Before the creation and sudden rating domination of All Elite Wrestling, the faction at the center of it all rose to prominence across the sea in New Japan Pro Wrestling. Splitting their time between there and other independent promotions like Ring of Honor, The Elite won championships and brought more eyes to these companies than ever before.
However, when performers like Kenny Omega and Cody Rhodes decided to take their talents to the newly-minted AEW, NJPW lost a bevy of their biggest stars.
Omega, in particular, became almost a mythical figure in Japan. In fact, the native Canadian gained dual citizenship in Japan due to the amount of time spent there. Kenny Omega is a former IWGP Heavyweight, Intercontinental, and United States Champion. On his way to building this legacy, he competed in a few of, arguably, the greatest matches of all-time against opponents like Kazuchika Okada. There remains an unfilled void without the talent and star power of Kenny Omega in the organization.
Kenny Omega’s Hope
However, it seems Kenny Omega’s relationship with New Japan was originally meant to extend past where it ultimately met its demise. The wrestler was the first and only non-Japanese professional wrestler to win the G1 Climax, the promotion’s premier tournament. During a recent interview with The Natural Aristocrat, he revealed that he had planned on competing at the NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard show that took place in New York’s Madison Square Garden in April 2019.
“We all thought I was going to be there! Even though I’d already been involved with the AEW project at that point and everyone knew my intentions of going there… It was always my hope that I could still be a part of that show. But you know, things happen. It was just a preference that there was no one from AEW to represent on that card.”
Following the mass exodus of The Elite from NJPW, the relationship between AEW and New Japan deteriorated. While wrestlers like Jon Moxley and Chris Jericho continue to perform for both, the fluid relationship exhibited between ROH and NJPW is not the same with AEW. With the desire to create a new company from the ground up and take the WWE on head-on, keeping their biggest names exclusive to their programming makes sense.
The current AEW Tag Team Champion goes on to express his disappointment that a deal would not be worked out in time.
“But I was always ready, willing, and able. I still feel that it’s a shame that it couldn’t have happened because there was nothing on my end that had caused that to happen. But I understand there’s not just a service to the fans but there’s a very unknown business side to everything we do. I’d call about to happen. Whether it be in wrestling or fear of working any kind of job.
There’s a hierarchy and there’s the stuff that happens behind closed doors that no one ever hears about or talks about. And those decisions were made without my involvement, and it was decided I wouldn’t be on the show. Again, I still apologize to fans because of that and it is a shame because I would have loved to show people something special from New Japan in one of the world’s most famous arenas.”
The NJPW/ROH G1 Supercard show was a historic spectacle. For years, “The World’s Most Famous Arena” has been the home of the WWE. Even before the company existed, the arena worked very closely with Vince McMahon, Sr. as he promoted wrestling and boxing. The 2019 show featured stars like Tetsuya Naito, Tama Tonga, Kazuchika Okada, and Kota Ibushi. However, it’s not hard to imagine what could have been if Kenny Omega could have represented AEW on the PPV.
What do you think? So you wish Kenny Omega has participated in the event? Who would you like to see him wrestle again in New Japan? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!