NJPW vs WWE Invasion: Fantasy booking a full PPV card
How good could this be?Following the news that AJ Styles, Doc Gallows, Karl Anderson and Shinsuke Nakamura may be signing with WWE, I decided to imagine what it would be like if NJPW launched a full-scale invasion of WWE.For those of you who aren't very familiar with NJPW, they're a promotion based in Japan known for fantastic wrestling and has seen many star names work there over the years such as Brock Lesnar, Kurt Angle and founder Antonio Inoki, among many others.Featured here will be 7 matches that would leave fans on the edge of their seats and have them begging for a WWE/NJPW merger. Or maybe not that last one, but even so, here’s how a PPV card with stars from both promotions could shape up
#1 The Lucha Dragons vs Ricochet and Kushida
The Lucha Dragons are one of WWE’s most exciting teams to watch at the moment. They took part in the best match of the night at WWE’s recent TLC event, whilst Sin Cara is enjoying arguably his most successful run of his WWE career at present, gaining huge respect from the fans and locker room after finishing a recent match against New Day with a dislocated shoulder.
His partner, Kalisto, is enjoying a mini-push of sorts at present, knocking off Ryback in the WWE Title tournament and pinning Kofi Kingston on a recent episode of RAW. The team would make tremendous opponents for a couple of NJPW invaders.
Those men being Ricochet and Kushida. Whilst not a tag team, both men have terrific in-ring styles that would flourish against a team like Lucha Dragons. Ricochet was the first ever Lucha Underground champion (as Prince Puma) and currently competes in a tag team with Matt Sydal (formerly Evan Bourne), making him a perfect candidate for a tag team match in this WWE/NJPW war.
His partner, Kushida, is currently the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion, beating Kenny Omega at Wrestle Kingdom 10. Kushida’s high-flying style would lend itself to some incredible sequences with Sin Cara and Kalisto.
Putting this match first on the card would excite the crowd, much as Lucha Dragons vs The Usos vs New Day at TLC did, as fast-paced matches always get the crowd going.
#2 Dolph Ziggler vs Kenny Omega
Reflecting Dolph Ziggler’s recent slide down the card (In January 2015 he was Intercontinental Champion, this year he’s already lost to Heath Slater), his match with Canadian star Kenny Omega would come next.
It would take a brave man to leave Ziggler off any card, as whether he’s scheduled for the main event or the pre-show, he’ll always deliver a good match and get the crowd on their feet. With an athletic in-ring style, just like Omega, Dolph makes the perfect opponent for the former IWGP Junior Heavyweight Champion.
Kenny Omega is currently in a rivalry with Shinsuke Nakamura over the IWGP Intercontinental Title, and occupies a similar position in NJPW as Ziggler has for most of his WWE run.
Wildly over with the crowd and with a fantastic move-set, Omega has the ability to put on an amazing match and seeing him up against The Showoff would definitely be a contender for match of the night.
#3 Bad Luck Fale vs Kevin Owens
Next up would be a match pitting two big men against each other to determine whether WWE or NJPW has the better big man; Bad Luck Fale, currently a member of the Kenny Omega led Bullet Club, goes up against Kevin Owens, the man widely described as the best heel currently in WWE.
Owens really needs no introductions, but I’ll give one anyway. He’s a former NXT and WWE Intercontinental Champion, before which he spent years on the independant scene carving out a reputation as one of the world’s best wrestlers.
Arguably the best on the mic in WWE, Owens would welcome Bad Luck Fale with the usual barrage of hilarious abuse that endears him to most fans despite his very heel-ish antics.
Bad Luck Fale is one of the best true big men in wrestling, currently. Armed with a dangerous finisher (a variation of the chokeslam), Fale has the size and the power to legitimately have a chance of toppling Owens.
Not one of NJPW’s more famous name’s, he’s still a very talented wrestler and a match against Owens would no doubt produce, as Jim Ross might describe it, a “slobberknocker.”
#4 WWE Tag Team Titles: Bullet Club vs New Day vs The Usos vs The Young Bucks
The match for the tag team titles would be an absolute thriller, featuring two of WWE’s finest teams and two of NJPW’s finest. The Usos and New Day would fly the flag for WWE, whilst battling each other as well as NJPW representatives Bullet Club (Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson) and The Young Bucks.
I honestly couldn’t imagine a better tag match between current tag teams.
The Usos and New Day have had massive issues with each other in the past, but will be more unfamiliar with the threats posed by the other two teams.
The Usos have been able to put on terrific matches with most teams in WWE’s (rather weak) tag division, and personally I’d love nothing more than to see Jimmy and Jey invited to a Superkick party by The Young Bucks. Now that would be something.
Anderson and Gallows (used to be Luke Gallows in WWE) would provide the muscle in the match, whilst New Day deserve to be included as a result of the supreme work they’ve done over the past year or so, transforming themselves from a joke of a team into one of WWE’s hottest acts.
Seeing all four teams collide would be a match unlike anything seen in WWE before, if done right.
#5 WWE Intercontinental Title: Daniel Bryan vs Shinsuke Nakamura
What an insane match this would be (in an ideal world where Bryan is not injured). Daniel Bryan and Shinsuke Nakamura are so different, yet also similar in a lot of ways.
Both men have experience holding an Intercontinental title of some description, and these two colliding would probably incite so much fan noise that you could barely hear Bryan screaming “Yes!” in the ring.
Daniel Bryan can excel at any place on the card, and whilst this match may not be the main event, it would definitely feel like it. Having faced many opponents who are much taller than him before, Bryan would be ready for the size disadvantage he’d have in this match.
Bryan gets crowd reactions like nobody since Stone Cold, making him the perfect opponent for Nakamura, who thrives on the big stage. Daniel Bryan is the best wrestler WWE has, and if anyone in the company could take it to NJPW’s self-proclaimed “King of Strong Style”, it’s him.
Nakamura is totally unlike anything WWE fans have ever seen. The most charismatic man in wrestling, as well as one of the overall best in the ring, he’s a legitimate tough guy (3 MMA victories from 5 fights and one No Contest).
Armed with one of the most devastating and stiff finishers currently in use, the Boma Ye, Shinsuke Nakamura would give Daniel Bryan one of his toughest ever matches, and would certainly announce to the WWE locker room that NJPW talent goes hard as well.
#6 AJ Styles vs Finn Balor
AJ Styles and Finn Balor (formerly Prince Devitt when he was in NJPW and ex-Bullet Club leader) would be one of the most explosive, hard-hitting and dynamic matches ever seen in WWE, and I’m not exaggerating when I say this.
Both of these stars are undoubtedly in the top five wrestlers in the world, and seeing them collide would be nothing short of extraordinary.
AJ Styles is a former leader of Bullet Club, taking over once Balor left NJPW, and facing off with Balor for the leadership would make a lot of sense.
It would give AJ a huge story to work with as well as a fantastic opponent, as he comes in and attempts to prove to everyone why WWE were wrong to resist signing him for over ten years while he was cementing himself as one of the best on the planet throughout his time in TNA, NJPW and on the independent circuit.
Seeing AJ hit a Styles Clash in a WWE ring would be one of the enduring images from a PPV event such as this.
As amazing as AJ is, let’s not forget Balor. Himself an incredible athlete, if anybody in WWE could work with Styles to get the best possible match, it’s him.
The current NXT champion, Balor would be out to show Styles he can’t just come straight into WWE and assert himself at the top, and if given a long time, Styles vs Balor would without a doubt produce a match of the year contender.
#7 WWE World Heavyweight Title: Kazuchika Okada vs Seth Rollins
Main-eventing this epic PPV would be the current NJPW champion Kazuchika Okada and “The Future” Seth Rollins. Sorry guys, no John Cena or Roman Reigns on this PPV. I went for who wrestlers who would have the best matches, rather than simply star power.
Rollins has been one of WWE’s most consistent high-level workers of the past few years, and would be the perfect man to defend WWE’s premier title from an NJPW invader.
Kazuchika Okada is a man fiercly loyal to NJPW, who has stated many times before that he will never join WWE, making him the perfect candidate to invade the company and fly the flag for NJPW, claiming his company’s superiority.
The man has been in too many classic matches over recent years to mention and is a huge star in Japan, not to mention his Rainmaker finisher looks absolutely brutal. I would love to see this man fighting for the top prize in wrestling.
Seth Rollins is such an underrated wrestler. It seems as though once guys make it to the top, their talent is ignored and fans start to turn on them, but Rollins has been showing why he’s the man for years now.
As Tyler Black he was well respected on the indies and has morphed into one of the most complete wrestlers in the world, combining speed, agility and an amazing moveset with a surprising amount of power for a man of his size
Now, Okada is good, very good, but if there’s one guy the WWE has who can match him and hang with him in the ring, move for move, it’s Seth Rollins. The man who once held the WWE World Heavyweight and United States titles at the same time against a 3-time IWGP Heavyweight Champion would produce an instant classic.
Imagine Seth Rollins bringing back the curb stomp to try and put away Okada, or Okada hitting multiple Rainmaker clotheslines on Rollins like he was forced to do to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 10. It would be an incredible end to a totallybrilliant but impossible PPV event