One of the hotter topics this month is the contract status of Kenny Omega, who just wrestled an incredible 45-minute Match of the Year contender for New Japan Pro Wrestling at their Wrestle Kingdom 11 show (their equivalent of WrestleMania). Immediately following that match, Omega announced he would be taking a break from NJPW, and though most feel the announcement was just to drive hype for his eventual return to NJPW after a well-earned vacation, the obvious speculation was that Omega could be considering a jump to WWE, similar to what AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson did last January after their NJPW contracts expired.
The interesting thing is that nobody seems to know exactly when Omega’s contract is up, with speculation that it could be the end of this month, or possible a year away, which would obviously end any possibility of Omega making a jump. Moreover, Omega has been vocal in the past about disliking his previous experience in WWE’s developmental system, leading many to feel that he would never go back. Of course Omega’s time in WWE was back in 2005-06, before the rise of NXT and some sweeping changes to how WWE ran their developmental organization.
During a conference call related to this weekend’s UK Title Tournament, Triple H was actually asked about the possibility of Omega signing a contract with WWE. Here’s what The Game had to say:
“As far as Kenny Omega goes, I’m interested in talent period and if someone is talented as a performer and they want to come work for the WWE. If they want to work for the best in the world. If they want to come to the largest platform where they can truly show what they do off on a global basis then WWE is the choice for them. If they want to work for us and they are very talented then I’m interested in talking to them across the board.”
“I hear a lot of speculation sometimes about well this guy who’s been working for a long a time, or they wouldn’t have interest or they would, or they’re going after football players or this and that. I’m interested in talent at every level. Somebody with charisma, someone with the it factor, that is athletic, can do what we do…I’m interested in them. So, to me, anytime anyone questions me on a talent and if I’m interested in them…the fact that you are questioning me on it means that person is pretty talented so yes I’m interested.”
In other words, of course WWE would be interested in Omega, but they’re not going to start talking about their level of interest in signing him because a) it’s always a bad move to show too much desire when you’re trying to negotiate a contract and b) as far as anyone knows, Omega is still under NJPW contract right now, so that would actually be tampering, and New Japan would almost certainly file a lawsuit.
In any event, if you were hoping to see The Cleaner make a shocking debut at the Royal Rumble, that almost certainly isn’t in the cards. But as for a WWE future for Omega, well, there’s always a chance.