Kenny Omega might to WWE


Kenny Omega put on one of the greatest matches in the history of professional wrestling on Jan. 4, 2017. That’s not hyperbole or recency bias, but a statement of fact. At New Japan Pro Wrestling’s Wrestle Kingdom 11, Omega faced Kazuchika Okada in the main event in a near-hour-long instant classic that left everyone wowed and amazed.

Though Omega ultimately lost and failed to unseat Okada as the IWGP Heavyweight Champion, his already bright star seemed to be burning at supernova levels in the aftermath. That made it all the more shocking when the Canadian-born wrestler was barely featured in NJPW’s subsequent New Year Dash show (the equivalent to the RAW after WrestleMania in WWE). Then came word that Omega would be taking time off, but with the assumption being that he’d return to New Japan.

However, a tweet sent out by Omega early Friday morning is causing that to come into question. Following Wrestle Kingdom 11 and the New Year Dash show, Omega said on Twitter that he is “stepping away from Japan” with plans to “reassess his future” before getting quite cryptic about his future:

What Omega said obviously confirms nothing other than the fact that the leader of the Bullet Club won’t be in New Japan indefinitely. Curious minds, though, have to speculate: Does this mean that Kenny Omega is coming to WWE?

If you’re looking at what Omega has said over the past year, your immediate answer would be a clear no. After all, he spoke out in an interview with Justin Barrasso of SI about WWE’s current product and his lack of desire to be “a cog in the WWE machine.” These echoed the sentiments he’s expressed throughout 2016 as his star has continued to rise.

However, a conspiracy-theorist-type look at Omega and his comments in addition with his recent hiatus may see something more.

For starters, WWE now sees the money and popularity that Omega brings to the table. Not only did Wrestle Kingdom 11 reportedly do record-breaking numbers because of the main event match,  but the buzz in the aftermath has been even more indicative of the success he can have on an international level. What’s more, WWE has to be more open to the notion of bringing in wrestlers from Japan following the success of Shinsuke Nakamura in NXT and AJ Styles—though Styles already had a rapport in the United States due to his time in TNA. Subsequently, they would seemingly be more likely to meet any lofty contract demands from Omega right now.

In terms of Omega himself, though, there are several aspects to consider. First, the fact that he lost to Okada has to be taken into consideration. With his popularity at all-time highs in New Japan, it would’ve been the perfect time to transition to Omega as their top champion. So why didn’t they, then? Perhaps because Omega has plans elsewhere.

Following that same train of thought, Omega’s stardom in NJPW leaves him as one of the biggest and most recognizable figures in all of pro wrestling. Therefore, it would seem that a move to Ring of Honor or even working American independents would be a step down for him. The only supposed step “up” would be coming to WWE.

But still that leaves us with his pointed comments regarding Vince McMahon’s giant. He wouldn’t say those things if he was planning on going there, right? Well…maybe he would.

Possibly better than any other active pro wrestler, Omega understands and knows how to work the business and fans. And when you delve into his comments, there’s at least a chance that they were carefully worded enough that he’s still not interested in being a “cog” in WWE—maybe he plans on being a star rather than just another signing. As is always possible in wrestling, maybe we’ve all been getting worked.

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