As if he wasn't already 2017's most vital performer, Kenny Omega became the talk of the wrestling world yet again following New Japan Pro Wrestling's blockbuster announcement that industry icon Chris Jericho will be his Wrestle Kingdom 12 opponent.
Jericho will wrestle outside of WWE for the first time since 1999, in a move not unfamiliar to those that have tracked his lengthy career. Never ahead of the curve but always just behind it (in a sweet spot Vince McMahon has always coveted as a promoter), 'Y2J' has had a knack for leaping on speeding bandwagons throughout his career. New Japan is wrestling's fiercest juggernaut, led in part by Omega and his Bullet Club cronies.
With Kenny at the helm since AJ Styles' 2016 departure, the 'Biz Cliz' have grown the brand and manifesto beyond their early days as a traditional heel stable. Transcending an industry they've exploded out from within, the various rotation of members, sub-factions and international equivalents mimic WCW's multiple iterations of the New World Order with performers that just happen to be younger, cooler and fifty times more irreverent.
Despite teasing references between former members and an argued-upon hand gesture, WWE are none too keen for their audience to invest any further in what is unquestionably wrestling's hottest brand. The company may deck their performers out in gaudy blue and red to argue otherwise, but an increasing portion of their audience are firmly back in black.
Square eyes on a square head, trained almost exclusively to Pro Wrestling, Sunderland AFC & Paul Rudd films. Responsible for 'Shocking Plans You Won't Believe Actually Happened', some of the words in our amazing Wrestling bookazines (both available at shop.whatculture.com), and probably every website list you read that praised Kevin Nash.