Wrestle Kingdom 12 appears to be a turning point for New Japan Pro Wrestling as subscriptions to their network New Japan World have Skyrocketed.
New Japan Pro-Wrestling had a great 2017 for their company. A lot of things improved and the money earned was better than ever. They even made a run in the United States for a few days that went pretty well, even introducing the IWGP United States Title that Kenny Omega won.
However, their biggest time of the year is Wrestle Kingdom. It is similar to WWE’s WrestleMania event basically. The 12th installment just went down, and the event was stacked from top to bottom with amazing matches. It has good ones every year, but this card had everything one could ask from New Japan.
Cody vs Kota Ibushi was terrific and certainly had people intrigued going in. Obviously, the IWGP Heavyweight Title match between the champion Kazuchika Okada and Tetsuya Naito was a big deal and certainly delivered as a good main event. However, what really brought people to the event was the Alpha vs Omega match, and it seemed to do far more than originally thought.
New Japan World Subscribers Skyrocket
The Alpha vs Omega match was the IWGP United States Title match between Chris Jericho and the champion Kenny Omega. Jericho, before all of this, called himself the “Alpha of pro-wrestling” in the video where he challenged Omega to a match. Clearly, with Kenny’s last name in wrestling being “Omega,” it all sort of worked out from a marketing perspective.
The match moved numbers big time for the New Japan World subscription service. This service is like the WWE Network, in that you subscribe and can watch a lot of older matches. However, like WWE’s service, there is a lot of new stuff on there too. Like pay-per-view material, and tournaments such as the Super Juniors and G1.
According to The Wrestling Observer, the subscribers went up huge after Alpha vs Omega. New Japan saw an increase of over 100,000 subscribers from it. When you talk about insane numbers for one match to bring in, this is it!
As a match, it completely delivered as well. It is all you can ask from the performers, and it clearly made a lot of people happy. Most wrestling experts gave the match anywhere between four to five stars, which is pretty good for a match with two people who never worked together before. The fact that it was responsible for numbers going up is pretty cool to see.
What To Expect From The Alpha And The Omega Now
Chris Jericho also decided to stay for the upcoming New Beginnings tour and attacked Naito at New Years Dash. This was in an effort to set up a match with the former heavyweight contender. Jericho mentioned in a recent interview that he wants to become the Brock Lesnar of New Japan. That means we’re likely to see Jericho work there off and on for a while.
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega entered a program with seemingly various people at the same event. From “Switchblade” Jay White to even people like Kota Ibushi, Omega seems to have a lot of people gunning for him. He even has to keep his eyes open within his own Bullet Club unit.
Cody Rhodes, now going by just Cody due to legal reasons, seems to have some issues with Omega. The two had problems last year leading to many assuming there would be a match between the sometime soon, but it never came. In 2018, we’re likely to see Cody turn on the Bullet Club leader and a match between them could be likely afterward.
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