AEW’s Kenny Omega declares his return to New Japan

AEW’s Kenny Omega made a surprise appearance on the Historic X-Over event last weekend to announce that he would return to New Japan Pro-Wrestling on January 4 to challenge Will Ospreay for the IWGP United States Championship. Omega departed from the promotion in early 2019 – the same one where he achieved global fame – to join AEW as an executive vice president and one of its top stars. He discussed his decision to return to Japan in an interview with Sports illustrated this week.

“I am returning to New Japan as AEW ambassador,” Omega said. “I’m returning to New Japan as an ambassador of pro wrestling. I’m also going back home. I left to start this new exciting opportunity, but it’s still home. Now the things Will can do are things which I can’t. He’s an athletic phenomenon. But as good as he is physically, he still doesn’t have the knowledge or experience. I pushed my own physical limits in All Japan and DDT, but I’m not known for that. is my greatest asset, not my athleticism, that’s okay [Hiroshi] Tanahashi to have such a long and tasteful career.

“I needed someone to take my place in New Japan, I wanted someone to take my place – and that was Will, Jay [White]and [Kota] Ibushi. Will is the only one who has a problem with that,” he added.

Omega has been incredibly critical of Ospreay in recent years, both in promos and interviews, usually calling him out for not properly following up “The Cleaner” as the top non-Japanese star in NJPW.

“A guy like Will, who’s good at moves and has a list of 20 very forgettable five-star matches. [laughs] I’m going a little too fast for Will. Will is great. I don’t want to say anything bad about Will. Here’s the thing, if we’re being completely honest with each other, I believe with the current rating system, and how things are viewed, I believe Will has earned every last one of those five star performances he’s had,” Omega told competitive earlier this year. “I’m digging myself into a hole here, Will is there and Will is great. I’m happy to see him in a big game against Orange Cassidy. I’m just saying I think New Japan made the right choice by going with Jay White. He was the star of the two is all I’m saying.”

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