wrestling / Columns

Where Will Kenny Omega Go?

January 11, 2019 | Posted by Steve Cook
Kenny Omega njpw

At the end of this month, Kenny Omega will make the biggest decision a wrestler has made since the Macho Man decided to propose to Miss Elizabeth. His New Japan Pro Wrestling contract expires at the end of January, and he’s let them know that he plans on leaving.

There are two main options for Omega from here. WWE is very interested in his services, while some of his best friends have started up a new promotion & would like him along for the ride. The choice Kenny makes between WWE & All Elite Wrestling will tell us a lot about the state of the wrestling business in 2019 & beyond.

When making a decision like this, it’s important to look at the positives & negatives of each option. I’ve decided to help Kenny out by doing it for him. I sure wish somebody would have done this for me when I was looking for work!

<b>WWE Positives</b>

AJ Styles Vince McMahon Smackdown 12-25-18

WWE is the Manchester United of pro wrestling. Or if you’d like a more American comparison, the New York Yankees. They are the name people associate with the genre. They own the past & present of sports entertainment, and with the NXT & NXT: UK brands they probably also own the future. Going back to the territory days, working for “New York” meant that you had made it.

WWE has become a content factory. We spend most of our time here talking about Raw, SD, NXT & the PPVs, but there’s so much more they produce that we don’t spend much time on. WWE Studios is out there producing films. WWE Network has various original programming that’s found an audience. The Network Vault is full of classic wrestling from almost every promotion that ever mattered.

Xavier Woods’ UpUpDownDown YouTube channel is part of all this stuff. We know that Kenny loves the gaming & has already appeared on UpUpDownDown from time to time. I’ve read that part of this “fantastic offer” involved Kenny’s gaming career. I don’t know that world too well, as my most recent gaming machine is a Nintendo 64. I’ve always been pretty bad at playing video games so it’s never been something I wanted to get deeper into.

I can see Omega getting the AJ Styles push eventually. He could get one or two good title runs. He could be the man that built a house for Raw or SD or some show.

<b>WWE Negatives</b>

Honestly, the main negative I can think of for Omega in WWE is in the ring. Which seems kind of ridiculous considering the amount of time available for matches right now. Raw has three freaking hours to fill. But in my mind I see Omega working one match under the WWE banner, and everybody backstage going insane. Along with the poor bastard that has to wrestle him & do a lot more work than usual. Honestly, the poor bastard would probably like getting to do stuff, the people backstage would be the ones going apeshit.

Kenny loves living in Japan. That wouldn’t be feasible given WWE’s schedule. Speaking of which, there’s the schedule. Omega isn’t used to being on the road as much as he would be with WWE.

WWE controls most things about their performers’ lives. Would Kenny be fine with that?

<b>AEW Positives</b>

aew all elite wrestling

We all know that Kenny is best friends forever with the Young Bucks. Cody’s along with that too. Kenny will have free range creatively with All Elite Wrestling. Hulk Hogan had that with WCW, and it made sense, and as I’ve said before in multiple places, Kenny is Hogan, and Nick & Matt are Hall & Nash.

I feel like if Kenny signs with AEW, he can do whatever he wants. He can work with Chris Jericho, or MJF or Joey Janela or whoever he feels like working with. He can be like Terry Funk back in the day, looking at guys and being like “oh I can do something with that guy”. He doesn’t need to be AEW Champion or whatever, he can do some feuds & make them draw money. I don’t think there’s anything Kenny would do in AEW and turn people off from it. Even if he’s working a guy people didn’t like, they would give it a chance.

<b>AEW Negatives</b>

AEW has a lot of great ideas. The thing is, that’s all they are right now. Ideas. Nothing’s set in stone. We know they have two shows planned. Beyond that? Who knows?

We know WWE won’t be going out of business anytime soon. We can’t say that with AEW. Tony Khan could wake up tomorrow and decide he’d rather be a hermit. Or, he could lose tons of money in a few months and say “I’m out”. There’s no guarantee that there will still be an AEW in January 2020.

There’s the matter of working for your friends. It sounds great on paper, but then they want you to do something you don’t think is reasonable. What happens when Kenny gets booked in a way he doesn’t like?

<b>What will he do?</b>

NJPW kenny omega

The smart money seems to be on Kenny signing with All Elite. Given what we know about him, it makes sense. He’s seen as the type of guy that follows his heart, and trying something new alongside his friends fits that. The latest episode of Being the Elite also gives the impression that Omega will be signing with them.

I wouldn’t count out WWE yet, though. Vince McMahon usually gets what he wants. If he really wants Omega, he’ll keep sweetening the pot and make it darn near impossible to turn down. I wouldn’t be shocked if we see Kenny Omega somewhere on the Road to WrestleMania…

In a few years.

WWE will still be an option then. They don’t have an age limit on Superstars. This might be Kenny’s one chance to really change the wrestling world. You really don’t want to miss something like that. Maybe AEW ends in disaster & hurt feelings and some time down the drain, but you don’t know unless you try.