Kenny Omega, former IWGP Heavyweight Champion, and one of the greatest wrestlers in the world, come January 31 (although I heard earlier) will be professional wrestling’s hottest free agent. The question on everyone’s mind is, where in the hell is he headed? Resigning with NJPW, joining his best buds in AEW, or is he saying “to hell with it, I’m finally going to WWE”? Well, I’m going to give you my personal take on the matter, right about….now. So, if you’re interested, read on. If you’re not, there’s a back button, don’t let the door hit you in the — Kidding, here we go.
Okay, first off, there were a number of reports that supposedly “confirmed” he was on his way out of New Japan, his longtime home. I don’t give a damn if you’re Ryan Satin or Dave Meltzer, I’m not going to believe that statement until it comes out of Kenny Omega’s mouth, the man himself. It’s still very possible that he resigns with NJPW, obviously. The thing is, as far as I know and have seen bigger NJPW fans than I say this, he has done just about everything that is possible to accomplish in New Japan. What’s left for him to do?
The other option is All Elite Wrestling – the upcoming promotion involving Cody Rhodes and The Young Bucks in executive positions – aka some of his closest friends.
Another significant option is, of course, WWE. Which he has declined offers to join constantly throughout the years. But is 2019 the year The Cleaner jumps ship?
In my opinion, if he has done everything in Japan there is to do, I’d definitely seek other options. AEW still has to rightfully prove themselves, and we are still unaware of a TV deal, new signees, and all that essential information. Who knows how long of a wait? And who on the scene, on the outside of WWE, is there left for him to compete against anyhow? I’m sure there’s a few, like PAC, just to purely throw a name out there, but not many. We’ll save that list for another day. Some do claim that joining AEW would be the same as sticking with New Japan with essentially the same opponents. Take that how you will.
Honestly, I think it’s about time he joins WWE. Relatively fresh match ups and a new environment. With that said, right off the bat, fans claiming that he’ll be heavily mistreated in WWE are wrong entirely, in my humble opinion. If he ever steps foot in WWE, he’ll be treated like AJ Styles, or even more superior. Most likely the latter, if you ask me. Kenny knows what he wants, and he knows he can succeed and maintain a stable income with or without WWE, so if an offer from them doesn’t measure up to what he prefers, then he knows he has other prolific options. Now, I know Kenny Omega craves full fledged creative control in regards to his character, but to be frank, I don’t see WWE granting him that completely and I’m certain I’m not the only one with that belief. However, if this makes any sense, I can foresee WWE giving him at least some sort of control over his character, whatever that may be. If they want him that much, they’d smartly oblige.
I come across the constant “If he signs with WWE, he’ll be jobbing to *insert Mojo Rawley level superstar* on Main Event within a month” comments and shake my head. You can despise WWE all you want, but there’s absolutely no way Kenny Omega isn’t portrayed as a huge star in WWE. And other comments I see are ridiculous as well – “Derp. He won’t betray his friends, he’s definitely going to AEW! Derp.” Something along those lines. It’s the “betraying” part that is redundant. He wouldn’t be betraying his friends at all, they’re all grown ass adults and thoroughly understand the business and what position he’s in, they’d be happy for him regardless. It’s not like he can’t join them later on.
In conclusion, if it’s up to me, I say go to WWE. The dudes getting older, it’s time to test the waters at least. Our opinions will differ, but I feel like heading to AEW – although he will boost the popularity of the new company and will be with his friends – will be an ultimate rehash. Whereas WWE will be a new platform for him. It’s still way too early to judge AEW completely, but WWE is the most justifiable option. If I were him, I’d just negotiate with Vince until I receive a short-term deal. Then monitor AEW as time passes on and after that WWE contract ends, see how AEW is doing and sign with them, or perhaps return to NJPW. That’s what I’d do at least.
Sorry if this article sort of came across messy, but yeah, that’s my thoughts on the annual Kenny Omega speculation. Hoping the best for him, no matter where he goes. I sincerely hope AEW succeeds as well, and maybe down the line (although a long shot) becomes as big as WWE. Competition is the key to bettering your product. Legitimate competition is what WWE needs to improve upon theirs. As a wrestling fan, that’s all you can hope for. If pro wrestling as a whole is succeeding and competition is initiated, companies are forced to step up their game. Competition is key, competition is healthy. It’s needed.
Thanks for reading. Bye.