Cody vs. Kenny Omega: A beginning, not an end
Bullet Club is splintered, officially, with former leader Kenny Omega and Cody, who has been positioning himself as an alternate power center since joining in 2016, set to meet in the main event at Supercard of Honor XII on April 7.
The conventional wisdom here is that Bullet Club’s host promotions, Ring of Honor and New Japan, are preparing for a future without Omega, 34, who presumably will test the WWE waters at some point soon, maybe as early as next year.
Meh, this Omega-to-WWE stuff is much adieu about nothing, as usual.
Omega-Cody is just smart booking, and let’s give Omega, Cody, ROH and NJPW credit. The split was something that had been in the works from a storyline perspective for several months, if not from the moment that Cody was brought into the Bullet Club family 14 months ago.
We’re not talking WWE-style booking here, where Kane is brought back from the dead to be a part of a main-event program for months with no buildup, or you get Jinder Mahal as a monster world champion after years as a jobber, with no transition or repackaging in between.
What we are getting here is a split down the middle, presumably, of a great heel stable. Omega’s best buds, The Young Bucks, for example, seem to be aligning with Cody. And, who gets custody of Marty Scurll, poor guy?
Plus, we’ve seen the apparent reconciliation of Omega and former tag-team partner Kota Ibushi, and I say apparent because, what if the whole Cody-Omega split is just an elaborate double-cross?
Or, what if we get the formation of a new stable headlined by Omega, Ibushi and Scurll, that can challenge Bullet Club, Chaos, Los Ingoberables de Japon and Suzuki-gun?
So many possibilities, and exactly none of them have to do with preparing for a future for Ring of Honor and New Japan without Omega.
Arguably, the moves by ROH and NJPW to build revenues with streaming services rivaling the WWE Network are being done with the goal in mind of preserving their ties to talents like Omega, Cody, Ibushi and Kazuchika Okada, among many others.
It doesn’t have to be an automatic that Ring of Honor and New Japan are the equivalent of small-market MLB teams whose stars inevitably end up with the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers when their contracts come up.
The economics of the business are changing, and as significant as the economics is the creative freedom that comes with working in places like ROH and New Japan, where the talents still have important control over their careers.
So, enjoy the walkup to Supercard of Honor, and the match itself, which could very well be the match of the year, if it even comes close to living up to the hype.
And, let’s hope that it’s not an end, but a beginning, for those two, and whatever else may spring out from April 7.
Story by Chris Graham