Good idea but I would prefer a big year for Sanada over those two. He would be a pleasant surprise winning the NJC or G-1. I think you can elevate Shibata or Ishii to Intercontinental level without those wins.
iirc SANADA is still freelance.
Even if he were signed full time, he's looked at as an AJPW/W1 guy and it will take longer than a minute for that perceived stink to get off of him. Not being looked at as one of NJPW's own is a big thing to overcome.
In time SANADA should get there, tho. If he sticks in NJPW, he should be a key guy in 3-5 years. That being said, G1 or NJC this year is way way too soon for him imo. There are guys who are more over and who are closer to that level and could use it (Shibata, Ishii, or even if they wanted to do a little KUSHIDA test run and see how the fans respond to a NJC win and how he does 1v1 with Okada). They can and should take their time with SANADA he's only 29, too.
I'm hoping Ibushi becomes a full-time wrestler for NJPW and he and Omega, once he's back, start having a series against each other. If anyone has yet to see their match in DDT at Budokan in 2012 take a look.
I don't know. Seems like they don't have anything worthwhile at New Beginning that wouldn't come off as taking a step back and they weren't gonna do Omega/Okada again that soon. Maybe Tanahashi but they just had a feud last year that started at New Beginning. He wasn't gonna be in the New Japan Cup. So Sakura Genesis seems to be the show he'd make his return and him saying he is stepping away is just so people aren't sitting there for the next 2 months wondering why NJPW isn't using their hottest hand.
Favourite(s): The Phenomenal One, THE MAN, & El Ingobernable
Re: Kenny Omega stepping away from Japan
Omega & the Bucks both lost their titles at WK so I wouldn't be surprised if they're just staying away from New Japan for a bit, maybe letting SuzukiGUN dominate the faction war for a while and then returning with a bang down the line. Omega's gotta win that IWGP Title sometime this year. Has to.
Omega is the smartest dude in the biz at this point. He got his 6 stars match at WK and the whole wrestling is praising him and two days ago he tweets some cryptic words and now everybody is going to be like " Where is Kenny Omega, what's the next chapter "
my 2 cents is Omega is going nowhere before being the IWGP Champion and having his match with Ibushi