Omega earned his stripes in NJPW after breaking onto the scene with DDT. With the King of Sports he held the IWGP Heavyweight, Junior Heavyweight, Intercontinental, United States and NEVER Openweight titles, as well as lifting the G1 Climax in 2016.
It was with the Japanese promotion that Omega would earn the moniker of Best Bout Machine after classics with the likes of Kazuchika Okada and Hiroshi Tanahashi. He is set to return in January to face one of NJPW's current top stars and United States Champion, Will Ospreay.
The Cleaner spoke with Sports Illustrated about his return. He referred to the company as "home" and discussed the differences between himself and Ospreay.
“I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of AEW. I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of pro wrestling. I’m also returning home. I left to start this new, exciting opportunity, but it’s still home. Now, the things Will can do are things I cannot. He’s an athletic phenom. But, as finely tuned as he is physically, he still doesn’t have the knowledge or experience. I pushed my own physical boundaries in All Japan and DDT, but that’s not what I’m known for. My mind is my greatest asset, not my athleticism. That’s what’s allowed [Hiroshi] Tanahashi to have such a long and flavourful career.” (H/T Inside the Ropes)
It hasn't been long since Omega returned to AEW. He originally came back from his extended hiatus ahead of AEW All Out, in the Trios Title Tournament. After The Elite won the tournament and titles they were suspended for their roles in 'Brawl Out'. They returned at Full Gear.
Kenny Omega also discussed who he wanted to fill his shoes in NJPW when he joined AEW
Kenny later spoke about the names that he wanted to take his place in New Japan Pro Wrestling after his own departure. He name-dropped his Wrestle Kingdom opponent as well as the current Bullet Club leader and reigning IWGP World Heavyweight Champion, Jay White.
“I needed someone to take my place in New Japan, I wanted someone to take my place–and it was Will, Jay [White], and [Kota] Ibushi. Will is the only one to have a problem with that.”
The third of which, Kota Ibushi, has his own lengthy history with Omega as his long-time tag partner and rival in DDT and NJPW. He is a former IWGP World Heavyweight champion in his own right.
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