Kenny Omega may be one of the most popular ‘gaijin’ wrestlers in the history of New Japan Pro Wrestling, but he wasn’t always proud of his work overseas.

Omega debuted for New Japan in September 2010, losing to Prince Devitt (Finn Balor) and is a former IWGP World Champion.

The 39-year-old wrestler is also a former IWGP Intercontinental, United States, and Junior Heavyweight Champion, and is the only gaijin winner of the G1 Climax.


Omega’s career in New Japan is impressive and well-documented, but there is a time when he wasn’t proud of his work.

Speaking to NJPW1972, the Cleaner admitted that he was ashamed of his run in Japan at first.

“For me, New Japan kinda became that child that I was ashamed of. I didn’t want to talk about New Japan to other people. I wanted to go back to those days where New Japan was in those infantile stages of creeping over to the West. Under my help of course! With me as the captain, it was sure to succeed.”

Kenny Omega.

Omega departed New Japan in January 2019 to be a co-founder of All Elite Wrestling.

Future Plans

Omega was once ashamed of his work with New Japan Pro Wrestling, but things have clearly changed.

The former AEW World Champion will return to challenge IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion at the upcoming Wrestle Kingdom 17 event.

This match will mark Omega’s first match for New Japan since losing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 in 2019.