Is Kenny Omega Japanese? The former champion in AEW and NJPW has the world talking, with many wondering about his nationality. Keep reading to learn where this misconception comes from and when, if ever, he will return to wrestle in Japan.
Is Kenny Omega Japanese?
Despite wrestling in Japan and being the IWGP Heavyweight Champion in New Japan Pro Wrestling, Kenny Omega is not Japanese. He was born in Canada, where he grew up around the Winnipeg area. This was the same area that Chris Jericho and Don Callis grew up in, adding another connection between the three Canadian AEW stars.
You may have thought Kenny Omega was Japanese for a number of reasons. Very few North American stars make it as top stars in Japan, with the last gaijan (foreign wrestler in Japan) to win the world title was AJ Styles a few years prior to Omega. The fact that mostly Japanese wrestlers are in the main event scene in NJPW would lead you to assume Kenny Omega is Japanese, but that is not the case.
Another reason you have doubted his Canadian nationality is his ability to speak Japanese. Kenny Omega speaks Japanese fluently, owing to his love of the countries culture and the decade spent wrestling in Japan, for DDT and NJPW. He kept this a secret for many years before revealing his language skills to the public during a New Japan show, shocking the Japanese crowd and wowing them with his flawless pronunciation.
He looks set to return to Japan next year for the annual show in the Tokyo Dome. Rumour has is that one of the main event matches for Wrestle Kingdom 17 will be Kenny Omega vs Will Ospreay, which has building up since the former moved from NJPW to help form All Elite Wrestling. The former AEW Champion could miss out though, as Omega was suspended, alongside the Young Bucks and CM Punk, due to a brawl after All Out 2022 which has kept him off AEW Dynamite for a number of months.
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Hamish is a writer and podcaster and wrestling fan who is a key part of the Atletifo team.
After playing countless hours of WrestleMania X8 on the Gamecube, he discovered Rey Mysterio getting his head crushed by The Great Khali, and thus a love for professional wrestling was born.
He is also a Media Graduate, as well as writing for multiple sites about Premier League football and the culture of Wales – his home country.