kim got involved physically, which was followed by Johnny Impact retaining his IMPACT World Championship after his Survivor cast-mates got involved physically. See the trend? After the match, Killer Kross attacked Johnny and powerbombed Taya off the stage into the audience.
In other results, Pentagon Jr and Fenix fell short against LAX in their quests for LAX’s World Tag Team titles…Rich Swann won the X-Division Championship in an Ultimate X match, outlasting Jake Crist, Ethan Page and Trey Miguel…Allie and Su Yung defeated Kiera Hogan and Jordynne Grace…Eddie Edwards ended his feud with Moose, after giving his kendo stick to his wife Alisha and letting her smash Moose with it…Sami Callihan got a win over Willie Make thanks to Dave Crist interfering…Lastly, Eli Drake dropped over a dozen chair shots on Abyss’ back in order to win the Monsters Ball match.
Lastly, IMPACT Wrestling legend, Chris Harris was backstage at the event. The former America’s Most Wanted member and multi-time NWA World Tag Team champion was hanging out backstage and meeting people. No word if he’ll show up anywhere, but he was sporting a nifty throwback TNA shirt.
— IMPACT (@IMPACTWRESTLING) January 6, 2019