NJPW News: Kenny Omega talks about Don Callis' influence in the Alpha vs Omega match
What’s the story?
As noted earlier, former IWGP US Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega was recently a guest on Chris Jericho’s Talk is Jericho podcast where he discussed his longstanding relationship with former WWE and ECW star Don Callis, helping Callis in getting a job as NJPW’s color commentator, and his influence in the build-up to the Alpha vs Omega match.
In case you didn’t know…
At this year’s Wrestle Kingdom 12 show, former leader of the Bullet Club, Kenny Omega, successfully defended his IWGP US Heavyweight Championship in a dream match come true against former six-time WWE World Champion Chris Jericho in a no-disqualification match.
Omega vs Jericho—often labeled as ‘Alpha vs Omega’—was the co-main event of this year’s Tokyo Dome show and was an absolute show stealer. The Alpha vs Omega match also got a five-star rating from Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer and turned out to be one of the early contenders for Match of The Year.
The heart of the matter
According to Kenny Omega, it was initially Don Callis who gave “The Cleaner” his first big break in the Pro Wrestling business back in his hometown of Winnipeg, Canada. Omega also praised Callis for helping him in his early days in developmental, as he stated that it Callis who originally wanted to help and develop Omega. Omega added, that Callis had seen something in him and gave him an opportunity based on his amazing in-ring potential.
“He saw something in me and he gave me an opportunity. He even allowed me to develop promo skills and mic time, so a lot of my early development is because of Don and he believed in me that I could be something.”- Omega stated.
Additionally, Omega also revealed on how helped Callis to get a commentary job with NJPW. Omega said he had initially suggested NJPW’s head booker Gedo to listen to Killing The Town podcast in order to get an idea about Callis’ skills on the microphone and Gedo eventually decided to give an offer to the former IWA Heavyweight Champion.
Lastly, Omega also spoke about Callis’ influence to the build-up between the mega match between Chris Jericho and Kenny Omega. “The Cleaner” stated that prior to Wrestle Kingdom 12 he was desperately searching for something to do at Tokyo Dome and make an impact at the WK 12 show.
“I really wanted to make an impact and it was almost like, 'come on, man, don't dangle the carrot! Like, this would be what I need, so don't throw fantasy matches at me when I've got nothing right now.' And I was like, 'okay, yeah, of course, it would be great, but why even bring that up, man?' Do you know what I mean? He was like, 'no, I think he might actually want to do it.' And I didn't know [Jericho's] situation and I would never have thought that [Jericho]'d be interested in doing it, so I just thought it was like, 'well, Jesus, if this is a possibility, I definitely want to do it.'”- Omega stated.
Kenny Omega was recently betrayed by his fellow Bullet Club stablemate Cody Rhodes who attacked “The Cleaner” with a Cross Rhodes during the recent NJPW: New Beginning show in Sapporo. Following the incident, Ring of Honor has now confirmed that Omega will face-off against Cody at this year’s Supercard of Honor show, as “The Cleaner’s” current status with the Bullet Club hangs in the balance.
Omega’s relationship with Don Callis dates way back to Omega’s days at the Independent scene in Winnipeg and I believe, the NJPW color commentator has played the biggest role in putting together the Alpha vs Omega match.