Throughout the year we’ve been following the contract status of top names working for New Japan Pro Wrestling, Ring of Honor or both to follow WWE interest. One of the popular names whose stock has skyrocketed in 2016 is Kenny Omega.
We reported in August here on Wrestling News World Premium that NJPW was strapping the rocket pack to Omega and pressuring him to extend his contract, which is set to expire next month.
WWE continued to pursue Omega through third party channels not to opt in and they’ll beat NJPW’s offer when he became a free agent, clear of contractual obligations. NJPW has lost so many top stars to WWE that Omega has turned into a pawn caught in a great position in the middle of a standoff between the two rival promotions.
Omega recently appeared on Ring Rust Radio to promote his match against Kazuchika Okada for the IWGP Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 11 next month and talked about Finn Balor and AJ Styles making the successful transition from NJPW to the WWE. Below is an excerpt of his comments:
"The way they've carved their own path is really original to their own character. Finn Balor has a very unique appearance and the way that he goes about his business shouldn't be mimicked. If I showed up to NXT for example and started to play Mr. dress up, I'll just look like a cheaper copy, right? AJ Styles had the great debut at the Royal Rumble and segued that into pretty much main event status. That is great and I'm really happy and proud of those guys, but I've always placed my priority on building a legacy in Japan first and foremost. AJ did a lot in a short time a New Japan. Finn Balor was one of the mainstays of the junior division, but I do think if he stayed he probably would have been a heavyweight draw as well. I feel like I don't want to leave something incomplete in Japan if I do decide to move on. I love the country, I love the people and I do feel a sense of loyalty and I do feel like the best years and the best ideas I have in my brain should be given to accomplishing the dreams that I have had for New Japan. Doing what I did as a junior, doing what I did in the G1, main eventing in the Tokyo Dome, these are all things that neither AJ nor Finn did in their time in New Japan, so I like to think that all three of us are etching our very different path in pro wrestling. As happy and proud as I am for them, I don't ever want to mimic or follow in their footsteps. If I do something I want it to be something completely original or an industry first or something that's never been done before.”
It’s unknown if Omega’s contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling is still coming up in January but given the fact he’s in the main event of Wrestle Kingdom 11, NJPW’s commitment to him is clear.
Check out the Ring Rust Radio interview here:
We’ll have complete coverage of NJPW’s Wrestle Kingdom 11 on January 4, 2017 here at WrestlingNewsWorld.com. Take note that our coverage will being at 3 AM EST so be prepared to stay up late or get up early, we don’t want to be alone!