NJPW/WWE News: Kenny Omega on how AJ Styles prevented him from quitting wrestling
What's the story?
IWGP Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega is one of the best wrestlers in the world today, but as with many wrestlers in the past, he had once considered retirement. In an interview on Talk Is Jericho, Omega revealed how AJ Styles prevented him from retiring.
In case you didn't know...
It took Kenny Omega a long time to reach where he is today. Not too many people know this, but he was once a part of WWE's developmental territory OVW before being released. Clearly, it worked out better for him on the long run, as he would eventually go to Japan, where he cemented a legacy of his own.
The last few years has seen his popularity surge as he became the top gaijin (foreigner) in Japan and the first gaijin to main event a Wrestle Kingdom show.
The heart of the matter
Omega told Chris Jericho that he was competing in Jiu-jitsu tournaments and was considering a full-time switch to MMA. However, the weight cuts affected his in-ring aesthetic and he knew that following one path was going to affect the other. He continued:
So I wanted to use that AJ match in Winnipeg to sort of determining what does my future hold for me? Am I going to go into fighting or am I going to do the wrestling thing? And after that AJ match when I thought, ‘Oh my goodness there’s this guy who’s so much better than me but we have this chemistry together.’ It kind of showed me my true potential and maybe something that I could grasp and something I could achieve that I hadn’t seen yet.”
It really made me look in the mirror and say to myself: ‘Jeez, even when I do these all-time jiu-jitsu tournaments I’m always going for a finish, I’m always trying to have that exciting match when really you should just be concentrating on getting that gold medal or whatever. So I found that I was actually and entertainer, I was a performer.
Kenny Omega will be main eventing his second Wrestle Kingdom on January 4th, 2019, facing NJPW legend and 7-time World Champion Hiroshi Tanahashi. His career continues to go strong while the man who saved his career, AJ Styles, is now strong into a one-year run as WWE Champion!
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