Kenny Omega almost signed for TNA after leaving New Japan in 2019, before joining up with The Elite in forming All Elite Wrestling.
Omega left NJPW after an incredible Wrestle Kingdom main event against Hiroshi Tanahashi, but was unceremoniously dumped from the company after he neglected to extend his contract. He got into contract talks with Tony Khan, but that was not the only company who wanted him.
He negotiated with Triple H over a contract in 2018, turning down a multi-million dollar deal to sign with the company. Along with The Young Bucks, Adam Page and Cody Rhodes, he rejected WWE to sign for AEW and start their own company off with a bang. However, they also had offers on the table from NJPW and Impact wrestling.
He took a while to join up with AEW – he was not announced alongside the likes of Chris Jericho and PAC at the first AEW press conference. This was because he had yet to decide on where to sign. He wanted to stay in Japan, but the lowball offer sent to him by the company made him feel undervalued by the company and determined to prove them wrong.
In the United States, he turned down the WWE and pondered between two offers. The first was the offer from AEW, a multi-million dollar deal that included the role of Executive Vice-President. The other was from his long-time friend Don Callis to join up with Impact wrestling, which used to be called Total Nonstop Action.
According to Dave Meltzer, Kenny Omega and Chris Jericho were both in negotiation to sign with Impact wrestling around this time. Don Callis, who was in charge of negotiations, is from Winnipeg in Canada, the same city as both Jericho and Omega grew up in. He was the main selling point to joining the promotion, as well as the chance to build up the company to its former glory.
Kenny Omega’s Impact deal would have allowed him to keep working with New Japan Pro Wrestling. As he had just lost the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship, there was still lots for him to do with the company, especially with Jay White usurping him as the leader of the Bullet Club. Sadly, we never got to see that, but with his recent return to face Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 17, we may see that match again after all.
Chris Jericho mentioned on his podcast (Talk is Jericho) that he was offered a “good offer” from Impact. He met with officials in Toronto (where the company is based) during a Fozzy tour to discuss the deal. However, it never went further than that and he soon signed a multi-year contract with All Elite Wrestling.
Both men ended up signing for AEW and made the most of their time in the company. Both men became AEW Champions and headed their own factions, becoming two of the biggest stars in the company. If AEW decide to make a Hall of Fame on day, they will certainly be inductee number one and number two.
Kenny Omega did work some dates for Impact wrestling in 2021, crossing over the Forbidden Door to become the Impact World Champion. He appeared on multiple pay per views, drawing some of the companies highest numbers ever, before dropping the belt to Christian Cage on the first episode of AEW Rampage.
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.