Ashley Rose Nova highlights the career of Kenny Omega, witness through the visual aspect of her eyes since 2009. Originally published on PW Empire.
Do you dare to be yourself? Do you dare dream of the endless possibilities?
Kenny Omega carries a vision and a presence of the future of pro-wrestling that can only be described as ingenious. The evolution of what we would grow to know as the best bout machine, began before Japan.
In the beginning…
Kenny Omega was born in Transcona, Winnipeg, Manitoba on October 16, 1983. In a city that is known to be one of the coldest cities in Canada. Fact that it is one of the top 5 coldest places in the world. There are some warm days, days that can reach up to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
When making his debut in 2000 at TRCW (Top Rope Championship Wrestling), he would begin with a surfer gimmick. In his youth he would purchase whichever clothes he could for this gimmick. Wearing and purchasing an inexpensive blue floral print aloha shirt.
Omega made his debuted in the Winnipeg promotion Premier Championship Wrestling known PCW for short in 2001.The promotion has been home to some of newest in-ring competitors gifted in strong style and technical wrestling. Competitors with the willingness to put their bodies through radical actions to satisfy a loyal fan base. PCW also had known talent appear such as AJ Styles, Don Callis, Eddie Guerrero, and others. PCW’s main home is Doubles Fun Club. Only a few 400-500 people that can fit in the building. The audience becomes invested in the Suspend Disbelief of the psychology of each match that takes place in the white roped, sometimes red, and at one point I believe they might have been black roped in a 16 x 16 ring.
Omega defeated Adam Knight for the PCW Heavyweight Championship on September 18, 2003.
As time pas sed by in Winnipeg. Kenny Omega would lead to the PCW Tag belts at one time also held by him. On August 19, 2004, Kenny Omega & Rawskillz teamed to face Shaun Houston & Chris Raine. This is how Omega & Rawskillz gained the PCW Tag Team championship.
Kenny Omega’s Canadian accomplishments include being a four-time PCW Heavyweight Championship, a four-time PCW Tag Team Championship, three times w/Chris Stevens, once w/Rawskillz, an NWA Canadian X Division Championship, the 2005 & 2007 Premier Cup Tournament Winner and CWF Heavyweight Champion.
Harley Race Wrestling Academy
In 2005, Omega did attend Harley Race Wrestling Academy which was operated by Harley Race. The academy helps assist the industry with providing programs for the fundamentals of those who are wanting to enter pro-wrestling. Starting in 1999 Race started WLW (World Legion Wrestling). Allowing current and past students of Race’s academy to attend. Kenny did make an appearance on WLW for one time in Eldon, Missouri he did lose to Keith Walker, but it led him to the opportunity to try out for DSW.
Here we are at Deep South…
When arriving to DSW in October 2005. The training was different at the time. Much more different than what it is today. You would be retrained taken to what is an unfiltered look in pro-wrestling. It is a possibility that this could have burnt out something important him, but it never did.
Revived out of a sense of duty after leaving DSW and having a match with AJ Styles back home at PCW.
When beginning his American run he would debut for JAPW (Jersey All Pro-Wrestling) in September 2007. He faced Danny Demanto and sadly was defeated. In 2008, Omega defeated Low Ki In Jersey City, New Jersey for the JAPW Heavyweight Championship. He retained his JAPW Championship for 357 days. Dan Maff assisted in the lost in that title. Omega lost the title in the Hersey City Rumble against Jay Lethal.
Kenny Omega would continue wrestling for the promotion on and off up till 2012, due to the promotion not holding a show. Omega was the Light Heavyweight Champion. However, the promotion had to strip the title and declare it vacant on September 12, 2014.
Throughout those years Omega would wrestle at promotions such as Pro-Wrestling Syndicate in New Jersey and Ring of Honor. He would go on to wrestling in PWG and compete in 2009 BOLA for the PWG Championship. He would win that championship on night 2.
Arriving in Japan…
“You must understand that there is more than one path to the top of the mountain.” -Miyamoto Musashi
Kenny Omega would make his debut at DDT in 2008. He had challenged Kota Ibushi. Sanshiro Takagi saw Omega as a talent that could be possibly be big in Japan. DDT, known as Dramatic Dream Team, was formed in 1997 by Sanshiro Takagi. The promotion also has several sub-brands. By having these additional sub-brands, they can experiment with styles away from the cultural norm. DDT Pro-Wrestling has been described as an indie promotion among the others in Japan. Known for athletes such as Michael Nakazawa and HARASHIMA, DDT stands out from other promotions. The promotion stylizes in innovation, imagination, and the inexplicable. This promotion is genuine in the aspects of athleticism, high risk, and achievement in delivering to their audience. In DDT Pro-Wrestling the matches are taken from inside the ring to out in the public. Anything is possible.
After facing Kota, they would go on to form the Golden Lovers. On January 21, 2009 they would win the KO-D Tag Championships. They lost the titles 4 months later. Omega then would go on to work at All Japan Pro-Wrestling, he would represent the brand DDT in 2011. Sadly, he did not advance to the finals at that time, Omega finished second in his block.
One of the most criticized and yet safely done actions Omega did was wrestle Haruka the 9-year-old girl. Haruka was a talent girl who loved Puro. She trained in shoot boxing. The match from Japan went viral and Omega was either hated or praised for it.
Kenny would hold several titles in DDT and held the World Junior Heavyweight Championship for 217 days. In DDT he had matches with members of the All Japan roster and NOAH such as Naomichi Marufuji.
Omega competed for Best of the Super Juniors in NJPW in 2011, 2013, and 2014 before completely signing with NJPW. Kenny would sign to NJPW after his DDT contract expired on October 26, 2014. Early October NJPW held a press conference to announce Omega’s signing.
Kenny always made it a point to make Japan his home while he was there. He learned Japanese and had some assistance in the beginning with a translator. He never considered himself a gaijin.
A gaijin in Japanese culture means foreigner, outsider, or one that is non-Japanese national. Some disagree with the term and others see no issue with it.
He was placed into Bullet Club and became the cleaner. As the cleaner he transitioned from Jr. Heavyweight to one of the most dominant Heavyweights in Puro wrestling not just New Japan. He turned on A.J. Styles along with the Bucks to gain control over Bullet Club. Naturally, becoming leader. Omega carried the majority if not almost all the titles in New Japan at least one time including Jr. Heavyweight title, NEVER 6-Man tag, IWGP US Title as the inaugural champion, IWGP Intercontinental, IWGP Heavyweight, winner of Best Bout awards, and the first gaijin to with the G1.
All these successes allowed the unit to grow in popularity. Making Bullet Club one of the most powerful factions in pro-wrestling. Allowing them to expand more on a global scale as elite performers. The Elite was created as a list of the top elite athletes in the world. Once the Elite conquered the world, they would eventually start All Elite Wrestling.
During that time, the story line would continue of Bullet Club OGs kicking the Elite members of Bullet Club out. As the civil war continued the reunion of the Golden Lovers happened. Kenny won the Heavyweight title and lost the title later to Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 ending his 209 reigns.
All Elite Wrestling
On February 7, 2019, I covered the press conference for 2 different platforms, when Kenny Omega was announced as EVP. Figured I would kill two birds with one stone.
AEW press conference began with a small pre-show. The pre-show consisted of a summary of what occurred at the first rally announcing All Elite Wrestling. It ended with an MJF insulting the analyst for the pre-show. The press conference began with chants of AEW! AEW! AEW! Conrad Thomas discussed other talent being added. The crowd continues to chant Kenny! Kenny! Kenny!
Leading up to the last announcement that was made that night.
Kenny Omega enters the stage as Executive Vice-President. Kenny greeted the fans. He apologized for the wait and just signed officially this morning. He is a full-time member of the roster. Omega announced they will make wrestling bigger and better before. Kenny answered what he means to change the world. Omega stated how they will change the world. He was interrupted by Chris Jericho.
Jericho confronted Omega and they proceeded to fight. The two were separated. The crowd chanted rematch. Jericho was escorted out. Kenny Omega closed. “Good Night, Goodbye, Bang.”
The excitement of the aspiring wrestling promotion continues to grow. Wrestling fans around the world are enthusiastic about pro-wrestling more than ever.
On August 3, 2019, he arrived and made his debut for AAA. The first time he had ever competed in Mexico. Lucha Libre AAA Worldwide at the press conference was one of the promotions partnerships announced for AEW. Omega would wrestle alongside the Young Bucks. After facing Laredo Kid, Pentagon Jr., and Fenix. He challenged Fenix for the AAA Mega Championship, one of the most prestige belts in lucha libre. At Heroes Inmortales XIII, Omega became the Champion. The of course he became one half of the AEW Tag Champions with Hangman Page. He still carries both titles today.
The perspective and conversation…
Kenny Omega’s story will be told for centuries. Even when people want it to end. Once a friend asked me what it was like. I proceeded to ask, what is what like? The presence of Kenny Omega that you first saw in 2009 and how do you feel about today?
Imagine being a child looking up at the sky and not knowing scientifically where it ends or begins. To see the endless possibilities of where it can go and where the story will take you. It is beyond “it” factor. To say there is something here, but you are not viewing the whole picture, to that handful of people who just say, it is just the sky.
He is an artist, that has made a still documentary of in ring story telling. Telling the story to anyone who will listen.
Others would choose to only acknowledge or tell only one part of his career. Parts they feel are more relevant than other parts. However, those could not tell you that he was valedictorian of his graduating class. That he could probably tell you things about the past from what he has read.
Omega is a product of his home, along with additional knowledge that surpasses anyone’s expectations. Where he learned his fundamentals and began to develop his art.
How far he would come from the low match ratings before Japan from bloggers, criticism, and the stories I heard about before Japan how some promotions would not consider booking him. Yet, he continued to have that never say die attitude.
But some people would not acknowledge some aspect of his career because they would not have if any other way.
The stories that make us all great.
Photo Credit: Kenny Omega | RIN | NJPW| DDT| MDROP | AEW | Jordan Nepon | PCW