Kevin Kelly Talks NJPW Expanding Into The US, Cody Possibly Beating Okada, The Bullet Club – Much More


Extremely experienced announcer/commentator, Kevin Kelly, recently spoke with Mike Killam of WrestleZone and discussed many of topics regarding the upcoming NJPW G1 Special which airs tonight. Kelly talked NJPW expanding to the US, Cody possibly holding both the Ring Of Honor & IWGP World Championships & much more.

Here are the highlights:

Any Troubles With NJPW Expanding Into The US:

“There are some growing pains, but there are so many masters you have to serve. You want the exposure of live television, being able to be on with a cable television, but you have to work out those split feeds. Think about the first Super Bowl; it aired on two different networks. In 50 years we’ve seen the evolution of the product and it’s become the most watched event in U.S. television every year. So when you have a situation like this, when it’s the first time out of the gate, trying to figure out what will work best and how to broadcast the shows to a growing and diverse audience, there are going to be some growing pains.”

Cody Possibly Beating Okada For The IWGP Heavyweight Title:

“Cody was the odds-on favorite last Friday when he was wrestling Christopher Daniels, who is one of the all-time greats. He caught lightning in a bottle, the time was right for him to capture the Ring of Honor title for the first time, it was long overdue. But now, Cody is stepping up and I think there’s probably a lot more pressure on him for this match with Okada because he knows the gravity of the situation. This is the ultimate example of betting on yourself. He was willing to walk away from good guaranteed money for the chance to do this; to main event a New Japan show and to wrestle Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship.”

“Cody came into New Japan and he’s been taken care of. He’s been allowed to showcase and feature his talent. The obvious comparison is between Cody Rhodes and AJ Styles. They’re completely different workers, but compare name value and instant recognition. You had to be kind of a hardcore fan in Japan to know who AJ Styles was because TNA wasn’t as globally popular as WWE, so Cody had a built-in advantage coming in.”

What Will The Outcome Be If Cody Does Win:

“A Cody win opens up a whole realm of title challengers. If this title match happened in April, I think Cody wins, but now that we’re so close to G1 and King of Pro Wrestling, there’s only going to be a handful of defenses for the champion between now and Wrestle Kingdom. So the benefit of Cody winning and how it would benefit New Japan at the box office is possibly negated by the calendar. The fact that he’s not in the G1 is something to consider as well, if Cody wins it surprises me, but I’m not shocked.”

The Current State Of The Bullet Club:

“First of all, I don’t think Karl Anderson gets enough credit for being the power behind Bullet Club in the earlier days. When AJ Styles was at the top, it was Karl and Doc Gallows that were the driving force behind that. They really helped get Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) over and to that next level when he was on the rise, the dynamic is different now. I’ve always said there are cliques and fissures within Bullet Club that could be and should be explored. It’s two different groups right now. On one side you’ve got The Elite and the other side you’ve got the older guards with Tama Tonga, Bad Luck Fale and I think Yujiro Takahashi fits in there. Cody is in the middle and whichever guy steps up and says ‘I’m the leader, follow me’, who goes where? If Cody had thrown in the towel [at Dominion] for Kenny Omega, I think that would have been the split of Bullet Club right there.”

Who Kelly Thinks Will Leave Long Beach As The First US Champ:

“If Michael Elgin won it wouldn’t shock me. I’m leaning towards Elgin, I think he’s benefited from being off a couple of months and by him cooling off from Japan and not being in high profile matches that he doesn’t win, or being in meaningless tag matches and for the most part we haven’t seen him. I think Elgin is the guy and he walks away with this title.”






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