Ever since Vince McMahon took over WWE from his father, he and his company have not exactly been known as being able to play nice with others. Mr. McMahon will have you believe otherwise and the moves that he made during the late '80s and early '90s where he bought out all of the territories and all of his competition was simply business and not done out of spite or malice. Whether you choose to believe that or not is up to you, but either way it eventually became apparent that McMahon wanted WWE to be the only game in town. It took a while, of course, after the fight that WCW put up throughout the latter half of the 1990s but eventually even they succumbed to WWE.
In the present day however, there has been something of a resurgence of smaller wrestling companies. In many ways a very different landscape to the territory days that WWE put an end to, but in a lot of ways it's actually very similar but just on a worldwide scale. While TNA's, now Impact Wrestling, attempts to become the next WCW didn't come to much, promotions such as Ring Of Honor and New Japan Pro Wrestling have become legitimate companies where pro wrestlers can make a living. ROH no longer has to be a stepping stone to WWE and New Japan is beginning to make a significant mark outside of its homeland.
Nothing proved New Japan's intent to expand their product more than one of their main even matches at Wrestle Kingdom 12 earlier this month. Chris Jericho, a man that has WWE blood pumping through his veins ventured to the Land of the Rising Sun to take on Kenny Omega in a match that had the whole wrestling world talking. Y2J is known for his want to take on as many well known young talents as he possibly can. When the likes of Finn Balor and Kevin Owens joined WWE, by all accounts Jericho was basically begging to get into the ring with them. Naturally he also wanted a match against Omega, a man he also shares his hometown with, but clearly that couldn't happen in WWE.
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Instead Jericho took matters into his own hands and since he was out of contract with WWE, he went looking for a match with Omega off his own back and he got one. While he let Vince McMahon know that the match was going to happen, unless The Cleaner signed with WWE it was never going to happen under the chairman's watch. McMahon has invested 30 years of his life into making sure that his wrestling promotion stands alone on the pro wrestling landscape, so lending talents to arguably the number two company in the world right now simply isn't going to happen.
It shocks fans enough when companies like New Japan and ROH are even mentioned on WWE so someone under contract with WWE competing for either promotion is out of the question. There is one global brand so big though that even WWE are currently struggling to ignore it, and it's a brand created by New Japan: The Bullet Club. A faction clearly inspired by the nWo, another group that caused WWE countless headaches, that has brought that edge in to the present day. The Bullet Club t-shirts on Raw each week are hard to ignore, and so are the former Bullet Club members in the WWE locker room.
The first tip of the cap to the Bullet Club inside the WWE bubble was former faction leader AJ Styles rekindling his friendship with Anderson and Gallows. That was all well and good, but what fans really wanted to see was Finn Balor leading proceedings and now it seems like they have it. The timing is no coincidence either. Just as WWE and New Japan's worlds clashed at Wrestle Kingdom, they did on Raw also as what feels like the build to a match between the Balor Club (aka Bullet Club) and The Shield began.
That epic six man match seems to inevitably be coming, and truth be told that's as close as Vince McMahon will be willing to give fans who want to see WWE and New Japan go against one another on his stage. Jericho and Omega may have had the whole wrestling world talking but clearly McMahon believes he has all the tools he needs to retaliate to a match as big as that. Balor Club versus The Shield may not create the buzz that Alpha versus Omega did but it is by far the closest to that type of match we will see in WWE.
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