Kenny Omega could wrestle at Wrestle Kingdom 17, appearing for the first time for New Japan Pro Wrestling since his main event loss to Hiroshi Tanahashi in 2019. The former IWGP Heavyweight Champion headlined the Tokyo Dome event on January 4th 2019, losing his championship to the challenger in a five star rated match by Dave Meltzer.
With the report that AEW stars will appear at Wrestle Kingdom, according to recent plans of NJPW and AEW, and the return of Kenny Omega recently from injury, rumours are rife that The Cleaner will make his long awaited return to New Japan for a blockbuster match at their biggest show of the year.
Dave Meltzer reported on the latest Wrestling Observer Radio, “I don’t know how many, but I have, in fact, been told of certain plans for AEW wrestlers on Wrestle Kingdom…..There are plans for certain AEW guys to be at the Tokyo Dome show.”
This edition of Wrestling Observer Radio came before Omega made his triumphant return to AEW Dynamite, partnering The Young Bucks in the first round of the AEW Trios Championship tournament. He didn’t look 100% upon his return but gave hope for the future that we may well see the best of Kenny Omega again, and maybe in New Japan.
Kenny Omega left New Japan Pro Wrestling in 2019 under a dark cloud and helped form the promotion All Elite Wrestling. He was perceived of disrespecting NJPW and after his Wrestle Kingdom 14 defeat was thrown out unceremoniously, not to be mentioned again.
This also dampened relations between AEW and NJPW. Despite willingness on Tony Khan’s (AEW President) side, the New Japan side of things wanted nothing to with AEW. While this has softened a lot in recent years and all tensions gone with the advent of the first ever Forbidden Door pay per view, we have to hope there is no bad blood between Kenny Omega and the New Japan officials.
Who Is Kenny Omega Wrestling At Wrestle Kingdom 17?
Kenny Omega is likely to wrestle against Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom 17. The pair have been trading barbs for months and ramped up their rivalry in the build up to Forbidden Door. If Omega was fit to wrestle at the show (which was his goal for recovery) he would likely have faced off with The Kingpin, given how vocal each other was about wanting to fight inside the ring.
Speaking to Sean Ross Sapp of Fightful Select, Omega mocked Ospreay’s “forgettable” yet impressive matches, which are rated highly by Dave Meltzer and considered some of the best in the world.
“A guy like Will, who is great at moves and has a list of 20 very forgettable five-star matches.” Omega said, before laughing and clarifying “I’m going a little too hard on Will. Will is great. I don’t want to say anything bad about Will.“
However, Will Ospreay has not pulled any punches on Kenny Omega, making fans sure the pair will face off either at Wrestle Kingdom or in an AEW ring. Replying to Omega’s remarks about his in-ring ability, Ospreay threw shots at his potential Canadian opponent and even revealed Omega stopped him from appearing in AEW during the start of the promotion.
“It’s belittling. He’s only doing it because of the interview side of things, he has to try and save face. You saw his true colors there. He wanted to bury me and he couldn’t. This comes from a long line of things. Even speaking of AEW, it is only because I hang around with the boys after and we’re all smoking and talking s**t.“
“Apparently, the rumor was that I was meant to be there a year ago, just doing ‘forbidden door’ stuff and somebody is putting the block on it. It doesn’t take two and two to realize who it is. One person who has not been there for a while and all of a sudden, I’m welcome in with open arms.”
Both men have spoken a lot on social media, adding even more fuel to a potential Will Ospreay vs Kenny Omega Wrestle Kingdom 17 match at the Tokyo Dome. With Ospreay coming close to winning the G1 Climax and only losing to Kazuchika Okada in the final, he will be looking for a big opponent to showcase his skills at the Tokyo Dome.
Kenny Omega is that opponent. Don’t be surprised to see him walk out on January 4th, 2023 and battle Will Ospreay at Wrestle Kingdom in one of the biggest New Japan matches of all time.
AEW could also reunite the Golden Lovers, which you can read about below.
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.