According to the Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer, WWE could be making big money offers to three of the hottest independent and New Japan stars in the world – Cody Rhodes and the Young Bucks (Matt and Nick Jackson) aka The Elite aka The Bullet Club. Each wrestler’s New Japan contract reportedly expires at the end of the year.
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Twitter account WrestleVotes speculates that Rhodes and the Bucks might have some Bullet Club company should Vince McMahon come calling:
This weeks Wrestling Observer hints that WWE could throw a LARGE $$ offer at Cody, The Bucks & Omega at years end. They are legit stars but partly because they also want to end the “threat of competition”
I’ve heard similar. The offers will come. No one knows the decisions yet.
— WrestleVotes (@WrestleVotes) June 28, 2018
Kenny Omega’s contract – New Japan’s current IWGP World Champion – is also reportedly set to expire in January 2019.
We can be sure that with the billion dollar deal WWE just cut with Fox, McMahon might be looking to make some big moves. We know that some top talents with New Japan just a few years ago ended up in WWE. Stars such as AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows and Finn Balor were all stars in Japan before jumping to WWE. These wrestlers are all are red hot stars in the WWE now.
Also, WWE has had to notice that one of the hottest selling wrestling t-shirts in recent years is not a WWE-product.
So it makes all the sense in the world that at some point WWE might make a significant offer to Rhodes, Nick and Matt Jackson and Kenny Omega. Meltzer is reporting it’s imminent.
But should the Bullet Club’s top stars jump to WWE?
Why Cody Rhodes, Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega should jump to WWE
Are you kidding me? It would be awesome! If you can recall the pops AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura got (and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson) when they debuted, the buzz around such a move would set the pro wrestling world ablaze. Imagine the match possibilities–Cody Rhodes vs. Finn Balor? Kenny Omega vs. AJ Styles? Young Bucks vs… the Usos? The Hardy Boyz? Bludgeon Brothers?
For a gimmick like the Bullet Club, based so much on the NWO, the faction of Rhodes, Bucks, and Omega could seem like a new invasion with ready allies in Styles, Balor, Gallows, and Anderson. Of course, this could flop just like the WCW “invasion” of WWE in 2001, or the failed attempt to inject the NWO into the WWE in 2002.
Or Rhodes, the Bucks, and Omega could just come in and whoop everyone’s ass as singles stars. Both Rhodes and Omega are world champion material in any company they work for at this point, even WWE.
The sky’s the limit as to what WWE could do with these guys. It could also effectively kill off whatever burgeoning competition WWE might one day have in the United States.
Which brings us to…
Why Cody Rhodes, Young Bucks, and Kenny Omega should NOT jump to WWE
Rhodes and the Jackson brothers are the promoters behind All In–a sold-out Chicago event that is soon to become the most significant non-WWE pro wrestling event on U.S. soil since the collapse of WCW in 2001. The event sold out a nearly 12,000 seat arena in 30 minutes.
Because many hardcore fans watch the WWE product religiously (no matter how much they gripe about it) yet still want an alternative. They want a different look, a different feel.
Fans want different wrestling.
Companies like New Japan give them an alternative. Ring of Honor does as well. So does Progress, Impact, Lucha Underground, Evolve, MLW and a host of other quality independent companies. It should surprise no one that New Japan and ROH stars are both the promoters and top draws at All In.
But if there is going to be a strong non-WWE alternative for this rabid fanbase, Rhodes, the Bucks and even always stridently independent Omega, could be walking away from the opportunity to be big-time players in pro wrestling’s non-WWE future.
Rhodes unquestionably made the right decision to leave WWE in 2016 to prove that he could be a bigger draw and star elsewhere. Cody’s success is impressive and his stock is higher than ever. He has all the leverage in a possible WWE return. So do the Young Bucks. So does Kenny Omega.
But do these guys build on their street cred and potential business success as the most prominent “indie” bookers in the world – or shock the world by invading WWE?
No one knows, but one thing is for sure: it’s a great time to be a pro wrestling fan.
Categorized: Ringside Intel Sports Wrestling