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‘The Cleaner’ Kenny Omega Renews Contract with New Japan Pro Wrestling
We are only a few weeks removed from what is being called the greatest wrestling match of the modern era. The main event of New Japan Pro Wrestling’s biggest show of the year, Wrestle Kingdom, saw Kazuchika Okada defend the IWGP Heavyweight Championship against the leader of the Bullet Club, ‘The Cleaner’ Kenny Omega. These men went on to have, what Dave Meltzer called, a six-star match. Though Okada retained his title, Omega became highly sought after. Omega’s contract was set to be up at the end of January. He played coy when questions about his future came up during interviews and podcasts, wisely keeping fans on their feet and keeping his name relevant. Omega seems to have finally made the decision on where he will ply his trade. Less than 48 hours ago, Omega stated, on Wrestling Observer Radio, that he has decided to re-up his contract with NJPW. The decision doesn’t really come as a shock to those in the know. In his interviews following the match at Wrestle Kingdom 11, Omega weighed the pros and cons of staying, but seemed enthused at the thought of taking on the biggest dog in the yard (World Wrestling Entertainment).
“Things were more divided, but now, as we enter 2017, it’s becoming more and more, ‘if you want to see the best guys, just watch WWE’. That’s it. And I think that as long as I’m in the forefront and I have what I believe are the most talented individuals around me and I mix with them, I show the world that there is an actual, legitimate option, that not only competes with WWE, but is actually better than anything they can do.” (per WrestlingInc.com)
Personally, I respect Omega. He could have easily parlayed his newfound star power with the casual wrestling fans into a WWE contract. But Kenny sounds like he wants to help New Japan Pro Wrestling build on their momentum and close the gap between NJPW and the WWE, making New Japan a not so distant number two.
Do you agree with Omega’s decision to stay with New Japan? Or do you feel that this was the time for him to make the move to World Wrestling Entertainment?