New Japan Pro-Wrestling came on in a major way in 2014, but then seemingly exploded in 2015. Not only did the money get better in NJPW, but they also were able to give fans around the world some of the best matches available. They signed top performers despite losing great ones, as well, and it seemed that the best talent got the best opportunities. Unique thought, eh?
Kenny Omega was a guy who was beloved by fans, but he never could get a real opportunity at a top level spot with guys like AJ Styles ruling the roost. Bullet Club was clearly a good group to be in, but Omega was stuck in the Junior Heavyweight area while Styles was at the top. When Styles was planning to leave for the WWE, it was the perfect time for NJPW to make Omega the star of the group.
That was when Omega and The Young Bucks turned on Styles. It was then established that they would be known as The Elite, which you could say is almost like a red and black version of Bullet Club. WCW references are cool. NJPW needed for Omega to take over this top role that was heavily needed for the company after Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura left.
However, Kenny Omega very well could have gone with them, according to Japanese reporter Enuhito.
“Kenny Omega has revealed he got offer from WWE for 3 times last year.
“But he stays in NJPW because he has one thing left here. It’s Ibushi.”
Kenny was referring to Japanese wrestler Kota Ibushi. He sadly went down with a cervical disc herniation injury late last year. It was said then that he would be out indefinitely, which was sad to hear for New Japan fans. Ibushi is considered one of the top performers in the world, so seeing him go down was terrible to hear. Omega is nice to want to stay for one last match with him, but in the meantime he can clearly do other things with NJPW.
Right now, he is the IWGP Intercontinental Champion. It was the title held by Nakamura before he was stripped of it after the WWE rumors got going in a major way. Of course Nakamura did have a final match in NJPW, but it was not to drop his title. Rather, he won in a tag match. He was then given a great farewell package. He also left after a wonderful press conference; thankfully, NJPW didn’t just push him out of the door. They were unhappy with his departure, though.
It was truly smart for Omega, and even The Bucks, to stay. In NJPW, they can be top stars. If they went to WWE with all of the others, it would gut NJPW but it would also push them back a bit as they would go on to do well in WWE NXT at the most. Then they would have to deal with all of the guys there. So it might be wise to wait a year or so.
NJPW had been signing people to one year deals, but after the latest departures it is rumored that New Japan will begin to sign people to two years or longer. People like Omega may be given major contracts just to stay. New Japan can offer some of the biggest contracts outside of WWE. Management has mentioned that they might have to offer seven figure deals to keep people and they would be okay with that.
Kenny Omega being offered a deal three times by WWE is a pretty big deal, as that clearly proves they wanted him pretty bad. It is possible he comes to WWE in 2017 or 2018, but if his goal is to stay until Ibushi comes back then he might be there a while. He is 32, and he has some time to decide on his future plans.
[Image via NJPW]