Former AEW World Champion Kenny Omega‘s long-awaited return to New Japan Pro Wrestling is almost here.
The former Bullet Club leader was one of the promotion’s top main event attractions from his G1 Climax 2016 win all the way up to his highly acclaimed Wrestle Kingdom 13 main event with Hiroshi Tanahashi. After months of online bickering and tag team showdowns in AEW, Kenny Omega will face Will Ospreay one-on-one for the IWGP US Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 17.
Kenny Omega was the inaugural IWGP US Champion. He is still widely argued to have had the finest reign in the title’s history. Will Ospreay, meanwhile, moved into the US title picture this year after failing to regain the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Kingdom 16 in January.
For fans, a Kenny Omega vs. Will Ospreay bout in NJPW has been a dream match for years. Based on a recent interview with NJPW, however, Omega does not feel the same way. “The Best Bout Machine” was critical of Ospreay’s matches as well as New Japan’s decision to highlight “The Aerial Assassin” as one of their premier acts.
“But after seeing the way that Will has led the ship [NJPW], I started to become disgusted,” kENNY oMEGA SAID. “And I didn’t understand why ‘why are you backing him, New Japan?’ And I get it. It’s just because you had no-one else. Until now.”
“He Was Just Like Anybody Else”
Kenny Omega was then asked for his initial thoughts on Will Ospreay when the then-junior heavyweight star debuted in 2016.
“How did I feel about Will Ospreay when he first arrived in New Japan? He was just like anybody else,” Kenny Omega opined. “There are so many guys like him, who can do a bunch of flips and tricks. And it’s fun to watch them practice, and it’s fun to watch their matches. But did I ever feel anything from Will Ospreay? Hmm, not so much.”
Kenny Omega went on to essentially bury Ospreay’s work as a top star in NJPW. Omega widely dismissing it as a pale imitation of his own run on top in Japan’s premier wrestling promotion.
Considering the angle Kenny Omega and Will Ospreay have been running this year of trying to one-up each other, it’s likely that at least some of these comments are in kayfabe. Considering Omega’s commendable drawing power in 2017 and 2018 in New Japan, there are likely plenty of Elite fans who agree with his considering himself the superior main event star in the Land of the Rising Sun.