Forecasting Long-Term Booking of AEW Angles Involving New Japan, Impact Stars

Kevin Berge@TheBerge_Featured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Forecasting Long-Term Booking of AEW Angles Involving New Japan, Impact Stars

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    Credit: All Elite Wrestling

    The forbidden door has been opened. In a gesture that could change the business forever, All Elite Wrestling President Tony Khan has decided that the future is in cooperation.

    AEW first started working with AAA and NWA in a talent exchange, but it was another moment that truly set the stage for the future.

    It began with Kenny Omega allying himself with Don Callis, co-executive vice president of Impact Wrestling, to become AEW world champion. Then KENTA arrived on Dynamite, and the alliance was fully established.

    AEW, Impact Wrestling and New Japan Pro-Wrestling were working together to make a better product to compete with WWE's dominance over the industry.

    Vince McMahon and Co. have created a monopoly on the business that is difficult to match. In order to thrive, other shows must do what WWE could not: work together. WWE was built on taking down rival independents, establishing that only one product mattered.

    Fans need alternatives. They need shows that can give them something WWE will not, and that begins with this incredible alliance. AEW, NJPW and Impact can work side-by-side.

    The possibilities of what comes next could be special. Jon Moxley is already working with NJPW, including putting his IWGP United States Championship on the line against KENTA at The New Beginning, while Omega is appearing regularly on Impact.

    What's next, though?

Hikaru Shida vs. Deonna Purrazzo Main-Events an Impact PPV

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    AEW received deserved criticism early on for the treatment of its women's division, but the main culprit was a limited roster.

    The company has since expanded its roster, leading to what has already been a great women's tournament to crown the next challenger to Hikaru Shida.

    Even now, though, AEW needs more stars, and Impact Wrestling brings that talent. Deonna Purrazzo was the latest talent to leave WWE and become an instant star outside of the brand. She has become one of the best female wrestlers in the world as a two-time Knockouts champion.

    She was even named Wrestler of the Year during the Impact Year End Awards over her male counterparts, a feat that Tessa Blanchard accomplished the previous year because she completed in the men's division. Purrazzo has not even had that opportunity yet.

    Hikaru Shida has carried the AEW women's division, including some great matches with the likes of Thunder Rosa, Serena Deeb and Nyla Rose. She deserves a chance to seen by fresh eyes, which sets the stage for her working with Impact.

    Even if she loses the AEW Women's Championship to the winner of the Women's Title Eliminator Tournament, she could walk into Impact with the air of a dominant champion. She and Purrazzo have a special match in them and are just waiting for both brands to capitalize.

    Shida has faced the best in AEW, while Purrazzo has defeated almost all of Impact's top female competitors. It's only right they should main-event an Impact Wrestling PPV with everything on the line.

Tag Teams of AEW, Impact and New Japan Cross Brands Consistently

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    One area where Impact Wrestling is already thriving is the trade of tag teams. Private Party have made an immediate splash, and Juice Robinson and David Finlay seem poised to take over the division. The Good Brothers are gaining steam by working on Dynamite regularly and with Kenny Omega.

    AEW especially is overflowing with tag team talent. Instead of potentially adding more gold to the division, it makes the most sense to let these teams thrive in fresh divisions. Everyone will benefit from this exchange of talent across shows.

    SoCal Uncensored and The Hybrid 2 barely get screen time outside of AEW Dark but could make an immediate mark in Impact. Impact's Violent by Design has been building steam slowly but would break in a major way by bringing destruction to New Japan.

    The possibilities are endless and only increase the opportunities for talent to thrive. If a tag team cannot find a spot on a current roster, give them a fresh perspective to show out. This may be the beginning of a tag team renaissance unlike we have ever seen.

    Few brands have been as committed to elevating tag team as AEW, bringing in so many of the best teams in the world. It's time to capitalize by sending that talent worldwide.

G1 Climax 31 Becomes a Cross-Brand Tournament

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    The G1 Climax is the greatest tournament in wrestling history. Over 30 years, it has created stars and champions, building a legacy that is truly unmatched. No company has had the focus and consistency with a competition of this caliber.

    The tournament has always been about finding the absolute best talent in the world, the wrestler who can compete week in and week out at the highest level. With New Japan's growing relationship with AEW and Impact, it may be time to open the doors wide open.

    Especially due to travel restrictions, New Japan could have the A Block in Japan and the B Block entirely in America. This would allow that group to include talent from all three brands. AEW has plenty of names who have already competed in the tournament including Jon Moxley, Kenny Omega and Lance Archer.

    Many stars could be built in the tournament. Rey Fenix, Penta El Zero M and PAC could make their mark, while Rich Swann, Trey Miguel or Sami Callihan could add a fresh element. It would make a familiar tournament feel fresh and bring it to AEW Dynamite and Impact on AXS TV.

    Of course, the G1 Climax should only be the beginning. Impact has a wealth of talent that could be included in the Best of the Super Juniors or Super-J Cup. The World Tag League would be the perfect place to put all three shows in conflict for tag team supremacy.

Kenny Omega Fights Greatest Rival Kazuchika Okada and Best Friend Kota Ibushi

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    Kenny Omega and Kazuchika Okada are two of the best wrestlers to step into a ring, and they have put on some truly magical matches.

    Although some of the praise can verge on hyperbole for their work together, there isn't a promotion in the world that would not want to book these two one-on-one.

    The two have already fought four times. A fifth edition of the contest would normally lose its spark, but the dynamic has completely changed. Omega won the final encounter between the two only to turn his back on Japan and sign with AEW.

    It was a major move that set the stage for what AEW would become. Omega took something away from Okada in that match that he is still striving to recover. The story is perfectly set up for him to go to Omega's show and challenge him one final time.

    Obviously, this should not be the only thing Okada does in AEW. Whether he faces AEW talent in the United States or they come to Japan to challenge him, the possibilities are endless. He could even get a chance to go to Impact and rewrite his legacy on the brand that wasted him.

    While Omega vs. Okada is a special match that needs to happen one more time, there is another contest that needs to occur even more: the current IWGP heavyweight champion vs. the AEW world champion.

    Kota Ibushi and Omega are life-long friends. When they took opposite paths, it was a shock, but it seems only right that AEW and NJPW take advantage of the two reuniting.

    It is time for Omega vs. Ibushi. It is time for The Golden Lovers to main-event against each other in one-on-one combat.