In a somewhat strange change of direction, Wrestle Kingdom 11 main eventer Kenny Omega recently took to twitter to post a bizarre update on his future with NJPW.
I will be stepping away from Japan to reassess my future. The path of my journey may change, but my goals will not. There is no plan. My schedule is cleared and I’m weighing all options. I’ve a lot to consider. Thx for the patience/support.
I will be stepping away from Japan to reassess my future. The path of my journey may change, but my goals will not. pic.twitter.com/E4vDiGgAwe
— Kenny Omega (@KennyOmegamanX) January 6, 2017
What makes the announcement so left field is how much Omega himself had made a point of committing his future to NJPW in the lead up to their biggest show of the year. He was confident that whatever happened he would be pushing to be a key member of the roster in driving the promotions International footprint, which has made his recent tweet a complete U-turn.
The tweet could certainly be a work by Omega who after putting on an instant classic with Okada, cemented his reputation as one of the best ever foreign workers to crack Japan. It could hopefully be nothing more than him giving himself a bit of breathing time to allow his body to recover from that insane 47 minute battle.
But what if it’s not? What if he really is stepping away from Japan? Or is it nothing more than a well-designed ploy by the Canadian to review his contract and look at new offers?
For NJPW it would be a huge loss given how big of a name Omega has become across the Globe. According to reports there was an addition 5,500 new subscribers from the western market following the match with Okada which justifies just how big of an asset he is and can be to the promotion. Since the mass loss of Nakamura/Styles/Anderson & Gallows, the promotion have clearly seen some credit in Omega and likewise he has jumped at the opportunity to be one of the main men to drive the promotion forward. His 2016 was nothing short of spectacular and starting 2017 with a 6* Dave Meltzer rating isn’t then worst way to kick off a new year.
But whilst Omega is a big name for NJPW, the loss of him wouldn’t be totally crippling to them given just how strong some of their other names are. The likes of Okada, Tanahashi and Shibata are all superstars in their own rights and more than capable of driving NJPW forward, but just lacking that Western influence which Omega can offer. Japanese wrestling has survived in the past without the big International names at the helm and so you would take a good punt on them being able to replicate this with their current roster.
But where would Omega go next? He has kind of ruled himself out of the WWE given his comments on the promotion and its main Title belt which leaves him in a strange place. There is absolutely no doubt that Omega has the character, in-ring talent and worldwide fan following which would make him a valuable addition to the WWE roster. But how much would those comments of hindered that opportunity if that is whats next for him. Aside from a few of the larger independent shows such as ROH, PWG and Evolve its hard to see where he fits given his star power. Anything else would be kinda a backstop for “The Cleaner”.
Ultimately Omega is the only man who knows what his future holds and whether the cryptic message is an opportunity to renew his contract, test the waters of what the independent promotions have to offer or simply a chance to take some time off, whatever he decides he can sleep safe in the knowledge that people will want to see him wrestle regardless of what ring it takes place in.