NJPW star Kenny Omega has been all over the news and rumor sheets ever since his loss at Wrestle Kingdom 11, but recent rumors regarding Omega suggest that while he could always head to WWE, this entire thing could be a work. What is a work you may ask? Basically, it goes under the terminology of kayfabe, or using storylines from the pro-wrestling world in real-life tones to help suspend belief further.
Kenny Omega and several wrestlers before him have enjoyed making things tough on fans to tell what is real and what is not. WWE has done this in the past, but due to the type of business they are, they normally do not like to mess with people too much as it could affect stock pricing. Meanwhile, some wrestlers like CM Punk did not care, and when his real life WWE contract was coming to an end in 2011, he helped to develop a career-altering angle for himself because he really had nothing to lose.
NJPW does not often suspend belief, but since they work in a wrestling style called “strong style,” they typically enjoy making you believe matches are real, but they are not known for their amazing storyline angles. WWE has put this out there, as have other American companies, but Kenny Omega finds himself in Japan right now and claims he wants to change the face of pro-wrestling.
The only way to do that is to create a lot of attention. He clearly had everyone’s attention in 2016, and if his amazing year did not make you notice, then his match with Kazuchika Okada at Wrestle Kingdom 11 surely did. After his loss, he told the world that he would be stepping away from Japan for a while to evaluate things going forward. He says that he has not decided on his future yet, which could very well be true.
The Wrestling Observer claims that Kenny Omega’s NJPW contract does indeed expire at the end of the month. This means a couple things in terms of a possible WWE debut. First, it tells us that it would be impossible for him to be at the WWE Royal Rumble PPV. The notable WWE show will be going on toward the end of the month, but he will still be under contract at the time.
Second, it tells us that he clearly has not signed with NJPW yet for a very good reason. There are some who claim he has signed on for another year, which is very likely. However, if he did sign, then he would be more than willing to take part in upcoming tours. Okada and others are working the events, and they tend to be light due to heavy amounts of tag matches for the heavyweights. This does not mean he is fielding offers from WWE, but it does say that he isn’t lying about the expiring NJPW deal.
Many believe that the idea of a new contract may not be there and this entire thing could be one huge work by Kenny Omega and possibly NJPW. He almost tried to reassure NJPW fans that he is not leaving for WWE or anyone yet in an interview with Sports Illustrated.
“I’ve set a dangerous pace for 2017 but I’ll continue onward to the best of my ability. I still have more to share with the wrestling world, so let’s change the business together even more in 2017. I fear that everyone has taken my words too literally. Yes, I’m out of the country and off of shows, but I haven’t signed any new contracts yet. After such a huge loss, I didn’t want to just hang around and take part in meaningless matches. I’m only interested in changing the business, so I’m thinking carefully about what’s next.”
It is believed that he is simply taking time away because he is hurt from the match with Okada. The reason people think this makes a lot of sense is because the entire thing was brutal. He took a huge backbody drop over the top rope through a table on the outside of the ring. NJPW fans have been trying to kill off WWE rumors by simply saying Kenny Omega is just missing time due to injuries sustained in his match.
However, Omega claimed just the opposite.
“I remember feeling this way once in 2012 after I’d wrestled in the Budokan main event for [Japanese promotion] DDT. At the time I thought, ‘Never again’, but here we are again. Yes, the backdrop was probably the worst of it. Very scary, but I’m not missing any tours due to injury.”
There you have it: the man is really considering his future and is not taking some time away due to injury. However, there are many who believe he is working the world and will make his return in a few months to NJPW instead of opting to go to WWE. It is definite that WWE offered him a deal or is prepared to offer him a big one when his deal expires. New Japan contracts are tricky due to the language in the contract that states a wrestler cannot talk to any other promotion until his deal expires.
Obviously, WWE wants Kenny Omega, and they are certainly trying to bring him in. If Omega is willing to listen to a WWE offer before re-signing with New Japan, then it is possible he makes the jump to WWE over returning to Japan. Triple H is unlikely to low-ball Omega at this point, as like AJ Styles last year, there is too much of an upside to even think about doing that. WWE really does need him at this point, as he could change the WWE for the better and help them bring fans back or news ones in. Few can offer that to the WWE at this point other than Omega.
[Featured Image by NJPW]