What’s the story?
On Saturday night’s edition of The Wrestling Observer Radio, Dave Meltzer all but confirmed that Cody Rhodes will be spending the majority of 2017 in New Japan Pro Wrestling.
Meltzer went so far as to say that Cody considers New Japan his ‘home base’ so to speak, and that The American Nightmare is looking forward to working more dates with the premier Japanese wrestling promotion through the rest of the year.
In case you didn’t know...
Cody Rhodes has been here, there and everywhere, since leaving WWE in May 2016. Cody arrived in NJPW at Wrestle Kingdom 11 as the newest member of Bullet Club and defeated Juice Robinson in his first match.
Billed as ‘The American Nightmare’, Cody looks set to become a fixture on New Japan cards throughout 2017, as Bullet Club look to re-establish themselves as a major force in NJPW following a tough 2016.
Cody will be a part of the Honor Rising shows co-produced by New Japan and ROH at the end of this month. On February 27th, Cody will team with Hangman Page to take on Jay Lethal and Katsuyori Shibata, following that up by competing in the eight-man tag team main event of night two, where he will team with fellow Bullet Club members Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks to take on Kazuchika Okada, Will Ospreay and The Briscoes.
The heart of the matter
New Japan has proven to be a true sink or swim environment for gaijin professional wrestlers over the last few years, and if Cody plays his cards right his stint with the promotion, this could be the moment he evolves from a respected pro wrestler into an absolute megastar.
Cody’s performance at Wrestle Kingdom 11 was impressive but also left room for improvement, and working with the level of talent New Japan has will only help the man.
With Cody all but confirmed to be a frequent performer on New Japan cards in 2017, minds can move to potential matches, feuds and stories. Cody has expressed his desire to go up against Katsuyori Shibata in the past, could we see this match happen in an NJ ring this year?
How about matches with Hirooki Goto, Tomohiro Ishii, Tetsuya Naito and the rest? Could we see Cody take part in the 2017 G1 Climax?
We’ve enjoyed Cody’s run outside the WWE so far and can’t wait to see more of The American Nightmare inside an NJPW ring. If he were to compete in the G1 it would be an incredible test of ability and determination, and could well be the litmus test for Cody Rhodes’ future in pro wrestling.
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