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GREAT 8: KENNY OMEGA vs. THE MIZ

KENNY OMEGA vs. THE MIZ  

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Miz had a more than decent year in the ring and I'm a big proponent of "less is more", which he does very, very well. He also had a spectacular year outside the ring, even though his verbal beatdowns of Daniel Bryan were pretty much Miz by the numbers, they were also good enough to solidify his spot as the best heel in NA and one of the top three or four in the world. Really, only Naito is clearly better and in that case, Miz edges him by just a bit outside the ring, but once you compare their matches, Naito had what would be a career year for anyone in the ring, and ultimately, that's the most important piece of the puzzle. However, Naito caught a really unfortunate draw in the last segment, so enough about that...

@Beech27 really nailed the crux of the argument, at the end of the day, the Miz elevated no one, changed nothing and essentially got over picking on Daniel Bryan; on the other hand, Kenny Omega consistently makes everyone around him (team-mates and opponents alike) better for his having been there and he went from a mid-card stooge to one of the most watchable performers in the world. Even leaving aside the match that got all the extra snowflakes, his body of work this last year stacks up with pretty much anyone in the last decade. If you had told me during March Madness last year that by the end of the year Kenny Omega would be one of the most compelling workers in the world to watch, I'd have probably given you the Naito eye and a big horselaugh, but there it is. The gulf between them is like the one that existed between Piper versus Orndorff and Bob Orton jr., unfortunately, Piper would eventually stop talking and get in the ring and there was fuck all he could do to convince anyone that he was on the same level as his two hired guns. At the end of the day, the Miz is an irritating upper mid-card heel and Kenny Omega has transformed himself into one of the best wrestlers in the world.

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24 minutes ago, Chicken Sandwich Carl said:

I'll pivot slightly and say my issue with Omega's work isn't a spot heavy style, it's laziness. If I were to pick the ten best matches featuring either Miz or Omega, Omega would have 1 and 2 but Miz would probably have 3-8. That's work you can set your watch to. Miz all day.

Omega had two fantastic matches with Elgin, two great matches with YOSHI-HASHI, the big back-to-back nights in the G1 against Naito & Goto, the Goto rematch in October AND the Okada match. Those are just singles matches. He puts a shift in on the multi-man tags building up to a lot of those singles matches. The two appearances on the Honor Rising shows were also high end matches (I preferred the 2v2 over the 4v4). Conversely, what did Miz have? The Dolph Ziggler feud that had some real highs and a low or two, the fantastic 4-way match with Owens, Cesaro, and Zayn (where he didn't stick out in a bad way, had some fun segments for sure which all told was impressive), and the EC match where he had a nice bit pinning Ambrose after the Corbin attack but was pretty much a non-factor outside of that. What else am I missing? Because, Kenny's run of high end matches seems a lot longer than Miz's.

My biggest concern with Omega is that due to his style and high output (even if he literally takes a month off now and again), how much longer will his body hold out? 

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I'd rather watch a Larry Zbyszko match than a Shawn Michaels match too. By far.

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I'm gonna need somebody to elaborate on the "laziness" criticism of Omega.  I think there are a lot of words you could use to describe him, but that doesn't seem like one of them.  He's often the only person working in those NJPW multi-man tags.

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I might need a few more drinks at this wedding that I would rather not be at, but I might want to watch a current CMLL Pierroth match than a Kenny Omega match.

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12 minutes ago, cubbymark said:

I might need a few more drinks at this wedding that I would rather not be at, but I might want to watch a current CMLL Pierroth match than a Kenny Omega match.

Do you know Eric? You guys should be friends.

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6 hours ago, EVA said:

I'm gonna need somebody to elaborate on the "laziness" criticism of Omega.  I think there are a lot of words you could use to describe him, but that doesn't seem like one of them.  He's often the only person working in those NJPW multi-man tags.

It isn't laziness in a grab a chin lock and lie down sense, it's in taking shortcuts to tell a story. It's occasionally a to c with no b or a to c and forgetting about what was done in b. It's big bumps that were unearned or overselling a moment that didn't need oversold. Omega can be great, but he falls back on bad habits in lieu of storytelling. That's why I say pivot slightly. It's not spot spot spot spot I take umbrage. It's the story that's being told in the match not connecting together.  I'd site specific examples, but I don't tend to re-watch a lot of NJPW, that's just the impression I get from him a lot.

And to answer Oyaji, I'd put every match you listed for Omega below most of the Ziggler feud minus Naito G1 and Okada, but I tend to grade on a curve. I'm often very critical of NJPW and less so of the Miz and especially Ziggler because I've been consistently expecting below average output from those two dudes and high level from the other. Unfair? Probably.

I will try to go back and rewatch some of the matches you listed, Oyaji, but I may be too closed minded on the dude, which I will say is a flaw of mine.

 

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As great as Omega's match with Okada was, Miz doesn't need to do insanity like that to be the same heel that Omega is. Much like Omega, he comes up short in the big matches...just for different reasons.

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Omega can still make the comeback and eliminate this pretender! ...

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At the end of the day, we're DVDVR. This is what we do.

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I voted Omega because I feel he gets some unnecessary criticism regarding his matches.  The guy's had a banner year and has proven to be one of the top stars in NJPW.  That's not discrediting at all what Miz has done because this has been his best year by far as well.  But while I'm cool with either guy winning I think Omega is just overall better.

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I haven't touched on this yet but Omega in his big matches this past year, he even moves around the ring like AJ Styles, it's like Scorpion and Sub-Zero. There's a lot of similarities there right down to the tights he wears. Outside of Styles, nobody in this tournament makes everything they do look as crisp as Omega or makes their opponents signature offense look as great as well..    Omega is a ridiculous athlete as is Styles. There's so many similarities it's kind of funny how someone could love Styles but not love Omega.

If this came down to Styles and Omega which is my personal top two I would probably vote AJ but as said, I value ring work over outside segments so while The Miz had a great year overall, I had to go with Omega. 

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On 3/17/2017 at 6:07 PM, Niners Fan in CT said:

yet Omega catches 1000% more flack for his work while WWE's BS is given a pass.

Story of the tournament.  NXT and WWE guys get credit for stuff the same way you're happy when your dog doesn't shit on the floor.

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1 hour ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

If this came down to Styles and Omega which is my personal top two I would probably vote AJ but as said, I value ring work over outside segments so while The Miz had a great year overall, I had to go with Omega. 

I voted for Omega over Miz, but I totally don't get this logic, Niners...  

What is ring work without the outside segments and promos that make you want in your heart of hearts for a smug heel to be crippled for your pleasure?  Shouldn't ring work and outside stuff have equal merit?

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1 minute ago, J.T. said:

I voted for Omega over Miz, but I totally don't get this logic, Niners...  

What is ring work without the outside segments and promos that make you want in your heart of hearts for a smug heel to be crippled for your pleasure?

I love promos/vignettes as much as anyone I'm just saying that in this particular case, The Miz is sooo strong on promos but didn't have the year Omega had in-ring.  I like Omega outside of the ring but he's not in the same universe as The Miz.  That said, Omega's year in-ring far outweighs The Miz.  So when it comes to a guy who was strong outside of the ring and a guy who was strong inside the ring, I'm more likely to vote for the person with the matches.  The Miz has a few matches, Omega had a lot.

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Granted, but what about a guy like Matt Hardy whose gimmick was so great and compelling that folks are willing to overlook that his matches were more theater of the absurd than traditional ring wars and those "matches" were probably ten times more entertaining than said ring wars because they were totally self aware?

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40 minutes ago, J.T. said:

Granted, but what about a guy like Matt Hardy whose gimmick was so great and compelling that folks are willing to overlook that his matches were more theater of the absurd than traditional ring wars and those "matches" were probably ten times more entertaining than said ring wars because they were totally self aware?

I have no issue if someone said they value Matt Hardy's matches over someone else.  I appreciate what he did with the gimmick and as a match I quite enjoyed The Final Deletion. It was entertainment spectacle. Matt Hardy was always going to be tough to judge in this tournament. I voted The Miz over Matt because I felt they were about equal outside of the ring and inside the ring I'd rather watch some of the more traditional stuff The Miz did than most of Hardy's what we're considering "matches"..  but I wouldn't have been mad if Hardy had won.  I thought it was outstanding what he did this year.

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I think if you guys wanted you can go back to the infamous Miz Talking Smack segment and the discussion around that time would apply to this.  Not to say that Omega's Daniel Bryan, but there's certainly an argument based off of that to be made for and against what Miz/Omega brought to their matches.

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As I understand it, Bryan suffered largely from doing top rope headbutts and incredibly stiff strike exchanges, in LOTS is matches. 

Omega doesn't do the former, and as much as one can, working in Japan, he avoids the latter. He also shifts into a more comedic/"sports entertainment" role when working most of the consequenceless tags that fill out cards. Certainly his big matches feature some nasty head/neck bumps and dives. As spectacular as it was, I don't think I ever need to see him springboard into the audience again. (Ultimately it's his knees I'd worry about, more than concussions.)

As for Miz... well, there's working smart, which he does, but it's also true that his offense just doesn't look very good, and his bumping isn't terribly impressive. (He ain't making the rainmaker look like a real finisher, that's for sure.) Neither of those things are criticisms per se, as his matches are really compelling anyway. But, I think there's a distinction to be drawn: It's not work smart OR work an athletic style. I think Omega is actually a pretty good case study in how to do both, as he can shift between drawing laughs in an opener and believably main eventing in a week. He takes the big bumps, hits big spots; but he saves them for the suitable moments.

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Omega's stooging around in multi man tags is often the only thing halfway entertaining about those tags.  Except when it's LIJ.  I love LIJ.  They actually seem to be having fun in those tags and work pretty hard to get them over.

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1 hour ago, Niners Fan in CT said:

Omega's stooging around in multi man tags is often the only thing halfway entertaining about those tags.  Except when it's LIJ.  I love LIJ.  They actually seem to be having fun in those tags and work pretty hard to get them over.

Spoilered for gif size but this recently popped me:

Spoiler

giphy.gif

There are some really good 8 and 10 man tags in New Japan in the build up to the bigger shows, but yeah, all too often they're just there filling time. Shibata is excellent at creating intensity in the dullest of tags when he's got a rival across from him.

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