Have we seen the last of Jay White in NJPW? If so, where should Switchblade end up?
AEW World Champion Kenny Omega headlines Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill on Sunday. How hyped is everyone for the history-making main event?
Drew McIntyre will put the WWE Championship on the line at WWE Royal Rumble, but is Goldberg the right challenger for McIntyre?
Join us as we answer these—and more—questions in this week’s Gimme Five!
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1. New Year Dash may have been Jay White’s last night with NJPW. What would you like to see next for Switchblade?
David Dunn (@david_dunn):
I’m in no hurry to see Jay White leave NJPW. Despite his loss at Wrestle Kingdom, White still has a winning record against Kota Ibushi. One or two wins over highly-ranked opponents—maybe a Bullet Club battle with EVIL?—and Switchblade should be right back in title contention.
Grady Hooker (@GradyHooker):
Signing a new NJPW contract to stick around, I hope. White has been absolutely amazing throughout his entire Switchblade run – these last few weeks in particular. Let’s keep it all rolling.
I don’t want to see Jay White in any promotion other than NJPW. I just don’t see him fitting in as well as he does in New Japan.
Sammy G (@RealSammyG):
After seeing him utterly defeated at the post-match press conference… maybe a return tour of New Zealand could be on the cards? A chance to find himself again, rest, and return to NJPW with a renewed energy and focus.
2. Kota Ibushi has expressed a desire to unify the IWGP Heavyweight and Intercontinental Championships. Are you on board with the double-champ’s plan to combine both titles?
It’s a long-overdue move, in my opinion. As soon as Tetsuya Naito began defending both belts together after Wrestle Kingdom 14, this became the logical step.
NJPW has a lot of championships, and it would be interesting to see which title steps into the number two spot without the Intercontinental Championship. But, that being said, it is a pretty belt.
While New Japan has a lot of titles, I don’t think the NEVER openweight title is on the same level as the Intercontinental Championship. With the expansion into the USA, I’m expecting the United States Championship to be defined primarily on US soil, with some appearances from the IWGP champion, which means Japanese shows will sometimes be without their big champ, so the Intercontinental title will be needed then to make the shows more attractive to live audiences.
After a micro-conference with a Viking and a Stallion, we reached a consensus of, ‘Yes, it is a good idea’. NJPW is very belt-heavy. While they’re at it, they should unify the tag titles next.
3. AEW World Champion Kenny Omega headlines Impact Wrestling’s Hard to Kill this Sunday (New Zealand time). Where’s your level of excitement for Omega and The Good Brothers vs. Rich Swann and The Motor City Machine Guns?
Impact Wrestling flew under the radar for much of 2020, while AEW captured everyone’s attention. (AEW swept the NZPWI People’s Choice Awards with 40% of the vote for Best Promotion.) Combine the eyes on AEW with Impact’s underdog status and you’ll have fireworks – especially considering the six men in the ring.
I love the entire crossover angle with AEW and Impact. I’m making sure to keep an eye across it all, so I’m not necessarily hyped for this match specifically, but level 10 hyped for everything around it too.
The crossover idea is great. However Impact, while still a semi-known brand, is below AEW, so I’m not sure what AEW gains from this other than the ability to use Gallows and Anderson and probably most importantly Don Callis. Great negotiation on Impact’s behalf. It’s gained a lot of eyes from this.
I’ve been dipping in and out of Impact Wrestling for a few years. I’m aware of their recent deal with AEW, and think it’s a great strategic wrestling partnership! Seeing The Motor City Machine Guns in a marquee match does excite me! They were one of my favourite tag-teams during the TNA days.
4. Drew McIntyre has accepted Goldberg’s challenge and will defend the WWE Championship against the Hall of Famer at WWE Royal Rumble. Is Goldberg the right challenger for McIntyre?
Goldberg is a fine challenger… but shouldn’t he be more interested in Roman Reigns and the Universal Championship?
No. Do I have to say more than that?
Goldberg has name value but I struggle to see how he has really earned this. The best I can think of is, last we saw him was losing the title and therefore he thinks he is owed some sort of rematch? That said, I feel they could do a far more compelling or logical programme with almost any other active wrestler on the roster. If you have to use Goldberg, wait until there are fans in the building to get a really good reaction.
I still have a sour taste in my mouth from Goldberg’s outing with The Undertaker. I hope McIntyre is able to overcome the challenge of Goldberg.
5. The first pro-wrestling events of 2021 begin this weekend with CPW and Valiant Pro in Lower Hutt. What are you looking forward to attending around New Zealand over the next few months?
We’re very fortunate to be able to have full crowds in New Zealand, so let’s make the most of it! Why not take advantage of the long weekend for February 6 and get away to one of the many events being held?
I’m travelling and skilfully dodging events somehow, but I want to keep an eye on the IPW and SPW double-champ Jamie Tagataese. How long he can hold both pieces of gold with the best of New Zealand coming after him?
As per usual, I’ll be front row at SPW.
As General Manager of Capital Pro Wrestling, I’m looking forward to seeing more shows around the country and meeting some of the new talents in the New Zealand wrestling scene. I’m eyeing up the SPW Southern Rumble also – I’ve missed it over the last few years!