As noted, tonight’s AEW Dynamite will be headlined by a non-title “Dream Match” between IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Kenny Omega and AAA Mega Champion El Hijo del Vikingo, a bout that has been in the works since 2021. There’s been a lot of criticism from fans over how not nearly enough build was given to the debut of Vikingo, who is largely unknown in the United States, at least for now. Omega spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated and addressed the criticism, saying he sees parallels between tonight’s match and two matches that helped shape him into who he is as a performer.
“The two times I was most blown away were by individuals I’d never seen heading into the match,” Omega recalled. “One was Rey Mysterio versus Psicosis in ECW, and the other was Great Sasuke versus Taka Michinoku when they first appeared for WWF. That took me down a rabbit hole so far that it helped create the wrestler I am today. So the people that want to cast this match away because they’re not too familiar with the name Vikingo, I hope they give it a shot. Allow this young man to display what makes him so special. We’re going to more than earn our spot in the show, and you get to be part of that experience.”
Tonight’s match was originally set for 2021 when Omega was the AAA Mega Champion. Omega held that title from October 19, 2019 when he defeated Rey Fenix, to November 22, 2021 when the title was declared vacant due to Omega needing time off for injuries. Omega was set to defend the title against Vikingo at Triplemania Regia II on December 4, 2021, but Vikingo ended up winning the vacant title in a Fatal 5 Way that also included Bobby Fish, Jay Lethal, Bandido and Samuray del Sol. He has been champion ever since, and currently has the third-longest Mega Title reign. Omega has the longest reign at 765 days, and El Texano Jr. is second with his 735-day reign. Omega had just five title defenses in those 765 days – Jack Evans, Dragon Lee, Sammy Guevara, Laredo Kid, and Andrade El Idolo. Omega, who never actually lost the Mega Title, commented on what the title reign means to him.
“AAA’s mega championship was so important to me,” Omega said. “It represents a particular idea and style, one I’ll never claim is my strong suit, so it was the result of arduous testing. I put myself through the paces. I was not trained in that style primarily. I watched hours and hours and hours of videotape to understand the ideas and concepts. In AAA, I applied all that I learned and became the longest-reigning mega champion in the world. That still means a lot to me. And at this stage in my career, I’m not quick to put my name on a singles match unless it means something. There’s not a belt on the line, I’m not contending for a title. It’s all about the opportunity to put my style against someone I think can be one of the greatest luchadores of all time. This is very much a personal test, but I also take pride in being part of the introduction of someone I think will have a very successful career. Vikingo is going to be known worldwide, so it’s an honor for me to be part of this. And I hope we’ll see him in AEW again.”
We noted before how this will be Omega’s first Dynamite singles bout since the win over Alan “5” Angels on the November 3, 2021 episode, which took place in the same venue as tonight’s match – the Cable Dahmer Center in Independence, Missouri. Omega commented on how the match is pay-per-view main event quality, and how special it will be.
“Vikingo piqued my interest, because no one does it like him,” Omega said. “Wrestlers crowd around the monitor in the back to watch him. He’s something special. Competitively, I know he’s coming to take my throne. Or at least trying to—I’m aware of that, which makes it even more exciting. It’s a rare singles match for me on Dynamite. This would have been special with a lot of wrestlers on our roster. I’m the one that’s first in line with Vikingo.”
For those who missed it, you can click here for Omega’s previous comments on tonight’s match.
Stay tuned to WrestlingHeadlines.com for more.
Follow Marc on Twitter at @this_is_marc. Send any news, tips or corrections to us by clicking here.