NJPW could move into a programme between Kenny Omega vs Jay White, following a “greatest of all time” match at Wrestle Kingdom 17 between Omega and Will Ospreay.
Kenny Omega put on one of the greatest wrestling matches the world has ever seen this week. On January 4th, he returned to the Tokyo Dome for the first time since abandoning New Japan Pro Wrestling to forge a new identity in his own brand-new promotion – All Elite Wrestling.
His time in AEW has been incredible – he held the World Championship for nearly a year, putting on fantastic matches with some of the best wrestlers in the United States. He increased his star power and introduced himself to 1 million viewers weekly as “The Best Bout Machine”. But something was missing.
That something was Wrestle Kingdom. Four years since he last set foot between the ropes at the Tokyo Dome in a loss to Hiroshi Tanahashi, Kenny Omega was back to prove a point. He took on Will Ospreay, the young Englishman who took the torch from Omega and tried to replace him in the main event scene as the top Gaijan in the company.
Did he succeed? Some say yes, others disagree. But one thing is for sure – you cannot replace a man like Kenny Omega, like for like. There is nobody in wrestling like him. In his match back in NJPW at Wrestle Kingdom 17, he beat Will Ospreay in a match that, at the time of writing, is the top rated match in the history of wrestling by cagematch users.
Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega was a ridiculous match that somehow exceeded the out-of-this-world hype that preceded it. Both men put everything they had on the line as they tried to prove who was better than the other and to see if Omega still had it. Only one came out on top though, and that was the fans who got the witness greatness.
Kenny Omega won the bout after 35 minutes of excellence. He hit Kota Ibushi‘s Kamigoye before nailing The Kingpin with a One Winged Angel to win his first match back in four years. But now, with the IWGP United States Champion in tow, the question goes begging – what next for The Cleaner?
Kenny Omega vs Jay White
The natural follow up from Wrestle Kingdom 17 should see Kenny Omega battle Jay White. The pair faced off once, with White beating Omega for the IWGP United States Championship to end the Canadian’s first run with the belt. With the win over his opponent, White may feel it his right to challenge for the belt once again and fancy his chances at making it 2-0.
However, he is coming off a crushing loss at Wrestle Kingdom. Following one of the greatest matches of all time in Ospreay vs Omega, Jay White had all the pressure in the world on his shoulders. Not only did he need to make it great, he also needed to defeat one of the greatest wrestlers the world has ever seen – Kazuchika Okada.
He had a 4-1 record against The Rainmaker going into the event and seemed as confident as could be in the run up to the match. He held the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship since actually beating Okada earlier in 2022 and had the chance to win his first Wrestle Kingdom main event after failing two years prior against Kota Ibushi.
Sadly, he fell to Okada in a result adored by the fans. Walking out of the arena in tears, just as Okada had done 8 years prior following a crushing loss to Tanahashi, White was despondent and inconsolable. Knowing how driven and competitive he is, it makes sense the sense of crushing defeated he would have over the loss.
But the best way to get over a loss that huge? Get a bigger one. And there is only one bigger scalp he could take at the moment. Kenny Omega.
Putting aside the absolute magic that would occur by putting these two in the ring together, Jay White vs Kenny Omega just makes sense. White can come in, get his momentum back and shockingly defeat the Best Bout Machine to steal the IWGP United States Championship. This sets him up nicely for a midcard run as he builds back up to the main event and bides his time before another world championship run.
Meanwhile, Omega is destined for a rematch with Okada. The pair put on four of the best matches ever – the last gaining a seven star rating from Dave Meltzer – and helped herald in the most successful time for New Japan in modern times. With Tanahashi next in line for Okada, Omega needs rid of the midcard belt before he can move up to facing his eternal rival and Jay White would be the perfect man to do that.
Kenny Omega even commented on Jay White on the build up to the match with Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 17. He actually said that White was more impressive than Ospreay because he has had to reinvent himself and thinks more outside-the-box than his British counterpart.
“When you’re in a position like Will, someone who can do anything so easily, it’s tough to become very satisfied with the cheers and jeers of a small indie crowd, those little pick-me-ups, those start to mean more to you than focusing on ‘how do I reinvent myself to become a company guy and an investment for a million-dollar company,’ like what Jay White had to do.
Jay White wasn’t a freak athlete like Will, so he had to go into the think tank and come up with something that was marketable. Will just being Will gets crowds of a few hundred people cheering for Will Ospreay and he is satisfied with that. There is nothing wrong with that whatsoever.”
Would you like to see Kenny Omega vs Jay White? Let us know in the comments who you’d like to win that match or click below to read about Jay White rejecting AEW.
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.