It’s an interesting time in pro wrestling, with WWE bringing up outside companies far more than ever before – and this year’s E3 had an event that led to this happening once again. For the past few years, the New Day has been a marketing bonanza within WWE – having a bit of a pop culture hit on their hands with their act, including things like Booty-Os and their “New! Day! Rocks!” clapping sequence. Outside of WWE, The Elite of Kenny Omega and Nick and Matt Jackson – the Young Bucks, have achieved great success. Beyond their work in Ring of Honor in North America, they have become global phenomenons with New Japan Pro Wrestling and have been at the forefront of the company’s growth in the past five years. The two groups have had a friendly war on social media and played against one another before, but the stakes have never been quite this high. E3 gave both groups th highest possible gaming platform to perform on, and the timing of everything is remarkable.
On June 9, Kenny Omega finally beat Kazuchika Okada to win the IWGP Heavyweight Title for the first time – capping off a multi-year rivalry that has created some of the greatest matches in the history of pro wrestling and even broke the five-star scale. The two teams squared off at E3 with New Day starting off strong. Kofi Kingston beat Nick, while Xavier Woods beat Nick and Omega beat Big E – giving the New Day a 2-1 lead here. Partners being added swung things in the favor of the Elite, with Omega eventually going 5-4 and winning the competition. As a result, New Day ate habanero peppers and then Omega did too because he wanted to show that he could do anything Woods could do – but better. Together, New Day and The Elite have helped bridge the worlds of gaming and pro wrestling, which has seen New Japan as a company flourish in gaming. Not only have they been featured in Sega’s Yakuza 6, but also Bandai Namco’s Tekken 6, and a decent amount of the roster will be used in Spike Chunsoft’s Fire Pro Wrestling World as DLC later this year.