NJPW has a huge show coming up next week called Wrestle Kingdom 11, and one of the top stars of the promotion, Kenny Omega, is throwing some mean shade toward WWE during the press tour. Kenny Omega is one of the biggest stars in the world who is not with the WWE. Fans love what Omega brings to the table and feel that he could be a huge success anywhere he wants to be.
Kenny Omega won the G1 Climax a little while back, which is a huge tournament for New Japan. He became the only non-Japanese wrestler to ever win it, basically saying that he is on the same level in New Japan’s eyes as their local stars. Due to winning this tournament, he is guaranteed an IWGP Heavyweight Championship match at Wrestle Kingdom. While the G1 winner normally gets the main event, it was uncertain whether Omega would get a shot to do that.
However, NJPW felt that the match was big enough to make sense in the main event of the show. Omega will take on Kazuchika Okada, the current IWGP Heavyweight Champion. Okada experienced life in America when he worked with TNA Wrestling. Due to his issues with TNA, he has pretty much sworn off ever going back full-time to the United States. He appears in Ring of Honor due to the NJPW partnership, but that is about it.
Meanwhile, Kenny Omega was in Deep South Wrestling at the time it was WWE’s developmental territory. He did not enjoy his time there and left WWE to prove to Vince McMahon and the WWE that he could be a star anywhere. He’s done just that, but WWE has continued to sign many of his independent wrestling peers and various people from New Japan such as AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura.
Omega was offered three deals in 2015 to make his way to WWE, and all of them were great. However, he turned them all down. It seems that one day Kenny Omega will go to WWE and become a part of the main stage. However, Omega feels that WWE has gone a bit too far and believes that they are signing people just to sign them.
He was speaking to Uproxx to promote Wrestle Kingdom 11 when WWE came up, and he had some interesting words to say about them.
“It seems as though we’re headed towards a monopoly, if I were to speak honestly. WWE is hiring people just to hire them. That’s fine, and I’m happy for whoever’s happy to collect a paycheck from them. A lot of my good friends are now receiving work and receiving money. But sadly, a lot of those people are signing with WWE just to ride the pine. You can’t put all these guys on TV. On one end, you have these mom-and-pop indie superstars getting TV time, and people all around the world are able to see the art of what they do. And in a lot of cases, they’re enjoying it, which is fantastic. I’m really happy about that.”
Kenny Omega claimed he was happy for his friends and many others who signed with the WWE. However, he could be right about what he said. WWE has signed a lot of people over the last two years alone, and many of them have done great things in the WWE while others have kind of fallen out of major use. This is why WWE NXT has become so massive for WWE as it has truly become a brand that WWE can use to make money from the new stars they’ve signed.
The brand split has helped many stand out, and it has given others major opportunities they may never have gotten without it. Truly, we’re living in an era where WWE has more talent than they know what to do with. This is a good and bad problem to have. It’s good because they’ll never run out of top stars to use in any position they want, but it’s bad because many of those major names will either not be involved in major stories or not be used at all.
Kenny Omega would continue his thoughts on the WWE, claiming that independent promotions truly are the ones going through the roughest spell of things when WWE signs so many stars.
“But as everyone gets picked up, as all these independent promotions have to shut down and close their doors because of WWE scooping everyone up, everyone’s going to lose an option. And that guy you saw for that one tournament, you’re not going to see him anymore. You can’t put him on TV, there’s only so much time. So eventually, people are going to run out of options. I want to be one of the options for people. You want to go eat a McDonald’s hamburger? That’s cool. McDonald’s can be good. Do I like them every day? Do I want to eat McDonald’s seven days a week for every meal? Probably not. Eventually, I’m going to want to go someplace for a triple-A grade steak. I may not necessarily have the traffic flow of McDonald’s, but guess what? The quality is there, and it’s for the distinguished wrestling viewer. People who are wanting something more out of their programming. That’s what I want to provide for people in 2017.”
He’s right about fans wanting something different. It is awesome that New Japan gives fans a place to go when they want other options besides the WWE. TNA tried this, but they have suffered through management problems and various financial trouble. Meanwhile, NJPW has been well-run for years and may be the second most successful company in the world in terms of revenue per year.
Kenny Omega did make a bit of a mistake in his words, however. WWE has been very helpful toward independent wrestling, as they are working closely with WWN Live, especially Evolve. This is not to mention the various promotions they help out in the U.K. They’re even helping guys out and their promotions when their U.K. Championship tournament. They plan to do a U.K. show that will feature local U.K. talent, none of whom will leave the indies for WWE full-time as of now.
The plan is to continue this as the first formula is successful. This has caused major fear for some companies while others seem to be totally in on everything and are hoping to work with WWE in the future. While Kenny Omega has a point with a lot of what he said, the funny thing is that many know he will one day end up in the very company he spoke about. He loves Japan, but there is a good shot he leaves one day. WWE has given him an open invite anyway.
[Featured Image by NJPW]