Impact Wrestling & NJPW Multiverse United - Only The Strong Survive HOT TAKE
WHAT IS THE MULTIVERSE?
The Multiverse is said to be an infinite realm of being or potential being of which the universe is regarded as a part or instance. Perhaps you never took that job? Your life and the entire universe would spin into a completely different direction, an endless butterfly effect of bullet points that change the very fabric of existence, for you and everyone you know would then be completely different from that moment onward.
In the world of professional wrestling, the multiverse has always existed. There are countless "What if" questions about what the sport and those involved would be like had a decision been made to duck left instead of dodging right, if a different challenger had their hand raised in victory instead of the championship incumbent, if a promotion had lost a promotional war instead of charging ahead. The very realm of space and time, the very series of events that define and maintain what professional wrestling and combat sports are, the yin and the yang, would be torn apart forever.
This Thursday March 30th, live on FITE, fans across the world won't have to ponder some of these questions, because for one night only, the MULTIVERSE is UNITED as the stars of New Japan Pro Wrestling and Impact Wrestling assemble under one roof at the long-sold out Globe Theater in Los Angeles to present one of the most anticipated and special live events of 2023. Indeed, Multiverse United: Only The STRONG Survive will feature the greatest combatants from each of these celebrated promotions on the same plane of existence for one night only, where there are infinite possibilities in this not-so-secret war for bragging rights and true victory!
The main event for Multiverse United will tell the tale of what happens when two of the most athletically gifted professional wrestlers of the 21st century collide for the entire world to see and one day, tell the tale of the greatness they have witnessed.
One year ago, Speedball Mike Bailey, hot after his debut for Impact Wrestling, presented one of the greatest multi-day series of performances inside a professional wrestling ring ever seen in Dallas, Texas. Building himself a legend, Bailey returns to the scene of the crime as once again the biggest week in professional wrestling is upon us, but to make his legend this time around, the former X-Division Champion will have to represent Impact in a victorious bid against one of the true Aces of New Japan Pro Wrestling, Hiroshi Tanahashi.
This may be one of the most important challenges of Bailey's life, and he'll have to endure it after preparing for Will Ospreay, who had to bow out due to an injury suffered to his right shoulder while competing in the New Japan Cup. Bailey has been successful in high profile, high-intensity situations before, but wrestling The Ace of the Universe, Tanahashi, is a near-impossible task for the greatest wrestlers of this era - but in Los Angeles, Bailey will step forward and bring everything his karate-wrestling hybrid fighting style contains in an attempt to capture the biggest singles win of his life.
For Tanahashi, this is a chance to step forth and show the world yet again why he's one of the best chess players in all of professional wrestling and that the master of the artform still stands tall among all other men. Tanahashi's versatility tested against Speedball, the master of aerial assaults artistry, for all the bragging rights in the world, will be settled by the oldest cornerstone in professional wrestling itself - the better, smarter fighter will win, but all who witness the fight will be forever changed. The Multiverse changes forever this Thursday, live on FITE.
IMPACT WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Josh Alexander is in the midst of being forever inscribed in the history pages of Impact Wrestling. Already the longest reigning Impact Wrestling World Champion in history, Alexander, a true wrestling machine and student of the sport, refuses to stop, always scaling the next mountain, always seeking the next apex after vanquishing his most recent opponent. Alexander calls to be tested daily and if there isn't something monumental for the Champion to strive against, it is a day and an opportunity lost.
This Thursday, however, the only thing at risk of being lost if Alexander is not at his very best is the World Championship as New Japan Pro Wrestling's KUSHIDA will be his challenger in Los Angeles. As much as Alexander salivates over fighting and beating the best in the world, if there is a competitor who truly needs a massive singles win at Multiverse United more than anyone else on the fight card, it is KUSHIDA.
When KUSHIDA returned to New Japan Pro Wrestling from the land of sports-entertainment past, he immediately stated that he wanted to face the greatest professional wrestlers in the world, to once again sharpen his skills and prove that he is not only one of the best fighters today, but of all time. He has had varied success Stateside and in Japan since, so for someone who has always attempted to strike hard and fight harder, this opportunity on Thursday is a dream come true.
Make no mistake about this, Alexander vs. KUSHIDA is a professional wrestling's purist dream match. These are two well studied, versatile, near perfect competitors who will throw every offensive maneuver at the other, knowing all too well they've likely already mastered every counter and defensive strategy for them. If you seek and search out the perfect professional wrestling match, Multiverse United will be your destination of choice, one that may forever tell the tale when Josh Alexander's dreams crumbled as KUSHIDA rose to greatness…or not. The Multiverse ebbs and flows and the only way to know for sure is to witness its majesty live on FITE this Thursday!
If there are two men who know how to impose their will on hapless opponents, it is New Japan Pro Wrestling's Jeff Cobb and Impact Wrestling's Moose. This Thursday at Multiverse United, the question isn't how badly could they manhandle their opponents but what happens when two devious souls with unlimited power are tasked with trying to take the other down?
Moose, a multi-time former Impact Wrestling World Champion is a self-proclaimed "Scumbag." Jeff Cobb is an unabashed bounty hunter. They are both out to service themselves and the financial rewards that come with their nefarious endeavors and now this Thursday, live on FITE, their roads intersect against each other.
It will be The Tour of the Islands vs. The Spear. Moose's insanely powerful dropkick vs. Cobb's standing moonsault. It will be Moose's NFL pedigree vs. Cobb's Olympian achievements. It will be steel vs. steel, kaiju vs. kaiju with not a care in the world for anyone else involved. This Multiverse United may indeed see worlds shattered with an incursion worthy of the Marvel Universe itself - live on FITE.
The X-Division Champion Trey Miguel will put his championship on the line in one of the diciest propositions for any professional wrestler, the Scramble Match. All is ongoing, everywhere all at once, from every direction as challengers from both New Japan Pro Wrestling and Impact Wrestling all enter the battlefield seeking to emerge as the smoke dissipates with the same cherished prize, the X-Division Championship.
Hometown hero Frankie Kazarian returns to Los Angeles seeking to once again achieve the championship that helped put him and Impact Wrestling on the map. Longtime NJPW veteran Rocky Romero seeks his first major singles championship in the United States in order to make the biggest imprint possible. Rich Swann, the former Impact Wrestling World Champion, is still seeking to strike gold and return to the promised land of professional wrestling's highest echelon.
Perhaps the two talents to keep the closest eye on are The Rhino Clark Connors and the 21st century powerhouse known as Kevin Knight. Each of these New Japan Pro Wrestling LA Dojo alumni are hungry, passionate and seeking to steal the thunder for themselves. What better way to do so than to completely upend two international promotions with one mighty championship victory?
At Multiverse United live on FITE, it's every X-Division competitor for themselves!
THE KNOCKOUTS WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Mickie James heads to Los Angeles for one of the biggest matches in her current Knockouts Championship reign as James will battle not one, but three vibrant, dangerous contenders from across the professional wrestling multiverse.
Miyu Yamashita from Tokyo Joshi Pro may be the most surprising name involved to casual fans, but true discerning fans of puroresu know that the 28-year old sensation may indeed be the most dangerous competitor challenging James. The first-ever Tokyo Princess of Princess Champion is considered the Ace of the promotion, a true shining star ready to take out all comers.
For Yamashita to walk out with a historical win this Thursday, she'll also have to surpass the brilliance of Deonna Purrazzo, who has been recognized by Impact Wrestling fans in the past as being the best wrestler in the entirety of the promotion, male or female. Her near-flawless submissions and aggressive in-ring style may be most focused on the Black Widow, Gisele Shaw, who like Yamashita is looking to make history as the new champion, but has found her antagonistic ways evolving into a target on her back.
These four brilliant fighters will all take to the ring to ascend women's wrestling to the next level while also seeking to emerge as the reigning and defending Knockouts Champion. Will the Last Rodeo ride on for Mickie James? Or, will the Multiverse United be too much for even that Hall of Famer to overcome? We will all learn together live on FITE!
ALL TIME GREATS COLLIDE
One of the wonderful things about professional wrestling for die-hard fans of any promotion, but especially New Japan Pro Wrestling, is watching the new generations of talent develop into bonafide superstars and then, as they age into the veteran generations like those before them. The infinite possibilities and multitude of strategies lend themselves to the type of legendary battles that will define this Millennium from the Zero Hour to today and beyond.
KENTA vs. Minoru Suzuki is certainly one of those generational battles. Suzuki, renowned for his toughness and eternally respected by all, has been bringing physical punishment and his own patented badassery to the world his entire career, even at his advanced veterans status. If there's one man who doesn't care about status or reputation beyond his own dangerous accolades, it's Suzuki's opposition at Multiverse United, KENTA.
The master of the GTS is a shark always sensing blood in the water, unleashing all the anger and resentment he contains inside against an entire world he feels has yet to respect his power and fury. KENTA is a fierce soul, who wants to demolish everyone in his path in the darkest, most unholy ways possible, but to claim a major victory on one of the biggest weekends of the year, he would have to defeat someone who is just as dark and disturbing and may even enjoy the mayhem more than most, Minoru Suzuki.
This unique battle for the ages between Bullet Club's KENTA and the one who defined all of Suzuki-Gun, Minoru Suzuki, will broadcast live, exclusively on FITE, this Thursday at Multiverse United!
IMPACT WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP & MORE!
Even after the victory, the work isn't done. Ace Austin and Chris Bey have emerged as one of the greatest tag team tandems in the world following their exploits in both New Japan Pro Wrestling and Impact Wrestling alike, seizing the moment to capture the Impact Wrestling World Tag Team Champions. Now, at Multiverse United, they have the best teams from each realm coming for their heads! Whether it be former Tag Team Champions The Motor City Machine Guns, Aussie Open or TMDK's Shane Haste & Bad Dude Tito, tag team excellence is afoot and the champions will have to over-excel to retain their status as champions.
Plus, Impact and NJPW stars unite in a massive eight man tag team dream war featuring Fred Rosser & Alex Coughlin & CALLIHAN & PCO battling former Impact Wrestling World Champion Eddie Edwards & Impact Wrestling Digital Media Champion & Joe Hendry & Tom Lawlor & JR Kratos.
Champions and combatants from across the realms of the Multiverse will stand United this Thursday with one goal in mind - victory, valor and triumph, live, exclusively on FITE, live from Los Angeles as part of the biggest week of the year for professional wrestling, direct to your FITE devices anywhere in the world!
Mike Johnson is the lead reporter for PWInsider.com and has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He can be found on Twitter @MikePWInsider and MikeJohnsonWrites.com.