Grinds My Gears: Kenny Omega to AEW or WWE
In the last few days to a week, news has recently filtered through that New Japan wrestler and former IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega has recently received a "fantastic" contract offer to join the WWE.
At the same time, Omega's friends and stablemates during his time with the New Japan Stable called the Bullet Club have created a new franchise called "All Elite Wrestling".
Many fans have speculated that Omega will now face a tough choice. Will he join the WWE, where he can join former stablemates AJ Styles, Adam Cole, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson as well as friend and Street Fighter rival Xavier Woods? Or will he choose to side with his "Elite" brethren and sign for All Elite Wrestling?
I don't mind fans having opinions on wrestlers having opinions; fans differing on points is why people are able to have different preferences when it comes to the promotions that they watch, or their favorite superstars or matches.
Personally, I know that I don't enjoy the New Japan style of wrestling so I don't watch it, and while Luchadors are fun for a short period of time, I'd rather watch something out of the Attitude Era or NXT over New Japan, CMLL, or out of the UK. There is nothing wrong with me for liking what I like, as much as there is nothing wrong with anyone that prefers something different from me.
However, far too many fans online seem to make claims with shaky grounds. Of the arguments that I've seen, many fans claim that if Omega were to sign with WWE he'll be booked badly.
"Look what they did to Balor." You mean the person that was the top of NXT, made the first Universal Champion on Raw and has generally been around the main event scene since he got brought up?
Look what they did to AJ, the guy that has seemingly constantly had a belt, skipped developmental in NXT because they saw he was a ready-made star.
"Look what they did to Gallows and Anderson", two guys they signed because according to reports AJ Styles demanded that they were brought along.
The main point is that these fans do not seem to understand how a wrestling card works, as much as they watch and consume wrestling. There is no understanding that wrestling exists in tiers just like most other competition based sports. There needs to be a mid-card, there needs to be a lower card.
The further frustrating point is that these are the same people that will consume and complain about Smackdown and Raw. "Main roster sucks, it's nothing like NJPW or RoH."
Okay, so go watch their shows if you don't enjoy the product that WWE is putting out. "WWE should push x" when X gets a push and buys don't go up, WWE tries something different, "I can't believe they buried x".
These are the fans that hated Roman Reigns but didn't work out that he was the top draw in the company and reportedly number one in Merchandise sales. There is a good reason that Roman stuck around the top for as long as he did - because he sold t-shirts like Cena and the Rock.
I don't care whether Omega joins AEW or the WWE, though there is a higher chance of me watching him if he's on the latter. I am not going to get angry or upset if he doesn't agree with me, or anyone else for that matter, as long as their reasoning is solid, and they aren't completely irrational. I understand the pull factors for Omega to sign for both.
WWE is a built platform and Omega has friends that are already based there. They are supposedly offering him a large amount of money to come, which means that they are invested in him as well. He has the opportunity there to be introduced as a special entrant at the Royal Rumble, or headline a Wrestlemania. That is on many working wrestlers' bucket list.
On the other hand, WWE exists within a corporate structure, Omega will need to sell to maintain his place and a lot will be expected of him due to the big money he is supposedly being offered. He will also not have the creative freedom that smaller and younger brands will be able to offer him.
AEW is being built from the ground up, and if there is one thing Omega knows how to do, it's how to be the franchise player. Omega has been so good at this, New Japan has been able to successfully reach out to a foreign market with Omega as their spearhead, even before he wore the brand's main title.
Omega would also be working with the Young Bucks and Cody Rhodes again, as well as legendary wrestler Chris Jericho and whoever else signs with the company. AEW has unprecedented financial backing from the Khan family and will be looking to expand quickly to gulp up as many fans and space as it can.
"All In" proved that there was room in the market for an opponent to the WWE, as there was when WCW expanded and even at the high point of the territory days. However, because AEW isn't established there are no guarantees in life, and Omega may not get a chance to perform at the Royal Rumble or Wrestlemania, which he has stated is one of his goals.
Whichever option Omega chooses, if his career at New Japan is any indication, it will be successful. Regardless of what Omega picks, it's always important for fans to try and be respectful of each other in the forums and comments sections because respect costs you nothing.Published 05 Jan 2019, 05:30 IST