As noted, a surprise video package featuring AEW Executive Vice President Kenny Omega aired a few weeks back at the NJPW – Stardom Historic X-over show, to announce that Omega will return to NJPW on Wednesday, January 4 at Wrestle Kingdom 17. He will challenge IWGP United States Heavyweight Champion Will Ospreay.
Omega recently spoke with Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated and revealed why he’s returning to NJPW.
“I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of AEW,” Omega said. “I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of pro wrestling. I’m also returning home. I left to start this new, exciting opportunity, but it’s still home. Now the things Will can do are things I cannot. He’s an athletic phenom. But as finely tuned as he is physically, he still hasn’t doesn’t have the knowledge or experience. I pushed my own physical boundaries in All Japan and DDT, but that’s not what I’m known for. My mind is my greatest asset, not my athleticism. That’s what’s allowed [Hiroshi] Tanahashi to have such a long and flavorful career. I needed someone to take my place in New Japan, I wanted someone to take my place–and it was Will, Jay [White], and [Kota] Ibushi. Will is the only one to have a problem with that.”
Omega’s recent promo, seen below, to announce his return was rich in symbolism, with Omega speaking mainly in Japanese, while Ospreay responded in English. Omega revealed why he spoke in Japanese for the promo.
“I had to speak in Japanese to remind him that he doesn’t have home court advantage. This is still my home,” Omega said.
The match with Ospreay will be Omega’s first NJPW bout since he dropped the IWGP Heavyweight Title to Hiroshi Tanahashi at Wrestle Kingdom 13 on January 4, 2019.
— njpwworld (@njpwworld) November 20, 2022
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