Former Lucha Underground Champion Johnny Mundo (aka Johnny Impact) sat down for an interview with the legendary JR on an episode of the Jim Ross Report. Ross once again brought up the Roman Reigns project (just like he did with Y2J) and asked Mundo for his expert breakdown on the situation. Johnny essentially believed that Roman, like Cena, was pushed too soon, but has more than earned his spot at the top of the card these days.
However, it was his comments on the subtle, but positive differences between the WWE and easily their biggest global competitor, New Japan Pro Wrestling.
I think, for me, the talent of New Japan and the different type of structure from your traditional WWE-style match. It’s hard to say specifically, but I’ve noticed the specifics that stick out to me as a pro wrestler when I’m watching, they don’t cover quite as much. The emphasis is still on winning. I feel like that’s always important in pro wrestling, but, like, something that might not beat a person in New Japan isn’t always jumped on by the opponent to try to get a win.
In WWE, I think they do that more frequently. A lot of New Japan matches, the big ones especially, they get more time. [Kazuchika] Okada [versus] [Kenny] Omega for example, it’s a good example of that, they give those guys so much time and I remember reading an interview about whether or not Okada wanted to go to WWE and he said he didn’t think he would fit on WWE television because the style of match that he likes to have and that’s something that requires more time to tell a longer story.
While 69-minute classics aren’t everyone’s bread-basket in terms of match quality, one thing New Japan has always excelled at is their detailed in-ring storytelling.
Would you agree with Mundo’s assessment?