Why there needs to be an official Kenny Omega Appreciation Society!

Fans can't wait for Kenny Omega to return to in-ring action!
Fans can't wait for Kenny Omega to return to in-ring action!
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Bill Apter

It's not just wrestling fans who miss seeing Kenny Omega in the weekly AEW televised shows. My AEW contacts tell me that you can feel the lack of Kenny Omega's energy and expertise backstage.

That recently changed as Omega, who has been sidelined from ring action since November 2021, started showing up backstage at AEW shows on occasion. He's not ready to compete yet as he is healing from injuries, but you could easily sense how great everyone felt having him around.

Recently, I was proud to be asked to appear on the fabulous Sportskeeda Top Story video podcast. For no particular reason, the hosts and I started talking about Omega and why the fans and journalists rate him so highly.

In my case, it's easy to tell you how he has risen to a top-shelf spot. I am a fan of what used to be called 'scientific' or 'technical' wrestling matches. These are bouts where wrestlers display their knowledge of wrestling holds and counter maneuvers to make an excellent pro wrestling contest.

They also try to outwit the opponent and create action that is very, very captivating. To me, Omega is in that class of Ricky Steamboat, Jack Brisco, and Dory Funk Jr. Whether it's a match against an international superstar or a budding rookie, Kenny Omega will take them to their ultimate limits. That's what pro wrestling should look like to me.

Now, let's read the educated comments from the three regular hosts of Sportskeeda's Top Story podcast in their own words.

Top Story co-host and producer Jose L. Gonzalez weighs in on Kenny Omega

Match of the Year 2017 Kazuchika Okada vs. Kenny Omega#njpw

Gonzalez credited the growth in the popularity of independent and international wrestling to "a few very elite people," including Omega.

''If you have been a wrestling fan for over 30 years, most people know that WWE has been a staple in pro wrestling with larger-than-life characters that influence and entertain millions of people worldwide. Considered the 'major league' of Wrestling, any performer who works in the industry will tell you that WWE is the pinnacle of this world. But in the last 6-7 years, there has been a major shift in this world. However, the rise of independent and international wrestling has grown an incredible fan base thanks to a group of a few very elite people."

Gonzalez continued:

"One of those elites is Kenny Omega. He has proven time and time again that you can have huge success outside the global machine that is WWE. With a legendary run in NJPW as IWGP Heavyweight, to helping launch a successful major wrestling promotion in AEW, to becoming champion in 3 different promotions simultaneously speaks volume as to the quality of performer Kenny Omega is."
"From his matches against Kazuchika Okada in NJPW, to his tremendous run in AEW, AAA and Impact Wrestling, Kenny Omega is proof that there is an alternate route to global stardom and success!" Gonzalez concluded.

Top Story host Kevin Kellam looked back at Omega's NJPW run

It's Saturday, August 14 in Japan!#onthisday in 2016, Kenny Omega became the first non-Japanese wrestler to win the G1 Climax!Relive history with @njpwworld!…#njpw

Kellam credited Omega for bringing New Japan Pro-Wrestling to "one of its highest points," calling the latter one of its most successful foreign stars.

"Omega may have started his wrestling career in North America and currently has his largest television exposure with AEW, but his acclaim on an elevated scale came in New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he would help bring the promotion to one of it’s highest points in recent memory."

Kellam continued:

"NJPW has always been a promotion to feature foreign superstars in prominent roles, but Omega is considerably one of the most successful foreign superstars in the ‘King of Sports’ league. The Winnipeg wunderkind has held IWGP Heavyweight, IWGP Jr Heavyweight, IWGP United States, IWGP Intercontinental, and NEVER Openweight Six-Man Tag Team Championships. The Cleaner also scaled the ranks to win the G1 Climax Tournament in 2016."

He also recalled some of Omega's NJPW matches against the likes of all-time greats:

"The billing of 'The Best Bout Machine’ is not that far off for Omega when you recall his instant classics with Chris Jericho, Kazuchika Okada, and more. For several years, NJPW Pro-Wrestling Wrestle Kingdom super-shows at the world-famous Tokyo Dome showcased Omega’s undeniable star power. The argument can be made that he is not just a successful Canadian in a Japanese-focused promotion, but he grew to become one of its greatest all-time attractions.''

Top Story co-host Jeremy Bennett came across Omega through The Bullet Club

You can see him here, back in his days in Japan (with the noose around his neck). This was part of the legendary wrestling faction 'Bullet Club'. The other three relevant characters - the two with bandanas (the Young Bucks) and the centre guy with the hair (Kenny Omega).

Once he started watching NJPW, The Bullet Club quickly caught Benett's eye. Recalling those days, he compared the faction to the iconic nWo.

''Before I started podcasting in 2015, my wrestling fandom was mostly in a bubble of WWE and sometimes Impact Wrestling. Once I got into wrestling podcasting, I explored indie promotions, Ring of Honor, and of course, New Japan Pro-Wrestling. One thing that caught my eye was The Bullet Club, and how they were doing business. It was the most interesting faction we saw in pro wrestling since the nWo."

He continued:

"Once I started following clips of what the Bullet Club was doing via YouTube mainly, I noticed someone who stood out from the crowd, The Cleaner Kenny Omega. With all of the great talents within The Bullet Club, Omega caught my eye because he had a unique charisma that might have only been matched by Prince Devitt himself."
"Then throughout the years to follow, I got to know many sides of Omega thanks to the birth of Being The Elite with The Young Bucks, back when it was just simply a YouTube show of three guys and their friends on the road. It was great to know he was a gamer, his unique sense of humor, and of course a kayfabe evil side [see when he 'murdered' Adam Cole]. Then when the 60-minute matches with Kazuchika Okada began to main event Wrestle Kingdoms, I quickly learned that this is one of the best pure pro wrestlers on the planet. That belief continues to carry over today as part of the foundation of AEW as one of its first world champions," Bennett concluded.

We are all excited at the prospect of Kenny Omega returning to AEW in the near future to continue creating his legacy of greatness!

Find out the real reason why Sting came to WWE only to lose his debut match right here.

Edited by Angana Roy
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